Honorable Mentions: Games that didn't quite make the "Top 15," but still rank as some of the absolute all-time best in the vast library of shooters.
Even though it's not Modern Warfare, Black Ops represents a solid take on Cold War-era combat. That means while you won't have the nifty new gizmos and weapons of the current age, Black Ops ably compensates with a diverse armory of its own with crossbows, ballistic knives, and even oddies like the tomahawk. As a plus for experienced vets, nearly each part of your favorite guns are customizable -- you can switch up attachments like the gun sight, suppressor, or the magazine -- as is your personal avatar's appearance. It's all tied into the CODPoints currency system, meaning that instead of unlocking gear, you can pick and choose what you earn in combat. Plus, the varied multiplayer modes include everything from single-shot guns to 'place your bets' deathmatches to zombie infestations.
A great shooter with motion controls? While it might not be common, Dead Space: Extraction proves it's not impossible. Retaining the creepy horror vibe of the Dead Space series, Extraction trades in your ability to free roam a facility for an on-rails experience. But that doesn't mean the storytelling is any less superb... or the alien dismemberment any less gory. As a side-story supplement to the Dead Space series and as a standalone shooter, Extraction is a great, mature game, whether you play it on Wii or in HD on your PS3.
This expansive sequel to the original GRAW improves leaps and bounds with a refined single player game, more cooperative multiplayer options, improved AI, an exceptional plot, and incredible visuals for the time frame it released into. GRAW2, as a third-person tactical shooter, boasts a robust campaign, perfect for flying solo, and a co-op multiplayer experience that will have you coming back again and again, proof that the money you'll spend on Advance Warfighter 2 is as well spent as any other game on this list.
Even though the newer video game in Guerilla Games’ gritty sci-fi franchise, Killzone 3, is also available, it doesn’t quite reach the same highs as 2009’s Killzone 2. Salvaging the best bits from the PS2 original -- mainly Killzone’s inspired universe and storyline -- Killzone 2 builds upon the strengths of the original by leveraging the power of the PlayStation 3 to deliver a much more technically sound experience. On top of its much smoother visuals and gameplay, Killzone 2 is packed to the gills with memorable moments, including a mission where you get to vaporize Helghast aggressors while commandeering a powerful mech. And once you complete Killzone 2’s rad campaign, its class-based multiplayer is a lot of fun, too.
Modern Warfare 2 is the action-packed sequel to 2007's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare 2 picks up after the events of Modern Warfare, with "Soap" MacTavish leading British SAS operatives against Russian Ultranationalists in a conflict that eventually spreads throughout the world. MW2 gets a noticeable graphical bump over its predecessor but its the tighter controls and improved multiplayer modes that really help push this series into franchise level.
This story, "The 15 Best Shooter Games " was originally published by GamePro.