Skip to main content

The best games of E3 2014

No Mans Sky wins the "Too Big To Comprehend" award

After seeing No Mans Sky in a private E3 demo, we started to get an idea of what exactly the game encompasses--which is basically the infinity of the universe. The sci-fi game procedurally generates plants, spacecraft, and entire planets full of wildlife into the inky void of virtual space, constantly creating more and more for players to discover. In our short time with it, we saw the protagonist walk out of a cave, pass by a few massive dinosaurs, hop into his ship, fly out of the atmosphere into space, blast past a fleet of starships, and then land on an entirely new planet.

As the devs tell it, thats just a fraction of a fraction of what can be explored and discovered in the galaxy theyve already created. And thanks to the procedural nature of the content, they fully expect players to discover things the devs never imagined. The devs intend to boldly going where no one has gone before--not bad when you consider the developers last game was the much smaller scale Joe Danger.

Mortal Kombat X wins the "Most Delighted Squeals of Horror" award

We thought wed seen it all with Mortal Kombats gleeful brutality, but we underestimated the developers at Netherrealm. Mortal Kombat X is the teams first game for the PS4/Xbox One, and that next-gen upgrade means that the gratuitous gore is more detailed than ever. Just watching the E3 trailer made us scream multiple times with a mix of excitement and horror.

Its even crazier to play and see the new bone-crushing, spine-ripping X-Ray moves play out. You'll wince seeing Scorpion jab Sub-Zero in the eye with a kunai. You'll cringe when a skull shatters into dusty fragments. You'll likely scream the first time you see an new move that shows someones testicles getting punched until they explode. And if this is what theyre showing at E3, just how creative (or kreative) will the rest of the action get?

Batman: Arkham Knight wins the Is it 2015 Yet? award

This years E3 was full of games that wont be available until the next calendar year--and that makes waiting all the more difficult. But no wait feels as painful as the one for Batman: Arkham Knight, especially now that weve played the E3 demo. The game looks gorgeous, with the transforming Batmobile being a particular standout that makes next year feel very far away.

The demo showed some of the earliest meetings between Bats and Arkham Knight, the newest nemesis intent on putting Gotham at risk. The Batmobile helped fight Arkham Knights army of thugs, becoming as good a sidekick as Robin has ever been. After 30 minutes with Rocksteadys next Bat-adventure, we really hope the game gets released in the first half of 2015, because we dont think we can take the frustration of another E3 tease next year.

Yoshis Woolly World wins the "OMG IT'S SO CUTE" award

OMG IT'S SO CUTE. Yoshi's Woolly World is an absolutely adorable platformer, turning the already-charming land of Yoshi's platformers into a bundle of overwhelming cuteness. Everything looks like it was created by hand, from the knit trees to the puffy cotton clouds. The world, and everything in it, is tangible and beautiful.

But, more importantly, it's fun to play. Following in the footsteps of the Yoshi's Island franchise, the green (or red, if you're down for co-op) dinosaur can jump, flutter, eat, and toss eggs at its enemies. Wait, did we say eggs? They're actually BALLS OF YARN :3.

Super Smash Bros. wins the "Welcome Back, Wavebird" award

After a year of teasing, we finally got to go hands-on with Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS, and yeah, it plays exactly like you want it to. Grab a GameCube controller, plug it in to the Wii U adapter, pick a character, and you're brawling just like you did in the past. There are, of course, plenty of little differences that make it feel unique, but it's really the ways it stayed the same that has us excited.

But the thing that really pushed it over the edge onto this list was Amiibo, Nintendo's NFC figurines. Launching with Smash, the toys will sync up with your system to allow you to train and fight different characters. It's a great concept, and should make the wait for the game a little easier.

Alien: Isolation wins the "Too Scared to Breathe Award" award

Alien: Isolation is relentless. It has no respect for you, your nerves, or whatever watered down, weak-sauce horror games you might have played before. It is intelligent, it is calculating, it is even beautiful in its own way, but it absolutely will not stop until it has horrified you into a coma. Its nigh impossible to relate the experience to someone who hasnt played it, being so unlike any other survival-horror game in its methods, emotional impact, and sheer, invasive sense of terror. But once you do play it, youll have trouble looking at the genre in the same way again.

The truly intelligent, unpredictable, decision-making Alien is essentially alive. There are no easy, video game-y ways to manipulate it. It wants to kill you, and without a consistent, flawless display of improvisation, tactical evasion, and so, so much hiding, it will do exactly that. And the stark, oppressive, ink-black 70s sci-fi interiors all of this plays out in are nigh indistinguishable from the film in both look and atmosphere. Fear it.

Until next year!

So, that was E3! Obviously there were plenty of other great games to talk about--and believe us, we'll talk about 'em--but these were the ones that most ferociously tickled our fancies. Disagree? Agree? Let us know in the comments, below!

And if you're interested in more, check out what this year's E3 would have been like in 1994 and 100 games you might have missed at E3.