E3 has come and gone, and it was one of the best we've seen in nearly a decade. Sony wowed fans with a lineup of world-class exclusives, Microsoft actually knocked its conference out of the park by showing up with games, and Nintendo finally lifted the veil on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. What more could we have asked for?!
We were left dazed and dazzled, and boy do we have some thoughts. So who won E3? What were the best games and coolest surprises? Below you'll find each member of the ComicBook.com/gaming team with their own top-5 games of E3.
These are the games that we're most excited to play; the games we expect will challenge Metacritic's top earners; the games that made this year's E3 something truly special.
Matthew Hayes (Managing Editor)
1. Cyberpunk 2077
You can read my full preview write-up right here, but the short version is this: Cyberpunk 2077 is way cooler, and way prettier than you're expecting it to be. Everything about the gameplay demo that we saw at E3 blew away our expectations. CD Projekt Red has set such a high bar for itself, and from what we can tell, it's creating the most expansive and intelligent cyberpunk world ever conceived in a work of interactive fiction.
I was personally, pleasantly, surprised by the RPG elements as well. Colored gear tiers, damage counters, "magic" abilities, a deep character creator, and a narrative that constantly bends to the will of player choice... This is going to be a generation-defining game. Count on it.
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate drummed up serious hype, but the reality of what we're getting to play this December deserves so much more of your hootin' and hollerin'. I got to go hands-on with the new Smash at E3 and played about five rounds, and it feels so good.
Nintendo is going all out on this one: every single character is returning to join the roster, stages are now selected before characters to ensure balanced competitive selection, excessive dodging makes you vulnerable, smash attacks can cancel dashing, a new "perfect shield" mechanic empowers skilled players to punish overly aggressive opponents... This is just the beginning. Nintendo has tweaked and tuned so much in order to create the ultimate competitive Smash Bros., and I can't wait to dive in and start from square one like everyone else.
Plus, the new colored smoke that characters emit as they're flying through the air is really freaking cool. What a spectacle!
Spider-Man looks and sounds more impressive with every showing, and the latest gameplay trailer from E3 fried our circuits with the reveal of five re-imagined super villains. What an adrenaline rush! I love the fact that Insomniac Games is refusing to play it safe. This Spider-Man game looks ballsy and ambitious, and the animation team has clearly channeled its collective expertise to ensure that swinging around this massive city is as exhilarating as it is effortless. September can't come soon enough.
4. Ghost of Tsushima
We're spoiled for gorgeous PS4 exclusives, but I never thought I'd see something as technically impressive as Horizon: Zero Dawn on current generation hardware... until I saw the Ghost of Tsushima gameplay demo. I still can't believe that what we saw was running on a PS4 Pro. The distance at which we could make out swaying grass, wheat, and trees was incredible, and the lighting was absolutely enchanting.
I love Ghost of Tsushima's historical, grounded, and gritty approach, and after that gameplay reveal I know that we're in for some incredible set-pieces.
I am a total sucker for Ubisoft's brand of historical fiction, and since I was a boy I've been fascinated by Grecian culture. From the moment I saw the slow zoom out over Athens, with the Parthenon looming in the distance, I knew that this would be a world I'd fall in love with. And hey, the female protagonist looks and sounds like a total badass. I think when I start my first new game, she'll be the star of the show.prevnext
Liana Ruppert (Staff Writer)
1. Cyberpunk 2077
I went into this game with stupidly high levels of expectation, usually the kind that sets players up for the ultimate letdown. CD Projekt RED saw my expectations and raised them through the roof. The totally immersive RPG feel of the futuristic title immediately swept me away and I felt like I became Vi in that moment.
The dialogue was rich, realistic, and frankly - badass. The combat was fluid, the abilities were astronomical, and the overall narrative seemed like something I can see myself playing over and over again. Easily, hands down my pick of E3.
2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Another title I was able to play during my time with E3. An open world RPG that finally does the RPG name justice from the team behind this long-standing franchise. A perfect blend of Assassin's Creed Origins and Black Flag, the addition of the dynamic dialogue wheel and romance options (ROMANCE OPTIONS, YOU GUYS!) makes this a title to watch out for.
Not only that, but for the first time in the franchise's history players can choose between a male or a female protagonist! This game was definitely built with the fans in mind.
3. Overkill's The Walking Dead
I'm not going to lie, I can't stand zombie games. The market is incredibly over-saturated and it almost seems like a crutch when a creative team is out of ideas. That being said, Overkill's The Walking Dead blended the urgency for survival expertly in a very straight forward online experience. I played with my team and we got our objective done. From the enemy zombies, to humans that wanted to see us dead, the gameplay kept me on my toes in the world that spawned an iconic television series.
4. Resident Evil 2 Remake
I know I said I don't like zombie games, but Resident Evil 2 was released during a time where this genre wasn't around every corner. A staple, and a title that made me fall in love with Leon Kennedy. To see those familiar faces redone with incredible modern-day graphics, as well as seeing the dramatic narrative shift Capcom decided to go with - this is a horror title no one should miss out on, especially fans of the original.
5. Beyond Good and Evil 2
It's been 84 years (not really) but we're finally getting a sequel to our beloved Beyond Good and Evil that came out a decade ago. Not only is the sequel/prequel an outstanding open world experience, but it's one that is totally customizable!
Not only that, but did you SEE Jade in the E3 trailer? What happened to my baby!? This ride promises replayability and tons of adventure perfect for fans of the original as well as newcomers into the franchise.prevnext
Tanner Dedmon (Staff Writer)
Sony only focused on four PlayStation games during its E3 conference, but Ghost of Tsushima brought so much style to the stage that you'd think there were many more titles present. Developed by Sucker Punch Productions, a name famous for the Infamous series, PlayStation's got something special with this exclusive PS4 game. The trailer shown during E3 showcased some of the most stunning graphics seen during the whole expo, and I can't wait to see them in person while listening to that Japanese voiceover for the full effect.
Put FromSoftware's name on a game, and you've already got my attention. Turn the developers of Dark Souls and Bloodborne loose on a totally new project set in 1500s Sengoku Japan with grisly combat and trick weapons, and I'm already looking for the "preorder" button. I've been waiting to see what FromSoftware had in store for everyone since the first teaser was revealed late last year, and I'm excited to see what FromSoftware can do when it casts aside multiplayer and focuses solely on a single-player experience.
3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Without a Nintendo Switch to my name, there personally wasn't much to look forward to leading up to Nintendo's E3 livestream. Fire Emblem, however, is a system-buying series for me, so it looks like I'll be getting a Switch around the time that Three Houses is out in 2019. With a short trailer that looked free of gimmicks while giving a fresh look at the series' classic combat, Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks like it's going to be clearing out a spot in my collection for a Switch.
4. Fallout 76
Fallout 76 has been a roller coaster so far, but I think I've come out of E3 more excited for it than I was before. After falling in love with Fallout 3, I couldn't help but imagine what it'd be like to traverse the Wasteland with friends instead of doing it solo, but when the multiplayer component of Fallout 76 was announced, I had some unexpected reservations. Bethesda alleviated those with multiple trailers and more multiplayer info, so at least for the moment on this fluctuating spectrum of excitement, Fallout 76 is one of my most-anticipated games in 2018.
5. Jump Force
Having seen the initial reveal of Jump Force during Microsoft's E3 conference – an unexpected spot for it to be shown – along with another behind-closed-doors presentation and a hands-on demo, it's the possibilities of Jump Force that excite me. Shonen Jump has such a beefy roster of characters to pull from, and a game that features clashes between Goku, Naruto, Frieza, Luffy, and more is an anime fan's dream come true. Bandai Namco appears to have several discussions and deals in the works with who will be featured in the game as well (My Hero Academia, maybe?), so the possibilities are nearly endless for what Jump Force will bring to the anime/gaming universe.prevnext
Robert Workman (Staff Writer)
There's no question that this is my favorite experience from the E3 show floor. Spidey plays just like his old-school self in this game, and the variety of missions and boss battles included are absolutely staggering. Not only that, but the game looks superb and has a lot of personality going into its story. The major pain here is waiting until September 7 to see how everything shakes out -- and possibly investing in that rumored Spider-Man PS4 Pro. Dang it, I have two already!
2. Killer Queen Black
I had a lot of favorite games at the Nintendo booth, but there's something about seeing the Killer Queen arcade game perfectly reconfigured for home play with local friends (and online!) that's truly magical. Black may have a couple players less than the arcade game, but it's just as manic and enjoyable as ever as you try to win matches one of three ways against your opponent. We'll have to wait till 2019 for this one to roll around, but it'll certainly be, ahem, killer.
3. Rage 2
I don't know what I like more about this game. There's the sheer mayhem that goes into its action, co-developed between Avalanche Studios and id Software. But then there's also the fact that Andrew W.K. provided the theme song and plays the happy singing mutant in the game. Oh, and did I mention you can totally barrel over enemies with your car? Because that's the Rage way. This is another one I'm looking forward to next year.
While Activision's line-up wasn't as stacked as I prefer it to be, its teaming up with From Software on an epic new adventure game is just the news I needed to hear. Though I didn't go hands-on with Sekiro, it looks absolutely breathtaking, with excellent scenarios and boss fights that really make you feel like you've been dropped in a whole new world filled with devastation. On top of that, the gameplay looks like it's going to be right at home with Bloodborne fans, with some platforming added for good measure. Can't wait for these Shadows to grace my console.
5. Just Cause 4
This game wins for the sole purpose of being able to take control of a tornado in the midst of a battle against the Black Hand. But there's so much more to Just Cause 4 than that, including wanton destruction with all new weapons and utilities; the ability to power up your grapple in ways you probably couldn't even imagine; and all sorts of crazy stunts that make you feel like a badass while you take back the country. This one's dropping just in time for Christmas, so it'll make me feel like a destructive Santa Claus. "Now I have a machine gun! HO HO HO!"prevnext
Tyler Fischer (Associate Staff Writer)
What can be said about Cyberpunk 2077 that hasn't already been said a million times by a million different people? There's a reason it was the biggest talking point of E3 this year. It looks amazing. It looks wildly ambitious. And it looks like wonderfully outrageous. All of this hype, anticipation, and fervor is underlined by the fact that this is a CD Projekt Red joint, a developer on an astronomical rise, who has already delivered one of the best games this generation, and who may be one of the only teams capable of once again raising the bar.
In a press conference packed with Death Stranding, Life of Us Part II, Spider-Man, and the Resident Evil 2 Remake, Ghost of Tsushima came out and stole the show with a beautiful depiction of a war-torn medieval Japan, featuring the best lighting work I've ever seen. Ghost of Tsushima wasn't just visually the best-looking game at E3, it felt fresh in a profusion of unoriginality. After years of nothing but Infamous, Sucker Punch is once again flexing its prowess and displaying its range.
3. Dying Light 2
Dying Light is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated games this generation. That said, it isn't without its shortcomings. However, Dying Light 2 looks like it addresses every single one. But Techland isn't stopping with refinement, Dying Light 2 is ambitious and taking risks, the latter of which is so rare from sequels. But most importantly Dying Light 2 looks poised to deliver a story worthy of its gameplay. With some of the best writing talent in the industry, and ambitious gameplay systems, Dying Light 2 should be on everyone's radar.
4. Metro Exodus
The Metro series has possessed a hardcore fanbase since it debuted back in 2010. In 2013, 4A Games followed up with the series' second release, edging it closer to the center of the industry's mind share. Now, it's back again with Metro Exodus, which looks poised to put the Ukrainian developer on the map with a star next to it. Metro isn't a diamond in the rough anymore, it's one of the crown jewels of the emerging Eastern European development scene. There's been a lot of takes on the post-apocalyptic formula over the years, but not many that look as interesting and tantalizingly brutal as Metro Exodus.3comments
I could look at the art of Sable all day. Delightfully reminiscent of a moebius comic and Studio Ghibli films, it has almost has a Journey meets Dune meets Zelda vibe. And despite being surrounded by big-budget, graphical marvels it stood out. A coming-of-age tale taking place in an open-world desert, Sable looks beautiful, not thanks to graphical fidelity, but thanks to passion, realization, and obviously an artful eye for beauty.prev