DualShockers Definitives: 10 Best Shooters Of 2023

DualShockers votes on the best shooters of the year (1st- and 3rd-person).

10 Warhammer 40,000 Boltgun

In the bright colours of the far future…Warhammer 40K Boltgun

Applying the fast-paced boomer shooter mold to the 40K universe turned out to be a masterful move. 40K games, from Darktide to Space Hulk, tend to take themselves awfully seriously, and it turns out that the best 40K game in years is a brightly coloured, high-intensity Doom-like splatterfest.

The best 40K game in years is a brightly coloured, high-intensity Doom-like splatterfest.

The gothic industrial environments, aglow with reds and pinks, are the perfect stage for the first-person carnage, as you battering-ram into and blast away vibrant sprites representing Nurglings, Chaos Marines, and other forces of Chaos. The gunfeel is a blast, with every weapon from Shotguns, to Chainswords and Melta Guns taking up a big chunk of your screen and making you feel every bit the unstoppable Ultramarine you are.

9 Destiny 2 Lightfall

Guns over StoryDestiny 2 - The Traveler attacks the Witness.

Our Jeff had some mixed feelings about the latest Destiny 2 expansion, Lightfall, but one area in which he was satiated was in the mechanics and gunplay. “Disappointing narrative”? It’s a shooter, Jeff, just shoot any part of the story you don’t like!

Beyond that, the Strand subclass and new Grappling system add some spice to the game’s already excellent core mechanics, and the new campaign missions really let you toy around with them, as well as retaining the typically spectacular visual and level design that Destiny 2 is renowned for.

8 El Paso, Elsewhere

Max Hellplane

Channeling the spirit of the original Max Payne right down to the blocky poly graphics, but transposing it into a neon-lit void-like hellscape filled with eldritch creatures, child-demons and other monstosities, El Paso, Elsewhere was a bold, original undertaking by developer Strange Scaffold.

A perfect, fast-paced revival and revision of early 2000s 3rd-person shooters.

Bringing back classic Payne mechanics like bullet-time, while adding slick moves of its own and establishing a great pace and rhythm thanks to its oddball hip-hop soundtrack, El Paso Elsewhere is a perfect, fast-paced revival and revision of that early 2000s third-person shooter style.

7 Payday 3

A Steal on Game PassPayday 3 Vault Key Code Touch The Sky 8

Payday 3 had a very shaky start, to the point that developer Starbreeze actually shut the game down temporarily so they could address its myriad issues. Once those are out the way, however, you can appreciate the refined mechanics, impressive multi-layered level design that makes each heist its own puzzle, and more robust options for a stealthy approach.

It’s not perfect yet, and arguably at this point Payday 2 is still the superior game with its piles of DLC and updates, but with time Payday 3 may well take over from it as the best co-op heist shooter out there.

6 Exoprimal

Fighting ExtinctionCritical hit from Nimbus on an Anklyosaurus in Exoprimal

It’s not easy to break into the online shooter space, and Exoprimal has been finding that out the hard way with low player counts and a general struggle for uptake. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good game, and the team here at DualShockers have been enjoying its frenzied third-person dino-blasting action, which lets you jump between several distinct exosuits alongside your pals, while sending waves of hundreds of saurian creatures back into extinction.

A fast PvPvE shooter with plenty of room for mastery via its snappy exosuits.

It struggles a bit with content-gating, but get through that and you have a fast-paced PvPvE shooter with plenty of room for mastery via its range of snappy exosuits that’ll have you happily gliding, dashing, and shooting around metallic futuristic arenas.

5 The Finals

Breaking Down Wallsall-out action in the game The Finals

Bound around the streets, grapple up buildings, and mad-dash around fleshed out city-block environments in teams of three, in an online shooter that rediscovers the joy of old-school arena blasters and puts them in a colourful new format. The big hook at its centre is the fact that most things—buildings, floors, cranes—in the game are destructible, so you can smash your way through a wall to backstab an enemy, or send them hurtling to their death by blasting away the ground beneath their feet.

The destructibility can also be used to, say, blow up the floor beneath a vault so it drops to the floor below, letting you get really creative with how you use it. It’s zany and original, with a free-to-play model that’s far less coercive than some other games out there.

4 Atomic Heart

Soviet ShockAtomic Heart

With its excellent world design based around Soviet utopianism, some awesome 1950s-style clanging robots to fight, hot robo-twins, and some nifty special abilities and other clever touches, Atomic Heart may not quite be as clever as Bioshock was in its time, but it’s still a great shooter in the vein of the subaquatic classic.

A super-competent shooter in a super-original open-world setting.

The retro-futuristic shooter is full of neat details evoking the Soviet world, while the combat, which blends gunplay with ‘polymeric’ abilities, which let you do things like mass-levitate robots before slamming them into the ground, or stun them with electricity before clobbering them with your fully upgraded hammer. It’s a super-competent shooter in a super-original open-world setting.

3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Brute ForceModern Warfare 3 Zombies How To Get All Ammo Mods What They Do

It’s quite possible that the entry here from one of the best-selling FPS franchises of all time, has earned its spot on our list through the sheer brute force of how many people have played it. While not a revolutionary title in the franchise, its zombie-based open-world endgame is an absolute hoot, and the ‘greatest hits’ roster of multiplayer maps—including the likes of Dome, Favela, and Hardhat—gives players plenty of nostalgic thrills to enjoy.

Yes, many don’t think that Modern Warfare 3 is meaty enough to justify full price, but as a game in itself, it looks and feels as good as Call of Duty’s ever been. Game Pass subscribers who wait for it to arrive on the platform next year some time could be the real winners with this game.

2 Metroid Prime Remastered

A Shot in the ArmFirst person view of Samus shooting an enemy alien

Metroid’s foray into a first-person perspective was one of the most interesting, original style shifts that Nintendo did with Metroid Prime in 2002. Even though Prime deploys a first-person perspective, it’s not actually that shooting-heavy, and is faithful to the exploration-heavy template of the 2D games. Naturally, Metroid Prime: Remastered comes with uplifted graphics and much-improved controls. It’s not a drastic improvement, but an appreciated one nonetheless.

Not a drastic improvement, but an appreciated one.

Tallon IV remains an impressive, immersive environment to explore, and in his review our Josh Furr describes it as a welcome “shot in the arm” for an all-time classic (even though he grumbled about the game’s sometimes harsh save checkpoint system).

1 Remnant 2

Rising From The AshesRemnant 2 Co-op Gameplay On Yaesha

It’s always great to see a smaller developer on a tighter budget come good, and Remnant 2 is a beautiful example of that. Building on the already good original game, this souls-like shooter throws you and up to two pals into a campaign marked by three distinct worlds, all of which have procedurally generated levels making each run feel like a fresh, daunting new adventure.

Hugely impressive from both a technical and design perspective.

The challenging gunplay and melee combat are crunchy and satisfying, the class system is diverse (and it’s a joy discovering which classes complement each other in co-op), and the spectacle of some of the bosses is almost ‘Destiny’ levels of awesome. Our reviewer Rob Webb loved it, deeming it “hugely impressive from both a technical and design perspective,” and its recent DLC has expanded the adventure with a cool new realm, hopefully marking the first of many expansions to build on the already impressive base game.

In a genre so often defined by the ‘big names,’ it’s great to see Remnant 2 emerge at the top of our list. With that said, after this sequel, it’s possible that the Remnant IP is now well on the path towards becoming a big name itself.