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Games like Black Ops 6: 5 shooters to play

Key Takeaways

  • Titanfall 2 by Respawn Entertainment provides a sci-fi alternative shooter with fast-paced gameplay and intense multiplayer.
  • Counter-Strike 2 offers a realistic multiplayer experience that focuses on slower, deliberate gameplay and intense tactics.
  • Rainbow Six Siege strikes a balance with tactical gameplay, unique character choices, dynamic destructibility, and a high learning curve.



There may be a new Call of Duty game every year, but that doesn’t make the wait any easier. Once the sheen has worn off and the game has gotten too sweaty, we all start looking to the horizon for a fresh start on even footing. Last year’s Modern Warfare 3 was a big letdown in almost every way so the community shrunk even faster than usual. Now that we know we’re getting Black Ops 6 this fall, however, interest is shooting back up. Except for Black Ops 4, this subseries has never missed. Part of what makes every Call of Duty game — including Black Ops — so special is how polished and refined the gameplay is at its core. Even those who don’t particularly enjoy Call of Duty still recognize that it is one of the best-feeling shooters year after year.


As exciting as a new Black Ops game is, it doesn’t change the fact that we can’t start playing it for several months to get that next taste of multiplayer goodness. It’s a long time to wait, and even previous Call of Duty games can’t quite scratch that itch for a fast, tactical, and slightly futuristic shooter, since you would need to go back several years before finding one not set in the modern or World War 2 era. If you look beyond the Call of Duty franchise, though, there are plenty of games that can more than hold you over and keep your aim sharp until Black Ops 6 arrives. In fact, you might just find yourself a new obsession. I’ve strained my trigger finger testing out the best shooters out there to find the best games you can play right now to fill the gap until Black Ops 6.

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1 Titanfall 2

CoD + Mechs


Titanfall 2

Release Date
October 28, 2016

Genre
FPS

Developer
Respawn Entertainment

Who better to make an alternative to Call of Duty than a studio made up of the people who created it? Respawn Entertainment didn’t specifically make Black Ops, but Titanfall 2 fits perfectly in line with what you want from the series. It’s a little bit more sci-fi than Black Ops has been so far — mainly in the form of giant robot mechs — but feels like it could be a sequel in all but name. And who doesn’t want to pilot a giant robot in multiplayer?

While you’re on foot, the mobility options and speed make every encounter a rush of adrenaline and bullets. You’ll be springing, boosting, wall running, and grappling around the map like a pro once you get a feel for it. It also includes a light MOBA element with AI bots on each map that gives players another way to contribute even if they can’t keep up with the more seasoned players. The campaign shouldn’t be ignored, either. It might not have the same espionage or undercover feel as some Black Ops titles, but it is a masterful thrill ride unlike any other FPS.


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2 Counter-Strike 2

Beyond hardcore

Counter-Strike 2

Developer
Valve

Release
September 27, 2023

Genre
FPS, shooter, multiplayer, competitive, action

I love the CoD campaigns, but I won’t fool myself into thinking that’s what draws the majority of people in — that would be the multiplayer. Something about the speed, weapon feel, and fast time to kill hits the pleasure centers in our brains just right. When it comes to realistic multiplayer FPS titles, however, Counter-Strike is the king. Black Ops would be the perfect training wheels for Counter-Strike 2. You’ll need to learn to play more slowly and deliberately when you can throw an entire round if you even let the enemy hear your footsteps.


Aiming and firing is another mechanic you will need to readjust to in order to compensate for more realistic bullet spray and recoil. Once you adapt to those differences, though, the stakes and thrills of any individual match far exceed the more arcade-y joy of winning a Black Ops game. I’m not saying one is better than the other, only that those who get a rush from outsmarting and outplaying an opponent will love what Counter-Strike 2 is doing.

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3 Rainbow Six Siege

Breaking down barriers


Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Developer
Ubisoft Montreal

Release
December 1, 2015

Genre
Tactical FPS

If you can’t get into Counter-Strike 2 because it doesn’t have enough customization and differences between characters, like Black Ops, Rainbow Six Siege is the perfect middle ground. It is just as intense and tactical as CS2, but you have dozens of unique Operators to choose from with their own skills, loadouts, and roles in a match. Part of the reason Siege has remained so popular in casual and hardcore circles is its dynamic destructibility and how it encourages creative play. If you need to reach an objective on the floor below, just blow a hole open and drop down. If enemies are flanking from the other side of a wall, start spraying and you might land some hits. Once you see someone land a headshot through a bullethole in a wall to win the round, you will chase that moment for hours until you can pull it off. The learning curve in this game is especially high, but fun from your first round to your hundredth.

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4 Halo Infinite

Bitter rivals


Halo Infinite

Developer
343 Industries

Release
November 15, 2021

Genre
FPS

Call of Duty and Halo once exchanged blows for the best FPS on the market, but those days are long over. Halo isn’t dead, but Infinite did have a very rough start when it launched. After years of updates and tweaks, it’s finally worth diving into while you wait for Black Ops 6.

The community is able to create endless amounts of maps and modes to try out and keep the game thriving.

Infinite is still an arena-style shooter with a longer time to kill than CoD, plus has more variables like abilities, weapon pickups on the map, and vehicles. If you’re open to those extra elements in the sandbox, then Infinite has a ton to offer. We finally have a respectable number of maps, gameptypes, and playlists to pick from, but most importantly, forge. Thanks to that, the community is able to create endless amounts of maps and modes to try out and keep the game thriving between official updates. If that wasn’t enticing enough, the entire multiplayer suite is also free. You would need to buy the campaign if you wanted to experience that, but I don’t think it’s necessary at all.


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5 Battlefield 2042

Large-scale conflict

battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042

Developer
DICE

Release
November 19, 2021

Genre
Massive FPS

The Battlefield series is another long-running competitor to CoD that has held its own but never managed to quite hit the same levels of success. Almost exactly like Infinite, 2042 was a disaster at launch. Its bugs and instability would be bad enough, but it even lacked basic features like a scoreboard. I have to give Dice credit, however, because it did manage to eventually get this game to the level it should have been at launch. Time period-wise, 2042 lines up perfectly with the general near-future tech of Black Ops. Guns and gadgets are still grounded, but with a slight sci-fi edge to look and feel more interesting.


Being a Battlefield game, the biggest difference will be the scope of matches. On modern consoles and PCs, you can participate in epic 128-player wars that feel like nothing Black Ops can offer. Because the maps are so massive, objectives placed intelligently, and teams are divided into squads, you never feel lost or like you’re not contributing.

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