Five years on from Halo 3's release, though, and it's going to have its work cut out to oust the likes of Modern Warfare and Black Ops from the hearts and minds of the shooter faithful. Halo 4 looks like it's got what it takes to do just that - and come November 6, it looks like the world will stop once more for the Master Chief.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II's single player campaign aims to move beyond linear storytelling and the game's online component appears equally ambitious, with developer Treyarch innovating upon some of the core game systems in what could be the biggest overhaul to Call of Duty's online gameplay since the original Modern Warfare launched in 2007.
It may be early days, but from what we've seen of Black Ops II it's clear that Treyarch isn't resting on its laurels by playing things safe.
Many will be looking forward to Modern Warfare 3's single player campaign, but it's the franchise's multiplayer component which has helped Call of Duty become the biggest game series in the world over the past few years.