First Person Shooters are one of the most beloved, yet over-saturated genres currently in the gaming industry. While there are a lot of great ones out there, there are an exceptional bunch that stand out over the others. Here are my personal favorites in the industry that truly stood out:
10) Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
Ubisoft welcomed gamers with the tactical FPS, Rainbow Six Vegas, when it hit the market back in the Fall of 2006. With it’s hybrid of FPS mechanics and TPS cover system, you got a nice blend that gave gamers something different from your typical FPS. Couple that with some great environmental design, strong soundtrack and gripping story, with an ending no one sees coming, and you’ve got a stellar game here that FPS fans owe themselves to play.
9) Doom 64
Doom has always been a sweet FPS that many hold dear to them. However, what set Doom 64 apart from the prior installments was the creepy mood it captured. Environments were much more expansive than ever before and the audio really set a strikingly creepy vibe. In the previous ones, you’d have bumpin’ rock tunes to listen to while shooting away at mutants. This one had you sitting tensely thanks to atmospheric tunes that set your mind in a more “horror” mentality. It was still the same game we grew to love, only evolved into a horror state.
8) Half-Life 2
When it comes to FPSs, Valve is certainly known for providing groundbreaking experiences and that came with Half-Life. We had never seen or played any game like it before and to this day, still stands out as a revolutionary experience. Many years later, after much hype and demand, Valve released the highly anticipated sequel, Half-Life 2, to much critical and consumer reception. Implementing a whole new physics engine that had never been seen before, along with a gripping narrative, Half-Life 2 set out to create a new standard in FPSs and did exactly that.
“Son, you were born to do great things…” Upon hearing that line, the airline you’re on begins to malfunction and crashes in the ocean. As you swim to the surface, you look at the remnants of plane, astounded by the visuals Irrational Games achieved. BioShock easily has a lot going for it. Set in alternate 1960s era, you’ll be greeted with a mystifying narrative, outstanding visuals, strong environment designs, fine-tuned combat and some of the best water effects seen in a game to date. The city of Rapture was a joy to explore as you never knew what to expect next.
6) Resistance: Fall of Man
To start off, Insomniac Games is one of my favorite developers. Granted, I never really got around to playing the Spyro games on PS1 but I started with their Ratchet & Clank titles on PS2 and damn, were those flawless games. At the release of the PS3, there’s no denying that there was a lack of solid titles to pick up alongside the pricey system…except for Insomniac’s “Resistance: Fall of Man”. Not only was it the best PS3 launch title, it was one of the best FPSs ever created. Solid visuals, a mystifying story, tight gameplay, lengthy campaign, intense 32 player online mode, suspenseful soundtrack and some of the best sound effects in a shooter, Resistance: Fall of Man is one FPS that should not have been missed.
5) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
While Call of Duty is turning into a mundane yearly affair for many, there was a recent time where we didn’t trash on the game as much. COD4: MW was simply the best one as it wasn’t too heavily structured as being a mindless shooter. Easily the best campaign in the series, it also had the most polished and fine tuned multiplayer. As the series went on, they aimed for a “more is better” approach on multiplayer which in turn, made the series become a turn off to many die-hard fans of COD4.
4) Turok 2
Turok 2 is the definition of how an FPS adventure is done right. Brilliant weapons, sharp visuals, environments full of detail, phenomenal cinematic soundtrack and finely tuned shooting mechanics. This game would eat up an easy 20-40 hours just to get through the rich campaign. After this installment, the franchise fell from grace with the questionable Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, atrocious Turok: Evolution and mediocre reboot that hit the current gen simply known as Turok.
3) Perfect Dark
Another stellar FPS to hit the N64 (and later with an HD remaster on XBLA) was toward the end of the system’s lifecycle. Perfect Dark pushed the visuals of the N64 beyond anything thought imaginable on the system at the time. It built upon and perfected the gameplay mechanics made for GoldenEye and had a ton of content to take on. Awesome weaponry, outstanding soundtrack, a mostly solid campaign (starts amazing but begins to feel a bit jarring towards the end), one of the most robust multiplayers that still competes with today’s standards, and flawless mechanics made this an FPS that couldn’t be missed.
2) GoldenEye 007 (N64)
No matter how you put it, GoldenEye was one of the pinnacles of FPSs to ever grace gamers. At the time, there was really nothing quite like it. A solid campaign that made players complete a variety of objectives, along with an untouchable 4-player multiplayer that provided for some of the most memorable moments when playing with friends. The game added further complexity by adding cheats to unlock by completing missions on specific difficulties while speed running them. Simple unlocks consisted of the infamous DK Mode and Paintball Mode, but truly skilled players could unlock Invincibility by completing the Facility level on 00 Agent in under 2:10, which is incredibly impressive.
1) TimeSplitters 2
TimeSplitters 2 was developed by the same team that was behind the flawless GoldenEye 007 back on the N64 but also behind the game that shut them down, Haze. Regardless, TimesSplitters 2 had it all. An over-the-top, fun campaign, deep and fully customizable multiplayer and a full-blown Map Maker so that you can not only make your own multiplayer maps for you and your friends to duke it out on, but also create Single Player missions! Top this with nostalgic mechanics from GoldenEye, a brilliant soundtrack and a rock solid 60 fps and you’ve got a package that is truly astonishing.
Did you play these titles? If so, which ones were your favorites? Sound off in the comments below!