Rock Band tops Game Critics Awards

Harmonix's rhythm game named best E3 game by game-journalist jury; Mass Effect, LittleBigPlanet also honored.

Nearly three weeks after the 2007 E3 Media and Business Summit closed up shop, its best games are still being lauded. One week after GameSpot gave its own E3 kudos, a jury of game journalism's most prominent members has handed out the Game Critics Awards to the event's top titles.

With Will Wright's two-year title holder Spore absent at this year's E3, the Best of Show award passed to Rock Band. Nominated a record five times, Harmonix's Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 rhythm game picked up two other awards: Best Hardware for its peripherals and Best Social/Casual/Puzzle Game. The only other multiaward winner was BioWare's sci-fi role-playing game Mass Effect. It was nominated in three categories, and walked away with Best Console Game and Best Role-Playing Game.

While multiple award winners have been common in previous years, the sheer quantity of big-budget, high-quality titles imminently poised to flood the market has dispersed the awards more evenly this year. However, many games received several nominations, including Activision's modern-day shooter Call of Duty 4 and Irrational Games' underwater shooter BioShock with four apiece, as well as Bethesda's postapocalyptic Fallout 3 and Sony's quirky LittleBigPlanet with three a pop.

Whereas Nintendo's platforms walked away as the definitive winner of last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, they ranked dead last this year. The Wii and Nintendo DS garnered a combined 16 nominations and two wins, compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360 alone receiving 38 nominations and 11 wins and Sony's PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable tallying a combined 33 nominations and eight wins.

Now in its ninth season, the Game Critics Awards annually name the best-in-show winners in various categories for E3. The selection panel comprises 36 gaming journalists drawn from a pool of print and online gaming news sources such as GameSpot, Newsweek, and the Los Angeles Times.

A complete breakdown of this year's nominees is listed below, with winners marked in bold.

Best of Show
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, Xbox 360)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Mass Effect (Bioware/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Original Game
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, Xbox 360)
de Blob (Blue Tongue/THQ for Wii)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule/SCEE for PS3)
Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Wii Fit (Nintendo for Wii)

Best PC Game
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)
Crysis (Crytek/Electronic Arts)
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision)
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks)
World in Conflict (Massive Entertainment/Sierra)

Best Console Game
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for Xbox 360)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Handheld Game
Contra 4 (WayForward/Konami for Nintendo DS)
Dead Head Fred (Vicious Cycle/D3 for PSP)
God of War: Chains of Olympus (Ready at Dawn/SCEA for PSP)
Silent Hill: Origins (Climax/Konami for PSP)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo for Nintendo DS)

Best Hardware
PSP-2000 (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Rock Band Instruments (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Wii Balance Board (Nintendo for Wii)
Wii Zapper (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Action Game
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Crysis (Crytek/EA for PC)
Halo 3 (Bungie/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Retro Studios/Nintendo for Wii)
Unreal Tournament 3 (Epic Games/Midway for PC, PlayStation 3)

Best Action/Adventure Game
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, Xbox 360)
Heavenly Sword (Ninja Theory/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo for Wii)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Fighting Game
Naruto: Rise of a Ninja (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for Xbox 360)
Virtua Fighter 5 (Sega for Xbox 360)
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008 (Yuke's/THQ for Nintendo Wii)

Best Role-Playing Game
Eternal Sonata (Namco Bandai Games for Xbox 360)
Fable 2 (Lionhead/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Hellgate: London (Flagship Studios/EAP for PC)
Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)

Best Racing Game
Burnout Paradise (Criterion Games/EA for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Need for Speed ProStreet (EA Black Box/EA for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Project Gotham Racing 4 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
Stuntman: Ignition (Paradigm/THQ for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Sports Game
Madden NFL 08 (Tiburon/EA for All Systems)
Skate (EA Black Box/EA for PS3, Xbox 360)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 (Tiburon/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (Neversoft/Activision for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Strategy Game
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution (Firaxis/2K Games for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (Relic/THQ for PC)
Halo Wars (Ensemble Studios/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
Universe at War: Earth Assault (Petroglyph/Sega for PC, Xbox 360)
World in Conflict (Massive Entertainment/Sierra for PC)

Best Social/Casual/Puzzle Game
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Neversoft/Red Octane/ATVI for PS2, PS3, 360, Wii)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule/SCEE for PS3)
Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Wii Fit (Nintendo for Wii)
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (Capcom for Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer Game
Burnout Paradise (Criterion Games/EA for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/Nerve/id/ATVI for PC, PS3, 360)
Halo 3 (Bungie/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
Little Big Planet (Media Molecule/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
Unreal Tournament 3 (Epic Games/Midway for PC, PlayStation 3)

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Discussion

173 comments
paulleclerc
paulleclerc

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO E3 LIVE RERUNS!!!!

osmifura
osmifura

RPG game its missing Oblivion GotY... big time

osmifura
osmifura

RPG game they missed Oblivion... Big time

youngfart
youngfart

How did Quake not win the best online game? Not only was Quake the first FPS online. But it's totally awesome!

URError
URError

Nintendo should have been in 1st

Ilikewii
Ilikewii

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Capt_Doom
Capt_Doom

Need Crysis for consoles, ;)

rodrigo101992
rodrigo101992

I vote in everything for Call of Duty 4 in X360

Scotland01
Scotland01

ut is crap, halo 3 online is way better

waveddiamond
waveddiamond

halo 3 is a better multiplayer game than unreal tournament 3 ??? doubt it, anyway COD 4 online is better so they just had some whack nominations

sony_chick
sony_chick

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

shun44
shun44

Halo 3 is sick about everyday there is 400,000 or more people

hooperfax006
hooperfax006

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hooperfax006
hooperfax006

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

moh2in
moh2in

What are you guys talking about? DId you even play Halo 3 online? On the third day when I went online there were 700K people online! ON THE THIRD DAY

84dark84
84dark84

It's very funny that a crap game like Halo3 beat UT3 in best Online game... no matter what, the UT games are the best Online games (maybe the same quality of Q1-Q3A), but Halo... online.... CRAP!

Loricatus
Loricatus

Yeah either that or Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.. ah well.

tuff_gong92
tuff_gong92

how did Halo win best online multiplay game? Unreal should have taken that one.

fax555241
fax555241

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

fax555241
fax555241

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

something1257
something1257

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

something1257
something1257

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Supperdude9
Supperdude9

"Just look at how long unreal 2004 lasted .. tons of people still play that because it never gets old or boring." The same thing can be said about the original UT.

toxic_br
toxic_br

i want to start a campaign : "Halo Wars for PC" (simultaneous release please). who joins me? ahhahuahua this game looks great.

reza
reza

LittleBigPlanet has an stupid name indeed, but you cant say its not original. i think it deserved what it won.

HunterPat
HunterPat

Whats this?Critics? Metroid Prime 3 is in my spot for best action game.

MadDog1250
MadDog1250

and is it me??? or is the fact virtua fighter won an award for the 360 version, which as far as im aware only differs for having an online mode??? Does that mean that the online mode on that was better than all of the oter games put together??? 0_o XD

MadDog1250
MadDog1250

lets have a look shall we westside? u have 360 in yer name which brings us to the fact you are a fanboy, you slag off one of the most original (note i didnt say it was going to be good or bad, just that its an interesting concept) games on any platform, most probably because its sony (if it were in the 360 arcade you would probably worship it) Then you go ahead to totally throw away ANY respect anyone has left for you by asking for a simpsons game. A SIMPSONS GAME????? IN E3???? CRITICS AWARDS???? no......go away.....stop it now......you'll, oh, you did it. There will be a simpsons game, EA will probably make it, itll be a tie in cash cow, and it will suck, i hope you enjoy it tho whilst we are all playing real - - - sorry, 'stupid' games with 'stupid' titles

EE2lemmonhead
EE2lemmonhead

how did UaW get nominated? that game looks worse than EaW

p00phead
p00phead

what halo 3 best multiplayer it should be unreal tournament

dekasuperlink
dekasuperlink

I got an update about metroid and this is it! westsidejedi360, couldn't agree more

westsidejedi360
westsidejedi360

LittleBigPlanet is a stupid game with a stupid name. And no Simpsons game or Airborne nods, weak.

eric7233
eric7233

That was so weak giving halo 3 best multiplayer over unreal tourney. They obviously didnt want to get flamed by all the halo fanboys. Unreal 3 is a much more intense, fun , complex, and exhilirating game. A much deeper and lasting form of multiplayer mayhem. Just look at how long unreal 2004 lasted .. tons of people still play that because it never gets old or boring.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

I want UT3 and little big planet for the ps3! UT3 will obviously play better on the ps3 as it will not take 3 disks to play and it will look better. Do I even want halo 3 for my 360? the only bi I liked about it was doing co-op.

SmArTaLeC1321
SmArTaLeC1321

Why the hell did Rock Band win!!! It doesnt look that great. I mean i dont feel the need to pretend im in a band and play with fake instruments. I think Bioshock or Mass Effect should have won.

sepotyerp
sepotyerp

Halo is going to be so awesome. I think that rock band will be alot of fun. Also, no one mentioned call of duty?? that game looks good.

BadSushi
BadSushi

I agree with most of the nominations, but some of the wins make sense the only one I don't completly agree with is the best Console Game = Mass Effect? maybe I just have to play it and then I'll agree that's probably all I have to do, but for now I don't agree at all with that choice

Warvair
Warvair

how is madden the best sports game? tony hawk and skate both look way better!

Smithgdwg
Smithgdwg

This list is flawed... How does Crysis win best PC game, yet it doesn't win best Action game on the PC. The award goes to COD4? Doesn't make sense...

god13g
god13g

go little big planet WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

heroface
heroface

Rise of a ninja is gonna kick bootay... I definitly agree with ALL the fighting game choices

jacob-goodlich
jacob-goodlich

i had a dream that i had an assassins creed demo, it was great! i really hope that there is a demo soon cause it looks like its almost finished

shortster1
shortster1

assassins creed should have one something but that's ok it's still gonna be awesome but i really hope there's a demo