3. Child of Eden - Fangirl alert: I'm a sucker for anything Tetsuya Mizuguchi cares to create. Lumines? Yes. Rez? Of course. Space Channel 5? Up, down, up, down, chu, chu, chu! When I first saw Child of Eden, the spiritual successor to trippy shooter Rez, I nearly lost my damn mind. Granted, the swirly-whirly shooter isn't for everyone - our Steve Butts frequently refers to it as the "aneurysm game" - but I can't wait to let Child of Eden's lights and sounds wash over me. Rez was a game that you felt as much as played (insert joke about the Trance Vibrator here), and Child of Eden looks like it will be a similar experience. I'm still not sure about playing it with Kinect - could be transcendent, could be annoying - but I'm looking forward to finding out.
2. Nintendo - Ok, yes, I'm completely cheating by lumping everything awesome Nintendo had to offer into one big group, but it's my list and I get to make the rules, so nyah. Nintendo seemed to have an unending stream of Seriously Cool Stuff ready and waiting for us, and I admit to being taken utterly by surprise. Games like Skyward Sword are excellent, but expected and, in terms of E3, a bit boring and safe. But a new entry in the Donkey Kong Country franchise? Didn't see that coming, but I'm glad it's on the way. I don't know a single person who came away from Kirby's Epic Yarn as anything other than completely charmed. And the 3DS? Well, that thing is just plain amazing. After baffling us with the Vitality Sensor last year, Nintendo reminded us just how damn good they can be.
1. Epic Mickey (pictured) - There are several reasons why this game is my absolute favorite of the show, but the gameplay actually isn't one of them. Not that there's anything wrong with the platforming and thinner/paint mechanic, but it's kind of beside the point for me. Epic Mickey honors its source material without treating it like it's sacred, turning what could've been a yawnfest of family friendliness into something vibrant and enticing. Mickey Mouse is one of the most beloved characters of all time, but let's be honest - the guy is a goody-goody. It's hard to imagine him doing anything that even veered towards "naughty" let alone full-on "bad," so it's rather exciting to have a game in which the core trouble is his fault and where not helping his pals is a viable option. When it seems like every other game on the shelf is some slightly different way to spill blood, how refreshing it is to play something as whimsical as Epic Mickey. It could've been safe, it could've been dull, it could've been a soulless attempt to cash in on the license. Instead, it's something we don't see nearly often enough in gaming: truly creative.
There are plenty of great games that only just missed the list - Okamiden, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Ghost Trick, Guilty Party, Professor Layton, Portal 2 - but those are my top five. Feel free to argue with me as much as you like.