When it comes to game genres, First Person Shooters (FPS) are one of the most loved. From the dystopian corridors of BioShock's subterranean 'paradise' to the Strogg-infested space stations found throughout the Quake franchise, have found countless ways to establish themselves as rich, enjoyable experiences, capturing the hearts and trigger fingers of gamers worldwide.
We updated this feature in August 2012. Check out our new piece: The 39 best ever first-person shooter games. See also: The 18 best role-playing games for iPhone and iPad
Even if it's just blasting away wave after wave of demons in Blood, or perhaps saving mankind from itself as you traverse Half-Life 2's City 17, the FPS genre has proven itself time and time again.
We've picked out the best of the best the shooters that made your jaw drop the moment you booted them up. So grab a med-kit, holster your rocket launcher, and join us as we take a look at the 28 must-have FPS Games!
Now read our controversial: 18 Worst Video games ever
28: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Why It's Great: Wolfenstein 3D was one of the founding fathers of the first person shooter genre and made it's re-introduction into modern gaming with the extraordinary Return to Castle Wolfenstein. There's not a whole lot more fun to kill than zombie-Nazis, and the game did it well with its wide variety of sieg heiling abominations. On top of the game's interesting foes, it also had one of the longest campaigns you'll come across in the FPS genre.
Why It's Great: Monolith's classic shooter caused quite the commotion as a group of angry parents campaigned against the 'bathtub of blood' marketing campaign. Thank goodness they never played this slaughterfest, because then they'd really have something to whine about. Blood lived up to its name by delivering buckets upon buckets of the titular crimson liquid as our hell-bound protagonist, Caleb, massacred wave after wave of demons in his quest for revenge.
While Blood won't win any originality points for its Evil Dead-inspired story, the action was incredibly satisfying. The single-player mode is a modern upgrade on the Doom formula - monster closets, card keys, and simplistic scenarios - but the bountiful horror film references and sly humor kept us playing. The real draw was the multiplayer mode, in which players fired flare pistols, Tommy guns, and Tesla rifles at each other in some of the best deathmatch action since, well, Doom.
26: Tribes 2
Why It's Great: The first two Tribes games practically invented modern online shooters such as Halo 3 and Team Fortress 2. Tribes 2 is a prime example of community gaming done right, with a simply astonishing multiplayer dynamic met with stunning and creative level designs to explore on foot, via jetpack, or while piloting an array of driveable vehicles. From Capture the Flag rounds, a stellar Siege mode, and good old fashioned 50+ player deathmatch, Tribes 2 was a landmark for online gaming, and still remains one of the most inventive (and addictive) shooters out there. A truly innovative game that is still highly regarded among hardcore shooter fans.
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- The best first person shooter experiences you'll ever have
- Turok 2: Seeds of Evil and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
- TimeSplitters: Future Perfect and Counter-Strike: Source
- Battlefield 1942 and Far Cry
- Perfect Dark and Crysis
- F.E.A.R. and System Shock II
- Duke Nukem 3D and Quake II
- Our top three must have games