30 Best FPS Games of All Time

There is no plan for making the best first-person shooter games that you should play right now.

Some of our picks have great single-player campaigns that we still think about years later, others have great social places where you can hang out with your friends, and a few will bring out your competitive side.

We’ve focused on first-person shooters here, so you won’t find games like Deathloop and Fallout 4, which are great but also use action, adventure, and RPG elements to support their main gameplay.

If not, keep reading to see our list of the 30 best first-person shooter games you can (and should) play right now.

30. Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

FPS

Vegas 2 is definitely more about excitement than the first Rainbow Six games. But in some ways, I feel like Vegas 2 captures the “fantasy” of a Tom Clancy game better than any other Rainbow Six game because it is (relatively) easier to play.

Vegas 2 has the same great level design, beautiful graphics, and interesting mix of team-based tactics and heart-pounding action that made the last game in the series such a pleasant surprise.

Vegas 2, on the other hand, does everything just a little bit better than Vegas. It also has the best version of one of the best co-op games in FPS history, Terrorist Hunt.

29. F.E.A.R.

Over the last ten years or so, there have been a lot more first-person scary games.

When F.E.A.R. came out in 2005, however, the idea of mixing a first-person shooter and a horror game was much more unique. The truth is that F.E.A.R. still seems pretty new even now.

F.E.A.R. is a first-person horror game, but it focuses more on first-person shooter elements than most current first-person horror games do.

This makes it a pure action game that sometimes goes into more supernatural waters. F.E.A.R. is one of the most exciting games on this list because it has both innovative enemy AI (which is still surprising good) and well-done scares.

28. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

The TimeSplitters series is a lost gem, and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is the last and best movie in the series.

In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, each level takes the player on a trip through different times.

Even though the story doesn’t always follow the most important rules of time travel, the characters are memorable and often just plain funny. But the effort is only half of the way there.

There are also a lot of optional challenge levels in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect that will test your FPS skills, sometimes to the point where you want to pull out your hair in anger.

27. Serious Sam: The First Encounter

Some FPS games mix things up by adding RPG elements, chance loot, and worlds that can be explored.

Serious Sam: None of those things are needed for The First Encounter. The game only has a truckload of guns and enough strange alien enemies to attack a small country, but that’s enough.

Serious Sam is a first-person shooter (FPS) game that is hard but fair and is made to keep players holding down the trigger as long as possible.

The game is fun for action fans because it has a lot of enemies, a bombastic personality, and a head-banging music.

Every level is hard, which makes every win feel like it was won. Serious Sam Classic and Serious Sam HD are the two versions of this game.

Aside from the better graphics and higher system needs, the games are pretty much the same.

26. Quake

People often forget that Quake’s difficult development broke up the id Software team, which basically invented the first-person shooter genre as we know it.

But before they went their different ways, that team kicked down the door and showed everyone how powerful that new way of making games really was.

When it came out, Quake was praised for being a better version of Doom in many ways. However, we now know that it is so much more than that.

The game’s excellent multiplayer modes showed a lot of people how much fun it can be to play with other people online, and its haunting single-player story gave people a taste of what future games in this genre would be like.

Doom may have been a step in the right direction, but Quake showed a better way to go.

25. Splitgate

One of the most unique first-person shooter games of this age is also one of the most addicting.

Splitgate is a quick and very smooth shooter that solves the question, “What would happen if Halo and Portal got together and had a baby?”

Well, the kid would not only have a very shaky trigger finger, but it would also act much better than you would expect.

Splitgate’s free-to-play multiplayer chaos is always enjoyable, thanks to a powerful arsenal that matches the Master Chief’s best weapons.

But it’s the addition of these gates that adds a layer of strategy and chaos to what was already becoming a famous first-person shooter.

24. Valorant

Riot Games’ effort to steal CS:GO’s crown as the best competitive FPS. It’s like a mix of Valve’s fast-paced shooter and Overwatch’s over-the-top heroes.

At its core, it’s still a strategy FPS where positioning is key and you die with one headshot, but each class has flashy skills and abilities that can change the course of a round.

Some of them let you jump high into the air, while others tell you where enemies are.

The most powerful ones can hurt enemies through walls and clear out whole areas. It has more color than CS:GO, but the clean graphics show that the focus is on gameplay rather than looks.

It was only in Early Access for a short time, which shows how polished Riot’s design is and how well-balanced its maps and heroes are. Both will get better as time goes on.

23. Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood, a new version of Valve’s famous Left 4 Dead, is one of the best third-party games added to Xbox Game Pass in the last year or so.

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Even though killing zombies by yourself isn’t very exciting, the action is taken to a whole new level in the great co-op mode, which is equal parts fun and chaos.

The smart card system and B-movie style add comedy and strategy to a game that makes you appreciate every last-ditch attempt to get to the safe room, whether you make it there or not.

22. Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 is a first-world-war game that shows a scary amount of death and destruction. It has all the familiar Battlefield game modes we’ve come to love, like Conquest, Rush, and Domination.

However, this game adds the powerful Operations mode, which takes the push and pull of war to a whole new level.

This game works so well as a multiplayer shooter because it is so well balanced. No class, weapon, or strategy gives an unfair edge to some players over others.

By their very nature, weapons from World War I aren’t very accurate, but they make up for this with brute force and success in close quarters. This really evens the playing field online, since everyone has the same tools.

The maps are also great, and they are always changing as explosions and destroyed vehicles scar the ground.

Single-player is also pretty fun, and the emotional war stories give you a taste of what it was like on the different fronts of World War I. It’s a huge package as a whole.

21. Dusk

The best of a bunch of new shooters that don’t try to hide how old-school they are.

There are a lot of new games that make you feel like you’re playing Quake or Doom for the first time, but Dusk is the cleanest, fastest, and gory-est of them all.

It’s like the best games from the 1990s, but with some current touches that make it stand out, like detailed reload animations and creative level design.

The maps are different and keep you thinking. One minute you’re on a creepy old farm clearing out barns with a shotgun, and the next you’re in a science lab where the walls become the floor when you turn your head.

It’s a lot of fun, just like the best old-school shooters. Powerful guns turn enemies into a fine red mist, and you zoom through levels as if you were on roller skates, stopping only to line up the perfect shot. It ends with a metal music that won’t let you leave.

20. Half-Life 2

Even though it’s old enough to drive and gamble a young Gordon’s student loan payments under a bus, Half-Life 2 still has a little bit of G.O.A.T. rank. This is one of the best shooters ever made.

The core of Half-Life 2’s greatness hasn’t changed, whether you played it on a top-of-the-line computer when Steam first came out in 2004 or as part of Valve’s brilliant Orange Box deal.

Few shooters before or after this one have been as well-paced. Half-Life 2 moves smoothly between different kinds of themes, from the spooky Cold War vibes of the opening plaza to the fun of using the Gravity Gun on zombies in Ravenholm.

Gordon Freeman may never say a word, but what he does is more important than just about every Call of Duty figure put together.

19. Superhot

Only when you move does time move. That’s the elevator pitch for Superhot, a brainy shooter from a small, independent company in Poland.

It’s a perfect summary of what makes Superhot so addicting. And all the slow-mo helps, of course.

This easy-to-play FPS is cooler than Keanu Reeves taking the ice bucket challenge in the first Matrix. It is both a puzzle game and a shooter.

The act of pointing and pulling the gun is easy enough—you can’t miss when you’re moving as slowly as a tortoise in molasses—but the order in which you kill enemies is much harder.

On many levels, you have to be as precise as a Swiss watch, and if you kill a guy at the wrong time, the whole slow-motion house of cards can fall down.

That’s what makes Superhot so fun: it’s a first-person shooter that’s as smart as it is cool.

18. Metro 2033

Metro 2033 was inspired by some games that came before it, like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Shadow of Chernobyl, on which many of the people who worked on Metro 2033 also worked, but it may still be the best atmospheric FPS game of its kind.

Metro 2033 took its survival horror ideas and ran with them in a way that even the amazing games that came after it were never quite able to do.

The atmosphere in this game is so thick and scary that you might feel like you’re gasping for air as you play. This makes it so amazing that you’ll always want to keep going, no matter how scary things get.

17. Borderlands 2

Even though I think the first Borderlands game is underrated in the grand plan of the series, it’s hard to deny that Borderlands 2 is where the series really found its footing, and it’s still the game that the rest of the series tries to beat.

Some people didn’t like the humor in this game, but the fact that it went so far over the top might be why Borderlands 2 was able to mix the best parts of co-op games, looter RPGs, and first-person shooters so well.

This is still one of the best FPS adventures you can play with friends, from the main game to the amazing DLC.

16. Far Cry 2

As the Far Cry series and the FPS genre continue to “evolve,” it’s easier than ever to enjoy Far Cry 2 and how many of the things that were criticized about it at first now feel like a breath of fresh air.

Far Cry 2 is a hostile game that is always trying to kill you through things like disease, fires that you can’t control, a lack of resources, aggressive enemies, and a lasting sadness that gets stronger as you learn more about its story and world.

It’s a hard game that makes you think on your feet in ways that few other FPS, open-world, or survival games have ever done. I’d say 1, but this was a brave and clever experiment, even for that studio’s best days.

15. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

This game about killing Nazis is smarter than it sounds. The guns are big and loud, and they turn members of the Third Reich into bloody pulps.

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The more shots you pump out, the better. New Colossus feels different from other old-school shooters because you can use any two guns at the same time. The story is the most amazing part.

You learn more than ever about the broken hero of the series, BJ Blazkowicz, through an origin story that isn’t afraid to get dark.

A skilled cast manages to pull off a story that goes back and forth between serious and funny.

14. Team Fortress 2

It wouldn’t be completely true to say that no one thought Team Fortress 2 would be a hit. In fact, at the time, many people thought it would be a very good game.

Few people were ready for how interesting TF 2 would be and how its success would change the video game business for good.

If you look past the controversial ways that TF2 moved us toward the “games as a service” era, you’ll find that it’s just one of the best multiplayer FPS games ever made, and a great example of how personality can make an already great game into something magical.

13. SWAT 4

What makes SWAT 4 different from all the other amazing tactical FPS games that have come before and after it? If I had to pick one thing that made this game so good, it would be the “level design.”

SWAT 4’s somewhat unusual premise (compared to other tactical FPS games) is the base for some really creative missions that make seemingly normal places more interesting than even some of the most elaborate fantasy worlds.

SWAT 4’s great strategy gameplay always comes up with new ways to surprise you, like sneaking into a cult leader’s camp or going down into the basement of a serial killer’s house.

12. The Operative: No One Lives Forever

It’s true that No One Lives Forever’s seemingly permanent stay in licensing Hell has made the words of those who call this 2000 FPS game one of the best ever made louder, but that doesn’t mean that Monolith’s spy shooter doesn’t deserve all the praise it gets.

The most surprising thing to me about NOLF after all these years is that it’s a comedy game.

Even though being a funny comedy game is usually a big deal, NOLF goes one step further by also having one of the most creative and interesting FPS missions ever made.

This game’s design holds up well even to the most critical eye, but the best thing about it is that it makes you smile.

11. GoldenEye 007

Technically, Perfect Dark may be the better game, but if originality, historical context, and happy memories are all “X” factors that break ties, then GoldenEye 007 should be on any list of the best FPS games.

People have rightly written a million words about what GoldenEye did for console FPS games, but I don’t know if it’s possible to praise this game enough for how it celebrated the unique joy of local multiplayer or how its single-player story was surprisingly strong.

Some people at the time might have thought that GoldenEye wasn’t as good as the best first-person shooter games for PC, but the years have been good to this game.

10. Battlefield: Bad Company 2

The multiplayer in Bad Company 2 is chaotic, creative, memorable, and addicting, just like the famous multiplayer in the Battlefield games when it’s at its best.

But what makes this game stand out from the other great games in this series is how good its single-player story is.

Bad Company 2 loves its destructible environments, and its often dark sense of humor is something you don’t often see in military games.

It’s not a big surprise that some Battlefield fans still want to feel the same rush they did when they first played the game.

9. Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 is a great shooter, but it’s not the most important game in the series. That honor goes to the famous third game.

Does it still use a lot of the same old Ubisoft tricks?

Of course. But if you look past the tiny wiener sidekicks named after a Spanish sausage and the usually solid, if repetitive, stealth, you’ll find a first-person shooter that feels like a turning point for Far Cry.

New features like the Supremo Backpacks open up new ways for sneaky and explosive chaos, making Far Cry’s already enticing power dream even more fun.

Even better?

With the addition of freedom fighter Dani, who you can see, hear, and act along with in third-person cutscenes, Far Cry has finally given us a main character we can actually pull for.

And only half a dozen people had to enter. Far Cry 6 is one of the best sandbox games when it comes to making a crazy show.

8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

Never before has such a smart game tried so hard to look like an idiot or been so hysterically funny while doing it.

On the surface of Bulletstorm is a cocky, know-it-all, don’t-give-a-fuck attitude, and underneath that is some of the most creative cursing you’ve ever heard in a video game.

Underneath is one of the most complex, thorough, and branching FPS systems ever made.

The Skillshots are what make Bulletstorm so great. Imagine if a new Tony Hawk’s game had tricks, but instead of Ollies and Kickflips, there were more and more horrible ways to hurt mutants.

Kick someone in the balls and then kick their head off. Use an alternate-fire rocket to send some people into space, and then pick them out of the sky like they were clay pigeons.

Throw every other enemy you meet into a cactus, because there are always sharp cactuses around that can save your life.

What hurts even more than the murder by plants, though? It’s sad that we probably won’t see another FPS that is so bold, bright, or laudably crude like this one.

7. Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 is a great shooter, but it’s not the most important game in the series. That honor goes to the famous third game.

Does it still use a lot of the same old Ubisoft tricks?

Of course.

But if you look past the tiny wiener sidekicks named after a Spanish sausage and the usually solid, if repetitive, stealth, you’ll find a first-person shooter that feels like a turning point for Far Cry.

New features like the Supremo Backpacks open up new ways for sneaky and explosive chaos, making Far Cry’s already enticing power dream even more fun.

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Even better?

With the addition of freedom fighter Dani, who you can see, hear, and act along with in third-person cutscenes, Far Cry has finally given us a main character we can actually pull for.

And only half a dozen people had to enter. Far Cry 6 is one of the best sandbox games when it comes to making a crazy show.

6. Borderlands 3

What to say about Borderlands 3… You could say it has the same ideas as the first and second Borderlands games, but in a cleaner package.

You could also call it World of Warcraft: The First-Person Shooter. With its focus on loot, loot, and more loot, Borderlands 3 drowns players in a sea of guns with different stats and abilities, like one that shoots saw blades and another that you can throw like a boomerang while it keeps firing, hurting anyone nearby.

The colorful group of characters goes beyond the typical “fighter, wizard, and rogue” roles, and each hero stands out in their own way.

It’s not quite as interesting as Borderlands 2. Krieg is missed. Oh, Krieg, you crazy artist from the barbarians! And none of the bad guys in Borderlands 3 make us as mad as Handsome Jack did.

But when it comes to shooting and looting, ideally with friends, it’s still the best Borderlands game.

5. PUBG: Battlegrounds

The battle royale trend started with the game PUBG.

It wasn’t the first battle royale game, but it made the things we all know and love about the genre popular: random gear spread out on a big map, a starting plane from which players jump, and a play zone that gets smaller and smaller as time goes on.

Since it first came out, a lot has changed.

Now, it’s more finished, has a wide range of maps for different play styles, and is, at the very least, free to play. On the biggest maps, you might not see another player for a long time.

This is one of the things that makes PUBG stand out, along with the true bullet physics and pace.

You can play with a group of friends, but the times when you have to sneak around on your own are the ones that stick with me.

4. Overwatch

We were ready to give up on a certain type of game, but Blizzard brought us back to it right away.

Starting with the basics of a class-based multiplayer shooter, the company smoothed out every rough spot left over from games like Team Fortress 2.

It then replaced any personality it lost in the process with a cast of heroes based on MOBAs that became quickly popular.

Since May 2016, if you’ve been on the internet at all, you’ve probably seen at least one piece of Tracer fan art.

It’s hard to separate Overwatch’s charming characters from the game’s appeal, but don’t let them overshadow the many smart design choices Blizzard made for its first action game since, uh, Blackthorne?

Stop wasting time and get to the point.

3. Metro Exodus

A shooter where the story really matters. The Metro series is known for combining stealth and shooting in claustrophobic settings full of hungry mutants who want to rip your throat out.

Exodus is built from the same DNA, but adds a new level of polish and ambition.

The levels are huge and beautiful, with lots of features that make you want to explore every crumbling building.

From Moscow, you take a train through the Russian wilderness, stopping in desert towns, snowy tundras, and military camps, all of which have secrets to find and enemies to blow to pieces.

You go on tasks by yourself, and leaving the safety of your party is scary. You are safe because you have a lot of creative weapons that can be upgraded, like crossbows and revolvers.

Back on the train, you’ll get to know your hardy Russian traveling partners, and the likeable cast will make you care about what happens to the main character, Artyom.

If you want pure action, you might not like how slowly Exodus moves, but the cross-country journey makes you feel like you’re always making progress. Once you get things rolling, you won’t want to stop.

2. Apex Legends

This is the fight royale for people who want to move quickly. In Apex Legends, how you move is just as important as what you shoot at. You can parkour across roofs, climb up rocks, and slide down hills to get a better position.

The character classes and powers give Respawn’s shooter a feel that is different from other games in the same genre.

One person can see where enemies have walked, another can make portals, and a third can make copies of themselves to trick their enemies.

If you play with three people, which is how it was meant to be played, you can use these skills in creative ways to beat other teams.

The two maps are colorful and different, and there are many ways to help you take the high ground.

Respawn is always adding new guns and heroes to keep the game fresh. If you haven’t played it since the beginning, it’s time to come back.

1. Black Mesa

It’s what you get when you take one of the most popular shooters of all time, Half-Life, change the ending, make the graphics better, add more characters, make the levels bigger, make the guns more powerful, and fix the physics.

You wouldn’t know that Black Mesa was made by fans (and accepted by Valve) because every room is made with care that you don’t see from many AAA teams.

This is more than just a remake of a classic game; it’s a full overhaul that brings one of the best shooters of all time and one of the best main characters, the silent scientist Gordon Freeman, into the modern day.

All the things you like about Half-Life are still there. You’ll shoot headcrab zombies, alien monsters, and human forces with a variety of weapons, from a strong shotgun to a prototype energy Gluon Gun that melts enemies in seconds.

But the new things really stand out. In the original Half-Life, the end part of the game took place in a dead place called Xen.

Here, there are lots of bright colors, and every rocky outcrop and strange group of plants is made from scratch. It’s a lot bigger and feels like a whole new game. Half-Life is now complete.