Not too futuristic, not too held back by the past, Black Ops 3 infuses smart design with fluid gameplay to create something that feels unique and powerful without straying too far from its roots.
Choosing a specific character gives competitive multiplayer a slight MOBA feel, while the campaign re-introduces four-player co-op to the series.
And of course, let's not forget our undead friends lurking in the Zombies mode, which gets an entire city in Black Ops 3.
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Add another terrific multiplayer offering plus the staggering depth and imagination of its Arcade challenge leagues, and you have a game way, way ahead of its time.
A less obvious choice, but a game that expertly stole – and re-assembled – the genre's greatest mechanics, is PS3's .
In terms of its mainstream appeal and cultural crossover, the next most influential shooter was probably .
Headed up by key members of Rare’s Goldeneye team, TS2 is a history-spanning, thematic pick 'n’ mix campaign skewering movies - and even Goldeneye itself - with endless, brilliantly observed pastiche.
Law Breakers is a shooter as deep and clever as it is immediately, air-punchingly exciting, dense with possibility and scope for player growth, while also immediate, gratifying, and easy to initially pick up.
And that growth certainly doesn't begin and and with the player.
The story of Ajay Ghale is almost incidental to the combination of stealth and action on offer in Ubi’s intimidatingly huge open world.
Whether you want to send a drone hovering over an enemy camp and tag all enemies individually before picking them off one by one with brutal melee takedowns, shoot a tiger out of its cage from a safe distance to watch it tear your foes to pieces, or literally crash down the gates on the back of an angry tusked Babar, it’s entirely up to you. It’s also a near-simulation for some of the most iconic moments in the Star Wars universe.
Or shove your tentacle down an enemy’s ass and pull out his spine? Since then, we've had Co D games set during the Cold War, Vietnam War, modern day, even the far future and outer space.