Now that the dust has settled around E3 2018 it’s time to take a look back and pick our favorites from the annual show. As usual there were a lot of games at the show this year, and plenty of things that impressed us. However, in order to qualify for our Best-Of list, a game needed to be playable or played in front of us. Trailers are great to build hype but they don’t always represent the finished product. So without further ado, here are our 10 Best Games of E3 2018 in alphabetical order.
Its showing during Electronic Arts press conference may not have been exciting as some hoped, but getting to play Anthem helped highlight that developer BioWare is onto something special. Visually, Anthem has a style that is very impressive and the open world exploration can be huge. Controlling the game feels extremely tight and polished, from the shooting mechanics to the flying. It’s actually the closest thing to an Iron Man-style game that players will likely ever see. And the promise of a loot grind could be what melds everything together.
9 Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Coming off the success and reinvention of the franchise that was Assassin’s Creed Origins, it’s easy to see the potential in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Set in ancient Greece, Odyssey has the same DNA as Origins but mixes in a more focused RPG system, new twists to combat, and more for players to do moment-to-moment. Much like the transition from AC 1 to AC 2, Odyssey feels like a refinement of the strong platform of Origins, with some added variety to boot. Massive battles and ship conflicts are just the tip of the iceberg.
8 Beyond Good and Evil 2
Like with some other games on the list, Beyond Good and Evil 2 had a much better showing behind closed doors. The demo we saw offered a vision and an ambition that mixed the freedom of exploration of No Man’s Sky with the potential for deep RPG mechanics and storytelling. The former is still being worked on, but the ability to travel between planets and reach massive open world cities was easily one of the more impressive things we saw during E3 2018. If Ubisoft can pull it off, Beyond Good and Evil 2 will make fans forget that this isn't really the sequel (or prequel in this case) that they were looking for.
7 Cyberpunk 2077
We’ve written extensively about CD Projekt Red’s impressive Cyberpunk 2077 presentation and gamers will likely continue to hear about it for the next few months. What The Witcher developer was able to put together felt the most complete, diverse, and it pushed its respective genre forward. This is what E3 demos are meant to be: exciting proof that future games will take familiar concepts and expand on them in ways that seem nearly impossible with current hardware.
6 The Division 2
Over the past year and a half, The Division developer Massive Entertainment has worked hard to refine and improve its game into an experience that meets fan expectations. And with The Division 2, it appears Massive is further building on that foundation, albeit in a new setting. Even just the change of scenery to Washington D.C. gives The Division 2 a fresh perspective, as players battle warring factions around our nation’s capital. It also sounds as though Massive is greatly improving the endgame in The Division 2 with the introduction of specializations. All told, The Division 2 could be a better version of the game that set the record for best selling new IP.
5 Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch’s open-world game set in feudal Japan blew us away at E3 2018. With stark visuals and an approach that favored realism, Ghost of Tsushima is trying to create a Samurai adventure that is as authentic as possible. Sucker Punch is clearly working hard to ensure Ghost of Tsushima delivers a compelling game and narrative without going over-the-top. There is still a lot of Ghost of Tsushima that is left unsaid, but for an initial tease, what Sucker Punch brought to E3 was enough to leave us intrigued. It says a lot that something as seemingly simple as leaves moving on the ground had everyone talking.
4 Ori and the Will of the Wisps
It may not have had the clout of a Halo or Gears but Ori and the Blind Forest still stands as one of the best Microsoft exclusives of this generation. And its follow-up, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, looks to take things to the next level with refined platforming, better combat, and (if that’s even possible) even better-looking visuals. Although the devs at Moon Studios could have easily copied and pasted the formula from Ori 1 onto Ori 2 and called it a day, they are looking to make Will of the Wisps one of the best platformers ever made. Based on what we played, Ori and the Will of the Wisps plays and looks better than its predecessor and it still has a lot of that same magic.
3 Rage 2
Developers id Software and Avalanche Studios have put together a playground of carnage for Rage 2. Where the first game was a showpiece for id Tech, this sequel is all about giving players a handful of tools (both cool weapons and abilities) and letting them loose. The game is fast-paced and violent in a way that doesn’t feel celebratory but is exciting enough to make the loop feel satisfying. Much like Doom before it, Rage 2 looks to take the existing framework and dial everything up to 11.
2 Resident Evil 2 Remake
All you need to do is see Resident Evil 2 running on the RE7 engine to be convinced that this is something special. It’s rare that a developer gets the opportunity to take what it has learned about a series and then apply it to earlier games, but Resident Evil 2 seems to be that culmination. There are so many little touches in Resident Evil 2 remake that it actually feels like a new game, despite the setting and the story being exactly the same (based on what we played). There is no doubt this game is going to be a cant-miss for horror fans early next year.
Early trailers for Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man had most convinced that the developer was headed in the right direction with its Marvel adaptation. But finally going hands-on with the game convinced us that this is exactly what fans are looking for. The swinging feels like a dream, the combat is fast-paced and offers plenty of opportunities for experimentation, and the story seems to offer fun twists on existing Spidey lore. To put it simply, Spider-Man feels like a Spider-Man game and that’s all one can hope for.
Some titles that just barely missed our top 10 include Destiny 2: Forsaken for its extremely addictive Gambit mode, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and its staggering roster, Hitman 2 is just as creative as ever, and We Happy Few, which has been almost completely retooled for the better.
This year may have had very few surprises thanks to a ton of leaks, but even then many of those games still impressed. E3 2018 was a solid year all around and it offered a lot of reasons to be excited for the coming year or so.