Top 5 Console Light Gun Games

1. Time Crisis 3 (Playstation 2, Namco 2003)


Time Crisis 3 is the newest game on this list so in turn it boasts the most features. American arcade frequenters were graced with its presence in October 2003 and light gun enthusiasts everywhere quickly found out their favorite light gun game had just been replaced with Time Crisis 3. Up until the game was released the light gun genre here in the US was getting a bit stale. Nothing new was really being added to the gameplay of light gun shooters to keep the quarters being pumped into the machines. Sure we had branching paths and multiple endings, but almost every game was starting to feel the same. Time Crisis 3 adds a feature that the genre already had, but did it in a new way. Switching between weapons on the fly with armory that included the standard handgun, fully automatic machine gun, shotgun, and grenade launcher had gamers wondering why this hadn’t been implemented before. Multiple weapons were a common feature in other light gun games but the player would have to locate the weapon in a level and shoot it to gain possession, but in Time Crisis 3 all your weapons are at your disposal from the start of the game! Add this with the cover feature and crisis flash system that were already a standard in the original Time Crisis games, and you have a light-gun game that feels fresh.

Time Crisis 3 takes place six years after part 2. The story here is your standard fare of bad guy wants to shoot a nuke off and it’s up to you to stop him. The acting here is a surprisingly good and not the “it’s so bad it’s good” light-gun standard. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still very corny, but at least it doesn’t sound like Namco grabbed any Joe off the street and had him record a couple of lines.


Time Crisis 3 received an arcade perfect port to the PlayStation 2 and had a nice number of features to round out an already decent package. A side story featuring Alicia Winston is playable here with a sniper rifle being utilized in specific sections of the story. Also new plot details, weapons, and a handful of other features are included in the port that are nowhere to be found its arcade counterpart.

Do you have any light gun games you think should have made the list? Please sound off in the comments below! I’m always looking for a new light gun experience!

Mike Vito has been a slave to gaming ever since playing his grandfather's Atari 2600. A collector of all things retro, his main focus is obtaining a full NES collection. Being a father has rekindled his spirit for Nintendo and he now spends most of his time teaching his daughter about the games of yesteryear. Check out his other work in Pat Contri’s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Follow him @veryevilash on Twitter Current favorite games: Air Zonk, NHL Hitz 2003, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, & Super Dodgeball.

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