I feel like it really says something that Pokemon's first mainline title on a home console (or at least on something that has a home console mode) was so poor it didn't even rank in the top 50 games for the year. Metacritic isn't a perfect measurement, indeed it's frustratingly flawed, but you can't write Pokemon's performance here entirely to the platform's methodology or to gaming journalism. There was a lot of hype for Pokemon's first home console experience, and Game Freak phoned it in with this one, the worst possible title to do so.
Just because critics (like myself) weren't blown away by it doesn't mean people don't love it. When it comes to mega pop culture things, critics are often on the opposite side of the people. Sword and shield have sold really well.