The smoke has finally cleared: E3 is over, and all the biggest game development news has officially arrived that is going to arrive for the next few months.
There's no question we saw some amazing upcoming titles at this year's edition of the annual gaming mecca, from the first official look at the upcoming mythology-swapping God Of War to a new Zelda entry, a surprising change of pace with Resident Evil, and even some new footage on the delayed-but-not-forgotten Horizon: Zero Dawn.
For all that gaming goodness, we couldn't help but notice the conspicuous absence of some major series that didn't appear during the festivities.
Whether oversight, purposeful tactical choice, or just a timing issue as development drags on, these eight games (and one piece of hardware) all feel like they should have been prominently displayed at E3 2016.
The Last Of Us 2
I don't feel out of line in saying this must have been the most anticipated game that everyone expected to make an E3 appearance this year. Several sites even went so far as to announce news that the game would be officially confirmed at the expo when some info from Naughty Dog supposedly “leaked.”
Yet for all the hype and certainty, the follow-up to this emotionally devastating post-apocalyptic game was nowhere to be found. Fans were particularly on board at this point in time, with an Easter egg in Uncharted 4 indicating a Last Of Us 2 should be inbound any time now.
Whether a prequel, sequel, or something else entirely, its safe to say fans want to see this made, and they want it sooner rather than later.
While this wasn't unexpected – Nintendo did say we shouldn't have our hopes up for an E3 announcement – it does seem like a misstep to not start getting the hype train rolling for the NX.
Considering how the Wii U is essentially dead in the water and an absolute non-entity at this point in the console cycle, the NX needs an absolutely overpowering campaign of force to break out and overtake the PS4 and Xbox One, especially with both of those consoles about to get updated “.5” versions.
It's a shame the Wii U never got the traction (or the game catalog) it deserved, as that controller setup is actually really fun - especially with games like Rayman where the player on the GamePad controller has a very different experience.
When do you think Nintendo is finally going to get serious about the NX news, and do you think it will be able to compete?
Red Dead Redemption 2
This is another title that people were all but guaranteeing would appear this year at E3 but somehow either got culled from the lineup... or was never planned to be announced at all and fans just ran with a rumor.
That same rumor mill is running rampant that news of the release is being delayed in respect for the victims of the recent Orlando shooting at Pulse due to the game's content, but there's been no official statement to that effect from anyone at Take Two or Rockstar.
Kingdom Hearts III
Another title everyone wants that never seems to have enough info to spare, the absence of Kingdom Hearts III is actually understandable this time around due to the upcoming release of the oddly named Kingdom Hearts 2.8 later this year.
Still, we want to see more of what to expect from this massively-anticipated cutesy RPG, so get it on it already Square Enix!
Dead Island 2
Although it made our list of most anticipated horror-themed games slated for release this year, its time to finally accept the reality of the situation: this game is never coming. The E3 absence seems to pretty well confirm that sad fact.
The first trailer for this game came out more than two years ago, and in that time it has passed hands between developers multiple times, had release dates come and go, and even been officially removed from the Steam store. R.I.P. Dead Island 2.
Devil May Cry
After the reboot DmC back in 2013, it was unclear where the series would go, and whether we'd get a Devil May Cry 5 or something else. Either way, fans will have to wait a little longer for news on this game that isn't even officially acknowledged yet.
Rumors continue to circulate this is the year we get a definite answer and some news, but alas, it wasn't to be at E3. Maybe sometime around the holiday buying frenzy we'll get some screenshots?
So we did get a Zelda reveal, and that's nothing to sneeze at with how massively behind Nintendo has been to everyone else lately, but a serious Metroid definitely would have done wonders for a flagging fan base.
Other than the impending Federation Force, a title that completely changes the gameplay and even had fans launching a petition for cancellation, there hasn't been a major Metroid entry in years, with the Wii U getting mostly skipped over. Hopefully a new and worthy successor will launch with the NX?
Shadow Of Mordor sequel
The game-changing mechanics on this Peter Jackson-inspired trek into the Lord Of The Rings lore had me absolutely hooked, sinking an absurd number of hours into completing every last dagger, sword, and bow legend while taking on more orcs than any army ever could.
There's an addicting quality here that keeps players coming back to nab those final diabolical achievements (and by the way, somehow after 100 hours I STILL haven't gotten the White Rider achievement).
Since then it's been a nail-biting wait to see if we'll get a sequel, either continuing the story or (even better) going in some new direction. Part 2 wouldn't have to feature the same characters or even take place in the same area – Middle Earth is huge, and even Mordor itself has lots of unexplored territory. While there's tons of love about the original, some upgrades wouldn't hurt either – particularly in the final boss battle department.
Unfortunately nothing concrete landed at E3 this year, so its likely going to be months at the least before an announcement comes, if indeed a sequel is even being developed at this point.
System Shock 3
It should go without saying that this hallowed sci-fi / horror series that inspired by mighty Bioshock is more than a little anticipated by fans.
We know for a fact this one is actually happening – closing in on two decades after the previous game – but the question mark is when and what it will look like.
E3 would have been a great place to absolutely steal the show, but it wasn't to be. Maybe next year?
What were you hoping to see at this year's edition of the E3 extravagnaza, and do you agree with our picks of what was most conspicuously missing?
There was plenty of interesting material covered however, with more than enough to tide over fans until the next wave of big announcements hit.
If you missed any of the E3 2016 reveals, be sure to check out our (highly scientific) rundown of the best games revealed at this year's expo.