The FPS video game genre first gained popularity with gamers back in 1993 thanks to the release of Doom, which is the game many credit with creating the genre in the first place. These days, the FPS genre could very well be the most popular, if not the most played video game genre on the planet, which is thanks to the likes of the Counter Strike, Halo, and Call of Duty franchises, all of which still have rabidly loyal fan bases.
Unfortunately, not all FPS titles feature narratives that are worth writing home about, or manage to further coax you into learning more about the game’s world and characters, because quite frankly, a FPS game can still be highly popular with a crap story thanks to the multiplayer modes they feature. With that being said there are definitely more than a few FPS video games that not only managed to offer kick-ass gameplay, but also contained a narrative that further engrossed you in their worlds and lore. These types of FPS games are often a rare breed, but they do exist, so I decided to rank ten of the best FPS video game narratives to guide you towards a few shooter-centric games that offer more than just endless bullets and canon fodder to place them into.
Head on down below to see which game took the top spot, and as always, feel free to shred my choices in the comment section to let me know the errors of my ways!
Please note that there will be spoilers, so proceed at your own risk!
10) Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3’s narrative shines thanks to Vaas, one of the game’s antagonists, as well as the growth the lead character Jason Brody experiences. Jason watches his older brother die, and his friends being taken captive by a demented group of pirates led by Vaas, who to this day is still one of the most intriguingly wicked video game antagonists around, which forces him to embrace his inner warrior and become the man he never thought he could be. The gameplay was addicting, but so was finding out what would happen to Jason and his friends, which helped to carry you through the game’s extensive single player campaign.
9) Resistance 2
The first Resistance game helped to setup the franchise, which featured an alternate take on 1950’s history starring Nathan Hale as humanity’s last hope against the Chimeran threat. The sequel on the other hand helped to flesh out the world and ancillary characters while also building upon the lore of Hale and his ability to harness Chimeran powers. The second Resistance offered various locations with Hollywood-sized skirmishes, and even bigger boss battles, all while keeping players curious about the Chimerans, as well as how Nathan Hale would fair considering he had been infected by their evil beetles of death in the original. It’s just solid sci-fi storytelling from top to bottom.
8) Killzone 2
Killzone 2 continues the story of the original but ends with a cliffhanger in a similar fashion to how other middle entries in a trilogy do by leaving you somewhat satisfied with how the entry played out, but ultimately wanting more in the inevitable follow up title. The Killzone franchise in general offers an enticing futuristic sci-fi tale, but the second entry still stands out amongst the pack as the best. The huge action set pieces and political intrigue drive Sev’s mission to take down the Helghan Emperor, but just when you think he has him beat Rico goes and makes him a martyr by blowing his brains out, which in turn leads the Helghan people to fight even harder against the invading Vektan forces, effectively setting up the plot of the third Killzone game.
Side note: Killzone 2 also has one of the best soundtracks for a FPS title, especially the violin heavy main menu music, which still resonates with me today.
7) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Infinity Ward effectively launched the Call of Duty multiplayer craze that still exists today with COD 4, but it also had a really kick ass single player campaign, that still is the best one to be featured in the franchise. There was just something memorable about the cast of characters and their backstories that made them and their mission endearing. The use of a flashback to flesh out Captain Price’s history is easily the most memorable mission of the game, and one of the best, if not the best mission to ever grace a COD title. Soap, the main character you control, is also quite likable and heroic, which is why he went on to star in the follow up Modern Warfare titles along with the likes of Price and Ghost. COD 4 may have just been another terrorist versus the world plot, but the way it was presented and the characters it contained make it a stand out effort, and still the best COD narrative to date.