There are a lot of video games out there and in this day and age of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable games through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to the best first-person shooter games of all time. From four-player zombie shooters to galactic militaristic narratives, there are enough games out there to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
The Left 4 Dead Franchise
Left 4 Dead and its sequel are phenomenal 4-player zombie games. These games brought people immense joy and taught others how to work as a team. The characters and special zombies in these games have astounding personalities and quirks that allow them to stand out.
Left 4 Dead is about you choosing one of four distinct human characters who are trying to find ways to survive the dreaded zombie apocalypse. During your adventure, you’ll gain access to many noteworthy weapons from machine guns to katanas.
To combat your vast arsenal, the Left 4 Dead franchise features a plethora of super-powered zombies. Some of them have humorous designs while others are absolutely terrifying in theory. Each zombie feels full of life and is given mini-death animations and battle cries that will live in your head for a lifetime.
Lastly, Left 4 Dead offers an incredible array of multiplayer modes. These range from the standard story mode to its fun-filled and exhilarating zombie-versus mode. The latter entry gives you a taste of what it’s like to be one of the special members of the walking dead.
Fans of CS:GO or (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) will enjoy their time with Valorant. Valorant blends CS:GO’s nerve-inducing combat with Overwatch’s other-worldly heroes and their classes exceptionally well.
While you can arm yourself with unique abilities, you’ll need to formulate excellent strategies and plans if you hope to survive in this game. Like other first-person shooter titles, you can die insanely fast in this game. As you learn to master the game’s multiple abilities, you will have an easier time and some advantages.
The game’s controls lean toward mouse and keyboard play more than your average console controller. It will feel jarring to play a shooter with keyboard and mouse controls for those who’ve never played an FPS game with said controls. However, as you play, those worries and fears of never getting better will cease.
Controls and abilities aside, Valorant offers incredible visuals. The characters’ personalities shine bright in this anime and the colors of the battlefield look immaculate. Valorant’s world feels immersive and fun to traverse through. If you’re looking for a more colorful first-person shooter game, check out Valorant.
The Halo Franchise
Before Fortnite flossed its way to the top, Halo was there to excite and delight fans of the shooter genre. This franchise follows an endless galactic war between humanity and an alien race. At the helm of it all is Master Chief, a super soldier with a lot of spunk, wit, and strength.
While the franchise has received mixed reception over the years, these games still deliver fun and uplifting experiences. The original trilogy offers an impeccable narrative with likable and memorable characters. There are a few twists here and there that will surprise you.
There are many modes for you to play in these games. These include the game’s staple Slayer Mode which has you fight off enemy players in team-based or solo combat. Others include fan favorites like Invasion, Capture the Flag, and Firefight. The latter encourages phenomenal team-play the most and works like a horde mode.
If you’re looking for something a bit more calm and creative, some Halo titles offer a Forge mode. In Forge, players can create their own renditions of the title’s specific maps. It’s slightly limited, but it’s a great mode to play whenever you want to take a break from its more hardcore and intense game modes.
Half-Life 2 is an incredible follow-up to one of Valve’s most-beloved and thrilling shoot titles. Many argue that it’s one of the best first-person shooter games of its time while others claim it’s the most fantastic PC game to grace humanity.
For instance, the original Half-Life gave fans heart-pounding action sequences and an incredibly well-written storyline to immerse themselves in. Half-Life 2 takes the original title’s suspense, challenge, and emotionally impactful elements and amplifies them to a million.
This game offers more worldly interaction than its previous entry. You’ll find yourself engaging with its environments and NPCs more often. Furthermore, the characters feel more realistic thanks to this title’s graphical advancements.
The AI also receives an intelligence upgrade in Half-Life 2. You won’t need to worry about allies or adversaries charging into a battle blindly. In this game, they can assess the battlefield and create useful weaponry from the tools present in select scenarios. If you’re looking for a spooky first-person shooter title with an engrossing narrative, check out Half-Life 1 and 2.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Love or despise it, the Call of Duty franchise ushered in a passionate fan base of diehard first-person shooter enthusiasts. Despite the franchise’s recent resurgence, it’s always nice to look back at its roots.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a fan favorite from the franchise. This game featured a wonderful story campaign, beautiful maps, and an ensemble of unique weaponry for players to utilize in combat. This game was leagues above its predecessors at the time with its tighter emphasis on complex environments, wealth effects, destructible objects, and an action-centric atmosphere.
The visuals and sound design in this title were amazing, too. It felt like you were taking part in some big-budget action film. The online multiplayer modes were a delight. I still recall spending numerous hours goofing around with friends and family members alike. Although a remake of this game is set to release sometime soon, I can’t help but be excited to see how the developers plan to triumph over the original.
Borderlands 2 is arguably the best entry in the franchise to many critics and fans alike. This game is an excellent follow-up to the original in many ways. With its incredible variety of weapons, memorable characters, astounding music, and beautiful worlds, this is the ideal Borderlands experience.
Borderlands 2 has you play as one of four new vault hunters who must embark on a quest to defeat the villainous mastermind, Handsome Jack. This task won’t be easy as you’ll encounter a plethora of enemies from psychotic bandits to cybernetic robots. Whether alone or in a 4-player party, it’s up to you to foil Handsome Jack’s evil plans before it’s too late.
Besides weapons, players can utilize an assortment of special abilities that are tailored to their vault hunter’s class. For example, selecting the character Maya will grant you access to psychic powers while choosing someone like Salvador will give you the ability to dual wield any two guns to deliver impressive damage. This shooter also features RPG-like mechanics like a level-up system, skill trees, etc.
Doom is often referred to as the Grandfather of first-person shooter games. Before its Bethesda revival in 2016, the franchise had a lot of criticism from parents, regarding the title as too violent and things of that nature. Nevertheless, Doom 2016 served as a satisfying revival for the franchise, but its reign as the best entry in the franchise didn’t last long, thanks to Doom Eternal.
Doom Eternal is an excellent follow-up to the 2016 game. While its online modes may lack variety and replay value, its single-player campaign is top-notch. In this campaign, you get to play as Doom’s beloved mascot Doom Slayer as he embarks on a quest of bloodshed and brutality. On your journey, you will encounter a slew of nightmarish creatures and bosses who will challenge you.
However, these monsters will think twice about disrupting your adventure. This game introduces a slew of new power-ups and collectibles to retrieve. The DLC expansions for the games are fun and add to the lore already established in the main game. This is a title for fans that enjoy fast-paced and bloody shooter games. If that sounds up your alley, then you should check out Doom Eternal.
After Bungie parted ways from the Halo brand, many questioned what they would concoct next. While it may not be as vastly popular as the Halo franchise, it has several aspects about Destiny 2 that are worth your attention.
Destiny 2 is an online multiplayer first-person shooter game that approaches its tale from an MMORPG standpoint. While the game’s futuristic setting and technology scream Halo, its universe-driven storytelling, loot-driven progression system, and socialization features echo those found in games like World of Warcraft. These three aspects help differentiate it from its popular cousin.
In this game, you’ll have access to three character classes that you can base your character around. Each class features its share of advantages and disadvantages. Once you’ve finished creating your ideal character, you’re thrust into this game’s world to tackle the game in any way you want. Whether you want to spend time completing story content or participate in the game’s online modes, is all up to you.
For those who are curious about Destiny 2, it is a free-to-play shooter and features a season pass system that operates similarly to the structure in place in titles like Fortnite. Destiny 2’s season pass has some neat content everyone can unlock, but some of its juicier material is behind a pay wall. If you’re okay with free-to-play shooters and find Destiny 2’s combat and offerings satisfying than I’d recommend giving it a shot.
Despite not having a new entry for some time, many first-person shooter fans recall fond memories of the Bioshock franchise. While the second and third entry has their ups and downs, the first title is considered to be one of its best entries. With its chilling atmosphere, dark and immersive setting, and wonderful characters, the first Bioshock title still holds up as one of gaming’s finest first-person shooter experiences.
In this game, you take control of a man named Jack, who ends up in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean due to a plane crash. Jack finds refuge in some mysterious pillar. This pillar leads him to discover a weird elevator that takes him to the worn-down underwater city of Rapture, where his journey of madness, sorrow, and pain begins.
While some movie-based games felt like cheap cash grabs, others aimed to give fans a wonderful time. While its graphics haven’t aged that well, Goldeneye 007 features stellar gameplay and an intriguing storyline that every Nintendo fan should experience.
Goldeneye 007 was developed by Rareware and was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997. This game redefined the first-person shooter genre at its time. With its vast weapon variety, faithful story campaign, and split-screen multiplayer functionality, there was no doubting this game’s huge influence on first-person shooter titles moving forward.
Goldeneye 007’s gameplay was fascinating for its time. This game made players feel like the game’s protagonist James Bond through its variety of spy-like activities and operations. Players couldn’t rush into battles gun blazing. They had to ponder which gun was right for the job and when was the best time to strike a foe.
Each level in Goldeneye 007 features a slew of missions for players to complete. Each mission has you tackle the game differently. There are some missions where you find yourself shooting at enemies non-stop and others where you must search and acquire information. The AI in this game is vastly intelligent and formidable, meaning you should go into each battle with a well-developed strategy in mind.
Despite being an ancient relic of the past, Goldeneye 007 is a genre-defining game that many first-person shooter fans should play.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best first-person shooter games of all time!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!