These were the best games from E3, according to critics

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Critics

While every two-bit publication that even looks at E3 has its own set of awards for the largest annual industry-focused video game expo, there’s only one official one – and that comes from the folks who make up the panel of judges for the Game Critics Awards; people from places like Giantbomb, Polygon, Kotaku, Ars Technica, IGN and other sites more esteemed than our own. Every year, they select the games that they feel are the best ones to be shown at E3.

Now, it must be said that they get to play games that other attendees only get to look at, so they have a larger pool of games to draw from. Of course (as explained by Jeff Gertsman from Giant Bomb), the term “playable” is a bit of a misnomer, as the pre-requisite for that merely means that judges can hold a controller and move the character or camera on screen. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has also said that that sometimes means “playing” a game for about thirty seconds – so these things should all be taken with a pinch of salt, I think.

Still, here are the nominees for this year’s Game Critics Awards from E3.

Best of Show

  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/SCE)
  • Oculus Touch (Oculus VR)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE/EA)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SCE)

Best Original Game

  • Abzu (Giant Squid/505 Games)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/SCE)
  • The Last Guardian (GenDesign/SCE Japan/SCE)
  • Unravel (Coldwood Interactive/EA)

Best Console Game

  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/SCE)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE/EA)
  • Super Mario Maker (Nintendo)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SCE)

Best Handheld Game

  • Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (AlphaDream/Nintendo)
  • Persona 4 Dancing All Night (Atlus)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes (Nintendo)

Best PC Game

  • DOOM (id Software/Bethesda)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)
  • Just Cause 3 (Avalanche Studios/Square-Enix)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE/EA)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Best Hardware

  • Microsoft HoloLens (Microsoft)
  • Oculus Rift (Oculus VR)
  • Oculus Touch (Oculus VR)
  • Project Morpheus (Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (Microsoft)

Best Action Game

  • DOOM (id Software/Bethesda)
  • Halo 5: Guardians (343/Microsoft Studios)
  • Just Cause 3 (Avalanche Studios/Square-Enix)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE/EA)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/SCE)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Microsoft Studios)
  • The Last Guardian (GenDesign/SCE Japan/SCE)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SCE)

Best RPG

  • Dark Souls 3 (From Software/Bandai-Namco Games)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)
  • Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (AlphaDream/Nintendo)
  • Sword Coast Legends (n-Space/Digital Extremes/Wizards of the Coast)

Best Racing Game

  • Forza Motorsport 6 (Turn 10/Microsoft Studios)
  • Need for Speed (Ghost Games/EA)
  • Trackmania Turbo (Nadeo/Ubisoft)

Best Sports Game

  • FIFA 16 (EA Canada/EA)
  • NHL 16 (EA Canada/EA)
  • Madden NFL 16 (EA Tiburon/EA)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (Konami)
  • Rory McIlroy PGA Tour (EA Tiburon/EA)

Best Family/Social Game

  • Disney Infinity 3.0 (Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive)
  • Guitar Hero Live (FreeStyleGames/Activision)
  • LEGO Dimensions (TT Games/WBIE)
  • Rock Band 4 (Harmonix)
  • Super Mario Maker (Nintendo)

Best Online Multiplayer

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III (TreyArch/Activision)
  • Halo 5: Guardians (343/Microsoft Studios)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE/EA)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division (Massive/Ubisoft)

Best Independent Game

  • Abzu (Giant Squid/505)
  • Below (Capy Games)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games/SCE)
  • Wattam (Funomena)

It’s a nice list of games, I suppose. We’ll be finding out who actually wins in a week’s time. The most nominated game is Star Wars: Battlefront, while publishers EA and Sony lead the pack with eleven nominations each.

It is worth noting though, that last year’s winner was Evolve. Take that as you will.

Last Updated: July 1, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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