With the dust from E3 2010 finally beginning to settle, the time has come to start recognizing the truly standout games of the show.  To that end, this year’s Game Critics Awards nominations have been announced.

Headed up by industry veterans Geoff Keighley and Rob Smith, the Game Critics Awards are voted on by representatives of thirty-one of the most influential web and print publications covering games today.

This year’s most nominated games simply could not be more different.  Leading the pack with five total nominations is Id Software’s Rage.  Close behind, with four nominations each, are Disney’s Epic Mickey, Harmonix’s Dance Central, and Valve’s Portal 2.  In terms of publishers, Electronic Arts received the most nominations, followed by Microsoft, and MTV Games.  Take a look at the full list of nominees.

Best of Show

  • Dance Central (Harmonix/MTV Games/Microsoft for Xbox 360)
  • Disney’s Epic Mickey (Junction Point/Disney Interactive Studios for Wii)
  • Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo)
  • Portal 2 (Valve for PC / Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360)
  • Rage (id Software/Bethesda for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)

Best Original Game

  • Bulletstorm (People Can Fly/Epic Games/Electronic Arts for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)
  • Child of Eden (Q Entertainment/Ubisoft for PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Dance Central (Harmonix/MTV Games/Microsoft for Xbox 360)
  • Disney’s Epic Mickey (Junction Point/Disney Interactive Studios for Wii)
  • Rage (id Software/Bethesda for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)

Best Console Game

  • Disney’s Epic Mickey (Junction Point/Disney Interactive Studios for Wii)
  • InFamous 2 (Sucker Punch/Sony Computer Entertainment for PS3)
  • Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Good-Feel/Nintendo for Wii)
  • Portal 2 (Valve for PC / Mac, PS3, and Xbox 360)
  • Rage (id Software/Bethesda for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)

Best Handheld Game

Best PC Game

  • Civilization V (Firaxis/2K Games)
  • Crysis 2 (CryTek/Electronic Arts)
  • Portal 2 (Valve)
  • Rage (id Software/Bethesda)
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin/LucasArts/EA)

Best Hardware

Best Action Game

  • Bulletstorm (People Can Fly/Epic Games/Electronic Arts for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (TreyArch/Activision for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)
  • Gears of War 3 (Epic Game/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
  • Halo: Reach (Bungie/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
  • Rage (id Software/Bethesda for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)

Best Action/Adventure Game

Best Role Playing Game

Best Racing Game

Best Fighting Game

Best Sports Game

Best Strategy Game

  • Civilization V (Firaxis/2K Games for PC)
  • Company of Heroes Online (Relic/THQ for PC)
  • End of Nations (Petroglyph/Trion Worlds for PC)
  • Shogun 2: Total War (The Creative Assembly/Sega for PC)

Best Social/Casual Game

  • Dance Central (Harmonix/MTV Games/Microsoft for Xbox 360)
  • DJ Hero 2 (FreeStyle Games/Activision for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)
  • Kinect Adventures (Good Science Studio/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
  • Rock Band 3 (Harmonix/MTV Games/Electronic Arts for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)

Best Motion Simulation Game

  • Child of Eden (Q Entertainment/Ubisoft for PS3 and Xbox 360)
  • Dance Central (Harmonix/MTV Games/Microsoft for Xbox 360)
  • Socom 4 (Zipper/Sony Computer Entertainment for PS3)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo for Wii)
  • Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for Xbox 360)

Best Online Multiplayer Game

  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)
  • Gears of War 3 (Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360 )
  • Halo Reach (Bungie/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
  • Medal of Honor (EALA/DICE/EA for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin/LucasArts/EA for PC)

Like E3 2010 itself, the Game Critics Awards nominations are largely devoid of any surprises.  The categories being what they are, slots are practically reserved for titles like Gran Turismo 5, Madden NFL 11, and Halo: Reach.  (Granted, those will probably all be fantastic games.)

Personally, I’m pleased to see Epic Mickey receive as many nominations as it did, and I’m also happy that Child of Eden is getting some recognition.  As much as I look forward to the big, obvious titles that emerge from E3 each year (I’ll be playing the hell out of Rock Band 3 and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword), it’s generally the smaller, less heralded titles that I like to see championed by the Game Critics Awards.

How about you – did your favorite game(s) make the list?  What was your Game of Show for E3 2010?  Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Source: Game Critics Awards

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