Shack Chat: What's your favorite third-person shooter?

With Splatoon 3 coming out, we have third-person shooters on the mind. We're curious about your pick for your favorite third-person shooter ever.


Greetings, Shacknews folk. It's Friday, so we're back with another Shack Chat for you to ponder gaming's big questions. Today, in honor of Splatoon 3 coming out, we're looking for you to list your favorite third-person shooter of all time. Let's get started.

Question: What's your favorite third-person shooter?

A Gears of War 3 screenshot

Source: Xbox

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Shooting Editor

Not every third-person shooter has to be a multiplayer romp that lasts for years on end. Sometimes, a single-player effort can leave a really good impression on you and that's the case with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. It can technically be classified as more of a platformer, but believe me, those shooting sequences can get really intense, especially at the end. Best part is, once the action ramps up, the PlayStation 5 hardware doesn't miss a beat. I still love and appreciate this game, mainly for its story and atmosphere, but also as a brilliant third-person shoot 'em up.

Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction - TJ Denzer, Senior News Editor

A promotional image for Mercenaries by EA

Source: Electronic Arts

I think if there was anyone who understood how to take the open world Grand Theft Auto formula and apply it successfully to a military combat setting, it was the ill-fated Pandemic Studios, who were bought by EA in 2007 and then shutdown in 2009. Before that travesty happened, Pandemic put out the Mercenaries games. I'm far more into the first one, which puts players in a fictional conflict in North Korea during a political coup.

I really liked how Mercenaries took so many parts of the working GTA formula at the time and applied it to this setting. You had factions like South Korea, China, the Allied Nations, and Russian mob vying for control of the situation. You could call in a variety of increasingly powerful military vehicles and hardware as you grew your bank account off jobs. Also, your job was to hunt down a deck of 52 targets each associated with a card in a card deck. By hunting the lower numbers, you could eventually get the intel to track down the royal suite, and those targets in the Jack to Ace range got tough! Of course, you could also do things like cheat, get lots of money, and call in an unlimited supply of missile drops, tanks, and bristling firepower. There hasn't really been anything quite like Mercenaries since and I lament that there might not ever be. RIP Pandemic Studios.

Warframe - Blake Morse, Loves his Spacemom

A press image for the game Warframe

Source: Warframe

I've probably sank more time into Warframe than any other third-person shooter I've played in my life. What can I say? I love space, cyber-ninjas, hard sci-fi and overpowering my frames. I wouldn't say it's a perfect game, but I've enjoyed my time running through space stations as I hack and blast my way past anything that gets in my line of fire. It's also been great to watch the narrative aspects of Warframe evolve along with the introduction of several new gameplay features like Railjack, and open world gameplay areas. The designs of the various Warframes and their abilities never cease to amaze me as well. I just always have a good time when I dive into it and I wish I had more time to play than I do nowadays. 

Gears of War - Sam Chandler, Genre Purist

I have so many favorite games that could fall in the "third-person shooter" genre. It's such a broad spectrum that each answer could be technically correct. And though I want to offer up Dead Space, Splinter Cell, Metal Arms, or even Phantom Crash, I feel those belong to other genres. Heck, even the old school Ghost Recon games hold a special place in my heart. All of that is to say that, if I'm being strict about my genres, it would have to be Gears of War.

The Gears franchise is just one of those series that is always appealing. Though I haven't dabbled much in the latest release, I look back on the original trilogy with such fondness. Playing the first title co-op with a mate on Insane difficulty has etched dialogue into my mind. Enjoying the horde mode in Gears 2 made me fall in love with that game mode. It's just a quality series that I think could benefit from a remake - I'd even take a remaster.

SOCOM II U.S. Navy SEALs - Bill Lavoy, Grenade Away

This was the first third-person shooter that I played online for any serious amount of time, and it was the game that really got me into shooters. I played this game for a couple of hours every night with my clan for a couple of years, and formed some incredible friendships during that time. I met one of my best friends and mentors while playing that game, a friendship that will last a lifetime. Besides the friendships, this was just a great game with some really solid map design, headshots were an instant kill, and you didn't respawn until the next round. I remember you could take SIX grenades, and friendly fire was on. You had to be on your game to play SOCOM II well, and to this day those nights of playing with buddies are some of my favorite gaming memories.

Alan Wake - Morgan Shaver, "So anyway, I started blasting..."

An Alan Wake screenshot

Source: Remedy Entertainment

This is a hard one because there are so many great third-person shooters that I've played over the years. If I had to settle on one, I'd have to go with Alan Wake. What I like about Alan Wake, aside from the story, characters, and setting (it's like a Stephen King novel in video game form and I love that) is the action and combat, and how the game incorporates Wake's flashlight. 

With the flashlight, you first need to burn away the darkness around your foes in order to get them in a state where they can be taken out. The addition of the flashlight adds uncomfortable moments of pause to the mix as you work to burn darkness away from enemies. You can't just whip out your gun and start blasting (like that Danny DeVito meme, "so anyway, I started blasting...") and as more enemies come at you, that tension only continues to build and grow. For me I feel like it's both brilliant and distinctly unique, and it's one of the many reasons why I'm looking forward to playing Alan Wake 2 in the future. 

Gears of War 3 - Asif Khan, Has played Gears of War 3 with ICE-T

The Gears of War franchise pulled me into 3rd-person shooters the moment I saw the iconic Lancer chainsaw gun. With well over 1,000 hours put into Gears 3, I have to say it is my favorite entry of the original trilogy. Most of my time was spent grinding in Horde Mode. I unlocked the Infinite Ammo mutator and had a blast playing against waves of CPU locusts. The campaign in Gears of War 3 is also rather amazing, with the giant worm level, and the death of a beloved character. 

Wild Guns-Steve Tyminski,Stevetendo show host, Yeehaw!

A Wild Guns promotional image.

Source: Natsume

What is my favorite third person shooter game? That is a good question, as I don't play third person shooter games that often. If I had to pick one, I would have to pick Wild Guns for the SNES. As I mentioned prior, I don't play too many third person shooters but Wild Guns does have some third person shooter mechanics to the gameplay. Wild Guns is one of these classic old school SNES games that has great music and a simple premise. That being said, it takes some time to master. I remember playing Wild Guns at a friend's house and it was pretty cool.  It was added to the Switch online and that was a nice bonus, getting to play this classic again. Wild Guns loosely has third person shooter aspects but they're there all the same and that's why it's my favorite third person shooter.

Those are our picks for our favorite third-person shooters, but now we want to hear from you. What is your favorite third-person shooter?

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 9, 2022 3:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What's your favorite third-person shooter?

    • reply
      September 9, 2022 3:12 PM

      The Last of Us

      Even the mp is great.

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      September 9, 2022 3:15 PM

      Duke Begins

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      September 9, 2022 3:21 PM

      That's funny: ALAN WAKE is one of my fave games of all-time (yay Morgan), and for some reason I hadn't considered it as a "shooter".

      It's more like an action-adventure in my mind.

      But then again I guess in my mind so are the Uncharted games (tonnnnnnnnnnes of shooting in those).

      So it'd have to be ALAN WAKE or one of the Uncharted games or one of the modern Tomb Raider games.

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        September 9, 2022 3:23 PM

        Imagine if we got an Alan Wake 2 ... 0h, wait a minute!! We will!

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          September 9, 2022 3:24 PM

          2 TIMES THE WAKE! 2X THE FUN!

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          September 9, 2022 3:24 PM

          Also that's probably the game that would make me finally buy a modern console. I'd sell some stuff to do it.

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            September 10, 2022 2:18 AM

            Alan Wake 1's lighting effects were pretty cool back then. Imagine what it will be like with ray-traced shadows and stuff like that! :O

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              September 10, 2022 6:44 AM

              Remedy sure knows how to create atmosphere! Incidentally I've been meaning to buy the remaster of ALAN WAKE to play this Fall... I used to replay the game every year; probably finished it 6-7 times at least now.

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          September 10, 2022 2:17 AM

          I'm looking forward to that one!

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      September 9, 2022 3:48 PM

      Max Payne 3

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      September 9, 2022 3:50 PM

      Probably MDK on PC. PS1 port was terrific, but PC version owned my bones. Runner up would be Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal...which is basically more MDK2 than MDK2 was.

      Heretric II is up there. Via emulation and with a kb+m, Duke Nukem Zero Hour gets a solid nod. More recently, I think Binary Domain is fucking amazing.

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      September 9, 2022 4:45 PM

      Oh that's tough. Uncharted 4 is really good. Hitman trilogy is fun. The last of us parts 1 and 2. Gears of war were good times. Does ratchet & clank count? Red Dead redemption?

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      September 9, 2022 5:05 PM

      Splatoon prob.

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      September 9, 2022 9:51 PM

      Max Payne 2, Path Of Neo, Conflict: Desert Storm (It's also a AI Squadnates game that you can swap into any of the 4 characters).
      I also want to say Seal Team, but that's not LOCKED to 3rd person.

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      September 10, 2022 12:49 AM

      Giants: Citizen Kabuto of course!

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      September 10, 2022 1:39 AM

      Splatoon series

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      September 10, 2022 4:59 AM

      Spec Ops: The Line was a legit great third-person shooter. But if we're being totally honest, nobody has done third-person shooting better than Max Payne (any of the three, as far as gameplay goes). Remedy's own modern follow-up Control isn't anywhere near as good as the Max Paynes, sadly.

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      September 10, 2022 5:15 AM


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      September 10, 2022 6:57 AM

      Fortnite :)

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      September 10, 2022 8:03 AM

      Deep cut: Heretic II

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