The Top 20 Coolest Games at E3 2015

10. Mass Effect Andromeda

What kind of game is this? presumably a narrative-driven 3rd person shooter/RPG.
Developer: Bioware
Publisher: EA
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: Fall 2016


The original Mass Effect trilogy were some of my favorites games from the last generation, and all for different reasons. The first game scratched that deep, Western RPG itch with tons of customization and a more strategic combat system. The second game pushed the boundaries of characters and storytelling in games, giving you tons of conversational options that directly affected character relationships. The third game, while disappointing on the story front, had fun, action-packed combat and an addictive co-op multiplayer aspect that I was still playing over a year after release. So, it should come as no surprise that I’m tremendously excited for Mass Effect Andromeda, though if the Fall 2016 release date is to be believed, I’m a little disappointed that Bioware didn’t have more to show. Still, I have tremendous faith in that studio, and I’m praying that they learned a few lessons from the backlash after Mass Effect 3. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this game top my list after next year’s E3.

9. Super Mario Maker

What kind of game is this? 2D side-scrolling map creator/platformer.
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Wii U
Release Date: September 11, 2015


Mario Maker is one of those games where after seeing it in action, you can’t help but respond “why did it take them this long to think of this?” The concept for the game is just so brilliant. Take the side-scrolling map creator from LittleBigPlanet, simplify it so that anyone can use it, and attach it to the most beloved video game franchise of all time. It seems like a no-brainer. But until now, I suppose the technology wasn’t quite there to allow different tile sets from a bunch of the past Mario games, and Nintendo hasn’t had the online infrastructure to allow sharing of the created levels. It’s honestly a shame that Mario Maker is coming to Wii U, the console has abysmal sales and I don’t really see this as a system seller. I would love to play Mario Maker, but I’m not willing to shell out $300 to do it.

8. Horizon: Zero Dawn

What kind of game is this? 3rd person open world action.
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PS4
Release Date: 2016


Horizon was one of the brand new IPs revealed at Sony’s press conference at E3, coming from Killzone developer Guerrilla Games. The basic description of the stage demo can be boiled down to this: badass woman fights robot dinosaur. And it was just as awesome as it sounds. More than most, this game has me excited for the future of video games on the current console. There’s a strong female lead, it’s a gigantic open world full of life, and even though it takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting, there’s a lot of color in the design. This is a universe where the world has ended as we know it, but instead of taking place at the inciting event or the immediate fallout, we’re in a world that has already been re-established. There’s a new society and food chain structure, and clearly humanity is no longer at the top. It was a relatively short demo, but I’m really interested to find out exactly what’s going on in this world. Why are there robot dinosaurs? If that technology exists, why is the character fighting them with a bow and arrows? Hopefully this game does in fact come out next year, and hopefully they’ve changed the convoluted name by then.

7. South Park: The Fractured but Whole

What kind of game is this? humorous, old-school style side scrolling RPG in the vein of the show.
Developer: Ubisoft San Francisco
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2016


South Park: The Stick of Truth was my game of the year last year, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I’m super stoked for the follow-up. To be honest, I didn’t think there was a shot in hell that we’d see another South Park game, let alone one coming this soon. Granted, the game might still be a year away, but that’s a quick turnaround for a sequel, especially for one coming from a different development studio. Plus, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, had gone on record multiple times about how much of a pain in the ass developing Stick of Truth was. They’re creators that want to be hands-on with everything, especially after multiple terrible South Park games came out in years past. I did write in my game of the year post that if Stick of Truth got a sequel, I’d like them to leave the fantasy set-up behind, and superheroes seem like a perfect fit. I have complete faith that the game will be hilarious and that it’ll build on some of the criticisms from the first game, but I also have complete faith that it’ll be delayed at some point. Matt and Trey don’t like to work on anyone’s time frame except their own.

6. Final Fantasy VII Remake

What kind of game is this? A re-imagining of the classic Japanese RPG.
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PS4
Release Date: TBA


I seriously didn’t think we were ever going to get a full-on Final Fantasy VII remake, especially after Square Enix announced that they were porting the old PC version to PS4. It just didn’t make sense financially for them to commit resources to porting an old version while working on a new one, so I took that to mean that the new version wasn’t ever coming, or at least not for a long time. But here we are. It is indeed coming, and it’s looking amazing so far. It is worth noting that we only saw a pre-rendered teaser trailer probably created just for this reveal, so there’s no indication that the game is even in production right now. For my money, I’d slate this as a summer 2017 game, if they’re actually remaking the whole thing like they say they are. Regardless, this was a huge win for Final Fantasy fans, and for younger gamers that haven’t ever experienced one of the greatest games of all time.


5. Kingdom Hearts 3

What kind of game is this? Combine Disney and Final Fantasy characters into one Japanese action/RPG.
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: TBA


Another long-awaited Square Enix game, Kingdom Hearts 3 got a longer gameplay trailer than we’ve seen before, and confirmation that the Tangled universe will be present in the game. It’s probably safe to assume that other unseen Disney properties like Frozen and Princess and the Frog will be represented as well. We still aren’t sure what the story will really be, but the combat looks crazy and colorful and incredibly fun. The original Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite games of all time, and while Kingdom Hearts 2 improved on the gameplay in a lot of ways, the story became so convoluted that even a super-fan like me got lost on multiple occasions. And that’s not even including the numerous hand-held spin-offs that in large part were met with mixed reception. Hopefully the third (and probably final) game in the series wraps everything up nicely, it would be awful to wait this long for a sequel only to be disappointed. And please let there be Marvel and Star Wars characters in the game, too.

4. No Man’s Sky

What kind of game is this? 1st person procedurally generated universe exploration game.
Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Hello Games
Platforms: PS4, PC
Release Date: TBA


Since its announcement, No Man’s Sky has been one of my most anticipated games. The fact that it isn’t at the top of this list is a testament to how many awesome games are coming out, but also due to the relatively poor showing of No Man’s Sky at the Sony E3 press conference. Sean Murray, the founder of Hello Games, had gone on record saying that he thought they revealed No Man’s Sky too early, and that he didn’t want to show the game anymore until the release was imminent. Well, we saw more at E3 and got no release date, so I’m not sure what happened. He honestly seemed a little disinterested during the demo, as if Sony forced him into doing a live demo, which could very well have been the case. And what we saw really wasn’t anything different than what we’ve been seeing up until this point. We still don’t really know what the moment to moment gameplay is in the game, or how resource managing works, or why we actually want to get to the center of the universe. If the game isn’t coming out until 2016, that’s fine. It’s normal for there to be this much mystery for a game that’s still a year away. But people still seem convinced that No Man’s Sky will hit this year, and Sony definitely hasn’t done anything to dispute that. But regardless of the lack of substantially new gameplay at the press conference, I’m still hotly anticipating this game. I’m just trying to temper my excitement and expectations until we finally see something substantial.

3. Star Wars Battlefront

What kind of game is this? 1st or 3rd person multiplayer shooter based on the original trilogy of films.
Developer: DICE
Publisher: EA
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: November 17, 2015


Star Wars Battlefront is yet another game that fans have been freaking out over for quite some time. The original is a classic, and though I didn’t love some aspects of the sequel (namely the ability to play as force users), it was still a blast. Battlefront is looking like quite a solid entry into the franchise, despite the backlash it received over the lack of space combat and a single player mode. As long as the game feels like Star Wars and there are a wide variety of maps, weapons, and vehicles, I’ll be happy. Sure, the dream was to be able to shoot some stormtroopers on Hoth, hop into a snow speeder, take down an AT-ST, get blown up by an AT-AT, hop into an X-Wing, and then seamlessly fly into space to take on a Star Destroyer, but even with the power of the new consoles, that’s probably still a pipe dream. But this will surely spawn multiple sequels, so maybe we’ll get some of those features in the future, or at least a separate, dedicated space combat simulator. We can dream.

2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

What kind of game is this? 3rd person narrative-driven shooter/puzzle game.
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PS4
Release Date: March, 2016


Uncharted 4. Holy shit what a great stage demo. It was something very different than what was shown at the Playstation Experience, which was a good thing. The car chase was action-packed, dynamic, and funny, and it made me really sad that the game got delayed into 2016. And I honestly loved the fact that the controller stopped working at the beginning of the demo, it just highlighted that everything was happening live (unlike the highly scripted, fake looking Halo 5 “demo”). But seriously, I want this game, and I want it right now. And the demo shown behind closed doors (and released to the public after E3) expanded beyond the initial car chase, into an awesome chase scene where Nate was hopping from vehicle to vehicle, shooting dudes and blowing shit up. And then the demo ended with a scene revealing Elena, and all was not good between the two of them. This would have easily been my game of the show if it wasn’t for a big reveal at Bethesda’s conference…

1. Fallout 4

What kind of game is this? open world, 1st or 3rd person shooter RPG.
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: November 10, 2015


Yep, Fallout 4. By now, everyone and their mother knows all there is to know about the game’s presence at E3, so I won’t straight rehash what was shown. Basically, the game just looks amazing. The graphics didn’t blow me away, but presumably the size of the open world is such that in order to maintain a solid frame rate, they had to make concessions in other places. And it’s not like Bethesda games have been known for their graphical fidelity, anyway. And even though a certain amount of jank is expected from Fallout and Elder Scrolls games, I’d be happier if everything worked as intended. But I’m certainly not expecting that. Instead, I’ll just have to be happy with some modest improvements to the combat and exploration, and the addition of some awesome looking customization options and the ability to build basically an entire city. It’s pretty amazing. Plus, Xbox One users get to join the PC master race (in limited capacity, I’m sure), with mod support. The developers hope to bring the functionality to PS4 as well, but nothing was confirmed at E3. Fallout 4 was definitely the game I got the most hyped for, and it’s even coming this year! It’s also worth mentioning that I totally called this reveal in my E3 predictions video two months ago, right down to the November, 2015 release date and the 15+ minutes of stage demo time. I should get a free copy of the game or something.

So there you have it, my top twenty games from E3 2015! Let me know what games you’re most excited about in the comments below!

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