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Last Gen Buyers Guide: Can't miss titles from the HD era

By Alex Sferrazza
On October 2, 2013

Gaming has evolved so much since the dawn of the HD era, it's hard to believe how far the medium has come. With the next generation of consoles on the horizon, we present but a few of the landmark titles from this past generation
1. "The Mass Effect Trilogy" (PS3, PC, 360) Highlight: "Mass Effect 2"
Over the course of the masterfully written 100 hour epic trilogy, you'll visit countless worlds and encounter numerous allies and adversaries as Commander Shepard. It is a brilliant third-person combat (perfected in the latter two titles) combining shooting with special biotic and tech powers combined with a deep, well written, sci fi epic for the ages. You make choices in each title that impacts how a later game plays out, and with hundreds of variables to pull from, no two players ever have the exact same experience. While the series is intended to be played as a whole, the incredible crew and streamlined gameplay make "Mass Effect 2" the series high point.
2. "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" (PS3)
The definitive stealth action game hit the PS3 in 2008 and players are still blown away.
A trilling and dramatic conclusion to one of the most complex and philosophical sagas in history, MGS4 improved the series' tried-and-true gameplay mechanics, allowing players the freedom to play how they wished and throwing in some of the best boss fights we've ever seen. Impressive Hollywood cinematics and a knock-out voice cast complete the total package.The masterpiece of both the "Metal Gear" series and game director Hideo Kojima's career, "Metal Gear Solid 4" is one for the ages.
3. "The Uncharted Trilogy" (PS3) Highlight: "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves"
Are the misadventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake a rip off of earlier efforts like Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones? Kind of, but it does the job far better than either of those franchises could have ever dreamed. The third person-shooter/platformer took players across the globe with adventures filled with over the top set pieces, Hollywood caliber pacing and scripting, and unforgettable characters and villains. It's "Uncharted 2's" flawless campaign that stands as the highlight. There is an entire level that involves you jumping in, out, on top of and around a moving train all while an army is attempting to kill you. Best level ever.
4. "The Gears of War Trilogy" (360) Highlight: "Gears of War"
It's hard to imagine a single title more influential from this past generation than "Gears of War." This Cliff Blesinski project raised the bar for just how much violence and testosterone a game could handle. A solid series, the later two games just don't have the impact the first "Gears of War" did. The original over the shoulder shooter introduced us to a hybrid machine gun/chainsaw and gave the world "horde mode" now replicated in titles from "Call of Duty" to "Halo" and "Mass Effect 3". Enough said.
5. "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" (PS3, PC, 360, Wii)
Say what you will about the csh-in series "Call of Duty" is now known as, you can't deny the sheer brilliance of "Call of Duty 4." Boldly moving the series out of WWII and into the present day, CoD 4's campaign was filled with megaton moments, such as when you are fleeing a site in a chopper, only to witness a nuclear detonation. But it was the game's multiplayer that kept players coming back. Buttery smooth controls and the introduction of killstreaks and a rank system made the title so incredibly addictive, it remains the standard from which all shooters that have followed it are judged.

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