E3 2017 was massive on just about every level. Microsoft debuted a brand-new Xbox, Bethesda turned its news conference into a theme park and, for the first time ever, thousands of fans roamed the show floor alongside the rest of the industry.
While things got a bit crowded (and we mean crowded), we managed to wade through the chaos to get our hands on tons of great games. Titles such as Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and Monster Hunter World took us by complete surprise, while strong showings from Star Wars Battlefront II, Assassin's Creed Origins and Forza Motorsport 7 offered something exciting for every type of gamer. We even saw a bunch of cool hardware, from the 4K-ready Xbox One X to innovative headsets and gaming PCs. Prepare your wallets — here are the games of E3 2017 to look out for.
The battle against the Dark Lord Sauron continues. In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, we once again step into the half-human/half-wraith shoes of the Ranger Talion who plays host to the dead elven king, Celebrimbor. This time around, the fearsome duo have slicker moves on their side as well as a brand-new customization system. The fan-favorite Nemesis system has gotten a brand-new coat of polish. But the highlight of the game has to be the new Orcs; broken out into individual tribes, the fearsome beasts now have real personality. Who knew the world needed snarky Orcs? - Sherri L. Smith
Credit: WB Games
Nintendo has reinvented Mario yet again. Super Mario Odyssey thrusts the plump plumber into a set of living, breathing open worlds, each complete with charming characters to talk to and a trove of fun secrets to discover. The upcoming Switch game takes classic 3D Mario to a whole new level: Mario can use his sentient hat Cappy to take control of characters and objects, and can even warp into walls for some nostalgic, pixelated 2D action. Much as Breath of the Wild did for Zelda, Odyssey modernizes Nintendo's flagship franchise while retaining the tight gameplay and incomparable polish that make Mario games such a joy to play. - Mike Andronico
Forza Motorsport 7 shows off the power of the new Xbox One X better than any game in Microsoft's lineup. Even for a franchise known for being visually stunning, Motorsport 7 takes things to a new level with gorgeously realistic 4K racetracks that you can zoom through at a silky 60 frames per second. And even if you're playing it on your old Xbox One or Windows 10 PC, you'll still get to enjoy the game's 700-plus cars, deep driver customization and plethora of competitive play modes.- Mike Andronico
The more we see of Detroit: Become Human and the more we play it, the more excited we get. First, we saw the latest trailer for Quantum Dream's latest title and watched actor/activist Jesse L. Williams take on the role of Marcus, a sentient android bent on freeing his "people" from the grips of their oppressors: humanity. Meanwhile, we got a chance to play through this noir thriller as an android committed to saving a little girl's life from a rogue droid, her life hanging in the balance with every decision we made. It's a great start to a game that's sure to start many conversations about our relationship with technology. - Sherri L. Smith
StarCraft is lying dormant for the moment, which means it's time for another classic real-time-strategy series to pick up the slack. Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will hit PCs this fall, just in time for the franchise’s 20th anniversary. The game is a full remaster of the original RTS classic, complete with rebalanced gameplay, 4K graphics and a fully orchestrated soundtrack. (Good luck getting those tunes out of your head; it will probably take another 20 years.) Whether you want to subjugate your foes, build the Ancient World's most powerful economy or construct a Wonder to stand the test of time, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will let you do it, complete with powerful multiplayer tools and a campaign that will take you to Egypt, Babylon, Japan and beyond. - Marshall Honorof
Star Wars Battlefront II is a prime example of a developer listening to its fans. You wanted a single-player campaign? EA's added a thrillingly cinematic story mode that lets you play as the bad guys. You wanted all eras of Star Wars in the mix? You got it, from Darth Maul to Rey. Hate pricey season passes? All post-release characters and vehicles will be free. Factor in Battlefront II's predictably gorgeous visuals and massive multiplayer battles, and you've got an impressively complete Star Wars package. - Mike Andronico
We saw a lot of great shooters at E3 2017, but only one of them is trying to engage with current events in a meaningful way. Far Cry 5 is very much a game of our time, featuring a rural militia with ties to an apocalyptic Christian cult and a deep distrust of the federal government. Built on real-life cult psychology, Far Cry 5 is going to ruffle some feathers — and that's fine, because it packs some seriously entertaining, open-ended gameplay under the hood. With plenty of weapons and tons of viable approaches for tackling any missions, Far Cry 5 provides some food for thought and a lot of fun, which is more than many games can say. - Marshall Honorof