The show may be over, but E3 2011 left us with plenty to talk about. From the Wii U, to Battlefield 3, to the first glimpse at Modern Warfare 3, the show may have ended, but its legacy will continue for a long time to come. There were several massive, big budget sequels displayed, and more than a few surprises to be had. But who came out on top? Below is our list of the best of 2011.
Make sure to check out this years’ Best of E3 2012 Awards.
Best of Show
Winner: BioShock Infinite
Few games had people talking as much as BioShock Infinite, and none shocked us nearly as much (no pun intended). Beautiful, stunning, heartbreaking and amazing, BioShock Infinite was our consensus choice for best of 2011. After watching the depth of the gameplay, the characterization of Elizabeth, the multiple combat options and the menace of Songbird, BioShock Infinite had us wandering where they came up with some of the insane and incredible ideas that were displayed. You might wonder why BioShock Infinite won best of show but not best FPS. That’s because none of us thought of it as an FPS. It was just so much more.
Runners Up: Battlefield 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Gears of War 3, Tomb Raider
Best Nintendo Exclusive
Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
It was tempting to add the Wii U here, but we still don’t know much about it. After four years, we know a LOT about Skyward Sword, and it just continues to look better all the time. It also helps to remind us why the Wii is far and away the best-selling console of this generation by a wide margin.
Runners Up: Shinobi 3DS , Super Mario 3DS
Best Sony Exclusive
Winner: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
From what looks to be another amazing campaign, to a multiplayer that builds on what was already among the best online games for the PS3, Uncharted 3 alone is an excellent excuse to buy a PS3.
Runners Ups: Resistance 3, Twisted Metal
Best Xbox 360 Exclusive
Winner: Gears of War 3
There was never any real discussion here—not because of a lack of 360 exclusives, but because Gears 3 promises to be one of the best games of the year both on and offline.
Runners Up: Forza Motorsport 4, Star Wars Kinect
Best Action Game
Winner: Tomb Raider
The Tomb Raider franchise had grown stale and was on the verge of extinction just last year, but after seeing the reboot/prequel in action, Lara Croft once again has our attention. And not in a creepy pervy way, just in a good game way.
Runners Up: Batman: Arkham City, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Gears of War 3
Winner: Nintendo Wii U
A lot of games managed to generate significant heat this week at E3, but if you wanted to break into any conversation, all you had to do was ask people what they thought about the Wii U. Everyone had an opinion, and it was easily the most discussed item of the show. There are still some questions about the console that we’d like Nintendo to answer, but that will come in time. For now Nintendo definitely has our attention.
Runners Up: Battlefield 3, BioShock Infinite, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Prey 2
Best Driving Game
Winner: Driver: San Francisco
While the racing simulators can be a blast, at this year’s E3 the emphasis for driving games veered more towards arcade action and fun physics than fine tuning the gearbox with custom parts. Driver: San Francisco introduces the “shift” mechanic, something that is kind of a technological marvel when you think about it. With the hit of a button you can switch mid-race/mission to another car with completely different handling. Its not realistic in the least, but it is a lot of fun.
Runners Up: Need for Speed: The Run, Ridge Racer: Unbounded, Mario Kart 3DS