My 22 Favorite Games from E3 2015

E3 2015 has come and gone. I personally thought it was a good E3. It had its share of problems, but we will get to that on a different list. A lot of great games were announced that we didn’t know about or already knew about. These were my favorite games at the event. I do have some rules. Like always, no developer diaries. I will allow CG trailers and fixed gameplay demos.  Now then, how about we start with honorable mentions?

Honorable mentions go to…

Rise of the Tomb Raider: I am still very much looking forward to this game, since I loved the reboot, but with how the head of Crystal Dynamics is being with the Xbox One is still getting it exclusively for a limited time, I just won’t support cruddy business deals like this. I will wait for the PlayStation 4 version.

Gears of War 4: While I don’t really care about this franchise due to its beef-headed nature and boring characters, I will give the studio credit that they have at least attempted to make the characters more human and realistically proportioned. I actually like that.

Mass Effect 4: Andromeda:  I am honestly really excited for it, but I wish there was some gameplay shown off. I also hope EA can give Bioware the proper time to make this, and not rush it out. Oh, and no micro-transactions EA.

The Division: I am still hoping this game will be well made, but we could be walking into another downgraded Destiny situation where there is a lot to do, but it’s not really fun and gets tiring after a few days.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake: As much as I want to put this on the list, I am not as super-emotionally attached to this project as I am with games like Final Fantasy IX. Still, I can’t wait to hear more about it.

Nier 2: I really wanted to put this game on the list, because I adored the first game, despite its huge flaws, and I love Platinum Games, the team that’s making it. Unfortunately, like a lot of games at E3, no gameplay was shown. I did enjoy the music though, and I am happy to see the talented developer getting a lot of work.

The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes: This quirky 3DS game is cool and I am glad that there is a way for players to try it out offline as well. It’s also worth noting that this game has online multiplayer. I respect Nintendo for trying something unique to them with this multiplayer focused experience.

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival: I understand why people here were disappointed by this title, since it wasn’t a main title in this popular franchise. However, it’s hard for me to hate on something like Animal Crossing. Sure, I hope no one becomes a seedy second-hand seller by getting all of the Animal Crossing Amiibos and makes playing this download impossible, because the Amiibo situation is already out of hand.

Project Setsuna: I am so happy that Square Enix is finally making something new. I have been hoping more big developers/publishers would branch out, and this shows that they are willing to try something new. Just wish there was some gameplay to show.

Even after these honorable mentions, I still had to leave out games like the super fun-looking Dragon Quest Heroes, the Kickstarter success Shenmue III, the incredibly gorgeous Tearway: Unfolded, the terrifying Until Dawn, the create-your-own-game Super Mario Maker, The new Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness, the super charming Planet Coaster, and the always amazing looking and fun Uncharted 4. Now for the games that made the list!

22. Recore

Up first is Recore, the new game by Compcept founder and Mighty No. 9 creator Keiji Inafune ( I know he is also known for the MegaMan and Dead Rising games), and Armature Studios. While we didn’t get to see any actual gameplay for Recore, the concept seems promising with the whole “put an orb in a different machine for potential action and puzzle solving”. My only real concern is that the story’s touching connection with the girl and her robot dog shown in the trailer seems inconsequential, due to the fact that she can easily take the orb and put it into another machine. They make it look emotional in the trailer, but then cancel out any investment you had with the robot dog blowing up. Still, I am excited for a new IP. All I wanted was some gameplay to show off how the whole experience will work

21. Sea of Thieves

 

For the final Xbox exclusive to be on this list is Rare’s Sea of Thieves. While I wish it wasn’t so multiplayer-focused and not in first-person, I am still hyped since it’s a new Rare IP and not just another Kinect Sports game, since, well, the Kinect is officially dead. Anyway, I love the art style and love how it’s going to be a hopefully solid pirate-themed game with exploration, treasure hunting, and fighting! I know a lot of Rare’s best are now at different studios, but any company that is using Robin Beanland, the composer for many Rare games like the Killer Instinct franchise and Jet Force Gemini is showing that they are taking this seriously.

20. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Yeah…while I love the London setting, the ability to control gangs, no multiplayer, and easier ways to traverse the city, it’s still Assassin’s Creed, and due to what happened last year with Assassin’s Creed Unity, there is still reason to be wary with how this game will launch. Still, this is the most interesting Assassin’s Creed game I have seen in years. Plus, it makes me want to rewatch “Peaky Blinders”! Anyway, it’s a tough call whether to either be hyped or be very concerned. Either way, we are going to have a blast and bash in some skulls in jolly old England.

19. Doom

Aw, yeah! The granddaddy of shooters is back with a new iteration! At first, I was a little cynical about the game, due to how so many shooters have improved and built upon the first-person shooter genre. After watching the gameplay in whole, the game looks fun and fast. I do agree though that the colors could have been better, since even though this game is over-the-top with its gore, it looks like any other shooter. I am also concerned with how balanced the single-player mode will be compared to its creative multiplayer. We didn’t play Doom for its multiplayer, we played it to get immersed in the creepy depths of hell. Even then, it is nice to see a new game in the franchise, and one that looks graphically impressive.

18. Dreams

Here is a game that is hard to pin down, Dreams. On one hand, it is very creative, and Media Molecule is very good at that. Being able to paint and create whatever you want is really ambitious. On the other hand, they are basically making an art app for your PlayStation 4. Hopefully, they add something for people who want to try out a single-player experience. Either way, Dreams is a creative game by a talented company. I can’t wait to try it out.

17. Dishonored 2

While I have not yet played the first game, which I will, once The Definitive Edition comes out for PlayStation 4, it’s cool for everyone else that there is a sequel coming out. With the inclusion of a new playable character, a new location, and some new enemies (those sword-wielding mechanical things are scary!), Dishonored 2 is looking to bring another freedom-of-choice experience.

16. Trackmania Turbo

While Microsoft had an egocentric pat on the back with its advertising of Ford and the new Forza Motorsport game, Ubisoft decided to go the opposite route and show off a more arcade-style racing game, where not only will you race on some crazy tracks, but you can also make your own tracks. There is even a randomized track maker that will make a track out of the blue, and you will have to race it. It looks fun, even though this is the first time I have heard of this franchise.

15. Transformers: Devastation

I don’t feel like I have to explain this one much. Sure, I am concerned that it might be a soulless cash-in, but come on. The art style is of the Transformers from the 80s, it’s being made by Platinum Games, the action looks fast, and getting the ability to possibly fight Devastator has my young Transformers me excited. It should be at least a fun game.

14. For Honor

It’s always exciting to see a new game whether it be a single-player experience or multiplayer, and Ubisoft’s For Honor hits that nail on the head. This is a multiplayer-focused action game that combines elements of Dynasty Warriors and the complex strategic combat of the Chilvary games. I like how this game’s combat makes you get good at the combat system, since you really don’t want to button mash your way through the one-on-one/more battles with other human opponents. It reminds me of that Bushido Blade series on the original PlayStation, where one strategic hit would kill the opponent. Plus, who didn’t love the speaker for this game? He was freaking entertaining.

13. World of Final Fantasy

This was one of the biggest surprises for me at E3. Seeing this super cute and colorful take on the famous franchise was refreshing, since so many games these days try to be muted with colors and super-serious. Seeing the battle system was also cool, since you can befriend certain monsters, and have them either ride you or vice versa, and sharing how they want to make a game that is easy to get into, but tough to master is always a great idea. Any game that you can get both new and old gamers interested in will equal more sales in my book. I know not everyone was in love with the cutesy style, but to me, this will be one game to keep on my radar

12. Mario & Luigi Paper Jam

While I do wish this was a Wii U RPG, since I want the Wii U to get one kind of Mario-style RPG, Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is shaping up to combine the two worlds of Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. It also seems like the writers are having a little fun with the personalities of the characters from both series. The combat looks fun, fast, and complex, since you will be working with not only Mario and Luigi, but Paper Mario as well. Like I said, I wish this was coming to Wii U, but I am still excited for yet another high quality RPG from Nintendo.

11. Yoshi’s Wooly World

 

Yoshi’s Wooly World is high on this list for a reason. Not only is it just a downright beautiful looking game, the gameplay looks entertaining, the music is adorable, and it was refreshing to hear Nintendo talk about how they want to make sure the game is fun. Granted, I hope they continue to handle the Amiibos well, and not let anything bad happen to them, like second-hand sellers buying them in bulk. Either way, I love the look of the game, and I will have a smile on my face and a child-like giddiness when I play it later this year.

10. Kingdom Hearts III

One of the best trailers to come out of E3 was definitely the gameplay trailer for Kingdom Hearts III. It was so gorgeous with bright colors, and the artstyle that makes the whole series stand out looked fantastic in the trailer. I also loved seeing how it was going back to being more like the first two games, and not try to pull off anything new that may not be fun in the end. Sometimes, a return to what made the series great is all you ever need to do. However, seeing the new super-moves that revolve around what I think are the Disney rides was quite a visual spectacle. Anyway, I am happy to see some actual footage of this game, and I can’t wait to get my grubby gamer hands on them.

9. Mario Tennis Ultra Smash

Here is a game I wish I wasn’t the only one looking forward to, Mario Tennis Ultra Smash. While I have not played the handheld games in this sub-series, I always felt like certain sports games work on home consoles better than handhelds, and was majorly disappointed when the last game came out for the 3DS and not the Wii U. The graphics look beautiful, the gameplay looks just as good as the Nintendo 64 and GameCube games, and I mean, come on, it’s a Mario sports game. It’s going to be really fun! Might not win my Game of the Year Award, but I know it’s going to be quite a lovely time.

8. The Last Guardian

I know everyone and their grandma is going to put this in their top three games of E3, but for me, it’s just right here on the list. Don’t get me wrong, I am very much excited for this game. It looks gorgeous and seeing the little boy cooperate with the giant griffin creature is always charming, but this is a Team Ico game. The controls are going to be clunky, and I feel like they aren’t going to make sure the controls are tight, which will result in stuff that is the game’s fault and not yours. I also think a lot of the hype I had for the game has diminished since it has been in such a long development time. Plus the lack of information and reasons why the game was delayed got really grating after a little bit. Still, I can’t wait to finally get my hands on this game and try out the last game in this trilogy.

7. Fallout 4

Here is a surprise to me, Fallout 4. I don’t have a huge loving relationship with the franchise. I have the first three games on my PC, but I didn’t really care much for Fallout 3 and New Vegas for a couple of reasons, like the murky unappealing graphics, and the games just didn’t appeal to me on a story level or world level. However, seeing that you will be able to play as either a male or female character, and the fact that your character can talk actually amuses me since I never really like mute protagonists. I get you are supposed to be the main hero and all, but most games treat you like a third-wheel, due to how much more time and lines the other characters get. I am also very impressed with the amount of bright colors. You can have a wasteland, and still have it look gorgeous and colorful. The gameplay is pretty much the same, but I can tell that I will love the whole “build your own” settlement mechanic, since it seems like it makes more sense with Fallout 4 than most games that try to have it. I know the game will launch with a lot of bugs, but I honestly can’t wait to play this game. Plus, there is a companion dog that won’t get killed. That gets a place on my Gamefly list instantly!

6. Xenoblade Chronicles X

Ah, yes, my most anticipated game of this year is not number one on this list. It doesn’t mean I’m still not excited for it. I have explained why I am excited about this game in my E3 list from last year and my most anticipated games of this year. I mean, a huge explorative alien world where you can travel on foot or with giant transforming robots? What else do I need to explain? Sure, I have my concern with how much you play in the overarching story, but seeing this game is just cool, due to how concerned everyone was for Xenoblade Chronicle’s success. Now all I have to do is wait until December 4th to get my copy.

5. Unravel

 

Quite possibly the best game to come out of EA’s E3 was Unravel. This cute and quite beautiful 2D platformer won everyone over, not only because it’s something completely different from EA, but because the designer of the game came on stage to talk about it. He seemed genuinely nervous, but happy to talk about his game. It was easily one of the best moments of that E3. The gameplay looked solid, with the ability to use your yarn for puzzle solving, and the graphics were beautiful. I really hope EA does nothing to this guy’s game, and lets everything unravel as the consumer gets their hands on it.

4. South Park Fractured But Whole

What’s this? A sequel to my second favorite game of last year? A focus on the show’s super hero episodes? A jab at preordering? This announcement had everything I could ever want! Sure, I have a concern about how Ubisoft San Francisco is going to handle this game since they are the ones developing it and not Obsidian Entertainment. Still, seeing a sequel that will have the show’s creators working on the story and writing to one of my all-time favorite games is a surprise no one saw coming. Get ready to laugh your sides off, and prepare for another entertaining journey through this small Colorado town.

3. Horizon Zero Dawn

Recently, there have been a lot of games set around dinosaurs popping up, with quality ranging from polished and promising, to being utter garbage. However, the new game from the Killzone Developers, Horizon Zero Dawn (say that five times fast), looks to be the king of them all. It has an interesting set-up, where in the future, mankind has reverted back to sort of caveman/early medieval times, and all the animals in the world are now robots. You get everything from robotic giraffes and robotic t-rexes. The main hero, a female named Aloy, will use a variety of arrows and weapons to take down the robotic wildlife, and boy, that wildlife looks gorgeous. Seriously, we need more games to start looking fantastic on the PlayStation 4. This was one of the best announcements for a reason, and it’s easily my number 3 game of E3.

2. Genei Ibun Roku #FE

One of the most surprising games to come from Nintendo from the past few months was hands-down the Shin Megami Tensei / Fire Emblem crossover, Genei Ibun Roku #FE. Instead of a straight-up crossover, the developers instead take the idea and turn it into its own idea. Sure, it doesn’t literally have the characters from either franchise, and it is incredibly anime-looking, but you know what? This looks like a great RPG. It might be more like Persona than Shin Megami Tensei, but I think the Shin Megami Tensei is more of a catch-all term, due to franchise having so many sub-series. With its bright colors, turn-based battles, and catchy music, this RPG is set to be one of the best games on the Wii U.

1. Star Fox Zero

Even though there have been so many fantastic game announcements, from the Shenmue III Kickstarter to the reveal of The Last Guardian, after much time and deliberation, I think Star Fox Zero was my favorite announcement. I knew we were getting a Star Fox game from last year, but seeing the game in action really excites me. It’s being developed by Platinum Games, so we have quality up the wazoo, and the ability to pilot multiple vehicles to tackle the stages in any way you want. Sure, I can understand why some people think the game looks great, but nothing memorable in terms of graphics, but I don’t know. I can’t find myself getting really cynical about this game. It’s a new game in a franchise that needs more games in it, and you know me, I will have my copy later this year! With fun gameplay, a talented developer, and multiple transformable machines, Star Fox Zero, is my number one game of E3.