IGN’s Best of E3 2013 Awards

IGN has not only provided their list of game winners in 25 categories for E3 2013, but also provided a number of runners-up and then listed every single game that was in contention for the award. Needless to say, it’s a VERY long list (covers five pages on their site). I’ve truncated that substantially and posted only the winners so this version of the article doesn’t require scrolling for 10 minutes to reach the end. You can head over here for the original, much more expanded list of nominees and such.

(By the way, IGN’s list is quite different from what TenTonHammer put together for their list of winners. I think you’d be surprised at the differences.)

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The most important gaming event of the year is now. Who won it?

WINNER: TitanFall Of all the games on display at E3, none said “next-gen” as loudly and clearly as Titanfall. Respawn Entertainment’s debut demo showcased the chaotic possibility of what players can do, rather than simply teasing the potential of what it may be. It’s beautiful, creative, and could upend the shooter landscape. For that, it’s IGN’s best-in-show.

WINNER: TitanFall Titanfall is the Xbox One’s killer app, at this point. Its use of cloud processing allows for competitive multiplayer that features the spectacular style of a single-player campaign, fills the world with A.I. ripe to mine for XP, and more ways to get through a multiplayer match than almost anything we’ve seen — especially on a console.

WINNER: Infamous: Second Son Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack are undeniably fun to play, but it’s Infamous: Second Son that truly stood out among the PS4-exclusive pack. The promise of Second Son – being a superhero in an open-world sandbox – is much like the first two Infamous games, but its new protagonist, Delsin Rowe, really promises to be a game changer (pardon the pun). The game also looks beautiful and totes motion-captured cutscenes, a first for Sony-owned Sucker Punch, and something that will allow them to elevate their storytelling.

WINNER: Super Smash Bros. Wii U Despite the hilarity of Super Mario 3D World or the depth and strategy of Pikmin 3,Super Smash Bros. for Wii U immediately stole our hearts once Masahiro Sakurai did a live, on-stage battle between Mega Man and Mario. We couldn’t technically play the game ourselves, but seeing that fight made us realize that nothing between now and that murky 2014 release date truly mattered. We’ll put on our Mario Cat Suits. We’ll help Donkey Kong fight Vikings. We’ll race with our hovering karts. But thanks to some brilliant trailers and new information, we just want to see how the Wii Fit Trainer will keep up with Link, or the Animal Crossing Villager will manage to KO Samus Aran.

WINNER: TitanFall PC gamers who grew up playing Starsiege Tribes and MechWarrior will find a lot to love about Respawn’s new multiplayer shooter. But it’s not just all nostalgia. The fresh design and fantastic next-gen graphics are sure to earn this game a spot on your hard drive. Just watching one of those giant Titans scoop up a tiny human pilot is enough to get us excited.

WINNER: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds At a glance, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a carbon copy of A Link to the Past, albeit with a more 3D visual treatment. Yet things are not as simple as they seem, and while the overworld of this sequel seems to be a carbon copy of its predecessor, the simple addition of the hieroglyph ability is enough to flip the proverbial ‘Zelda table.’ Suddenly off-limit areas are accessible, and barred windows might as well be open doorways. Though not as evident in the open fields of Hyrule, just five minutes in a dungeon reveals the potential of this new Zelda game. It’s that kind of brilliant mechanic, combined with classic, top-down Zelda gameplay, that has us craving for more.

WINNER: Killzone: Mercenary PlayStation Vita gamers are desperate for a competent first-person shooter, and by the look of it, they’re about to get what they want when Killzone: Mercenary launches in a few months. Mercenary’s three modes – Campaign, Contracts and Online – all gel with one another to create a compelling ecosystem worth exploring, and since a Sony-controlled studio is making the game, chances are this game will understand Vita’s capabilities and limitations better than others.

WINNER: Batman: Arkham Origins This prequel is built upon the foundation Rocksteady laid down in Batman: Arkham City, but the way its enhancements tantalized us at E3 proves we’re not nearly sick of Batman’s open-world crimefighting adventures yet. New more difficult enemy types, random street crimes that you can choose to intervene in, and an intriguing new detective system that allows you to reconstruct events to identify the perpetrator all make Arkham Origins stand apart.

WINNER: Rain Rain is a gorgeous example of what makes the PSN ecosystem so special. Told in a storybook format, Rain is a charming adventure game that stars an invisible boy wandering through a rain-filled city while searching for a mysterious girl. He can only be seen as he steps into the rain, and this mechanic creates brilliant puzzles that grow progressively more complicated as he progresses. Rain is a creative, truly unique work of art and a beautiful way for Sony to say goodbye to this generation.

WINNER: Deus Ex: The Fall Deus Ex: The Fall is the real deal, and it feels great. It offers all the same dirty futuristic open-world exploration found in Human Revolution, now in the palm of your hand. The Fall is compromise-free and demands your attention. Get ready to read more fake office emails, but now on your real tablet.

WINNER: Watch Dogs GTA5 is going to be tough to beat this year, but seeing Watch Dogs’ high-speed chases through its extremely detailed open-world version of Chicago reminded us of what its next-gen edge can deliver. Aiden Pearce has some good moves on foot, too – and not just his ability to hack people’s cell phones and find their porn stash. The E3 demo showed him use bullet-time gunplay and deliver some brutal baton beatings that show some tricks Ubisoft picked up making Assassin’s Creed games.

WINNER: TitanFall At an E3 where most other shooters played it safe, Titanfall took a risk to say “We know you want more from your shooters, so here’s something familiar enough that you know how to play it, but different enough to throw you off your game.” This isn’t just Call of Duty with robots. The Titans are not a gimmick. Jetpacks, wall-running, sci-fi weaponry, and robots to pilot give you plenty of new ways to play a fast-paced online action game.

WINNER: Super Smash Bros. Smash Bros. trailers are always spectacular events for Nintendo fans and gamers in general as they manage to feel both familiar and packed with surprises. But nobody could have guessed the rush (no pun intended) of nostalgic joy that hit the moment Mega Man took to the screen to knock around his opponents with vintage boss weapons and signature moves. We can’t wait to see which characters show up next in this fantastic looking fighting game.

WINNER: The Division The most stunningly detailed recreation of New York City you’ve ever seen is the backdrop for an always-connected action-RPG where survival meets open-world freedom. We were blown away by the interweaving of action, role-playing, and massively multiplayer systems and can’t wait to see what other mysteries lurk in the post-pandemic Big Apple.

WINNER: EVE-VR on Oculus Rift Developer CCP Games made it very clear before we donned our Oculus Rift prototype headset that the “game” we were about to play would never be released. It’s a tech demo. But holy &^#$ what a tech demo it was. Space dogfighting with headtracking and immersion like you’ve never experienced. You look down and you can see your own body. But it’s not your body! WHAAAAAAAAAAAT!

WINNER: New HD Oculus Rift The aforementioned EVE-VR demo for Oculus Rift is on the current version of the virtual reality headset. And as life-changing an experience as it was, it was a tad blurry because the screens were “only” 720p. But elsewhere at E3, a 1080p version of the device lurked. And it could change everything. Wow.

WINNER: Sony slams Microsoft over used games and always online

The PlayStation faithful had gotten used to, in recent years, a sort of blundering approach to Sony’s communication. For all of the amazing studios making great games for PlayStation platforms, Sony always managed to trip over itself. 2013 – and the roll-out of PlayStation 4 – has been very, very different. It all came to a head when Sony fired salvo after salvo at Microsoft during its press conference, impressing the gaming world and forcing Microsoft, in turn, to change its DRM, always-online tune.

WINNER: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U This epic clash of famous franchises would have easily outclassed its competition alone, but with Smash Bros. coming to Wii U and 3DS, and the addition of awesome fan favorites like Mega Man, the Animal Crossing boy and the bizarrely funny Yoga Instructor from Wii Fit, this looks like the best (set of!) Smash Bros. we’ve ever seen

WINNER: Rayman Legends Building on 2011’s excellent Rayman Origins, Legends includes dozens of beautifully imagined, seemingly hand painted platforming worlds to hop, bop and slap your friends around in. Throw in giant boss battles and the brand new music stages that have you running for your life to insanely deranged covers of classic rock and pop anthems and you’ve got the best platforming game of the show, easily.

WINNER: The Elder Scrolls Online Playing solo adventures in the world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is fantastic, but one of the most requested features is the ability to play together with (or against) friends in Tamriel. The Elder Scrolls Online is built around that idea, and especially now that it has the series’ signature option of first or third-person perspective, it that idea is more exciting than ever. And because it’s designed for next-generation consoles and PC, the graphics look great!

WINNER: Madden NFL 25 After starting from scratch at the beginning of this console generation, the venerable Madden series has evolved into a powerhouse of a football sim, with nuanced on-field gameplay complemented by TV-like presentation. Madden NFL 25 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, however, takes all of that to new heights. We saw it, we played it, and we like where the next generation of video game football is heading.

WINNER: Scribblenauts Unmasked Scribblenauts’ usual sandbox puzzles where you can literally write in your own solutions gets a super-powered makeover in Scribblenauts Unmasked. Think you know the DC Universe? Prove it by typing in any – and we mean ANY – DC hero, villain, or gizmo you can think of and he, she, or it will pop up onscreen to help or hinder your progress. Want to see Ma Hunkel (the golden-age Red Tornado) sock Darkseid in the jaw? We can practically guarantee you’ll never see that match-up in any other game.

WINNER: Total War: Rome 2 The original Rome is still the best game in the Total War series and this year’s update looks to take all the lessons the studio learned over the past decade to make an even better sequel. From building projects along the frontier, to assassinating your rivals in the Forum, to marching at the head of massive army of legionnaires, Rome 2 is the strategy game for all would-be Caesars.

WINNER: The Crew Remember the cheese-tastic, supercar-filled fun of 1980s film Cannonball Run? Or more recently, the unfulfilled potential of Need for Speed: The Run?The Crew looks to finally make a cross-country racing game a reality, with an always-connected driving experience that lets you roll with crews and challenge other clubs while visiting over 1,000 landmarks recreated in the game world, from the Grand Canyon to Miami’s South Beach. We played it, and it’s every bit as fun as it sounds.

WINNER: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Stunningly beautiful and almost impossibly huge, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was IGN’s readers’ pick for the best game of E3 2013 – and for good reason. The morally ambiguous Geralt faces monsters, both supernatural and human, in an intricately detailed open world that dwarfs that of The Witcher 2. Looking for a game that will really push the limits of your PS4, Xbox One, or high-end PC? You just found it.

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