As E3 2021 comes to a close, a lot of fans may be feeling a little disappointed. Not just because it’s over, but also because on the whole it was a rather lacklustre event. However, in amongst the filler were a handful of pure gems, and I want to take this time to celebrate some of the titles that fill me with excitement. Please be aware, I am not saying that these are the best games of E3, these are simply the ones that I am most looking forward to playing. There were a lot of excellent games that won’t be mentioned on this list, purely because they’re not really my preferred genres, so please don’t be offended if I miss any that you loved. Also, this is looking specifically at the E3 announcements, and won’t be counting anything revealed during the Summer Game Fest showcase, such as the epic Elden Ring. Anyway, without further ado, here are my favourite games of E3 2021.
No surprises here, I doubt there are many lists like these where Halo Infinite wouldn’t make an appearance. Not only are the graphics gorgeous, but the gameplay looks set to knock the previous entries out of the park. It looks intense, immersive, and truly encapsulates the spirit of next gen gaming. I had never actually played on an Xbox console until 2016, so Halo was a welcome and unexpected addition to my adult gaming experience. I feel like some long-lasting game series are carried on nostalgia, but not this one. Despite having had no previous memories of it, Halo cemented itself as one of my beloved franchises. I don’t typically tend to play shooters, but I love the ambience and lore of the Halo games. Halo Infinite definitely looks set to deliver on that front, with some beautiful backdrops visible in the trailer. I think the thing I’m most excited for, though, is the multiplayer mode. The fact that they’re making it free will hopefully mean an influx of players. Just like Apex Legends was many players’ first introduction to the Titanfall series, the multiplayer for Halo Infinite may encourage new people to give Halo a go, and my sentiment is ‘the more, the merrier’. I can’t wait to play both the campaign and the multiplayer, and so Halo Infinite is very worthy of its place in my favourite games of E3 2021.
I’ll confess, I’ve never actually played Psychonauts. I considered playing the original when it was added to Game Pass, but I made the conscious choice to hold off. My reasoning is this: the sequel looks awesome, and I want it to be my first experience of the franchise. I find that a lot of old platformer games aren’t actually as good as we remember them being. I recently played the original Banjo Kazooie after hearing it hyped up by so many people, and was gutted to realise it’s pretty bad. The concept was brilliant, but the gameplay was broken almost to the point of unplayability. I don’t want the same thing to happen here, not when we’re so close to Psychonauts 2 being released. Platformers are unapologetically my favourite genre, and so I’m always on the lookout for exciting new ones to play.
This delightful indie rpg game was shown during Wholesome Direct, and feels like a spiritual successor to Stardew Valley. You play as an adorable little grape, and it’s your job to restore the island! The game looks to provide a healthy balance of exploration, mini games, collecting, and developing relationships. There are also adventure and fighting elements to it for some added action. It uses a pixel art style, but it suits the genre, and doesn’t look cheap. Whilst graphics can certainly help elevate a game, they just need to look good, rather than fancy. And this game does look good. The setting seems well developed with a cute and peaceful vibe. I can picture myself settling down with my Switch and just losing myself in the world of Garden Story for a good few hours.
Breath of the Wild 2
Finally! Fans have been clamouring for a sequel since Breath of the Wild was first released back in 2017. We’ve known that one has been in the works for quite a while now, but at long last, Nintendo have given us a proper look at what we can expect. The short-but-sweet trailer was shown at the very end of the Nintendo Direct, when we’d all but given up hope. They ramped up our anticipation, and then delivered with a 1 and a half minute trailer that was visually stunning. It looks to have kept all the charm of the original, whilst adding in some new elements, and I for one can’t wait to see what the full game will have in store. I only recently finished playing the first Breath of the Wild game, and I was utterly blown away by it. The sheer size and detail of the open world is simply breath-taking, and the sequel looks set to be just as impressive. There’s no official release date yet, but fans will be eagerly awaiting it when it becomes available during 2022.
Slime Rancher 2
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I literally jumped up and screamed in excitement when I saw the Monomi Park logo come on to the screen. I knew exactly what game it must be from the second I saw it. Slime Rancher is a game that I discovered due to Game Pass, and it quickly became a firm favourite of mine. It’s such a unique and enjoyable concept, and it’s so easy to immerse yourself in that world. Slime Rancher 2 showcases some adorable new slime designs, and it looks like they’ve upgraded the graphics too. The backdrops especially are really beautiful, and the development team has clearly worked really hard. Nick Popovich, the game’s director announced on Twitter that the new slimes are called: cotton slime, angler slime, batty slime, and flutter slime. How adorable do those sound? If there’s one thing that Slime Rancher delivers in buckets, it’s cuteness, and this sequel is oozing with it. Therefore, I can safely say that Slime Rancher 2 is number one on my favourite games of E3 2021.
So, what did you think? Do you agree with my choices? I’d love to hear your thoughts about E3 this year, so please let me know down in the comments, or in our Facebook group. Also, we’re currently running a giveaway for a copy of Sonic Mania, so check that out if you’re interested 🙂