First person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre utilizing an on screen view that effectively simulates the playable character's perspective and the focus on the use of ranged weapons such as guns.
Present day first person shooter games took off in popularity when the home computer was equipped enough to handle the 3D elements that these games entail. ID Software's Wolfenstein 3D and Doom are both highly touted and considered innovations in the genre. Doom in particular became a synonym of the genre whereby FPS games were called "Doom clones".
The following is a CHRONOLOGICAL LIST of the fifteen most influential first person shooter video games of all time.
1. 3D Monster Maze (1981)
- spawned the concept of the first person shooter as a 3D game on a home computer. In this game, the player had to navigate through a 3D maze to avoid a dinosaur.
2. Catacomb 3D (1991)
- id Software's break into the FPS genre. id Software would later use technology in created Wolfenstein 3D from this game. Historians have viewed this game as the precursor to all first person shooter games.
3. Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
- Wolfenstein 3D ushered in the success of the FPS video game. The game was also a big advancement for shareware. The game quickly became very popular as a first person type encounter game despite limited graphics.
4. Pathways Into Darkness (1993)
- Often noted as the first story based FPS and the first FPS for the Apple Macintosh. The game is also considered a considerable prequel to Marathon and Halo.
5. Doom (1993)
- Doom is noted as having the most significant impact on the genre of any game before or after. The game was wildly popular, utilized a great 3D experience and because of its success was often attributed in conversations about video game violence.
6. Marathon (1994)
- This game quickly popular among Mac users due to its difficult and enticing storyline. The games attempts at team based multiplayer and overall game physics were also remarkable for the time.
Rise of the Triad (1994)
- This game brought a new age of violence and realism into the FPS genre. Additionally, it led to huge strides with its multiplayer system. The game was very influential in the production of Duke Nukem 3D which was also produced by Apogee Software.
7. Descent (1995)
- Many people believe this game to be the very first all inclusive 3D first person shooter. The game immediately became a classic and distinguished itself from the Doom clones. It was a big step forward in graphics and technology and remains a rightful classic.
Duke Nukem 3D (1996)
- This game was enormously successful and truly combined all of the best elements of an FPS with the graphic levels of the time. Many people remember it over Doom, because it wise widely publicized, however Doom remains the more influential selection by most gamers.
8. Quake (1996)
- Quake brought the true 3D aspect of the first person shooter to the FPS. Quake was also very popular as an online multiplayer game which served as a precursor for this feature in all games.
9. GoldenEye 007 (1997)
- This game was the first truly successful game on a console and is widely stated as the best console first person shooting game of all time. The game featured realistic game play and an exceptional multiplayer system.
- Unreal was a breakthrough in that it was the first FPS to occur in a large open terrain. At the time this was unheard of.
10. Starsiege: Tribes (1998)
- This FPS introduced vehicles that could be driven from a third person perspective into an FPS. Other new features included a commander mode and high detail equipment purchasing and class and rank features.
11. Half-Life (1998)
- Incredibly successful game that used many scripts to describe events and tell stories. The game play, story line and graphic presentation raised the bar for the FPS to new levels. A mod of Half-Life, Counter-Strike (commonly abbreviated to CS) also deserves mention as an extremely popular step forward into multi-player gaming.
Rainbow Six (1998)
- Hailed as the first squad based, highly realistic FPS to achieve success. Many sequels have followed its success and it was filed in the "simulation" category.
12. Unreal Tournament (1999)
- An extremely popular online shooter that was very well known for its game play including the capture the flag mode. Thousands of users made custom maps. Many users still play this game today and it is considered the greatest online FPS.
13. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
- Halo took many of the best elements of its successful predecessors and combined them into one popular FPS and a classic among gamers.
14. World War II Online (2001)
- The first true hugely successful multiplayer FPS, WW II showcased large scale battles. Solid simulation and realism continues to make this a popular game with its growing fan base.
15. Battlefield 2 (2005)
- This game truly makes players work together and use teamwork when playing in multiplayer mode. In this game a commander can give orders to its squad and must work together to achieve victory. It's ranking system, awarding points and classifications to successful gamers also makes it innovative and popular.
There are numerous other games that have made an impact on first person shooter games, however the fifteen listed in this article have each been a significant advancement in the genre.
Other Highly Notable Games
* Metroid (1987) - (a precursor for the numerous Metroid FPS's)
* Battlezone (1997)
* Counter-Strike (commonly abbreviated to CS)
* Soldier of Fortune (2000)
* System Shock 2 (1999)
* Kingpin: Life of Crime (1999)
* Deus Ex (2000)
* Red Faction (2001)
* Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001)
* SOCOM (2002)
* Doom 3 (2004)
* Halo 2 (2004)
* Half-Life 2 (2004)
* Red Steel (2006)
* Prey (2006)