Game Critics’ Best of E3 Nominees Announced

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Game Critics Best of E3 Awards

While gamers anxiously await the results of Game Rant’s Best of E3 awards, a new series of Best of E3 nominations have gone out, those being the Games Critic Awards’ choices for the best games of E3. As with past years, the nominations go out about two weeks after the show floor closes, and the final awards are given out before June’s end (this year they go out on June 26th).

Included amongst the critics who vote on the awards are some of the industry’s biggest outlets, from Kotaku to Entertainment Weekly, many of who participate in the special Judge’s week demos that take place before the E3 show floor opens.

Amongst the lauded games on the list are old standards like Halo 4 and Assassin’s Creed 3, and a bevy of newcomers like Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us. If it caught gamers’ attention during E3, it probably made the list in some form or another. Hey, even Wonderbook got a nod for Best Hardware.

Here’s the full list:

Best of Show
– Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– The Last of Us (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)
– Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Original Game
– Beyond: Two Souls (Quantic Dream/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
– Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Quantum Connundrum (Airtight Game/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– The Last of Us (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)
– Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Console Game
– Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PS3, Xbox 360)
– Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks for PS3, Xbox 360)
– Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– The Last of Us (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)
– Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square-Enix for PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
– Assassin’s Creed III Liberation (Ubisoft Sofia/Ubisoft for PSVita)
– Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion (Dreamrift/Disney Interactive Studios for 3DS)
– Infinity Blade Dungeons (Epic Games/Epic Games for iOS)
– Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (Next Level Games/Nintendo for 3DS)
– New Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo for 3DS)
– Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PSVita)

Best PC Game
– Company of Heroes 2 (Relic/THQ for PC)
– Hawken (Adhesive Games/Meteor Entertainment for PC)
– PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment/Sony Online Entertainment for PC)
– SimCity (Maxis/EA for PC)
– X-Com: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games for PC)

Best Hardware/Peripheral
– Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset (Astro)
– Rift VR Headset (Palmer Lucky/John Carmack/id Software)
– Wii U (Nintendo)
– Wonderbook (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe)
– Skylanders: Giants Figures (Toys for Bob/Activision)

Best Action Game
– Borderlands 2 (Gearbox/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Crysis 3 (Crytek/EA for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– Metal Gear Rising: Revengence (Platinum Games/Kojima Pro/Konami for PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Action/Adventure Game
– Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
– Beyond: Two Souls (Quantic Dream/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
– Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– The Last of Us (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)
– Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Role Playing Game
– Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (Square Enix/Square Enix for 3DS)
– Ni No Kuni (Level-5/Namco Bandai for PlayStation 3)
– Persona 4 Golden (Atlus/Atlus for PSVita)
– The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard (BGS/Bethesda for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– South Park: The Stick of Truth (Obsidian Entertainment/THQ for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Fighting Game
– Dead or Alive 5 (Team Ninja/Tecmo Koei for PS3, Xbox 360)
– Injustice: Gods Among Us (NetherRealm Studios/WBIE for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U)
– Persona 4 Arena (Arc System Works/Atlus for PS3, Xbox 360)
– PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (SuperBot/SCEA for PlayStation 3, PSVita)
– Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Namco Bandai Games/Namco Bandai Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Racing Game
– F1 2012 (Codemasters/Codemasters for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Forza Horizon (Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– LittleBigPlanet Karting (United Front Games/Media Molecule/SCEA for PS3)
– Need for Speed Most Wanted (Criterion Games/EA for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed (Sumo/Sega for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, 3DS)

Best Sports Game
– FIFA Soccer 13 (EA Canada/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Madden NFL 13 (EA Tiburon/EA Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)
– NBA 2K13 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)
– NHL 13 (EA Canada/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 (PES Productions/Konami for PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, 3DS)

Best Strategy Game
– Company of Heroes 2 (Relic/THQ for PC)
– End of Nations (Petroglyph Games/Trion Worlds for PC)
– SimCity (Maxis/EA for PC)
– Pikmin 3 (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo for Wii U)
– XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Social/Casual Game
– Dance Central 3 (Harmonix/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– Game & Wario (working title) (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo for Wii U)
– Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (TT/WBIE for PC, PS3, PSVita, X360, Wii, 3DS)
– Nintendoland (Nintendo/Nintendo for Wii U)
– Rock Band Blitz (Harmonix for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Motion Simulation Game
– Dance Central 3 (Harmonix/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– Fable: The Journey (Lionhead/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– Game & Wario (working title) (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo for Wii U)
– Just Dance 4 (Ubisoft/Ubisoft for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Wii U)
– Wii Fit U (Nintendo/Nintendo for Wii U)
– Wonderbook: Books of Spells (London Studio/SCEE for PlayStation 3)

Best Online Multiplayer Game
– Borderlands 2 (Gearbox/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)
– Need for Speed Most Wanted (Criterion/EA for PC, PS3, PSVita, Xbox 360)
– PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment/Sony Online Entertainment for PC)

Best Downloadable Game
– Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit (Arkedo Studio/Sega for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Quantum Conundrum (Airtight Games/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Retro City Rampage (VBlank Entertainment for PC, PS3, PSVita, Xbox 360, Wii)
– The Cave (Double Fine/Sega for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
– Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

On the whole it’s cool to see some new IPs make up the majority of the Best of Show category, something that is pretty rare in this day of sequels, prequels, and reboots. The list itself matches pretty well with our own nominations for ‘Best ofs’ at E3, but there are some notable omissions. Most of them, however, can be explained by the rules that require a game be playable at E3, whether on the show floor or behind closed doors, for it to be considered for nomination.

That specific condition for eligibility is why games like Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313 — games that blew us away but only in what were ostensibly tech demos — are not included on the list. If Ubisoft and LucasArts, respectively, were to come back to E3 2013 with similarly impressive, but also playable, demos then they most assuredly would be coming away with more than their fair share of awards.

As it is, though, the games that are recognized are wholly deserved of the attention. Some might not end up delivering on the experiences promised by the vertical slice available to attendees, but that’s not what these awards are for. They are for the best games playable at E3 2012, and these certainly were those.

Which of the Game Critics’ choices for Best of E3 do you hope win? Do you think all E3 awards should take into account whether the game was playable?

Source: Kotaku