With so many games released this year, we decided to create a separate category for the hugely popular genre of shooting things. Some major, major sequels hit shelves in 2004, but we narrowed the field down to the ones that truly deserve to be lined up in our scope.
A project five years in the making, the sequel to one of the greatest games of all time completely floored us with its unbelievable look. Leaps and bounds more advanced than anything else out there, Half-Life 2's amazing engine wasn't just for show - the gameplay, production and excellent scripting led to a thrilling shooter. Tack on Counter-Strike Source and you get the most complete PC frag package of the year.
Halo 2 Publisher: Microsoft
It broke sales records left and right, made the front page of every newspaper in the country and oh yeah, it was a pretty good game, too. If you didn't play Halo 2 online, you missed the best multiplayer fragging found on any system this year.