6 | Dead Space 2 | PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Continuing the journey of Issac Clarke as he tries to figure out what's behind the mysterious menace from Dead Space's Marker, Dead Space 2 contains the same claustrophobic environments and freakish alien/zombie hybrids that made the original so effectively frightening. Unlike other third-person shooters, getting off headshots and blowing through as many enemies as you can is less important than tearing apart your monstrous foes limb by limb and conserving ammo; even without a head, these monsters can still chase after you.
The game works best when you're not fighting anything at all, when you're just exploring the eerily quiet space station. But that's because you know that an attack can come from anywhere. Monsters pop out of ducts without warning, and while you have some powerful weapons, ammo is still a precious commodity. Like a good horror movie, even making the "right" choices doesn't mean you'll be able to keep all your friends alive. Just keeping your own sanity is victory enough when the world (or space station, rather) is crumbling around you.
5 | Uncharted 3 | PS3
It’s rather telling that SCEJ enlisted Harrison Ford as part of its advertising campaign for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, as Naughty Dog’s wise-cracking treasure hunter is quickly becoming the Indiana Jones of the digital age. Known for creating some of the most cinematic moments of this console generation, the Uncharted series has consistently topped itself release after release, and Uncharted 3 is no exception to that rule.
Boasting an outstanding single-player campaign and a revamped multiplayer component that features deeper player progression, customizable characters, and fleshed-out new co-op modes, Uncharted 3 is, arguably, the best game in a stellar series. Its chockful of witty one-liners, memorable moments, and intense action that's bound to keep your heart pumping in tune with your shotgun.
4 | Metroid Prime Trilogy | Wii
Considered by many to be the greatest trilogy on Wii, and possibly even the greatest gaming trilogy ever, this Metroid Prime collection brings together all three of Samus' first-person adventures onto one disc. The games combine the same exploration and space-faring excitement of the bounty hunter's earlier adventures, but use the Wii Remote for precise shooting controllers. And besides, seeing the world through Samus Aran's visor never gets old.
The whole concept is a unique take on the first-person shooter. There's still plenty of platforming action and enemies to fight, but not as many as you find in traditional gun games -- the main focus is on exploration and figuring out the mystery of what's going in this post-Metroid world. While there might not be too many hardcore games on Wii, Metroid Prime Trilogy is aimed directly at fans who want a deep, grown-up game on their motion-controlled console.