The Best Third-Person Shooters of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

There are a lot of video games out there and in this day and age of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable games through the years.

For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to the best third-person shooter games of all time. From chaotic shooters to whimsical adventures, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!


Army of Two - The 40th Day

Army of Two: The 40th Day

Army of Two: The 40th Day feels like an action-packed third-person shooter with a lot of spunk. It leaves players with the same satisfying feeling they receive after watching an incredible B-level action film. This game is a wonderful sequel to the original 2008 title.

While it maintains the same mechanics, the controls and gameplay feel fresher and deeper. For example, this game offers a better customization system and everything feels more expansive. Some of these include more modification options for weapons and being able to change around your melee attacks for specific gear.

While you can’t customize the weapons in midst of a battle, giving players more customizable features allows them to forge unique experiences with the game. The two-player campaign approach is still intact in The 40th Day but feels like a step-up.

Unfortunately, you’ll find yourself performing the same flanking and distraction routine in the game. However, The 40th Day introduces a stellar enemy tag system that allows you to pinpoint enemy’s actions and location. This presents players with more opportunities when it comes to taking down enemy forces.


The Gears of War Franchise

If Halo was Microsoft’s answer to first-person shooter games, then Gears of War feels like their response to third-person shooter titles. Both games have gone through their share of changes over the years. However, they retain the same hardcore and adrenaline-enhancing energy with each installment.

While many adored comparing the two shooters, Gears of War offers a great deal of content that allows it to stand on its own. First off, the brutality and gore in Gears of War exceed that of Halo. This is due to the franchise’s grittier apocalyptic setting and extreme weapon design.

In Gears of War, you can perform actions depicting you chainsawing the limbs of enemies or blowing a good chunk of their bodies off with standard weaponry. This gives the combat its flair and charm. It appeals to those who prefer crushing foes with a more hands-on approach. There’s more emphasis on defensive play with this game regarding its cover mechanic. This allows you to strategize your moves carefully and concisely.

Gears of War offers an incredible and memorable main cast. You’ll see them struggle to forget the treacheries of their past while also finding ways to cope with their present situation. Their personalities are wonderful, and they play off each other well. If you’re looking for a grittier third-person shooter title with astounding weapons and main characters, check out the Gears of War franchise.


Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 is an unbelievable third-person shooter game and an astounding entry in the Resident Evil franchise. This game offers impressive gameplay mechanics that feel rewarding and fun. The world feels more atmospheric and dreadful to traverse.

You’ll find yourself exploring multiple areas in this game with the main goal of helping Leon S. Kennedy rescue the president’s daughter. Each area feels tense to explore and gives off a spooky vibe. The villains you come across in the game vary in creepiness and creativity.

You’ll find yourself fighting possessed villagers to grotesque ogre-like beasts. These enemies are challenging, so it’s important to make every attack count. The game feels a bit more cinematic with its gorgeous cutscenes and character-driven scenarios.

The weapons in this game range from your standard pistols to powerful rocket launchers and sniper rifles. The game features traders, so you can purchase better weapons and gear. Resident Evil 4 adds some quality of life components like being able to save your game at multiple typewriters without a ribbon, too.


Mass Effect 2

Although many are decisive over Mass Effect 3’s ending, these games delivered a wonderful sci-fi storyline full of interesting characters. The second game is regarded as the best entry for how it improves upon the first game in multiple ways.

Mass Effect 2 grants players a personalized experience. From its alternate story routes to its stellar combat, there’s much to explore with it. The second game didn’t have to fulfill promises like the third game, it only needed to improve upon the weaker aspects of the first. This allowed the developers to spend more time fleshing out core characters and improving upon the world itself.

This game’s roster of characters is lovable and enjoyable. Each character has its own set of missions and distinct personalities to stand out. The relationships you form with the secondary characters feel genuine and memorable. Its storyline and characters aren’t the only things fans enjoy about this game.

The combat received a stellar revamp in Mass Effect 2. It doesn’t receive total refinement until the third installment, but the second game sets up the groundwork nicely. You can choose to participate in traditional third-person shooter combat or opt for a more tactical RPG approach.

Whether through the gameplay or its storyline, you always feel this dreadful atmosphere lurking over you. This is a game worth playing if you’re into incredible sci-fi stories.


Vanquish

Vanquish

Vanquish is a sci-fi third-person shooter game with a wonderful world and mesmerizing gameplay. This is a title that emphasizes style, skill, explosions, and fast-paced gun-play. Like some shooters, this one will make you feel like you’re participating in a well-made action movie.

Vanquish takes place in the distant future where a Russian extremist group called the Order of the Russian Star has taken control of an orbital space station called Providence. Using its tremendous powerful weaponry, this Russian group fires a deadly attack at San Francisco, leading to the United States to dispatch a full fleet to stop them.

This is where the game’s protagonist Sam Gideon joins the fray in his ARS battle suit. His reasons for joining are to test out his suit and to locate Professor Candide. He is the creator of the system that powers the space station and Sam’s suit. Vanquish’s plot lacks depth and intriguing ideas. It doesn’t add anything of value to the game. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for its gameplay.

Vanquish features a wonderful mix of familiar and other-wordly weaponry. At the start, you’ll come across weapons like shotguns and snipers. Later, you will find futuristic weapons like lasers and low-frequency devices. Sam’s suit also comes with a nifty trick. If you take enough damage, Sam’s suit will malfunction and allow you to slow down time. This allows you to put up a fighting chance when pushed into a tight scenario.


Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

While many of Sony’s classic characters like Jak & Daxter and Sly Cooper haven’t made the jump to PS5 in brand new titles, some mascots like Ratchet and Clank managed to make that leap. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is an immersive third-person shooter platform game that feels like a next-generation title.

This game is a follow-up to the 2016 remake of Ratchet & Clank. In this game, Dr. Nefarious has returned and stolen a powerful artifact called the Dimensionator. His goal is to find a dimension where he always claims victory over our heroes. His operation causes a ripple in the fabric of time and space, and he manages to open a portal to a universe where he reigns supreme as Emperor Nefarious.

It’s up to Ratchet, Clank, and a new female lombax named Rivet to stop Dr and Emperor Nefarious from conquering the world. This game’s storyline features gorgeously rendered cutscenes that are neatly placed throughout the game. Everything from story progression to its lack of loading titles feels like a natural and fantastic step-up from the previous game.

Many of the game’s areas feel lively and fun to explore. There are many hidden pathways, disposable items, and many NPCs frolicking about in these environments. Fans who’ve played the 2016 remake will find Rift Apart’s standard combat familiar. This title introduces a new game mechanic involving rifts and portals. These mechanics are used to help players traverse through levels and unlock areas hiding neat bonuses.


Dead Space

Dead Space is an incredible third-person shooter horror game. This game features a terrifying space-like adventure that’s wrapped around thrills and mystery. Dead Space’s storyline is engrossing and rich and comes packed with many plot twists while maintaining a spooky atmosphere.

This survival horror has you controlling an engineer named Isaac Clarke. He’s aboard a worn-out and deserted flagship called the USG Ishimura. While on a ship repair mission, he discovers that the ship’s former crew has been murdered and infected. As Isaac tries to escape the ship, he must solve many puzzles, fix the vehicle, and combat horrifying aliens known as Necromorphs.

Dead Space’s gameplay is stressful and thrilling. The game features the same third-person over-the-shoulder camera perspective as Resident Evil 4. The stress comes from the game’s mysterious atmosphere and the player’s need to search for resources. During your expedition, you’ll need to locate air and health supply, ammunition, and nodes that will help you unlock this game’s special doors and upgrade your weapons and gear.

The zero-gravity aspect of the game is one of its best mechanics, though. This mechanic allows Isaac to hop around and attach himself to iron walls. The enemies also benefit from this functionality and attain a speed boost of some kind. The puzzles built around the zero-gravity segments are well-crafted. Fans looking for a chilling and suspenseful third-person shooter game should give Dead Space a chance.


Fortnite

Fortnite is one of the best live-service and free-to-play games out there. This game features fan-favorite characters from multiple media, wonderful gameplay modes, an continuously growing narrative, and a reasonable battle pass system. With its ever-growing gaming community and non-stop updates, it doesn’t like the team at Epic Games will be abandoning this title anytime soon.
Although there are multiple modes for players to participate in, Fortnite’s main attraction is its battle royale mode. This mode offers solo, duo, triple, and squad play. Alone or with teammates, you hop aboard Fortnite’s iconic Battle Bus and head for a large island full of multiple locales, terrain, and landscapes. In a team or not, you must make a choice of where to land.
Once you’ve found a landing spot, you will press a button that will have you leaping out of the bus. Once you land on the island, the game of survival begins. Fortnite features a slew of neat items and weaponry for you to use against foes. From a standard SMG to a bundle of fireworks, this game offers many creative and unique weapons.
Fortnite’s synonymous with its building and crafting mechanics. This mechanic allows you to build protective and useful structures to protect you from enemy gunfire or help you traverse the map’s hard-to-reach areas. While many prefer the game’s “No Build Mode” over this, the building mechanic gave Fortnite its unique flavor and popularity.

Uncharted 2 - Among Thieves

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The Uncharted franchise is regarded as one of Naughty Dog’s best. This franchise adopts familiar tropes from classic action-adventure titles. It features a realistic and refined world full of memorable characters and scenery. While all the Uncharted games have their pros and cons, the second entry is often regarded as the series’s best.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a follow-up to Drake’s Fortune and is set two years after the events in that game. Among Thieves follows Nathan Drake and Chole Frazer, who are looking for the entrance to the lost city of Shambhala. At Shambhala lies the legendary Cintamani Stone, a wish-fulfilling jewel. With a Serbian war criminal named Zoran Lazarević and his men on their tail, Nathan and Chole will be in for an exhilarating thrill ride of a lifetime. 

Among Thieves’ opener involving Nathan dangling off the edge of a cliff in a train car remains one of the most dramatic starts to any Uncharted game. This same adrenaline-pumping energy carries throughout most of the game’s events and never ceases to stop. There are some lighthearted moments sprinkled within its plot, but Among Thieves continuously drops wonderful twists and turns that are on par with its opening scene.

Among Thieves’s gameplay is top-notch. As Nathan, players can jump, climb, and scale narrow ledges and walls to reach certain points and destinations. You can equip up to two firearms and a limited supply of grenades. He can also pick up weapons, and gather additional ammunition from defeated does. There are also some stealth mechanics that allow Nathan to knock foes out in one hit or pull a foe over a ledge alongside him.

The puzzles in this game are well-designed and challenging. Not all puzzles feel difficult to complete, but there are some that will require you to ponder. Those who find themselves struggling with action-adventure game puzzles need not worry, though. This game features a wonderful hint system that will provide nifty clues to help you surpass these thought-provoking challenges.


The Evil Within

The Evil Within Franchise

Considering this gaming franchise was created by Shinji Mikami, the same mind responsible for the Resident Evil franchise, it’s a no-brainer that this franchise ended up being a stellar work of art. The Evil Within 1 and 2 are incredible games. They contain spooky imagery, wonderful tension, and excellent storytelling.

Both games center around the series’s detective protagonist Sebastian Castellanos who must traverse a world full of dread and angst. Each game is filled with hideously designed monsters and unrelenting scares. The spooky locations and gameplay enhance the sense of hopelessness and survival in these games.

There’s always this feeling that something wicked and menacing is amongst you. The game does a phenomenal job at making players feel like a spooky adversary is lurking somewhere in many of its environments. As with Resident Evil, this game forces players to ponder when to utilize their weaponry. You’re not given a heavy supply of weaponry and ammunition in The Evil Within franchise and will spend most of your time fleeing from enemies.

This limited supply of tools allows the game to feel more grounded in reality. It helps it stay true to its theme of being a survival horror title. In addition, there are a few checkpoints scattered across the maps that raise the games’ stakes. Alongside Sebastian’s low stamina issues, this game forces players to conjure excellent strategies in hopes of clearing its multitude of levels.

If you’re looking for a third-person shooter game with enough scares, challenges, and twists, check out The Evil Within 1 and 2.


So, there we have it, our pick for the best third-person shooter games of all time!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!


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