Portable Game Beats Console Games For... The First Time Ever?

The selection of Scribblenauts as best game of E3 2009 by three major gaming outlets is a milestone for which we can find no precedent in gaming history.

During the final day of E3 2009 I shared a quick cab ride with 5th Cell game designer Jeremiah Slaczka, and I asked him what was getting buzz on the show floor.

"Scribblenauts," he said.

Of course, he'd say that I chided. That's his game, the one that lets you write any kid-safe concrete noun into the DS and have it appear in virtual form to solve puzzles or just be played with.

Maybe Slaczka was onto something, because Scribblenauts has been chosen as the Best of Show for E3 2009 not only by three of the biggest gaming outlets around — IGN, Gamespot and GameSpy — but it's done so without having to be a console or PC game.

No handheld game has ever taken the E3 crown before from any major outlet, as far as we can tell.

Look below to see the previous Best of Show winners from IGN, Gamespot, GameSpy, 1up and the E3 Game Critics Awards judges. Not once did these institutions pick a portable game as their Best In Show. They didn't do it for a Pokemon, a portable Zelda, a portable Grand Theft Auto, a WarioWare... anything. Before E3, I had written that it was almost a sure thing that no portable game would take top honours. I was wrong.

Should portable games have received a Best of E3 nod before? Were their console and PC counterparts just that much better?

Or is Scribblenauts just that exceptional? (Watch God fight a Kraken in Scribblenauts to see what got E3 people so jazzed.)

Scribblenauts is set for release later this year on the Nintendo DS.

As of E3 2009, portable games have finally gotten better... or gotten respect... or both.

IGN Best of E3 Winners 2009: Scribblenauts 2008: Fallout 3 2007: Fallout 3 2006: BioShock 2005: Spore 2004: Halo 2 2003: Half-Life 2 2002: Metroid Prime 2001: Star Wars Galaxies 2000: Metal Gear Solid 2

Gamespot Best of E3 Winners 2009: Scribblenauts 2008: Fable II 2007: Little Big Planet 2006: BioShock 2005: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2004: Splinter Cell 3 Gamespy Best of E3 Winners 2009: Scribblenauts 2008: Spore 2007: BioShock 2006: BioShock 2005: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2004: Half-Life 2

1up Best of E3 Winners 2009: Uncharted 2 2008: Little Big Planet 2007: No Winner 2006: Spore 2005: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Game Critics Awards Best of E3 Winners 2009: TBD 2008: Fallout 3 2007: Rock Band 2006: Wii 2005: Spore 2004: PSP 2003: Half-Life 2 2002: Doom 3 2001: GameCube 2000: Black & White 1999: Freelancer


    They at least could've picked a GOOD handheld game.... MGS5 on psp, i mean, come on!

    The only reason a portable game hasn't won before is there's just nothing else that has come along that has been just so original and downright COOL as scribblenauts. It fully deserves all the accolades.


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