The big E3 is right around the corner. As in, it literally kicks off a whole day early tomorrow with EA Play. We're ready. Or at least, as ready as we'll ever be.
In traditional E3 fashion, there are games we know in all likelihood will make an appearance, as well as surprise games: the ones we won't expect coming. Of course, there will be a wealth of previously announced games that probably won't even pop up—the troubled Final Fantasy VII remake, Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, the Shin Megami Tensei Switch exclusive, maybe Red Dead Redemption 2, and Cyberpunk 2077 (though, if I may be so bold, there is potential for another teaser), among others.
Though, there's still dozens upon dozens of games that we're pretty sure will be appearing across the show. But of them, there are ten that are absolute musts to keep your eyes on. So luckily, we've made this handy-dandy list to guide you. These are the most essential games of E3 2017. Barring, of course, those pesky inevitable game reveals. (Like the rumored Bloodborne 2 and new Wolfenstein.)
Assassin's Creed: Origins
Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly depending who you are, a year without Assassin's Creed felt like a breath of fresh air. Even if Syndicate ended up being the most acclaimed Assassin's Creed in years, it didn't sell too well. This led to Ubisoft taking a step away from the franchise for a year, giving it room to breath, and going full force into 2017. (Though 2016 wasn't completely barren of Assassin's Creed-ness, there was that movie adaptation.) The rumored-to-be-named Assassin's Creed: Origins will no doubt be on full display at E3 2017. After leaks galore, we'll finally get an actual look at the probably-based-in-Egypt title.
Call of Duty: WWII
As Battlefield 1 did last year, Call of Duty is looking to the past. Call of Duty: WWII is resurrecting the age-old World War 2-based shooter trend. (Remember that?) At its premiere event, we got a trailer with a bit of cinematics, a bit of gameplay, and going into E3 2017, we'll likely learn even more about the upcoming shooter. Call of Duty is also in a bit of an unsure place right now, as its last installment sold beneath expectations. Will WWII reinvigorate the franchise? I guess we'll see.
Microsoft sure needs a hero right now. With Project Scorpio on the horizon, Microsoft is missing one key ingredient: an essential game. While it's doubtful that Crackdown 3, despite name recognition, has the pull to entice people back to the Xbox One platform, it's still an exclusive that Sony can't touch. I anticipate we'll see a lot more of Crackdown 3 this year, especially during Microsoft's big E3 Briefing on Sunday, June 11 at 2pm PT.
We sure have seen a lot of Destiny 2 now, haven't we? Destiny 2 is no doubt one of the biggest upcoming games this year. And with it's September release, Bungie will likely be showing even more teasers as it rides into its only E3 showing of the game. Since we've seen so much of the game already, all we can hope for is more gameplay footage. Maybe a glimpse of a raid? Another story mission? Hopefully improved character customization? (Those hair options were pretty bad in the original Destiny.)
Far Cry 5
We, honestly, haven't seen much of Far Cry 5. Or not anything gameplay-centric at least. I imagine there will be a big demo of sorts somewhere during E3, where we'll finally get a taste of what else Far Cry 5 has to offer aside from its Montana-landscape and bleak atmosphere. The game will be out in November of this year, so this is its chance to shine.
God of War
Last year, God of War was the big reveal, and quickly became the talk of the show. Here was Kratos, unexpectedly a dad, teaching his son how to hunt. It was a weird tonal switch from what we've known of the franchise, and the world is eager to see more of the reimagining of the God of War himself. Sony will likely do a big push for the exclusive franchise, and maybe even a release date or window. (My money's on Spring or Summer 2018, or sooner.)
I'm convinced that Spider-Man 2 is the only good movie-tie-in adaptation. There was something so wonderful about swinging around New York City in Spider-Man 2 the game, something that's been missing in any Spider-Man games ever since. With Insomniac behind the upcoming game, I'm hopeful that maybe this will be a return to good superhero games, especially since we so desperately need them now.
Splatoon 2 is out very, very soon. Next month in fact. We've seen a bit of the game—including a peek at its single-player campaign and its new horde mode—and rolling into E3 week, this is Nintendo's last big effort to show off the game. Nintendo needs to establish Splatoon 2 away from its predecessor, because from a lot of our impressions, it does seem a bit more like a Splatoon 1.5. Given the Switch's newness and prevalence in the gaming sphere right now, Splatoon 2 will likely be one of the biggest games for Nintendo this year.
Star Wars: Battlefront II
Oh boy, are we finally getting a good Star Wars game again? It remains to be seen, but Star Wars: Battlefront II sure looks promising. It even remembered a single-player campaign this time. Out later this year, and on the eve of a new Star Wars film, Star Wars: Battlefront II is definitely one of the bigger games of the show to keep an eye on. Given that we've only gotten a cinematic trailer so far, I'm betting on an extensive gameplay demo—ideally both of the single-player, and multiplayer.
Super Mario Odyssey
How unexpected: we're getting a new Mario game on the Switch! Slap a Mario hat on head and color me surprised! Just kidding. We all knew this was coming. Super Mario Odyssey is a new 3D-platforming adventure for Mario coming to the Switch this holiday season. What we've seen of it so far looks endearing as ever, with Mario trotting across strange new lands (from a saccharine low-poly candy world to… New Donk City?). On Tuesday June 13, with Nintendo's exclusive E3 Direct, we're guaranteed to learn more about the game. That's including how it's rumored hat powers will work (there's a prominent hat in the logo, for crying out loud).