Not really the games I would choose for my top 10, but hey, I always enjoy top 10 countdowns and I thought there was some decent choices here.
I kind of realized that I never mentioned much of my favorite fps era. I do believe if you been keeping track on my blog posts, you can tell what kind of first-person shooters I grew up on. I’m a ’90s kid, so without a doubt, my favorite FPS era are the ones from the ’90s. It’s not just first-person shooters in general back in that era, but mostly the PC-based first-person shooters because most of them still holds up very well to this day and age. I can’t really say much for the console side. Not only that, I was more of a PC gamer back at that time unlike today’s times, I generally do prefer to play on my Xbox One for the latest and greatest video games, but I still enjoy gaming on the PC for sure since that is where I came from. I’m just more of a hybrid of a console and PC gamer nowadays I guess.
The ’90s first-person shooters were just amazing. Many of them are well designed and not only that, it was the time where first-person shooters was born. Wolfenstein 3D is generally regarded to be the first first-person shooter ever created and it was released back in 1992. There were older games that can be debatable where Wolfenstein 3D‘s credibility might not be as credible as it should, but I think the popularity and success of Wolfenstein 3D does maintain its credibility. Since the ’90s was a time where first-person shooters were born, there were so much ideas that the developers could play around.
There were many games that just had its own personality and style. From Doom‘s demon slaughtering to Quake 3‘s frantic arena styled multiplayer to Marathon‘s story driven campaign. I also just loved how a lot of these games were fast paced and just those games that makes you feel good when you’re playing good. I do get that sense of feeling of playing modern shooters too, but it’s just not the same. It’s just that arcadey element that the ’90s shooters have which just makes it so satisfying to play. It’s just one of those moments that’s really hard to explain, but you’ll get it when you play it.
I also believe it’s the quality too. I think when people think about masterpieces or classic first-person shooters, they think of games like Half-Life, Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, and many more. All of these games are from the ’90s! I will admit. There are some beloved ’90s first-person shooters where gamers and critics enjoy, but I never really got into. With that mentioned, there’s a lot of them I truly admire and I always mention them in my blog posts for a reason. I did make a blog post about my favorite first-person shooter sequel and I chose three games. Those three games were from the ’90s by the ways.
Another thing why I love the ’90s fps era was because my favorite video game developer, id Software, was at their peak during that time. They were releasing classics after classics, and I don’t think there will ever be a video game developer with that many quality games in their catalog. Those games weren’t just industry defining or they spawn legions of imitators, but most of them holds up very well. Sorry Wolfenstein 3D, I do feel like you do show your age compared to Doom or Quake.
Speaking of holding up the times, I did stated most of the first-person shooters I enjoy were predominantly the PC-based titles. Most of these games are still great to this day due to the level design, the fun factor, the core design where it’s more faster paced and over the top compared to modern shooters where they try to be focus more on a sense of realism. I also do like how there wasn’t so much hand holding which does kind of annoying me in today’s games since I do like playing games that respects your intelligence. I just find a lot of the console shooters at that time like Goldeneye 007 just doesn’t hold up where the controls ere just not that great. I just didn’t like playing first-person shooters with that thing and those games can have some very vague objectives where it can be frustrating to get lost and the frustration only grows when you have to beat a mission without dying.
And there you go. My favorite era of first-person shooters are from the ’90s. As much I have a lot of nostalgia for these kinds of games and I do miss those days because it was always interesting to see developers trying to figure out what they can do to push the first-person shooter boundary even further. I believe nowadays it’s more about trying to make your first-person shooter popular or try to attract an established first-person shooter audience which was also a thing back then. But I think there was also a lot of emphasis on trying to set standards or set a new procedure for upcoming first-person shooters.
I am proud I grew up playing these games, but I am also looking forward to the future of first-person shooters and I’m sure there will always be a game that’s going to interest me whether it’s a sequel of an old series or a brand new IP. It’s all about the design that matters and there’s always many different kinds of good game design you can tackle to make a great game. It doesn’t always have to follow the ’90s design philosophy.