2010 is arguably one of the best years that gaming has to offer. And while the year was filled with great titles from genres as diverse as RPGs and action games, the FPS genre was where it truly shined. Without ado, here are ten of the best first person shooters of 2010.
#10 S.T.A.L.K.E.R – Call of Pripyat – PC
The game takes place straight after the end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, where the government is investigating the cause of a failed operation. The player takes control of Alexander Degtyarev, a security service agent, who is sent into the zone to investigate the crash sites. The atmosphere of the game is absolutely fantastic and someone familiar with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series might enjoy it even more. In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – COP, Stalkers wander the zones searching for artifacts, loot and firefights. There are some side-quests too apart from the main story. To sum it all up, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Call of Pripyat is a powerful, harrowing experience.
#9 Medal of Honor – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Undeniably overshadowed by the release of Activision's Black Ops, Medal of Honor manages to hold it's own in terms of multiplayer, where it arguably excels over it's competitor due to its superior game modes and better networking code–at least on the PC.
The single player campaign takes place in Afghanistan, shortly after the US invasion. You participate in the events that unfold and perceive them through the eyes of multiple operatives during the mission which spans over a 24-hour period. Unfortunately, the campaign is very short, offering little more than a taste of the game, with very little variety in comparison to Black Ops. Still, if you're in the market for a good multiplayer game, Medal of Honor is hard to pass on.
#8 MAG – PS3
It's hard to pass up on a game that offers 256-player action. Exclusive to the PlayStation 3, MAG is the console's answer to the Battlefield games. It's basically PlanetSide done right, or what Battlefield 2 would be like if you combined 8 servers together and had players (grouped into squads) team up to take objectives throughout the map. Territory is gained and bases are won and the battlefield remains dynamic as the game's three sides wage all out war against each other.
The graphics might not be much to look at, but for a game that offers this much action, I don't really mind.
#7 Fallout New Vegas – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
You were dead, but you got better. Your head feels like hell and someone needs to pay. Enter Fallout: New Vegas, the latest iteration in the Fallout series and in the opinion of hardcore fans, the true successor to the series.
Set in the Mojave Desert, Fallout: New Vegas follows the events of Fallout 2. The New California Republic has expanded its borders to the north and is encountering resistance from a Roman-styled army called Caesar's Legion. As a courier trying to make a living in the wasteland, you stand directly in the middle of the warpath.
Staying true to form, New Vegas takes everything good about the previous Fallout games and delivers a solid experience as both an FPS and an RPG.
#6 Metro 2033 – PC, Xbox 360
Although not exceptionally good at being a shooter, Metro 2033 excels at creating an enthralling, post-apocalyptic setting. The game takes place in Moscow, where war has all but decimated the world's population and its survivors seek refuge within Moscow's subway stations amidst the ruins of old, but still functioning electric trains. They hide not only from the elements, but from the beasts who now roam the world outside. After the bombs fell, strange creatures emerged to feed on those unlucky enough to be outside. And now, those creatures threaten to overrun the stations for reasons beyond anyone's ken.
That's where you come in. You're one of the guys unlucky enough to be picked to take on the enormous task of getting reinforcements from one of the larger stations after your station is nearly overrun, so you set out along the train tracks. But things gets complicated in a bad way when your cart is attacked by creatures and you are the only survivor. Things get only weirder after that.
#5 Bioshock 2 – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Bioshock 2 is a return to the underwater city of Rapture. Taking place ten years after the events of the first game, a collectivist cult lead by the enigmatic Sophia Lamb consumes the city’s inhabitants, left lost and astray after the death of Andrew Ryan. The Rapture Family, as it’s called, fills a niche in the hearts and minds of many.
You play the role of a sentient Big Daddy whose Little Sister Eleanor (whom you regard as your daughter, really) was taken away from you by Sophia Lamb. Finding yourself awake once more, you wakl through the city of Rapture in its dilapidated state on a mission to rescue Eleanor. Along the way, you discover the identity you lost and recover the humanity that was stripped from you when you were forcibly made into a monstrosity.
Bioshock 2 is a story of what it means to be a father, and what it means to be human.
#4 GoldenEye 007 – Wii
Remake of probably one of the best console shooter of all time, GoldenEye 007 allows players to channel Daniel Craig’s lethal and gritty James Bond in an innovative, modern take on the legendary Bond adventure, GoldenEye. Blending fast-paced first-person shooter (FPS) action with covert gameplay, GoldenEye 007 epitomizes the modern "thinking man's shooter" by offering varied ways to complete each mission, destructible environments, the use of cover and multiple control scheme options, including the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Classic Controller Pro and the Wii Zapper.
#3 Halo Reach – Xbox 360
Halo: Reach is a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, taking place a few weeks before the events of the original game (which is currently rumored to be in development with the Reach engine). The game takes place aboard the colony of Reach where the UNSC is fighting a losing battle against the Covenant. Taking control of Noble Six, an elite member of the Spartans, you have to participate in a war that’s ultimately futile.
The gameplay is a lot closer to the original Halo game than later titles in the series. With the addition of jetpacks, the game also shares some similarity to the Tribes series.
Halo: Reach is an unmissable chapter in the Halo series and any fan of the game should pick this up.
#2 Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
One of the best multiplayer games this year, Bad Company 2 offers blistering online action for up to 32 players on the PC and 24 on the consoles with large, destructible maps and vehicles. Gameplay between friends and formal gaming communities can be very tactical compared to public games, which tend to be a crapshoot by contrast. While not as big as the regular Battlefield games, Bad Company 2 excels as a fast paced online shooter without sacrificing the strategic and tactical elements of the original games.
Bad Company 2 also comes with an offline single player mode that features the cast of the previous Bad Company game and their hilarious antics. The only problem with it is that unlike the multiplayer mode, it's not very well polished and feels more like it was tacked onto the multiplayer game, where Bad Company 2 truly shines.
#1 Call of Duty: Black Ops – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Black Ops, the latest title in the popular Call of Duty series is also arguably its best. You’re Mason, a Black Ops operator for the US Government, and you’re strapped in a chair as a man behind a glass calls out your name and tortures you in an effort to get you to tell him what you know about who you are, and what you’ve done.
You relive a decade of Mason’s life through flashbacks as you move through the streets of Cuba, escape a Russian gulag, and fight your way through the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia during the war–all in an effort to discover the truth about yourself.
It’s a surreal, but entirely visceral first person shooter experience that leaves almost every other FPS released this year in the dust. Not only is it awesome to play, it also tells a damn good story.