We’re all about the simple pleasures. Drinking hot coffee in the morning, the smell of freshly cut grass… and killing an army of zombies before they destroy life on Earth.
First-person shooters have been a staple of the gaming community since their conception back in 1992, with iD Software’s Wolfenstein 3D. Compelling for beginners and pro gamers alike, the sole objective is to shoot and kill your way through the story or map. And what are the best first-person shooters to ever grace the small screen? Here's our top 5...
1. Doom (2016)
Wolfenstein may have done it first, but Doom catapulted the first-person shooter (FPS) genre to fame. The original was released in 1993 and developers had over two decades to perfect the game. And they certainly did it.
The flawless execution of the 2016 reboot sent shockwaves through the industry, striking the balance between traditional FPS tropes and modern gaming conventions. The graphics were also given a dramatic (and even more horrifying) upgrade from Doom 3, which had previously polarised fans.
Doom (2016) cemented the franchise’s legendary status in a new age of first-person shooters, and reminded long-time fans why they fell in love with the game in the first place.
2. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
With 28 games, 7 blockbuster films, and 2 television adaptations under its belt, very few horror series have had quite the same success as Resident Evil. But it’s Capcom’s 7th installment, released in 2017, that gave the series a new lease of life.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard flipped the typical third-person perspective on its head, providing an up-close FPS mode for better gameplay and more terrifying visuals. The game also benefits from a less convoluted plot and a single-location setting, following Ethan Winters’ search for his missing wife on an infected plantation.
Often ranked as the best in the series, this game was nominated for several awards, winning the Gold Prize, User’s Choice Prizes, and the PlayStation VR Special Award at the PlayStation Awards in 2017.
3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
We can’t discuss FPS without mentioning Call of Duty. COD has become almost synonymous with the FPS genre. And while every game has its own unique features, the crowning achievement of the franchise has to be Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Its compelling campaigns and revolutionary multiplayer capabilities set it apart from both its predecessors and successors. 15 years after its release, it still sets the bar for which all FPS are measured. And while the echoes of modern conflict may leave a bitter taste in some players mouths, there’s no denying that COD4 was, and still is, genre-defining.
4. Left 4 Dead 2
If you prefer zombies and monsters to real-life targets, Left 4 Dead 2 is the one for you. Set in the aftermath of a deadly zombie apocalypse, the plot follows 4 ‘Survivors’ as they fight their way through the ‘Infected’ to reach a safe house.
Nabbing “Best Action Game of the Year” at its release in 2009, the zombie FPS still holds up today. But it wasn’t all praise. Its extreme graphic content garnered criticism, and designers had to tone down their cover art.
Today, Left 4 Dead 2 is regarded as a pioneer in the genre of first-person zombie shooters, and is regularly hailed as one of the best games of all time, only getting better with age.
5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Despite its massive popularity today, things didn’t look so good for CS:GO following its original release in 2012. Clunky graphics and buggy gameplay defined its early days. But thanks to development updates, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now one of the most popular games currently on Steam. And great news – the long-awaited sequel is set to be released on or before September 23, 2023.
With so many FPS ranking among our favourites, it's hard to narrow it down to just 5. So here are a couple of special mentions...
- Borderlands 2 (2012) – Although it caused a lot of controversy among fans who didn’t like the sequel’s amplified sense of humour, Borderlands 2 definitely puts fun first.
- Bioshock Infinite (2013) – Often regarded as the best installment in the franchise, the chemistry between the two protagonists elevates this from a traditional FPS game to a brilliant piece of storytelling.
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