The best games of E3 2017
E3 2017 has officially come to a close. It was a year that brought some major surprises in the form of Beyond Good & Evil 2 and the Xbox One X, as well as a few minor disappointments in the form of Nintendo’s 2017 release line-up and Sony’s backwards-facing keynote.
If one thing’s for sure, though, it’s that this year’s show brought us a look at some incredible games – many of which we’ve rounded up for you right here.
The games that follow are our editors’ picks of the best games of the show. Some of these games we were able to try for ourselves, others we’ll likely be waiting a few years for, but all of them are worth your time and consideration.
Without further ado, here’s TechRadar’s round-up of the best games from this year’s show.
Super Mario Odyssey
Picked by Nick Pino, Senior Home Tech Editor
"There was no game that impressed me more at this year’s show than Super Mario Odyssey. Mario has made a few missteps throughout his career, but Odyssey is shaping up to be his greatest adventure to date. Each world that I played during the show felt packed to the point of bursting with collectibles, and new customization options will give Mario a fresh look for every setting. With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at last year’s show, and Super Mario Odyssey at this year’s E3, Nintendo is quickly making up for lost time."
Also picked by James Peckham, UK Phones Writer
"Before E3 2017, I couldn’t have cared less about a new Mario game. Now, I think it was one of the most exciting announcements of the entire show. We had already seen a short teaser for the game, but the new trailer took that slight strangeness of exploring New Donk City to a whole new level and suggested the entire lore of the Mario universe is about to undergo a huge change. If the Mario hat can take over anything it touches, doesn’t that mean the plump Italian plumber has been possessed all along? Plus, you can become a T-Rex with a moustache and a liberal sense of fun."
Sea of Thieves
Picked by Jon Porter, UK Home Technology Writer
"I was entirely prepared for Insomniac’s Spider-Man to steal the show for me. Although the Batman Arkham series is often cited as the series that showed us all how good superhero games could be, I always had a soft spot for the Treyarch-produced Spiderman 2 on the PS2. Away from the grim gothic world of Batman, Spiderman’s colorful cast of characters and web-slinging open-world freedom was always going to be way up my street.
It might still be a great game, but after Sony’s frustrating decision to restrict the game’s showing this year to purely hands off experiences, it’s tough to approach the game with anything more than cautious optimism.
With Spider-Man disallowed because it wasn’t playable at the show, it seems unfair to give my personal pick to Metroid Prime 4, whose sole appearance was a logo that appeared slowly over the course of a 40 second trailer (a trailer hilariously still uploaded to Nintendo’s YouTube channel), but this was probably the surprise announcement that had me the most excited at this year’s show.
All of this leads me to Sea of Thieves, a game that has intermittently been on my radar for a number of months, but that I’d never paid close attention to until I got the chance to play it for myself.
From the charming art-style, to the intensely co-operative gameplay, Sea of Thieves was the game that had me most excited to revisit it when it’s released. I can’t wait to get drunk on grog with my friends online, and then proceed to fire them out of canons in the vague hope that they’ll make their way onto an enemy’s ship.
Sea of Thieves was a delight, and it feels like it has the potential to be one of the most joyous and lighthearted online experiences when it’s eventually in the hands of gamers."
Picked by Emma Boyle, Staff Writer
"It would be extremely predictable if I said that the thing that really excited me most from this year’s E3 was the announcement that a core Pokemon RPG title would be coming to Nintendo Switch. It would also be extremely true. But considering I have absolutely no idea what that game is even going to look like I’m going to opt for Destiny 2 instead.
I wasn't a massive fan of the original Destiny and I'm not a keen PC gamer but after trying the game’s single player campaign on PC at this year’s show it’s safe to say I’m pretty excited. 4K visuals with an uncapped framerate and extremely well-translated and intuitive keyboard and mouse controls meant that I had an absolute blast playing the game’s first mission. Satisfying gunplay and a single player world that actually felt alive have convinced me I have to go back for more. I haven't tried multiplayer but surely that's something we can assume Bungie has done right. Surely?"
Picked by Joe Osborne, Senior Editor
"Despite all of the visual splendor of Super Mario Odyssey and the strange hype-tinged-with-bitterness I feel for Metroid: Samus Returns (seriously, why isn’t this one on Switch?), it’s Wargroove.
This tiny turn-based strategy game from ChuckleFish Games set for PC and Nintendo Switch this year captures so much – maybe too much? – of what I loved about classic handheld strategy games like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem as a kid with a Game Boy in his hands.
I anticipate myself offering up hours upon hours to this game on my Switch during my commute into TechRadar’s New York office this summer."
God of War
Picked by Michelle Fitzsimmons, Senior News Editor
"Disclaimer: I’m not a gamer, but God of War grabbed my attention from the get-go with its stunning visuals, mythological characters and father-son story that tugs at the heartstrings.
God of War looks to be a visceral hero’s journey that’s also a coming of age tale for Kratos’ youngin’, two threads that pack a punch and emotional impact. The bone crushing hand-to-hand combat is particularly appealing for this former fighting game fan. Plus, I love a warrior that can wield an axe."
Picked by Kevin Lee, Computing Editor
"There have been a lot of Spiderman games and almost all of them have been bad. Thankfully, Insomniac’s take on the wall-crawler looks like the Spiderman game we finally deserve. The first thing this latest Spiderman game gets right is its greater focus on stealth and speed, rather than the hero’s brawling skills, which has all too often been the highlight of past games.
Spiderman also whips around New York City like he should with plenty of acrobatics and web slinging. The only things I personally don’t like are numerous QTEs and the costume, but aside from these minor gripes, I’m very excited about the prospects of this new Spiderman game."
Picked by Gerald Lynch, Associate Editor
"There’s surely only one correct answer to this question, right? After the disappointing arrival of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the team at Bioware had to bounce back big time at this year’s E3. And that they did with ‘Anthem’, given the headline slot at Microsoft’s Xbox One X reveal conference.
That Microsoft chose to let a third-party title close its show speaks volumes on how incredible Anthem is looking. Somewhere between Destiny, Avatar, Mass Effect and an Iron Man simulator, we know only little about it so far – but more than enough to have us reaching for our wallets, Fry-style. It seems to be a persistent online shooter in the same vein as Activision’s Destiny, mixing first person and third person elements together with Bioware’s signature panache for storytelling. But it’s the lush world we’re most looking forward to exploring, from leafy green jungles full of stomping creatures to underwater caverns sparkling with bioluminescent life.
Welcome back Bioware. All is forgiven."
The Crew 2
Picked by Matt Swider, US Senior Mobile & Buying Guides Editor
"The Crew 2 is the go anyway, drive anything racing game from Ubisoft that lets you transform from a car to an airplane to a boat – instantly.
Cruising through a life-like recreation of Manhattan means you can drive down Broadway at top speeds (fairly impossible), lift off and dodge skyscrapers to reach the Hudson, then plummet into the river and stay float, all without getting out of your vehicle. This arcade racer has you tour other famous US landmarks, too, including the Mississippi River on a powerboat and the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle.
The PS4, Xbox One and PC game doesn’t launch until early 2018, but Ubisoft is launching several rounds of The Crew 2 beta tests in between now and then.
Sign me up."
Picked by Marc Chacksfield, Global Managing Editor
"E3 2017 wasn’t Cuphead’s first rodeo. The game has been in some sort of development since 2010 and showed its face both at E3 2014 and 2015. BUT, it finally looks like it’s getting released and it looks amazing. Taking its cues from cartoons in the ‘30s, Cuphead looks like one big nostalgia trip back to when ’toons were painstakingly drawn on a cel.
The game is rock hard, a seemingly endless tirade of boss fights after boss fights which your character - a person with an actual cup for a head - has to contend with. It looks so good, and different to any previous game, it might make this PS4-owning gamer invest in an Xbox One or a PC to play it - as these are the only formats it’s getting released on."
Star Wars Battlefront II
Picked by Patrick Goss, Global Editor-in-Chief
"I was blown away by Anthem, I was left desperate to play FIFA 18, but the game trailer that, frankly, left me in state of fanboy giddiness was Star Wars Battlefront 2. I upgraded my PC to play Rebel Assault, I had to launch Dark Forces out of DOS to make it run and I broke three joysticks playing Tie Fighter. And If I’d shown that trailer to any one of these past selves and told them this was the future - after getting over the lack of jetpacks, meal in a pill and flying cars - I would have been cock-a-hoop."
Ni no Kuni 2
Picked by Basil Kronfli, Senior Video Producer
"The first Ni no Kuni was definitely my favourite PS3 game of all time. Ni no Kuni 2 features a fresh story and a new real-time combat system which looks ace. Carrying forward that beautiful Studio Ghibli style art direction from its predecessor, if the storytelling is even half as captivating, I’ll spend a good chunk of my life playing it, likely shedding more than a few tears in the process."
Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.