Like a beautiful pebble that has been rounded over the centuries by the gentle splashing of the ocean waves, Halo 3 has become the perfect hardcore first-person combat simulator. By dint of painstaking labor on the part of its developer, Bungie, it has been refined over three installments to the point where it delivers only pure, unadulterated gaming bliss. Every combat is even-sided and complex and can be waged in multiple ways, using an arsenal of long- and short-range weapons, plus grenades and hand-to-hand moves. Every level is perfectly paced and balanced. Plus it's graphically gorgeous, and the epic storyline and the stirring score don't hurt.