One week since E3 2015 kicked off there's been time to reflect on the world's largest gaming expo. And there are a whole lot of exciting titles to take in and digest.
It's all too easy to get swept up in the games that cost more than Hollywood blockbuster movies to make, the ones that usually grab the headlines, many of which we already knew were coming. Think Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Halo 5, Fallout 4 and, well, just about any other significant shooter out there.
While those big guns definitely excite us on one level, E3 also presented a variety of gaming gems that excite us on another. Whether reviving thought-to-be-dead titles and series, remaking classics for new-gen consoles, showing off innovative augmented reality and virtual reality, or rethinking the platformer genre, there's been plenty of quality to shine out among the more obvious behemoths.
It all adds up to a really positive gaming industry, proving that innovation isn't dead and that we, the gamers, are all winners. So without further ado, here are our 10 surprise titles from this year's E3 show, those unexpected gems that we'll be keeping a close eye on over the coming months and years.
The Last Guardian
First shown some six years ago, this Sony exclusive had since seemingly been resigned to the gaming graveyard.
But Sony had other plans: kicking off its press conference showcase with this puzzler, featuring a boy and his giant dog-griffin-like best friend. It was the most magical of surprises.
One of our take-away moments from the Microsoft conference, this Xbox One exclusive from the creators of Metroid Prime, has all the best things about robots, fighting and Japanese style rolled into one.
Anticipate a puzzle-based shooter, using orb-powered mechanised robots at your will. Should be fun.
Hololens for Minecraft
The demo to beat all demos at the show, Microsoft showed off how Hololens' augmented reality meets virtual reality works at its conference.
Showing Minecraft in a whole new light, it was like seeing a physical, interactive toy world unfold on an actual table on stage. Blurring the boundaries between real and imaginary, it's incredible looking stuff. We take back anything bad we ever said before.
Edge of Nowhere for Oculus Rift
Virtual Reality made its point at this year's E3, with Oculus Rift (which launches early 2016) showing off Edge of Nowhere – perhaps the first game to truly put VR on the map.
This third-person supernatural mountain adventure looks creepy, immersive and cool. It twists the concept of all VR having to be first-person too.
Morpheus (various titles)
The other VR biggie, Sony's project Morpheus – which we've used to play a variety of games, from commanding a cutesy Godzilla-like monster, through to eerie zombie horror – was an epiphany moment.
A bit like Sony's "Wii" moment in its own way, Morpheus' neck-twisting, head-nodding controls made for a truly fun experience that made us smile, laugh out loud and physically jump.
Final Fantasy VII: Remake
We're used to movie remakes, but games are taking a similar lead. Final Fantasy VII, released back in 1997, has long been considered the pinnacle of role-playing games. And now it's coming back, reimagined for the new-gen, shown off with a CG trailer at Sony's press conference.
Here's hoping for similar magic come 2016, although we have no idea how it'll look nor play just yet. We expect it to be an entirely different beast to the original.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Another press conference surprise, this time from Ubisoft. After the success of The Stick of Truth, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker took to the stage to reveal they're making another side-on role-player.
Y'know, the game they swore they'd never make. But we're super (serial) excited about it.
The cult classic role-player was last seen in 2001 and fans have been asking for the next chapter in the story for nearly 15 years. That time has now come, with a Kickstarter campaign raising some $3-million in 24-hours after the reveal on the Sony stage during its press conference. That secures the game's creation for 2017, but for that sum (which isn't actually that much) we just hope it's good. Fingers crossed.
It's rare that platformers garner much attention these days, but the heart-thumping cuteness of Yarnie, the yarn-based protagonist in Unravel, was the defining moment of EA's conference (well, if we ignore footie legend Pele being generally bizarre on stage).
If there was ever a game to compete with LittleBigPlanet then this is it. Yarnie looks like the best platformer for some time.
The other exceptional-looking indie platformer, Cuphead merges 1930s hand-drawn style with what looks to be classic R-Type ultra-tough side-scrolling goodness.
With heaps of sprites on screen it doesn't look easy, but that's exactly what we want from such a game. Plus its visual style is distinctively cool.
Walking Dead: Michonne
Last up there's the continuation of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead series, this time with the focus on sword-swinging Michonne.
We've loved the other games in the point-and-click adventure series, and while this one might not be breaking new gameplay ground, it's in a genre worthy of extra attention.