Top 8 Looter Shooters

What is a looter shooter one may ask? It is essentially a shooter style game with the MMO elements of grinding and upgrading to more powerful gear, usually with a randomized system of loot. Not many games fit the description of this rising new genre, the newest game on the radar for this style of game would be Bioware’s newest title, Anthem. Many on this list are current giants within this spectrum, actively fighting for their player-base through the introduction of fun mechanics and a rewarding grind.

Searching for the insurmountable feeling of gaining a piece of equipment that you have been spending all your time hoping would drop, or perhaps the overwhelming joy one feels upon completion of a difficult objective only to be rewarded by a plethora of loot. Combined with the satisfying shooter genre which is expected to have rewarding gunplay and offer an overall grand experience. Whatever one’s reason for delving their time within these games, all search the accomplishment of expressing oneself through the trials and challenges that are based upon their character. Telling a story through the gear one wears. Let us commence and reveal the top 8 Looter Shooters.

#8 – Alienation

Four humans holding off alien invaders

Starting off this list is a small, simple title that rightly shows what complexities may arrive from this genre. Released exclusively for the PlayStation 4, the developers of Housemarque created the isometric twin-stick shooter of Alienation. With the simple of the basis of aliens invading our home planet of Earth, you along with up to three others must defend our home. Three classes are introduced that each decide which weapons, armor, and powers one has access to. A true survival game that tests your steel with the power of the hordes of aliens, with varying increasing difficulties. A fun twist upon the other looter shooters found upon this list, offering a new gameplay experience and a challenging set of obstacles to endure.

#7 Defiance

Defiance Ark Hunters posing with their weapons

Up next is this 2013 science-fiction themed MMO FPS created by Trion Worlds. Released for the major systems of the time, this free-to-play title introduces the after-effects of a devastating war with alien invaders known as the Votan, with the central focus taking place in the San Francisco Bay area. Choosing one of four origins determined the playstyle one would experience without having a restriction on the loot one could earn in the game. A freeform choice within the beginning allowing no one to regret truly what they have chosen. All characters are injected with the Environmental Guardian Online, classified EGO that allows access to unique abilities. Though perhaps not experimenting with the looter shooter genre too much, the promise of this title to be a good few sessions for someone craving more

#6 Tabula Rasa

Guardians are attacking one of the world bosses

Fallen to myth with the lifespan of 2 years was this 2007 self-proclaimed WoW killer known as Tabula Rasa. Developed by Destination Games, this failed title introduced an early view into the beginnings of this genre. The title directly translates to “clean slate” in Latin, clever wordplay for humanity on the brink of an alien threat. Set with humanity on their last stand against the invading Bane with help of other like-minded allies through the established Army of Allied Free Sentinels. Not expressing a true shooter experience, elements of random chance found within MMOs were melded with the action-packed fire of gunplay. With the hope to add a wanting to play tactfully. Though lost to the ages as a failed project, it is important to look back to the lessons and first seed planted of this genre.

#5 Tom Clancy’s The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division man in the midst of the dark zone

This major title developed by Massive Entertainment of Ubisoft, proposed a true challenge to this emerging genre in the year of 2016. A highly successful title that was a true competitor amongst the other top dogs at the time. Taking place within the open-world of a mid-crisis Manhattan suffering the effects of a strange virus, it is up to the player to investigate this odd anomaly. Most of the loot gained from the gameplay is through purchasing it, however, the Dark Zone offers a rewarding, yet terrifying way to grab hold of gear. Though if killed by another player that gear would be whiffed away from your person. This Tom Clancy title successfully introduced a mixture of interesting MMO-like gameplay mechanics all while holding true to the ideals of their series.

#4 Destiny: The Taken King

Destiny the Taken King subclasses posing with the Taken threateningly behind them.

Destiny, an ambitious title by the legendary Bungie Studios that failed to live up to its full potential. However, instead of being pushed aside by a newer title, the constant updates to this game melded it into a great looter shooter that built community and a true sense of accomplishment. With the first major expansion of the Taken King, Destiny had successfully reached this goal. The story is a revenge plot from the results of us Guardians and our former actions coming to light. With the simple choice of three classes, it was further emphasized with new, unique subclasses to explore. Along with the major improvement to the end game grind, this game offered enjoyable gameplay and a great community that would continue to its successor of Destiny 2 Forsaken.

#3 Warframe

Tenno's are displaying their Warframes heroically.

This free-to-play cooperative shooter took the challenge of competing with the titan of Destiny in this new genre. Developed by Digital Extremes, this unique spin on the grinding experience intrigued all with the plethora of customization options available. From new suits that completely change the ability of your character to the complex modding system that combine with the various weapons collected. Playing as the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors, you dawn warframes to combat the evils of the galaxy. Exploring the depths of this sci-fi world and experiencing the great mixture of stealth-based gameplay with the destructive power of gunplay, this phoenix rose from the ashes of its stale beginnings. A great title that gets better by the day, a true must-try for fans of looter shooters.

#2 Hellgate: London

London: Hellblade warriors displaying themselves behind the gothic atmosphere of London

Developed from remnants of the original Diablo team from Blizzard Entertainment dawned the new name of Flagship Studios. Taking place in a dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic London, demonic entities have infested the causeways of this ancient city. Offering little content in the way of a story, this title surely makes up for the vast amount of content and replayability. Combining the fantasy classes of old all while offering the potential of gunplay within some of the classes, create a different approach with each and every class. Blazing balls of destructive fire, bringing down justice with a giant sword or pertaining more to the genre with actual rifles and firearms, the demons are sure to cower. A worth playing title that combined the essence of Diablo mixed with many elements of a roguelike and the option to experience either a ranged or melee experience make this game a welcome change to the looter shooter genre

#1 – Borderlands 2

Psycho crazily posing with glimpses of vault hunters and Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2

The series that started this popular craze of the looter shooter genre, though not the first Gearbox Software created an addicting, comedic and challenging adventure that many have truly fond memories of. Taking the role of Vault Hunters, you scour the planet of Pandora for the hope of finding the largest vault in the galaxy all while dealing with the antics of the current president of the world, Handsome Jack. Loot is abundant within this game, randomized and offering many unique guns to experiment with. Combined with the varied choice of class that all offer a unique spin to gameplay, is a game that one can spend hours in. Iconic is truly the word to describe this series, implementing the first toned and wonderful experience that the looter shooter genre can achieve.

There you have it. That was the top 8 Looter Shooters of the current age. Did we skim over any other possible title befitting this genre? Do you have any fond memories pertaining to any one of these series? Do you agree with the order of the list, whatever the answer to the questions are. You must feel free to write them in the comments down below.  Stay tuned to Gaming Instincts for more top 10 lists and plenty of other awesome reviews, guides, previews and so on.