The best First-Person Shooters of the last decade
Whether experienced in a tightly focused narrative or a mad yet fun competitive online mode, the First Person Shooter continues to thrill us like not many other gameplay genres can.
At IGCritic we’ve waded through some of the very best released this past 10 years, with these top 10 each being great to play, easily memorable and downright addictive as we squeeze the trigger to nail that final shot just one more time! You won’t find any hardcore RPG elements or puzzle-solving here, this list is all about our addiction to shooting, looting and projectile executing! Here are our 10 Best First Person shooters of the past 10 years.
Borderlands 2 (2012)
It cannot be understated just how addictive the shoot n loot gameplay cycle of Borderlands 2 actually is. When it released in 2012, it successfully innovated on its original cell-shaded entry to give players a shooter that cared just as much about style and humour, as well as tight gunplay.
What makes Borderlands 2 head and shoulders above other popular co-op shooters is the excitement of finding that perfect randomised gun, the hilarious memorable characters and near limitless end game content. Okay, it lets you upgrade your guns, but this is Borderlands 2!
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014)
So it’s already 2 entries into this list, and we’ll admit that we’re already kind of cheating a little bit. Released in 2014, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was the Xbox One compilation disc that compiles all of the main entries from one of gaming’s most important shooter series in to one place, adding a fresh lick of paint to make them all shiny and new.
Whether it’s Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 or Halo 4, players will never struggle to find a sense of epicness that most other first person shooters wish they could reach the heights of. Backed up by beautiful worlds, a gorgeous musical score and of course split screen or online multiplayer, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a must play for any FPS enthusiast and Halo fan.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
The grand-daddy of them all, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare represents not only the reinvention of the previously WWII exclusive franchise, but the entire FPS genre itself. The original Modern Warfare strikes the perfect balance between an engaging roller coaster ride campaign that still sets the template for future titles and an addictive, refined multiplayer mode that had its hooks in us from day one.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare reinvented what we now think of as the modern first person shooter, not only setting the template multiplayer-wise but also in terms of control scheme. Activision is celebrating the game 10 years on with a ground-up remaster later on this year, it’s only a matter of time before everyone goes COD 4 crazy all over again.
Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014)
A game in which everyone playing it went in with very little expectation, Wolfenstein: The New Order only two years on still acts as one of the most surprisingly good FPS games ever to be released. Demonstrating just what a talented developer can do when focusing entirely on a FPS single-player mode, breathing new life into one of gaming’s oldest series and reinvent it for a new generation.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was so good that just a year later, a standalone expansion was released in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, further placing an emphasis on older mechanics whilst still keeping it fresh! One of the best solo FPS experiences. (It also has some really disturbing moments).
What a year 2007 turned out to be for First Person Shooters, not only did it give us one of gaming’s most important multiplayer shooters (COD 4), but at the complete opposite end of the spectrum comes Bioshock, a thought-provoking and meaningful single-player experience.
Bioshock tells the story of an underwater utopia gone wrong, throwing you into an Orwellian-like society full of mutants and mechanical men that want to kill you instantly as you turn every corner. Storytelling is the star of the show in Bioshock, not only through the dialogue and characters but most importantly through its setting, with rapture being just fascinating to explore and navigate.
Left 4 Dead (2008)
Just what the next generation of online consoles needed, Left 4 Dead isn’t very deep, meaningful or thought-provoking, but what it offers players is a hell of a lot of fun. Left 4 Dead is a game that was designed to be played with other people, taking the ever-popular zombie genre and challenging you and up to three friends to indulge in some much needed crowd control.
Left 4 Dead strips the idea of a first person shooter completely back to its basic core and this is a good thing. There are no set pieces, scripted scenarios or interesting upgrades on offer, instead what makes this game truly memorable for players is the moment to moment gameplay and the hilarity that can result from slaughtering zombies when playing with friends.
Far Cry 3 (2012)
Who would’ve thought that in the December of 2012, Ubisoft would deliver us with one of the best First Person Shooters of that year, even going on to top many outlet’s game of the year lists. Taking what worked best in their sister franchise Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry 3 placed further emphasis on taking down control towers, upgrading your skills and an engaging villain to result in an open-world shooter that just fires on all cylinders.
Far Cry 3 blessed players with an impressive sense of freedom and survival that never became too tedious, never beating you over the head with it’s somewhat shaky plot line to make way for a great sense of fun every time you sit down to play.
Team Fortress 2 (2007)
Very much the Overwatch of its day, Team Fortress 2 set the template for what we now think of when we hear the term “Hero Shooter”, giving us an online shooter that let us play with an eclectic and downright bonkers mix of fun characters. Team Fortress 2 remains free-to-play for all the right reasons to this day, giving no one an excuse to miss out on its inventive multiplayer maps.
Whether you choose to play as an offensive, defensive or supportive class, Team Fortress 2 still remains one of the best balanced multiplayer shooters out there, since developing a passionate community that has withstood the test of time!
Coming hot off of the success they found with the Halo franchise, Destiny was the game developers Bungie poured their hearts and souls into to result in one of the most over-hyped first person shooters in recent memory. Although not very feature complete at launch, Destiny has since become one of the most smooth and rich shooters out there, being a blast to play with plenty of end game content.
If you’re yet to jump into the gaming phenomenon that is Destiny, most of the game’s expansions and DLC can be picked up at a surprisingly low cost – an enjoyable FPS MMO that is fun with friends on either PC or consoles.
An FPS that never takes itself too seriously, has fun with itself and takes players to some crazy heights, the 2016 incarnation of Doom continued Bethesda’s single-player success with Wolfenstein to deliver a shooter that is dumb, fun yet also is relatively deep. Doom actively encourages players to “fight like hell”, presenting you with enemies that offer up ammunition on a plate.
Doom features fast-paced gunplay, a great sense of verticality and beautiful visuals which makes players question why they don’t visit the fiery pits of hell for their next sabbatical. Backed up by a kick-ass soundtrack and great level-design, Doom has earned its place as one of the best shooters this past decade.