First-person shooters are an over-saturated market in the video game industry. It seems like every studio, developer and publisher wants to push shooting games on players everywhere — and we’re okay with that! FPS games may be overdone, but there’s a reason for that: We love them! Shooting terrorists, zombies, aliens or whatever else from a first-person perspective is exciting and exhilarating, and the genre is the main reason plenty of people around the world play games at all.
We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorite FPS games, including a mix of old and new titles alike. Check out which ones made the cut below, in no particular order.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
Due to the addition of first-person gameplay in the new-gen ports of their critically acclaimed game, Grand Theft Auto V technically counts as an FPS. Regardless, Rockstar Games knows how to make a living, breathing world. The Grand Theft Auto series is known for giving players absolute freedom in violent, crime-ridden cities parodying America’s most famous locales. In Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar Games allows for players to switch seamlessly between three protagonists: a rich family man struggling with maintaining relationships, a bonafide gangster and a psychotic hillbilly. Heists are a new addition that mimic the famous bank robbery mission everybody loves from Grand Theft Auto IV. All the other stuff people adore about GTA is there: guns, strip clubs, sweet rides and a solid story tying it all together. Plus, with the new first-person perspective, gunplay has a whole new feeling, making the game feel like new, even if you’re playing through it for a second time. There’s a reason Grand Theft Auto V is sitting pretty at a 97 on Metacritic.
Price: $59.34 (1 percent off MSRP)
2. Counter-Strike: Source
Counter-Strike started as a fan-made mod of Half-Life. Pitting terrorists versus counter-terrorists, the online FPS featured strategic firefights where running and gunning was sure to get you killed. And that mattered because death in Counter-Strike means you’re out for the whole round and your team is now short one player. This risk-reward system kept players on their toes. The game proved so popular that it spawned a “re-release” from Valve itself with Counter-Strike: Source, which is essentially the same as the original game, but with an updated engine and graphics. The series is revered for its competitiveness, and now Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a huge esport. Ah, video games.
Price: $19.49 (3 percent off MSRP)
3. Far Cry 4
Do you like first-person shooters set in a giant open world? How about ziplining, hang gliding, big game hunting and killing bad guys? If so, Far Cry 4 is up your alley. The newest addition to the series steps away from the lush environment of the tropics from Far Cry 3 and drops you in the middle of a civil war in the Himalayas. Besides moving your way through the story, there will be distractions to keep your entertained. The most attractive feature is a new one that allows players to invite friends who don’t even own the full game into their world to conquer cooperative missions together. If allowing your buddies to game with you free of charge to them isn’t a great idea, I don’t know what is. The satisfaction of taking quietly taking down an outpost with a bow and some silenced weapons or charging in on the backs of elephants, guns blazing, with a buddy by your side is second to none.
Price: $51.31 (14 percent off MSRP)
No one can deny the extensive hype Titanfall received leading up to is release. Being one of the first notable exclusives for the Xbox One made everyone perk up and pay attention, and the fact that it was developed by ex-Call of Duty devs just added more to the game’s already robust credibility. Titanfall takes the traditional first-person shooter format and adds parkour and armored mechs to the mix, making for addictive and frantic online death matches. Dropping a Titan on an enemy, running along walls and boosting across rooftops — it really doesn’ get much more fast-paced than that.
The modern FPS owes a lot to Doom. It’s basically the father of all first-person shooters, and id Software is its creator. The original Doom featured a space marine who blasted his way through levels of monsters and aliens with tons of powerful guns. Sound familiar? As a title launched in 1993, it was ahead of its time with its levels of gore, exploration and advanced gunplay, and it widely considered one of the most influential games ever made to this day. Doom sparked a lot of controversy for its violence and what people viewed as Satanic imagery, which only makes the game more alluring, don’t you think?
When Bungie, the creators of the original Halo trilogy, announced their new sci-fi shooter, the world couldn’t wait to explore a new universe full of aliens, robots and mysterious locations. While the final game disappointed some fans who expected something monumental, what Destiny does offer is best-in-class shooting and looting with only a subpar story and some lackluster missions holding it back. What’s unique about Destiny is its shared world experience where players interact with others during independent single-player and cooperate missions. With limitless multiplayer and a stream of content additions and updates heading its way, Destiny will only get more addicting as time goes on. Oh, and there’s also dancing.
Price: $44.95 (25 percent off MSRP)
7. Team Fortress 2
Another Valve game (they sure are good at making first-person shooters), Team Fortress 2 takes the team-based online shooter and revitalizes it with unique classes, unique game modes, brilliant graphics and presentation and a hilarious backstory fans can get into. Team Fortress 2 is about two eternally battling teams of mercenaries who go to great lengths to wipe each other out in multiplayer deathmatches. There’s the astute medic, the violent heavy gunner, the fast and cheeky scout, an Australian sniper and so much more. Best of all, this game is now free to play through Steam, so there’s absolutely no reason not to jump. Plus, there’s hats you can collect, and who doesn’t love that?
8. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty is one series that has withstood the test of time, with releases spanning more than a decade and three console generations. There’s a reason it’s the most popular FPS series ever made. The franchise has tackled everything from World War II-era battles to modern-day combat. The newest entry in the series, Advanced Warfare, takes place in the future, where jetpacks and hovering grenades are staples in military technology. Sure, it might look like Titanfall at a glance, but Advanced Warfare is a title all its own, and it’s bound to be a best seller just like its annually released brethren. I mean, even IGN gave it a 9.1.
Price: $57.57 (4 percent off MSRP)
The original Half-Life is probably my first first-person shooter. I remember playing it at a friend’s house when I was just a youngster and falling in love with it. I didn’t even beat the sci-fi shooter until my late teens (some of those later levels were hard for a little kid). I’m sure many of you are thinking, “What about Half-Life 2?” Well, without the original, you wouldn’t have the sequel. Also, I honestly believe Half-Life is superior to its sequel. If you haven’t experienced this awesome series, how can you call yourself a gamer? Most of your favorite story-based FPS games probably wouldn’t exist without Half-Life, so check it out on Steam or grab a physical (and pricey) copy on Amazon.
10. BioShock Infinite
The original BioShock is a masterpiece. Everyone knows that. It introduced some truly awesome ideas (Big Daddy fights are unforgettable, and plasmids are so fun to use). Its setting of the underwater Rapture is timeless and one of my favorite locations in gaming ever. But Infinite is special to me. The twist in the story involving Booker and Elizabeth still makes me choke up when I think about it. Infinite featured the first video game narrative that truly blew my mind. I remember when the big reveal came around my jaw literally dropped. The gunplay is as good as it gets in Infinite, even if its light on scares, and the environment is truly breathtaking in its beauty. Plus, the DLC is great because you get to revisit a pre-splicer Rapture, which is neat.
11. Goldeneye 007
If you had a Nintendo 64 growing up, you hopefully played Goldeneye 007. I have fond memories of running through this game’s campaign, blasting baddies as the legendary James Bond. Of course, the big draw was the splitscreen multiplayer, where one of my friends was always screen-peeking. I played Goldeneye recently, and it doesn’t hold up well at all. I mean, controlling and FPS with a single thumbstick and a directional pad is next to impossible. However, there’s no denying the influence Goldeneye had on the modern FPS and multiplayer matches within shooting games.
12. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
In 2011, Microsoft published Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a high-definition remake of the original Halo from Bungie. Porting the infamous first-person sci-fi shooter to the Xbox 360 proved to be a wise decision, and fans clamored for a re-release of Halo 2 in the same vein. Microsoft did them one better: Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes the four numerical Halo games and puts them in glorious HD for the Xbox One. Players are now able to seamlessly jump from one game to the next while reliving Halo‘s unforgettable campaign and unique multiplayer matches — when the matchmaking works, that is.
Price: $59.12 (1 percent off MSRP)
13. Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 is, without a doubt, my personal favorite first-person shooter ever. For those unfamiliar with it, here’s the premise: You and three other survivors, either multiplayer friends or bots, have to run through a gauntlet of zombies in an effort to make it to the end of lengthy levels. There are thousands of undead between you and your goal, and you only have weapons and health kits you find along the way to keep you alive. The game thrives on cooperation considering there are plenty of special zombies that immobilize teammates. There are only five maps in the base game, each of which can be beat in about 40 minutes, but the game randomly generates everything from enemy spawns to weapon placement, making each new playthrough unique. If you’ve got a few buddies you want to game with, nothing beats the endless fun of Left 4 Dead 2.
14. Battlefield 4
It had some trouble at launch, but Battlefield 4 is still a competent shooter. It’s referred to as Call of Duty‘s greatest competition, but that sells the game short, considering both games attract different crowds. Battlefield 4 is all about scale. Maps are enormous, featuring vehicles (even jets!) and destructible environments. I mean, it’s not uncommon to see a skyscraper collapse in real time during a match due to the game’s powerful Frostbite engine. It’s strategic, which means communication and thought-out attacks win rather than your quickscoping ability. If you like the idea of modern war-based shooters but are turned off by CoD‘s frantic deathmatches, give Battlefield 4 a chance.
Price: $25.88 (35 percent off MSRP)
15. Crysis 3
Crysis 3‘s gameplay didn’t step up much from Crysis 2, but what did change is developer Crytek’s focus on story and characters. The first two games in the franchise didn’t have much in the way of narrative, with stories that acted as little more than excuses to go out and kill hundreds of bad guys. Crysis 3 still has that fun action first-person shooter fans crave, but it’s sprinkled with real characters with authentic emotions players can relate to. If that’s not your cup of tea, you’ll still have a blast cloaking yourself so you can sneak up behind enemies and snap their necks or using your Predator bow to take down targets from afar as a super-powered killing machine.
Price: $16.15 (19 percent off MSRP)
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