For the trigger happy...Battlefield 2142 (read our review)
We've shot plenty of aliens, zombies and Nazis throughout our gaming days... in spaceships, castles and war-torn battlefields... and with everything from a tiny pistol to a planet-crushing laser gun. The shooter genre is constantly dressing up in new outfits, but how often does the actual gameplay change?
Battlefield 2142's greatness goes beyond the types of enemies, settings or weapons it invents, and lies more in the innovation of its design. Move seamlessly from foot to tank to helicopter to mech to 22nd century airship - all within the same battle. Destroy your opponent with a broad spray of bullet fire or a surgical explosive strike. Fill the everyday role of an infantry grunt or direct the entire army from the omnipotent view of a commander.
Give Battlefield 2142 to the action fan that wants to think and communicate, in addition to shoot.
Runner-up: Half-Life 2: Episode One