So often the bleeding edge of games tech, yet so often fundamentally the same underneath: there’s a reason we can’t get enough of pretend shooting pretend people in their pretend faces. It is a pure test of skill and reflex, a game about movement at least as much as it is about violence, and done right it is absolutely delightful. And hey, sometimes you get a decent gimmick or story thrown into the mix.
These are our favourite 50 first-person shooters on PC, from 1993-2017. Your favourite is at number 51.
You can navigate the pages of this feature using the arrows alongside the header image on each page or using the arrow keys of your keyboard.
Note: We first ran this feature in mid-2015, and have now revised which 50 games appear in it, for the following reasons:
1. Adding the finest PC shooters which were released since then
2. A clearer brief in terms of what constitutes a shooter, seeing as we now have seperate stealth, RPG, horror and action lists to provide better homes for genre-blenders.
3. Being a little more ruthless about what’s genuinely great to play now, as opposed to being included primarily for their historical importance.
4. Because we want to, and can. Remember: your favourite is at 51. Specifically to spite you.
Oh, and please be aware that, unless expressly mentioned otherwise, the list is not ordered until the top 10. Number 50 is as highly recommended as number 11. This is not the case for all our lists but it is the case here.
Important Extra Note, in case you’re not a regular reader of RPS: we only cover PC games here, so please leave your Goldeneye and Timesplitters protests at the door.
Anyway, this is an extremely long feature, comprising notes on how to obtain these games and get old ones playing well in addition to talking about why they’re so good, so we’ve broken it down into pages to save you and your computer from going mad. Again, use the arrow icons at the top, or your cursor keys, to navigate through it.
OK, let’s do this. Aim for the head.