The pioneer – GoldenEye 007 | 1997 | N64
Everyone’s played GoldenEye. If you didn’t have it, your neighbor had it. And if they didn’t have it you got a paper route until you could afford it. Then you got your friend's route and didn’t go back to work. That was how addictive GoldenEye ’s multiplayer was. There was nothing quite like getting hold of the Golden Gun pistol, cheap as it was, and then making everyone else your bitch. Even on a 4-player split, it ran surprisingly smooth. The host of other technical leaps, from actors’ digitized faces on the main characters to specific hit zones that enemies reacted to when shot proved that console FPS’ were not only feasible, but could be damn marvellous. Bond also brought a method to the console shooters' madness by giving us goals to achieve in each mission. Instead of just running and gunning like you would in Doom, you had to plan out your assault, avoiding security cameras and smartly dispatching guards from far away.
From securing documents to hacking computers, GoldenEye made you feel like a secret agent, a hotshot marksman and a sexy smooth bastard all at once. Such a feat was previously thought impossible on home consoles. Somewhere in the country, right now, there's a 007 dorm tourney still taking place.
Raising the bar – Halo 2 | 2004 | Xbox
Just nailing its older brother to the post because of the jump from LAN to online multiplayer, Halo 2 is as good as it gets. To say it has no flaws would be foolhardy, but none of the major issues have anything really to do with how it handles as an FPS. As well as being a testament to good gameplay, with intelligent AI and slick handling, it continues with new tactical innovations in the form of dual weapon handling and hijacking. In fact it only lets us down with the story, and even then it’s more for the slap in the face cliffhanger ending. Bring on Halo 3!
Above:  GoldenEye 007;  Halo 2;  Chicago Enforcer;  Halo 3
Scraping the barrel – Chicago Enforcer | 2005 | Xbox
Kill one civilian and the mission fails. That would be fine if the Chicago enforcer were like the Master Chief, trying to save mankind. But he’s not. He’s a gangster. He’s supposed to hurt people for crying out loud. It’s incredibly frustrating, especially when there’s no real point to it, but this is just the first of a bundle of blunders. Rival mobsters have a tendency to appear out of thin air. Coupled with a chronic case of overpowering, which sees them still standing after ten shots to the face and you down after two, and you end up at the load screen far too often. Your guns don’t even work as they’re supposed to – in fact the shot gun is far more effective at long range than the sniper rifle. It’s enough to have you throwing away the controller in a hissy fit.
Keep your eyes peeled for – Halo 3 | Xbox 360
Did you really expect us to be pining for anything else? Are you? The screenshots already released point to one hell of a fight for the Chief (click on the Images tab above). As for anything else, we’ll be happy if Bungie adds in the one real omission from Halo 2, and lets us fight against computer-controlled bots on multiplayer.