The Top Ten First Person Shooters of All Time

Posted by James Hawkins at 9:03 AM Apr 08, 2010

img_27791_halo_1 (570 x 428).jpg
Birth of a Legend

5. Halo: Combat Evolved 2001
Systems: Xbox
The subtitle says it all. The combat in the Halo games pushed the genre so far forward, few games have been able to compete. In the world of highly-stylized, sci-fi inspired shooters, Halo has the market cornered - it's control scheme is the industry standard for console shooters, and its gameplay flow and structure has been imitated countless times. Though it appeals to millions of people, the game's sophisticated mechanics and hardcore multiplayer mode have been able to satiate the appetites of even the most intense of console gamers. Throw in some awesome characters and a challenging story mode and you have the recipe for a franchise that will continue to break ground and provide heart-pumping experiences for players for many years to come.
Lasting Influence: Industry competition. Since the release of the first Halo game, other franchises have had to put a huge focus on production and innovation just to keep up. When a title like this appears and defines an era of gaming, it challenges the industry to produce high quality, epic games.

ut6ff1 (570 x 428).jpg
Pew, pew, pew.

4. Unreal Tournament 1999
Systems: Dreamcast, Mac OS, PC, PlayStation 2
Where would we be if we didn't have over-the-top shooters? After the debut of the highly innovative and genius Unreal, the folks at Epic Games decided to make the next one focused on the multiplayer. And thank God they did. Unreal Tournament expanded the genre's multiplayer content by bringing beautiful textures, realistic blood splatter, and highly-lethal weapons to an unprecedented new level. Like Perfect Dark, the integration of smart AI made solo deathmatch a legitimate time-waster in its own right, allowing it to stand beside the monstrous online deathmatches. And luckily for gamers, Unreal Tournament has been moded and updated frequently to ensure that the experience will not only last, but improve year after year.
Lasting Influence: The Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine debuted with Unreal (obviously), but its lasting impact has largely been its use in improving the multiplayer arena and games in general. And the world would be a sad and boring place without it.

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I'm quaking in my boots.

3. Quake II 1997
Systems: PC, Nintendo 64, Mac, PlayStation
Quake II built upon the multiplayer madness of its predecessor. While Quake brought multiplayer shooters to the global community, Quake II moved the genre up an echelon in terms of quality and fun. Utilizing its own fantastic engine, Quake II had a relentless pace and mind-boggling gameplay. Armed with immense firepower, players could compete with each other online in sixteen-player deathmatches that would remain popular for years to come. Where Quake II really succeeded was bringing a diverse set of weapons to the genre. The railgun remains an icon in shooter history, and sophisticated weapons classes can be traced back to guns like the rocket laucher, the shotgun, and the chaingun.
Lasting Influence: Widespread online gaming. Though the first Quake allowed anyone with a crappy internet connection to join an online deathmatch, Quake II provided an even more hearty and lasting experience.

gordon-freeman (570 x 428).jpg
Enter the Free Man

2. Half-Life 2 2004
Systems: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Half-Life 2 did exactly what a sequel was supposed to do, and a hell of a lot more. After a long six-year wait, fans of the much-lauded original Half-Life game, as well as those new to the series, were met with a totally immersive story focused on rebellion, survival and exploration. The design of City 17 and the surrounding world bordered on epic, which made the player seriously feel like they were just a man fighting a cruel police-state inside a giant city, rather than a one-man army destroying everything in his path. Nearly every single part of the game had a powerful impact on the FPS industry -- from its use of physics and the legendary hero to the unique weapons arsenal to the complex non-player characters. If there is a shooter to judge all other shooters by, it is definitely Half-Life 2.
Lasting Influence: Story. Before Half-Life 2, games could get away with a weak story and just focus on gameplay. That's just not the case anymore. The second entry in the tale of the Free Man gave the genre a boost with its thoughtful, emotional storyline and nuanced characters.

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I'm too close for rockets, I'm switching to...rockets?

1. GoldenEye 007 1997
Systems: Nintendo 64
It is impossible to talk about first-person shooters in the console world without bringing up GoldenEye. The game took all of the great aspects of the movie -- the locations, Bond himself, and the notorious Trevelyan -- and mixed them with an enormous weapons selection and a long, thrilling storyline to make one of the most enjoyable and memorable campaigns of all time. The game pioneered and popularized the now-standard scoped sniper rifle, as well as context-sensitive hit locations on the enemies for a dose of realism that was previously unseen in gaming. In addition to that, the objective based missions using stealth and strategy rather than firepower introduced a new dynamic to the genre. But even more influential than the single-player was the split-screen multiplayer. It featured tons of levels, guns, and game modes that broke away from the typical multiplayer mold and produced an experience that would be followed in nearly every shooter since. When it was released, the game provided everything a console gamer could want and more.
Lasting Influence: GoldenEye 007 was the progenitor of great console shooters. Pretty much all shooters across the platforms have taken a page from GoldenEye's dossier. And over a decade later, it is impossible not to credit the game for the huge popularity of the genre.

Honorable Mention: Deus Ex, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, System Shock 2, Half-Life, Call of Duty 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D


Anonymous said:

Rock solid brother, like your mid-section.

Dread said:

Good list. I'd have placed Doom on top, but then I saw that the honor went to GoldenEye and I can't argue with that.

Brown said:

Nice list. At first I would have expected COD4 to be higher, but everything you put before it was well justified. Good job

Sykishi said:

decent list, personally i think halo 2 should be on there for it was the FPS that not only showed online console fps could rock face it help the spot as the most played for years.

J. Matthew Zoss said:


Sorry, the feedback thus far has been entirely too civil.

James Hawkins said:

If you ever come within 3 feet of me, I'm going to hit you in the balls.

Jeremy Boone said:

You had all the right candidates, but the order wasn't that great. Half-life 1 should have made the list, especially when that was the game that TRULY made MODS popular. You wouldn't have had counter-strike without it. Goldeneye should have been a little bit lower. Yes, it did revolutionize console FPS, but games like Doom, Half-Life, Halo 2, and System Shock 2 have had larger influences in gaming.

Good list, but wrong order.

Anonymous said:


Anonymous said:

bioshock; the fuck?

Anonymous said:

disagree your list sucks...

how could you not include rainbow six. have you never played a fps before

Stlnation said:

I'm with Zossy what a shit ass list. no rainbow six your wasting time.

Simon said:

I would have replaced Bioshock with Duke Nukem 3D.

Anonymous said:


Golden Eye is so overrated!

Perhaps Golden Eye was excellent for people that didn't know what a PC was, but ... #1??? What a joke! Golden Eye was a hunk of krap!

I remember playing UT for hours on end, visiting a friend who thought his Nintendo powered Golden Eye was "the shit" -- what a snooze fest those nights turned out to be.

If you'll put Half-Life 2 at #1 and Unreal Tournament at #2, then you'll be more accurate.

XYZ said:


Golden Eye is so overrated!

Perhaps Golden Eye was excellent for people that didn't know what a PC was, but ... #1??? What a joke! Golden Eye was a hunk of krap!

I remember playing UT for hours on end, visiting a friend who thought his Nintendo powered Golden Eye was "the shit" -- what a snooze fest those nights turned out to be.

If you'll put Half-Life 2 at #1 and Unreal Tournament at #2, then you'll be more accurate.

Anonymous said:

" The combat in the Halo games pushed the genre so far forward, few games have been able to compete."

You're got to be kidding me...

Anonymous said:

worthless article.

Tied for first
Doom & Counterstrike you don't need 8 other titles.

Alexis said:

Duck Hunt should be on the list. Hopefully, it is the number eleven.

Anonymous said:

Mw2? Bad company 2? Jedi Knight 2? This list is complete crap.

Anonymous said:

You have Counter Strike Listed, but not Rainbow six? The game that Counter Strike was quite obviously based upon? Seriously man, your credibility has gone right out the window. Learn to play Tactical Shooters.

Victor said:

Only a few on your list revolutionized FPS gaming. The commentary below doesn't provide any argument why the games made the spot in the list that they did. I can pick up a bunch of game titles and throw them on fly paper too, doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about.

Why no Q3:A?

dH_ said:

CoD4 did NOT pioneer, nor perfect, leveling or otherwise persistent ranking/unlocks in FPS games. Battlefield 2/2142 did so in a much more thoughtful, balanced way. Not a metric shit-ton of unbalanced unlocks, but a thoughtful selection down different class branches that complemented the class and a player's playstyle.

And it actually took dedication and skill to rank up in Battlefield. You could play forever and hit 50, but if you wanted it to happen in your lifetime you had to be good.

Ben-jamin said:

well, where to begin. I think your first 3 (10 9 and 8) should have been at the top and here is my reasoning why.

golden eye is a legendary game. next to zelda and metal gear solid. But #1, ehh I can say sure, why not. But given how time has progressed, as well as games, I have to disagree.

Perfect Dark needs to be higher then golden eye. It was a game, the first I can recall that I was addicted to, to have challenges, AI units for multiplayer when your buddies weren't allow to come out and play, a shooting range, and a menu/waiting room before you jumped into story or multiplayer. You felt like Joana walking around Carrington.

It took GE and evolved it. Yes GE is a classic, but side by side PD is just better. you get the same engine as GE, or same feel, I have no idea the engine actually used but you get THAT, PLUS so much more. COD4, ok, so in the wrong place, SOOOOOOOO wrong.

CoD 4 had un-lockable items/cheats, ala perfect dark. Challenges for XP. A lot of the stuff your #1 does not have. To me the experience of CoD 4 single player is tied with halo 1 as #1 of my list. the nuke, the twists. all make CoD 4 the top game of my list.

Bioshock is an epic, epic game. Mine would be much higher on the list then it is now. The opening hooked me, the gameplauy scared and enthralled me. I call it, one of the top games ever made, period." Counterstrike is still played on its native os and in PC gaming centers is awesome. sure pd was released on xbox and is equally epic if not more as it once was, but CS is legendary. Should have been in the top 5. no doubt about it. below this? no way dude. you must be huffing glue or something. ;)

Quake 2 that high? you must MUST be sniffing ether. How is that superior to CoD? counter strike? sure it was great back in the day. but it cant hold a candle to other games. and UT should be up there. #2, I don't know. UT 2004 or whatever it was sure, this, ehhh. a stretch. its like saying marathon man (whatever its called) is #2 cause it lead to halo. no thank you sir! SHENANIGANS!!!

enough bashing your decent list, on to mine, cause lets face it, I'm a commenter and you are the writer, this is my job. To openly bash your posts even though I wish I had your job/opportunity like every other hater/fanboy/commenter out there.

#1 Halo
Im saying halo cause they are all brilliant in their own right. 1 broke the door open to epic mp and sp. Vehicles, AI characters side by side, wanting to keep them alive. 2 for its in sane levels and multiplayer improvements. Enhacning an already EPIC game. 3 for being the final ending to series was just great. record your games, up load them. Its untouchable. Halo 1 2 and 3 is #1.

#1.5/2 CoD 4
Challenges, unlocks, prestige, double XP weekends, amazing graphics, deep penetration perk (not sexual Owen), it was just simply put, the next level up from halo. Halo had diff modes, the vehicles all that. CoD has faster gameplay, modifiable guns, weapon sets with load outs you could configure. its single player is epic. the first level is unlike any other level . the plane of the game sways. its unlike anything i had played before. Now look at Halo reach, modifiable armor, daily challenges (rummor) etc. Bioshock 2 has perks and unlocks, vehicle add ons, etc.

#3 Perfect Dark
#4 Bioshock
#5 Counterstrike
#6 Unreal Tourney, you pick the year you like best
#7 Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 1 or 2
(drones, 1st 3rd person, co-op, the camera view of your buddies view is revolutionary)
#8 Battlefield MC 2 (insane action, weapon classes, amazing vehicles, to me it was just awesome. should have been on the list)
#9 Golden Eye - Great game, Legendary, Hall of famer, fun, but too old to be the winner.
#10 Duke Nukem 3d (strippers, monsters, guns, kicking ass and chewing bubble gum....)

honorable mentions: quake, call of duty big red one, halflife (not all of us loved it as much as ya'll and I haven't pc game'd after 2001) crysis I heard is pretty amazing, I agree with rainbow 6 as an HM. Medal of Honor Allied Assault (one of the first and only 'new age' shooters available for mac)

never the less, great article topic. a decent list, but it should have read, THE TOP 10 REVOLUTIONARY FPSs. then GE, Half life and UT and Quake would be there and would win.

snoogans, thank you for reading, and! 14 hour work day topped off with a good comment on one of my new fav gaming sites. thanks ya'll.

Adam Daman said:

Where's any of the Battlefield games?

Anonymous said:

man golden eye shouldn't have gotten first thats dumb as fuck...heres my top 10 list since u noobs can't get it right...1.wolf 3d 2.doom 3. quake 4.unreal tournement 5.perfect dark n64 6.duex ex 7. bioshock 2 8.cs 1.6 (still huge) 9. quake III arena 10. halo 1 (love this game to death still play it on xbc and lan with mlg setting of course)...alot of these games i listed are interchangable accept halo 1 since its the newest one of the bunch it should stay in 10th place.

GAP said:

Duke Nukem 3d??

GAP said:

Duke Nukem 3d??

Ben-jamin said:

anonymous - your list is like your 55 plus, best ever? go play your atari and top 5 games that are all older then fuck. I was expecting at #6 to drop Atari Ghostbusters for its ....douchery.

Anonymous said:

you should exit this life. alterately, you could stop pretending to know shit about fps (no rainbow 6 you are gay)

witnermute said:

you should either have to cut off a finger or admit you've never played an fps you douche bag no rainbow six please drink gasoline

Anonymous said:

honorable mention: games author is too young to remember

John Carmack (No not really) said:

This list sucks. Clearly made by a console FPS player who never played an FPS before GoldenEye or possibly Halo, and put in Doom for yuks. First Person Shooters were called "Doom Clones" for the better part of the 90's, and for good reason. Wolf3D, Duke3D, Jedi Knight, Half Life, all deserve to be on that list more than half of those games. This is like someone writing a "Best movies of all time" list who has never seen the Godfather, but heard it's pretty good.

Anonymous said:

Jeremy Boone -
Quake and Doom made mods popular. Doom had tons of fan levels, level editors, and game modifications. Quake spawned Rocket Arena, Team Fortress, Capture the Flag, and much more.

Matt said:

Doom should have been number one. (or maybe wolf3d) If it weren't for those two games there would be no fps genre. And why the hell wasn't quake on there? That was the first game to take a true 3d engine pro. Textured polygons, dynamic light, tcp/ip network play, 3d acceleration, and the list goes on and on. I'd like to know how old the person is who made this list. Probably 13 years old and too young to remember if it weren't for the ID software games there would be no first person shooters, and video games in general probably would have progressed much differently.

NBarnes said:

Bioshock but not System Shock 2? Half-Life 2 but not Half-Life itself?

You shouldn't write articles with 'of All Time' in the titles unless you have a sense of historical perspective.

Bobb said:

Epic Fail. Goldeneye, number 1? Really? LMAO. You lost what little credibility you had before this article.

mig said:

Fuck COD4. Honestly that shouldn't even be top ten. I won't deny that its a fun game, but its not a great game. The campaign although cinematic was so short that unless you have xbox live its a waste of money to buy the game. The multiplayer, ya its fun, but its nowhere near as fun as the original Brother in Arms multiplayer. The level up system was terrible, it wasn't based on skill but rather on how much you played, completely unsatisfying. Prestige mode is a cock slap to the face, oh hey look you spent hours on end to get this token of thanks from the developer congrats we're just gonna strip you of everything you have earned and have you start over. That was the worst way to artificially extend playtime in recent memory, and they didn't even try conceal it. COD peaked at 2, that was the last time that the series actually wowed me with its gameplay rather then the cheap cinematic gimmicks it used. These same cinematic gimmicks that had been done infinetly better in Half Life 1 & 2. And if you speak of realism in a shooter, drop COD all together, it doesn't even come close to the original Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six.

Anonymous said:

Did he died?

Benjamin Wallen said:

Rainbow six? please!!that was the dawn, and spawn of hell of noob tubers. Seen any new RB6 since vegas, mmm no? why is that? ITS FUCKING WEAK SAUCE!! Ghost recon in close quarters. plan my attack? on a map? NO FUCKING WAY! let me get in thre and shoot some fuckers.

rainbow six....pshh. lets add since we are at the trend of adding shit fuck games to this list, of worthy contenders in a fucked up order, lets add south park fps game, and then America's army, or Legendary or even frontlines.

What about R6 was even note worthy? revolutionary, cause lets face it thats what this article was based on even though the title is off. new system of gameplay, no. best game ever, HELLLLLLL no.

mig said:

R6 pretty much created the entire realistic aspect of shooter that every modern shooter is labeling itself with. It took careful planning to get your work done, weapons were real world and accurately modeled for that with weapons physics matching each weapon along with penetration and armor factors. R6 for better or worse brought realism to not only shooter but all games that use that moniker these days. So ya its influential and damn it was fun.

Deeds203 said:

Best part about this list is the comments, some right, some wrong, most effing hilarious. that said:

All you A-holes need to wake the fuck up with this Goldeneye bitching. Not a single one of you can say with a straight face that you didnt spend HOURS sniping commie fucks when you could have just walked through the game in 90min; this is because no one had EVER brought anything close to that mainstream.

MW2 is fucked, and yes MW was short but the graphics were hot and who didnt love the 'old time' silent movie cheat. What was the last cleaver cheat you remember on another FPS like that?

Cant debate the Halo pick but Halo 3 needs to be on here for the 'bubble' graphics alone.

To the duck hunt suggestion, this is an FPS list so the 'first person' you should shoot is yourself dumbass.

you could probably unFuck this list easily by making an Evolution of FPS artice so that you dont look like and idiot and you get less trolls on here whining about RB6


FloatingCorps3 said:

CS should be swapped with Bioshock, CS left a legacy of realistic Deathmatch. Bioshock just came and went.

golden-eye-FTL said:

Your list needs some work boy'e
Goldeneye #1!?! Maybe on the list somewhere, but number 1 GTFO! My little sister or someone who isn't aware that you use a KB + Mouse to play FPSs would rank Golden Eye #1.

Bio-Shock was pretty and all but...I think I spent as many clicks completing the lame hack-mini-games as I did killing things. It would maybe belong if your list was "The Best Carpel Tunnel Inducing Bames EVAr!"

Maybe swap it out for TF2 - or something multiplayer and fun?

Jese said:

Any list that doesn't include Quake 1 is not credible, tbqh.

Q1 is the progenitor of all modern 3d FPS games.
Free online, server lists, modding, movie making, team fortress, and more.

steveo said:

The list is missing the greatest FPS, dare I say greatest videogame of all time:
Super Noah's Ark 3d

Francis said:

Perfect Dark should be higher!

tominthewire said:

I understand that to many RE4 is not a pure shooter, but on those grounds the same is true for some of these. I can't see how such a ground breaking and aesthetically beautiful work would not be included on this list. To me the prior RES iterations were good but not in the same class. RES5 was an excellent game maybe deserving of this list as well, but it had so much to live up to after RES4 it was often underrated.

Sandwich said:

I don't agree with everything on the list, but ultimately articles represent personal opinion anyway. I find it somewhat amusing that most comments include two elements in common: "Your opinion is wrong," and "here's my opinion."

I'm usually wary of user comment lists that include much older games due to nostalgia and the desire to seem knowledgeable. They generally come off as pretentious. As I said, I don't agree with this list but to each his own, but some of the "Sit down, boy, and I'll tell you a story" comments here are far worse, and the reasons given are atrocious and reek of poor logic. The fact is, if you were perceived as important by others as by yourself, you would be writing articles, not trolling them.

Sandwich said:

@ tominthewire:

Resident Evil 4, while good, is not a "First Person" shoot by any means.

William said:

Wow, big surprise that Halo was on there. Wolfenstein 3D is waaay better than Halo. The old Delta Force PC games are better than Halo for crying out loud.

Belaid said:

this is the 1st list of 'Best 1st person shoot games' i agree with more then 90%

Anonymous said:


Forgotten by many, incredible in its day.

Dread said:

Belaid said: this is the 1st list of 'Best 1st person shoot games' i agree with more then 90%

There are only 10 games on the list. If you agree with more than 90%, doesn't that pretty much mean that you agree with the entire list?

PetitMorte said:

Nobody ever remembers Tribes. :(

Annoyed said:

First off, there are a bunch of people in these comments that need to stop whining. As far as lists go this is a pretty top notch top 10.

Goldeneye on the N64 is the reason console shooters even exist. I do disagree with Perfect Dark having its own entry as it was just Goldeneye with slightly different weapons and 1 more multiplayer game mode.

Half-Life 2, spot on. We have amazing looking FPS games today because this game was willing to say, hey why can't it look amazing and be fun.

Despite my dislike of the game Halo deserves a nod for taking console FPS one step past what Goldeneye did. So it definitely deserves a spot.

Counterstrike, Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament.... we all owe you more than anyone can even imagine. These games are what inspired everything else since then. Programmers everywhere spend each day making games hoping to create that same feeling they got playing those games for the first time.

Now my big beef with this list is the addition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Now first thing, just to get it out there, I LOVED this game. Buuuutttt..... CoD:MW is not the greatest of all time in this category. Battlefield 1942 created and made the particular niche. It was the Goldeneye of WW2 shooters. CoD is a great game, but of all time? Sorry I must disagree completely. It was a great reworking, but it will not stand as a testament to the ages. Maybe CoD:MW2 can do it.... but we are years away from being able to say that.

Joel said:

Why isn't this list called, "A bunch of fps games I like."?

skamando said:

Half Life 2 is definitely my favorite FPS ever. Not only did the Source engine spawn with it, which is almost as used as the Unreal Engine, if not in console games so often, but the game is just the greatest story driven, level based game I have ever played. It was as if you were playing through scenes of a film epic. Nothing I have played since has provided me with the same feeling, which is why I have played that HL2 so many times over. The end of Episode 2 is possibly the most fun and challenging situation I have faced in any FPS, and I think even that deserves the #1 spot. Oh well, I love Goldeneye, as well, so no harm done.

DarthVain said:

Perfect Dark? I have never even heard of that one. Garbage.

I liked most of the choices if not always the ranking.

I strongly Believe Wolfenstein should be on there somewhere. Wolf3D was the first. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was the best, had a ton of players, had longevity, a ton of mods, perfected the "Team" FPS model, and was FREE. Top 10 easy. You could argue that Quake: Team Arena started the "Team" model.. but you could also argue it was just a Mod of Quake.

Ben-jamin said:

Dark Vain, garbage? You never heard of it? Then you shoudln't be posting on a FPS page.

Wolf ET>!?!?!?!??! you are on crack and meth dude. I gamefly'd it a week after it came out and could get maybe one game every few searches. then it was like the same guys every time. best game, you are high.

anonymous said:

If you haven't been playing FPS's for 20 years, then you have no business making a best of "all time" list. Make a best of the past decade list and call it that. /argument

James Hawkins said:

Lotta y'all need to get laid.

Dread said:

DarthVain said: Perfect Dark? I have never even heard of that one. Garbage.

I liked how you immediately let the other posters know that your idiotic comment wasn't worth reading. Huge timesaver.

James Hawkins said:

Mmmm, we've attracted the cream of the crop on this one... Knock em out the box, Judge.

Dave said:

I didn't love every game on this list but I actually agree with the ranking and selection of all the games. For PC gamers that are complaining, I'm one myself, but being a console game doesn't immediately rule a game out.

The author made good justifications as to why they belonged where they did: their impact on the industry as it will be written in the history books. (Instead of catering to niche audiences on how 'fun' a game is: too subjective).

And if you're still complaining about Golden-Eye, go talk to any game developer who makes FPS games. Odds are, they played it, loved it, and were influenced (even strongly) by it. It's definitely a game destined for the history books.

disgussieded said:

im pretty disappointed that goldeneye and perfect dark were on a list with only 10.. while battlefield 1942, bf Vietnam, bf2, duke nukem 3d, quake.. slightly biased to the console gamer i guess

still glad quake II and unreal tourney were mentioned

Anonymous said:

Mostly a good list. Not sure about the inclusion of Halo, though. Yawn festival. And isn't BioShock an RPG? I played it. Felt like an RPG, not an FPS.

Anonymous said:

wow, Cod 4 but no mention of the original?
counter strike ranked so low? this is bullshit. where's red faction? or battlefield 1942 the first game to really include vehicles?

elmz said:

I agree with most of the games on the list, but not with the order.

Jay said:

The lack of any mention of Q3A pretty much makes the rest of your list moot, but then you topped it off by putting GodenEye at #1, losing any shred of credibility you may have had prior to this article.

Joey said:

I don't really think this list is compiled by an FPS expert. I wouldn't even call my self an expert and I've played a huge amount of FPS. I'm not saying that none of the games listed here are any good, but that it appears to be just some random guys opinion which is largely composed of popular FPS games. This is a bad measure. The thing is in some respects selecting with a strong bias by popularity will probably at least result in a list of overall above average quality FPS games. However, such a list it kind of crap. Most people already know about popular FPS games. People are going to make use of this list in two ways, to confirm their taste and to find new cool games. You've pretty much ruined the latter and the former is a horribly cheap way to go about doing things.

Although it's hard to pick ten best out of all the FPS games as there's far more than ten with unique awesomeness, I don't think that justifies how much this list sucks. Even some of the good games here are only really good because they reiterated novel concepts from earlier games that were fairly niche. I personally would have made it a bigger list.

godspeed said:

these top 10 list will always be subjective. prob best to separate console and pc. i'm old school, quake series, unreal series, half-life series were the best fps in my opinion. UT, Quake 2, and Half-life are my favorites, and UT will always be my favorite!

SuperSparky said:

Here's a better list of history making FPS games, in no particular order:

* Doom and Doom 2. Essentially part one and two of the same thing.

* Quake 1 & 2. Quakeworld being the first reason for accelerated 3D. Ah, the old 3dFX Voodoo card...

* Goldeneye 007 was actually cool

* No One Lives Forever 1 & 2 - By far the coolest nostalgic FPS I have played, never mind the fact it was funny.

* Half-Life franchise. Seriously, Half-Life proved an FPS could be intellectual and fun. It told a good story and had some incredibly fun game play.

* Duke Nukem 3D. While Doom may have been gory, Duke Nukem was an adult level FPS. He was the video game equivalent of Rambo/Schwartzenegger movie characters. His wit was simple yet funny, and the chicks dug him.

* Rainbow Six. Are you kidding me? You left this one out?! The first for good covert ops style FPS gaming.

* Medal of Honor series. They started the WWII FPS.

* Team Fortress. This made Internet multiplayer fun.

Halo? Oh come on, it was popular because nothing else was available for the Xbox at the time.

SuperSparky said:

Oops, forgot COD

dtc said:

counter-strike would be a top 5 at the very least. even though i liked it, the people who didnt like it would acknowledge that it was one of the only fps's that lasted for so long and paved the way for more fps's and pro-gaming. i would know since i played since elementary school all the way through high school till it finally kind of died down around my 1st college year.

A PC Gamer said:

I have to agree, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault should definitely be on this list. 10 year old game, and the multiplayer servers are STILL going strong. That should say it all..........

rizzle said:

all credibility was lost when Quake 2 was picked over Quake 1. Q2 was the downfall! crummy rocket jumping, poor level design, meh. Golden Eye is a incredibly fun game IMO though it is not a better 'true' FPS than Q1.

Anonymous said:

terrible... was this list made by a 12 year old listening to what "grandpa" was yelling to add to the list in the background. It sure seems like it from those reasons given.

dakslf said:

Should have been in the list:
GL quake
Battlefield 1942
Duke Nukem 3D

Sandwich said:


That is poor reasoning, because you assume the poster hasn't been gaming for that length of time. A game can produce "new technology," and still not be as great as a game that came after it. For example, Quake was a pretty good game. Pretty good tech, good ideas. But I could easily make an argument that Half-Life, despite using the same engine (modified, of course), was a far superior game. Wolfenstein 3D is hailed as the progenitor of the FPS, but compared to Doom or even HeXen (an underrated title, in my opinion), it was still kind of bland.

As I said, I think nostalgia lends too much credence to otherwise poor arguments. People are too busy trying to be pretentious and scrambling around throwing out names and cries of "I played that!" and "That was addictive!" and "You're such a noob!" to actually discuss what made these games so great.

Also, Tribes was better than all of your favorite games.

James Hawkins said:


Stick around, please.


tominthewire said:

Well say what ever, this article worked, it brought out much speculation, opinion, and most importantly reader interest. I myself don't agree w/some 35% of it, but heh what else is new.

Anonymous said:

Halo Combat Evolved is on the PC and Mac

mig said:

Whats with all these PC game sonly people. Yes Half Life was amazing as was Doom (it was one of the first videogames I had ever played), so on and so forth. But console shooters are their equals this day. I dont see a valid argument in any of the "PC shooters are the only way to go" posts. All those posts amount to is just pretentious douchbagery from the hipster crowd since none of them have given a good reason for their statements.

Apathy said:

As the number of FPS games available increases over time, it should be obvious that the best games at the leading edge of the curve become more and more interchangeable regardless of the criteria used to determine them.

Over time, as the size of the sample increases (as more and more games are released), we'll see that according to the empirical rule of distribution the number of the top 2 or 3 percent of the games will increase proportionally. That means that these games in the top 2 or 3 percent will ALL share the characteristic of being more than 2 standard deviations outside of the mean. Therefore, criteria increasingly becomes a moot point when you begin to consistently see the same games in that bleeding front edge.

Argument and criteria about the best becomes entirely subjective at this point, as evidenced by the number of comments that disagree with any posing of a top ten list.

Anyway, everyone knows Doom introduced the most innovations of any kind into first person shooters that have become universal since then, therefore I reject your reality and substitute my own.

cheater said:

Wolfenstien 3d should be on there, even though you could argue Doom has just as much pull.

mOe said:

Very sad no Killzone 2 C'mon Son!

OldSchool said:

I liked Duke Nukem 3D over Quake because you had humor, could set off pipe bombs while looking through a monitor, could kill someone by shooting a rocket into a teleporter, and squash someone after shrinking them.

Then, there's Starseige Tribes. Different armor types, turrets, and eventually vehicles.

And also, Outlaws. You had to manually reload your bullets, could shoot unlit dynamite, invisibility potions, and chicken!!

X said:

Where's Rise of the Triad? It set a precedent for the ludicrous gibs in games to come.

UR all fags said:

Halo should not be on the list at all. CS should be top 3.

forgace said:

Everything about Halo is crappy!

Crappy gameplay!
Crappy mechanics!
Crappy controls!
Crappy weapons!
Crappy story!
Crappy game design!
Crappy vehicles!
Crappy A.I.!
Crappy level design
Crappy multiplayer!
Crappy single-player!
Crappy graphics!
Crappy sound!
Crappy art design!
Crappy books!
Crappy live action trailers!
Crappy music!
Crappy voice acting!

Halo even has the worse fanbase out of any video game franchise, its filled with nothing but immature children and fratboys. I have yet to meet one intelligent and mature Halo fan who plays other games instead of Halo and Madden.

Fuck you to anyone who's a fan of this series, there's better out there. Even fucking Jericho is better than fucking Halo! If you think this game deserves a score of 9 out of 10 or 10 out of 10, you are a fucking idiot. If you think this game deserves a score of 8 or a 7 out of 10, you are a loser. If you think this game deserves scores lower than a 7, you are a smart gamer.

The only reason this game gets high scores from professional reviewers is because they are being paid by M$ and Bungie, look at Gerstmann Gate for example!

Halo is the most milked franchise in gameing history. It represents everything bad about mainstream!

Only retards like Halo.

Halo is overrated!
Halo Sucks!
Its not good!
Halotards need to now there are better out there!

Half-Life is better than Halo and if you don't agree with this then you need to fucking kill yourself!

Halo is the most overrated game of all time, fact of life fanboys so deal with it!

There's not a single Halo fan who has played tons of great PC first-person shooters before Halo, FACT!

Halo is the Naruto, Madden, Jerry Springer, Nickleback, Jonas Brothers, George W. Bush, McDonalds, Dane Cook, and Twilight of first-person shooters.

Only smart gamers dislike or hate Halo!

This is my opinion and you need to take other peoples opinions.

forgace said:

If you ask a long time veteran of the FPS genre: “What are their favorite first-person shooters?”

They would say one of the following games listed:

System Shock 2
Doom, Doom II, & Doom 3
Half-Life 2
Far Cry
Team Fortress Classic & Team Fortress 2
Starsiege Tribes & Tribes 2
Perfect Dark
GoldenEye 007
TimeSplitters, 2, & Future Perfect
Red Faction
Deus Ex
Duke Nukem 3D
No One Lives Forever 1 & 2
Battlefield 1942 or Battlefield 2
Crysis & Crysis Warhead
Quake 1, II, or III
Unreal Tournament, 2003, or Unreal Tournament 2004
Left 4 Dead & Left 4 Dead 2
Ghost Recon
Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear, & Raven Shield
Serious Sam
Medal of Honor Allied Assualt
Marathon, Marathon 2, & Marathon Infinity
Turok & Turok 2
Wolfenstein & Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Brothers in Arms
Call of Duty & Call of Duty 2

All of those games are high quality first-person shooters for the highest standards

Ask a Halo fan what their favorite First-Person shooters are and these are the following games they’ll say:

Halo CE, 2, 3, & ODST (Of course)
BioShock A.K.A. System Shock 2’s mentally disabled clone
Deus Ex Invisible War
Project Snowblind
Call of Duty 4, World at War, & Modern Warfare 2
Rainbow Six Vegas & Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Gears of War & Gears of War 2
Resistance Fall of Men & Resistance 2
Killzone 2
Section 8
Fallout 3
F.E.A.R. 2
The Conduit
GoldenEye Rouge Agent
Red Steel
Red Faction 2
Turok (2008)

All of those are mediocre shooters for lowest of standards that are overrated by the corrupt mainstream media.

Call me a troll, hater or an elitist but you cannot deny the cold hard truth and reality. 95% of passionate and veteran First-Person Shooter players are not Halo fans, fact of life.

Anonymous said:

Wow? I enjoyed Halo CE (and ONLY CE) but none of those games in your Halo fanboy list were very fun to me either. Also, you can't switch from "this is ny opinion" to "this is a fact of life." And where'd you get 95%?

Sodamancer said:

The true list...

Top 3 best FPS
3. Every other FPS, because they're all the same goddamn game with new skin and different weapons.

2. Bioshock. For every reason mentioned above.

1. Unreal series- Multiplayer fun, amazing physics, influence.

realplayer said:

First persons shooters are ment to be played with a mouse and a keyboard. Anyone that says the contrary is a n00b.

Ephemeriis said:

Seems like these lists always overlook the Marathon games... Sure, they were Macintosh-only, but they were absolutely terrific. The graphics are dated these days, but they're easily the equal to Halo or Half-Life.

forgace said:

Anyone who believes Halo should be on this list is an idiot!

James Hawkins said:

Well then I, sir, am an idiot.

PDF4N said:

I like the list, having played 6/10 games I'd say it's fairly accurate. However, I believe A. Perfect Dark should have a higher ranking (IT WAS SUPERIOR TO GOLDENEYE)and maybe throw TimeSplitters2 on there? What a classic shooter that was...

forgace said:

Fuck Halo! It doesn't deserve to be on the list, whoever says so has poor taste and low standards in first-person shooters.

Anonymous said:

I'm glad they put goldeneye on there. I was waiting for either that or the world is not enough to pop up. Good times.

chicco-stroller said:

I agree with most of the list, however failure to include Battlefield 1942 as well as Planetside are the two most glaring mistakes. Especially when taken in context of most influential or important.

boostercarseats said:

This list really needed Battlefield 1942, in my opinion. I've had so much fun with that game. I remember back in college, I had given up gaming for a week on a bet, and my friends endlessly tormented me by playing BF1942 and crashing jeeps in ridiculous stunts (one of my favorite pastimes in the game).

educational-toys said:

I'm glad they at least added Duke as an honorable mention. His character, although maybe considered juvenile, was the first time you really had a personality in a game like that, plus making the whole thing so over the top really added to the fun and excitement.

jump starter said:

Buried you for saying that Doom 3 had ANY impact on multiplayer gaming, much less LAN parties. What world are you living in.

athabane said:

WHAT NO MODERN WARFARE 2????? i declare shenanigans

Lenni said:

At first I kinda thought the list would be stupid, but I was actually surprised with the amount of thought the author put into his choices. I agree on almost all of them.

I don't necessarily agree with his ordering of the franchises, but they all definitely belong on the list somewhere. His runner-ups are also excellent picks.

Belinda said:

Bioshock? This is insane.

Tes said:

Kudos for having the balls to put up Halo. We tend to hate on franchises that become accessible to the masses and their popular appeal, as if they lose exclusivity. I think your top 5 are spot on. Also impressed you included Quake II, who's mod community along with the power of game spy defined modern multiplayer gaming.

bakirov said:

it was very interesting to read
I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

James Hawkins said:

Yes, just please credit the site. We have a twitter account, our name is JoystickDiv.

Thanks for reading!

Salvador Richardo said:

This is the worst list I have ever seen. What kind of IDIOT leaves Wolfenstein 3D off the list, puts DOOM at #7?
(Bioshock is NOT better than DOOM!), and says that today games can't get away with a weak story anymore when you put CALL OF DUTY 4 ON THE LIST.

Andrew said:

Wolfenstein did not make it on the list, are you kidding me? While sometimes modified, bits of code for the 3D engine are in every one of the games above.

I hate fan boys said:

I think the list is alright. I loved Golden Eye but #1 is a stretch. I don't think there was a game played more than Counter Strike. The mods and online play were exceptional.
The list should look like this:

1- Doom: it was the reason more FPS were made. At the time the best, to this day a classic.

2- Counter Strike: if doom was the mother of all FPS, Counter Strike was the mother of tactical online game play.

3- Half Life: Just a plain excellent game, responsible for the best FPS sequel.

4- Unreal Tournament: The speed of this game was awesome. The engine is still used to build games to this day.

5-Bio Shock: From the posts its apparent that not many people played this game. It is just so different in a good way.

6- GoldenEye: It was the first great FPS not on a PC. I can't argue with the fans of Perfect Dark, but I enjoyed the 007 game more. I still hate those proximity mines.

7- Battlefield: Choose one. 1942, Bad Comany, it doesn't matter. Definately defines the wartime FPS. COD and TC can't hold it's jock.

8- QuakeII: I feel bad puting this game this low, but I personally discovered this game late. I had already played similars games I thought were better. It was definately fun and fast though.
9- Halo: I am persoanlly not a big fan of this game or its sequels, but it belongs on a top 10 list.

10- Call of Duty 4: Fan boys get irate at the fact that the COD games aren't that good. I don't even know if this one deserves to be on a list. I personally like COD:WAW better. The fan base for COD4 is undeniable though. It is definately better than MW2, which none of the fan boys can accept, and thats sad.

Anonymous said:

This list is horrible. Severely handicapped by console bias. The fact that System Shock 2 and Deus Ex don't make the list but Halo and anything from Call of Duty make the list is offensive to the FPS genre. We should have never let console gamers in on it.
And what the hell is up with Half Life 2 getting second place and Half Life getting honorable mention? Was that a misprint?
The next time you are playing the newest release (dumbed down for your idiot proof system) just remember you are ruining the gaming industry.

luiz said:

Where's Timesplitters?

alex said:

i agree 100% goldeneye is and will always be the best

Anonymous said:

All of u r wrong ..... The best FpS is
1-call of duty black ops & mw2
2-halo reach
3-halo 3
4-killzone 1&2
5-resistance 2
6- medal of honour
7- dead space
8- Tom Clancy vegas
9- splinter cell conviction ( it's 3rd person but well nvm it)
10- F.E.A.R 2
Well am not saying 1 is the best I mean that all of these games are the best they r not rated from 10 to 1

Nabonaga said:

I like all type of games and no game is different for me I play to have fun and get challenges and acheivments or trophies I don't fight with people I don't argue or annoy anyone and be a team player that's the way a gamer should be ....gaming is my life i spent 12 years of gaming I tried all kinds of games shooter RPG sports Strategy or RtS adventure and horror I never hated a game I played I love all games that I got people keeps judging games and says : that moroun didn't place this game he is stupid
Well this is called opinion it depends on the person. So stop arguing

Ido Deisuke said:

You forgot Postal II you punk.

fuktard said:


you are a fucking retarded bill gates cocksucker.

you cant even spell honor right, what a gimp you must be ...

are you serious with black ops? i mean a game with 5 to 10 minutes per mission ? haha go kill yourself.

and Halo is just not worth mentioning except you talk on a gaybox forum. fucker

Yankee Doodle TWAT said:

@ fuktard
Not everyone on here is an American; in the wider world, we spell it Honour.
What's with all the dumb fat kids like him trying to pass off opinions as facts?
I think Goldeneye was good. I still can't loiter in a ceiling watching a man have a crap without shedding a tear of nostalgia.

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