7 Of The Best FPS Games
I don’t think the title contains that much ambiguity but, to reiterate, in this feature I’ll be presenting my take on seven of history’s greatest ever first person shooters. Of course, these are all games I feel very strongly about, and are my personal choices that I feel represent the very best of what the genre has to offer. Don’t get too carried away though, because as the title says it’s only a list of seven games, and doesn’t encapsulate the entire genre – just my absolute favourite games from it.
So that’s in before the inevitable “why you no include megaton destructor alienz shooter 72 trolol” – it’s my list, not yours, and that’s the way the potato crumbles. I think I messed up that saying. Although that said, I’d very much like to hear your opinions about my list as well as what would be on your own personal lists, so feel free to sound off, praise me or flame me in the comments section.
Without further point-delaying ranting, let’s get to it.
You have a gun and you shoot stuff. Problem?
There’s a reason I didn’t specifically say which Portal I’m referring to, and that’s because I’m just considering the whole game itself, and not really choosing between the original or its sequel. Out of interest though, the latter was our Game of the Year for 2011, and it was very deserving of that award. Those who love Portal will know exactly why it has made my list. The original game in the series was basically a two hour experiment from Valve, but it turned out to be very much close to a perfect game. Protal was entirely original, full of personality and expertly paced, and it featured great writing and absolutely brilliant gameplay. It was definitely a winner, and in my books one of the greatest games to ever grace this genre. And to top it off, its charm, writing and humour makes it memorable.
And last year, let’s not forget Portal 2, which was Valve turning a two hour perfect experience into a full-length game that included an amazing new multiplayer feature. The result was something more. An absolute masterpiece that was one up on perfection. You may be wondering at this point why, if I’m speaking so highly of it, is it at number seven on my list. Well, that’s only because of personal preference, and because I never said my list order made sense. Still, Portal 2 continued to deliver at the standard the original game set, and raised the stakes, especially with its phenomenal multiplayer mode. It was the sequel that we as gamers both deserved and needed (take that The Dark Knight meme!), and I definitely feel that it’s amongst the best this genre has ever had to offer.
6. Crysis (2007)
I can’t stress it enough that I’m not talking about Crysis 2 – that game doesn’t come close to what the original achieved for PC gaming, and neither is it even a good game in my opinion. The original Crysis released in 2007, and it’s one of my favourite games of all time, and one of the best PC and FPS games I’ve ever played. In fact, it’s so damn good that I’ve actually been playing it again recently while waiting for this month’s releases, and I’m enjoying every moment. Not only was the original Crysis the best-looking game ever made for its time, setting the benchmark for PC graphics for years and still having visuals that are brilliant today, but it was also an innovative, unique and exceptional game.
The game centered around an advanced military nanosuit that used energy to enhance strength, speed and armour, as well as render the wearer invisible at will. This feature, coupled together with the expanded open world environment similar to Crytek’s Far Cry, made the game extremely dynamic and diverse. You truly felt like something more than human, and like a force to be reckoned with. You were not invincible by any means, but if you played skillfully and combined your abilities correctly then you could very well feel like it. One of my favourite features in the game was its unique weapon custimisation, which allowed you to modify your guns with silencers, scopes and tactical equipment in real-time and at any moment. You were just completely free to play the game however you wanted to, and the four suit powers, gorgeous visuals and excellent physics made things infinitely more enjoyable. And no one can say that it’s not exhilarating to use maximum strength and throw Koreans clean through buildings. I never grow tired of it, and I have nothing against Asians. I seriously don’t.
Crysis also had a fantastic, action-packed campaign, which also featured an intriguing story. And the cherry on top was that PC gamers could enjoy a great deal of modding to make the game worth playing multiple times. And for me, never since Grand Theft Auto has using cheats been so damn fun in a game, as Crysis allowed you to tweak practically everything through the developer console, including things like the speed and strength boosts your suit gives. It’s easy to see from this exactly how much I love the original Crysis, and I’m really not exaggering anything I’ve said. It’s just awesome.
5. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a game that I will always remember, because not only is it one of the best FPS and multiplayer games I’ve played, but it was also an experience that reinforced to me years ago the idea that graphics don’t make a game. Released as a free, downloadable game, Enemy Territory was a dynamic and unique class-based multiplayer shooter that was as much tactical as it was extremely fun. In the game you could choose to be a solider, medic, engineer, field operator or covert operator, with each having a very distinct play-style and value on the battlefield. Engineers were key for completing objectives required to win, while soldiers were highly effective in combat. Field operators were a unique class, in that they could act as support by giving ammo packs to allies, but they could also call in air strikes. Medics could heal and revive teammates, and they had more health. Covert operators could use silenced weaponry as well as sniper rifles, and take the uniforms of the dead, allowing them to infiltrate enemy bases, and destroy objectives using remotely detonated charges.
There are more abilities for each class that I haven’t mentioned, but the main thing is that from my perspective it’s one of the best class-based tactical shooters you can find. One of the best features was that experience points actually advanced your class in-game the more you played, which granted you new abilities and advantages. However, these were not permanent upgrades like we commonly see today. Rather they lasted for the duration of the rounds before the map changed. Everyone was on even playing fields this way, and had to play well to level up, of which there were four levels.
It was just such a joy to play, finding a fine line between complexity and simplicity. The maps were fantastically designed too, almost providing a fresh experience with each different one. This is one of those games I often find myself thinking about and hoping to play again, because it’s just that great.
I’m pretty sure that no one needs to be told why Half-Life is here, and again just like Portal I’m referring to the series as a whole rather than any individual game in it. Half-Life is just one of the most innovative, unique and amazing first person shooters you can ever find, and it was revolutionary for its time. Fans are pleading to the Gods every day that Episode 3 gets officially announced, but at the same time they’re thanking the Lord every night before they sleep because Valve created this series. I think that sums up all the praise I can give it. Well, I could just say “Crowbar” and all fans would probably find themselves smiling. On the upside though, at least Black Mesa, the independent remake of the original Half-Life, is still alive, so there’s that to look forward to. I know I definitely am.
Head over to the next page for the remaining games – my top three.