The Evolution of the First Person Shooter

Long before next gen first person shooters (FPS) like Halo Reach and COD Black Ops were tearing up the gaming charts, this now widely popular gaming genre was confined to PC gamers. Looking at the mind blowing graphics, in depth single player, and massive multiplayer modes, it’s quite interesting to look back at some of the games that truly pioneered the genre.

Here is a rough look at the evolution of the FPS genre, with a focus on games that changed the landscape forever.

Wolfenstein 3D
Wolfenstein 3D is the original first person shooter that tought us two things. First, killing Nazi’s was vogue well before Inglorious Basterds was unleashed. Second, this type of game can be a lot of fun to play.

A game that was as revolutionary as it was controversial. One of the earliest FPS games, and one that clearly popularized the genre. Without Doom it’s hard to imagine we would have many of the titles that follow on this list.

The successor to Doom, this game took the genre to new heights. The graphics were well ahead of the time, and subsequent releases of Quake were used as the engine for many games to follow.

Half Life
Another ground breaking release in the FPS genre. The game featured an incredibly in depth single player, and also housed an unbelievable multiplayer mode. The Half Life gaming engine was also responsible for awesome mods like Day of Defeat and Counter Strike.

Counter Strike
Built on the Half Life engine by the Half Life developers, Valve, this is one of the most popular PC games of all time, and it didn’t even feature a single player mode. The online multiplayer was ahead of its time, and really paved the way for how we play FPS games to this day.

Golden Eye
The game itself merits a place on any top FPS game list. But most importantly, it brought the FPS genre to the console, and therefore, the masses. Yes the single player was in depth and a lot of fun, but what everyone remembers is the 4 player death matches.

The original Halo is arguably as important as Golden Eye, especially with regards to console FPS gaming. With Xbox Live allowing players to partake in 16 player online matches, mass multiplayer gaming finally had found its way to the console. Without Halo, it’s hard to imagine seeing as many of the multiplayer focused FPS games available today.

What do you guys think? Does this cover it? Let me know if I’ve left any off in the comments…

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