E3 has concluded, and was, without question, better than the last. In fact, short of someone dying on stage, it couldn't have been more 'meh' than last year's. So without further ado or further introduction, here is CNET UK's countdown of the top ten games shown off at E3 2009, in reverse chronological order.
10. Fallout 3: Point Lookout (Xbox 360/PC)
We start our countdown with a DLC. Controversial, yes. But Fallout 3 was one of our favourite games from the last 12 months, and the last DLC ---- was superb, leaving us begging for more. Point Lookout takes us to a soggy, swampy new area of the Wastes, where some of the toughest enemies ever encountered in the game reside. With new perks and a whole new quest, we can't wait to get our hands on it in just a few weeks time.
9. Homefront (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)
E3, and indeed the entire videogames industry, is a sea of sequels and franchise extensions. So we reserve a special bag of respect for any and all original titles released for next-gen consoles. This one stuck in our heads after we thought to ourselves, "Huh, that looks like the spawn of an unprotected threesome between Fallout 3, Gears of War and Call Of Duty." It's a fast-paced first-person shooter, and takes place a couple of decades in the future. With America blown to hell thanks to the invasion of North Korean armed forces, it's up to you and your fellow survivors to continue doing just that: survive. Big weapons, experimental weapons and devastated terrain to blow people up in. Release date TBC, but awesomeness confirmed as of now.
8. Dead Space Extraction (Wii)
Three things are conspicuous by their absence in the world of the Nintendo Wii: blood, guts and horror. So it was with unreserved delight that we welcomed one of 2008's most compelling horror shooters on to the Wii: Dead Space. Prequel to the Xbox 360 and PS3 original, Extraction is a first-person shooter bringing reanimated and infected human corpses to Nintendo's family system at last. There'll be killing, there'll be mutilation, and now with Wiimotes.
7. Gran Turismo for PSP (PSP)
Out of severed armpits and into pit stops. Gran Turismo, along with Final Fantasy VII, is one of the games we've craved to see brought to the PSP. It'll include an incredible 800 cars of varying characteristics, and 35 unique tracks to race them through, when Gran Turismo for PSP is released on 1 October. In a hands-on, GameSpot admired the 60 frames per second the game runs at, and the impressive way it plays on the 's controls. This will be an essential buy (read: steal from GameSpot UK's cupboard) for us, and should be for all Turismo fans, too (but stay out of our cupboards!).
6. Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360/PC)
Back to the gore! Though it seems Half Life 2: Episode 3 is the real thing Valve is leaving for dead, and it's an enormous shame. Had it been shown off at E3, it's likely one of these ten spots would be dedicated to it. Alas, the coveted position six goes to Left 4 Dead 2, partly because its such a mind-blowingly unexpected announcement. Five more campaigns, chainsaws, fire axes, new zombies and new characters gloss what appears to offer 'more of the same', and perhaps could've been one massive DLC. But hey, all new Left 4 Dead is good Left 4 Dead.
5. Singularity (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)
Three cheers for another original title. This one -- Singularity, if you missed it in bold just now -- seemingly morphs the experimental elements of Prey with the scientific deliciousness of Half Life 2. As you explore a secluded Russian island (as a guy called Nate!) you'll use a gun that can manipulate time itself. Abuse its powers on an enemy, and he'll reverse-age and be reduced not to an infant or a sperm, but to dust. With these powers used to blast through environmental challenges as you search for the black box of a downed aircraft on this mysterious island, we're convinced Singularity will live on the shelves of all gamers who thought Half Life 2 and the gravity gun were among the greatest on-screen experiences of the last few years.
4. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Fourth place goes to a Nintendo original, because people love Mario, and because Rory bought a Wii from Amsterdam just to play the original (no, really). Aesthetically, the second instalment of the colourful platformer is reminiscent of the original, but expect lots of new galaxies, and lots of beautiful fresh environments to jump around. And now Mario can fly through the blackness of space on the back of Yoshi! Sadly, no UK release date is known as yet.
3. LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
Back into the PSP world, and third place goes to LittleBigPlanet's PSP incarnation. It was one of the PlayStation 3's most original and inventive titles -- a classic when it was released, and a new benchmark for next-gen creative directors to bear in mind. And now it's coming to the PSP. Although our brothers on CNET UK sister site GameSpot UK aren't sure how level creation will look on Sony's handheld, they're convinced by the demo they played this year at E3, despite excruciating load times on the show floor. The game remains true to its PS3 roots, and that means it could be a new killer app for the just-announced PSP Go.
2. Alan Wake (Xbox 360)
LBP wasn't the only title GameSpot praised. "From a technical standpoint, Alan Wake looks like one of the most accomplished Xbox 360 games yet," wrote our very own Guy 'At E3' Cocker. For us though, it stood out not only for, again, being an original title rather than a sequel, but for its intriguing 'structured-like-a-TV-series' idea. It's part Silent Hill, part Alone In The Dark, part Days Of Our Lives, and seems to gel these elements into a cohesive beast wrapped in plenty of good-looking original skin. We're totally sold. But one thing bugged us from the demo we saw: the voice acting. Far, far too stereotypical American horror for our tastes. We're happy to offer our voices if Remedy, the game's developer, would like them.
So what, you ask, could possibly beat all these titles to the top spot? The answer is just one click away...
Is there any surprise this takes the number one spot? The first next-gen title in the Final Fantasy series is going to be epic. Beyond epic, perhaps. It'll eclipse the next World Cup, probably even the 2012 Olympics. Its futuristic story takes place in a city called Cocoon, and in the trailers and demos we've seen so far, strikes us as vividly reminiscent of the 'old' Zanarkand city of the PS2's Final Fantasy X, with summons, 1080p visuals and next-gen gameplay. But you'll be seeing the streets of Southwark littered with CNET UK's self-sacrificed bodies if it turns out to be a 'Barbies-with-magic' fest like Final Fantasy X-2.
Final Fantasy has been setting benchmarks in gaming for decades, and now it's finally getting the chance to shine on our favourite console. Will it steal the title of best Xbox RPG title from? Only one year left until we'll find out.