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21 First Person Shooters you shouldn't have missed

By Julio Franco · 54 replies
Jan 19, 2009
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  1. The first person shooter genre is indisputably one of the most popular among PC gamers and has been for well over a decade. Whether it is for the technological leaps that a game has brought with it, the unseen interactivity for its time or just the plain fast-paced action that is fun to play, every couple of years there is at least one such great title that makes people drool incessantly until it’s finally out there for public consumption.

    Yet, unfortunately with the staggering number of games that get released year after year, it’s not hard to miss the target and never come to play some of the best games this genre has to offer. Even some titles that have been critically acclaimed for some reason just don’t click with consumers and their fate inevitably leads to becoming one of those hidden gems of yesteryear, likely to never surface again.

    We have come up with a list of 21 first person shooters that any serious FPS player shouldn’t have missed. The usual suspects obviously had to make it, but you're also sure to find some other oldies that you either didn't give a fair chance or just missed in the process. Simply put, we are going to take you on a stroll down FPS memory lane.

    Read the full article at:

    Please leave your feedback here. Thanks!
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,380   +53

    I jumped from Wolfenstein to doom 3, to call of duty 4, besides rainbow 6 on the xbox. I cant go back and play some games because of the "pale" graphics, that haunt me. I love my cod4.

    Great article though, most on the list are user friendly to the common pc.
  3. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 289   +15

    wow... would have never expected such an article here on TechSpot; great job :grinthumb
    I've played most of them.

    But you did forget to mention some:

    -Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004)
    Don't quite understand why you failed to mention it in the UT'99 section...
    It was, and still is, considered a terrific multiplayer game with a huge array of quality maps, game modes and mutators.
    It continued to use interactive AI (it even had voice command) present in UT'99 and UT2003.

    - Star Wars Republic Commando (2005)
    Probably the best SP squad-based tactical game... not even RSV2 beats it

    - F.E.A.R. (2005)
    How could you not mention it?! great graphics, phenomenal gameplay, superb AI... a Crysis of its days

    - Quake 4 (2005, same day as F.E.A.R.)
    IMHO, a rock solid FPS with a good story and great graphics that ran well even on older hardware

    - Prey (2006)
    Guys, come on!!! the first game to include portals. It had great OpenGL graphics, a terrific story and interesting gameplay.

    - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (2007)
    At least to mention its great atmosphere... not its bugs.
    Its terrific atmosphere was further supported by its prequel, Clear Sky, that also included an overhauled engine (with DX10 features), much better AI and a compelling story.
    Not to mention the terrific mods out there...

    Ohh... and the obvious zombie-mashing Left 4 Dead :rolleyes:
    And why not even Mirror's Edge, for it's interesting twist of a platform game in first-person perspective.

    And even so, I probably missed one or two...

    BTW, the second screenie for BF2 is broken

    will you do the same for the other genres? (RTS, RPG, Racing etc.)
  4. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 8,195   +1,257

    Thanks for the great feedback!

    Now on a more proper response, we didn't include any sequels explicitly considering that for all we wanted to mention we had already included the original version of the game. In most if not all cases it was the original game that was the most memorable anyway.

    As for those titles that didn't make it to the list, we knew it was going to be impossible to please everyone from the get go.

    Besides the sequels, F.E.A.R. was probably the game we considered the most and probably we should have included it, but in the end we dropped it in favor of Undying which is also a "terror" FPS but of a complete different style.
  5. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 289   +15

    You don't have to please anyone... the games in there are more then enough. I was only adding/underlining a couple more titles I found worthy to mention

    About F.E.A.R.... I guess you're right, Undying was far more genre defining than F.E.A.R. at that time

    I do hope you guys will make something similar for the other genres...
  6. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,966   +223

    I give this article the absolute fail award 2009 for not mentioning Deus Ex
    Ok ok, it was mentioned under System Shock but it deserves it's own section
    Especially since it is one of those games that not many people played really
    It is in my view to this day the unbeaten champion of FPS games, and I don't really see it likely that any game will ever surprass it!
  7. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    Can't agree with you there, Per. Deus Ex can't really be called a FPS - it definitely falls under the RPG category more. Maybe even System Shock, too, though Deus Ex really shined in that aspect.
  8. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,912   +697

    Great article its too bad most of the older games are getting so outdated that to go back and play through the entire games is nearly impossible. You can play a little but then you have to stop because there's all those great games of today. In other instances I started off by playing the sequels to the original games before plying the original making for a really weird experience when basically back tracking through a games story. At any rate this was a great article to read through and have a chance to look back on how one of, if not the biggest genre of gaming came to be. A nest twist would have been what requirements the games required at the time to show how hardware has evolved with the games as time progressed.
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,402   +38

    Star Wars JKII did not deserve to be on the list IMO. Ditto for Tribes.
    Deus Ex and Thief: The Dark Project deserved these spaces far more.

    Still, decent list. I agree with most, if not all, of the choices there.
  10. Dissenter

    Dissenter TS Rookie


    I am wondering as to why Mech Warrior was not added to this impressive list? It is in the same category as Shogo.
  11. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,380   +53

    this is true, a great and forgotten game, glad someone still remembers it.
  12. Xusn96

    Xusn96 TS Rookie

    Delta Force series?

    This article brought back many memories. However, IMHO omitting the entire Delta Force Series is Blasphemy to the FPS genre. Delta Force introduced 16 player fragfest (ok maybe they weren't the first) starting in '98, followed BY DF2 which improved on the original and gave you Destructible structures, (something the vaunted Battlefield 2 failed to deliver). The Search and Destroy game mode was, in my experience the best Co-operative game play mode in any game to date. Followed By DF: Landwarrior( better graphics) but crap multiplayer, Skip past DF: Task Force Dagger To DF Black Hawk Down. How can you not at least mention BHD in a discussion off FPS?. Later this was followed by Joint Operations, and JO: Escalation; which gave you user friendly Flying and driving in a truly massive world (64 square KM)compared to BF2 ( which came a yr or more later LATER.) Sure BF2 had better graphics but their Hitbox code was terrible. While I was one who loved the DF series (excluding DF:Xtreme), i like many of the others who played in Nova's world, wasn't always happy with Novalogic. They rarely listened to the playing community. Otherwise loved the article LOL

    X out.
  13. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,271   +520

    Tribes was one of the greatest multiplayer games of all time - along with Quake II and III. I agree with JKII being undeserving though - but again, you can't please everyone. After all, I'm the only person in America who hated CounterStrike.
  14. stevenhomz

    stevenhomz TS Rookie Posts: 39

    great list although it makes fell my age thinking back to times when games like doom were cutting edge
  15. Cauptain

    Cauptain TS Rookie

    No Unreal or Return to Napali, No Medal of Honor, No PainKiller :confused:???

    Sorry but the List is very very weak...

    Halo (overrated game - MS pay $$$)?? Crysys (The gameplay is ridiculous) ?? It´s a JOKE only :haha: .

  16. Badfinger

    Badfinger TS Rookie Posts: 154

    No mention of Pain Killer? UT, Doom II, and PK are my top 3.
    There is another one that was around the days of Doom 2, but I have forgotten it's name, title had 4 words, first one I think started with T.
  17. Dissenter

    Dissenter TS Rookie


    My brother and I would connect via PHONE MODEM and play against each other. Actually, if I do some searching, I am positive that I still have the original game and possibly one or two expansion packs!!

    Truly an unforgettable game and experience.

    So, take that you n00bie on line gamers! LOL!!!!!!!!!
  18. rollstwenties

    rollstwenties TS Rookie

    You forgot one

    Rise of the Triad: Dark War. Too many people missed out on this game. It was awesome, and I recommend that if you can get your hands on it, (and you enjoy old games) check it out. Ludicrous gibs!
  19. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 8,195   +1,257

    I agree Rise of the Triad is one of the good old ones, so-called Doom clone that shouldn't. Unfortunately in a way ROTT just served as a transition from Doom to Duke Nukem (also developed by 3D Realms) which was a more memorable title.

    As I said earlier, it was going to be impossible to please everyone but I'm glad most of you agree with our picks. Many of you also seem to remember better certain sequels than the originals, which in a way makes sense, for example I almost didn't play the original Diablo but with Diablo 2 I went from start to finish and then all over again :)
  20. skitzo_zac

    skitzo_zac TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 413

    That was an awesome article, and article I did not expect to see on TS but very welcome.

    Quite a few of the games I had never heard of before (generally the earlier games because of my age) but I agree with the ones that I do know of.

    I really want to play some Duke Nukem 3D now :p
  21. anguis

    anguis TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +12

    Some good titles on there. I think Max Payne could have been added, as there were no games like it at the time, and it's still fun to this day. I mean, who doesn't like slow-mo/bullet time?? haha
  22. Matthew

    Matthew TS Evangelist Posts: 5,270   +104

    ..Wasn't Max Payne a third person shooter?
  23. Grimrocker

    Grimrocker TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Why don ya change the title to "22" First Person Shooters you shouldn't have missed... and include Half-Life 2 as well eh eh?
  24. Matthew

    Matthew TS Evangelist Posts: 5,270   +104

    To quote Julio from post #4:

  25. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

    I still play Doom frequently with Xbox 360.

    Is Portal really a first person "shooter" ?

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