2000 Winners 

The winners of the 2000 E3 Game Critics Awards were as follows:

Best of Show:

Black & White

(Lionhead Studios/Electronic Arts for PC)

When the Game Critics Awards began four years ago, Peter Molyneux had just departed from Bullfrog to found Lionhead Studios and begin work on a game called Black & White.  Four years later, Black & White concludes its E3 presentations as the Best of the Show.  With its amazing graphics and diverging storyline based on how good or evil the player manages to be, Black & White is destined to be one of the classics.
- Aaron John Loeb
  Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up: Jet Grind Radio (Sega for Dreamcast)

Best Original Game:

Black & White

(Lionhead Studios/Electronic Arts for PC)

Everything is hunky-dory in the land of Eden.  That is until you arrive, threatening to change the world into your own version of utopia.  Black and White, from famed designer Peter Molyneux and Lionhead Studios, is unlike any game before thanks to its open-ended sandbox-like game design.  Amid a sea of sameness on the E3 show floor, we felt Black and White's unique and thought-provoking design easily broke through the clutter.
- Geoff Keighley
  Editor in Chief, GameSlice
  Associate Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up: Sigma (Relic Entertainment/Microsoft for PC)

Best Game, PC:

Black & White

(Lionhead Studios/Electronic Arts)

Who says that being at three E3s is a bad thing? This year Black & White jelled into a game that blends established game concepts with incredible new AI resulting in one breathtaking experience. In a category brimming with high quality titles that offer the potential for commercial success to go with their surefire critical acclaim, Peter Molyneux's latest opus stood head and shoulders above the rest.
- Rob Smith
  Editor in Chief, PC Gamer
  Associate Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up: Halo (Bungie Software)

Best Game, Console:

Jet Grind Radio

(Sega for Dreamcast)

Thanks largely to the lingering presence of fading consoles and the arrival of a new player, the field for Best Console Game was considerably more crowded in years past. However, Sega's Jet Grind Radio still managed to stand out from the crowd with its distinct visual style, engaging design, spot-on gameplay and an incredible soundtrack.  Not too shabby.
- Brandon Justice
  Editor in Chief, IGNDC

Runner Up: Conker's Bad Fur Day (Rare Ltd./Nintendo for Nintendo 64)

Best Peripheral/Hardware, PC:

nVidia GeForce 2

(nVidia)

PC hardware continues to improve at a blinding pace, with the fight for the number one spot in the graphics department being hard fought between two huge clans. With the GeForce 2, nVidia has scored a decisive hit with a card that packs incredible performance on top of its established image quality. At E3, GeForce 2 was the best addition to any PC right now.
- Rob Smith
  Editor in Chief, PC Gamer
  Associate Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up: Voodoo 5 5500 (3dfx)

Best Peripheral/Hardware, Console:

Xbox

(Microsoft)

The nominees in this category were disparate -- Xbox, Dreamcast, PS2, Dreamcast Maracas, and the Dreamcast Mouse. But when all is said and done, nothing excites us more than a new console, and Microsoft's Xbox was simply too cool to ignore. The DVD, networking from the outset and phenomenal graphics processing not only promise great things, but also utilize proven, stunning technology.  Even more, it offers previously unheard of ease of use for developers.
- Frank O'Connor
  Editor in Chief, DailyRadar.com Consoles

Runner Up: Dreamcast Maracas (Sega)

Best Action Game:

Halo

(Bungie Software for PC)

Shown to only a select few at E3 '99, Halo has been building buzz all year long.  So it was no wonder that people waited in line for up to an hour to see game designer and uber-brain Jason Jones show off the Halo engine and a movie that left every jaw in the room on the floor.  Everyone with a pulse who saw Halo at E3 2000 is feverishly anticipating its release.  We were no exception.
- Aaron John Loeb
  Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up: Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Gray Matter Interactive/Activision for PC)

Best Action/Adventure Game:

Escape from Monkey Island


(LucasArts Entertainment for PC)

In a surprisingly strong category this year, LucasArts' fourth Monkey Island game stood head and simian shoulders above the rest. We couldn't resist the combination of the series' superb sense of humor, the new 3D graphics, and the overall quality of this title. It's good to see LucasArts back in the saddle with a top-notch adventure title.
- Robert Mayer
  Editor, Computer Games Online

Runner Up:  Onimusha Warlords (Capcom for PlayStation 2)

Best Fighting Game:

Ultimate Fighting Championship

(Anchor/Crave for Dreamcast)

While many of us were expecting to be blown away by one of the genre's traditional combatants, the likes of Tekken Tag Tournament and Dead or Alive 2 never saw the knockout blow coming.  Anchor's Ultimate Fighting Championship surprised us all, as it is clearly on pace to be one of the most detailed, realistic fighters ever. We can't wait to step into the ring.
- Brandon Justice
  Editor in Chief, IGNDC

Runner Up: Tekken Tag Tournament (Namco for PlayStation 2)

Best RPG:

Neverwinter Nights

(Bioware/Interplay for PC)

With the renaissance of RPGs, Best RPG of E3 has been an annual slugathon between some of the year's best titles.  This year Neverwinter Nights takes the laurels, if nothing else for sheer chutzpah.  Placing the world building in the hands of the player, this beautiful AD&D based game is destined to be the more-addictive-than-crack game of 2001.
- Aaron John Loeb
  Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up:  Dungeon Siege (Gas Powered Games/Microsoft for PC)

Best Racing Game:

Need for Speed: Motor City

(Electronic Arts for PC)

What could be cooler than boulevard cruising and drive-in styling in a classic hunk of Detroit iron? Not much; out of the pack of slick racing games we thought EA's multiplayer hotrod crossed the finish line first. Great atmosphere, trick looks, and the potential for deeper online gameplay than most racers give this one the checkered flag.
- Robert Mayer
  Editor, Computer Games Online

Runner Up:  Gran Turismo 2000 (Polyphony Digital/Sony for PlayStation 2)

Best Simulation Game:

Mechwarrior 4

(Microsoft for PC)

Though the quantity of simulation offerings was limited, the quality was sky high. In a close contest, MechWarrior 4 received the nod for its incredible style and graphical flair, backed by shrewd design and control decisions that should ensure even greater success than its auspicious predecessors.  The MechWarrior series is in safe hands, and looks as though it's just going to keep getting better.
- Rob Smith
  Editor in Chief, PC Gamer
  Associate Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up:  Freelancer (Digital Anvil/Microsoft for PC)

Best Sports Game:

Madden NFL 2001

(Electronic Arts for PlayStation 2)

Madden's debut on the PS2 was easily the best sports title shown at E3 and was one of the top games of the show, period. The title features amazing real-life graphics that aren't hindered by the problems seen in the early Japanese PS2 titles. Expect Madden alone to sell plenty of PS2s at launch.
- Chris Slate
  Editor in Chief, 100% Independent PlayStation Magazine

Runner Up:  Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (Neversoft/Activision for PlayStation)

Best Strategy Game:

Black & White

(Lionhead Studios/Electronic Arts for PC)

Here's a strategy game where there is no set path to victory.  In Black and White, the story and gameplay change according to your choices.  You'll use a majestic hand cursor to throw elfin citizens around a world, cast mystical spells, and in a tip of the hat to Tamagotchi, develop a creature to carry out your ever desire.  With so many layers of gameplay wrapped in a compelling narrative, Black and White does much to counter the myth that all strategy games have to play the same way.
- Geoff Keighley
  Editor in Chief, GameSlice
  Associate Chairman, Game Critics Awards

Runner Up:  Warcraft III (Blizzard Entertainment for PC)

Best Puzzle/Trivia/Parlor Game:

Samba de Amigo

(Sega for Dreamcast)

Perhaps the most fun of all the categories, the Best Puzzle/Trivia/Parlor category also encompasses the strangest range of game styles. And perhaps strangest of all was Samba de Amigo, a brilliant combination of software and hardware -- in the shape of Sega's proprietary Maracas! The game is also unique in that it's most fun viewed from the other side of the screen; watching two adults in Maraca combat is priceless.
- Frank O'Connor
  Editor in Chief, DailyRadar.com Consoles

Runner Up: Space Channel 5 (Sega for Dreamcast)

Best Online Multiplayer:

Neverwinter Nights

(Bioware/Interplay for PC)

Neverwinter Nights deservingly captures the award for best online game, largely because it fosters online the same type of intimate gaming experience several friends would share in a pen and paper session. Bioware's comprehensive and user-friendly game editor will make it easy for players to create new modules to be shared online. Not to mention stunning 3D graphics, a refined interface and the AD&D third edition rules. This is a complete, cutting-edge package for online RPG fans.
- Tom Russo
  Editor in Chief, Next Generation Magazine

Runner Up:  Anarchy Online (Funcom for PC)

Special Commendation for Graphics: 

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

(Konami for PlayStation 2)

If the sight of hundreds of gamers watching the Metal Gear Solid 2 trailer at E3 didnít convince us this was a great looking game, we only needed to watch the video ourselves to become believers.  In one scene, hero Snakeís flashlight vignettes the screen while melons are pummeled with bullets, bursting into millions of particles.  Metal Gear Solid 2's trailer had so much visual panache it felt like an action movie come to life.  We just hope it plays as good as it looks.
- Geoff Keighley
  Editor in Chief, GameSlice
  Associate Chairman, Game Critics Awards