Many gamers would happily entertain the argument that Max Payne is one of the best third person shooters currently available on the market and while there are other similar games available, there is no doubt that this one is one of the most popular. Of course, when any developer rises to the top of the charts with a game, there will be several others trying to displace them. This is definitely the case with this game that has gamers so entranced that it is a wonder it doesn’t have 15 sequels at least.

Developers have learned from this winning formula what gamers in this genre really want, and this has led to the development of other games. Whether they are better than Max Payne is a matter that is open to discussion and may lead to some very heated debates, but none can argue that each of these has its own unique charm too. The list below gives some insight into these games, and what has made them so popular amongst gamers.

John Woo presents Strangehold

First thing you need to know about any game that features the name of John Woo, it is going to be awesome. The game started out as a movie, the sequel to the 1992 smash hit Hard Boiled and became a game when people realized how popular it was. The main character Tequila, has the task of rescuing his wife from the bad guys and abiding the law as he does it. Of course, for those who just like to shoot things, this will be a visual treat as you get lots of guns and get to pop off everyone in your way.

Matrix: Path of Neo

If you loved the Matrix movies, there is no doubt that you are going to want to play these. While they are quite different to Max Payne, they have enough similarities that players will find a lot of reasons to keep playing. For one, both are based on using weapons to cut down adversaries and for another, both require a pretty strong constitution. The major difference is that one of these games is a close combat ass-kicking contest while the other requires you to shoot to kill from beginning to end. Which is which? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Kane & Lynch 2

One of the many popular games from Io Interactive, Kane & Lynch 2 sees two of the world’s most notorious criminals, you guessed it, Kane and Lynch, being bad and generally kicking butt. The game is a third person shooter that has been dubbed one of the most brutal and though the storyline starts with Lynch in a relatively good head space, this quickly changes as Kane starts to get them into trouble. They have to escape the gangster underworld of Shanghai, make their way through various levels and do it all without getting killed or maimed, or captured by the bad guys.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate

This action game takes place when Wesley, the character from the movie and the game, has become the leader of a whole secret fraternity of assassins. Players have the option to slow time if they wish to do so and can even curve bullets, just like in Max Payne, but the gun wars are pretty intense. Wesley has to find the French Fraternity to find out more about his family and how they relate to the assassins. He also has to find the Immortal, a task that is not easy and certainly, will leave a lot of dead bodies in his wake.

Hitman

This is a game that you need to speed up your to-play list immediately. As Agent 47, you will have to take down whoever gets in your way and the more money you get offered, the more stealthy you will have to be about your kills. While Max Payne is really about gunning down all and sundry, this is a game that forces you to rely more on your brain and on stealth if you want to make people dead. The game has been very well developed and provides for players who enjoy a completely immersive experience by putting them right in the centre of the Htiman’s world.

Dead to rights: Retribution

This third person shooter was released almost three years ago but since then, has built itself a pretty impressive following. With protagonist, Mr Jack Slate on the job, you will have to work hard to expose those who want to control the whole city of Metropolis. The game is all about the action and while some will want to burn their way through the bad guys, shooting and killing as they go, others may take the stealthy approach, stealing weapons and even using others as human shields. The ability to use combos of moves is pretty cool too and makes this game, one for the Christmas list.

Mafia

This series of games consists of The City of Lost Heaven as well as Mafia 2, both of which are third person action games that take the player on a pretty unique adventure. They have been developed by Illusion Softworks and we can tell you that this is one developer that really knows what they’re doing. Set in the US, players have to get Vito, a mafia man to live his life to the fullest, either by ways that are moral or not so much. As he tries to ascend the crime ranks, there will be a lot of opposition in his way, and that’s where you come in.

James Bond: Everything or Nothing

James Bond is one of the world’s most infamous heroes, not just on the silver screen but on consoles and PCs too. Though it has been said to have certain flaws, the game is certainly one of most played and allows gamers to put themselves right into the perfectly polished shoes of 007. As the spy, players will have to drive, shoot and run through the series of mazes the game throws at them, all the while keeping a perfectly coiffed hairdo and ensuring they do it all in style. If you love James Bond, this game is certainly worth the effort.

The Punisher

Yes, ladies and gents, he is based on the character in the Marvel comics and that does make him somewhat notorious, but does the game measure up to the comic? Some would say it doesn’t, but others know if you’re going to be The Punisher, you are going to have to take the good along with the bad. Though you won’t find bullet time here, as you may have gotten used to in Max Payne, the game does allow players to go into slaughter mode, a slightly slower time frame that gives players access to unlimited knives and the strength to throw them.

Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow

A very popular third person shooter, this game makes use of physics to make it stand out from the rest. As well as being able to shoot others, as you may expect, the game also allows players to use cover when they need to by ducking from side to side. As Gabriel Logan, you will have to deal with all manner of setbacks from Somali pirates to crooked bureaucrats and even notorious Syrian bad guy, Ghassan al-Bitar. Whether you manage to make it out alive all depends on you and the steady stream of weapons you will pick up as you go.