5. Battlefield 1942
DICE | EA | 2002
A primarily multiplayer team-based first-person shooter set during World War II, with a massive fleet of vehicles and epic 64-player clashes
What made it so great?
The battles, obviously, but what makes those great is a clever balance between action and tension. The enforced delay between dying and respawning makes death a big deal, but it's also not so long that you spend a large chunk of the game away from the fray. You're back in there within a minute, blazing away and fearing for your life all the while.
Packing that many people around a handful of chokepoints and giving each of them a good reason to try to stay alive impressively recreates the brutal chaos of real warfare. And as in a real war, the chaos brings people together: when a stranger saves your skin, you genuinely form temporary friendships right there on the battlefield.
Get ready to play
1942 is a little tricky to come by these days, but you shouldn't need to splash more than $10 to net it second hand from an Amazon.com market seller. There's still a steady core of a thousand or so players thrashing it out online at a given time - they don't know the war's over and we won't tell them if you don't.
Been there, done that?
To sequelsville! Battlefield 2 ships the action out to the Middle-East and China and adds an elegant squad system, order issuing keys and a ranking hierarchy to put soldiers in their place. It's a much more visually impacting and intense experience, but the game is technically clunkier and load times are absurd.
Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.