First person shooters are one of the biggest genres in the video game world today. With games like Call of Duty setting sales records across all of entertainment, not just gaming, I think it is safe to say first person shooters are here to stay. Obviously, since there are so many first person shooters being released, narrowing it down to the three best is no small task, but when I really thought about it, these choices were actually a no brainer. Remember, I am only looking at these games in regards to their multiplayer prowess; their single player side is of no concern for the purpose of this article.
Halo: Combat Evolved
I will start this off by saying I am not a great Halo player. I have played every Halo, and no matter how much time I spend with them I just cannot get good. I reached a point where I realized that Halo just is not for me. However, I would be insane to leave the original Halo list off any top list of first person shooters.
Game developers had tried to make a good FPS for consoles for a long time and no one could seem to nail it. Then Bungie stepped into the picture and completely flipped the gaming industry on its head. They took a completely PC dominated genre and made it work on a console better than anyone imagined. Bungie brought incredible graphics, a silky smooth frame rate and a control scheme that was adapted perfectly to a game pad instead of mouse and keyboard. Even though Halo features no online play, it is still one of the best multiplayer shooters in history.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty was a fairly successful PC shooter before the first Modern Warfare game came out. Then the dynamic shifted, and Call of Duty became a massive franchise that breaks every sales record in the book every year when a new game comes out.
COD4 added so much to the first person shooter genre. The core game play in Call of Duty isn’t that revolutionary. What makes it so special is all the things it added in terms of multiplayer features outside of the actual game. They gave their game a sense of purpose that is not often seen in a multiplayer game. They added a level progression system that many other shooters are borrowing now.
Infinity Ward also added kill streaks, which is a genius way of rewarding players for doing well. If you are getting a lot of kills, what better way is there to be rewarded besides earning more kills!
Their perks system, which allows you to change specific attributes about your soldier based on your play style, is something that kept myself, and millions of other gamers coming back for more.
This is without question the video game I have spent the most time with in my life. I can’t even begin to imagine the number of hours I have spent playing Battlefield 2, and I think if I knew the number it would terrify me. Battlefield 2 was the game that finally broke first person shooters out of their World War 2 rut. I cannot stand playing WWII shooters because the guns always feel old and slow.
Battlefield 2 took the systems Dice originally laid out in their earlier shooters Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Vietnam, expanded them and put them in a modern setting.
What truly makes Battlefield so special is their emphasis on large-scale teamwork. It is one of the first games to bring giant 64 player battles to the player, and more importantly, they did it in a way that didn’t feel like an unmanageable cluster.
Dice took classes to a whole other level. Having people play as medics to revive and heal teammates, support classes to provide ammo and even engineers to repair damaged vehicles.
Did I mention vehicles? Battlefield 2 merged vehicle-based combat with on-foot combat in a way that I still don’t think has been replicated. They offered all kinds of vehicles like ATV’s, tanks and airplanes. The scope of the game is tremendous. One minute a player could be running around shooting a squad of enemies on foot, and the next flying around in an airplane dropping bombs on the very same squad.
For me, Battlefield 2 is the single best first person shooter ever made, and honestly, one of the best video games ever made. The only game that might top it could be Battlefield 3.
There have been hundreds of first person shooters released throughout the years. Pretty much any one of those shooters released in the last ten years borrows something from these three games. Not only are they revolutionary in their genre, they are also downright great games. Even today, going back to these games is still fun. And the best part? They all have sequels coming out in the near future.
What are your favorite first person shooters? Do you think my list is asinine? Let me know in the comments.