Best Downloadable Game

THE CAVE

The downloadable market is home to plenty of side-scrolling adventures with quirky art styles and endless creativity. Double Fine’s latest adventure, The Cave, is poised to trump the lot of them. A cast of seven unlikely companions – ranging from a hillbilly to a time traveler – embarks on a quest to find personal fulfillment in a sentient, talking, puzzle-filled cave. The expressive animations, colorful presentation, and multiple character combinations could keep gamers spelunking long after downloading.

Best Multiplatform Game

ASSASSIN’S CREED III 

Too often, the best games at E3 are exclusive projects headed to the Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo console du jour. That’s why the presence of Assassin’s Creed III on all major home platforms (Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC) is so welcome. With a new protagonist and an American Revolution setting, Assassin’s Creed III is a great jumping-on point for new fans, no matter what system they play on. 

Best Handheld Game

PAPER MARIO: STICKER STAR

Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems have been cooking up the latest Mario RPG for over two years and the long development cycle shows in the game’s quality and imagination. As the title indicates, stickers play heavily into both combat and puzzles. In addition to classic hammer and jump attack stickers, players can also summon more powerful attacks like a flock of flying scissors to slice and dice paper foes. Why didn’t Paper Mario ever think of this ultimate weapon before?

Best PC Exclusive

PLANETSIDE 2

As much as some may lament the growing influence of free-to-play games on the PC platform, in Planetside 2's case at least we're getting more than a lame frontend enticing us to spam our friends and spend more money on microtransactions. The gameplay available to E3 attendees this year was as good as any shooter, MMO or otherwise, and the continent-spanning battles were as impressive in scale as advertised. Sony Online is well on its way to bringing a full-on shooter/MMO with no compromises into the mainstream with Planetside 2.