If you were paying attention to XBLA Fans last week — or, really, any gaming website, for that matter — then you’ve likely voraciously consumed a veritable smorgasbord of E3 news, previews and other coverage.

But now that the big show is behind us for yet another year and most of our previews are live on the site, it’s time to pick our favorites. The XBLA Fans crew saw and played no shortage of promising titles at the LA Convention Center last week (honorable mentions go to Mighty No. 9 and Beyond Eyes), so narrowing things down to just five games that stood out above all the rest wasn’t easy. Then again, making these sorts of lists never is.

Xbox One E3 2015

Nevertheless, we’ve made our selections and listed them out below in no particular order. Take a look and tell us which titles you’re most excited for coming away from the big show.


Cuphead preview

Nick Santangelo, Managing Editor:

Indie developers have long used pixel art to achieve a retro look. That approach haven’t so much plucked the nostalgia strings of gamers’ hearts as they have blistering guitar solos on them. But just when our cups seem to have runneth over (I assure you, that pun is 100 percent intended) with retro games, Studio MDHR has come along to redefine what retro is with Cuphead, which has gone all the way back to 1930s cartoons to inform its art direction. In lifetime console exclusive Cuphead, gamers will encounter harrowing boss fights that look unlike any other.

King’s Quest


John Laster, Editor in Chief:

With charming, witty dialogue and an incredibly talented voice cast, storytelling remains centric to King’s Quest in the upcoming revival. The episodic adventure focuses on a grandfather telling his granddaughter of his adventures on his way to becoming a knight. While dead ends and actual death have been removed in favor of some modernizations, the game still hearkens back to the franchise’s traditional puzzles and sense of wonder and exploration. We couldn’t help but want to know what happens next on the adventure. New puzzles, characters and puns await players this summer when the game launches as part of the Summer Spotlight.

Rivals of Aether

Rivals of Aether Xbox One Preview

Nick Santangelo, Managing Editor:

What would Super Smash Bros. be like as a Super Nintendo game? Rivals of Aether. It would be like Rivals of Aether. OK, so it would be like that but with Mario and friends instead of with a cast of newcomer anthropomorphic animals with elemental powers. Close enough. Under development from Smash fan Dan Fornace, Aether takes the “beat ’em until they fly” mechanic of Nintendo’s Smash Bros. fighting games, speeds it up, throws in simple combos and unleashes the concept on a pixelated world. The result, at least in the E3 demo, is a mascot brawler without the mascots.

Tembo the Badass Elephant

Tembo the Badass Elephant

Jill Randolph, Contributor:

Blasting onto the screens at E3 was Game Freak’s 2D side-scroller, Tembo the Badass Elephant. Inspired by ’80s action movies, most notably Rambo, Tembo follows the adventures of an elephant trying to save Shell City and its citizens from the evil villain, Phantom. To do this players must ram through bad guys, blocks and obstacles to rescue civilians and deliver them to safety. Prior to E3, none of us had heard of the game. Tembo caught the team’s attention in passing, and we all agreed that we had to stop and give it a spin. Clearly it was a sound decision as Tembo, set for release this summer on Xbox One, has made our top five list.


Smite Ice Attack on Xbox One

John Laster, Editor in Chief:

Smite marries the MOBA genre perfectly to a console, bringing one of the most-played types of PC games to the Xbox One. The third-person, action-focused multiplayer title takes players and turns them into Gods with unique abilities. In particular, the Arena mode feels perfect for the average console player looking for quicker, brawl-centric matches. Smite has an absurd level of depth to it and still manages to remain accessible for new players, which is no small feat for a MOBA. With the open beta date finally announced at E3, Smite will be playable for all this July.