Leading up to E3 2012, many of the big game announcements were unveiled early, from Star Wars 1313 to Gears of War: Judgment. Still, there were a few pleasant surprises during the five major press conferences — Watch Dogs and Beyond: Two Souls to name just two — in a year that focused heavily on software as the current console generation approaches the end of its life cycle.

After checking out nearly every single game available at the expo this year, the votes are in and Game Rant has selected the nominees for our Best of E3 2012 Awards.

Best Shooter

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines (Gearbox Software)
  • Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch)
  • Crysis 3 (Crytek)
  • DUST 514 (CCP Games)
  • Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)
  • Halo 4 (343 Industries)
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Danger Close Games)
  • Warface (Crytek)

Best Action/Adventure

  • Assassin’s Creed 3 (Ubisoft)
  • Dead Space 3 (Visceral Games)
  • Devil May Cry (Ninja Theory)
  • Gears of War: Judgment (People Can Fly)
  • God of War: Ascension (Sony)
  • Pikmin 3 (Nintendo)
  • Rayman Legends (Ubisoft)
  • Resident Evil 6 (Capcom)
  • Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics)
  • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (High Moon Studios)

Best Sports/Racing

  • FIFA 13 (EA Sports)
  • Forza Horizon (Playground Games)
  • Madden 13 (EA Sports)
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Criterion Games)
  • NHL 13 (EA Sports)

Best Motion Controls

  • Dragon Ball Z Kinect (Spike ChunSoft)
  • Fable: The Journey (Lionhead Studios)
  • Game & Wario (Nintendo)
  • Just Dance 4 (Ubisoft)
  • Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (Ubisoft)

Best Multiplayer

  • Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)
  • God of War: Ascension (Sony)
  • Halo 4 (343 Industries)
  • Hawken (Adhesive Games)
  • Star Trek (Digital Extremes)
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Criterion Games)
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (SuperBot Entertainment)
  • Guardians of Middle-earth (Monolith Productions)

Best RPG

  • Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software)
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (Square Enix)
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth (Obsidian Entertainment)
  • The Last Story (Mistwalker, AQ Interactive)

Best MMO

  • Dust 514 (CCP Games)
  • Neverwinter (Cryptic Studios)
  • PlanetSide 2 (SOE)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (ZeniMax Online Studios)
  • Wizardry Online (Gamepot)

Best Indie Game

  • Joe Danger: The Movie (Hello Games)
  • Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Pid (Might and Delight)
  • Sound Shapes (Queasy Games)
  • The Moonlighters (Red Dragon)

Best Original Game

  • Beyond: Two Souls (Quantic Dream)
  • Dishonored (Bethesda)
  • Project P-100 (Platinum Games)
  • Quantum Conundrum (Airtight Games)
  • The Last of Us (Naughty Dog)
  • Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)

Best Handheld Game

  • Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation (Ubisoft)
  • Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning (Natsume)
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo)
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star (Intelligent Systems)
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited (5th Cell)

Best Hardware

  • A50 Gaming Headset (Astro)
  • Razer Artemis for MechWarrior Online (Razer)
  • Tritton Warhead 7.1 Wireless Xbox 360 Headset (Mad Catz)
  • Wii U (Nintendo)
  • World of Warcraft Wireless Mouse & CS: GO Line (SteelSeries)

Most Innovative

  • Quantum Conundrum (Airtight Games)
  • SimCity (Maxis)
  • Xbox SmartGlass (Microsoft)
  • Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)
  • Wii U (Nintendo)

Best in Show

  • Assassin’s Creed 3 (Ubisoft)
  • Dishonored (Bethesda)
  • Halo 4 (343 Industries)
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Ubisoft)
  • Star Wars 1313 (LucasArts)
  • The Last of Us (Naughty Dog)
  • Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)

The nominations were decided by all 9 of the Game Rant staff in attendance at E3 and are based upon our previews, demos and hands-on experiences with all of the available titles at the event this year.

Share your thoughts on the picks and tell us what you believe deserves to win each category!

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

tags: 1 Vs 100, 2K Games, 343 Industries, 3DS, 5th Cell, Activision, Adhesive Games, Airtight Games, Aliens: Colonial Marines, All-Stars Battle Royale, Assassin's Creed 3, Astro, Bethesda, Beyond Two Souls, Black Ops 2, Borderlands 2, Call of Duty, Capcom, CCP Games, Criterion Games, Cryptic Studios, Crysis 3, Crystal Dynamics, Crytek Studios, Danger Close Games, Dead Space 3, Devil May Cry, Die Gute Fabrik, Digital Extremes, Dishonored, Dragon Ball Z Kinect, DUST 514, E3 2012, EA Sports, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Fable: The Journey, Far Cry 3, FIFA 13, Forza Horizon, Game and Wario, Gamepot, Gearbox Software, Gears of War Judgment, God of War: Ascension, Guardians of Middle-earth, Halo 4, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, Hawken, Hello Games, High Moon Studios, Intelligent Systems, Joe Danger 2 The Movie, Just Dance 4, Kinect, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Lionhead Studios, LucasArts, Mad Catz, Madden NFL 13, Marvel, Maxis, MechWarrior Online, Medal of Honor 2, Microsoft, Might and Delight, Mistwalker, Monolith, Move, Namco Bandai, Natsume, Naughty Dog, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Neverwinter, New Super Mario Bros. 2, NHL 13, Ninja Theory, Nintendo, Obsidian Entertainment, Paper Mario 3DS, Paramount Digital Entertainment, People Can Fly, Pikmin 3, PlanetSide 2, Platinum Games, Playground Games, Project P-100, PS3, Quantic Dream, Quantum Conundrum, Queasy Games, Rayman Legends, Razer, Resident Evil 6, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Sega, SimCity, Sony, Sony Online Entertainment, Sound Shapes, South Park, Spike Chunsoft, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Square Enix, Star Trek, Star Wars 1313, SteelSeries, SuperBot Entertainment, The Elder Scrolls Online, The Last of Us, The Last Story, THQ, Tomb Raider, Transformers Fall of Cybertron, Treyarch, Turn 10 Studios, Ubisoft, Visceral Games, Vita, Warface, Warner Bros. Interactive, Watch Dogs, Wizardry Online, Xbox 360, ZeniMax Online Studios, ZombiU