Now this was a fun list to make….
There are many first-person shooters & plenty of them have been great so narrowing it down to 10 should be quite a challenge. Some games are easy to put in this list, others almost squeaked in but didn’t quite make the cut.
It breaks my heart to have to leave some absolute classics out of this list…pour some out for our fallen brothers:
• Half-Life 2
• Metro 2033
• Bioshock Infinite
• Perfect Dark
• Metroid Prime
• Serious Sam: TFE
This is a list based of the FPS games that I’ve loved over the years…I wonder what yours would be?
10 – Borderlands 2
A vast improvement over the original game with a much more satisfying story. Pandora is a great place to explore & with an exceptionally high number of weapon variations & things to kill there is no shortage of action & fun to be had. With up to 4-player online co-op & 4 different character classes to play as there is more than enough to keep any FPS fan busy for weeks.
9 – Medal of Honor
The original Medal of Honor was the first FPS game I had played that placed me in World War 2. With a story written by Steven Spielberg & an epic soundtrack to boot, Medal of Honor was a winner from the start. The game had as huge amount of level variety & while the weapons may not have lit the screen up they were reminiscent of the time & felt extremely authentic. Arguably the definitive World War 2 shooter…
8 – Doom
Doom…the only FPS on this list to have been made into a movie, that is just how important it is not just for FPS fans but for gamers overall. Often cited as the driving force behind the modern popularity of the FPS genre Doom‘s influence can be felt all over the world. The epic story that begins on Mars & ends in Hell is filled to the brim with tough enemies & plenty of weapons to take them down. What made Doom really stand out was the size of the levels with key cards needed to unlock other areas. Getting lost was all too easy & there was something nerve-wracking about turning a corner & running straight into a severed head…
7 – Halo: Combat Evolved (Anniversary Edition)
I confess to not being much of a Halo fan…it passed me by when I wasn’t gaming. By time I found my way back via the 360 the series was on its 3rd incarnation which I avoided playing for a long time. When I did eventually bring myself up to speed (story-wise) & dived into Halo 3, I found I loved it so quickly went back to the start via the newly released Anniversary edition. With updated graphics, controls & multi-player it is the definitive way to play Halo. The war with the Covenant is epic enough & then the Flood step in & suddenly the end of everything looks so much closer.
6 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Forget what you think of the series now & cast your mind back to the original Modern Warfare game & remember how good it was. To that point we had been playing world war epics so that MW’s weapons & settings stood heads above the previous games. With an amazingly deep story & real sense of constant threat (re-spawning enemies, remember those?) Modern Warfare easily deserves its place on this list. Its multi-player is still hugely popular today…
5 – Quake 2
The story is simple enough…marines against aliens on an alien home-planet. Nothing to exciting but where Quake 2 excels is in its gameplay. It is easily one of the most fun FPS games on this list. Great level designs, interesting puzzles, great weapons that really feel like they make an impact & even better bosses, Quake 2 is a wild ride from the start & it doesn’t let up until the credits roll.
4 – Duke Nukem 3D
The game that made Duke a household star…Taking a fair bit of inspiration from games that came before what it did differently was put you in the shoes of a wise-cracking bad-ass who wanted to kill every single alien in his path. Big guns, big enemies & strippers combined to make one hell of a thrill ride. Duke Nukem balanced great gameplay with some pretty tough moments & had some of the earliest incarnations of set-pieces in FPS games. There is so much variety in the levels & it is testament to the game that no other Duke game has even come close to touching this.
3 – Bioshock
Bioshock’s introduction sets the scene perfectly for what will come, explosions & water. Who doesn’t remember that swim towards the lighthouse & then that trip down to the wondrous yet deadly city, Rapture? Bioshock had surprises around every corner with the combination of gunplay & ‘plasmid’ (think spell-throwing) wielding being a really nice surprise. Rapture is one of the best places to explore in gaming & filled with threats that can fall to your hands in a number of ways. Nothing though will prepare you for facing off against a Big Daddy….this is what FPS games are all about.
2 – Timesplitters 2
When people ask me what FPS would I like to see re-mastered for modern consoles…this is the one I point at. It could easily be number 1 thanks to an amazing single player experience & a rewarding multi-player. Levels take place across 10 different time-zones with weapons & enemies that reflect the time period you are in. From the wild west to Chicago during the gangster era to a future space station. It is extremely well done & possibly my favourite single player campaign in an FPS to date.
1 – Goldeneye
A no-brainer right? I briefly considered leaving it off the top spot but the quality of the most complete FPS experience to date means it is almost always at the top of any list. Based off the movie of the same name Goldeneye sees the player steeping into the shoes of James Bond & playing through levels based off moments in the movie. With clever puzzles, great gadgets, authentic weapons, several difficulties & additional missions & modes there is so much content & that is even before you get to the amazing split-screen multi-player. Play proximity mines only on a small level with 3 to 4 players for an absolute blast.