Wii tops Game Critics' Best of E3 2006

Nintendo's console wins Best of Show, Best Hardware; Spore, Gears of War, Assassin's Creed also honored.

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The big question after every Electronic Entertainment Expo is always "which publisher won?" That query never has a definitive answer, but if the results of the Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2006 are any indication, the winner would be Nintendo, which took home five awards--more than any other publisher.

Since 1998, select gaming journalists have been pooled together to decide what they thought were the best products at E3. This year, 37 judges, from outlets such as Rolling Stone, GameSpot, and The Los Angeles Times, tallied together their votes. (Each year, GameSpot also doles out its own Best of E3 Awards.)

Nintendo, which was nominated a show-high 13 times, took home the show's biggest prize for its Wii console. The system, in the running for the only two categories it could qualify for, was handed the coveted Best of Show award, as well as Best Hardware award.

But the Japanese gamemaker wasn't done there. The publisher grabbed three more awards for some of its games, including Best Handheld Game (The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS), Best Sports Game (Wii Sports), and Best Racing Game (Excite Truck for the Wii).

Will Wright's supersim Spore took home the most individual awards for the second year in a row, etching its name into the Best Original Game, Best PC Game, and Best Simulation Game awards. Last year, Spore took home the same awards, plus Best of Show.

Gears of War, from Epic Games for the Xbox 360, was the only other game to win multiple awards. An impressive demo at the pre-E3 Microsoft press event and behind-closed-doors demonstrations of the multiplayer component were enough to convince the panel it was worthy of the Best Console Game and Best Action Game nods.

Sony's PlayStation 3 checked in with two winners, Ninja Theory's Heavenly Sword in the Best Fighting Game category and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed for Best Action/Adventure Game.

A full breakdown of nominees is listed below, with winners marked in bold.

Best of Show
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC and Xbox 360)
Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)
Wii (Nintendo)

Best Original Game
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC/Xbox 360)
Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
LocoRoco (SCEJ/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)
Wii Sports (Nintendo for Wii)

Best PC Game
Crysis (Crytek/Electronic Arts for PC)
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision for PC)
Hellgate: London (Flagship Studios/Namco Bandai Games for PC)
Supreme Commander (Gas Powered Games/THQ for PC)
Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)

Best Console Game
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC and Xbox 360)
Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studios for Xbox 360)
Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Handheld Game
Elite Beat Agents (Inis/Nintendo for Nintendo DS)
Killzone: Liberation (Guerrilla/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
LocoRoco (SCEJ/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (Kojima Productions/Konami for PSP)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo for Nintendo DS)

Best Hardware
DS Lite (Nintendo)
Logitech G25 Racing Wheel (Logitech for PC)
PlayStation 3 (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Wii (Nintendo)
Xbox 360 Wireless Headset (Microsoft for Xbox 360)

Best Action Game
Crysis (Crytek/Electronic Arts for PC)
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision for PC)
Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studios for Xbox 360)
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Capcom for Xbox 360)
Resistance: Fall of Man (Insomniac/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Action/Adventure Game
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
BioShock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC and Xbox 360)
God of War 2 (Sony Santa Monica/SCEA for PlayStation 2)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo for Wii)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo for GameCube/Wii)

Best Fighting Game
Heavenly Sword (Ninja Theory/Sony Computer Entertainment for PS3)
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Midway Games for PlayStation 2/Xbox)
Tekken: Dark Resurrection (Namco Bandai Games for PSP)
Virtua Fighter 5 (Sega for Arcade/PlayStation 3)
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 (Yuke's/THQ for 360/PS3/PS2/PSP)

Best Role-Playing Game
Final Fantasy XII (Square Enix for PlayStation 2)
Hellgate: London (Flagship Studios/Namco Bandai Games for PC)
Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
Neverwinter Nights 2 (Obsidian/Atari for PC)
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Blizzard for PC)

Best Racing Game
Excite Truck (Nintendo for Wii)
Formula One 06 (Studio Liverpool/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
Gran Turismo HD (Polyphony Digital/Sony Computer Entertainment for PS3)
MotoGP 06 (Climax/THQ for Xbox 360)
Test Drive Unlimited (Eden Studios/Atari for Xbox 360, PC, PS2, PSP)

Best Simulation Game
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (Microsoft Games Studio for PC)
Sid Meier's Railroads! (Firaxis Games/2K Games for PC)
Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)
The Movies: Stunts and Effects (Lionhead Studios/Activision for PC)
Wii Music Orchestra (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Sports Game
Madden NFL 07 (Tiburon/EA for PS3 / Xbox 360)
Madden NFL 07 (Tiburon/EA for Nintendo Wii)
NBA 2K7 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports for Xbox 360)
NCAA Football 07 (EA Tiburon/Electronic Arts for X360/PS2/Xbox/PSP)
Wii Sports (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Strategy Game
Company of Heroes (Relic/THQ for PC)
Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II (EA for X360)
Medieval 2: Total War (Creative Assembly/Sega for PC)
Supreme Commander (Gas Powered Games/THQ for PC)
World in Conflict (Massive Entertainment/Sierra for PC)

Best Puzzle/Trivia/Parlor Game
Elite Beat Agents (Inis/Nintendo for Nintendo DS)
Guitar Hero II (Harmonix/Red Octane for PlayStation 2)
LocoRoco (SCEJ/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
Lumines II (Q Entertainment/Buena Vista Games for PSP)
WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer Game
Battlefield 2142 (Digital Illusions/Electronic Arts for PC)
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision for PC)
Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
Huxley (Webzen for PC/Xbox 360)
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Blizzard for PC)

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