My Top 10 Most Memorable FPS Titles
I decided to take a look back at some of my most memorable FPS titles over the past few years. Narrowing it down to just 10 was difficult as there have been so many great games in this genre. Hopefully some, if not all of your favorites made it onto my list.
With a unique and innovative experience unlike your average FPS, Valve brought us Portal. Waking up in a strange looking cell, there’s an unnerving few minutes of confusion. Suddenly we’re given tasks and puzzles to solve, and upon completion the prospect of a cake is the reward. Sounds mad right, well it is but in a whole new and unique way. Portal is an FPS that goes against the norm. Using the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device…the Portal gun, the player can create two distinct portals. A blue and orange portal can be shot onto any surface. Once the player, or an object maneuvered by the player enters one portal they will emerge from the opposing portal. This allows the player to get from point A to point B in a single step. The gameplay and play style of this game are astounding as we’re not thrown into another shoot em up, but play from a first person perspective in a game full of clever physics based puzzles. They are puzzles that will have you scratching your head. The great sense of satisfaction when a puzzle is solved is unmatched by any other. This is an incredibly clever game offering us an experience that feels like a breath of fresh air in an industry that can at times feel repetitive.
9. Medal of Honor Frontline
With one of the most memorable openings to any game… in a scene almost taken straight out of a movie (Saving Private Ryan), Medal of Honor Frontline gives us an experience we will never forget. Thrown right into the fight, in Nazi occupied Europe during WWII the player takes on the role of Jimmy Paterson. After discovering plans that the Nazi’s are building something so secret it could determine the outcome of the war, we’re sent on a mission to uncover the truth. As we make our way through the levels we’re not restricted to the one type of play style. Both stealth missions and solo missions give us plenty of variety. The soundtrack of this game is something I can’t praise enough. Composed by the award winning Michael Giacchino, each track works perfectly throughout and with the use of a full chorus the music is phenomenal.
8. Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare
2007 brought us many titles, but most importantly it brought us Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare. Civil war has broken out in Russia, problems are escalating in the Middle East and with fears against Nuclear weapons the United States along with British special forces send in troops to deal with the situation. The campaign in this game is short, very short, but throughout we’re not limited to one specific story line as we take on the role of a few different soldiers both American and British. As we progress various mission types are available. There’s even a mission involving firing from a Lockheed AC-130 with it’s thermal-imaging cameras which is awesome. As short as the campaign may be, this is a game where the multiplayer just excels and is a solid enough reason for buying this game outright. There are 16 maps available from the get go and with a variety of different match types. They range from your typical deathmatch, to an insane hardcore mode, there’s something for everyone here. This one really set the pace and groundwork for future online multiplayer type shooters. It’s no wonder it’s still widely played today along with the rest of the franchise.
7 . TimeSplitters 2
Timesplitters 2 was arguably one of the best shooters that was released in it’s day. Upon finding a working time portal being used on a space-station, Sgt. Cortez is tasked with the responsibility of travelling back in time to retrieve the Time Crystals in order to stop the Timesplitters from changing history. Its story mode can be very intense and challenging depending on the difficulty setting and coupled with some memorable and witty cutscenes it’s quite enjoyable to play. The one aspect of the game that stands out the most is it’s Arcade mode. Here the player must compete in 3 leagues, each league having 5 groups of 3 matches each. These can be quite challenging and really test your nerve but the results in completing them are worth it with tonnes of unlockables. The game also had a map creation mode which allowed you to create an entire level using what you’ve unlocked in Arcade mode and either fill it with bots or enjoy multiplayer matches with a friend. The game totally trumps it’s predecessor and with Free Radical’s development team having people that previously worked on Goldeneye 007 for the N64 we can see why.
6. Quake 3 Arena
I don’t think this game, nor do any of the Quake games need any kind of introduction because lets face it… it’s Quake. You’re one of the greatest warriors of all time when suddenly you’re abducted by an alien race called the Vadrigar and are forced to fight in the Arena Eternal for their amusement. That’s the plot basically. This game is entirely centered around a multiplayer styled deathmatch and with little or no emphasis based around a story line. Even the campaign is practically just that. Quake 3 Arena was designed primarily for deathmatch gameplay. Yeah, there are a few different modes like capture the flag, team deathmatch and tournament mode, but ultimately free for all is where it’s at. It is incredibly fast paced and with weapons like the rocket launcher or the infamous BFG at your disposal it’s hard not to get lost in an endless killing spree. The game is built on the id Tech 3 engine also known as the Quake 3 Arena engine. This engine was so good it was then used to develop future games including Call of Duty, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Soldier of Fortune 2 to name a few. It is a classic multiplayer game and since it’s designed for that it can’t do any wrong. With it’s simple and addictive play, it’s a fun FPS that can be played again and again and again. A title every gamer needs in their collection.
5. Halo 3
What would a list of the top memorable FPS titles be without the infamous Master Chief. Picking up immediately where Halo 2 left off, we find the protagonist crash land back to Earth in order to continue the fight. The story is a very fitting send off to the centuries of war waged with the Covenant. We can already sense some kind of closure on the horizon. The player is treated to a pretty varied style of gameplay just as we have seen with the previous titles. There are ground battles coupled with the use of vehicles (some pretty sweet vehicles I might add) set a nice pace for the action. The environments are beautiful giving us a real sense of whats at stake here besides saving humanity.
As we progress we come across new types of weapons and equipment that are really fun to use. For example the Gravity Hammer, the most up close and personal weapon that’ll make any enemy think twice about what side their on. Getting a multiplayer match going is where the real fun begins. There are many classic maps to wage war on and a new feature called the Forge, which is a somewhat map creation mode. I say somewhat because you’re not able to change the environment but the player has the ability to manipulate how a match is played, placing spawn points, weapons, vehicles, items etc throughout the level. Halo 3 concludes a three part story line but as we play through it it leaves us with a sense of excitement as to what will follow.
Probably one of, if not THE most influential FPS to be released. Doom takes up a special place in our hearts. Stationed on Mars when an experiment goes wrong and the spawn of Hell is released. You are the last survivor of a marine outfit positioned there (Doomguy). You must fight his way through the hordes in order to stop them before they make their way to Earth. Released in 1993 Doom revolutionized the shooter genre giving us a game never before seen. It’s style consisted of 2D artwork in a 3D environment and unlike previous titles like Wolfenstein 3D the player was not confined to a strict corridor type level layout. Gameplay wise it’s pretty simple, blast your way through everything in a level with a sole objective of getting to the exit with an array of weapons and powerups available along the way. Armed with just the pistol at the beginning, we up our arsenal as we progress coming across weapons such as the plasma rifle, the chainsaw and the powerful BFG 9000 along with many others. As previously stated it’s a revolutionary piece spawning many clones and influencing the style and gameplay of future FPS games. With a reboot in the making this is a series that will keep on giving.
3. Killzone 2
After pre rendered footage was shown at E3 long before its release on the Ps3. Killzone 2 was one of the most talked about and anticipated games from 2005 up until its release in 2009. Taking the fight to Helgahn after almost two years since the Helghast attack on Vekta, the ISA have but one thing in mind, stop all of Helghan’s war efforts and capture their leader Scolar Vasari. Notably one of the first aspects of the game to hit the player is the games environment. Dark, grim and with an atmosphere unlike anything seen before as the portrayal of war time is done perfectly in a beautifully dark way. A story line filled with epic situations and unforgettable characters pushed along with literally out of this world battles. The A.I in the game should be commended whether it’s a co-op ally or the enemy the A.I. is always stellar. With a play style that feels realistic and not arcade like, it’s hard to fault this title. As with most ,FPS games the main campaign isn’t too long but with a multiplayer that you’ll dump hours upon hours into you’ll be left feeling like you’ll never come across anything as good again.
2. Half Life 2
Half Life 2 can be summed up as the quintessential first person shooter, and I know that’s a pretty big statement to make but it is. It racked up 39 Game of the Year awards the year it release! The player takes on the role of Gordon Freeman yet again as we’re brought out of stasis by the G-Man. Set some time after the original, the Combine empire has invaded earth and humanity is now oppressed by them, meeting up with a local resistance we’re set on a path to bring freedom from this tyranny. This game is monumental for a reason, held highly among the gaming community and widely known as a masterpiece. Through a compelling and intricate story, physics based puzzles along side the use of vehicles and lest we never forget the almighty gravity gun, it’s a lovable game. Starting off with just the crowbar, throughout the game we come across various other weapons which can add a new mechanic to the gameplay. Weapons such as the already mentioned gravity gun can be used as a damaging weapon, a tool to solve puzzles with or something to just manipulate the environment to your advantage. The look of this game is astounding and it is a step up technologically and artistically from what we’ve seen in previous games of this type. Losing out to the number 1 spot on our list and by an ultra slim margin it is still undeniably a must play.
1. GoldenEye 007
Lets face it is it any surprise GoldenEye 007 for the N64 made it to the number 1 spot. With a plot that follows the movie closely, you are James Bond, the 007 agent himself. A satellite type weapon code name Goldeneye orbiting the planet is capable of disrupting and neutralizing any and all electrical circuits within range. Bond is sent on a series of missions to stop it and the villains behind its usage. With a main focus on the story and the single player campaign something future FPS titles somewhat lacked as they began to emphasize online multiplayer, GoldenEye doesn’t fail to deliver. Released in 1997 it’s highly textured environment was leaps and bounds above what had come before it, even the characters faces were maps of the actors faces placed straight onto the models.
The gameplay challenges the player with stealth characteristics, but this is not necessarily the only way to go. With a variety of weapons at our disposal you’ll end up in an enjoyable experience that’s packed full of action. GoldenEye is so much fun to play and can be seen as the greatest FPS of all time. Even shortly after it’s release it was both a critical and commercial success. If there is only one first person shooter you’ll ever play, make sure it’s this one.