GamesRadar+ E3 awards - our best, most exciting games of E3 2017

E3 2017 is over. The hot, excitable crowds have returned home, the booths have been dismantled, and the dancing panda from the Just Dance stage presentation has been turned into a nice rug for the lobby of the Ubisoft Montreal offices. You could argue for days about who ‘won’ E3 and - truth be told - it has been a relatively forgettable year, with few genuine shocks or surprises making it out of the show. It’s easily one of the safest conferences in years. However, there’s little doubt that the quality of games is consistently high, and the GR+ team who both attended the show and watched from home had plenty to choose from when deciding the following awards. What follows is a list of games that got us most excited at the show - starting with our overall choice for ‘Best Game of E3 2017’, and working our way down from there in order of team preference. Safe games, sure, but there are some cracking titles on this list.

E3 2017 Game of the Show - Super Mario Odyssey

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: October 27

What we saw at E3 2017?
20 glorious, giddy, joy-filled minutes exploring Mario’s new boomerang hat-powered morphing abilities in New Donk City and the Mexican desert world (plus a newly debuted co-op mode).

Why do we love it?
No other game at E3 delivered such a wonderful, imaginative, surprising sense of sheer play. 3D Mario games have always excelled in delivering total joy of movement and exploration, but with the whole world now 'hackable’, and Mario able to become everything from lightning-quick electricity to a T-Rex, the possibilities now feel limitless. 

Best of E3 - Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 27

What we saw at E3 2017?
BJ, back from the dead, taking on the Nazis from a wheelchair in a submarine overrun by Hitler’s finest.

Why do we love it?
It’s loud and funny. Nailing a dark thread of humour to some deliciously tuned gunplay. From BJ using his wheelchair to smash Nazi heads to microwave traps that pop enemies like overripe fruit. It’s bloody, crass and oh so much fun and looks just as creative as the first game.

Best of E3 - Beyond Good & Evil 2

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release date: TBD

What we saw at E3 2017?
Same as you guys - a thrilling CG trailer filled with swearing monkeys, angry pigs, and a whole wealth of sci-fi potential.

Why do we love it?
To be honest, we’re just elated that Beyond Good & Evil 2 finally exists as a thing in development, but what we’ve seen looks promising too. The ambition for a rags-to-riches story spanning across multiple planets and cultures is ballsy, but it’s exactly the kind of thing that already makes BG&E2 one of the best titles of the show.

Best of E3 - Assassin's Creed Origins

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 27

What we saw at E3 2017?
A 30 minute hands on demo in a murdery slice of Egypt and a 10 minute bout in a gory gladiator arena, complete with spinning blades.

Why do we love it?
Hoods up, Assassin’s Creed Origins is pushing reset on the whole franchise, ditching the mini map and becoming a true action RPG complete with loot and a quest system. Throw in camel-back combat, new Assassin Bayek, shotgun bows for five times the carnage and a ridiculously gorgeous Ancient Egypt and we can't wait to get our Assassin feet sandy. Oh, and you can, like, be an eagle.

Best of E3 - Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: August 29

What we saw at E3 2017?
The title kind of gives it away, but Mario and Rabbids doing battle (XCOM style) in the Mushroom Kingdom, after the crossover of both worlds leaves anthropomorphic danger lurking around every warp pipe.  

Why do we love it?
Despite the leaks, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was one of E3’s most delightful surprises. The visuals do justice to both franchises, the combat looks unexpectedly robust, and the quirky humour (selfie-snapping Rabbid princesses be damned) feels right at home for a game which is clearly proud of its inherent silliness.

Best of E3 - Destiny 2

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: September 6

What we saw at E3 2017?
A hands on destruction of the Tower in the explosive Homecoming opening mission.

Why do we love it?
Not so much a revolutionary sequel as an evolutionary step in the right direction, Destiny 2 brings smart, sensible changes to the core formula established by Bungie’s global sensation. For both newcomers and long-time Guardians, that means a much smoother, more user-friendly experience all round. And it’s running at 60FPS on PC, too, which is smashing. 

Best of E3 - Spider-Man

Platform: PS4
Release date: 2018

What we saw at E3 2017?
The nine minute demo from the PlayStation conference played out with crunchier webby combat and lots of winks to the Spider-Man heritage.

Why do we love it?
We’ve been very patient waiting for more of Insomniac’s PS4 exclusive adventures of Peter Parker and his arachnid alter ego, and this year’s E3 gameplay didn’t disappoint. With distinctly Batman Arkham style combat and plenty of environmental ways to knock out goons, this is a tantalising open world hero playground. QTEs play a part in cinematic set pieces, but don't let your Spidey Senses tingle too soon, you can play exactly the way you want. 

Best of E3 - Days Gone

Platform: PS4
Release date: TBC

What we saw at E3 2017?
Hero Deacon rescuing a friend from a camp of rogue survivors using his wits and feral Freaker zombies. 

Why do we love it?
It’s basically an open world The Last of Us and just as uncompromisingly violent with its take on humanity post apocalypse. The E3 demo might have looked scripted, using a Freaker zombie horde to wipe out a camp, but the game is actually made up of numerous random elements. Time of day, weather, animal and monster type, and more can all vary, meaning everyone will play a slightly different game. 

Best of E3 - Life is Strange: Before the Storm

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: August 31

What we saw at E3 2017?
A 15-minute live play-through showing Chloe solving puzzles and making dicey moral choices while trying to sneak into a concert - taking in overpriced band merch, pot dealers, and skeezy drunks - followed by 10 minutes of her burgeoning relationship with Rachel. 

Why do we love it?
The dialogue might sometimes still feel a little ‘teenagers by committee’, but the grounded, underplayed, human drama is still enticing, affecting, and powerful in its mundanity. With magic time-powers now jettisoned in favour of pure, character-driven story-telling, this three-part prequel tale is very promising indeed. 

Best of E3 - Sea of Thieves

Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Release date: 2018 

What we saw at E3 2017?
 A 20 minute, free-form demo in which a crew of six of us could do whatever the hell we liked. 

Why do we love it?
 Despite ‘whatever the hell we liked’ boiling down to ‘making two attempts at reaching a treasure island, and failing’, the core, co-operative mechanics of crewing a ship of Sea of Thieves are a game in themselves. And a brilliant, hilarious one at that. With nothing automatic, from course-plotting, to cannon-loading, to sail-configuring, the captain unable to see where they’re steering due to the aforementioned sails, and everything else in the game operating in pure, systemic terms, SoT is a cacophonous comedy of errors where everyone and no-one is to blame, all the time. And where sometimes, when it actually all works out, you’ll feel unstoppable. 

Click through for ten more Best of E3 games!