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Top 10 Shooters Of The Generation

Love them or hate them, the last generation of console gaming was dominated by shooters. Although "shooter fatigue" became an increasingly popular ailment in the gaming community, it didn't stop millions from taking up arms with and against their fellow players, and developers were happy to continue providing virtual conflicts for us to fight in. Here are our picks for the top 10 shooters of last generation.

As with our lists of the top 25 Xbox 360 games and top 25 PS3 games, we have chosen a single (and in our opinion, best) entry when a series had multiple installments last generation – which, as it turns out, was most of them. Despite the industry's love of sequels, the list still presents a healthy variety of settings, themes, and experiences; whether you're a competitive multiplayer fan, a co-op-focused squad mate, or a lone gunman, we're guessing there are at least a few entries on the list that you'll agree with. If not, you can always complain in the comments!  

10. Bulletstorm (Xbox 360, PS3 – 2011)

Lots of first-person shooters try to augment their gameplay with serious, meaningful stories (to varying levels of success), but at the end of the day you're still just running around shooting dudes with guns. Epic Games/People Can Fly's absurd romp embraces the adolescent power fantasies and gratuitous gore that the FPS genre was founded on. The sophomoric story focuses more on d--- jokes than its premise, characters, or setting, but Bulletstorm's multi-function weapons and original skillshot system made up for it by encouraging creative kills and outrageous combos. You can't have a Top 10 Shooters list without one big, dumb romp, and Bulletstorm fits the bill nicely.
(Read our full review here)

9. Rainbow Six Vegas (Xbox 360, PS3 – 2006/2007)

Long before Ubisoft's aborted Rainbow 6 Patriots reboot (and subsequent Rainbow 6 Siege reboot reboot), the lauded tactical shooter series struggled to translate its unforgiving and precision-focused gameplay to consoles. The first few installments were always markedly better on PC, but Rainbow Six Vegas finally gave console gamers a must-play experience. Vegas retained the series' high degree of challenge, while instituting myriad improvements from Ubisoft's own Ghost Recon series, along with simplified squad commands and a best-in-class cover system. Even better, the entire campaign supported four-player co-op, and the competitive multiplayer's tight gunplay was augmented by a rewarding progression system and deep customization.  
(Read our full review in Game Informer's Review Archive)

8. Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360 – 2008)

Okay, so maybe you can't have a Top 10 Shooters list without two big, dumb romps. Microsoft didn't have a ton of third-party exclusives last generation, but Epic Games' Gears of War was an early and critically acclaimed success. The sequel pumped up another action-packed co-op campaign with new weapons, vehicles, and enemies, as Marcus and Dom continue to defend humanity from the invading Locusts. However, the big innovation that everyone talked about was the game's Horde mode, which pits a squad of five players against increasingly difficult waves of enemies. There's a reason every shooter has a horde mode nowadays, and Gears of War 2 is it.
(Read our full review here)

7. Far Cry 3 (Xbox 360, PS3 – 2012)

Open-world shooters are still a relative novelty, and Far Cry 3 makes us wonder why. Eschewing the traditional linear, scripted campaign, the Far Cry series thrusts players into open, dynamic environments and lets them run wild. Far Cry 3 has been the best outing yet, giving players three massive, gorgeous islands to explore, as they storm enemy outposts, hunt (or get hunted by) deadly animals, and gain new abilities and weapons. Far Cry 3 serves up plenty of intense and explosive encounters, but the stealth mechanics are also top notch, giving players multiple options for taking on the opposition. Far Cry 3's story proved to be weakest link, and the segregated co-op was also a disappointment – two aspects we hope the upcoming sequel can fix.
(Read our full review here)

6. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360, PS3 – 2010)

Before DICE started shamelessly aping Call of Duty, Battlefield fans enjoyed the wholly unique and entertaining spinoff series that was Bad Company. While you can't argue with the developer's shifting approach from a sales perspective, Bad Company 2 remains the pinnacle of the Battlefield franchise to us. Bad Company 2's campaign featured a humorous and subversive plot, focusing on Preston Marlowe and his gang of fellow misfits. The story and tone were refreshingly atypical, and the characters remain some of the most memorable personalities in the military shooter genre. Unlike the heavily scripted, linear campaigns of more recent games, Bad Company 2 does what Battlefield does best; large and wide-open warzones, destructible environments, and vehicular combat accentuate the rock-solid, satisfying shooting. On the multiplayer front, Bad Company 2 focused on a few well-designed modes that delivered tense, team-oriented competitive play across sprawling maps.
(Read more about our enthusiasm for Bad Company here)

Coming Up Next: The biggest and best shooters vie for the number one spot...

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