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 yourfriend'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 bedamn 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 stilltaking place.
Raising the bar – Halo 2 | 2004 | Xbox
Justnailing 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 themajor issueshave 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!