E3 has come and gone, and I am here to list my favorite games shown off at this year’s E3 conference. Before we start, let me get this out of the way, this is my list! If you disagree with my list, that is fine. Tell me your favorite games that were shown off during E3! In my opinion, this was one of the best E3s in years. All three of the big companies exhibited some great games coming from different developers. People who thought that E3 has sucked this year, I think are either being too harsh on the event or are just pessimistic grumps. However, just so I don’t look like some kind of jerk, I will be making a separate list of disappointments of this year’s E3, since there were some elements that I didn’t like. Let us set some ground rules so this list isn’t a million games long. The first rule is that no matter if the trailer had gameplay or just a CG trailer, it counts. The second rule is that no games that had a developer diary-style reveal during the conference will be on the list. This means no Star Wars Battlefront or Mirror’s Edge 2. The third rule is that I am only going to focus on bigger games, so you won’t see many indie or downloadable games. The fourth rule is that it can be a game that has either been shown from an earlier or the new E3. The final rule is that I am not going to put too many games on this list that I already have put on other lists. If you want to check those out, go to camstop10lists.wordpress.com. I will hyperlink this entire article with the specific lists of the past, so you can see where I am coming from. Let us get started with some honorable mentions!
• Phantom Dust 2: This was a pretty cool announcement from Microsoft that they were making a sequel to a cult classic game on the original Xbox, but since I know little to nothing about the original game, I wasn’t as excited about this game as other people were.
• Entwined: This was a very graphically beautiful game with some interesting gameplay mechanics. I have just downloaded it on my PlayStation 4, so I haven’t had a lot of time to play it, but I would definitely check it out if you are a fan of Sony’s download gaming library.
• A Multitude of Indie/downloadable games: I was going to list a bunch of indie games in this section of the list, but there were so many, I had to put them all into one place. You have games like Aztez, White Night, Cuphead, The Last Tinker: City of Colors, Inside, Woolfe, Shovel Knight, Tengami, Mech Runner, Ori and the Blind Forest, Forced, Never Alone, Project Cars, Oddworld: New ‘n’Tasty, Hellraid, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Grave, No Man’s Sky, Mighty No. 9, Hyper Light Drifter, Nero, Magika 2, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Secret Ponchos, Source: A New Adventure, and many more. Seriously, I could have made a separate list for all of the indie/downloadable games being shown off. In fact, I am going to make my own list for downloadable games that were shown off at E3 2014. This means you won’t see ABZU on the list. Plus, I already made a list of downloadable games to look out for this year on my site.
• Mario Maker: We will definitely have to see how this interesting “make your own levels” game turns out, and see how much it will cost to download. I bet this will be a downloadable title. Who knows, maybe we can get a new Mario Paint out of this if this game sells well.
• Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: This game easily had one of the best trailers, and is one of the best looking games to be shown at E3, but I am not the biggest Metal Gear Solid fan, and that is why it is here in the honorable mentions category.
• Battlefield Hardlines: I got to play the beta of the PlayStation 4 version, and when I wasn’t dealing with lag, I had a lot of fun with a shooter that is basically Payday 2, but with a bigger budget and scale. I wish I didn’t run into some really terrible lag during a couple of matches in the last few days. I also wish that when you spawn in an area where a lot of team members are, you could get three seconds of invincibility. I say this because I died so many times spawning where my team is, because I didn’t get a good chance to take in my surroundings. It also still felt too military shooter-like, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I love the fact that it isn’t another modern-day military shooter. Hope this game works out!
• Destiny: I had a lot of fun playing the alpha build of this game with different people online, but I wish there were a couple of more quests, since the little side quests you do during one of the levels got boring. However, I did really enjoy how the guns felt and how you controlled your character. The AI was pretty solid, and hearing Peter Dinklage as your AI companion was pretty sweet!
• Final Fantasy Type-0: This was a very fun announcement that we are finally getting this PSP game, but in HD and for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I want to hear more about it though, and I am honestly not too well-informed about the original game. Anyway, it was a great little announcement for the gamers that wanted this game stateside.
• Dead Island 2: I am not a huge fan of the first game, but the second game’s trailer was a lot of fun to watch. It was one of the more entertaining CG trailers shown off this year.
• Project Spark: I am honestly not too upset about seeing Conker as DLC for the game like everyone else is, but I already talked about this “Little Big Planet for Xbox One” on another list. I just want to know how much premade levels and adventures will be in the game so players can get comfortable with the controls and mechanics that the experience will offer. I would hate for the first few hours of this game be the player going through menus. Hopefully, it’s a fun and immensely creative game!
• The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt: The gameplay shown off was very promising, and I love the fact that there is a focus on finding giant creatures and slaughtering them. Of course, I have some concerns, like encountering a lot of glitches due to the game having a huge free-roaming world. However, I enjoyed my time with The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and I bet I will enjoy my experience with The Wild Hunt next year. I just wish there was some more gameplay shown off during the Microsoft conference, instead of them cutting some footage out.
• Rise of the Tomb Raider: A sequel to one of my top 10 favorite games of last year? Awesome! I was hoping to see a bit more of the game than simply the trailer, like the setting of the next game, or frankly, anything at all, but I guess we will have to wait till another Comic Con or the VGX to get more information for the next game.
• Uncharted: A Thief’s End: I was pleased to see we are getting the next game in the franchise, and not only that, but it might be the last game in the franchise, or at least the last game to have Nathan Drake, played by Nolan North, as the main character. I wish there was a little more information about the story and some gameplay, but all I know is that if they take the deep and well developed story of the third game, and increase that by 10, they will definitely blow me away.
• Star Fox U: I am honestly very elated to see a new Star Fox in development, and the tech demo shown off so far, where you basically use the gamepad for the majority of the gameplay, was ambitious. I did enjoy seeing this, but I want to see some more info about it at a later date to get a better idea about the project. Seeing only the tech demos is why you won’t see Miyamoto’s other Wii U projects on this list, like Project Robot and Project Guard. All three games, though, look fun and I can’t wait to know more about them.
Now then, let the official list begin!
21. Fable Legends
I am starting this list off with a game that I think has some true potential of lifting the franchise out of the bad rap that it has had for almost its entire lifespan, Fable Legends. Not only is it a game where you can play with three of your friends with four diverse characters, but the ability to have a fifth player be the villain and screw over the hero’s plans seems like an interesting gimmick. I am putting this entry at the beginning because even though the gameplay footage was nice and showed off the game’s beautiful art style, it is still a game from the Fable franchise, and who knows how amazing of an experience the final product will be. This game looks promising, and I hope it’s enjoyable for the owners of the Xbox One.
20. Let it Die
I am always up for something from Suda 51, and even if you don’t care for his philosophy on game design, you will still get quite an experience from any game that he makes, and Let it Die is no different. We only got to see some snippets of gameplay, but it looks as if “Saw” and “Battle Royale” had a baby, and that baby became a very violent video game. There isn’t much else to it, but it looks like it will be a brutal multiplayer melee combat game. This game has been recently revealed to be a free-to-play multi-player experience, which worries me a little with how that element will be handled, but I am willing to check it out, nonetheless. Heck, getting any multiplayer game that doesn’t revolve around you having a gun and fighting Russian terrorists is A-Okay in my book.
19. Devil’s Third
Here is a game I didn’t expect to hear about this year, and from Nintendo of all publishers. For a cliff notes history guide of Devil’s Third, this game was from the mind of Tomonobu Inagaki, the creator behind the first two 3D Ninja Gaiden games. It was going to be published by THQ for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. However, THQ went belly-up, and Nintendo picked this game up and it will be only coming to the Wii U. For those that don’t know about the gameplay, it is a fast-paced 3D action game, mixed with first-person shooter elements. If I had a way to describe the action for those that haven’t seen the recent trailer, think of ID Software’s Shadow Warrior, but double all the charm and fast-paced action that the original game had. I mean, how over-the-top can you get than using a katana as a throwing knife and having a main character that looks like Vin Diesel just got out of the tattoo parlor? The trailer, shown off at E3, actually reminds me of something Robert Rodriguez would make, like “Machete.” I just hope there is enough substance in this insane action game for me to care about the characters. Either way, whether we get story substance or not, this game looks incredibly fun, and I give Nintendo credit for investing in a rather unexpected IP.
18. Mario Party 10
I have to say, I really enjoy this fifth player element that some of the games at E3 were showing off. First up was Microsoft with Fable Legends, and now it’s Mario Party 10, where a fifth player can play as Bowser. I am so glad they showed that part in the trailer, because I was worried due to the fact that the gameplay seems to be similar to Mario Party 9 and Mario Party: Island Tour. Granted, I don’t mind the streamlined look, but it ruined a majority of the random elements that people enjoy about Mario Party games. However, I will say the levels and mini-games shown off in the trailer looked like a lot of fun. I am probably one of the few people who think there isn’t a bad Mario Party game, but who knows, maybe Mario Party 10 can win back the people who thought the series was done with after the third game.
17. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
In this new console generation, gamers want to see more new ideas be brought to life, while at the same time, still have sequels to one of our favorite franchises, which is why I am very interested to see how this new game, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will turn out. It has already been described as a turn-based strategy RPG with more emphasis on action-oriented gameplay. A lot of people have compared the game to Sega’s Valkyria Chronicles, and that is my favorite strategy RPGs of all time. I also couldn’t help but love the setting where you play as a swat team sent out by Abe Lincoln to rid the world of aliens. If you can’t have fun with a setup like that, then there is something wrong with you.
16. Batman Arkham Knight
I don’t really need to say much about why this game is going to be awesome. It’s Rocksteady, the batmobile gameplay shows off how beastly the vehicle is, the Scarecrow will play a big role in the game’s story and is being voiced by John Noble of “Fringe” fame, and the game doesn’t have a tacked-on multiplayer that no one cares about. I think this will be on a lot of people’s list of favorite games shown at E3, and it is no different with me. I mean, when it has all of those elements that I listed above, how can this game be anything but a masterpiece?
15. The Order: 1886
When I made my list of the most anticipated games of this year, I put this game in the honorable mention section of the list, because we weren’t getting too much information about it. Luckily, we got some more on it, and I have to say, this is going to be one heck of a current gen shooter. The gameplay shown at E3 looks like the entire experience will have an incredibly thick atmosphere with the damp steampunk world that they throw you into. Thick fog covers the streets, and knowing that there are werewolves out there in the city doesn’t make the atmosphere around you any less intense. I also give the developer credit for having weapons that would be around during that time period, but giving them a little twist. I mean, did you see that thermite gun? That thing was awesome to see in action! Plus, this is another shooter that doesn’t have multiplayer. I love that some developers are wising up to the fact that not every game with a gun needs a multiplayer component. Sometimes, a well-crafted single-player experience is all you need to make a game like The Order: 1886 enjoyable.
When I first heard about the rumor of Platinum Games making an exclusive game for the Xbox One, I was concerned, since this rumor came up when the Xbox One still came bundled with the Kinect. I didn’t want it to be true, but after seeing the CG trailer of their new game, Scalebound at E3, I remembered, “Hey! This is Platinum Games! These guys made some of my favorite games of the past console generation! Of course it is going to be good!” I have to say, even though people hate on CG trailers, it is at least something to show the public, unlike developer diaries, which show barely anything. I mean, what more do you need to know about Scalebound? It is a creative action game where you can team up with your very own dragon to fight giant monsters! All I need to say is yes, Platinum Games, you can have my money when this game comes out! It will be one of two games that convinced me to get an Xbox One.
13. Grim Fandango Remake
Shortest explanation ever! It is a full-fledged remastering of one of the best adventure games of all time. What else do I need to say? Well, besides making sure the controls are smoother? Actually, the only thing that would make this announcement even more incredible is if they announced a PlayStation 4 exclusive sequel to Psychonaughts.
12. Hyrule Warriors
I have mentioned before that I am not the biggest fan of these Dynasty Warrior-style games due to the fact that they all feel the same. However, with this collaborative effort between the Dynasty Warrior team and Nintendo, it seems like this specific game will have much more substance to it. Even though on the outside, it looks like just another Dynasty Warriors, from what I have seen and heard, there are some small changes to the overall design. The changes might not be major, but seeing that you can target enemy generals like you would in a Zelda game, obtain items for possible RPG customizable weapons, and have large boss-type enemies thrown into the battle definitely give this game some new life with said style of game. Plus, it’s Dynasty Warriors mixed with The Legend of Zelda. How awesome is that?
I’ll be honest; I don’t really care for games that give you a multiplayer-only experience. I feel like they always lack content, and these kinds of games have a wide range in terms of how good and creative they can be. Well, Splatoon showed me that Nintendo has a fun-looking and imaginative multiplayer-only game up their sleeve. The idea of using ink-based weapons, along with the ability to swim inside the ink to get across the maps faster, makes me ponder all the strategy that can go into those two simple game design choices. Maybe in one round, someone can be in charge of making sure there are long winding paths across the field so the other team members can traverse the field with speed and as much grace as a squid can muster. Granted, the look of the human forms are kind of weird, but when this game looks like so much fun and is so colorful, I think this is one game that will prove to be very good for Nintendo. The only thing that is of concern is the amount of content you will be getting upon the release. I mention this because so many games like Titanfall failed due to the fact that they had a serious lack of content when they first came out and you had to then spend more cash on a season pass. Hopefully, Splatoon will spray ink in all the right directions, and not blow up in your face.
10. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS
I don’t think I need to explain why this game is on my list. It has a couple of surprising character reveals, with Palutena from Kid Icarus, Pac-Man from, well, Pac-Man, and the inclusion of Mii fighters that have three different fighting styles and customizable moves. At first, I wasn’t too impressed with having two different versions of the same game, but from I have seen in the past couple of trailers, I am going to get both. I mean, what is more appealing than having a Super Smash Bros. on the go? It really doesn’t matter which version you get, since well, this is Super Smash Bros., and there isn’t a bad game in the series.
9. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Out of all the games coming out this year, I really hope Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor doesn’t get overlooked. I know it is coming out the same day as Dragon Age: Inquisition, Driveclub, and Alien: Isolation, but I personally think that Shadow of Mordor is one of the more ambitious games coming out, due to the Nemesis system. Hearing that the game’s main baddies will be different each time you play through the game, due to what actions you perform, it’s like having rogue-like elements in the enemies you fight, instead of those elements randomizing the levels you play through. I also like the idea of the main character teaming up with a “being of fantasy” that is usually an enemy in any other fantasy-oriented RPG. The voice cast is also impressive, with big names like Troy Baker, Nolan North, Laura Bailey, and Liam O’Brian. My only concern is that since the melee combat has similarities to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the AI will play Red Rover with you, and take their turns getting killed. With a promising story, and interesting gameplay mechanics, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is shaping up to be an intriguing game later this year.
8. Yoshi’s Wooly World
I was quite happy to see this game at E3. We haven’t heard much about it since its announcement last year, and I was hoping it didn’t get shelved for something else. To see what the game will look like in motion is just eye-catching. Just like with what I said about Kirby Rainbow Curse, a unique art style will take you far. This is also interesting since this is the first 3D console-based Yoshi platformer we have gotten in years. The entire world does look like it was hand-stitched, and it looks amazing. I also love that they take advantage of the fact that Yoshi is made of yarn, and take the inspiration from Kirby’s Epic Yarn to have Yoshi be able to take different shapes for certain actions. It shows while having realistic-looking graphics and characters are fine, there is still room for super colorful cartoony and creative games like Yoshi’s Wooly World.
7. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
I originally wasn’t going to put this game on the list since I wasn’t a super-huge fan of the original Canvas Curse, and not because it was a bad game, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. That is, until I watched the game in motion. I fell instantly in love with this game’s claymation art direction. It shows that having a game that has a fun art style can go a long way in making it stand out. I loved that they actually made the game look like something from “Gumby” or “Wallace and Gromit.” I think another reason why I love this game’s look is because it reminds me of those old Nintendo power magazine covers that had some clay figurines or a Claymation set on the cover to advertise a new game or something. It’s really charming. The gameplay itself, where you control Kirby as he is in a ball form for a majority of the game, was interesting, and there seems to be a lot of depth behind this one mechanic. Hopefully, we will hear more about whether this will be a downloadable experience, or an experience where you can get a physical copy of a rather beautiful and entertaining looking game.
6. Zelda U
I am usually pretty excited when it comes to knowing more about the next game in the Zelda franchise, but wow! I did not expect for the next Zelda game to look like this. I mean, those graphics are exquisite. So many bright colors fill up the screen, and the designs are gorgeous. Hearing that it will be an open-ended adventure excites me more, since it will give the franchise a much needed facelift. Hey, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword might be my favorite 3D Zelda game so far, but even I will admit that game needed more exploration. Another element that caught my eye in the trailer was the kind of arrow being shot at the creature that was attacking our main character. Could this mean that we will have different types of arrows? Maybe we will have more variation and small RPG elements to differentiate the weapons one from another. Who knows, but man, I can’t wait to hear more about this game.
5. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Super Mario 3D World was my second favorite game from last year. Its creative level design, bosses, and platforming were top-notch. Another reason why I enjoyed 3D World was because of the inclusion of these Captain Toad side-levels that broke up the gameplay a little. They added some fun, but challenging puzzle levels. I was happy to see that those little levels are now going to be the focus of a new game. The gameplay is still the same here, where you control Captain Toad and help him traverse small Super Mario Galaxy-type levels without the ability to jump on your enemies. A few new gameplay elements were thrown in to expand on the overall design of the original. You have new power-ups, like a pickaxe, to go through stone, and some more interactive elements like a mine cart, rail-shooter section. What else can I say, but I am really looking forward to this game when it comes out this holiday season?
4. Little Big Planet 3
I will be honest, I screamed like a girl seeing a boy band live for the first time when I saw this game being shown at Sony’s E3 conference. I have a personal attachment to the franchise, since Little Big Planet was the first game I got for my PlayStation 3. The platformers are already incredibly well designed and creative, but with the addition of three new playable characters with diverse abilities will bring even better implemented gimmicks into the levels. Plus, the trailer has cow racing, which is pretty much an instant win.
3. Sunset Overdrive
For me, Sunset Overdrive represents everything that I wanted to see from Microsoft in terms of giving the owners of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One a special experience. This game has bright, colorful graphics, a fun cartoony art style, a creative weapon variety, and something different from Halo and Gears of War. Along with Platinum Games’ Scalebound, Sunset Overdrive is the reason why I am going to get an Xbox One in the future. The gameplay shown before and during E3 looked so incredibly fun! You basically parkour and grind on rails to get across the mutant-infested city, using a diverse set of weapons that only the minds of Insomniac Games could come up with, like a gun that shoots exploding teddy bears! This game also symbolizes the return of Insomniac’s incredibly creative minds, since the last couple of games, like Fuse, was underwhelming. You can count on me rail-grinding across the mutant-infested Sunset City, and kicking some mutant butt in the future!
2. Bayonetta 2
In my most anticipated games of 2014 list, Bayonetta 2 made it to number 3, and well, it’s still one of my most anticipated action games of this year. Bayonetta 2 has stylish action, great enemy design, a story that you really shouldn’t take seriously, and with the recent trailer, it comes bundled with the original game and some Nintendo-oriented costumes that Bayonetta can wear. What more could any fan of the first game ask for?
1. Xenoblade Chronicles X
How do you improve upon one of the best RPGs of the last generation of consoles? You make it an epic space opera, and add in elements of western-oriented RPGs! Xenoblade Chronicles X improves upon every aspect of the original Xenoblade Chronicles by having the players create their own characters, customizable classes, and an improved combat system. With the giant robots that you can pilot, there is a whole lot that this game brings to the table that already makes it a sequel that improves and builds upon the original. I give Monolith Soft a lot of credit for tackling a JRPG with a western RPG point of view. It shows that they are willing to go against traditional JPRG game design and make something interesting. I know this is one game that will steal a lot of hours out of my life next year, and I don’t mind that one bit.
As you can tell, even if I didn’t do honorable mentions and a separate list for independently made games, this list would be as big as Godzilla. However, I think that is the best thing about this year’s E3. There was a lot to like about it. It really had everything for any kind of gamer, and I hope next year, they can do even better.