It is easy to think of classic multiplayer games and modes when we remember first person shooter or first person shooters (FPS), but the genre is full of captivating single player campaigns with memorable stories.
From the ends of the galaxy to the literal pits of hell – and anywhere in between – these are the best FPS campaigns ever. Or at least our favorites, of course.
10: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty emerged to tackle the genre’s dominant series in the early 2000s, Medal of Honor, but was transformed into Activision’s billion-dollar baby in 2007 thanks to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The single player campaign mode of this game became the model to follow for action game campaigns from then on, and with good reason.
The story of Modern Warfare progresses at a furious pace, in a tremendously entertaining journey from start to finish, with some of the most memorable levels in the entire franchise.
Typically, Call of Duty campaigns throughout its history range from fantastic to forgettable at best, but it’s hard not to see the one in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as the one in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. best of all of them.
9: Halo 3
Halo 3 allowed players to reach the end of the trilogy with an exciting conclusion. Ending Halo 2’s double-sided campaign, Halo 3 proposes Bungie’s signature top-tier shootouts in a series of missions. His campaign is able to deftly move between small-scale fights and larger areas, always maintaining tension and excitement. We also add the exciting missions with vehicles. It was very difficult to keep up after two incredible games, but Halo 3 lands with the same force as a plasma grenade on a Grunt.
8: Doom Eternal
Doom Eternal took everything that made Doom’s 2016 revival incredible and added many more factors to the demonic equation. His speed and insane fighting don’t leave a single second of rest. Doom Eternal looks like a musical game that rewards you for executing all the right moves at the right time. His story goes a bit unnoticed by being buried between audio and text records, but don’t let that stop you. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-packed 10-15 hour campaign with an impressive level design (with a spectacular soundtrack), look no further: Doom Eternal.
From its very first minutes, BioShock knows how to signal that a memorable trip awaits you … even if that trip begins with a plane crash. There is no shortage of spectacular sequences with one of the most memorable stories in video game history. And with one of the most famous twists too. BioShock is a game made up of beautifully orchestrated and shocking moments.
The game mixes and matches different weapon types, ensuring that enemy encounters are always different. Its incredible retro-futuristic design sensibility and mysterious narrative are just a few of the factors that make it one of the best FPS campaigns in history. Before it was a masterpiece and now it still is.
6: Halo: Combat Evolved
When Halo: Combat Evolved launched in 2001, the Master Chief seemed poised to take his place alongside other faceless action heroes of the ’80s and’ 90s. But Halo quickly revealed a universe of incredible ambition, representing a massive war. between humans, religious fanatics and a plague that destroys the known civilization. The original campaign took players through a beautiful and mysterious world, forgoing moldy browns and gray color palettes of the past in favor of greens, neon purples, and blue skies. This epic sci-fi work from Bungie was a hit with good reason. With Halo: Combat Evolved, the studio not only revolutionized FPS, it laid the cornerstone with which it built one of the most ambitious and enduring space operas in the history of the medium.
5: Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus is the crème de la crème of neck-crushing and Nazi slaughter, and is one of the most magnificent single-player shooter games ever. Continuing the events of The Old Blood and The New Order, The New Colossus moves the action to the Nazi-occupied United States of America, where BJ Blazkowicz and his loyal band of thugs are waging a bloody war against their oppressors. However, Blazkowicz and his team cannot do it all alone, so they recruit a group of revolutionaries and hatch a plan that leads them from the ruins of New York to the ghettos of New Orleans, even to BJ’s hometown in Mesquite, Texas … and beyond.
4: Doom (1993)
Without the original Doom, this list wouldn’t even exist. He’s everyone’s granddaddy, being so revolutionary in 1993 that he created a series of copycats called “Doom Clones,” and he continues to inspire modern games as well. We recently did a very interesting review of the origins and history of id Software, in case you want to take a look. But historical significance aside, it’s still fun as, forgive us, hell. It’s fast, frenetic, controls like a dream, and despite not being in “real” 3D, it has an incredible atmosphere with a soundtrack that is still instantly recognizable. Doom noted for having one of the best weapon collections ever wielded in a first-person shooter game, but is equally revered for its level design, which combines mazes and demonic imagery to create maps that are still enjoyable (and full of! secrets!) to this day.
3: Half-Life: Alyx
No, it’s not Half-Life 3, and yes, it’s VR only, but Half-Life: Alyx is even better for both. Alyx resurrects one of the biggest and most revered franchises in games, fusing virtual reality game design with the superb Source 2.0 game engine and room-scale interaction to create a slower but more intimate Half-Life experience. terrifying. The way the guns fire and reload is specifically designed for virtual reality in a way that is impossible to recreate on a 2D screen. So are the riddles. So are combat encounters. It really is the arrival that virtual reality games have been waiting for, and then there is their story. The less said, the better, because when you get to the end you will face one of the best moments in the history of video games. But what you learn along the way is also completely fascinating, proving that Valve hasn’t lost its weight in storytelling since Half-Life 2. Simply put, Half-Life: Alyx is a worthy return to Half-Life and becomes the pinnacle of virtual reality games so far. Alyx is both a modern masterpiece and the virtual reality game we’ve been waiting for our entire lives.
2: Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 has one of the best FPS campaigns ever and was very well received after the first Titanfall lacked any kind of single player story. It is set in the universe that created the original game, but it is captivating on its own. Following pilot Jack Cooper and his titan, BT, Titanfall 2’s campaign is relatively short with a record of between five and seven hours, but Respawn makes the best use of that short window we’ve ever seen.
Each chapter of the campaign seems to outdo the last, as Titanfall 2 constantly tests your mettle and finds new ways to mix its excellent shooting and movement mechanics. It tempts so many surprises that we better shut up. Suffice it to say, it’s an excellent example of an unquestionable quality FPS campaign and should be remembered forever.
1: Half-Life 2
Topping our list is a game that not only changed the way we understand FPS campaigns, but also the way we interact with video games in general. Half-Life 2 and its episodic expansions were revolutionary at the time, and continue to be today. From the oppressive atmosphere of City 17 to the gravity-defying physics puzzles, Half-Life 2’s influence can be felt in countless later games. But it hasn’t earned first place solely because of its impact on the industry. Simply put, Half-Life 2 is a lot of fun. The story it tells feels massive and intimate at the same time, and the encounters range from the cleverest raw emotion to the most terrifying phases. The alien weaponry it puts at your fingertips to deal with those obstacles is satisfying and powerful, particularly the iconic gravity pistol, such a great weapon that we still wish it was in almost every shooting game we’ve played since.
Half-Life 2 is truly extraordinary. It’s not without its flaws, like every other game on the list, but it’s one where the overall experience far outweighs any little missteps. It’s a fascinating world with such clever ideas that we keep begging for more. Half-Life Alyx has given us hope and we can’t wait to see where the Half-Life franchise is headed, but until then, Half-Life 2 will remain a absolute masterpiece.
And so far our selection for the best FPS campaigns in the history of video games. Have you tried all of them? Any notable absence?