We’ve dispensed with the fancy titles, categories, and other things for this year’s E3. Let’s be honest – these are game demos of things to come. This year, we just want you to know: We Love it. So these are our E3 2013 awards. These are the games we liked the most. We love them. Keep checking back for more previews right up until the end of this year’s E3.

Read on for more details about our favorite games of E3 2013!

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The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: CD Projekt
You can read our full preview of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt here.

From Sarah LeBoeuf’s preview of the game:

Though he had the same main objective for the entire demo, Geralt kept getting involved in other tasks, and that’s part of what makes The Witcher 3 so appealing to me. I love games that pull you off the path and give you more ways to get involved in the world, assuming the world created in the game is worth exploring. If it’s as big as CD Projekt Red says, the sheer size of The Witcher 3 is almost intimidating, and I’m definitely curious about what’s beyond the small stretch I saw today. CD Projekt Red has already said that this game will be the end of Geralt’s story, so let’s hope his final journey is the most memorable.

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Fantasia: Music Evolved
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
You can read our full preview of Fantasia: Music Evolved here.

From Sarah LeBoeuf’s preview of the game

Every year at E3, there are a lot of games I like, a few I love, and even fewer that just get stuck in my head and refuse to leave after I stop playing. Fantasia: Music Evolved is one of those games. It’s not the kind of game that could be easily explained in a press release, and trailers don’t really do it justice; you have to see it, and more importantly play it, to get it. And now that I’ve done that, I can say that Harmonix and Disney have created something infectiously, delightfully special.

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Killer is Dead
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: XSeed
You can read our full preview of Killer is Dead here.

From Josh Vanderwall’s preview of the game

The action looked intense, with standard attack, block, dodge, and guard break tied to your button presses. A precise dodge is rewarded with an execution move, which one-shots your enemy in a fun thousand-slash animation. Killing enemies and absorbing their blood charges up your Adrenaline Rush ability, which will one-shot any standard foe in dramatic fashion. Additionally, as you slash away at the bad guys, you build your combo meter, which gives you access to new, more powerful combo moves. Getting hit or taking damage will reset your combo meter, so learning to dodge and block skillfully will help you progress through the levels more quickly. Then there was the boss.

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Transistor
Developer: Supergiant Games
The next game from the creator of critical darling Bastion, read more about Transistor here.

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Total War: Rome 2
Developer:
Publisher:
You can read our full preview of Total War: Rome 2 here.

From Greg Tito’s preview of the game

I fell in love with Shogun 2 a few years back, and I really enjoyed the interplay between the strategic and tactical layers. Sega’s Creative Assembly studio in England has decided to invest in improving its already fantastic engine yet again with Rome and it looks and plays spectacular. Getting my hands on the mouse and keyboard to actually engage in a tactical battle with Roman and Egyptian forces on the sea and land was tons of fun, even if my poor legionnaires were overrun by Egyptian war elephants.

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Disney Infinity
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Disney’s answer to Activision’s Skylanders series, read more about Disney Infinity here.

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Saints Row 4
Developer: Deep Silver
Publisher: Volition
You can read our full preview of Saints Row 4 here.

From Sarah LeBoeuf’s preview of the game

During Monday’s gauntlet of press conferences that kicked off E3 week, I felt some gun fatigue. Many of the games getting stage time were shooters that shared similar elements, and I just wanted to see something… different. Saints Row IV might have guns (and lots of them), but it’s anything but more of the same. My half hour with Saints Row IV had me gleefully shooting aliens, running down vehicles, and setting pedestrians on fire-while trying to save the world from an alien invasion. You’d expect no less of the President of the United States, right?

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Outlast
Developer: Red Barrels
You can read our full preview of Outlast here.

From Susan Arendt’s preview of the game

I love horror. Movies, comics, games, whatever, doesn’t matter, if it wants to give you the willies, I am all about it. The downside of consuming all that terror-based content is that I’m notoriously hard to scare, and so I’m constantly in search of a game that will make me race to turn on the lights. Outlast is one of those games. I jumped three times during the demo, and yelped like a startled Pomeranian more than once. The developers stood behind me and chuckled as I struggled my way through the brief demo. It was glorious.

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The Puppeteer
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
You can read our full preview of The Puppeteer here.

From Susan Arendt’s preview of the game

Once upon a time, a bear lived with the Moon Goddess, but he was kind of a jerk. One day he stole her crystal and her magic scissors, declared himself the Moon Bear King, and started harvesting the souls of children. Including yours. Then he stuck your soul in a puppet, bit off your puppet head, and tossed your body aside. Then a witch decided, hey, maybe this headless puppet kid could steal those magic scissors from the Moon Bear King for me, and instructed her sarcastic flying cat Yin Yang to help you out. Yin Yang, who is pretty much over it, did you a solid and found you a replacement head (a nice little skull) and so off you go to your nearly certain demise.

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Murdered: Soul Suspect
Developer: Airtight Games
Publisher: Square Enix
You can read our full preview of Murdered: Soul Suspect here.

From AJ Glasser’s preview of the game

The real challenge of gameplay comes from puzzle-solving to help Ronan get around and gather clues. Aside from the possession skill, there are other little tricks Ronan can perform to influence the behavior of the living – like turning on the stove to make a person walk into a room. He can also pass through walls, people and other objects, thereby finding things off the main path that may be useful in tracking down his killer.

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Sonic Lost World
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
You can read our full preview of Sonic Lost World here.

From Susan Arendt’s preview of the game

Sega’s iconic blue hedgehog has had a hard time of it lately. And by “lately,” I mostly mean since Sonic Adventure. There have been some high points here and there (Sonic Colors, for example), but for the most part, Sonic games have been “meh” at best, utterly unplayable at worst. So I’m not going to be mad if you don’t immediately believe me that Sonic Lost World is good enough to make you get up and do a moderately embarrassing victory dance that involves fist pumps and butt shakes. That’s cool, I don’t blame you for being skeptical. But holy wow, this game is a damn good time.

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The Elder Scrolls Online
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
You can read our full preview of The Elder Scrolls Online here.

From Greg Tito’s preview of the game

I’ve been a fan of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls universe since Daggerfall, and I love MMOs in addition to the single player RPGs the franchise is famous for. So I’m pretty much the exact demographic that should love The Elder Scrolls Online and based on an hour playing the game at the Bethesda booth at this E3, I’m ready for this sucker to come out. Even with the distractions of a faulty keyboard and the hullabaloo of E3 around me, I was so lost in its rich storytelling that I almost missed my next appointment.

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Destiny
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Activision
You can watch our video interview with Bungie about Destiny here.

Here’s what our guy on the ground Greg Tito had to say:

The team calls it “mythic sci-fi.” I call it marvelous.

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Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
You can read our full preview of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z here.

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Pacman CE DX+
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
You can read our full preview of Pacman CE DX+ here.

From AJ Glasser’s preview of the game

The full Plus edition keeps this fast-and-furious gameplay, adds new social features like friend rankings and medals or achievements, and also introduces all-new maps to the experience. Most of the maps are fresh layouts on the traditional game; a few, however, are reskinned maps done in the style (and with the music) of classic games like Dig Dug and Rally X. A sure crowd-pleaser for the retro set. Those that already own CE DX will get a tiny taste of this with an update that adds the leaderboards, the non-reskin maps, and the medals/achievements. Unlocking all the medals and achievements will win the player ONE of the reskin maps – but these players can get them all as downloadable content.

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ArcheAge
Developer: XL Games
Publisher: Trion Worlds
You can read our full preview of ArcheAge here.

From Greg Tito’s preview of the game

Once you get past the game’s starting areas, which are unique to each race, you’ll eventually have to cross the Sea of Serenity. The devs playfully call this massive open world PvP area the Sea of Slaughter, because it’s terribly dangerous to traverse on your own. In the Sea of Serenity is the Land of Origin, and players can build castles and other structures there. Other players can move onto your territory, and pay you tithes to plant farmland, etc. To build those things and craft the necessary components, you need raw resources like wood, sheep and metal. The best place to gain those resources aren’t on the Land of Origin, but spread around the Sea of Serenity or back on the main continents. You have to move those resources using mounts like donkeys or cattle and eventually cross the open PvP area of the sea, and that’s where it gets interesting.

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Watch_Dogs
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
You can read more about Watch Dogs here.

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The Last of Us
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
You can read our full review of The Last of Us here.

From Josh Vanderwall’s review of the game

The Last of Us breathes new life into a vastly overused genre, setting the bar for post-apocalyptic stories to come. It doesn’t do anything new mechanically, but you’ll be entirely too invested in the progress of the remarkably down-to-earth characters to care.

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Rayman Legends
Developer: Ubisoft Montepellier
Publisher: Ubisoft
You can read our full preview of Rayman Legends here.

From AJ Glasser’s preview of the game

Chevallier and Morel took us to a soccer game called Kung Foot – and that’s where I found out what all the yelling was about. In the course of three rounds, the four of us screamed like lunatics as we each scrambled to get our character close enough to a soccer ball to hit it with an attack, causing the ball to charge up with flame effects and move even faster. Much like real life air hockey, the pace in Kung Foot escalates from methodical to frantic in no time at all and by the second round, Chevallier actually fell to his knees after scoring a goal much like a soccer player would in real life.

The fact that his enthusiasm after three days – and mine, after not even 30 minutes – comes through so strongly is proof that Rayman really IS fun.

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South Park: Stick of Truth
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
You can watch our E3 video preview of South Park: Stick of Truth here.

That’s it for this year – but stay tuned, we’ve got a few more awards to hand out yet.

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