Also known as the "over-the-shoulder" view, the third-person perspective is another popular choice among game designers these days, especially because most games are in 3D. A third-person perspective is when the player can see the character he or she is playing onscreen. This perspective has its advantages, too, because more of the environment can be seen while playing; plus, you can see the moves your character can makewhich is impossible in a first-person perspective view.
Many console and PC games use this view, including Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the Tomb Raider series, the Spider-Man series, the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, the Metal Gear Solid series, and the Resident Evil series.
This perspective is not limited to just action/arcade games; sports games (almost all of them) honor this view, as well as RPGs (Final Fantasy series) and adventure games (LucasArts' Escape from Monkey Island).