The first-person shooter is one of the biggest Windows and console game genres. Nothing beats the thrill of blasting away hordes of terrorists, soldiers, aliens, zombies or whatever the games throw at you. The best first-person shooters have fantastic 3D graphics, barrel loads of devastating guns, gripping single-player campaigns, pulsating soundtracks and enthralling multiplayer modes where players the world over blast their way to glory in one-on-one or team duels.
These are some of the best ever first-person shooters for Windows.
Half-Life isn’t just one of the greatest first-person shooters: it’s one of the best games ever. Launched in the late ’90s at a time when players were getting a little tired of Doom clones with weak plots, Half-Life revamped the first-person shooter genre. This was the game that propelled Valve in the gaming industry, and the publisher further expanded Half-Life with the Opposing Force, Blue Shift and Decay expansion packs.
Half-Life is a game with an absorbing plot, realistic gameplay, strong narrative and absolutely no cutscenes with the story unfolding through scripted sequences. The game, and the rest of its series, stars scientist Gordon Freeman who sets out to flee the Black Mesa compound in New Mexico after sparking an alien invasion from planet Xen. Aside from blasting away aliens, Freeman also has to deal with U.S. Marines deployed to mop up the outbreak. Half-Life was a tour de force of game design and scooped more than 50 Game of the Year awards.
You can buy Half-Life for $9.99 from Steam. If you’re planning to buy some of the game’s expansion packs, check out GamesDeal’s offer. The platforms offers interesting discounts for Half-Life’s packs.
This was the much-anticipated sequel to Half-Life that went through a $40 million development phase before Valve launched it. Valve didn’t rush through a half-baked sequel and delivered a game that was bigger and better than the original with larger environments, enemies and an even more absorbing plot. For many, Half-Life 2 is the best game ever. It was also the first title for Valve’s Steam client. You can add it to Windows from this Steam page.
In Half-Life 2, Freeman takes on the alien Combine that has taken over Earth 20 years after the resonance cascade at Black Mesa. The game is most notable for its advanced Havok physics engine that enables players to draw in objects and push them away with the Gravity Gun. It had advanced graphics, which although not quite photo-realistic still look pretty real. Half-Life 2 also had highly detailed environment designs that are especially memorable. Although the game is a tad dated, its graphical and audio quality still shine. It’s a pity that there’s still no Half-Life 3, and some Valve insiders have hinted the publisher has no plans to expand the series.
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty is probably the biggest first-person shooter series on Windows and consoles and consists of 13 games. Call of Duty 2 was the second addition to the franchise and this was the blockbuster that really launched the series into the stratosphere. The game regenerates some of World War 2’s most epic battlefields in Russia, France and North Africa with realistic graphics and unsurpassed attention to detail. The game is compatible with Windows and macOS platforms and there’s also a phone version.
Call of Duty: 2 has some of the most gripping campaigns in any COD game because of how it tells the story of WW2 from the perspective of the soldiers. The game featured more expansive battlefields with a variety of mission objectives for less linear gameplay. At its time of launch, Call of Duty: 2 had a revolutionary game engine that enabled the developers to incorporate fantastic weather and graphical smoke effects into the game with dynamic lighting and shadows. The NPC squads that support you throughout the campaigns with realistic battle chatter also contributed to bringing the game to life. With various multiplayer modes to shoot through including tons of guns and maps, COD2 pretty much has all you could hope for from a first-person shooter game.
You can buy Call of Duty 2 for $19.99 from Steam.
Overwatch is a relatively new first-person shooter that made a big splash in 2016. This is a team-based multiplayer shooter set in the near future with a diverse range of hero characters. This is only Blizzard’s second attempt at launching a big game franchise, and the publisher certainly delivered an innovative shooter in Overwatch. The game is available for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and retails at $59.99.
Overwatch features 6 vs 6 team duels with 24 heroes to select from that have different roles for offense, defense, support and tank. Players battle it out across 14 unique, colorful and luxuriantly detailed maps that have their own supported game modes for escort, assault, control and hybrid assault/escort combination. The game places greater emphasis on teamwork and has more strategic depth than most first-person shooters. Although Overwatch might have been a little light on features at launch, as a new game it will certainly get bigger and better with further free updates that add more maps, game modes, etc.
You can buy Overwatch for $39.43 from GamesDeal.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare dragged the COD franchise from its WW2 setting to modern times and for many fans remains the best game in the series. A 2011 Civil War setting for the COD 4 campaign gave the series a fresh new look and feel with a plethora of more advanced modern-day guns and accessories for players. With its modern setting, the game could also incorporate attack choppers, tactical helicopters, and aerial gunships into the gameplay for the first time, which made it a little more special.
Call of Duty 4’s epic campaign is undoubtedly one of the best in any first-person shooter. The campaign is based on a fictional 2011 Civil War in Russia in which players control both a U.S. Marine and SAS recruit for various operations. The campaign had plenty of thrills and spills on memorable missions such as All Ghillied Up and Charlie Don’t Surf.
Call of Duty 4 also has cinematic sound and graphics with some dazzling special effects. The remastered Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, launched last year, has even better graphical quality with enhanced rendering and high-dynamic range lighting and textures. The remastered version’s gameplay is almost exactly the same as the original title, so now you can play Call of Duty 4 with a state-of-the-art graphics engine. The snapshot below highlights just how photo realistic the remastered game is.
You can buy Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for $19.18 from GamesDeal.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter that’s a sequel to a Quake mod. After Half-Life, this is another of Valve’s best game titles and delivers terrific multiplayer gaming. Team Fortress 2 is also freely available and you can it add to Windows, Linux or macOS by pressing the Play Game button on this Steam page.
In Team Fortress 2, players can select nine character classes that fall into defense, support and offensive roles. The game includes plenty of game modes for multiplayer battles, such as Capture the Flag, Special Delivery, King of the Hill, Payload, Arena, Control Point, Payload Race and more. This game also has cartoon-style graphics with unique animations and plenty of comical moments. One of the best things about Team Fortress 2 is that it gets regular free updates and patches that keep it fresh. The game has had 609 updates to date that have expanded its content, so TF2 has evolved considerably since Valve first launched it.
Titanfall is a very decent multiplayer first-person shooter romp, but it lacks a single-player campaign. Titanfall 2 is a sequel that refines the original game’s winning formula and expands it with a diverse campaign. This was one of the most exciting games of 2016 that you can play on Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Standard and Deluxe editions are currently retailing on Origin from £19.99 ($24.30).
Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter that includes Titans, which are huge mecha-style exoskeletons deployed for war. Players get to control Titan pilot Jack Cooper with and without his BT-7274 Titan armory through the single-player campaign, which is based on a war between the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and Frontier Militia. The campaign has plenty of highlights with time travel, space dinosaurs and planet-destroying weapons thrown into the mix for a diverse single-player game. The sequel retains all the terrific movement and combat mechanics from the first game and its multiplayer also includes new Titans, maps and playing modes.
You can buy Titanfall 2 for $26.64 from GamesDeal.
For some heart pumping, action packed first-person blasting, Call of Duty 2 & 4, Half-Life 1 & 2, Titanfall 2, Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch are hard to beat. These are Windows games that raised the bar for first-person shooters with their innovate campaigns, enthralling multiplayer modes, frenetic gameplay and amazing graphics.
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