Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

If there is such a thing as beauty on the battlefield, you'll find it here. Call of Duty 4 has graphics so good you'll want to stab your eyes with pencils after playing it, so as to never again soil your ocular sensors with inferior images. From psychotically detailed lighting and shadows to ambience that includes lazily flying moths to motion-captured death animations, your jaw will get rug-burn from hitting the ground every time you play. And all of it runs at 60 frames per second at all times - even while tanks are leveling poorly placed pickup trucks, or a building full of snipers is turned to rubble by attack choppers.

The multiplayer component is a complete game unto itself. Designed to be both accessible and deep, there's no excuse not to hop online. Up to 16 players will shoot it out in each game, racking up kill streaks for prizes (detailed radar, airstrikes) and completing unseen missions (stealing an enemy's gun then killing him with it.

An experience system keeps the unlockables coming and the matches fair, while a bevy of classes allow you to tailor the game to how you play. After a spell, you may create your own class. This includes choosing between a variety of perks that make deathmatching anything but predictable: You can be radar-exempt, eavesdrop on the opposing team's chat, or whip out your sidearm before death for one last glorious shot at revenge.