5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

Call of Duty was a big deal before, but Modern Warfare turned it into the annual juggernaut that we see today. The multiplayer mode deserves most of the credit for this transformation; an innovative leveling system and a steady stream of perks and rewards make it easy to get hooked. This unprecedented level of multiplayer depth changed the shooter landscape, but the single-player campaign also impressed with its fine-tuned, compact action. Well-designed missions and bombastic set-piece sequences round out the experience, making Modern Warfare a perfectly balanced FPS masterpiece.

4. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Each game in the Grand Theft Auto series is an industry-changing event, so choosing just one to represent such a wide array of innovations and influences is difficult. It was a close battle, but Grand Theft Auto V takes the prize thanks to Rockstar’s strides forward in gameplay. Tighter shooting mechanics, more responsive driving, and thrilling heist missions make Los Santos the ultimate urban playground. Plus, the sheer scale of the city and variety of environments is mind-boggling. Nico Bellic from GTA IV definitely deserves all the attention he gets, but GTA V is just too hard to top.
(Read our full review here)

3. BioShock (2008)

If you just want a game where you shoot bad guys and fire off magic powers, BioShock isn’t for you. It certainly has those elements, but the sophisticated storytelling and complex themes elevate the action beyond any other FPS of the generation. As you fight through the underwater utopia of Rapture, you see the story of the city written in the ruins of once-great buildings and the corpses of creatures who used to be human. You transform yourself with Plasmids, which grant powers like telekinesis and lighting bolts, and you use these abilities to fight off Rapture’s most fearsome protectors: Big Daddies. The battles allow you to combine your abilities in many ways, letting you develop your own play style. This freedom, combined with the unique setting, make BioShock a must-play. It came out later on PlayStation3, but Irrational Games’ philosophical shooter is fantastic regardless of platform.
(Read our full review here)

2. Red Dead Redemption (2010)

Before Red Dead Redemption, no Western-themed game had even come close to capturing the tone of the great Western movies. Then Rockstar gave us John Marston. The gruff hero has all the makings of a classic cowboy, and the sprawling world lets players engage in all sorts of activities that complete the fantasy. Shootouts in dusty streets, gambling in saloons, and even basic farm chores help you become part of Wild West. The story follows classic beats of revenge and redemption, and even the most stoic cowboys will shed a tear at the ending. Red Dead Redemption is truly unique, and unlike any other game of the generation in the best ways possible.
(Read our full review here)

1. The Last Of Us (2013)

Zombies are so played out, right? Wrong. The team at Naughty Dog puts a remarkable twist on the zombie apocalypse, depicting the bleak existence of the humans who remain years after the initial outbreak. The setting is compelling, but the best part of the Last of Us is the interactions between Joel and Ellie as they search for hope. Players use stealth to avoid the zombies, and guns along with brutal melee attacks when combat breaks out. The most dangerous foes are other humans, who are desperate to survive in the crumbling world. With an expert mix of storytelling, character development, action, and top-tier visual presentation, The Last of Us is as good as it gets – not only on PlayStation 3, but for the last generation as a whole.
(Read our full review here)