Halo 3 is a love story

The most surprising and unexpected thing about Halo 3 is its heart. Take out all the war - the soldiers, the gunplay, the explosions, the tanks - and what you're left with is a simple tale of a boy and a girl. The girl is lost. The boy is searching for her.

Okay, so she isn't real and he isn't entirely normal, but that just makes their lonely romance the more compelling. Cortana and Master Chief are unique heroes, destined to risk everything for a population they can never fully join. They only have each other... which is why their final exchange, as the SPARTAN leaves the AI to enter a cryogenic sleep, is so tragic.

Cortana: I'll miss you.
Master Chief: Wake me when you need me.

For GamesRadar's complete Halo 3 coverage, including strategy,click here.