The best games of E3 2017

Don't miss our picks for the hottest games shown this week

For more than 20 years, E3 – or the Electronic Entertainment Expo – has been ground zero for the year's biggest game announcements. And it's going on again right now.

We've been through almost all of the big press conferences at this point, but Nintendo is still ahead, not to mention anything else exciting from third-parties and indies. And we'll be neck-deep in trailers and demos all the while.

But even if you can't be in Los Angeles sampling the next big things in gaming, at least you can follow along at home. We'll be updating this list all week with the brightest and best-looking games from the show, complete with trailers and the critical details you need to get in the know.

Star Wars Battlefront II

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Ready for Star Wars to be the biggest thing in the world again? It's sure to happen with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but EA will actually get things started a few weeks early with Battlefront II.

Bigger and presumably better than the original, Battlefront II's big addition is a proper story-driven campaign, which puts into the boots of an Imperial commander during the stretch between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Add in epic online battles spanning all three movie eras and more space content, and we're more than eager to blast off to this galaxy far, far away.

And yes, EA says all of the post-release content - including maps, modes, and new heroes - will be totally free. That's a big change from the pricey season pass of the last game, and we'll see The Last Jedi content up first, complete with playable Finn and Captain Phasma.

Due: 17 November

SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY

Platform: Nintendo Switch

If you thought the original Super Mario Odyssey reveal was weird, just wait until you see the latest trailer for Nintendo's big late monsoon Switch anchor.

Mario's hat has gone magical, and Cappy (as it's called) can give Mario control over other things – whether it's a full-sized human being, an enormous T-Rex, a Goomba, a rocket ship, a car, or a ball of energy. It's madness, and it completely transforms the play experience.

Better yet, the worlds are hugely diverse, there's a weddingbetween Bowser and Koopa that Mario has to break up, and the theme song is an absolute delight. We can't get enough of it, honestly. Super Mario Odyssey releases on 27 October and given his track record with 3D games, you'd surely be silly to pass this one up if you have a Switch.

Due: 27 October

Anthem

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

We got a brief tease of Anthem at EA Play on Saturday, but it wasn't until Microsoft's press conference that the wraps really came off of BioWare's latest new franchise. And yeah, we're into it.

Anthem looks like BioWare's response to Destiny, providing a cooperative online experience in a sci-fi/fantasy world, complete with cool exosuits, plenty of gunplay, and probably loads of loot too.

There's still a lot we don't know about the game, but between who's making it and how spectacular it looks, we don't need much convincing. This is one of the most impressive things we've seen so far at E3.

Due: Early Winter 2018

FORZA MOTORSPORT 7

Platform: Xbox One

Forza Motorsport 5 helped introduce the Xbox One to players, and now Forza Motorsport 7 will do much the same with the Xbox One X.

It'll work on standard Xbox One consoles too, of course, but you'll get the extra oomph of the native 4K graphics on the Xbox One X, along with rock-solid 60 frames per second gameplay.

Microsoft's E3 demo is dazzling, albeit very familiar: the sim-lite approach of the series remains very much intact with 700+ cars promised, along with backdrops that are more fluid and alive than ever before. Our man on the ground says it's the most impressive console game he's ever seen "by an absolute country mile," so it's definitely got that going for it.

Due: 3 October

SPIDER-MAN

Platform: PlayStation 4

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits cinemas next month, finally implanting the wall-crawler into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but Insomniac's Spider-Man game won't be alongside it.

Unfortunately, we'll be waiting until next year for this standalone experience, but at least the first gameplay trailer at Sony's E3 conference was nothing short of dazzling. We see the webhead using every bit of his abilities in combat, navigating the city, and preventing catastrophes… even while enduring a rather large catastrophe all the while.

Will it play as good as it looks? Well, that remains to be seen. But at least it does look fabulous, so let's hope the rest pans out.

Due: 2018

A Way Out

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

EA didn't announce everything ahead of time: A Way Out is a true E3 surprise, and it's not the usual big-budget fare we expect from the publisher. But we're not selling it short – this game looks incredibly original and deeply captivating.

It's a cooperative prison break game that must be played with a partner with a split-screen interface, whether you're sitting together on the couch or playing online, with each player often taking a different role to help your duo survive either behind bars or out in the open.

It has Uncharted and The Shawshank Redemption vibes and already seems like it'll be one of our favourite games of E3. Also, it's from the director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, one of the most compelling co-op experiences of the last several years, so that's a sure plus.

Due: Early 2018

SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS

Platform: PlayStation 4

If you watched Sony's press conference, this was about when everyone in the auditorium (and watching the stream) gasped simultaneously.

Shadow of the Colossus is one of the most beloved PlayStation 2 adventures, and while it was lightly improved for a PS3 remaster, the PlayStation 4 is getting something better: a lavish remake using all-new assets. It's unclear whether it's using the old code or was built from the ground up for PS4, but in any case, it looks beautiful – and should introduce a whole new generation to this fabulous fantasy quest.

Due: 2018

GOD OF WAR

Platform: PlayStation 4

Kratos took a few years off of the franchise grind, and the legendary warrior has never looked better than in the God of War reboot.

As we first saw last year, God of War has a new over-the-shoulder perspective, but it also has another new kind of perspective: fatherhood for Kratos, who must protect and teach his son as he battles the usual array of massive monsters with epic fury. We saw a bit more of the game at E3 2017, which still looks super impressive, but sadly it's not coming in 2017.

Due: Early 2018

FAR CRY 5

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

We got a solid look at next year's Far Cry 5 when it was announced last month, but at E3, Ubisoft took the wraps off of the gameplay – and it looks plenty exhilarating, of course.

Montana might not sound anywhere near as thrilling as the more exotic locales of past entries, but Far Cry 5's battle against religious American extremists should be packed with exciting action. In this trailer, we get a look at the look at the hired help, which lets you recruit allies (and a dog!) to assist you in your fight against these maniacs. And you can take to the skies in this one, as well.

Due: 27 February 2018

MARIO + RABBIDS KINGDOM BATTLE

Platform: Nintendo Switch

When artwork from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle leaked some weeks ago, we'll admit: we struggled with the idea. Mario with a gun? And with Rabbids? Come on.

But now that we've seen it, we are weirdly into it. This Switch exclusive (naturally) lobs Ubisoft's doofy aliens into the Mushroom Kingdom, twisting up the landscape and forcing Mario and pals to work together with friendly Rabbids to set things right.

And the weirdest part of it all? It's an XCOM-esque turn-based strategy game – and one that has some neat twists along the way, too. The gameplay footage looked really intriguing, and we're honestly hopeful this will rise above the station of simply being a wacky mashup. It's coming soon, too.

Due: 29 August

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