Though it may be hardware like the Playstation 3 and Nintedo Wii that stole the attention of the 60,000 attendees at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, it's the games that make those machines what they are and keep video games a few steps ahead of the film industry in terms of yearly revenue.
This year's showing included next generation and last generation titles across all platforms that turned grown men into weeping little boys.
Of the hundreds of games on display at E3, here's a look at a few that stood out from the crowd and had gamers and game makers alike talking.
'Gears of War'
On Emergence Day, the sinister Locust Horde revealed itself and its nightmarish designs to destroy mankind. In this first-person tactical shooter, players take on the role of Marcus Fenix, a war hero whose fire team may be man's best last chance.
From Microsoft Game Studios, "Gears of War" puts players on the front lines of a movie-like battlefield against horrific creatures bent on totally destruction. The game caused a lot of buzz at E3 as the must-have title for Xbox 360 after being shown to a packed house at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
'God of War II'
The highly anticipated sequel to the hit 2005 game "God of War" follows the main character, Kratos, on another epic quest through the world of mythology to save himself from utter doom. Armed with massive twin swords bound to his forearms with chains, Kratos will once again face horrors like the mighty Cyclops and dispense with them using the bloody, punishing tactics he employed in the first game.
The genius behind the blockbuster hit "The Sims" returns with a new game that had everyone talking at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo -- even rival game makers. Will Wright's "SPORE" gives players the power to create a life form at the microscopic level, and nurture it all the way up to a space-faring civilization. Once able to explore the universe, the player's creation can visit other planets to influence their development, conquer their inhabitants or simply observe their progress. Wright claims it would take 67-70 years of straight game play to visit all of the planets in the game's vast universe.
Electronic Art's original "Battlefield 1942" practically created the battlefield genre where dozens of players on foot and manning vehicles on land, air and sea square off in intense battles, reminiscent of the chaos in real world war zones. Through the numerous expansion packs and sequels, "Battlefield Vietnam" and the recent "Battlefield 2" for PC and "Battlefield 2: Modern Combat" for consoles, the upcoming "Battlefield 2142" takes the franchise in a new direction. While the game's previous installments were based on recreating a realistic feel with actual military weapons and vehicles, "2142" looks to the future and lets players fantasize about what the combat zone of the future may look like.
This graphically stunning next generation title comes from UK studio Ninja Theory and will be exclusive to the Playstaion 3 gaming console. The story follows "a girl with only a few days left to live who embarks on one final act of redemption against a king and his invading army," according to the Web site. When Sony showed off the game at their E3 press conference last week, the crowd erupted with excitement as the main character danced around the screen swinging and slicing through hordes of enemies. "Heavenly Sword" is one of the most anticipated titles for the PS3.
'World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade'
The massively multi-player online universe of "World of Warcraft" is home to some six-million players worldwide. Each of those players lays down about $15 a month to play in game maker Blizzard's backyard, and with "Burning Crusade," they hope it'll be even more. Adding new content, new playable races and even more room to roam, the game's first expansion will likely only widen a fan base that includes players from all across the globe and even celebrities like Dave Chappelle.
'Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess'
Fans of the "Legend of Zelda" series have waited patiently for the next installment in the uber-popular fantasy series. In "Twilight Princess" Link -- the green hat-wearing hero of the franchise -- sets out on a darker quest than in previous versions. The game will be released for both the GameCube and Wii and will take full advantage of the Wii's new controller. For example, when Link goes fishing, players actually cast their line using the game's controller, tug on it to entice a fish to bite and then reel him in by literally "reeling" in midair while holding the controller.
Other notable mentions … Grand Theft Auto 4, Halo 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Super Mario Galaxy, Huxley and The Lord of the Rings Online.