There are so many First Person Shooter's out there today that it’s sometimes hard to tell which one is better than the other. Is it the graphics, the game play, or the guns? Perhaps it is a combination of three? So many games, yet 90% of them are very similar to each other. What are the ones that Stand-Out? Which ones are the leaders and not the followers? The ones that changed how we played them, that were different. Here are the games that I believe, revolutionized the First Person Shooter genre the most.

This is the game that pushed the limits to how big a level can be. There are some fantastic levels in the game, the best being where you island hop via boat, or hang-glider. Plus, its really the only game I've played where you can truely jump in and drive any vehicle on the map.

The game that made the Squad-based shooter sub-genre. Elements of this game are seen in Ghost Recon, Rebublic Commando, Swat 3 and 4, and in its own sequels. Plus, the fact that you must plan an assualt route before each level makes it one-of-a-kind. Whats this? A First Person shooter that makes you think?

While I played the PC version, it is the Xbox version that deserves the credit. This is the game that put FPS's on the console. Sure, Red Faction came out on PS2 before this game, but while Red Faction was good, this game is great. Its got solid level design and AI, cool enemy's and a killer Plot. This game did more than put Xbox on the map; it opened the door for FPS's on the consoles.

This game did two things. First, it was the first FPS style game that people were scared to play, including me. Second, it started what will later become the FPS/RPG hybrid genre. Thats right, this game had the simple game play of an FPS, yet the deep complexity of an RPG. You could replay the game but upgrading your skills a different way, picking a different weapon, or choosing a different class. This game has paved the way for a whole new style of FPS's.

Its hard to believe that when this game came out it was all about the graphics. Yes, the unreal engine turned out some great games, but the real thing this game did was it told a decent story. It wasn't like Doom where your a Marine, your buddy's all died, its time to kick some butt. The story actually meant something here, and you had an ultimate goal, to get the hell off the planet you crashed on. Plus, unlike Doom and Duke Nukem, you didn't play the game in episodes, it was one whole game and that's it.

To sum it up in one word: Multiplayer. Yes, this is the game that put Multiplayer First Person Shooters on the map and other genres as well. Death match was created with this game. Sure, other games do it better, but hey, next year this game will be a decade old. Not only that, this game opened up the doors for the MOD community. Do a Google search for Quake mods, you will be surprised.

Words can't describe the beauty of this game. While System Shock 2 started the FPS/RPG hybrid genre, this is the game that pushed it to new limits, and made the world realize that the FPS and RPG make a good combination. On top of the various Augs and skills to choose from, you have multiple solutions to each problem. Usually the solution you choose is dependent on how you advance your character. Each time you play the game it is different, even if selecting a different answer to a question. Plus, an FPS that promotes sneaking around, an element first seen in Thief, which was made by the same team.

This is the game that started it all. This is the Mario Brothers of the genre, the VERY first FPS. You have 4 different guns, and about 5 different enemies. The graphics push the limits of the...well...the 386. There were a grand total of 6 episodes with 9 levels each. Each episode had a secret level, and a unique boss. Plus each had a small back story, of what it was. Shoot the guards, find the key, shoot more guards, open the door, go to the next level and do it all again.

Where Wolfenstein left off, Doom took over. Doom pushed the genre into new directions, mainly in level design and graphics. More types of enemies than just guards, more variety in the levels than just rooms with blue doors. Not to mention a whole new set of weapons to choose from, including the chainsaw and the infamous BFG.

To sum up, this game did just about everything differently. The game never cuts away to change a level, or play a cut scene, everything is done as you are playing. The first 10 minuets of the game is just you exploring, you don't even have a weapon. This is the first game where you have NPC's that actually help you, whether is Barney watching your back, or a scientist who opens up a door for you. The game also implemented a new set of physics, like the duck-jump. It's an FPS that will require a little amount of problem solving skills. Those are just a few of the things that this game did to push the genre in new directions. It’s still the FPS that all others strive to be.

I don't really like any one of these game better than the other, but these are the games that I believe stand out. Each one of these games changed the FPS Genre one way or another. These are the games that others compare themselves to, and strive to be just like them. Since Wolfenstein came out in 1992, there have been many changes to the genre. These are the games that made those changes.

List by JW ACE (11/10/2005)

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