The state of the FPS games seems to be in constant flux, with certain titles revitalizing the genre while others simply launch bugs and all. It seems only fitting then that in a time of uncertainty that many players would go back to the games they know. While plenty of older titles in the genre tend to get left by the wayside, there are still plenty of fantastic FPS titles that still hold up today with some being even better than you remember.
From the local co-op legend GoldenEye to the critically acclaimed Half-Life, there were plenty of FPS titles that launched in the 1990s that are still worth your time. Fortunately for you, these legendary and genre-defining titles are still available for purchase on sites like Steam, so there's no reason why you shouldn't go back and play them.
9 GoldenEye (1997)
As developers' love for local co-op seems to dwindle, it is hard not to think back to the glory days when playing with friends on your couch was a regular occurrence. GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 was a landmark title in the FPS genre as it not only had one of the greatest James Bond video game narratives but also revolutionized the local co-op landscape.
While many players will have fond memories of playing GoldenEye with their friends, this beloved title is remembered for so much more. It changed the way that many people perceived the genre and introduced new and fresh mechanics that would pave the way for future developers. GoldenEye absolutely still holds up today as both a piece of history and an extremely fun time.
8 Unreal Tournament (1999)
Like a lot of the seminal games from the '90s, Unreal Tournament truly shifted people's perspectives on multiplayer gaming. It was a ground-breaking title, introducing online and local co-op multiplayer. There were also bots to play against, which are incredibly well-programmed, but against others is where it truly shines.
Unreal Tournament was a great-looking game for its time, and while the visuals certainly look dated, its aesthetic absolutely holds up. This is a game that is as fun today as it was back when it was released and is proof of a franchise that truly understood how to implement multiplayer with others and with bots.
7 Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 (1997)
While the first Dark Forces game should absolutely be considered more than just Doom with Stormtroopers, the second nevertheless improved upon it significantly. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 was – and perhaps always will be – the pinnacle of Star Wars FPS games.
Its full-motion video cutscenes coupled with its expansive levels, detailed lore, and interesting characters make for a truly exhilarating time in the deeply compelling Star Wars universe. It is still worth playing today – if only to experience its engaging narrative – as it absolutely holds up.
6 Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
It would be hard to talk about seminal FPS games from the 90s without discussing the legendary Wolfenstein 3D. While video games have moved on substantially since its launch many decades ago, they still feature a lot of the same mechanics Wolfenstein 3D popularised way back when.
Wolfenstein 3D is playable in a number of ways, including within other, more contemporary, Wolfenstein games. While it suffers from a lot of archaic gameplay decisions, it still feels like the same brilliantly bizarre shooter it was all those years ago. If anything, it is incredibly enjoyable to see just how much it inspired several generations of video game history.
5 Space Hulk (1993)
Space Hulk may not be as fondly remembered as other FPS titles from this time, but it is certainly one of the most unique. Based on the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Space Hulk saw you battle through darkened corridors against the Genestealers. However, unlike other FPS games of the time, Space Hulk had a much larger focus on strategy and tactics as well as horror and atmosphere.
While Space Hulk has since been remade as both an FPS title and a strategy game, the original still holds up today as being an extremely fun albeit incredibly challenging experience. It perfectly captures the atmosphere and intensity of the game's universe, and its limited sprite work makes it that much more terrifying. Space Hulk is still absolutely worth trying, even to this day.
4 Team Fortress Classic (1999)
Team Fortress Classic, or simply Team Fortress as it was known at the time, is the precursor to the multiplayer phenomenon Team Fortress 2. While it certainly lacks the bells and whistles that make its sequel so memorable and enjoyable, it's a video game that still holds up today.
Even by playing just one game of Team Fortress Classic, you'll get to see how much of its sequel's award-winning DNA is present. The classes remain mostly the same and the gameplay is never too dissimilar. However, Team Fortress Classic is a lot more than a mere memory. It is a game that remains beloved to this day and is still played by a large portion of players. It is absolutely worth picking up and giving a go as it is by far one of the best shooters of the past few decades.
3 Doom (1993)
There is a very good chance that Doom will be forever remembered as the ultimate FPS game. It serves as the template for practically every FPS you've ever played and remains one of the most consistent and thoroughly enjoyable video game franchises to date. Its popularity is so great that it has been ported to practically every console under the sun, including the Nintendo Switch.
You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who plays video games who hasn't heard of the seminal title Doom. Its simplistic controls coupled with its iconic weapons, phenomenal level design, and fast pace make it an approachable yet challenging experience from start to finish. Playing the original Doom now is arguably just as fun as playing modern Doom titles.
2 Alien Vs Predator (1994)
Before 2004's somewhat iconic film and 2010's mediocre video game, there was Alien Vs Predator 1994. This unique FPS title allowed you to play through three different campaigns as either the Alien, the Predator, or a Colonial Marine. Each character played differently and had varying abilities to make them stand out. This premise would then, of course, carry over into subsequent Alien Vs Predator titles.
While slightly archaic in certain aspects, the original Alien Vs Predator FPS title still manages to capture the aesthetic, atmosphere, and feel of the original films. It is still unbelievably terrifying to be chased down by a Xenomorph in the 1994 version as it is in any subsequent titles. This is absolutely a video game worth revisiting, especially if you're a fan of the films.
1 Half-Life (1998)
Valve seemed to have quite a good decade in the '90s as they released both the iconic Team Fortress and the legendary Half-Life. Released towards the end of the decade, Half-Life now still serves as the foundation and template for narrative-based FPS games. Its phenomenal level design, compelling narrative and stoic silent protagonist can be seen replicated hundreds of times across video game history.
Half-Life is easily one of the most playable games from the '90s as its design philosophy doesn't feel all too dissimilar to developers' approaches to video game design now. It is also a game that has been remade and modded so many times that there are dozens of versions of this unique and memorable shooter.
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