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These first person shooters should be on every gamer’s bucket list. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 first-person shooters to play before you die. For this list, we're looking at first-person shooters that offer rich and addictive gaming experiences with plenty of replay-ability.
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#10: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
Intense, frenetic action; nail-biting suspense; and an engrossing, all-too-topical story... Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a masterpiece of the genre. Shifting the setting of the series from World War II to the twenty-first century was a bold move that paid off in spades, immersing players in modern urban combat that sometimes feels unnervingly real. The game’s realism is thanks in part to a proprietary engine that featured at-the-time groundbreaking dynamic lighting and physics. The single-player campaign is short, but satisfying, and the multiplayer mode is hopelessly addictive.
#9: Crysis (2007)
Released the same year as Modern Warfare, Crysis also starts with a frighteningly plausible premise: conflict between the US and North Korea. But from that point on things get wonderfully weird... The gorgeous, ahead-of-their-time graphics, made possible by the game’s demanding “CryEngine 2” ooze atmosphere and style, and the open, non-linear gameplay and customizable equipment invite a range of play styles. The game also features a multiplayer mode that’s just as strategic and challenging. Add in a range of drivable combat vehicles, and repelling an alien invasion has never been so enjoyable.
#8: Quake II (1997)
Sure, it might not be the best looking game nowadays. But shoulder your shotgun and travel back with us to a pixelier time. Id Software brought us all the old-time greats, building on each in turn: Wolfenstein, Doom, and of course, Quake. Quake II was a landmark game for its introduction of an actual plot of sorts, no matter how tenuous, and varied objectives. But what makes it a must-play today is the fluid gameplay, the varied and gruesome cybernetic enemies, and the iconic arsenal, from the gratifyingly savage Super Shotgun to everyone’s favourite—the mighty Railgun.
#7: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2012)
How do you improve on perfection? Global Offensive succeeds by tweaking a tried and tested formula and adding new content to an already definitive multiplayer shooter. As in all Counter-Strike installments, gameplay is swift and unforgiving; but it’s that same merciless pace that hooks you. Success calls for quick reflexes, smart strategies, and smooth team communication, generating endless replay value. With more maps, more game modes, and more weapons, Global Offensive is the best game in a series that epitomizes everything great about multiplayer first-person shooters.
#6: Doom (2016)
Some things really take you back: flaming skulls; rocket-launching behemoths; and of course this guy... (broll: BFG). While Doom 3 shifted gears into a suspenseful survival horror game, Doom 2016 returned to the roots of the series with frenzied, push-forward-or-die gameplay against overwhelming odds. It’s an unabashed gorefest of brutal, bloody combat using fists, bullets, rockets and, naturally, your trusty chainsaw. At the same time, id Software also added welcome updates such as character upgrades, melee “glory kills,” and a range of collectibles. While the multiplayer mode received mixed reviews, the single-player campaign is nothing short of glorious.
#5: Metroid Prime (2002)
It isn’t easy to reinvent a classic. The original Metroid is one of Nintendo’s most celebrated games, a puzzle platformer that puts you in control of bounty hunter Samus Aran as she defends the galaxy from nefarious space pirates. Moving Metroid’s platform-based gameplay to first-person was a huge gamble... But it worked, allowing players to feel like they’ve been transported into the franchise’s atmospheric world. With its fine balance of exploration, puzzles, and combat, the title both captures the spirit of the series, and stands on its own as an original, enthralling experience that’s still fun today.
#4: Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
First person shooters were slow to migrate to consoles. While GoldenEye 007 proved console shooters were possible, Halo showed once and for all they were here to stay, launching an impressive list of sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. With a compelling narrative, a rich, detailed sci-fi world, and eminently enjoyable combat, Halo was an instant classic, with a decent multiplayer mode to boot. But the biggest reason you need to play Halo before you die is its ridiculously entertaining split-screen modes, both in campaign and multiplayer. Let’s just say your friendships will never be the same.
#3: Half-Life (1998)
You’ll never look at a crowbar the same way again. Valve’s immersive, narrative-driven debut redefined the genre, working seamless scripted sequences into gameplay to craft an epic and original story. Even Half-Life’s hero was unusual for the time: a scientist rather than a military man, who really just wants to laser some anomalous materials with your standard workplace Anti-Mass Spectrometer. The game’s relative realism, smooth gameplay, and riveting storyline earned Half-Life over 50 Game of the Year awards, and was followed up by a stunning sequel. For new players who find the retro graphics a challenge, third-party remake “Black Mesa” updates most of the game... but however you play it, this is a title that will change how you see first person shooters.
#2: BioShock (2007)
When the first shooters came out, who would have suspected the genre would ever be called “literate,” “thoughtful,” or an “art form”? But those were all words used to describe BioShock, which plunged players into a gameworld of unprecedented detail and startling beauty. Armed with both conventional weapons and powerful genetic modifications, players navigate the underwater city of Rapture, brought to life by intriguing non-player characters and a thought-provoking story. While the sequels refined the gameplay, and the world of Bioshock: Infinite is also fascinating —and hauntingly relevant—there’s just something about the atmospheric original.
#1: Doom (1993) + Brutal Doom Mod (2012)
Immersive narratives, detailed lore, and moral dilemmas are all great. But sometimes you just want to blast some demons back to hell. There’s something about the simplicity of Doom that also keeps it appealing. Add in the Brutal Doom mod, developed by modder Sergeant Mark IV, and this blast from the past is new again in surprising ways... With new weapons, improved enemies, gore galore, and tanks and helicopters, Brutal Doom is a great way to revisit a classic, or if you’ve never played it, to find out what all the fuss is about.