The first person shooter genre is probably the most popular in gaming. Even after almost 10 years after its release, people still play Counter Strike. Call of Duty and Battlefield series of games are breaking sales records year after year. There have been enough FPS games in the past ten years to eclipse all the other genres in gaming. So the obvious difficulty i’m having in choosing the best FPS game ever made shouldn’t come as a surprise to many.
The FPS genre has undergone a severe transition over the years from being single player focused to multiplayer focused. Call of Duty and Battlefield 3 both have single player campaigns, but they’re an afterthought when compared to the excellent multiplayer offerings. This makes the decision to find the best game even more difficult. One side you have games which rely heavily on single player such as Half life 2. On the other side you have multiplayer games like Modern Warfare which have changed the scope of multiplayer games.
Off the top of my head I can list the following games that thoroughly deserve the crown:-
- Half Life
- Half Life 2
- Halo 2
- Unreal Tournament 2004
- Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare
- Battlefield 2
- Call of Duty
All of the above are shining examples of what a good FPS must be. Games like Unreal Tournament and Modern Warfare have changed the multiplayer landscape, whereas Bioshock and Halo have redefined single player gameplay. To choose one best game out of these would be to seriously insult the others since the competition is so close. But, to not chose even one would completely betray the purpose of writing this article. Hence I shall pick two best games which i think have defined FPS gaming. And when I say defined FPS gaming, I do not imply popularity, in which case Modern Warfare and Halo would be runaway winners; it’s how much they have affected FPS game development on an evolutionary scale, and how they have changed the way players look at first person shooters.
Half Life 2
The original half life was sort of an evolution in the FPS landscape. It did nothing special, but whatever it did, it did perfectly. Well almost perfectly, otherwise I wouldn’t pick the sequel above it. Half Life 2 was something completely different. It’s an unrelenting campaign from start to finish. It pauses without stopping and rushes without hurrying. Couple this perfect pacing with a good story and some new fantastic gimmicks such as the gravity gun and physics puzzles, and you have a winner. But HL2 was much more than that; one which relies more on versatility than anything else. What i most remember the game for is its variety in levels. You won’t play the same time of environment in this game for more than 3-4 hours. And it’s a long game which will last you almost 20-25 hours. How can a game have all of these features and not be one of the best games of all time. I thought the same, and frankly I couldn’t come up with one reason about why it deserves anything less.
I was torn between Bioshock and Modern Warfare for this spot, but in the end Bioshock just about managed to nudge ahead. Storytelling in videogames have never been good enough to compete with movies, but this game come scarily close. And the story has a very deep impact on the game world and the characters. There’s much to talk about this game, but most of it will serve as a spoiler. This is one game which will constantly surprise and awe you, and I intend to keep it that way. And as far as twists go, this one is right up there with the best.
Well thats my two cents. What do you people think about these choices? Whats your favorite FPS of all time?