The 35 Best Games of E3 2015, Ranked, All on One Page
Here’s the 35 most exciting trailers at E3. And we put them all on one page, because we’re not awful.
I’ve included my thoughts on each. Other opinions are available.
*As ever, we have prioritized games that show more gameplay footage.
35. Destiny: The Taken King
Despite a few groans from the crowd at E3, there’s still a pretty big Destiny fan community out there. While the first DLC was pretty poor, the expansions have been getting better, and this one looks like the best so far. Let’s hope so!
34. The Division
While last year this was one of the most exciting games on show, this year the buzz around The Division has diminished. Rumours of a game beset with development problems mitigate my excitement, but I still think there was enough shown to be positive about. I would still very much like to play The Division.
33. XCOM 2
Again, not a lot of gameplay here. But the trailer promises more of a game none of us really got our fill of first time round. Turn based strategy fans crave more of this.
32. Mario Maker
From the Nintendo World Championships, there was some amazing footage of player created levels. Professional Nintendo game players were surprised by some of the original challenges created just for this event, and it also served as a showcase for what we hope to make with the game when we get it.
31. Halo 5
While the trailer was pretty good (albeit a bit heavy on the scripting and not very Halo-ish), it’s the positive buzz from the people that played Halo 5 that’s most encouraging.
30. Rise of the Tomb Raider
I felt this particular trailer didn’t really focus on the aspects I loved in the last game. Still, I really enjoyed the previous title and this incarnation of Lara has lots of potential to grow and develop as an interesting character. Let’s just hope they tone down the gratuitous slaughter, which I felt really detracted from the purer joy of exploration and adventure. If the new Tomb Raider franchise wants to differentiate itself from the Uncharted series, it should pull away from the gunplay and wanton murder of faceless minions, and instead focus on the opportunities for adventure offered by exciting environments as opposed to constant combat.
29. Rare Replay
I confess that my greed for achievements and my nostalgia for classic Rare games make me unable to critically appraise this package. I hope the games are re-mastered (Perfect Dark is a technical mess), but also allow the option for players to experience them in their original form.
28. Dishonored 2
Leaked early, we knew this one was coming. Despite lacking gameplay footage, this trailer did a good job of showcasing the potential powers you might get to play with.
27. Street Fighter 5
Capcom’s looking shaky these days. An awful port of Street Fighter 4 to PS4 and XB1 and a plethora of remakes and remasters have raised questions about the companies future. Still, Street Fighter 5 looks pretty strong (albeit very similar to 4) and with Sony’s help they should be able to get it over the finish line.
26. South Park: The Fractured but Whole
If the game is as funny as the trailer, this will be worth playing.
25. Mass Effect: Andromeda
It’s a new Mass Effect. With more emphasis on exploring planet surfaces perhaps? Who knows. I can’t wait to see more
While most were positive about Doom’s gameplay trailer, a few dissenting voices lamented the levels of violence. While it can be unnerving to hear a crowd cheering for ever-more elaborate dismemberment, it’s hard to make a Doom game in 2015 without using the new technology available to amp up some aspect of the original. If they chose to amp up the violence, I’m sure it could make for some mildly ridiculous dismembering fun.
23. Star Wars Battlefront
Hard to know what to say about this really. It looks like Battlefield but with Star Wars. Just like everyone seems to want.
22. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
A huge coup for the campaigning fans, the remake is finally coming. Square Enix might have problems AFTER the FF7 Remake. What do they do after that? More remakes? Continue the series? The Fans of entry number 7 won’t care though. I’m happy for them.
21. Shenmue 3 (Kickstarter)
While we’re still pretty far off a new Shenmue game, it’s exciting to see the potential for the series story to be completed. Shenmue inspired games like the Yakuza series, so it will be exciting to see whether this new game can match the ambition and quality of its rivals in the genre.
20. Dark Souls 3
Will Dark Souls 3 be made by the A-team at From Software with Miyazaki fully onboard, or the B-Team? That’s the ongoing debate, but regardless of whether Dark Souls 3 is great like 1, or only very good like 2, there’s no reason to doubt that it’s very exciting for Souls fans.
19. Mirror’s Edge 2
Mirrors Edge was a wonderful game that some people criticized for having weak gun combat, despite the fact that you could easily complete it without ever shooting a weapon. There was even an achievement for it. Those who lack self-control will be glad to hear that now Faith won’t use guns at all. And the game itself looks great.
18. Fire Emblem Fates
Just enough to get excited here. The last Fire Emblem on 3DS was the best in the series, combining accessibility with uncompromised complexity and depth. This looks just as good.
17. Xenoblade Chronicles X
This trailer utilises the “below and to the side” camera angle that makes stuff look good in trailers. Despite that minor artifice, Xenoblade Chronicles X looks glorious.
16. Just Cause 3
Just Cause 2 was pretty good, but it didn’t become great till the players got a chance to use the toys the game offered in more original, more stupid ways. The developers behind 3 seem to realise the appeal of Just Cause lies in its ridiculous mayhem.
15. Transformers Devastation
A Platinum game based on Gen 1 Transformers.
14. Star Fox Zero
One of Nintendo’s longest absent superstars, we’re well overdue a good Star Fox game.
13. Deus Ex Mankind Divided
A new Deus Ex. The trailer it was enough to get me excited.
12. The Last Guardian
Both Ico and Shadows of the Colossus are fantastic, beautiful games. While The Last Guardian may have less in common with those titles than we hoped, I’m sure it will retain enough of its predecessors DNA to make for a good game.
11. For Honor
I’m a huge fan of the Mount and Blade games, and always felt a big developer should take a shot at making one of those, but more polished and for consoles. And that dream looks a lot like For Honor. U know what’s missing from the title though, don’t U? What? That’s how they would have spelled it back then!
10. Fallout 4
There was a huge amount of footage from Fallout 4 at E3. A good sign, as it will be released this year. The impressive thing about this trailer is the (comparative) lack of artifice. I’m fairly sure this is how Fallout 4 will actually look and play, and I’m pretty happy with that.
9. Xbox One Backwards Compatability
Ok, it’s not a game, but I’m still reeling from this one. The Xbox 360 is possibly the greatest console of all time. To be able to play many of those games I already own on the new console is a fans dream. It just shows how far a bit of competition will go in inspiring console makers to achieve what they previously deemed “impossible”.
It wasn’t quite a “drop the mic” moment like Sony had last year…. but it wasn’t far off.
When you talked to anyone in the know this year about exciting upcoming games, they would always mention Firewatch. This trailer shows why.
7. Sea of Thieves
I absolutely love the look of this. Ubisoft teased us with a stunning pirate game, then wrapped it in the flaccid corpse of the Assassins Creed series with Black Flag, but with the opportunity to create a pirate adventure from scratch, Rare could really make something special. Multiplayer pirate ship combat? Yes. Yes please.
6. Metal Gear Solid 5 Phantom Pain
Kojima makes good trailers. And usually good games. It looks like this time he has done both.
With some slow, deliberate and tactical combat and an art style reminiscent of Amiga classic Moonstone, Eitr has me very excited.
4. Mother Russia Bleeds
An ultra-violent brawler, like a mashup of Hotline Miami and Streets of Rage? Oh yes. Great music too.
Bursting with energy and colour and life, Cuphead was the most enjoyable game trailer I saw at E3 in 2015. The games distinctive visual style stands out a mile.
A new game (or as the suits say “a new IP/franchise”) is very exciting, especially when it has such a cool, original aesthetic. Dismantling the giant robot dinosaur evokes the best moments of Monster Hunter.
1. No Mans Sky
“But what do you actually do?” That’s been the question asked of Hello Games in every interview they’ve done for the past year. Despite pretty good answers each time, I think this demo finally shows what you can expect from the game. Perhaps the biggest challenge for Hello Games is not delivering the game they have shown us, but competing with the misconceptions gamers have created in their own minds.
That’s the risk you run when you capture people’s imaginations. Let’s hope we can all mitigate our expectations enough to enjoy what they’ve actually made.
So that’s our list. Did you like it? Hate it? Should we have included Uncharted 4 (I just can’t get into those games, but fine, here it is!)? Let us know in the comments below. Or better yet, post your own!
Thanks for reading. See you all next year!