Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
According to some this entire list could be occupied with the various instalments of Call of Duty, but we’ve conservatively limited it to just two to give a more balanced selection. The most popular shooting game of all time the latest instalment of CoD is an absolute masterpiece. It takes all that was great about the game and freshened it up with new movements, weapons, significant scope for customisation and removed a lot of the somewhat ‘trolly’ and humiliating elements of the multiplayer that made getting to grips with the game and its millions of devoted fans something of an ordeal for new players. An absolute masterpiece of a game and one that will be hard to beat any time in the near future.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Before Advanced Warfare went and topped it this was pretty much the best shoot-em-up experience you ever imagine. A first person shooter which offers masses of content there are many amongst the hard-core faithful that think the multiplayer here is superior to that of the more inclusive Modern Warfare. Black Ops II is a true meritocracy in multi-player and new players are not able to acquire advanced weaponry to even the playing field just by putting the hours in. Here, if you are not good enough you will be eliminated in double quick time making it a gruelling environment for newbies. Many simply gave up and those that didn’t would truly have said they learned the hard way by the time they were able to advance to a reasonably competitive level.
Counter Strike: Source
Shoot-em-up gamers mainly fall into two distinct tribes: Call of Duty or Counter Strike fans. Few are the brave souls that would play both games and openly admit it to their peers. Fewer still are those that actually do so. The games have a lot of similarities in terms of their general feel and gameplay meaning that you will either go for one or the other for your shooting entertainment. The only comparable schism I have encountered is the divide between skiers and snowboarders. However, at the end of the day, if Call of Duty did not exist then Counter Strike would almost certainly be considered to be the King of the Shooters and is still a great game so deserves its place in number three.
Microsoft’s contribution to the world of gaming is the Halo series. Halo can be considered as the equivalent to the modern shooting game of Paul Weller to Indie music. Everyone plays more Oasis but Weller is still the Godfather and held in the appropriate esteem.