The first person shooter genre has gotten pretty stale over the past few years, with every game trying to be exactly like Call of Duty, but still being stomped on by it. Years ago, FPS games were so varied and plentiful that you could always pick one up and pretty much count on it being an excellent experience. So I’ve decided to make this list of my personal Top 5 first-person shooters so remember the heyday of the genre.
# 5. DOOM (PC)
It’s impossible to make a shooter list with included the game that started it all. It may not have been the first in the genre, but it was easily the best in terms of gameplay and influence on the gaming industry. There was a time when getting your hands on a copy of DOOM felt like you had just found the holy grail of video games. It made parents shudder, and on quite a few occasions has caused public outrage at the over-the-top violence and gore. To this day the theme song and the sound of being hit by a demon’s fireball are still so recognizable. As influential as it was, I give the number five spot because the formula has been improved on over the years.
#4. Call of Duty: Black Ops
To me, Black Ops is the perfect multiplayer experience. Far more balanced than any other game in the Call of Duty franchise, and loaded with way more features, it once again pushed the boundaries of what muliplayer gaming could be. Wager matches, betting on challenges, creating your own unique emblem, there were so many customization options and neat gameplay bonuses that hardcore veterans and newcomers alike could have fun without frustration. Not to mention that it has zombies and a double rainbow all across the sky reference (look it up in case you didn’t know), Black Ops was nothing less than pure fun.
#3. Goldeneye (Nintendo 64)
Obviously Goldeneye was going to make the list, as it essentially acted as the bridge between PC and console shooters, proving that a console FPS could be just as fun. It featured an excellent, highly replayable single-player campaign following the awesome James Bond film of the same name, it had incredible split-screen multiplayer for up to four players. With memorable maps, customizable weapon sets, and a ton of characters to choose from, Goldeneye paved the way for console multiplayer console shooters. So why isn’t it higher on the list? Because of…
# 2. Perfect Dark
Perfect Dark. While Goldeneye may be the most widely remembered and praised shooter for the Nintendo 64, and one of the best of all-time, Perfect Dark is simply a better game. Building off of the structure that Goldeneye helped to create, Perfect Dark had an interesting, exciting, original campaign that allowed players to use some unique weapons and fun gadgets throughout the lengthy mission. There were huge corporations, robots, aliens, and so much more to encounter, and the controls were simple and refined. The biggest addition, however, came to the multiplayer. While still having customizable weapon sets, unique maps, and tons of characters, Perfect Dark threw bots into the mix. Not only were there bots, you could actually choose a personality and difficulty for each, making for some crazy gameplay. Insane bots that love to throw poison knives and constantly hunt you down, to dual-wielding vengeful bots that find and destroy the last player that killed them. It truly made for a unique experience, and one of the best I’ve ever had. But what could possibly beat Perfect Dark?
#1. TimeSplitter: Future Perfect (PS2, Xbox)
This is the game that devoured days of my life. Traveling through time in to stop a madman from destroying pretty much everything made for an awesome story with some really memorable locations. However, instead of taking a serious tone, it was filled with laugh-out-loud humor, with one-liners, sight gags, great characters, slapstick comedy, and some very brilliant movie and video game references throughout. While the story was incredible, it was, once again, the variety and multiplayer that stood out. The game had a ton of single-player and split-screen multiplayer challenges that unlocked a huge amount of playable characters, from scientists to gingerbread men to walking zombie monkeys. Yes, you read that correctly. ZOMBIE. MONKEYS. It was exciting and hilariously fun. Aside from the awesome characters, there was a variety of well-designed maps, and even better, a map creator that was completely unheard of for a console game. It was also one of the best online multiplayer games for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 (the system I played it on), with tons of game modes to choose from. To this day, I view it as the single best shooter of all-time. I’m hoping for a sequel, and though one was announced way back in 2007, it still has yet to get off the ground, but there’s always hope.
Well, there you have it, my personal list of the Top 5 First-Person Shooters. There are so many to choose from out there, some perhaps more influential, but these are the titles that really stand out, for their impact on the genre and for the insane amount of fun they provide. What do you think, Explosion readers, what are your favorite shooters?