Podcast: What are the best shooters?


Wait, didn’t we already answer this question? Never mind, the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is not content with our list of the top 50 first-person shooters. Well, they’re mostly fine with it (lists are stupid) but they still want to hash out this ageless question the old-fashioned way. By interrogating each other over the internet.

Matt hasn’t played Doom or even Quake and that’s sad, but he loves the backstabbing spy of slapstick multiplayer briefcase stealer Team Fortress 2. John adores Star Wars: Dark Forces but also likes a good immersive sim, like Prey. And Brendan loves Halo: Combat Evolved and has also been playing Unreal, which celebrates its 20th birthday this week.

Also, we’ve got another patch notes quiz, this time focusing on the patch notes of shooters. What game had an entry in its patch notes reading: “Turkey was too powerful”? Listen to find out.

You can listen above, or go straight to Soundcloud where you can download it for later.

You can also get the RSS feed here or find it on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts. Music is by the Skaarj musician Jack de Quidt.

Want to write in with questions or suggest a theme for a future episode? Now you can, to podcast@rockpapershotgun.com.


Our top 50 first-person shooter games

Doom is the best shooter and definitely not chosen more or less at random

Quake is proper good too though

Alec loves Transformers

“Kieron” is one of the ancient RPS myths that John sometimes tells us about

Team Fortress 2 is only number 40, tsk tsk

Dark Forces is pretty good you know

It’s no Devil Daggers though

City of Heroes wasn’t a shooter, get out

Unreal Gold is free whaaat

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs is a game of nope nope nope nope

Ion Maiden is a good old-but-new shooter

The game John couldn’t remember is Boiling Point

Boiling Point’s patch notes are classics

Have you played… Hexen?

System Shock 2’s controls are silly, but it does have a “standard FPS” setting Brendan is too stupid to find

Half-life on PlayStation 2 had a lock-on mechanic


  1. shauneyboy68 says:

    Doom ‘93 will always have a special place in my heart. As a console kid in the early/mid 4th generation, seeing Doom at a friend’s house blew my mind like nothing before or since. It turned me on to PC gaming and was the genesis of my undying love of the hobby. I’ve since moved on from shooters, spending most of my gaming time playing “dad games” (mostly Clausewitz engine stuff), but I’ll never forget what a cultural tour de force that the original Doom was. Significance/influence aside, the most fun I’ve had playing a shooter was Left 4 Dead. Vs. Mode was easily the most exciting thing I’ve experienced in the FPS genre; it’s a shame that community turned cancerous and towards the end of my active days became utterly unbearable.

  2. DoomBroom says:

    Shooters are best in VR and will keep getting better as the tech improves. link to youtube.com

    I’ve been playing Stand Out Battle Royale a lot recently and it’s phenomenal in VR! And this weekend Rec Room is getting a Battle Royale mode as well. Will be very interesting to see how that will work. Pavlov as shown in the video above will get the mode too. There’s no way in hell I’ll ever go back playing shooters on a monitor.

  3. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Doom 1 was, is, and always will be the king. Even despite 25 years of advancements in the genre/technology, it remains so perfectly tight and playable. Shamefully, I didn’t play much multiplayer until the later years, but even after a decade-late arrival I never had trouble finding a good deathmatch or co-op madness session. If there is room in the sainthood, I nominate Carmack.

    Though in terms of modern games, I must say that Killing Floor 1 and 2 are some of the most satisfying shootybang I’ve seen in the genre. Landing a headshot had such a tremendous THWACK you could hear from across the map, the gibbing was like the revival of a long-lost art form, and killing the final boss was a perfect cherry on top.

  4. DanMan says:

    Can you upload that somewhere, where you can adjust the playback speed? This is too slow for 1h.

  5. aircool says:

    Many an hour was spent playing the original Doom, taking it in turns to complete a level or take over if someone lost a life.

    However, the DOOM reboot is a far better game. Why? Because it made me feel like I was playing Doom again for the first time, a feeling I never thought could be replicated. Therefore, it has to be the superior game.

    Doom has its place in history as a game changer, but apart from a distraction, it can’t compare to modern games.

    But also, 200fps using Vulkan? Come on, that is some serious shit right there. It looks so damned good, sounds damned good, plays damned good and, er, make your own link between damned and hell ‘cos I can’t think of a clever way of ending that sentence.

  6. GernauMorat says:

    Re: the patch notes discussion: does anybody remember Soldner (I think there was an umlaut in there somewhere?) It was a stupidly ambitious shooter for its time, but utterly, utterly broken. Boiling point or unpatched STALKER were polished in comparison

    • GameOverMan says:

      I have a boxed copy of Söldner – Gold Edition that I got from a literal bargain bin. It’s a bugfest, but at least it was an ambitious game.

  7. Mungrul says:

    I honestly think the aversion to competitive multiplayer thing is age based. I completely relate to John’s opinion, that the communities are generally too toxic to be bothered with, but when I was younger, and still had a hankering for competition, I was firmly in Matt’s camp, and couldn’t comprehend people missing out on these wonderful experiences I was having.

    These days, the only multiplayer I really like is co-op.

  8. SaintAn says:

    Shadowrun 2009 is one of the best shooters. Sadly it was very content light and the developer shut down after launch, so it was never expanded beyond what it launched with and died. It is so fun and the magic powers are even better than most of Overwatch’s abilities. Teleporting through walls, celings, and floors, summoning a very strong bear monster to protect an area, throwing down a seed that grows into a tree to heal people around it and give them cover, a resurrect spell, large spiky crystal that injures and saps magic of anyone near it to block paths, and technology abilities like hangliders, autoaim, and other things. It had different playable races with different racial abilities. And if you got a katana you could have awesome Samurai movie-like swordfights with other players because the swords hit each other and block attacks. Love that game so much. Sucks that the brand and brand fanboys killed it even though it was one of the greatest shooters ever made.

    Saints Row 1 multiplayer is another of the best shooters, mainly because of its game types and character customization. Blinged Out Ride and Protect the Pimp were just too fun.

    Blinged Out Ride had two teams of players trying to gather money on the map to upgrade their teams car, protect their car from the enemy team, and try to destroy the other teams car. Whichever team upgraded their care 3 or maybe 4 times won.

    Protect the Pimp was like Evolve or one of those monster hunting games where players are hunting a player controlled monster. It had one player who played the pimp, and two or 3 regular players whose goal it was was to protect the pimp and escort him to the other side of the map or kill all the enemy players. And the pimp couldn’t pick up weapons and was only able to use the pimp slap melee attack that insta killed anyone it hit. And the enemy team had to kill the pimp or keep the pimp from reaching the exit before time ran out.

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