We all know that E3 is the biggest week in gaming. The expo sees most of the big names joining under one roof to showcase their newest pieces of tech, hardware, and software, and each company tries to one-up each other with their video game announcements. Each year we are treated to dozens of headline-grabbing reveals, and each year we wait patiently to see what's next in store for gaming and entertainment. Some reveals disappoint, while some garner little more than a shrug. But some are so monumental as to be legendary; these are the biggest reveals in E3 history, ranked in order of importance and sheer, palpable excitement.
10 My Body Is Ready
This demonstration is iconic for two reasons. The first is that is showcased Wii Fit, which would, of course, go on to become an enormous presence in the gaming world. Even though it has kind of fallen out of favor in recent years, this thing was all the rage back in the late 2000s. The second is Reggie's iconic line, "My body is ready," which would go on to spawn numerous memes over the years. With this reveal, Nintendo accidentally struck E3 gold.
9 The Fallout 4 Showcase
Now, this is how you announce a video game! Fallout 4 received its own showcase premiere at E3 2015, and we're pretty sure that everyone in attendance entered heaven for thirty minutes. The game looked absolutely stunning, and Todd Howard's charisma and enthusiasm helped sell the game to the unconverted—not that there were many of those. What helped seal this reveal in the annals of E3 history was the surprise that Fallout 4 would be releasing at the end of the year. While most companies announce a game and sit on it for years, here was a company proudly proclaiming to the world that they had the next gaming masterpiece waiting in the wings.
8 Final Fantasy XIII On Xbox 360
Sometimes it's not necessarily the game itself that gets fans riled up, but what the game represents. Microsoft dealt a major blow to Sony—remember those days?—at E3 2008, when it was announced that Final Fantasy XIII would be coming to the Xbox 360. This was the first mainline Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy VI to be released on a non-Sony console (aside from Final Fantasy XI Online, which was released on the Xbox 360), and it signaled that Sony's exclusivity deal was finally over. It was a huge boon for Microsoft, and a major detriment to Sony.
7 Twilight Princess
Nintendo has never been very good at E3, and they have provided some terrific blunders over the years. But their performance at E3 2004 was legendary. We got our first look at the Nintendo DS, a veiled reference to the upcoming Wii, and the beautiful Twilight Princess trailer that had fans hooting and hollering like never before. A new Zelda game is exciting enough, but this was coming at a time when players were frustrated at The Wind Waker's more childish approach to the series. Luckily, Twilight Princess was here to reinvigorate interest in the series, and reinvigorate it did.
6 Xbox One's Backwards Compatability
Microsoft can thank this reveal for singlehandedly saving their reputation for this console generation. It's no secret that the Xbox One has struggled, and its infamous reveal is now the stuff of gaming legend. The lack of killer exclusives certainly hasn't helped, either. And just when you thought the Xbox One was DOA, Microsoft announced at E3 2015 that it would henceforth become backward compatible with the Xbox 360. The roar of the crowd is all you need to hear to realize that the announcement was a resounding success. So take that, PlayStation 4 and your silly PS Now!
5 Final Fantasy VII Remake Announcement
E3 2015 truly was a thing of beauty. Not only did we get the iconic Fallout 4 showcase, but we were treated to the magical beauty and mysticism of the Final Fantasy VII remake. The announcement alone would guarantee it a place in E3 history, but it's how the game was revealed that makes this clip so iconic. The crowd slowly realizes what it is watching, and it's not long before the entire room is cheering, yelling, and clapping in enthusiasm. It's a beautiful moment of camaraderie, and it's sure to give chills to every Final Fantasy fan. It is reveals like this that make us appreciate the artistry behind a great trailer.
4 The PlayStation Is Only $299
Sony always manages to make big waves at E3, and all started with this absolute classic from E3 1995. Back then, Sony was a newcomer to the gaming world, and it had everything to prove with its fancy new toy, the PlayStation. Knowing that it faced a lot of competition from the likes of Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn, Sony president Steve Race took to the stage and simply said, "$299," much to the delight of the adoring crowd. This was much more pleasing than the Saturn's $399 retail price, and this iconic mic-drop of a declaration successfully ushered Sony into the gaming market. Oh, and FYI, that $299 is about $500 in today's money.
3 Half-Life 2 Demo
Half-Life 2 is one of the most groundbreaking and revolutionary video games of all time, and its demo at E3 2003 had everyone believing in it right off the bat. This demo showed things that most gamers had never seen before. We saw realistic physics thanks to the innovative gravity gun. We saw brilliant cinematics that made the game feel like the next big Hollywood blockbuster, and we saw artificial intelligence that was frankly unbelievable. This demo alone blew the gaming world away in 2003, and it helped usher in a new era of video games and video game technology. What a treat it was!
2 The Halo 2 Reveal
If there's a reveal more iconic than Half-Life 2's, it's Halo 2's. The Halo 2 reveal at E3 2003 helped cement that year's E3 as one of the all-time greats, as it too established a new era of gaming. Hype and pressure for Halo 2 had been building for years, as Halo was one of the biggest runaway successes in gaming history at the time. All this pressure finally exploded with this tremendous reveal, which showed a game almost too good to be true. And, unfortunately, it was, as Bungie admitted that they were too ambitious and basically restarted the game from scratch. But still, for sheer excitement and drama, nothing beats the Halo 2 reveal.
1 Metal Gear Solid 2 Changes E3 Forever
While there may have been more excitement and clamor over the Half-Life 2 and Halo 2 reveal trailers, it was Metal Gear Solid 2 that changed the face of E3 forever. At the time, E3 was mainly a trade show, and very little interest or attention was paid to the video games themselves. That all changed with Metal Gear Solid 2's brilliant showcase. Here was a game—and trailer—unlike anything people had seen before, and the response was one of immediate adoration. People couldn't stop talking about it, and companies suddenly realized that they could generate a ton of interest and discussion through cinematic and intriguing video game trailers. The rest, as they say, is history.