First Person Shooters, or FPS games, have a long history. Believe it or not, they stretch all the way back to 1973, and “Maze War”; read about FPS history here. That was a vector-rendered game; basically, green lines on a black background. It wasn’t until 1993’s “Doom”, though, that FPS games really started to find their footing in the gaming world.
Games like Doom and Castle Wolfenstein became quite popular during that era, and the few that were available through the Super Nintendo Entertainment System were quite popular. Here’s the thing: can you call a game the best simply because it broke new ground? Well, maybe. So let’s tentatively call “Doom”, the original “Doom”, one of the best FPS games.
We’ve come a long way in gaming since “Doom”. Before, FPS game maps tended to be made like sculpting. You had a cube of digital “marble”, and used computer tools to “carve-out” a sort of maze the player went through to achieve certain goals. Dark Forces, a Star Wars game on computer and PlayStation consoles, was like this. Things have changed since.
Following, we’re going to briefly look at the top three FPS shooters of all time. Doom has its honorary spot in the intro, you’ve probably never played it. However, even if you’re a newer gamer, you’ve either heard of or played the following FPS entries. We’ve consulted this IMDB.com list, but our choices are based on a few different factors.
GoldenEye / Perfect Dark / TimeSplitters
The James Bond FPS vehicle “GoldenEye” by Rare totally changed how FPS games are played and understood, primarily through its multiplayer arena, which was preserved and improved on through Perfect Dark and TimeSplitters.
GoldenEye and Perfect Dark are N64 entries, while TimeSplitters and its sequel hit the PS2, and allowed you to make your own maps. These games were the ones many other popular entries which later became iconic and used as a foundation from which to innovate.
The Turok series, particularly Turok and Turok 2, also had a lot of impact in the nineties; though they never quite reached the multiplayer heights of Rare’s games. Also, several “Quake” games existed on the N64 which were quite popular. Again, GolenEye outpaced them.
2. The HALO Series
HALO has quite a few games and even some tie-in entertainment that has nothing to do with any sort of FPS gaming. HALO was the next big FPS trend after Rare’s entry into gaming.
It defined the Xbox, and has continued to be popular ever since—though, as is the case with sequels, nothing can quite match the magic of the original. Not since GoldenEye were FPS multiplayer contests so fun.
The Half-Life Series
The Half-Life games aren’t quite as well known to console gamers because they hit the ground running in PC gaming communities. These games took graphical breakthroughs to a new level, and the sort of programming solutions designed to enable this game have percolated throughout the gaming world.
Which FPS Games Are Your Favorites?
Of course, gaming has a subjective quality. You may love or hate all the games on this list. The best way to inform your opinion is to check in with online groups that categorize games like FPS shooters in one spot. Check out the FPS Champion website for tips and tricks on how best to play and enhance your abilities in FPS games, as well as info on the hottest new options.
Rare’s breakthroughs, the sheer fun and beauty of HALO, and the absolutely insane graphical presentation of the Half-Life series have put these games at the top of most lists built around the best FPS games on the market. Sure, it’s a bit subjective; but if you haven’t played these FPS classics, you might want to.