First person shooters, or FPS games, are arguably the most popular gaming genre right now. New FPS games that come out of the market easily become blockbusters, selling a lot of copies. Whether the FPS is set in a science fiction, realistic, or horror setting, a majority of gamers will grab these games and play them obsessively. With the imminent release of more high profile FPS games in the coming month, it’s a good time to list down some of the best FPS games of all time.
When gamer talk about FPS games in consoles, the common consensus was that the control scheme of consoles pale in comparison to the keyboard and mouse control configuration of a PC. Also, the most common belief is that Halo from the original Xbox was the first FPS that really brought the genre to consoles. But that’s not really the case. The first true FPS hit on consoles was GoldenEye, which was released for the Nintendo64, way back in 1997. It was the first FPS for the console that really met with a staggering amount of success. Gamers loved the multiplayer deathmatch modes (not online yet though) that brought competitive fragfests to the home. The control scheme was also well suited for the game as attested by the innumerable number of gamers who got addicted to it. The single player mode was also excellent because of the stealth mechanics needed in certain missions in the game.
Valve was a little known game developer who was developing a game that would help revolutionize the FPS genre with the release of its game Half-Life. Overnight, Valve became a top player in the industry and with good measure. Half-Life was a joy to play. It was the first FPS to really pay attention to how a story is told and how events unfolded. Before it was released, FPS games were basically just mindless shoot fests with a story conveniently tacked on. Half-Life changed all this single-handedly.
As seminal FPS games go, nothing could dislodge Doom from any ‘best of’ lists. Doom was the FPS that drew the map for a whole new genre. Many of the FPS staples that we now take for granted as part and parcel of any FPS were first seen in Doom. And before the advent of Half-Life, one of those staples was controlling an unnamed character so gamers will relate to the character as their in-game selves.
This tactical FPS was also developed by Valve using the Half-Life engine. Counter-Strike is actually a mod and is also notable for not having a single player mode. Counter-strike put multiplayer gaming on the map because of its efficient LAN matches, a precursor to what would eventually become online multiplayer. Even though Counter-Strike was released way back in 1999 it is still supported by a strong community that continue to churn out new mod updates and scripts, keeping the game alive after more than ten years.
5. Duke Nukem 3D
The name Duke Nukem may be associated as a butt of jokes right now because of the saga that is Duke Nukem Forever, but there was a time when the mere mention of ‘Duke Nukem’ inspired rabid fan love. And this is directed at Duke Nukem 3D, which became a fan favorite for its uber macho main character, Duke Nukem. The extremely male-centric – okay, misogynistic – in-game environments, fun weapons and the tongue-in-cheek humor were also some of the elements that made it a great success.
6. System Shock 2
System Shock 2 is a little known game that was released in 1999. It was considered a commercial failure, having sold a measly few thousand copies. But its sales do not reflect the level of the game’s quality and just how fun it was to play. It’s one of the most atmospheric and creepy FPS games to be released and still holds up well more than a decade after its release. The elements of the game that made it a great game to play can now be somewhat found in its spiritual sequel/successor Bioshock.