Lock and load
Okay, this list was never going to be easy to compile. As one of the most popular, eclectic and influential gaming genres, nailing down the list of the best FPS titles to just 25 games is an almost ridiculous task. So to help narrow things down, we made some hard and fast rules. Read them before you move on.
Number 1: The games have to be first person, and shooting has to be the predominant game system (hey, the clue is in "FPS"). So no Gears of War, and no Resident Evil 7. Number 2: This list is about currently best, not historically most important. To keep this list accessible, we're only including games you can play right now on current-generation consoles, instead of having to hunt down a PS2 at a garage sale. Have no fear: we haven’t forgotten the influential games that came before. They have their very own slide that explains their importance to the genre before we get started. See if you agree with our choices, as we progress toward revealing our number 1.
25. Honorable mentions
Let's start with the influential FPS games that didn't quite secure a place on the list. If you side-step the genre's wireframe origins – expanded in our 43-year history of first-person-shooters – let's start with the granddaddy: the original, 1993 Doom. While not the first FPS, developer id's shooter is a masterclass in intelligent, cleverly-paced level design, alongside deceptively strategic gunplay - while also establishing id as the premier gun 'feel' craftsmen in the industry.
In terms of its mainstream appeal and cultural crossover, the next most influential shooter was probably , which proved that FPS could truly work on a console, delivering the most cinematic action game of its era. Rare's shooter hosts one of the most legendary multiplayer modes in history. Oddjob is still banned, though.
The split-screen multiplayer template evolved with Goldeneye's unofficial, next-gen follow-up, . Headed up by key members of Rare’s Goldeneye team, TS2 is a history-spanning, thematic pick 'n’ mix campaign skewering movies - and even Goldeneye itself - with endless, brilliantly observed pastiche. Add another terrific multiplayer offering plus the staggering depth and imagination of its Arcade challenge leagues, and you have a game way, way ahead of its time.
A less obvious choice, but a game that expertly stole – and re-assembled – the genre's greatest mechanics, is PS3's . With echoes of Half-Life 2, Chronicles of Riddick and Halo, this overlooked sequel is like a greatest hits package of FPS gaming's 40-year-history. A brilliantly structured campaign journey, fueled by inventive, satisfying weapon design, and serious fun. David Houghton
24. The Darkness 2
Release date: February 7, 2012
Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
What is it? A love story. A wonderful, touching tale of a former mobster who is trying to come to terms with the loss of his girlfriend while murdering his enemies using a combination of chunky automatic weapons and demonic tentacle powers. Often both at the same time. How many other games, for example, let you pick up a goon by his feet and blow him in half with a shotgun? Or to rip him in half with your tentacles like you’re pulling the wishbone at Christmas? Or shove your tentacle down an enemy’s ass and pull out his spine? Not many. Not many at all. But yeah, is a love story at heart. And it’s still playable on PC, so you have the chance to play one of the most creative, touching, and utterly sickening shooters ever made. Go do that.
Best for: The creative kills. While the story is lovely and all, you can’t beat the feeling of grabbing an enemy by the head with a tentacle and popping off his head, before lobbing it away like an apple core. Andy Hartup
23. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Release date: November 6, 2015
Format: Xbox One, PS4, PC
What is it? Call of Duty began as WW2-era shooter focused on recreating the tense drama of war. Since then, we've had CoD games set during the Cold War, Vietnam War, modern day, even the far future and outer space. is the current Goldilocks of the CoD legacy, which is to say it sits somewhere in the middle and manages to feel juuuust right. Not too futuristic, not too held back by the past, Black Ops 3 infuses smart design with fluid gameplay to create something that feels unique and powerful without straying too far from its roots. Choosing a specific character gives competitive multiplayer a slight MOBA feel, while the campaign re-introduces four-player co-op to the series. And of course, let's not forget our undead friends lurking in the Zombies mode, which gets an entire city in Black Ops 3.
Best for: A night (or week, or month) of fast-paced, highly-competitive running and gunning, or anyone who wants to see Jeff Goldblum as a zombie-slaughtering magician. Sam Prell
Release date: August 8, 2017
Format: PS4, PC
What is it? A Vs. multiplayer FPS that takes into account a detailed, working knowledge of the last 20 years of arena shooters, so that it can understand all of the rules and conventions before tearing them up and reimagining them into something new. Its nine asymmetric character classes deliver radically contrasting gameplay experiences - each feels like they could be the protagonist of a different (brilliant) game - but all are bonded by their scope for fantastic, unexpected, tactically kinetic gameplay. LawBreakers is a shooter as deep and clever as it is immediately, air-punchingly exciting, dense with possibility and scope for player growth, while also immediate, gratifying, and easy to initially pick up.
And that growth certainly doesn't begin and and with the player. LawBreakers is also one of the best-maintained 'live' games we've seen in a long time. Developer Boss Key is taking a refreshingly pro-active, communicative, community-minded approach to the game's upkeep, pouring constant updates, tweaks and additions into it alongside its already revealed roadmap of (free) expansions for LawBreakers' opening months.
Best for: When you need an immediate, incendiary burst of 'Holy crap I can't believe that just happened' multiplayer FPS action. Whether you play for 20 minutes or three hours, LawBreakers will give you plenty to holler about. David Houghton
21. Far Cry 4
Release date: November 18, 2014
Format: PS4, Xbox One, PC
What is it? In essence; Far Cry 3 goes to the Himalayas. Switching out the sunny not-so-perfect tourist destination of Rook Island for the vertiginous Kyrat, adds even more deadly bells and whistles to an already solid foundation of murderous exploration. Even more flora and fauna is ready to be plucked and skinned, and entire ecosystems are just waiting to be ruined as you quest for a new wallet. The story of Ajay Ghale is almost incidental to the combination of stealth and action on offer in Ubi’s intimidatingly huge open world. Whether you want to send a drone hovering over an enemy camp and tag all enemies individually before picking them off one by one with brutal melee takedowns, shoot a tiger out of its cage from a safe distance to watch it tear your foes to pieces, or literally crash down the gates on the back of an angry tusked Babar, it’s entirely up to you. However you play, Far Cry 4 is a heady cocktail of death and destruction. Drink up.
Best for: A singleplayer that’ll involve you obsessively collecting every animal skin for accessories before charging an elephant into a camp of unsuspecting foes. Sorry PETA…. Louise Blain
20. Star Wars Battlefront
Release date: November 17, 2015
Format: PS4, Xbox One, PC
What is it? Sure, is a first-person shooter. It’s also a near-simulation for some of the most iconic moments in the Star Wars universe. This game feels more like an arcade creation than the grand, stoic visions offered by the best of Dice’s Battlefield games, but you still get the studio’s hallmarks here: class variety, specialized weapons, and gorgeous graphics. Each of those elements have just been filtered through the lens of the beloved sci-fi universe. The level of detail is incredible, and it’s a must-try for Star Wars fans. You get to play as Boba Fett. Who doesn’t want that?
Best for: Living out all your wildest Star Wars dreams, either with strangers in multiplayer or with a friend in co-op. May the Force be with you. Anna Washenko
19. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Release date: August 24, 2012
Format: Xbox One (backwards compatible)
What is it? Ever since its debut as an expansive Half-Life mod, the Counter-Strike series has constantly stayed on top of the competitive shooter scene. And though is now the de facto way to play this Terrorists vs. Counter-Terrorists FPS on PC, it originally started life as a modernized port for consoles. CS:GO is all about tension: there are no respawns during rounds, so once you die, all you can do is watch and anxiously hope that your team detonates/defuses the bomb or rescues/retains hostages successfully. Each map is meticulously crafted to allow for myriad tactics requiring varying degrees of skill, and the lovingly modeled guns in your expansive arsenal all have minutiae in their firing rates and recoil that can only be learned through experience. CS:GO's skill ceiling is practically in the stratosphere, and it puts equal emphasis on cooperative teamwork and heroic moments where you get all the glory.
Best for: A test of skills, wits, and sniping ability for when you feel the need to prove your FPS superiority online; those with fragile egos may want to stay away. Lucas Sullivan
18. Bioshock Infinite
Release date: March 26, 2013
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One (latter two in BioShock: The Collection)
What is it? Look, I know. The original Bioshock is a better game. But this is the best FPS list, and whatever your feelings about it as a sequel, the fact is that is just a better pure shooter than either of its predecessors. They might have had guns and first-person viewpoints, but the shooting was never their focus. They were immersive, narrative-driven, systemic RPGs with shotguns.
Infinite though, is the real deal. Opting for a more direct, action-driven approach, it fully commits to exploring the full scope of Bioshockian powers and gunplay in the aim of pure combat. By the time you have a full set of Vigors, you'll be playing one of the most expressive, versatile, option-packed FPS around, one that seamlessly blends a fast, kinetic emphasis with a wider, strategic battlefield plan. Tooled up, and applying the creative thought encouraged by Infinite's often sprawling, multi-levelled arenas, you'll often feel you're on playing part-FPS, part-RTS. And it'll never be anything less than exhilarating.
Best for: When you want to blend experimental shooting with a mind-bending, rollercoaster story, and don't mind too much whether it makes total sense. David Houghton
17. Borderlands 2
Release date: September 18, 2012
Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Xbox One, PS4
What is it? How to describe … you could say it's the underlying principles of the first Borderlands wrapped up in a more pristine, funnier shell. Or you could call it World of Warcraft: The First-Person Shooter. With its heavy emphasis on loot, loot, and more loot, Borderlands 2 drowns players in a sea of guns with varying abilities and stats (including a gun that shoots swords, and a gun that literally goes "pew pew!" every time you fire it), conveniently color-coded by rarity. The colorful cast of characters breaks away from the traditional "fighter, wizard, rogue" archetypes, and each hero is memorable in their own right. Especially Krieg. Oh Krieg, you crazy barbarian poet. Sure it's still a bit of a slog to play through if you don't have any buddies going co-op with you, but at the end of the day, this sequel still stands as the zenith of the Borderlands formula.
Best for: Those who like their FPS games to be as equally funny as they are violent - especially if they don't get attached to their armory, since something more powerful is always right around the corner. Sam Prell
16. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
Release date: December 1, 2015
Format: PS4, Xbox One, PC
What is it? has quietly become one of the best multiplayer shooters around, combining the intensity and replayability of Counter-Strike with the unique abilities and personality of Overwatch (albeit with a more grounded cast). The real star of Siege is the impressive destructibility of your environment: walls, floors, and ceilings can all be fired through and ultimately destroyed, so you need to smartly choose which flanks to cover and which walls to reinforce, lest someone blast through them with sizzling thermite. You and your squadmates choose from a variety of highly skilled Operators, each with their own specialties that can complement each other for a rock-solid team comp, though your propensity for sneaking and aiming a gun are what matter most. Every round becomes a tactical, incredibly tense game of cat-and-mouse, as one team protects an objective while their opponents try to scout out danger and survive a breach.
Best for: The thinking person's online shooter, where careful planning, coordinated teamwork, and adapting on the fly are all a crucial part of completing your competitive mission. Lucas Sullivan
15. Battlefield 3
Release date: October 25, 2011
Format: Xbox One (backwards compatible), PC
What is it? The games in DICE’s venerable franchise have gone to many places and time periods, but is the most exhilarating of the modern day games. Playing host to some of the most beautifully designed multiplayer maps ever, there’s nothing quite like throwing yourself into the cacophony of grenades trying to storm the subway station during a Rush match on Metro. The grand vistas of Caspian Border set a dramatic backdrop for players to test their skills in a jet cockpit or behind the wheel of a lumbering tank. Deathmatch on Noshahr Canals is a quintessential test of quick thinking and quick hands. And the Close Quarters DLC maps may have shrunk the size, but the intensity of defending control points in Ziba Tower is unmatched.
Best for: Ignore the decidedly lackluster campaign and jump right into a multiplayer server. Just remember that those graphics were cutting edge back in the day. Anna Washenko
Release date: February 25, 2016 (PC) / 3 May, 2016 (Xbox One)
Format: PC, Xbox One
What is it? Time only moves when you move. That's the elevator pitch for , a cerebral shooter from a small, independent studio out of Poland, and it's a perfect distillation for what makes Superhot so intoxicating. Trapped inside a series of minimalist representations of office buildings, elevators, and restaurants, you'll scour rooms for guns and improvised weapons to defeat waves of red, crystalline enemies - but as long as you stand still, you'll have plenty of time to plan your next move.
This turns a typically twitch-based genre into a far more contemplative puzzler built around the improvised chaos of a stylized, cinematic action sequence. An enemy fires his gun and you dodge the oncoming bullets, watching the red trails whizz you by. You pick up a nearby ashtray and chuck it at his head, stepping forward so time allows it to travel through the air. You snag his gun as it flies out of his hands and shoot him in the stomach, his body exploding into a thousand glorious pieces - but another guy comes around a blind corner and smacks you with a bat, forcing you to start over. Figuring out each level's interlocking pieces is thrilling; watching your run play out in real-time like some kind of John Wick-inspired demon is downright euphoric.
Best for: When you want to play a game that makes you feel like you're in The Matrix without having to bust out your leather duster and wraparound shades. David Roberts
13. Metro: Last Light
Release date: May 14, 2013
Format: PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
What is it? A stealthy, crunchy shooter that mixes great combat with horror and supernatural elements, manages to create a vibe all of its own. Its retro-apocalypse styling is a grittier, more desperate take on Fallout as Russian survivors of a nuclear war scrape out a living in Metro tunnels. That set up means a range of inventive and fun weapons like pneumatic rifles and semi-homemade machine guns. Giving the combat a hard edge, expect to be rewarded for being strategic when it comes to wise weapon choices. It also does really good stealth as you creep around perimeters popping lightbulbs with silenced weapons to create pools of darkness to hunt in. Great scares await you too, with a mix of mutant monsters and ghost-filled flashbacks where the spirits of those who died let you know just how unhappy they are about it.
Best for: When you want an atmospheric, singleplayer shooter that’s a bit ‘Call of Silent Hill’. Leon Hurley
12. Halo: Reach
Release date: September 14, 2010
Format: Xbox One (backwards compatible)
What is it? is a pre-packaged tragedy. We already know that the Covenant ravage the planet Reach and the UNSC outpost there. We know that the desperate struggle to survive there directly leads into the many misadventures of the Spartan known hilariously as Master Chief. Before the spinoff to the Xbox’s signature series came out, it was also known that this would be the last Halo created by Bungie Studios. Knowing all these things before playing this excellent shooter is no preparation for how stirring it actually is in practice. While Halo Reach couldn’t foster the same sort of powerful multiplayer community as Halo 3, it did perfect the Halo story campaign. Trading the experimental structure of ODST for the set piece design of the original trilogy, Reach is the best expression of Bungie’s knack for making complicated shooting galleries. Every new stage in Reach feels dynamic, asking you to adapt to swiftly changing circumstances and ordinance while maintaining an air of drama but never succumbing to the tedium that inevitably crept into Master Chief’s adventures. The game was so damn good it was impossible not to get choked up at the ending, even when you knew it was coming.
Best for: The Halo fan who wants the perfect campaign for either single-player or co-op. Yes, honestly. Anthony John Agnello
11. Left 4 Dead 2
Release date: November 17, 2009
Format: Xbox One (backwards compatible), PC
What is it? Bonding usually calls for either beer or a mutual dislike of something, but who needs those when is around? Valve’s zombie-ridden game relentlessly punishes those who shrug off their comrades’ assistance. No heroes (*cough* overconfident buffoons *cough*) here: voyage on ahead or get left behind, if you go it alone you’ll definitely meet a bloody end. What zombies lack in fortitude they make up for in numbers, but special infected ensure you never let your guard down, as it takes only one overlooked Smoker to knock your entire team for six. The Versus mode turns the tables by letting you deviously play as the special infected, disrupting the survivors’ efforts to escape whilst giving you insight into exactly how these major infected function. Which, incidentally, plays perfectly into your future sessions as the survivors. Brilliantly crafted, Left 4 Dead 2 is a drop-dead simple concept, executed perfectly.
Best for: Multiplayer, hands-down. Slay zombies with friends and the occasional AI, and get ready to scream out each type of special infected when you hear their telltale musical cue. Zoe Delahunty-Light
10. Wolfenstein: The New Order
Release date: May 20, 2014
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
What is it? Wolfenstein gets it. understands the core appeal of FPS. It understands why the genre matters, and how vital it is, both intellectually and on a pure, instinctive level. Wolfenstein knows that the soul of FPS lives where ludicrously high-powered weaponry meets speed, ferocity, and tactical smarts. And so it loads you up with some of the biggest, most gratifying guns in the genre's history, points you at an enemy that undeniably deserves punishing, and lets you go. And dear God, is it clever about the way it goes about it.
There's the high-risk, high-reward combat model, where cover will help, but cowering is suicide. There's the facility for open-ended stealth, not so much to sneak past, as to strategically explore and set the right conditions for victory before you unleash Hell. And then there's the narrative, and sumptuously detailed world-building, which manage to infuse the comic book action with real humanity and genuinely affecting pathos, ensuring that you never, ever forget why you're pasting those fascists against the wall.
Best for: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every piece-of-human-excrement in the room, but want to be smart about it, and go on a heartfelt emotional journey at the same time. David Houghton
Release date: February 22, 2011
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One (latter two via upcoming Full Clip Edition remaster)
What is it? Never has a game so intelligent tried so hard to look like an idiot, or been so screamingly funny with it. On 's surface, you'll find a brash, knowing, don't-give-a-fuck attitude, sitting on a layer of the most gloriously creative cursing you've ever heard in a video game. Beneath, you'll find one of the densest, most detailed, widest branching FPS systems ever devised.
It's the Skillshots that do it. A vast, stacking, interconnecting roster of named killing methods (which cover everything from shooting an enemy in the balls to lassoing him and then kicking him into a murderous plant), that can be comboed near-endlessly, to create gloriously brutal takedowns. Extravagant kills mean more points, and more points mean more ammo to kill with. But more than anything, it's all a hilariously gratifying, ceaselessly rewarding, creative challenge in itself. You really don't know how fun a shooter can be until you've whipped a goon into the air, shot him up the ass, and then slid underneath to knock him out of the air with a shotgun, raining whatever's left upon the spikes below.
Best for: When you want to get creative with your destruction. It's basically like playing with Lego, only the bricks are brutal killings. David Houghton
8. Battlefield 1
Release date: October 21, 2016
Format: Xbox One, PS4, PC
What is it? is a WW1 shooter that showcases a terrifying amount of carnage. It’s got all the familiar BF modes that we’ve grown to love, including Conquest, Rush, and Domination, but this game adds the formidable Operations mode that takes the push and pull of war to new heights. This game works so well as a multiplayer shooter because of how finely it’s balanced - there’s no class, weapon, or tactic that gives an unfair advantage over others. By their very nature, WW1 weapons lack true precision, and make up for this via brute force and close-quarters effectiveness, so this really levels the playing field online. The maps are brilliant too, and they constantly change as the bombardment of explosives and ruined vehicles scar the landscape. Single-player is pretty enjoyable too, with the emotional war stories giving a sampler of the various fronts WW1 took place on. Overall, it’s an immense package.
Best for: Multiplayer. This is one of the best online experiences you can have on a console - fast, chaotic, varied and yet extremely well balanced and very, very replayable. Andy Hartup
7. Halo 3
Release date: September 25, 2007
Format: Xbox One (backwards compatible)
What is it? Without question, Halo’s finest multiplayer hour. Reach might have the best campaign, but three trusted friends and a copy of will last you a lifetime. From the taught challenge of 2v2 Team Slayer on Blackout, to the sprawling, multi-disciplinary test of 4v4 Last Resort, every game of Halo 3 has moments of singular brilliance you’ll remember long after the match has finished. The maps are immaculate, full of cunning blindspots and brilliantly-plotted flashpoints. Every melee hit has an crunching urgency that makes the swaggering takedowns of Halo 5 seem laughably superfluous. And few things in gaming satisfy like slicing up enemy vehicles with the SPARTAN laser, or a surprise triple kill with a shotgun. The best first-person shooters are all about feel, and Halo never felt better than this. Whether you’re online in the Master Chief Collection, or connecting two 360s for a LAN party, Halo 3 is the most fun you can have without taking your Kevlar off.
Best for: Playing the same eight amazing multiplayer maps over and over again, and still finding astounding, exciting new things ten years later. Matt Elliott
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
Release date: November 4, 2016
Format: PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
What is it? Arguably the shooter that inspired almost every other game on this list. Call of Duty was doing well enough for its first three World War 2-inspired games, but it was the jump to modern times that started its growth towards global domination. Putting present day weapons into ’s well-tuned shooting mechanics created a devastatingly lethal shooter, with bursts of gunfire dropping enemies with brutal efficiency. However, it was the story and characters that really gave this its impact. It might not be quite what you’d expect from a big manly shooter, but Captain Price and crew were relatable and human. The fact you cared about them, and what happened to them, elevated this above just shooting until everyone’s dead. And then there’s the multiplayer which, ten years ago, set a template that CoD (and plenty of other games) are still using today.
Best for: Seeing just how well a shooter can create a military-focused story without descending into cliché and grunting pantomime stereotypes. Leon Hurley
Release date: May 23, 2016
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
What is it? Leave it to Blizzard to instantly restore my faith in a genre that I was ready to give up for good. Starting with the fundamentals of a class-based multiplayer shooter, the studio proceeded to sand off every little rough edge left over from games like Team Fortress 2. It then replaced whatever personality it lost in the process with an instantly beloved cast of MOBA-inspired heroes. Seriously, if you've been on the internet at all since May 2016, you've almost definitely seen at least one piece of Tracer fan art. It's impossible to divorce 's winsome characters from the game's appeal, but don't let them overshadow the endless smart design choices that Blizzard made for its first foray into action gaming since, er… Blackthorne? Now stop lollygagging and get on the damn point.
Best for: Online multiplayer, no doubt. Turning "a few quick rounds" into a night of teeth-gnashing defeats and miraculous victories. Connor Sheridan
4. Half-Life 2
Release date: November 16, 2004
Format: Xbox One (backwards compatible)
What is it? It's the one that lets you fight alien fascists by launching toilets at their heads. It feels trite to praise the many individual advancements of (physics-based weapons, keenly intelligent enemies, and characters that feel like more than walking quest-givers, to name a few) because pretty much every video game ever has tried to do the same ever since. Just compare popular games from before Half-Life 2 and after Half-Life 2 and its influence will be made immediately clear. But while many foundational games are a bit of a chore to play these days, Half-Life 2 continues to hold up remarkably well. It's just as fun to launch an explosive barrel into a room full of helmeted goons now as it was in 2004. No really, try it!
Best for: Singleplayer, of course. Also picking up that can and throwing it at the guard instead of in the trash. Connor Sheridan
3. Titanfall 2
Release date: October 28, 2016
Format: PS4, Xbox One, PC
What is it? Bloody brilliant, that’s what is. The weightlessness that comes with perfectly mastered wall-running makes you feel like you’re doing some sort of deadly ballet, letting you sail past your foes at impossible speeds, catching them unawares. The unforgettable BT-7274 and unbridled creativity dominate Titanfall 2’s campaign, whether it involves you switching between decades in the blink of an eye, walking through a moment frozen in time, or simply ripping other Titans apart when you step into BT-7274. Rewarding you for using the environment to your advantage, you can feel the moment when you start thinking differently, realising the possibilities a map offers. Whispers of Quake-like, physics-twisting shenanigans in its multiplayer mode have emerged too. You can bunny-hop and strafe-boost to your heart’s content, plus grenades can catapult you to the other side of the map. A heap of possibilities are constantly being discovered, keeping Titanfall 2 awash with creativity.
Best for: Creative, no-obligation-to-EVER-touch-the-floor singleplayer with wildly different levels. Plus an online multiplayer that laughs in the face of physics. Zoe Delahunty-Light
2. Destiny 2
Release date: September 6, 2017
Format: PS4, Xbox One
No-one expected Destiny 2 to be as good as it is. And we really, really love Destiny. Instantly making the first game look like a set of prototypes, Destiny 2 improves in every area. Actually, scratch that. It evolves, taking the seed of the first game's MMOFPS idea and building a whole new, entirely richer, deeper, and broader experience around it. Now existing in a fully fleshed world, full of humanity, character, detail, and story, Destiny 2's campaign alone is enough to justify it. Entirely more curated, crafted, and built of great, in-the-moment narrative and set-piece design, it is a hell of a good Halo game.
But it's only the start. With a simplified, streamlined levelling system running through every one of Destiny 2's vastly expanded activities - from story-driven side-quests, to spiralling, multi-part Exotic Questlines, to treasure hunting, to exploration, to in-world lore hunting, to the brilliantly creative new Strikes and puristic, tactically reworked Crucible PvP - every single thing you want to do, however you want to play, will push you forward. And then there's the far more freeform approach to load-outs, further energised by more creative and expressive weapon design. And the new Raid, which is frankly extravagant in its ambition and imagination. Look, there's too much to talk about here, so just read our Destiny 2 review, okay?
Best for: When you want to experience some of the tightest, smoothest, most flowing FPS around in as many different flavours as you can devour. For 800 hours. David Houghton
1. DOOM (2016)
Release date: May 13, 2016
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
What is it? is it. The pinnacle of FPS. Doom is everything that the genre is about, distilled into one, glorious, searing, defiant roar. It’s a force of will. An expression of creativity, speed of wits, and the ceaseless, yet thoughtful, discharge of really big, cool guns that make demons explode real good. No other game excels so completely in the arts of moment-to-moment, incendiary spectacle and intricate, cat-and-mouse, environmental awareness. Doom's guns aren't just new ways of killing. Each is a multi-pronged key fitting a different situational lock, affixed to a different face of the whirling, ever-shifting Rubik’s Cube of Doom's none-more dynamic combat.
But that it delivers this alongside a multiplayer offering that finally brings the dream of Quake’s lightning-fast arena brutality to console, and a set of level design tools as powerful - yet fun - as the peerless SnapMap, secures its status as the top of the all-time greats. If you need to give anyone a lesson in what FPS is all about, you will not find a better or more complete one than Doom.
Best for: Drilling a crash-course in the most joyful, vital FPS fundamentals directly into your skull, and giving you reasons to scream and punch the air on an hour-by-hour basis. David Houghton