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Best of E3 2011

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Best of E3…again

Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Everybody loved Skyward Sword when they saw it last year at E3. And the year before. And the year before that. As much as we enjoy seeing it displayed, hopefully this will be the last time and the game will actually be released this year.

Runners Up: Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Duke Nukem Forever

Best FPS

Winner: Battlefield 3

While BioShock infinite may have caught our attention the most among these games, in terms of true FPS titles, Battlefield 3 had us at hello.

Runners Up: BioShock Infinite, Far Cry 3, Modern Warfare 3, Payday

Best Graphics

Winner: Battlefield 3

We seriously considered just awarding this to the Frostbite 2.0 engine in general. Need For Speed: The Run uses it too and looks insane, but the Battlefield 3 has more to see visually and makes more out of the engine. Rage was also a contender thanks to the new id Tech 5 engine, but Bethesda seemed to deliberately hold Rage back a bit in terms of exposure. Both engines are amazing, but Battlefield 3 looks stunning. The uncanny valley continues to shrink.

Runner Up: Modern Warfare 3, Need for Speed: The Run, Rage

Best Hardware

Winner: PlayStation Vita

The Wii U was the most interesting new hardware of E3 without question, but there are still so, so many questions that Nintendo isn’t prepared to answer. On the other hand, the PlayStation Vita is nearly ready to go and we can say without question that it is an amazing piece of hardware. It is basically a mini-PS3 with a OLED screen. And for just $249-$299, wow. Just…wow.

Runners Up: PlayStation TV, Wii U

Best Multiplayer

Winner: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

If you are wondering why online giants like Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and even Uncharted 3 didn’t make the list, there are two very good reasons: First, all three games showed off only a glimpse of their online games. Secondly, until we see more of the online side, we have to assume that they will be more of the same. That isn’t a bad thing at all, but it doesn’t really impress us either. On the other hand, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City did.

Runners Up: Gears of War 3, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Driver: San Francisco, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Best Position for 2012

Winner: Wii U

Several of the exhibits at this year’s E3 were for games and hardware that won’t be out until late next year, so we will be seeing them at E3 2012 as well. But of all the titles that we can expect for next year—and there are plenty—none come close to matching the Wii U’s momentum going into next year. The Nintendo’s newconsole has been announced, but we’ll have to wait for next year for it to truly arrive.

Runners Up: Halo 4, Metro Last Light, Hitman Absolution, Tomb Raider

Best RPG

Winner: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim was not just the best RPG at E3, it was within a hair’s breathe of being the best game at E3 overall.

Runners Up: Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Mass Effect 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Best Sleeper of E3

Winner: Metro Last Light

The sequel to Metro 2033–a game that many people never bothered to play due partly to the dark and bleak look of it and partly because it was never a widely hyped game to begin with–Metro Last Light went from virtual obscurity to several “most anticipated of 2012” lists. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this game over the next year.

Runners Up: Prey 2, Warhammer: Space Marines

Best Sports Game

Winner: SSX

The long dormant snowboarding series returns using NASA satellite photos to create courses on some of the most intense mountains on Earth. That’s just plain cool.

Runners Up: NBA2K12, NHL 12.

Best Trailer

Winner: Assassin’s Creed Revelations

Oddly, of all the categories for our best of awards, this was among the most debated. Video game trailers have taken a page from Hollywood, and may in some ways have even passed Hollywood when it comes to the medium. And of all the trailers released for E3, none stuck with us more than the ACR video. By the way, the song is Iron by Woodkid. You’ll thank us for that after it has been stuck in your head for a day or two.

Runners Up: Hitman Absolution, Metro Last Light, Prey 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic

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