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Top 10 War Games

'War does not determine who is right - only who is left'. 
The immortal words of Bertrand Russell are grave, yet insightful – war is a horrible and gruesome thing, and ultimately only serves to bring about the deaths of those brave enough to fight for their country. Still, it's a theme that video games have grabbed hold of with startling enthusiasm, offering players all the excitement, tension and bloodshed of battle, from the comfort of their own home. And no games do it better than the ten on this list.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The gruesome realities of war, albeit one of the fictional kind, are depicted no better than in Infinity Ward's high-octane shooter, Modern Warfare 2. Although the game is based on future events, the gritty realism that the Call of Duty series is renowned for remains intact. No game brings you closer to the soldiers of war than this, and few people will be able to forget the emotional scenes leading up to the game's spectacular finale. Video game war doesn't get more real than this.

Medal of Honor Frontline
In perhaps the most memorable opening level of all time, Medal of Honor Frontline brings to life the horrific events of the Normandy beach landing in 1944, with scenes that wouldn't look out of place in Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. Frontline offered a fantastic glimpse at the horrors of World War II, and paved the way for the countless World War shooters that would follow.

Gears of War 2
In a war that couldn't be more different from the world wars of planet Earth, Gears of War 2 sees the return of Marcus Fenix and his meat headed comrades as they continue their battle with the terrifying Locust. With more pistol-whipping, curb-stomping and general violence than you can shake a chainsaw gun at, Gears of War 2 throws players into a war brimming with testosterone.

Rome Total War
While true that the theme of war is mostly represented in the first person, with guns and buckets of violence, the strategy genre shows a completely different side of the bloodshed. Creative Assembly's Total War series recreates the epic battles of years gone by, with an emphasis on strategy, tactics and realism. Like Shogun and Medieval before it, Rome Total War brought the RTS strategy out of the realm of science fiction, and into the pages of history.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
The fourth game in Ubisoft's popular Ghost Recon series, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, or GRAW 2, if that's easier on the tongue, deals with the conflict between a Mexican rebel group and Mexican loyalists. With GRAW, there's no place for one-man armies however; the game is all about the squad. It might be a third-person shooter, but the game forces tactical manoeuvres and thoughtful strategies all with the team in mind.

Total Annihilation
Set in the midst of an intergalactic war in the far future, Total Annihilation gives players the opportunity to side with the Arm or Core factions, as a war fought by robots is waged on a top-down battlefield. The game was released back in 1997, but the well designed tech-trees and well thought out resource system means that the game still holds up fantastically some thirteen years later.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
EA's Battlefield: Bad Company 2 returns to the horrors of World War, introducing a powerful new weapon known as 'Aurora' that serves as the focal point of the campaign. The action takes place on the West Coast of the Americas, from the dense jungles of South America to the ice capped peaks of Alaska. The most recent game on this list, Bad Company 2 offers one of the most comprehensive first-person shooter experiences to date.

Company of Heroes
The last place for an RTS on this list is reserved for Relic Entertainment's Company of Heroes. Set in World War II (the most over saturated setting in video game history, as this list proves nicely), the player is put in strategic control of major American operations during the Battle of Normandy. With a host of awards and GOTY nominations under its belt, Company of Heroes is the definitive war-based RTS.

Halo 3
The strength of the universe in which the humans, Covenant and Flood rage their bloody war is reflected in the books, graphic-novels and even animations that accompany Bungie's celebrated sci-fi franchise. As far as the games themselves go, however, none bring the war to life quite as successfully as Halo 3, which sees Master Chief finish the fight in the trilogy's epic conclusion.

Advance Wars
War doesn't have to be gritty and violent, as Nintendo has proved with its critically acclaimed Advance Wars series. With cute anime inspired visuals and a refreshing over-the-top narrative, war has never been so enjoyable. The solid turn-based strategy at the heart of the game has spawned three direct sequels, as well as the spin-off Battalion Wars series on the Gamecube and Wii.


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