Top 10 First-Person Shooters of All Time

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.

7) BioShock

“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!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Top 10 Hardest/Most Rewarding Gaming Challenges

Many will say games are meant to be played for enjoyment. Others are masochistic and love their gaming challenges, no matter how extreme and demanding the game may be. We’ve all had our share of moments where not only did we play a game on the hardest difficulty, we’ve completed certain stipulations to unlock bonuses or just for that extra sense of satisfaction. Here are my top 10 hardest gaming challenges:

– Devil May Cry (PS2): Completing Dante Must Die Mode

The original Devil May Cry stands as one of my favorite games of all time. The fast, fluid combat system integrated with firearms and swordplay really worked well and the soundtrack was a driving factor for me to keep playing the game. However, I remember my friend telling me how he tackled and beat Dante Must Die mode and I thought, “What the hell. I’ll give it a shot too.” One of the most infuriating experiences I’ve ever had in gaming. The name of the mode was not kidding. The game was out to kick your ass inside-out. Beating this was rewarding as you earned Super Dante which allowed you to play the game over with unlimited devil trigger. Only thing was, you never wanted to see this game again for quite some time after proving that Dante Mustn’t Die.

– Ninja Gaiden (Xbox/PS3): Master Ninja Difficulty with No Upgrades

Another one of my personal favorite games. Ninja Gaiden has usually been a console seller for me. I got an Xbox just to play the original. I sold my Xbox to get a PS3 with Ninja Gaiden Sigma. Now, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is coming out for the PS Vita’s launch which will no doubt be my first game (alongside Uncharted: Golden Abyss). One day, I was talking to my brother about Ninja Gaiden Sigma and he was telling me how he beat the game without ever using Ninpo, upgrading health or upgrading any of the weapons because he simply was too engrossed in the game that he forgot about upgrading. Well, I decided to 1-up his “challenge” and thought, “Well, I’ll just do that but on Master Ninja difficulty.” Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever brought on myself as the game caused me to say words that many would find incredibly unpleasant. With some hardcore dedication, it appeared the impossible was actually possible…even beating Alma! You don’t earn anything for this specific stipulation other than pride. A proud achievement and one that I challenge those who haven’t dared this before.

– Shinobi (PS2): Completing Super Mode

Another ninja game that drove many to the edge. Shinobi for the PS2 was a very good game in my personal opinion and had me hooked into trying to complete the game 100 percent. This meant getting every Oboro Coin in each stage and completing every difficulty. I heard that you unlocked “Stage-EX” for collecting all the Oboro Coins on Super Mode difficulty and since there was no video of what the level looked like, I was determined to take on the challenge. Well, for those who don’t know how Shinobi plays on the PS2, your sword has a meter that if not fed with the souls of those you kill, it will consume your soul. It was an interesting premise but on Super Mode, it was the complete opposite. The meter would deplete stupid fast and it was bad enough that the enemies did a ton of damage to you. Oh, and this game was old-school hard by not providing any checkpoints mid-mission. The only checkpoint you had was at a boss and this game had some of the most difficult bosses in gaming history…especially the cheap-as-hell final boss. Well, when all was said and done, I unlocked Stage-EX and expected something really neat. It was nothing but a ninja trial stage that tested your skills. Are you serious? Wasn’t completing Super Mode enough?

– Goldeneye 007 (N64): 00 Agent on the Aztec Level

Ah Goldeneye…so many memories, so many infuriating controller throws at the TV. Completing 00 Agent in Goldeneye was no easy task, but it was certainly doable with enough devotion, patience and memorization. Aside from the broken Train level where you had to laser the floor and escape with the brain-dead Natalya (who for some reason loved to stay in the train and blow up), there was one level that separated the gamers with the hardcore gamers, the Aztec.

When you start a level with the wall opening in front of you and a barrage of bullets are flying at you from far away (all with pinpoint accuracy might I add), you know you’re in hell. Once you got past the room where you had to escape the launch shuttle sequence by shooting a vent and going through there, enemies had Moonraker Lasers that did a ridiculous amount of damage to you. The easiest objective to do in this level was kill Jaws because you can exploit the AI into just running circles on the staircase and you pummeling him with lasers. However, once you beat him, you had to backtrack all the way to the beginning of the level and insert a tape in the bulletproof control center. Then, an onslaught of enemies would come after you and you had move forward again to insert another tape into the launch console. Finally, it was here where you were sweating bullets and hoping that no one would sneak up and kill you because you had a time limit that initiated the launch sequence. All you needed to do was wait for the launch to go off and stand your ground…until something wrong happens and you have to run and activate yet another switch.

Bottomline was that this level on 00 Agent was absolutely ruthless. Back then, there was no such thing as a regenerating health system. Hell, you couldn’t even replenish your health. The only item you could get to help you out with receiving a few extra hits was body armor, and even that was rare. Beating this mission on 00 Agent unlocked the Egyptian Temple, which many have never seen due to the ludicrous stipulation required to access this level.

– Battletoads (NES): Completing the Game in Co-op

Battletoads was an awesome game. Tight gameplay, good graphics and a ballin’ soundtrack (as I stated in my Top 10 NES Soundtracks) made this one of those must play games. However, those who complete the game know it’s a true testament of old-school challenge. The real challenge though is to complete it on co-op. You and your partner must be both pinpoint accurate with every action you two do. If one player loses their life, it will set both players back to the beginning of the level…oh and you can hurt your partner if the game wasn’t challenging enough.

– Contra: Shattered Solider (PS2): Completing Game with S-Rank

Contra has always been known for it’s tough-as-nails difficulty and Shattered Soldier was up there. Here was the catch though. In order to see the best ending the game had to offer, you had to complete the game with an S-Rank. To do this, you had to destroy literally everything in a stage to get your Hit Rate to 100 percent. If you died, your Hit Rate percentage would subtract from your overall score. You needed 97% Hit Rate to get S-Rank which left room for only death per level and that’s only if you destroyed everything. As any other Contra installment, this game demanded complete concentration and memorization beyond belief. However, completing this game and getting the the best ending (even though it was lame) was one of the most rewarding gaming accomplishments one could earn.

– Super Monkey Ball (GameCube): Completing Expert Stage

Super Monkey Ball may appear to be a cutesy game, but it’s really the work of the devil. Completing the game’s 50 level “Expert Stage” was only meant for those with nerves of steel. Words can’t even comprehend how insane this game’s difficulty was. The first couple of levels start off pretty reasonable but once you get to floor 7, the game doesn’t hold your hand by any means. Oh, and you only had three continues at the initial start. Once you unlocked all three mini-games, you would start earning play points for just playing the game. Every 2500 points earned you an extra continue. Once you earned 9 continues and achieved another 2500 points, you unlocked unlimited continues. Even tackling Expert Stage with unlimited continues doesn’t necessarily make it easier. You still have to complete the 50 level endurance without shutting off the game. Despite the game’s asinine Expert Stage, the game was addictive enough for you to keep trying until you completed it.

– Demon’s Souls (PS3): Everything but the Final Boss

Seriously, Demon’s Souls is a brutal game. It has all the concepts that would normally make for a crappy game but executes it in such a way that makes it among some of the best. However, when the first level gives people such a tough time, to the point where they just give up, it’s evident that the game is pretty damn hard. Upon completing the first boss, you will have a huge sigh of relief that you conquered the boss battle. Mind you, I mentioned the first boss. The bosses truly defend what the definition of a boss is, someone who you should feel intimidated by and worried to confront. You will be jumping up and down cheering each time you finish off a boss in Demon’s Souls. The only thing that will make you not cheer so much is when you finish off the final boss. The final boss is a complete push-over and can be taken down with almost no effort at all. Either way, everything that led to this moment makes you feel like you gave the game your all and deserved to finish it. It is by far the most rewarding game this current console generation, hands down.

– The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES): Completing the Great Palace

The Great Palace serves as the final test in the game, and surpasses anything else you’ll face in the game. Not only is it massive, requiring extensive exploration and monster-fighting, but also ends with not one, but TWO bosses. As if the Thunderbird isn’t enough of a challenge, you need to fight Dark Link, a shadow version of yourself who knows all of your moves. Worst of all, if you die, you have to go all the way back to the beginning of the dungeon. The Adventure of Link may have received mixed reviews by the gaming community, but anybody who had the skill to beat it should be proud, for it’s one of the biggest challenges in video game history.

– F-Zero GX (GameCube): Completing Master Class

Now this one drove me over the edge…no pun intended. F-Zero GX goes down as my favorite racing game of all time but also the most difficult. I remember picking this up, booting it up and being blown away with…well, everything! The visuals are still some of the best, the controls were tight, the gameplay was lightning fast and provided one of the best soundtracks (in my Top 10 Nintendo GameCube Soundtracks) in gaming history that would get your adrenaline going. Regardless of what made the game phenomenal, the difficulty for the Master Class was beyond asinine. Completing the Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond Cups on Master Class is what was required to unlock the AX Cup, which had all the levels from F-Zero AX, the arcade version. You could get those levels by bringing your memory card to the arcade machine itself and plugging it in, but not a single arcade had this game in my area so I had to earn it the hard way. Every race had you sweating for the top spot and when you’d complete the cup in first place by a narrow finish, you’d jump up shouting and cheering. The Outer Space level in the AX Cup was entirely worth unlocking. After all that hard work…my memory card accidentally got thrown out and I lost my file. I have yet to re-achieve this behemoth of a challenge.

What were some of your hardest, yet most rewarding gaming challenges? Sound off in the comments below!

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Soundtracks

The Nintendo 64 was revolutionary upon it’s release in 1996.  It was the first time we got to play a 3D platformer on a console that truly redefined the way we play games today.  The N64 had a ton of great titles…but which ones had the best soundtracks?  Let’s find out what my personal top 10 soundtracks were for the N64.

 

– The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

What is considered to be not only the greatest Zelda game of all time, but the greatest overall game of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time really set a whole new standard for future adventure games.  The amount of gameplay elements incorporated into this game were simply stunning.  However, the soundtrack is easily one of the N64’s strongest.  From it’s variety of cheerful tracks, to adventurous ones, to just downright creepy, this soundtrack was absolutely brilliant.

 

– Super Mario 64

Hands down, Super Mario 64 was my favorite Mario game of all time.  Lengthy, challenging and downright addictive, Super Mario 64 was my introduction into the 3D world of gaming.  The soundtrack alone was a motivation for me to keep playing.  The tunes normally stuck in your head during and after your play session but there was one tune that really kept me going, Bowser’s Stage Theme.  Whenever you get up to the level leading up to a battle with Bowser, it got you completely pumped up for overcoming the challenges ahead to tackle the King of Koopas himself.  If you’ve never played Super Mario 64, I pity you…

 

-Castlevania

Castlevania for the N64 didn’t sit well with most fans of the franchise.  Fans considered it too much of a departure from your standard Castlevania title and felt the gameplay was too basic.  I completely disagree with their thoughts and feel, as a diehard Castlevania fan, that it was one of the best installments.  Why?  More like why not.  It was a creepy adventure with a good storyline and fun gameplay mechanics.  Sure, it wasn’t a perfect Castlevania title, but it was very addictive…and to this day, still is for me.  To be fair, the soundtrack greatly enhanced my experience with Castlevania.  The songs in this game were chilling and intense at the same time, which perfectly incorporated into the atmosphere of the game.  Plus, Castlevania is about going up against vampires (and I’m not talking about the emo “Twilight” ones)…this game did just that!  The track attached below is from the “bull boss battle” in the Castle Center stage and the “final boss battle.”  This track alone masterfully depicted the intensity of these boss fights and really brought you further into the experience.

 

– Conker’s Bad Fur Day

“Ah, that’s better.”  Conker’s Bad Fur Day was, in my opinion, Rareware’s last classic game they’ve developed.  It was gruesome, vulgar and downright hilarious!  From the moment you started Conker and saw it’s dark opening, you weren’t quite sure what to expect from the game.  Then when you start playing and encounter “Beerdy…er…Birdy the Scarecrow,”  you know you’re in for a one of a kind experience.  The soundtrack greatly varied depending on the situations at hand.  If you were out in the field, it was normally cheery music.  Get to the haunted house stage and naturally it becomes very creepy.  Reach the “lobby scene” from “The Matrix” and it gets very techno-y.  No matter what, the music perfectly fit each scenario.  However, my personal favorite song in this game was from the “Rock Solid” nightclub.  Everytime I hear that, I feel the need to get drunk, unzip my pants and start taking a piss on anyone in front of me.  Ah Conker, you’ve taught me many good things in life.

 

– Jet Force Gemini

Jet Force Gemini is a completely underrated gem from Rareware.  This sci-fi action/adventure shooter was very impressive in terms of…well, everything.  It really displayed some beautiful visuals for the N64, had great controls, addictive gameplay mechanics and an epic soundtrack.  The soundtrack was very cinematic and to this day, still stands the testament of time.  From the character select screen, to the first time you reach the SS Anubis, the music alone prepared you for how insane the game was going to be.  A true N64 classic that many people unfortunately missed…

 

– GoldenEye 007

Of course GoldenEye was going to be on this list.  Graeme Norgate is a genius when it came to composing music for Rareware.  Always creating intense tracks for games that set the mood brilliantly, GoldenEye was strongly enhanced due to it’s incredibly memorable soundtrack.  Every single level had a unique feel to it thanks to the variety in each track.  I could literally go on for days about what made GoldenEye so incredible, but I’m sure most of you readers know how amazing of a game it was.

 

– Perfect Dark

The spiritual successor to GoldenEye, Perfect Dark was Rareware’s return to the FPS genre…and wow, did it return with a bang.  Perfect Dark had outstanding visuals, flawless gameplay, a multiplayer mode that has yet to be matched (in my opinion) and a rockin’ soundtrack.  One of the coolest features within the deep customization of the multiplayer was the fact that you can choose the song to listen to during the multiplayer match (something many other games really need to start utilizing).  However, the moment you start the first campaign mission, you know the soundtrack is going to be killer to listen to.

 

– Spider-Man

Spider-Man for the N64 wasn’t just an awesome superhero game, it was just an awesome game in general.  Sure, the game lacked length, but it also allowed for multiple playthroughs that way.  The soundtrack was a strong highlight for the game.  Whether you were chasing Venom, fighting lizardmen on top of a subway train to get to Mary Jane, or being chased by an NYPD helicopter in an intense sequence, the music always deeply contributed to the set pieces.

 

– Extreme G

Futuristic motorcycles?  Check.  Ludicrous speed?  Check.  Bumpin’ techno soundtrack that you could rave to no matter where you are?  Checkity check check!  Extreme G was one of the fastest racing games available for the N64 and was also one of the best.  The soundtrack literally drove this game though.  Every song played for each stage fit perfectly into the game and increased the intensity of the game by doing so.

 

– Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

Back when FPS’s weren’t only about running forward and shooting anything that moves, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil was one of the best FPS’s available for the N64.  A massive campaign, excellent graphics that showcased the N64’s capabilities, some of the coolest weapons seen in a game to this day and a truly magnificent soundtrack made this one hell of a package.  The soundtrack really depicted the atmosphere in a brilliant manner, whether you were in a city port (Port of Adia) or in a Mantid Hive, these tracks would last anywhere between 5 to 11 minutes each!  Realistically, most games nowadays have music that only lasts for two minutes, then loops again.  Every song sounded completely unique and never repetitive by any means.  Turok 2: Seeds of Evil is an example of how to score a soundtrack for an FPS.

 

The Nintendo 64 was one of my favorite consoles of all time and I have numerous memories of many games on the system.  There were a lot of games lined up for this “Top 10 Soundtracks” list and it was tough to eliminate them, but in the long run, these were the games that had the most memorable soundtracks to me.  Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!

GoldenEye 007: Reloaded Coming to PS3/360

“Bond…James Bond” is coming to the PS3/360 again this fall but not in a entirely new game.  Eurocom developed last year’s GoldenEye Remake and it was a great title on the Wii that should’ve been played by most Wii owners.  It looks like GoldenEye 007: Reloaded will be the exact game that was on the Wii and redone with the PS3/360 visuals.  Now it doesn’t seem to be just an HD version of the Wii game, the visuals seem to be remade from scratch to tailor the PS3/360 capabilities.  Below are some of screenshots released for the game, check it out!

What do you guys think?  Will you be getting GoldenEye 007: Reloaded this Fall along with many other games?  Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!