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.

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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267 comments
smitacular
smitacular

Pretty easy to win best hardware when 2 of the other nominees are a headset and a steering wheel. Also, Excite Truck winning best racing game is a load of crap.

muppet1010
muppet1010

PS3 fanboys p**s me off, they go on about how graphics rules okay, for a second lets just say that graphics is everything and gameplay should always be sacrificed for graphics(wrong obviously). This is instantly wrong because the Gamecube was graphically superior to the PS2, but we all know what happened there dont we? Well my PC kicks the sh** out of the PS3 anyway. I mean if you compare the best looking PS3 game(dont quite know what it is) to say BF2142 on maxed settings and say we used one of those super duper 50 inch plasma screens, there would be no comparison. The PC is the ultimate all out graphics machine it also happens to offer the best control(keyboard and mouse) but if you cant use a keyboard and mouse there are controllers you can plug in anyway. So the PS3 is the poormans PC, with a joke attempt of MSN messenger... I mean personally i would rather chat to friends than 30-40 year old hardcore geeks/gamers. The xbox 360 isnt really a big change from the xbox either, but then again microsoft have tried. It looks quite nioce and you can change the covers which is a nice novelty. Xbox live simply kills both other consoles in terms of online play, there is just no comparison what so ever. And one thing I like is that you can play music over games. The nintendo wii obviously has changed as far as gamecube is concerned. it has motion sensing and I personally love being able to wave a sword around like in real life. The wii isnt meant for "hardcore" gamers, its aimed at a much broader market. Much like the nintendo DS with that brain training game and the like. The PS3 is appropriately named, because it is only improved on graphics. Oh yeah and they added in some kind of slight motion sense thing when they had a panic moment over how good the wii is.

flubagalub
flubagalub

Go Assassins Creed! Go Spore as well.

Gleba2388
Gleba2388

Nice... Assassin's Creed rulez!

hazaa54
hazaa54

im really impressed by this list. they picked just about everything i would have. especially glad assassin's creed beat out bioshock for best action/adventure, im not a big bioshock fan, not yet atleast.

TomN0
TomN0

Very intresting i was very suprised assasins creed didnt win more.

Fiku42
Fiku42

hmmm true.. im intrested to see how nintendo Wii will do... it does have very good petential and another great thing affortable and nintendo is how do i say ,making a comeback...to dominance or at least there trying harder then ever....it wont be easy though

Fiku42
Fiku42

I'll need to get a Wii sometime..... what about FFXII and Zelda Twilight both of those should have won... but hey guess there nothing new though since they both have been delayed... MGS4 and FF13 plus ps3...= heavon heh....heh

belinchu
belinchu

@ShadowSTHU "...that you cannot dispute and trash a franchise like Zelda for FF, especially now that they are going from bad to worse" Yeah, maybe that's how FFXII got a 40/40 from Famitsu. I like Sony, and most of what they did, or are doing (no, doesn't include PS3 price). But, above all, I'm a Nintendo fan. And, looking at some of the stuff you just said, you're a shame for us, rational Nintendo fans. Cyborg1000000 made himself look like an idiot. You could've just shutted the hell up, and he'd be a lone idiot.

soadnick947
soadnick947

Hats off to ShadowSTHU. You just explained what we were all thinking. You're a helluva writer.

blast_off7
blast_off7

To ShadowSTHU great man.... thank god there are more pleople than...me, that say ps3 is just ps2 with great graphics,and generally that nintendo is better than sony's (spelled it right>?

blast_off7
blast_off7

hey.... imagine. ps3 and xbox 360 have "sheets long of specifications", but it was Wii that won the best hardware!!! i bet 2 things made the difference between wii and ps3 (both upcoming) Ati graphics (ATI rulezzzzzzzz) and the controller, that sony tried to copy but......sorry folks, you won't make it a second time ( remember about the psx????) nintendo made the first ''modern'' consoles.and keeps going.

ShadowSTHU
ShadowSTHU

It's funny how most Sony fans over here are just coming to say how the Wii is retarted or a GameCube 2. Well, if the definition of GameCube 2 is Nintendo's console after the GameCube, then it really is a GameCube 2. But honestly, to the people who said that : Do you realise what the heck you said? I am a long Microsoft and Nintendo fan, because I can see that both offer something more reasonable end enjoyable. Unless you are dumb, you can understand that the PlayStation 3 is a PlayStation 2 and a PlayStaion 1 with uber-pimped graphics. Heck, they even have the EXACT same controller as their first console from 12 years ago. With the slight difference, a poor Nintendo rip-off. So is the Xbox 360, it is just a updated and fine-tuned Xbox. With the difference that Microsoft bothered to alter a lot of stuff, add a bunch of new features and finally, create a network where ALL casual players can login and play anytime. Now, the GC2 issue. Just. what were you thinking about when you said that? The only similarity I can see between those two is that they are both a LOT smaller than the other two consoles of their generation. Now, you even need a different controller to play GC games on the Wii, dammit! How stupid can someone be to call the Wii GameCube 2? On the contrary, I and everyone else can go all day along about how the PS3 is EXACTLY like the PS2 with better graphics and some new features. For I already have a 360, as Xbox Live is incredible and planning to get a Wii on launch day, because I can't wait to play Super Mario Galaxy, Red Steel and the other supreme titles. And now, I would like to see a SINGLE Sony fanboy claim that he wouldn't like playing Onimusha or Final Fantasy by just swinging a sword like you would in real life. Motion sensing technology is the coolest technology after virtual reality technology, which just might be what Nintendo is planning for their next console which will be funner than ever, and unless a Sony rep is watching right now, I don't think that Sony will have such an idea for their precious PS9478190724918740979412, oh well, unless it strikes them out of the blue, just suddenly, like the PS3's controller. ;) Whatsoever, the PSP vs. DS issue. Yeah, the PSP plays movies and music. I don't give a heck, quite frankly, because I have my iPod Nano which is 20 times better. And besides, Datel just released their Media Player for the DS, costing $50. And unless I am mistaken, the DS' price, $100 and the Media Player's, $50, combined equal to $150. That'd be $110 STILL less than the PSP. So, if you want your super dooper handheld to play music and movies so bad, you could always pick a DS for a lower price. The only good thing about a PSP is that other than Daxter and Wipeout : Pure, no other game is of real interest towards most gamers, so you won't have the problem of picking what games to buy. Heck, their strongest attu for the PSP, Metal Gear Acid, sucked big time (Changing cards? WTF?). Whereas with the DS, having 4-5 worthy launches every month is just confusing me. New Super Mario Bros. or Big Brain Academy? Magnetica or Lost Magic? Metroid Prime Hunters or Mario Kart DS? That's if you know what I mean. Bleh, sorry Sony, buy you just followed your two faithful traditions; overpricing and copying. The former begun 2004 with the PSP and the latter begun in 1996 with the PSOne, or wait, even in 1994 the PSOne was merely a rip-off; let is not forget that the developing group of the SNES CD actually quit Nintendo after its failure to do well in Japan and begun a business of their own, which means even the CD technology could be a registered trademark of Nintendo if they wanted to. I won't quite laughing at the analogue stick and the rumble feature, even though it wasn't Nintendo's ultimate pioneering (As Microsoft already had joysticks and keyboards with analogue sticks and rumble features), it was after their success on the N64 that got them on the PSOne. And please, cut out this Nintendo copying Microsoft nonsense. I didn't even KNOW that there was such thing since... 8 months ago approximately, so imagine the support MS showed to it, and besides, 10 years ago we could play such games in arcades. Nintendo made the risky move of actually showing ultimate support to that, and just at the very moment, the word Wii echoes in the minds of people and brings awe to those who disputed Nintendo. To sum up, it goes like Wii for World and Xbox 360 for ... well, fun. Because both showed sings of differentation, not just graphics improvement like the PS3. Cyborg1000000, you are the most irrational guy I have ever met, at least other Sony fanboys can understand that you cannot dispute and trash a franchise like Zelda for FF, especially now that they are going from bad to worse. What can I say, awaiting for Wii.

foehammer200320
foehammer200320

Spore looks set to be something really special... cant wait!!!

Fauij
Fauij

Nintendo Wii looks really retarded.............

nathanyc
nathanyc

sony's playstation 3 might go the way of panasonic's m2...think about it. overpriced, doesn't bring anything innovations to the table (besides prettier graphics and the blu-ray gimmick)...other than that, it's just an overpriced playstation 2...i see sony slipping after reading this..

psychic
psychic

Everything seems quite good, looking forward for the Zelda's and whatevers on Wii.

I_AM_SOLIDSTATE
I_AM_SOLIDSTATE

I have a feeling that Nintendo is going to have a pretty good year sales wise, and Sony will have a lot of trouble with the outragous pricing.... thats how i see it... ALex

fatdawit
fatdawit

You da' bomb nintendo!!!!!!!!!!!

spurs2k
spurs2k

All this hubbub about Nintendo but they are painting themselves into a corner as an alternative gaming experience but not "next gen." The Wiimote is a gimmick and nothing more. I am a Nintendo fan but I keep seeing Nintendo take these unnecessary and, in my opinion, poorly conceived risks. I realize that coming in third for the third time in the console wars will force Nintendo out of the market. The only possible saving grace is Sony's ridiculously high price point which may actually drive consumers to Nintendo. They are going to need it.

Jebril
Jebril

Also one more thing if you think that the Wii won't be able to compete with graphics of the 360/PS3 (which most people believe) just look at Resident Evil 4 those graphics look like 360 graphics (I have a 360 myself and I'm comparing them to games I play), that shouldn't even be possible but it was possible by making the game in two discs and putting a lot of time into it. Same thing with Wii just make the game two discs you'll be able to put same quality graphics on the game, you can also increase loading times and such but eventually the games can fit. Even though I really don't care I'm using 360 for a graphics.

Jebril
Jebril

Don't complain that TP didn't win in Adventure game, Assasin's Creed is much more deserving of that title, I hope to god that game comes out on 360 so I won't have one reason to buy the PS3, this is coming from a major Zelda fan, I am getting TP but I doubt it will be as good as AC, there are rumored to be a thousand animations for your charachter alone, just to give you an idea on how much that is, most games will have usually 50-200 animations for the charachter in there game.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

Spore already won last year WTF is this? It's the same as giving the best album award to an album that gets its singles release during one half of two different years. BS!!! I thought Bioshock would do better. Hevenly Sword is by no means a fighting games. It's a Action/Adventure/Beat'em all. Don't make me say what I might be thinking, Rollingstone, The Los Angeles Times? Do all the game critics really do understand about video games as much as they should?

mikainthehut
mikainthehut

Why bother who "wins" this console war thingy. Cant we all just accept what console one another is going to get? I mean come on dudes does it really concern you the citizens about how much money a company will make. Cant we all just accept that we all like different types of games? Some people like the PS3, then let them choose it. Because in the end its the sort of console that they like.

outlandos_nl
outlandos_nl

Nintendo will once again become king! Yeah!!!!!

Kwzy
Kwzy

How Final Fantasy XII didn't win??? BS... ??? why PS2 couldn't win?? just because next generation games have more beautiful graphics don't mean they are better!!! FFXII is much, much, much better than mass efect!! this souds BS to me

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

yyr-5 i agree heck lol they kept rolling sneses out when n64 was in so ya who cares i still play my snes on a regulary bases

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

cyborg , the sales of the ds is way better then psp , more good aaa titles no ports except a couple while you count ps1 games as good games go on lol 360 kills psp any day psp is a rip off big time play movies eh? my dvd player can do this better or wait my 360 can play ones i already own , psp has you replenishing all the old movies at 19,99 lmfao and i could get a dvd movie for 9.99 at walmart and as far as battery life goes psp has nothing compared to ds and ds lite = 4 x the power of the ds battery and if psp was 4x less then dses power theres no telling how bad it is compared to ds lite

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

fmprodguy um, so xbox graphics blow huh um look at burnout revenge ! that didnt blow why in the heck did you even buy xbox if you didnt like its graphics and 360 is only 2-3 x better then xbox and wiis 3-4 x better then gc is so actally no its better then xbox 1

theKSMM
theKSMM

Who cares what console "wins" this generation of console wars? Unless you're a shareholder, those numbers aren't putting any money in your pocket. It's like Toyota owners berating Honda owners because the Camry outsold the Civic. If you like your console and the games it has to offer, don't worry about what some other gamer is (or isn't) enjoying.

theKSMM
theKSMM

People (like me) buy updated graphics cards, so that we can to play the good games that are released. I was content to play games at lower resolutions and with fewer graphical effects, but the PC world isn't the console world--after a while, you have to upgrade to keep up. When I saw that games like Half-Life 2, F.E.A.R., Doom 3 and Oblivion were beating my PC to a pulp, I knew it was time to upgrade, so that I could keep enjoying the great gameplay these games had to offer.

t_wilson
t_wilson

If gameplay is all that matters, then why are so many people buying $500+ graphics cards? Which, in case you didn

samekila
samekila

I love my 360 but NIntendo deserves best of E3 graphics ant everything when it comes to what the big N drops they really impress me to be able to compete with sony and Microsoft

777rak
777rak

Good to hear that, Wii deserved the award

Green4link
Green4link

Too bad I have to wait until december probably to give Wii a try...

gt4freak1985
gt4freak1985

who gives a crap about what critics think. Critics are stupid annoying people. Let the sales do the talking and not some people who act like they know whats going on. I hate analyst and critics. They said sony would falil twice with the psx and ps2. hmm who was wrong there?

j105
j105

Wow wii won a few awards, you realise what this means...pretty much nothing.

barulez
barulez

It looks like Wii will do very well.

Bluestorm-Kalas
Bluestorm-Kalas

nothing for zelda twilight princess for the Wii?!?!?!?

Phylyn5151
Phylyn5151

Im kinda Suprised that the PS3 didnt win cause of all the fans, but then again the PS3 brings nothing to the table.

Phylyn5151
Phylyn5151

What can I say, but Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii baby!

Diamondbarrow
Diamondbarrow

I'm surprised BioShock didn't win. But then again, i suppose it's just my preference (hint... hint...)