My Top 10 Favorite FPS Games

March 24, 2018

This list wasn't easy. FPS games have always been one of my favorite genres, so I've played a lot over the years. I have left off Portal and Jusrassic Park Trespasser from the list, as I don't really consider them FPS games, they seem to fit better in other categories. You'll notice that my last doesn't have many modern FPS games, or many with cinematic cutscenes on it. My priorities in an FPS are usually fun multiplayer with friends. Lets start with the honorable mentions.

Honorable Mention: Unreal Tournament 2004

System: PC, Mac, Linux
Year: 2004

Our friends' computer came with an Unreal Tournament 2004 demo disc, with just a few maps: Torlan and Primeval. Both were huge, the graphics were beautiful, there were cool vehicles, we couldn't believe it. The game reminded me of Halo, since that was the only other shooter I had played with vehicles, but Unreal seemed way bigger. The gun choices were awesome, especially flying to the top of the highest tower on Torlan to get "The Redeemer", a remote control missile with a massive explosion. We bought the full game eventually, and it was awesome.

Honorable Mention: Metroid Prime Hunters

System: Nintendo DS
Year: 2006

In high school, most of my friends loved Halo, and thought Master Chief was the ultimate video game character. As a more sophisticated gamer, not drinking the Halo Kool-Aid, I would explain that Master Chief was nothing compared to Samus, the star of Metroid. Samus had way better abilities and was practically a super hero with a gun arm. So I was psyched when Metroid Prime Hunters came out since it had online multiplayer. It was a great shooter on the DS, with seven unique bounty-hunter characters. Each was totally unique, and it was a fun game to play with friends.

Now, for the top 10:

10. Call of Duty: World at War

System: Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Year: 2008

Call of Duty: World at War is ten years old now (2018), and I still play it all the time! The Nazi Zombie mode was introduced with this game, and is really fun. The regular multiplayer maps are good too. This came out after Modern Warfare introduced its perks system, so this game had it too, which was awesome.

9. Rainbow Six: Vegas

System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP
Year: 2006

Rainbow Six: Vegas is a unique game on this list. There are a few non-FPS parts in the game, like when hiding behind cover. It is also one I've never really played against other people. I always played Rainbow Six's "Terrorist Hunt" mode. Basically, you get thrown into a map with a teammate and know that there are 20 or so terrorists hiding on the map. You win if you kill them all. It is a fun, free-roam experience, as you get to explore the levels however you like. Unlike CounterStrike, a similar game that involves fighting terrorists, you can go inside most of the buildings, and it feels more real. It is like a dangerous game of hide-and-go-seek. The maps in Vegas are Las Vegas themed, which is awesome. A Vegas casino is a very interesting place on its own, and it is fun hiding and finding terrorists inside one.

8. Left 4 Dead 2

System: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Mac, Linux
Year: 2009

I've always been a big fan of zombie games. It is such a fun, terrifying feeling being chased by a zombie. Resident Evil was great with its classic, slow, zombies. Left 4 Dead's zombies were fast and terrifying. Left 4 Dead also had great levels. They were huge and realistic. The reason I choose Left 4 Dead 2 over the original is because it has all the original maps, plus more great ones. Left 4 Dead 2 also introduced melee weapons, like swords, guitars, chainsaws, etc. which was totally cool. Left 4 Dead is fun because it takes teamwork to get through the levels, just like you'd expect in a zombie-infested world. It feels real, and is a great game I still play all the time.

7. Medal of Honor: Frontline

System: Gamecube, Xbox, PS2
Year: 2002

Medal of Honor: Frontline starts you off on D-Day, invading the beach. It is just like Saving Private Ryan, but you are in control of a guy storming the beach. Through the explosions and machine gun fire, it is terrifying. Playing it for the first time made me feel like I was really there. Plus, it looked incredible on the Gamecube's fancy new graphics. Before Frontline, most of my FPS experience was James Bond games, which were kind of silly, with crazy missions and unrealistic gadgets. Medal of Honor felt real. The multiplayer mode was fun, especially with the WWII maps. I think WWII games have some of the best maps. Sniping in this game was particularly fun.

6. Half Life 2

System: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, PS3
Year: 2004

In junior high and high school, I mostly played games on the Gamecube, or maybe an Xbox or PS2 at a friends house. The first time I saw Half Life 2 I was blown away by how great the graphics were, they were in a different league. Everything seemed so real. And it wasn't just the graphics, the physics in the game seemed perfect! I couldn't believe it. I had never played Half Life 1 and just jumped into the game. I was hooked immediately. The story was interesting, getting chased by the police through the strange futuristic world. It felt so real. The Ravenholm world felt like I was in a horror movie, and the Gravity Gun was beyond cool. This is the only single-player game on my list (I count Half Life 2 Deathmatch as a separate game), but it is amazing.

5. Counter-Strike Source

System: PC, Mac, Linux
Year: 2004

A friend invited me to come play some Counter-Strike Source one day as we got off the bus from junior high. I had no idea what it was, I just knew it was a game the older kids liked. Trying it that day, I got killed constantly. Counter-Strike was realistic and unforgiving. Not like James Bond or other shooters I was used to. And you didn't respawn either. I loved it. It made players be careful as they played, rather than just running in guns blazing, not caring if you got shot. It was my first tactical game. In college, we played it a ton against waves of bot terrorists. The amount of fan-made levels is huge, and the game uses Half-Life 2's engine, so the graphics are amazing and the physics are super realistic. Counter-Strike Global Offensive is the sequel, and while it is basically the same game, it doesn't have the same feel as Source, which is my favorite.

4. Timesplitters 3: Future Perfect

System: Gamecube, PS2, Xbox
Year: 2005

Timesplitters Future Perfect was the peak of Gamecube shooters. It was one of the last big shooters on the system, and the graphics were great. The characters are great too: Monkeys, zombies, a gingerbread man, a moose, and probably a hundred more. The maps were varied and all were fun, especially Siberia. Timesplitters 3 improved over 2 in that it had vehicles in multiplayer, and it was a lot of fun running over your friends. The weapon selection was amazing. It had standard weapons, and some unusual ones, like "The Injector" that made enemies explode after a few seconds, or a sniper rifle that could shoot through walls. (We had to ban that at our house because it caused too much conflict). The single player campaign could be played with a friend, and had some cool time-warping elements. The mapmaker in this game was where I spent most of my time, making maps of all sorts. It was an amazing game all around.

3. Halo 2 & 3

System: Xbox and Xbox 360
Year: 2004 & 2007

It doesn't seem fair to have these games together, as they are both amazing, but they are tied for third place. I have great memories of both, as Halo was THE game to play in junior high and high school. I went to so many Halo Parties, which is by far the best way to play one of these games. A big group of friends (or friends of friends) lugging their TVs and Xboxes to play all night was a lot of fun. At one guy's house, we set up two rooms of TV's and each room was their own team. We couldn't hear each other strategize, but we could still yell down the hall at each other! Halo has great weapons and maps, but really the best part of the game is the Halo parties they caused. One friend's entire basement was dedicated to Halo parties. In college, we played team duos in my dorm- each pair of roommates was a team. I hope people still have Halo parties.

2. Timesplitters 2

System: Gamecube, PS2, Xbox
Year: 2002

I first read about Timesplitters in a Nintendo Power magazine. It said that the game's levels spanned from hundreds of years ago, into the future. Then we saw it at Sam's Club for $13, so my dad got it for us. It turned out to be totally cool. The box said it was by the creators of Goldeneye, and from the first level, it felt like it! The first level was a scary, zombie snow level. It was so scary that I didn't want to play it unless someone else was in the room. There were stealth levels too, and best of all (about single player) was that you could play it co-op with a friend. This made the scary levels bearable. But multiplayer is where Timesplitters 2 shined. It was like Goldeneye, but crazy, with monkeys and robots as playable characters. The mapmaker was awesome, and the virus mode, where you have to stay away from the characters on fire with the virus, was like running away from zombies! Timesplitters was amazing.

1. Goldeneye

System: Nintendo 64
Year: 1997

My number one pick was easy, Goldeneye is my all time favorite. It was our go-to multiplayer game in elementary school. Staying up late at a sleepover, playing four player Goldeneye was the best. The levels were great, the weapons were memorable, and it was all around fun. The single-player was great too. The cold war vibe was there on each level, and the Siberia levels really felt cold. I feel like I've lived Goldeneye after playing the game, and I think it is why so many guys my age choose Goldeneye as their favorite Bond movie. This was my favorite time period for video games, because people weren't playing online as much, and there is something special about shooting your friends in the same room. That is the best way to play, and Goldeneye made it happen.