I’ve been running around in First Person Shooters for decades, and I might not be the best player, but I sure do love me some virtual gun-toting deathmatch craziness. Here’s my list of what I think are the best FPS games of all time…
An incredibly tactical game, Deus Ex constantly rewards the player for finding creative resolutions to conflicts, redefining the very definition of what made a First Person Shooter. Where the game is normally brutally punishing from the moment you start firing a gun, in the way that often times it’s much better to try your hand at talking, hacking or sneaking your way out of a situation rather than run in with guns a-blazin’.
The American games developer id Software brought Quake to the world, with its 3D polygon characters and environments, after getting everyone hooked on Wolfenstein and various incarnations of Doom. Quake seriously upped the levels of mayhem, focusing hard on a more refined, some would say sophisticated, method of control and included a much broader weapon set. You also can’t deny that Quake, along with a handful of other titles, paved the way for deathmatch online multiplayer games such as the Call of Duty and Battlefront franchises that would come later.
This game wasn’t messing around: stick everyone in a battle arena, give them all guns and see who’s still standing at the end. Unreal Tournament came with a bunch of game types; Capture The Flag, Last Man Standing, Team Deathmatch – sure this wasn’t the first game to offer such gameplay options but in this humble gamer’s opinion Unreal Tournament is easily one of the best examples of how to do FPS.
Team Fortress 2
The multiplayer game sequel to the original mod based on the Quake engine, Team Fortress and Team Fortress Classic on the original Half Life, Team Fortress 2 stands out for a lot of reasons, but primarily for its brilliant class system. Instead of offering just one type of character for everyone, like many shooters, in TF2 you can play as a diverse cast of characters, including soldier, medic, sniper, and spy. Each character is unique, with a highly balanced set of pros and cons; Heavies can take and dole out a lot of damage, but they’re slow to move around. Medics don’t have powerful weapons, but they’re quick on their feet and they can heal their teammates. Engineers can build and maintain turrets that look down on heavily trafficked areas. Everyone has a job, and teamwork is rewarded. Once you find your niche,Team Fortress 2 offers one of the best shooting experiences around. If if that gets you excited you should really be keeping your eye out for Overwatch.
Now I’m not saying that Goldeneye is a perfect game, it was an offline shooter for a start, but what it had in spades was fun. By the pound. Released in 1997 this was THE game to play sofa competitions on with your mates and was one of the first games to seriously popularise competitive deathmatch games, even with its four way split screen and clunky control system.
The game that developers have attempted to replicate several times a year for the past couple of decades. There have been hundreds of FPS titles over the years, millions have been spent in production costs, thousands of hours of work from thousands of developers from all corners of the world. The best and brightest minds in video games development, including the very people who actually made Doom, have swung and missed at making a better game.
Is Richie full of sh*t? Or do you agree with every damn thing he has to say on FPS game? Let him know in the comments below or rant at him on Twitter @rjanukowicz