Which publisher had the best E3?

Gaming’s biggest week has come, gone and left us all with many, many more games to dream about. But which publisher provided the most excitement? Which generated the most buzz and anticipation? Which deserves the most credit for transforming E3 into something worthwhile again… and which will probably be winning the biggest share of our money over the next few years? Here’s who we’ve picked as the top 20.



Best in show: Trauma Team
Rest of the lineup: Demon’s Souls, Shiren the Wanderer 3, Persona, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, Droplitz, Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent 

Always a reliable source for quirky, niche Japanese titles that no other publisher would touch, Atlus USA showed off another intriguing selection of titles at this year’s E3. Demon’s Souls, a dark fantasy RPG, could hold a lot of reward – but also a lot of brutally difficult challenge – for PS3 owners. Our favorite, though, was Trauma Team on Wii. The previous DS surgery simulators were addictive, innovative and satisfyingly gross… this one opens up your medical expertise to include six specialists, including orthopedic and emergency.



Best in show: Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Rest of the lineup: King of Fighters XII, Nostalgia 

Have you seen the screens for Muramasa? This action role-playing title is stunning to behold, one of the most gorgeous games we’ve ever laid our jaded journalist eyes upon. Such beauty is especially welcome on the Wii, which tends to attract shoddy ports with shoddier graphics. Another King of Fighters is nice, of course, and the Final Fantasy-inspired RPG Nostalgia takes place in an alternate reality steampunk version of the 19th century. We’ll play it out of curiosity if nothing else.



Best in show: Split/Second
Rest of the lineup: G-Force, Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned, Toy Story Mania!, Spectrobes: Origins, The Princess & the Frog, Disney Fairies, Hannah Montana: Rock Out the Show, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, JONAS, Wizards of Waverly Place, Disney Sing It: Pop Hits 

Yeeeaaaah. Obviously, Disney is unashamedly farming out their family-friendly cash crops onto every Nintendo platform to make even more obscene amounts of money from the casual / ignorant gaming market. But we also have to say, Disney is trying harder to make real games. Spectrobes is becoming a decent take on Pokemon redone as an action RPG. G-Force, despite being about secret agent guinea pigs, is honestly kinda fun and looks lush on the 360/PS3. And Split/Second could be the perfect mashup of Stuntman: Ignition and Burnout, but with better controls and bigger explosions.



Best in show: Tekken 6
Rest of the lineup: Dead to Rights: Retribution, SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny, Magna Carta II, Katamari Forever, Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao in 3D, Active Life: Extreme Challenge 

Nothing here to get overly excited about, but several strong contenders. We really enjoyed the recent Tekken on PSP, so it will be nice to see that gameplay return to current-gen consoles even if it’s getting a bit stale. Katamari might have overstayed its welcome, but we’ll give the new PS3 entry a chance because it looks so purty. SoulCalibur will be the best PSP fighter since Tekken: Dark Resurrection. Invincible Tiger, meanwhile, is one of the only games trying out new 3D technology. If that’s where our industry ends up going, it could be seen as a pioneer.



Best in show: Scribblenauts  
Rest of the lineup: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, LEGO Rock Band, LEGO Battles, Scooby-Doo! First Frights, Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 2 

LEGO Rock Band? LEGO Battles? Who needed these? We’re slightly interested in the announced LEGO Harry Potter, but after that, this franchise had better die quickly and quietly. Warner Bros makes our list, however, because they’re distributing Batman: Arkham Asylum in North America (though we’re going to assume Eidos had more to do with its creation) and because Scribblenauts, a sidescroller in which you summon objects into the world by writing their name on the screen, is so wonderfully original.



Best in show: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Rest of the lineup: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Saw: The Video Game, Zombie Apocalypse, Vandal Hearts, Zephyr: Rise of the Elementals, Ant Nation, DanceDanceRevolution, Karaoke Revolution, Yu-Gi-Oh ad infinitum

Konami’s lineup gets a tad predictable by the end (how is “DanceDance” different from “Dance Dance” again?) and we can’t muster much excitement for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (a “reimagining” of the original on Wii, PS2 and PSP… ugh). Zombie Apocalypse, on the other hand, could be the Left 4 Dead of downloadable content on XBLA and PSN. The amount of horrific detail they’ve packed into the top down perspective is impressive. Saw has potential, surprisingly, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow had us at “Patrick Stewart.” The screens and trailer are kickass, too.


14) THQ

Best in show: Darksiders: Wrath of War
Rest of the lineup: Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, Homefront, MX vs ATV Reflex, Marvel Superhero Squad, Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter, World of Zoo, James Patterson: Women’s Murder Club Games of Passion, All Star Cheer Squad 2, SpongeBob’s Truth or Square, Dragonica Online, Cars Race-O-Rama

Darksiders is a wild mashup of God of War and Legend of Zelda. Homefront, MX vs ATV Reflex, Warhammer and the new Drawn to Life all look very promising. This is a strong and robust lineup, but we had to drop THQ lower in our rankings for the mere existence of this

Marvel Superhero Squad. The worst thing in the history of things. All Star Cheer Squad 2 and Cars Race-O-Rama turn our stomachs, but this game hurts our souls.



Best in show: Batman: Arkham Asylum
Rest of the lineup: Mini Ninjas, Just Cause 2

Short but oh so sweet. Just Cause 2’s adding laser-controlled rockets, a jumbo jet and remote-controlled C4 to its tropical island sandbox. And Mini Ninjas is far deeper and more fun than its cutesy exterior would lead you to believe. It’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, though, that makes us willing to forgive Eidos for Kane & Lynch, Daikatana and all those crappy Tomb Raider sequels. If the game lives up to the promise and potential we’ve been seeing… if it actually delivers the first great Batman game… well, we don’t want to jinx anything by finishing that sentence.



Best in show: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Rest of the lineup: Tales of Monkey Island, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Star Wars: Battlefront Elite Squadron, Lego Indiana Jones 2, Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes

Probably not the Indiana Jones or Star Wars titles most gamers would like to see – did it become illegal to make a Battlefront game for a full-sized console or something? Still, even MMO haters can’t deny that that Old Republic trailer was cooler and better made than most of what George Lucas has done lately. And not one, but two Monkey Islands? The second of which is a classy, loving upgrade of the first and most beloved Monkey Island game of all? Major props to LucasArts for honoring the point-and-click adventure genre, even if the rest of the industry wrote it off as dead a decade ago. Now, how about a Sam & Max upgrade and an XBLA version of Grim Fandango?



Best in show: Final Fantasy XIII
Rest of the lineup: Final Fantasy XIV, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Order of War, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearer, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord , Dissidia Final Fantasy, Front Mission Evolved, Nier, Supreme Commander 2

Squeenix was all show and no play at this year’s E3. We saw Final Fantasy XIII gameplay at the Microsoft conference, proving that it’s more than a collection of fancy CG cutscenes, but we didn’t get our hands on a controller. Then there was the amazing Final Fantasy XIV trailer, which caused a flood of warm childhood memories to wash over us. Blue sky! Yellow chocobo! No sci-fi trappings at all! And then, of course, we saw the “Online.” Damn it. Regardless, Final Fantasy XIII – and to a lesser extent, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 and Order of War – are too anticipated not to put Square Enix high on the ranking.

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  • FELIXjk007 - June 19, 2009 12:05 p.m.

  • FELIXjk007 - June 19, 2009 12:05 p.m.

    Jeez, my bloke is a gobshite!! well done EA, yo deserve it. Loooking forward to Bioshock 2 and MW2 Byeeeeeee (see! its easy you waffling word whore!! :D )
  • FELIXjk007 - June 19, 2009 12:03 p.m.

    I know that EA swallow up the dev's like a giant...well, dev swallower! ;D ( credit to BlackAdder ) But I think GR got the list just about spot on even if I would have placed Microsoft a little higher if for nothing else other than the sheer diversity of content that they are bringing to their console. Games most looking forward to: 1: Modern Warfare 2 2: Bioshock 2 3: Mass Effect 2 Huge Chrimbo prezzie list for the happy cat this year!! :D
  • Drauglim - June 19, 2009 1:20 a.m.

    Splinter Cell Conviction was totally better looking than Assassins Creed 2
  • SacredWizardPowers - June 17, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    Good list
  • nik41507 - June 16, 2009 7:23 p.m.

    will project natal make you accidentally kick and destroy the new $1500 HDTV you just bought while playing a street fighter game? reCAPTCHA:Gautler 1972 recaptcha says "stop spam. read books." how does stopping spam cause me to read a book
  • lethalcodeine - June 15, 2009 7:59 p.m.

    How in the hell is Valve in the top ten? And how in the hell is it above SquireEnix!? Squinix dropped a bombshell with FFIX, and a slew of other games. And you put Valve ahead with one passable game... It clearly had one of the worst showings. Especially when half (ok, less than half) of it's own customers that bought the first one, have a friggin' rally AGAINST the sequel!! Aside from that obvious fanboy-ish mistake, this is a good article.
  • rxb - June 15, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    That first picture is very dodgy, very dodgy.
  • LuigiWolf - June 14, 2009 6:48 p.m.

    didnt see crysis 2 on the EA other lineup list, wheres the love?
  • solsunforge - June 14, 2009 5:44 a.m.

    Its not that I didnt think they would ever make a left 4 dead 2 its just to damn soon in my opinion. Every single person who bought the original has a right to be pissed off and legitamately so. They fear that they wont get any added content besides the one survival mode lighthouse mission. I for one wont purchase left 4 dead 2 no matter how good it supposedly is. It seems to rushed to me . Nevermind everyones gripes about it being in daylight thats ok I guess but the fact that valve seems a bit to money hungry as if they need it that bad im sure they are still drowning in money from orange box. If they really want more money then make a halflife 2 episode 3 and then announce left 4 dead 2. Thats what I would of did. This would kind of be like blizzard announcing a world of warcraft 2 right before announcing the next expansion to the original it would not only make for bad buisiness but it would also piss off loyal customers. Call me a jaded gamer but valve will not get any more of my money until the next halflife comes out. I care about gorden and his story not some damn zombie shooting game with absolutely no story. If the game has no story then I think it shouldnt retail at a full games price anyways. I mean if ya got to make the game player creat possible stories in their head then maybe reward them for your retarded lazy work. You know what hardcore gamers want? I can tell you it isnt these pissy little games im guessing its old franchises since the majority of hardcore gamers are no longer little kids like we were so its time for games to grow up with us. Im done ranting I just get in these moods sometimes where I dont understand where these huge companies place their logic. Hey any of you remember the old leisure suit larry games from sierra and how incredibly fun and funny they were? Well I just played 2 hours of the newest one and its garbage. I can't believe I had the patience to sit there that long playing it I almost wanted to cry just hopeing it would get better. Yeah this was about E3 but then I changed it oh well sorry. I personally dont know anyone over 25 thats saying oh gee cant wait for kingdom hearts or omg pokemon shit brown is coming. I hear most people saying gimme kid iccarus or how about a megaman or maybe a mario that isnt gay. The last game that came out that was worth me buying was....Fallout 3 then before that... Bioshock and crysis. Yeah I have played games since then and sins of a solar empire was trash left for dead was more fun to play drunk then anything. I got good at it then deleted the game after a month. The next game I may purchase and am truly dieing to play is metal gear 4 I played it for 2 hours at a friends and it was so insanely awesome that I am contemplateing buying a ps3. (youd think id be done now but im all cranked out on energy drinks). Anyways tommorow im gonna reinstall oblivion for the 4th time and give it anothe chance everyone says the story is awesome and I trust bethesda. I didnt like the camera angel so I disregarded the game even though I spent over 100 buying it and the expansions along with morrowind goty edition on ebay. In closeing Zelda is not hardcore(anymore) pokemon was never hardcore and kingdom hearts is ok because of the story but it got disney characters in it and its not hardcore either.My opinion doesnt matter im sure to most of you if your under 20 years of age or so but my favorite thing from E3 was project natal just because I can come up with every way i would implement it if i was microsoft and not some gimmick like nintendos vitality sensor. Anyways im gonna go play some classic monkey island I will be back later to see if I got any replies. If you think im wrong then tell me and make a good case for it to. These things gamesradar puts up here is not only to entertain but its here to help formulate good discussion and I encorage it so should you. See you later.
  • Defguru7777 - June 14, 2009 4:07 a.m.

    It's not that I'm against L4D2. I just want HL2: Episode 3. Please.
  • hidudes0 - June 14, 2009 2:43 a.m.

  • wiigamer024 - June 13, 2009 11:47 p.m.

    hmm... I thought Nintendo would have been #1 on the list.
  • Awesomeitude1523 - June 13, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    @Demonflare: Define 'good games'. If videogames are stupid, and movies are stupid, then that means you're a hater. You don't know any good games anymore because you're to ignorant to realie what good games are. You sir, are "stupid"
  • CARLINNIT - June 13, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    LucasArts should remake Grim Fandango. I don't want a sequel though, the original game is just too perfect and complete for that. Just port it over to XBLA and PSN...Good article
  • ZukotaIsoba - June 13, 2009 5:36 a.m.

    Afterthought, I am extremely excited about the new Monster Hunter, and the Kingdom Hearts game. I have heard rumors that Capcom and Marvel are planning on creating a marvel vs. capcom game for the next gen systems, that should be awesome, and hopefully a rival for MK vs. DC.
  • phoenix_wings - June 13, 2009 3:34 a.m.

    sigh, poor RE. So goddamned sad.
  • RedOutlive10 - June 13, 2009 1:39 a.m.

    All this L4D2 boycott is bs. I bet when they deliver a meaningful sequel, the former whiners will probably laugh at how foolish they were.
  • Hurricrane - June 13, 2009 1:02 a.m.

    jesus, I thought Borderlands looked awesome before the awesomer art change and I completely agree with EA winning, they have very quickly pulled themselves out of the hole they were in... only to have Activision take it and dig it to the center of the earth
  • Cyberninja - June 13, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    i love all these games