First-person shooter games are unquestionably popular, especially with Overwatch and Fortnite heading the lineup. Not only have these games’ stories become more complex and the characters more diverse, but new locations and activities create more versatile gameplay.
Although shooter games exist for other consoles, like the Nintendo Switch, those are often meant for younger audiences and might not have as much versatility. Whether you’re a team player or a lone wolf, you may enjoy this list.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
A launch title for the PlayStation 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall had the very difficult task of convincing interested players that it was worth taking the leap into the next generation of consoles. It managed to do its job and then some, with a campaign that featured gorgeous, colorful environments and snappy shooting that took full advantage of the new DualShock 4 controller. Where Shadow: Fall excelled even more was in its competitive multiplayer, which focused more on coordination and team play than some of its competitors.
Read our full Killzone: Shadow Fall review
One of the most influential games of the decade, Blizzard’s Overwatch certainly didn’t invent the “hero shooter,” but it took the concept and polished it to a stunning sheen. With a growing cast of unique heroes that all play differently from one another, the amount of variety you can get in a standard multiplayer match is unparalleled, and seasonal events such as “Lucioball” offer fun twists on the traditional game mechanics. Overwatch has all the Blizzard charm we expected, but the way its classes all balance each other out to create a competitive team game blew us away.
Read our full Overwatch review
Respawn Entertainment’s original Titanfall was a terrific multiplayer game with an exciting mix of first-person shooting and mech-based combat, but it was light on content and didn’t offer a campaign mode. The studio addressed that fully in Titanfall 2, which delivered a time-traveling story with a surprising amount of heart and plenty of robot-destroying action.
Its competitive mode didn’t disappoint, either with a wide number of modes and a progression system that made your character feel important in every match. Sadly, its underwhelming sales may mean we never get a full sequel, but the Titanfall brand lives on.
Read our full Titanfall 2 review
Taking the Titans out of Titanfall and turning it into a battle royale game sounds like the most cynical thing an EA-owned studio could possibly do. Perhaps it is, but Respawn Entertainment somehow managed to make it the most engaging battle royale game yet.
Apex Legends is cut from the same cloth as Black Ops 4 or even PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but the ability to respawn and redeploy keeps players from getting too comfortable during late-game moments. It helps that it keeps Titanfall 2’s unmatched shooting, and gives players several heroes to choose from each round.
Read our full Apex Legends review
Sure, Battlefield V didn’t turn out the way players were hoping for, but 2016’s Battlefield 1 is a fantastic large-scale multiplayer shooter. With classic Battlefield destruction on enormous maps and multi-stage events putting a new twist on the series’ formula, Battlefield 1 feels like the next evolution of online multiplayer. It also offered a stronger campaign than its predecessors, telling lesser-known World War I tales in a “War Stories” mode that covers the war form several different nations’ perspectives.
Read our full Battlefield 1 review
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
No one was expecting 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order to be as thought-provoking and emotional as it was, but all eyes were on MachineGames to deliver in the sequel Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The studio somehow managed to top the previous game, moving the action to an alternate history version of the United States overtaken by the Nazis in the 1960s. It delivers multiple twists we weren’t expecting alongside all the fascist-killing action we were expecting, and it even incorporated clever side objectives for those looking to make the most of their time with it.
Read our full Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus review
Wolfenstein returned to PlayStation 4 as a story-driven, character-focused first-person shooter. Doom did not. For the reboot of its classic first-person shooter series, Id Software focused only on what truly matters in a Doom game – killing demons – and it paid off in a big way. Shotguns, rocket launchers, assault rifles, a chainsaw, and the classic “BFG” are all available to slaughter the hellspawn, and slaughter them you will. With gorgeous world design and grotesque monsters to fight, Doom is Id Software at its absolute best, and we can’t wait for Doom Eternal to take the action to Earth.
Read our full Doom review
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Whether Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is better than Black Ops 4 is still up for debate, but the newer game will always have the most active playerbase, making it an easy recommendation for most Call of Duty stans. Modern Warfare surprised players and critics this year by actually including a half-decent campaign mode, giving those lone wolves a reason to pick up this year’s iteration. What we lose by having a campaign, however, is the classic Zombies mode: though with a Battle Royale mode seemingly being patched in at a later date, there’s a chance the undead could come shuffling back yet. Either way, with a supposed 200 maps due to release over its lifespan, both single and multiplayer Call of Duty fanatics will find something to enjoy here.
Read our full Call of Duty: Modern Warfare review
After setting Metro 2033 and its sequel Metro: Last Light primarily in the titular subway system, 4A Games changed things up considerably. Metro Exodus is largely set outdoors, with protagonist Artyom and his companions attempting to find a safe haven after a nuclear apocalypse destroyed much of civilization.
Exodus doesn’t drop the series’ claustrophobic or horror-based elements, but the varied environments, expanded crafting and customization systems, and brilliant climax help to make it the best game in the series by a considerable margin.
Read our full Metro Exodus review
First-person shooters – especially those with single-player modes – tend to follow a similar “hide, shoot, and hide again” formula. No one told that to the creators of SUPERHOT, which turns shooting into a puzzle game by only making time move when you move.
Battles that seem impossible can be won by planning your every action ahead of time, after which the game lets you relive the glory with a full video replay. The hacker-centric story layered on top of the gameplay is equally brilliant, and you can spend much of your time just reading IRC messages instead of shooting bad guys.
Firewall: Zero Hour
PlayStation VR enthusiasts have limited options for competitive multiplayer games, but Firewall: Zero Hour has managed to impress tactical-minded shooter fans with its methodical and team-focused approach. Similar to Rainbow Six Siege but with you actually becoming an operator in the game.
Firewall is compatible with the PSVR’s Aim controller and features 3D audio. This makes the action feel more realistic than ever before, and you can choose between single-player, cooperative, or competitive game modes.
Rainbow Six Siege
Ubisoft canceled its ambitious Rainbow 6: Patriots, which would have focused on economic strife and the ugly side of capitalism, but the company didn’t leave the series in limbo. Instead, it created Rainbow Six Siege, a multiplayer-focused shooter with destructible environments that forces players to look in all directions as they pick off the enemy team one by one. Every shot matters, and with squads working together in unison, the joy of executing a winning strategy is immense. Of course, so is the pain of getting killed two seconds into a round.
Read our full Rainbow Six Siege review
Destiny felt like a half-baked game that could have used significantly more time in the oven, but Bungie didn’t make the same mistake twice with Destiny 2. A thrilling campaign with an imposing villain took players from Earth to Io, Titan, and Nessus, with tons of exciting set-piece moments and a thrilling final battle. Competitive play in the “Crucible” is among the best of any multiplayer shooter, and the game has only increased the amount of cooperative content you can enjoy since its launch in 2017.
Read our full Destiny 2 review
Finally released after what we’d say is the end of this console generation, Borderlands 3 didn’t exactly reignite the flames of passion surrounding the FPS genre, but its reluctance to change up the Borderlands formula was appreciated by the die-hard fans. If you like the loot shooter genre but can’t be doing with the online elements of The Division 2 or Destiny 2, Borderlands 3 might be what you’re looking for. It’s like if Michael Bay had directed Mad Max: Fury Road: it’s fast, everyone is out of their minds, but you can get the gist of the story while scrolling through Twitter during cutscenes.
Ratchet & Clank
Not quite a remake, but not quite not a remake, Ratchet & Clank managed to take the thrilling blend of third-person shooting and platforming from the original PS2 game and turn it into a wonderful PS4 exclusive. With a ton of silly and powerful weapons to choose from and a difficulty level appropriate for players of all skills, Ratchet & Clank is a wonderful introduction to the genre, and its writing will have you laughing out loud throughout.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
The last of Nathan Drake’s grand adventures, Uncharted 4 sends the treasure-hunting explorer out on one last job, this time accompanied by his brother. Darker than the first three games but still filled with banter and witty one-liners, Uncharted 4 is a fitting conclusion to Drake’s storyline, and it’s packed with gun battles against waves of baddies. Stealth attacks give you more options for how you engage, but things will still often come to all-out firefights.
Read our full Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End review
The Division 2
Building on the success of the original 2016 game, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is everything you could want in a sequel. Its progression system avoids forcing you to grind for levels. Its story missions offer varied environments and a fair challenge.
Its side content and competitive multiplayer give you plenty of reasons to walk off the beaten path. Aside from all of that, though, it just feels good, with realistic weaponry and abilities that force you to change up your tactics in the middle of fights.
Read our full The Division 2 review
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
If the violence of Call of Duty or Battlefield is too much for your younger shooter fans, they can still get a great multiplayer experience in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. With kill-based and objective-based game modes to choose from, Garden Warfare 2 delivers all the competitive multiplayer action you want with a healthy dose of goofiness.
All character classes from the first game can be imported into the sequel, and newcomers like “Kernel Corn” are incredibly fun. With wave-based cooperative modes and even a light story, it’s an underrated gem that is for more than just kids.
The most popular game on the planet right now, Fortnite found success for a reason. By taking the building mechanics of its “Save the World” mode and combining them with battle royale, Epic Games was able to create something more frenetic and fast-paced than any other game in the genre.
Its initial success wasn’t a fluke, as the company has consistently updated it with new weapons, areas, and activities. Fortnite has become some video game fans’ only game, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Read our full Fortnite review
Arcade and isometric shooters
An arcade shooter designed in collaboration with Robotron 2084 and Smash TV creator Eugene Jarvis, Housemarque’s Nex Machina is unapologetically old-school. Huge waves of enemies fire so many projectiles at you that you can barely see your own character, and must move with pinpoint accuracy in order to survive.
The voxel art gives a sense of depth to every location and enemy, and when you finally beat the final boss, it feels like you truly earned it. There are few modern games like Nex Machina, and that makes it impossible to pass up.
Part tactical isometric shooter and part Starship Troopers successor, Helldivers is a much slower shooter than most other games on our list. Either by yourself or with friends, you descend into hostile territory and defend yourself against bug-like creatures capable of killing you almost instantly. The game is unapologetically difficult and friendly fire is enabled, requiring that you and your teammates work in sync in order to escape with your lives.
If you’re sick to death of having a massive weapon taking up 30% of your screen, Resogun might be just up your alley. Fitting into the Arcade theme of Nex Machina, Resogun is like a throwback to those Flash-based mini-games you’d sneak on during class – unless you specifically came from the arcade age of the 80s, that is. Think of it as Defender meets Datastorm spruced up with bright neon graphics and you’ll be on the right lines. Its two post-release DLC packs, Defenders and Heroes, added a bunch of new modes over time – including couch co-op!
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