Best Music/Rhythm Game

FANTASIA: MUSIC EVOLVED

Harmonix has a legacy of creating great music games, from Guitar Hero and Rock Band to one of the most successful games on Kinect: Dance Central. The studio is leveraging its expertise with a new partnership with Disney, and early impressions are overwhelmingly positive. The exploratory sequences through underwater shoals and magical newspaper factories echo the artistic flair of the original Disney films, but the magic of the performance mode steals the show. Whether you think of your movements as dancing, conducting, or sorcery, there's something exciting about crafting your own version of a familiar song, and listening as your movements translate to sound.

Best Platformer

SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD

Other platformers like Rayman Legends and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze got E3 attendees talking, but the old plumber once again proved he still has a lot to give. With Super Mario 3D World, Nintendo marries the four-player action of the company's recent platforming adventures with a 3D world. Even better, the four playable characters have their classic Mario 2-era characteristics, including Luigi's amped-up height and Peach's levitation. The results are chaotic, classic Mario. 

Best Racing Game

NEED FOR SPEED: RIVALS

The single-player demos for Gran Turismo 6, Forza 5, and Driveclub were left in the dust by Need for Speed Rivals' team-oriented multiplayer demo. The cops-versus-racers formula provides an addictive mix of racing and vehicular combat in a gorgeous open-world setting that Criterion fans will feel right at home in. The new All Drive feature promises to blend single- and multiplayer racing into one cohesive experience, allowing Rivals to race away with our Best Racing Game award with ease.

Best Role-Playing Game

THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT 

The Witcher's branching narratives and multidimensional characters have enthralled RPG gamers. Wild Hunt maintains the series' high standard for storytelling while presenting players with a massive, open world to explore. CD Projekt Red's demo took Geralt through a multistage sequence featuring a murder investigation, a battle against a giant forest monster, and several difficult player decisions that drastically affect the optional side quest's outcome. CD Projekt Red says the game features 100 hours of gameplay, giving players plenty to experience in their first next-gen RPG.