E3 2016 is over and done with, but that doesn't mean we still can't keep talking about it. Or obsessing about it, and we decided to hand out some awards to our favorite games, trailers, surprises, moments, and everything in between. This is all just our take on things, so if you agree or disagree please let us know! But without further ado, here is our picks for the best of E3 2016.
We wrote a much longer, more in-depth list of all the demos on hand at E3, and we didn't waver with our choices for the top two spots.
Nominees: Horizon: Zero Dawn, Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, Resident Evil 7, Gears of War 4, God of War, Watch Dogs 2, Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, For Honor, Inside, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Forza Horizon 3
God of War (Runner-up)
The reboot of God of War looks almost nothing like the previous games. No Greece, no Greek Gods, no chains on Kratos' arms, no screaming at Mount Olympus, no isometric camera, no orbs flying about, and no tragedy to fuel revenge and rage. This was a different feeling game that tackles the Norse mythology, and Kratos being a father. A father with a beard and a magical axe slaying trolls. This was the best surprise from Sony's show and we are dying to find out more about it.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Winner)
Nintendo streamed so many hours of this game it was impossible not to give it our highest plaudit. It's beautiful, daring, wide open and unafraid. It's pure adventure and exploration and invention, with a completely new design philosophy and systems to boot. The Legend of Zelda has never looked or played like this, and it's deserving of being called our favorite demo of the show. 2017 has a new front runner for most anticipated.
We also did a list of our favorite 16 trailers from the show, and the two best were our choices for the runner-up and winner of this category. There were some truly outstanding trailers this year, and so let's watch them again and again until these games come out. Which might honestly be years from now.
Nominees: Spider-Man, Resident Evil 7, Death Stranding, Gwent, Trials of the Blood Dragon, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Madden 17, Prey, Injustice 2, Watch Dogs 2, Halo Wars 2, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Sea of Thieves, We Happy Few, The Last Guardian
We were really hoping a reboot of Prey was in the works, and while it's very different than the original pitch of an alien bounty hunter, this psychological thriller set in space looks just as good, if not better. This was a mix between Groundhog Day and Prometheus, with some Twilight Zone thrown in for good measure.
Death Stranding (Winner)
This was the most WTF trailer of E3, and maybe all E3's ever. Kojima Studio's first game is far away, but this teaser featuring Norman Reedus of Walking Dead fame got us talking about Death Stranding all week long. Memes are blowing up about it, we can't figure it out, there are apparently tons of hidden secrets about the game in here, and we are just in awe of it all. The mystery, the intrigue, the weirdness, the baby, it's all beyond our comprehensions and we love it.
Some of the best moments in E3 history are surprises. Game reveals, demos available the night of, there are lots of ways to be creative about surprising an audience. So here are the games and announcements we deemed worthy enough to mention.
Nominees: Steep, Dead Rising 4, Kojima!, Quake, Resident Evil 7 demo, Gwent, Prey, Crash Bandicoot, Grow Up, Spider-Man, free games when you pre-order, Fe, Trials of the Blood Dragon, Xbox Scorpio
We had heard rumors of Sucker Punch working on a Marvel game, but not Insomniac working with Marvel on this amazing looking exclusive. That caught us off guard for sure, but we are so glad this exists. Please come out soon, webhead, we need you to save the city and our PS4's.
Resident Evil 7 (Winner)
So Capcom comes out with a VR demo for a new and scary looking game called 'Kitchen'. It turns out to be the next Resident Evil game, and it's coming out in January. Fully playable in VR. And there was a demo the second that trailer dropped. You can pre-order the game right now. All of this news is mind-blowing, and really truthfully exciting. This game looks awesome and we're glad with its new direction.
BEST LOOKING GAME
This isn't 'best graphics' or 'best art style', but just what game looks visually the most interesting, to us. So it can be the most impressive technical feat, or just the most colorful and beautiful game we've seen, it's a real toss-up.
Nominees: Horizon: Zero Dawn, Battlefield 1, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, God of War, Watch Dogs 2, Steep, Inside, For Honor, Forza Horizon 3, Cuphead, Dishonored 2, Gears of War 4, Paper Mario: Color Splash, Fe, Final Fantasy XV, Yooka-Laylee, The Last Guardian
Battlefield 1 (Runner-up)
We can't lie: 64 people playing this stunner is a real impressive task to pull off by EA. There were a few other games that might look a tiny bit better, but this game is coming soon, supports a ton of players, and is gorgeous. And it's set in World War 1, which makes it just different than other shooters, and we appreciate that.
This is a '30s inspired, Disney cartoon come to life. It's the most stunning, innovative, imaginative, and joyous indie we've ever seen, and we cannot wait to look at hand drawn animation in a game with so much personality and zest and attention to detail. The more we watch, the more we fall in love.
MOST HEAD SCRATCHING MOMENT
Not all moments land at E3, and some are just...well, head scratching. Yeah, that's a good word for it. We were confused at a few things in E3, and they might not be the best or most talked about things from the show, so we gave them their own category. Try again next year, guys.
Nominees: No Mass Effect Andromeda news, Just Dance giraffes, Sony's ending of Days Gone, Link cannot be a woman?, woman screaming at Bethesda's show
Mass Effect: Andromeda (Runner-up)
This game was supposed to be coming soon. It was supposed to get a bunch of new info, gameplay footage, and be the year we finally found out more about this game.
EA withheld anything new, again, and now we are worried something is wrong. This game is getting delayed and we have concerns about its development, and we were shocked we got nothing new from Bioware on this. Just flabbergasted.
That screaming woman in the crowd at the Bethesda show (Winner)
This clip says it all, really.
MOST EGREGIOUS NO-SHOW GAME
Some games were reported to be at E3. Some were just rumors, some leaks, and some were confirmed. And then E3 ends, and we still haven't heard from a number of titles we are desperate for. What gives? Here is the list of games and other stuff that was missing in action.
Nominees: Playstation Vita, Wolfenstein 2, Evil Within 2, Red Dead 2, Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy VII remake, 360 backwards compatibility, Crackdown 3, Shenmue 3, Battletoads, Battlecry, Beyond Good and Evil 2
Red Dead 2 (Runner-up)
This was the most buzzed about game to be there, and we have a feeling it got pulled at the last minute from Sony's press conference. But that is just speculation. We really want this game, we know it's being worked on, and we just want Rockstar to announce it already. Or release it, that works too.
Crackdown 3 (Winner)
Crackdown 3 was at Microsoft's show last year, and for some reason it wasn't this year. That was sad, because we love Crackdown and we really want more from this ambitious project. When will we get more? Hard to say, maybe at Gamescom, but they got to show it soon. Right? We hope...
BEST NEW GAME
Not all games are sequels, or prequels, or reboots, or remasters. Some are new franchises, looking to become the next big thing. We wanted to reward these brave new souls, so here is what may become the next Mario or Minecraft.
Nominees: For Honor, Detroit, We Happy Few, Sea of Thieves, Steep, Fe, Inside, Cuphead, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tacoma, Yooka-Laylee
Horizon: Zero Dawn (Runner-up)
Horizon is Sony's newest attempt at a smash hit and it looks like it very well could be that. A brand new world to obsess over, hunting and gathering, a cool female protagonist, some killer art direction, and robot dinosaurs. They're robots, who are dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are robots. This game is Sony's big gun for 2017, and it's looking more fabulous every time we see it.
We Happy Few (Winner)
This was quite the surprise at Microsoft's show, and this turned out to be the indie darling of E3. A fantastic gameplay trailer made We Happy Few quite the sticking point for many watching the show, and we could not agree more. We Happy Few is a procedurally generated first person adventure survival game with an absolutely ingenius plot, setting, art style, and conceit for a game. A man wakes up in a retro steampunk '60s English utopia only to find its a dystopia, how can you beat that? That's brilliant, and this game looks amazing.
GAME OF THE SHOW
We only nominated five games, and it was a real toss-up. Any of these games could have won, and deserve to win, but in the end, we just went with our hearts. There were a lot of coin flips as well, but it was mostly our hearts.
Nominees: Horizon: Zero Dawn, Titanfall 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dishonored 2, Resident Evil 7
Titanfall 2 (Runner-up)
We don't have to be sold on Titanfall 2, since the first game is arguably the best game this generation. But it's shaping up to be every bit as good as the last game, but with more stuff. Swords, giant mechs wall running, pyrokinesis, grappling hooks, jetpacks, and all the other fun goodies we've come to expect from EA's tour de force. October cannot come soon enough.
Dishonored 2 (Winner)
Dishonored 2 didn't need to reinvent the wheel, but it did anyways, and we admire that. A new character, a new city to sneak around in, new powers, time travel, and optional settings for harder difficulty. This is one adventure we are dead set on taking come October, and if you buy it now you get the first game for free, so that's always a sweet deal when it's available to you. But this really was the best game we saw at E3, and this might end up being the GOTY contender to beat, alongside Titanfall 2. It was a hard decision, but what we saw from Bethesda's show convinced us this was the Best of E3 2016.