Best Shooter


Since the former Call of Duty developers at Respawn lost all their tech during the messy divorce with Activision, the team had to start from scratch by heavily modifying Valve's Source engine and jumping from a modern military setting to science fiction. That makes Titanfall's debut at E3 all the more impressive. With no previous tech base to pull from and facing stiff competition from heavily iterated franchises like Battlefield 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall, and Call of Duty, Respawn still took away top honors thanks to Titanfall's fluid aiming and mobility and inventive approach to blending single- and multiplayer.

Best Sports Game


The beautiful game lives up to its name on next-generation consoles. Playable behind closed doors despite being several months away from release on two brand-new consoles, FIFA 14 was the darling of the sports games at E3. Crowds feel more alive than any other sports sim to date, and thanks to many tweaks under the hood, the fidelity of control has been improved in relation to passing, shooting, heading, and defending. If FIFA 14 is any indication, EA Sports is poised to erase its tarnished reputation when it comes to transitioning to new consoles.

Best Strategy Game


Creative Assembly is taking a two-pronged approach to improving its already stellar Total War series. To better assist players in managing their sprawling empires, Rome II streamlines troop recruitment, city-state management, diplomacy, and trade without sacrificing the depth for which the series is known. To improve the cinematic feel of the large-scale real-time strategy battles, the developer allows you to zoom the camera right into the fray to make you feel like you are standing shoulder to shoulder with your infantry as they violently clash with the enemy. Judging from our time with the game at E3, these tactics are working in tandem to make Rome II the must-play strategy game of 2013.  

Best Tech


The eyes of the gaming world were focused squarely on new consoles this year, but those that donned the Oculus Rift HD headset had another impressive piece of hardware to rave about. The amazing 1080p prototype unit showcased Unreal Engine 4, but even the standard-def Eve dogfighting demo wowed those that played it. We wouldn't be surprised to see many VR skeptics become believers when Oculus VR eventually releases a consumer version of the hardware.