The 50 Best FPS On PC

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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.

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152 Comments

  1. Jediben says:

    Dark Athena WAS available on Steam, as it is in my library right now. Purchased in December 2009.

    • Mumbles says:

      Key word is “was.” Right now GOG is the only place who sells a digital download version. I was surprised it was still available there even after Atari’s bankruptcy proceedings.

      • Eleriel says:

        GOG probably bought the rights to sell it for X number of years, whereas on steam a company can delist a game any time they want.

        … OR someone forgot to tell GOG to stop selling it, and now there’s no-one left who can do so? :P

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Probably only works if you’re in the US:

      link to gamestop.com

  2. Replikant says:

    It’s your top 50 list, it’s my complaints in the comments section.

    I don’t FPS as much as I used to, so who am I to judge, but… DOOM? I recently tried the demo to see if I should buy it, and, good god, this glory kill stuff is completely distracting from the game. Maybe I didn’t manage to get into the zone, groove, rhythm, whatever, but I felt it completely destroyed the flow of the game.

    Also: I love S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a lot. I’ve read ‘Roadside Picnic’ and love the similarities and differences. The game is scary and the atmosphere fantastic. It’s a favourite game of mine. But gunplay is stupid (vanishing bullets), the difficulty spikes at times, and I never met that living breathing world you describe. There is a stupid and way to fast respawning mechanism, which replenishes guards and monsters at annoying chokepoints and I’ve never really met anyone ‘wandering around’. Still love the game, but have you played it?

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      Yeah, you didn’t get the DOOM experience. Ripping through your limited ammo supply and then glory killing and chainsawing to refill your stocks while constantly moving is a really thrilling experience that is completely new and fresh in a well-established genre.

      Equipping the powerups that increase the range and duration of glory kills helps smooth it out a bit, but I wouldn’t say they’re necessary to “get” what the game is going for.

    • KDR_11k says:

      As the game progresses the glory kills take up less and less time because they both get faster and you use more powerful weapons that are less likely to leave an enemy alive in the glory kill state.

      • GepardenK says:

        Turns out you don’t really need to use the glory kill system at all. Particularly in later levels the amount of demons you kill means you will pretty much be regularly healed from standard drops anyway, at least if you have the extended pickup range rune

        • Replikant says:

          Oh, good to hear. I may have to try it out, then.

          • GepardenK says:

            Yeah it’s useful in the beginning when you have weak weapons, but later on it turns into a liability instead (at least on Nightmare difficulty). The game is very much based around arena fights and they require you run around in a loop to avoid being ganged up on – so while you don’t take damage during the glory kill animation itself the split second it makes you slow down to perform the kill can be enough to make them surround you.

    • Petethegoat says:

      I played the demo for DOOM because I thought the centered weapon option would be in it (either that hadn’t been released yet, or they didn’t update the demo), and I also found it incredibly boring and unsatisfying.

      The genius of the original was that shooting an imp with a shotgun made it blow up into gory pieces, not that it’d stumble around and let you run up to it and play an animation.

      Even Doom 3 didn’t mess that part up. It’s a little unnerving, like feeling that I’m completely out of the loop, or somehow being intentionally contrarian without realising it.

      • GepardenK says:

        I’m pretty sure gibbing is still in. But it’s not as noticeable because of the visual noise that pretty much all modern games have due to their advanced graphics. Details don’t stand out as much as they used to and DOOM in particular don’t pursue a visual style that tries to remedy this.

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          Can’t speak for Pete but for me the original Doom was action:reward action:reward … action:reward:reload pretty much the whole way through. The new one is action:chase:play animation:was that rewarding? I can see why people like it but I can also see why people don’t.

    • GepardenK says:

      I wouldn’t put it so far up the list myself (maybe not in within 50 at all, 51?) but DOOM 2016 is nonetheless a very competent shooter. It has very tight mechanics only held back by some weapon balance issues (like how, even on Nightmare, one of the most optimal ways to play is only using the upgraded supershotgun for pretty much all encounters, with the occasional railgun shot thrown in here and there). So while there isn’t much incentive to switch weapons all that often past the midgame the rest of the gameplay is expertly designed.

      Doom 2016 may not be the steady and determined maze-exploration shooter that classic doom is, but it is a very very good arena shooter (Serious Sam meets Unreal Tournament?)

      • Blad the impaler says:

        “like how, even on Nightmare, one of the most optimal ways to play is only using the upgraded supershotgun for pretty much all encounters”

        Which is kinda like the original, if you ask us oldsters. I mean, sans upgrades. Nothing was upgraded or rebooted before 2000.

        • GepardenK says:

          It’s similar in that respect. Though it comes off as more of a problem in Doom 2016 due to it’s aspiration to be a more focused arena shooter. It kinda feels like cheating when solving everything with one gun unlike in Doom 2.

          In regards to upgrades I don’t think that became regular for singleplayer fps games until Far Cry 3 came along in 2012. Throughout the 2000s sp fps’s stayed pretty much vanilla in terms of weapon progression.

    • keefybabe says:

      If you can handle slow Russian cinema then Andrei Tarkovski’s Stalker movie (which is loosely based on roadside picnic) is a visual feast and a masterclass in tension. But be warned it is very very slow, deliberately.

  3. meepmeep says:

    Really pleased to see Warsow at #51!

  4. GameCat says:

    Come on, the Serious Sam page should be filled only with AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

    • GepardenK says:

      It’s all fun and games until somebody forgets the AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

  5. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    This is a good list.

    • GameCat says:

      It lacks first Unreal so it can be only a decent list.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Not only that, I was surprised at the lack of a mention of UT on the Quake 3 page. Quake has probably become more beloved over time, but UT and UT2004 did many, many things right.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      It’s a good list, but it’s not a good FPS list. I count several games that are not even in the FPS genre.

  6. lokimotive says:

    Am I remembering wrong, or did you have to originally hold down a button to get Quake’s mouselook to work? I’m almost certain that, in order to get the game into a state where you could consistently use the mouselook in the familiar way that we have it today, you had to enter something in the config file or the console. I haven’t played it in forever, has that been fixed?

    • KDR_11k says:

      Possible, technically every key in Quake is a console command with a + in front of it when you press it and with a – when you release it (if it’s an action that can be held down of course, weapon swaps and such don’t have the + since they only respond to the press, not the down or up) so +mouselook in the console means “I’m pressing the mouselook button and not letting go”.

    • lancelot says:

      I think you’re right, one had to open the console and enter +mlook.

      That’s pretty much my problem with Quake, that it was nothing more than a tech demo. Everything was as bare-bones as it gets, the only thing it had going for it was “Look at us, we can make true 3D environments with floors above floors” (several months after Terminator: Future Shock).

      The technology was impressive, but in terms of the design I’m not sure its singleplayer can stand up to Duke Nukem 3D: in Quake the enemies are less original, the weapons are less original, the only thing original about the storyline is that it’s almost absent, the level design is extremely simplified, nothing interesting is happening around the player, nothing interesting is done with what enemies it does have (like maybe letting them pilot their own hovercrafts), etc., etc.

      • Nate says:

        Wow. I’ve been playing some SP Quake lately– back to the roots– and have just been amazed at the quality. Obviously, there’s nothing exciting about the tech, not any more.

        Start with the monsters. The ogre is a real standout to me. This guy doesn’t shine on Nightmare difficulty, where all he does is stand and shoot, but on Hard, the arc and timing of the grenades are perfect: they make the ogre a king of control of terrain. Dancing around his grenades, especially on Quake’s narrow precipices, inevitably draws you in, rather than backwards, leading to increasingly hectic action rather than a slow trading of shots. Or look at the way the ogre interacts with the zombies, where trying to get them distracted in a fight with each other is the only easy way through some of the levels. The zombies have to be appreciated in their own right– one of the least threatening enemies in the game, but placed in such a way that you always end up putting a grenade right in your own face. The best is the way that they seem to die when they take not-quite-enough damage, then a few moments later, a few paces down the corridor, you hear their wailing from behind….

        We can skip the sheer terror of the fiends and the shamblers for now. Let’s talk about levels. Apparently, people talk about the connectivity of Doom levels, but Quake levels are simply amazing for this. Yet somehow they manage to combine incredible non-linearity without massive confusion. Even now, I’m constantly discovering new connections, saying, “Oh– that’s where I was at the beginning of the level!”

        Or the monster spawns, which still send me jumping. You would think I would know them by the back of my hand by now. Nope.

        What about the weapons? Quake was smart, making the hitscan weapons short range, either because of scatter (shotgun) or fixed limits (lighting gun). Sometimes the rocket velocity seems perfectly designed to guarantee a greedy wound from one of the spider-walker-things….

        Very happy with Quake’s position at number 1, and I agree completely. This is a nearly perfect game. My one complaint would be that the nailgun and the super nailgun are insufficiently distinguished.

        • aoanla says:

          Re: the nailgun v super nailgun – part of the issue with the lack of distinction was due to technical limitations, as I remember. The netcode of the time couldn’t cope with the number of projectiles that the super nailgun would have generated (more than twice the nailgun’s), so they just made it shoot better nails instead. (A bit like the reason why the BFG has such an odd damage mechanic in the original Doom.)
          In retrospect, making the super nailgun have an “armor-penetrating” effect or similar might have been a better idea?

          • GepardenK says:

            I think what he meant was that the nailgun and supernailgun fail to fill different roles. They are basically the same weapon only one being better than the other. Once you have the supernailgun the regular nailgun is obsolete and feels like dead weight

      • pH101 says:

        This comment does a great disservice to Quake. Terminator furture shock may have had mouselook and 3d architecture (i think) but it didnt have 3d models, it used sprites! Looking at vids it seems to be using updated raycasting a la doom but with some upgrades. Quake supported actual 3d models and architectural shapes and items in a way that game couldn’t, its plain when you compare them.

        The other major thing you overlook is multiplayer. MP on Quake was a big deal, because it basically opened up and began to standardise internet online play. It barely existed prior to that, if at all. Quake support for TCP/IP laid the groundwork for everything. Of course, the engine went on to form the backbone of half life and counter strike and basically the entire online fps gaming scene. Focusing on single player, while not bad and with a great score, it to miss the point entirely.

        • lancelot says:

          I think that’s not quite accurate. Maybe Future Shock was using sprites for the pick-ups, that’s hard to tell from a video. But the enemies were textured 3D models. Wikipedia agrees with me on that.

          I was talking about just one aspect of the game, the design of the single-player mode. Some aspects of that design were non-existent and some pretty bad. Like the pick-ups levitating and rotating in place in their 3D glory — even back then from the design point of view that looked plain silly. Just right for a tech demo though.

          • pH101 says:

            Ah granted you are right about the 3d models. Yeah ok if you want to talk purely single player I found it threadbare, but callint ig a tech demo seems a bit much to me, especially as like I say it was the MP stuff where Quake really pushed it and is what made it go down in history rather than Future Shock I hazard.

      • wcq says:

        From what I can tell, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D are games that have vastly different design philosophies behind them. I call them and “fast-action shooter” and “faffing-about shooter”, respectively.

        “Fast-action shooters”, like Doom and Quake, usually don’t even try to build a plausible sort of environment. Level layouts are built for optimum gameplay flow, and the player is not really expected to stop and smell the corpses.

        “Faffing-about shooters”, on the other hand, put more emphasis on building a (quasi-) believable environment with lots of interactive details. Some people prefer it this way, but this is subjective.

        This is why I think comparing Quake and Duke 3D directly like that isn’t quite fair.

    • carewolf says:

      At least you had to in Descent which is what I remember popularizing mouselook (3D controls were just impossible without), but you had to hold down right mouse key to mouselook, otherwise the mouse just moved the mouse cursor (yes, there were a mousecursor..).

  7. Mumbles says:

    Hey Alec, you may want to update some of the availability information for the list. Tron 2.0, Doom, and Quake are also available via GOG.com.

    As for Descent, it got pulled from all online stores due to a spat between the original devs and (the soulless husk that is still) Interplay, since the latter was not paying the former any license royalties anymore.

    While I own the entire trilogy already on GOG, it was a shame to see them become unavailable to others, since they’re still great fun to play. I’d say Descent is one of my top-three shooters of all time.

    • GepardenK says:

      That’s a huge shame. Descent is a important piece of gaming history and still a stellar game to play. I assume this applies to the entire trilogy?

      • Mumbles says:

        Yup, until they can arrange an agreement or Interplay loses the license they’re likely to stay gone. Interplay’s shambling corpse really needs to die already. Heh.

        One’s best bet is to sail the virtual seas and go a-plundering for now.

  8. thedosbox says:

    Happy to see SWAT 4 continue to place highly, and that at least one of the two NOLF games made it.

    What about all the other Call of Duties?” They’re number 501.

    I love RPS.

  9. Shushununu says:

    I was going to complain about your subjective list with my subjective facts that Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolf 3D should be #1 and #2, but I see they’re both honorable mentions and Enemy Territory (subjective #3) is on the list, so never mind.

  10. Lord_Mordja says:

    Just want to point out that, as of the writing of this article, Titanfall 2 multiplayer is very much alive and has remained steady for the past few months. Though the playerbase is obviously smaller than something like Battlefield’s, you shouldn’t have trouble finding games, in most cases. Their next update will add better matchmaking options too, so hopefully some of the less-played modes will benefit.

  11. Ephant says:

    “7. Overwatch”. Paladins is the better game imo. Most characters in Overwatch are extremely gimmicky and badly designed (gameplay-wise, not aesthetically).

    • Petethegoat says:

      I really didn’t like overwatch, and I only played a very early version of paladins, but how do they compare now? From the little I’ve heard about paladins (mainly just the videogamedunkey video from a few months ago) it appears that most of the characters are brazen ripoffs of overwatch characters. Can you elaborate a little?

      I don’t find it necessarily that hard to believe, but I am curious of how and why it’s better.

      • Ephant says:

        I haven’t played the early beta but I’ve seen a video about it. It’s a very different game now. Some of the unique elements were removed and it’s a lot closer to Overwatch now (talking about the maps and game modes). About the “rip-offs”: one is almost a direct copy of Widowmaker and some share the same skills or weapon mechanics. Overwatch’s characters have 4 skills, Paladins 5 (weapon and ultimate included). The “rip-offs” share no more than 2 skills (with the exception of Paladin’s Widowmaker). The TTK is much higher, headshot one-shots don’t exist , bullshit combos don’t exist (Roadhog grab > one-shot, McCree stun > fan the hammer instakill etc.), the maps have less environmental kills (less gimmicky gameplay with knockback), the characters can be customized, buyable stat items exist (ingame; matter of taste), no character switching (matter of taste), the tank/dps/healer trinity isn’t as strict etc… Overall it’s less frustrating. The main frustration comes from the players.

        • Petethegoat says:

          Sounds a lot more moba-ish, which isn’t a bad thing, I think. Things which are a little frustrating in the more controlled moba environment can be fucking obnoxious in a fastpaced fps.

          Normally I’d defend positional gameplay, but from personal experience it feels irrelevant in overwatch, except when they decided to put a massive drop opposite the entrance to a control point.

    • ferrgh says:

      The only reason Overwatch has managed half the success it has has is because of its aesthetics and Blizzard fanboys.

    • Winstons says:

      Overwatch is an incredibly pleasing and addictive game to play, with constant surprising depth to it. I’ve been hooked on it since launch and still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface in many ways. I’m really glad they gave it such a high position on this chart.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gnarl says:

      I would say that Team Fortress 2 is still better than Overwatch. I would disagree that the skillset in Overwatch is wider – I think the different weapons and the ability to combine them is at a sweeter spot.

  12. Petethegoat says:

    As always there are many things I find objectionable (which is fine, of course), but this narrative that COD4 was good has to end. It has to end. Please.

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      Yeah I kind of feel like CoD4 was the harbinger of the shit shooter.

  13. theblazeuk says:

    No mention of AvP2 on the AVP tab? I know the engine doesn’t work so well as a horror but you get to play as a face hugger and a chest burster! And I thought the marine campaign was good, even if forcing you to fight humans too often. Had a good dark horse style story too

  14. ferrgh says:

    ‘7. Overwatch’ Really…. That weeb, rng shooter is a better game than CSGO ,Cod2, Battlefield 2 and HL2 ????

    • Premium User Badge

      lasikbear says:

      yes its better

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      No idea what “weeb” and “rng” have to do with Overwatch.

    • Winstons says:

      Having played all these games – yes, for me. It’s tremendous. I’m not sure why everyone in this comments section who dislikes the game likes to refer to those that do as ‘weebs’ (??) or blizzard fanboys.

  15. The Sombrero Kid says:

    A bold list, I like it, it’s got personality.

  16. Spacewalk says:

    I mostly agree with this except Quake 3 not being in the top ten, Dark Forces being ranked higher than Mysteries Of the Sith and the absence of Unreal. HOWEVER, Quake being #1 makes up for those mistakes and all the mistakes in the other lists.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Hooray, Marathon. I started Marathon EVIL again last week, and hooooo boy, it’s incredibly weird to play it now on Windows 10. I can’t even manage the mouse control. Against all expectation, I’m so used to playing the game using the original keyboard controls of “numpad as movement and the space bar + z x c d v m + tab” from my childhood, which is completely opposite the w a s d standard.

    Also this is one of those times that I feel bad (pity) for diehard PC fans who like FPS games, because you really are missing out on Destiny.

  18. Spider Jerusalem says:

    As much as I love Planetside 2, it’s a bit difficult to defend its inclusion in this list at this point, let alone such a high ranking. Daybreak has nearly run it into the ground. Well, that’s not fair; the company that owns Daybreak has severely limited the resources available to Daybreak and PS2 has suffered greatly for it. It was a great game that was on its way to being even better before the SOE sale. True shame.

    • frobishlumpkin says:

      I just started playing it over the holidays, so I have no idea what it was like before, but the fact that I can just jump into battles of such scale (even as I have no idea wtf is going on) still feels like a pretty amazing accomplishment. The back-and-forth of charging then scrambling to defend on a front line is quite the rush.

  19. Jay Load says:

    Doom is still the daddy. Brutal Doom is amazing fun, and if you haven’t tried it yet give his not-long-released Brutal Doom 64 a go. The same old magic but with new sprites, effects, levels and a personality all it’s own.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Agree. Such an old title is still competing with the best of today, amazing.

  20. GepardenK says:

    Thanks RPS. You just reminded me that despite being a huge fps fan I’ve never actually played quake. Found the shareware version online (which for some reason seem to include all episodes?) and I’m having a blast.

    Just got to the second level and the first thing I’ll say is that I now see where Croteam got their Kleer’s from. That was a suprise connection I didn’t expect to find.

  21. LennyLeonardo says:

    Props for including Isolation. Phenomenal game. Incidentally, was anyone else like, totally in love with the lean system?

    • Petethegoat says:

      How did the lean system work?

      I really liked the crouching in dishonoured where you could crouch even lower just by trying to walk into a space with a lower ceiling.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        It’s great – totally analogue – so you hold a button down and use the stick to move the view while stationary (I played with a controller- not sure how it was with mouse and keyboard). It really made the game seem more physical. I’m pretty sure it’s the same basic system as the new Wolfenstein actually. It also borrows the extra-duck you mention from Dishonored. Great game. 10/10 would shit myself again.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Yeah, Isolation’s lean system is really impressive, because of the way it works, e.g. you can lean back inside a locker to get a better view of a motion tracker in your hands or you can lean your head to peek above something high while standing.

    • Winstons says:

      Yeah Isolation was *amazing*! I still feel like it was slightly underrated. It should go down as an absolute classic.

  22. DEspresso says:

    Reading through this list i realized how much i enjoy those FPSs that have a Goal which is neither capture the flag nor kill-all.

    Be it the ‘protect the tank’ of Enemy Territory, the escape Goal in L4D2 or the Hostages in CS. Now i even miss the assassination mode in the later (but not too much).

    • Yglorba says:

      My favorite part of Enemy Territory was that its best levels tended to have multiple alternate approaches to the main objectives.

      Even though they were drastically more limited than in, say, spies in TF2, I found playing ET’s Covert Ops to be incredibly fun, because there was almost always a way to slip through and turn a losing game around singlehandedly. (The ability to open enemy doors after stealing an enemy uniform, in particular, was brilliant.)

      ET also tended to have a large number of sub-objectives at any given time, which meant that there was almost always something else you could focus on if one front got frustrating. It was extremely rare to see things just grind to a halt the way they often do in a bad game of TF2.

      • Petethegoat says:

        I never played ET online, so forgive me if this is totally wrong, but surely it was frustrating to defend when you have to defend all points at once, when that involved sitting at a point where nothing was happening?

        Is it comparable to people parachuting into otherwise uncontested capture points in battlefield, or is it different somehow?

        • Shushununu says:

          It depends on the map, really. Most maps were not so sprawling that left players defending against no one, yet with the multiple approaches you weren’t constrained to a single front.

          The tank map being referenced is a favorite of many, since the objective moves across the map (and can be damaged and repaired), then finally blows a hole in the bank doors and the game changes completely, from “protect the tank” to “gold heist”. If you’re playing Axis and have an MG42 set up in the bank, then you might experience periods of 15-30 seconds of no action, but back in the day servers were full so it wasn’t really a problem.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Please, please give us devotees a changelog & archive the original versions, so we can see previous winners and view the writeups!

  24. Turkey says:

    Clive Barker’s the Undying? 51?

  25. Lachlan1 says:

    AVP is equally recommendable as Titanfall 2 and Arma 3

  26. dystome says:

    TF2 one day before the Mann Co. Store update was the best multiplayer FPS ever.

    EVER.

  27. Akakabuto says:

    Typing of the Dead isn’t a first person shooter, it is an on-rails shooter.

    Oh, oh! Do “The best on-rails shooters on PC” next! I like the genre and sadly there are not very much of those around anymore. I have craved a light gun for years (one of these days, one of these days…) but there are pretty much only TotD:overkill and Blue Estate that I know of(I am talking native PC not emulator) and games like Rambo doesn’t count since it relies on directions+aiming

  28. InternetBatman says:

    I enjoyed Stalker quite a bit, but I don’t think it’s superior to Metro 2033, just different. Metro is incredibly intricate, especially the weapon system and lack of hud. The game shows an incredible amount of care and craft, such as the way you count knives by using your hand, the way an overpumped gun hisses and alerts enemies, the way you can avoid fights with librarians.

    • Petethegoat says:

      I think if Metro hadn’t had the stupid blobs in it, near the reactor part, then it’d be one of my candidates for 10 top of all time. To be honest it’s probably up there even taking that into account.

      For some reason the games press seemed to dislike the feeling of the shooting in the original release, but I think it was among the best ever. Definitely a fantastic game, flaws and all.

    • Jay Load says:

      That’s an interesting point of view. I tried Metro once but bounced off it, possibly due to the gunplay being not quite to my liking.

      But I’ve got the Redux version in my queue and I’m quite looking forward to giving it another bash. Maybe enough time has passed that my mind will be less fogged by memories of the wonderful STALKER and I can appreciate it more.

  29. magogjack says:

    I would have liked to see Jedi Academy because I am a heretic.

    Also Mechwarrior-online would have fit this list (its much less on the sim side of things)

  30. Raoul Duke says:

    About a third of this list doesn’t meet the definition of ‘FPS’. Alien Isolation? More of a survival non shooter. STALKER? More of an rpg/exploration thing with shooting. Etc.

    And Quake III not in the top two, and behind stuff like Overwatch… RPS pls

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      Was going to comment on Alien especially since System Shock 2 is not on for ‘rubbish shooting’ (not that I’d have put it on) seems odd.

      ANd the numbers are all wrong but that’s to be expected when someone else writes the list.

    • Jay Load says:

      Oh no, STALKER’s very definitely a shooter with RPG and exploro-bits added on. There’s barely any section of the game doesn’t require some very tense and dangerous gunplay in order to progress.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Well, I disagree, but I can see your point. STALKER is my all time favourite game, but Unreal Tournament should be on this list instead.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Alien Isolation? More of a survival non shooter.

      It is one of my favourites, and I was glad to see some Isolation love on this list, but it’s a survival horror and a proper hardcore stealth game. So its inclusion was ill-advised, especially when Thief 2 was bumped out to make the list more cleanly about shooters.

  31. Jerkzilla says:

    Kind of surprised to see Planetside 2 that high. I can see why it looked like a great idea on paper, but the never-ending battle thing meant that there was never that initial rush of putting a plan into practice, or the steady crescendo towards either defeat or victory like you’d get in Project Reality or other shooters of comparable scope. The whole persistent strategic layer of it felt meaningless because it would basically reset over night, players from one faction making gains as the other factions had fewer players or were busy reorganizing.

    Also surprised, but pleasantly, to see Wolf: Enemy Territory there. Some fond memories from 2006 are attached to it. Funny how Splash Damage’s attempts to actually profit on the apparently excellent formula have mostly failed or are resigned to mediocrity.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      That stuff is weak, sure, but doesn’t really outweigh the glory of an epic 200+ battle with combined arms in a huge open world. That kind of experience just doesn’t exist outside of PS2.

      • Jerkzilla says:

        I don’t want to sound like I’m hitting the game all that hard, but it was kind of one note thing, no? I played it for a while with what I would call a medium sized clan, and while there was some tactical flavor to it, most of my experience consisted of zerging various positions, either in tanks, or on foot or very rarely from the air. I’m not going to contest that being in a swarm was impressive the first few times we did it, but for me at least, it got repetitive within a month.

  32. Ejia says:

    Wait, People Can Fly and Flying Wild Hog are not the same, er, people? (or hogs?)

    And System Shock 1/2 not being in here is a big surprise. I suppose it’ll have to settle for 51.

  33. Bfox says:

    Glad to see Swat4 so high on the list, btw where’s Fallout 4?

  34. Haplo says:

    Bah. I won’t read this article until it reaches 60 fps. Bad review! Terrible!

    (Nah, seriously, great list tho: Dishonored 1 has been amongst my favourite games for the past few years)

  35. RuySan says:

    So I suppose Serious Sam 3 and Painkiller are both at 51?

  36. mepto says:

    Available on GoG as well:

    Quake 3
    Superhot
    Far Cry 2
    F.E.A.R.
    Shadow Warrior 2
    Crysis

    Look guys, DRM might be no problem for you but some of us like not having a company dictate if we have access to games we’ve bought. And I realize you had quite some work for this list to do and you can’t magically know everything, but sometimes, I swear it just seems like people ignore GoG on purpose. It’s a neverending spiral of steam hype and free ads and just more struggle for the good guys like GoG to compete against; when the media, YOU, could actually change things for the better. Now thanks anyway, you guys at least dare to mention non-steam things as opposed to your colleagues over at PCSTEAMGamer.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      Heya, this list is a revised version of a list that was compiled earlier, at which point the games you mentioned were not on GOG yet! It’s certainly not done on purpose.

  37. bfar says:

    All the right games in the wrong order!

  38. Unsheep says:

    50% of what’s on your list I agree with, 50% I don’t.

    Red Faction would be my pick for #51.

    My own Top-50 list would further include:
    * Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising & Red Tide
    * Sniper Elite 2 & 3
    * Ghost Warrior 2
    * Enemy Front
    * Dead Island
    * Dying Light
    * Turok (2008 + 2016 remake)
    * Call Of Juarez: Bound In Blood
    * Painkiller: Hell and Damnation collection
    * Redneck Rampage
    * SHOGO
    * Outlaws
    * Eradicator
    * Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold & Planet Strike
    * Far Cry
    * Red Faction 2
    * Bloooood !!!
    * Clive Barker’s Undying
    * Kingpin
    * Sin
    * Shadowrun (1997)

    • Agnosticus says:

      as much as I like Dying Light, its shooting was not good, nor was it that important.

      the same goes for dead island probably

    • Petethegoat says:

      Outlaws should be on every list.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Really impressive smoke effects of the first Call Of Juarez made its shooting infinitely more enjoyable to me than Bound In Blood: Call of Duty wanna be. It was also very colourful at least in DX10 mode, while BiB became a brown console shooter. Gunslinger is a really great game though.

    • RavenGlenn says:

      I wouldn’t include a single one of those games on any list of good FPS games. I’m sorry, but you even chose the horrible version of Painkiller. Painkiller: Black Edition? Sure! Absolutely should be on the list! Hell and Damnation? Holy smokes, hell no.

      Aside from Dying Light, the rest of that list is at best “Meh.” They did nothing to push genres forward or innovate and couldn’t really be seen as good games even in their own time. And for the record, I enjoyed most of them, but did so despite their major shortcomings.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        SHOGO and the original Far Cry are both pretty great, but yes, the rest of it is like the disappointing parts of a Steam sale…

    • galaxion says:

      Sniper Elite is a 3rd person shooter.

  39. Wauffles says:

    No Dirty Bomb?

    • skyturnedred says:

      Enemy Territory is still better (though Dirty Bomb is my go to MP shooter).

  40. Mi-24 says:

    I’m honestly surprised that Borderlands (2) is nowhere to be seen, even on the honourable mentions section.

  41. Premium User Badge

    cpt_freakout says:

    Man seeing Wolfenstein Enemy Territory there gave me the feels. To me, only Overwatch has matched that feeling of close teamwork, and even then the scope is all wrong.

    • Jerkzilla says:

      The layout of those maps, particularly some community ones, really allowed a properly thought out plan, or a team that was really on the ball to just run away with the game, even if they couldn’t outgun the enemy team. It gave you some stories to remember. Including some really absurd ones like storming Nazi controlled Minas Tirith or Helm’s Deep on 64 player servers.

  42. Konservenknilch says:

    I’m not a big FPS player. But I adored the very first Serious Sam. The look, the sound, the feeling, the AAAAAAAAH! Unrivaled to this day.

  43. brulleks says:

    Receiver would make my top 10, despite the lack of enemies and brevity. The feeling once you master the mechanics of operating the gun and the environment (by my final play-through, when I finally beat it, the game had become as much about platforming to find the notes and extra ammo and to avoiding enemies when necessary) is so satisfying.

  44. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    I’m guessing this was written before (or you haven’t got round to playing) Battlefield 1? It’s not the best FPS ever or anything, but definitely a worthy mention in the ‘You may also like…’ sections of BF:BC2, BF1942 and, hell, even Rising Storm which it nicks so much from.

    A good list though, and yes, Half Life is superior to Half Life 2. I remember HL2 winning a recent PC Gamer best game ever list and thinking “Idiots, that’s not even the best Half-Life game”.

    This whole list reminds me: can we stop making FPSes now? I think we have enough.

    • Agnosticus says:

      BF1 nicking from Rising strom? where? did we play the same two games?

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        So, obviously still very different games, but yeah I mean Battlefield 1 took the banzai charge, the ‘Operations’ mode, and just generally the whole bolt-actiony-ness of the weapons. It was clear what the devs had been playing when working out what to do after BF4, don’t you think?

  45. idiotmagnet says:

    Come on! No mention of Borderlands?! Especially Borderlands 2, that definitely should be in the top 10

  46. lyje says:

    This is probably bad form, but I feel I must protest at the “others like this” section for Descent. Miner Wars is almost universally regarded as being utter crap, whereas my own 6DoF game, Sublevel Zero, is not. Nor are Retrovirus, NeonXSZ or Descent Underground. Admittedly the genre isn’t bursting with titles, but I just don’t see why you’ve gone with the worst possible alternative.

  47. Kefren says:

    GOG was missed out a few times e.g. Metro 2033.

  48. Kefren says:

    Can I just say that the image-slider system is awkward. The arrow keys don’t work for me; and if I post a comment it goes back to the first slide. I’m left clicking small icons and trying to remember what I wanted to say, or else having to click 30 times to get back to where I was.

  49. Elric666 says:

    I know it’s cliché, but if we are honest, the original Doom will always be at #1 of any FPS top list. Nothing else has ever had the same impact, nothing else probably ever will.
    Also, Unreal and Unreal Tournament should replace some of the more exotic tokens on the list. I would probably also have put Blood or Blood 2: The Chosen on it.

    • Jerkzilla says:

      Well they did open with the disclaimer that the list is geared towards games you can play and enjoy now rather than “historical significance” i.e. the impact they had on release.

  50. stagent says:

    No Soldier of Fortune??