The first-person shooter is not going anywhere. In fact, if it’s going anywhere, it’s going forward. The FPS remains the most popular genre on both the PC and console platforms, with games like Valorant, Apex Legends, CS:GO, consistently remaining at the top of the charts. Nothing is going to change and that’s the way we like it.
Current and upcoming shooters promise to deliver fast-paced action-packed fun, by allowing players to both compete and cooperate with one another in mostly online experiences. The single-player games on this list are nothing to shrug at either, by offering immersive open-world environments and brilliantly crafted stories, games like Deathloop and the upcoming S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will provide endless hours of bulletproof entertainment.
Several games on the list are long-time staples for die-hard gamers, but many are set in brand new worlds, never before traversed — offering players the weapons and means to wreak first-person carnage on the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 5.
The Battlefield series has been a staple of online first-person shooters for nearly two decades, offering players the means to go to war in wide-open battlefields with up to 128 players. Offering a multitude of customizable military hardware, weapons, and vehicles, including helicopters and aircraft, the Battlefield series is true to its name and sets itself apart from close-quarters combat offered by other major titles.
The Battlefield 2042 experience takes place in the near future, as the name implies, as the world is ripped asunder by climate change — effects of which are very much present on the map. This time around, players have the means to choose specialist characters and customize them even further with weapons and skillsets, and deploy to numerous battlefields around the world as NoPats, Americans, and Russians.
The maps are fully interactive, offering immersive weather and climate change effects that impact gameplay.
Call of Duty: Vanguard
Call of Duty Vanguard offers character and flair to a stylistic return to the Second World War, featuring a meaty single-player campaign and a host of multiplayer options, including a return of Call of Duty Zombies.
This time around the story is set to take place around four different areas (the Eastern front, Western front, Pacific front, and North Africa,) with a cast of special forces characters that will also serve as the playable characters in the game’s full-fledged multiplayer mode, which has been the go-to for Call of Duty players.
With its World War II setting, Vanguard promises a return to the game’s historic roots without the arguably characterless feel of Call of Duty: WWII.
Dying Light 2
Set twenty years after the events of the first Dying Light, which saw the fall of Harran to a zombie apocalypse, the rest of the world has followed suit, and now –The City — one of the last large remaining human settlements, is the stage for an all-new Dying Light experience.
The game builds on much of the aspects that made the first game great: the movement mechanics, freerunning parkour, and brutal melee combat help to set Dying Light 2 apart from the rest of the genre. Coupled with a living and immersive story, players must now make decisions that will determine the future of mankind as they make their way across the rooftops and streets as they deal with its factions and find themselves embroiled in local if often violent politics of the City.
More than just a single-player experience, Dying Light 2 offers a co-op experience with up to four players and a full-fledged night and day cycle that calls on players to plan out their trips and set up traps to deal with the monsters that only come out at night.
Far Cry 6
With the ongoing strife in communist Cuba and Venezuela in the current year, Far Cry 6 offers a look at what a revolution by the people might look like if they sought to overthrow a dictatorship in an island nation run by a brutal despot played by Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito in his characteristic mild-mannered self.
Players take on the role of a survivor of a massacre who takes up arms in a guerilla war to retake the island nation. As with previous Far Cry titles, Far Cry 6 is an open-world experience where players can load up with all manner of firearms, explosives, and vehicles and take the fight all the way to the top.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl
This much-awaited sequel to the 2009’s STALKER: Call of Pripyat and the titles before it has been a long-time coming from the Ukraine-based developer GSC Game World. Designed as an immersive sim as much as a first-person shooter, STALKER 2 offers a blend of horror with mutants and anomalies with intelligent soldiers and Gopnik-style bandits.
In preparation for playing the title, we heartily recommend playing the earlier games, which have an active and lively modding community.
Ghostwire Tokyo offers a mix of horror archetypes steeped in Japanese mythology with traditional Kuji-kiri hand gestures making up the game’s combat system. Instead of simple guns as many games offer, Ghostwire focuses on traditional Japanese supernatural abilities as players perform intricate gestures as extensions of their fighting capabilities.
The developers describe wanting the player to feel like a “badass, spell-casting, high-tech ninja exorcist defeating countless evil spirits.” What’s not to like about that?
Back 4 Blood
Back 4 Blood is the spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead. Made by the same creators, Back 4 Blood takes zombie-killing to the next level as survivors take the fight back to the zombie hordes in a series of lengthy campaigns split between multiple levels. The game features a rich host of player characters, each with their own individual personalities, abilities, and backstory.
More than just a straight up shooter, players can unlock new cards to unlock special abilities, bonuses and modifiers to alter their experience every time they go out on a mission.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
Players of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six are no strangers to co-op missions, which have appeared time and again as limited events, often to the chagrin of players who want more of an experience outside of the usual team-versus-team tactical shooter experience offered by the base game.
To that end, Rainbow Six Extraction offers a fix for those wanting a tactical co-op experience replete with Aliens vs. Predator-esque scenarios that pit teams of three players against aliens in a series of increasingly difficult missions that are certain to challenge veteran R6S players.
From the creators of Prey, Dishonored and Deathloop, Redfall is an upcoming first-person shooter, set on an island off the coast of Massachusetts besieged by vampires who have blocked out the sun. The vampires seek to bleed the town dry, aided by cultists who worship the vampires in hopes of joining their ranks.
As one of four different heroes, it’s up to you to take back the town alone or with friends in a seamless single-player/cooperative experience.
A day that doesn’t end. A man with no memory. Eight Visionaries who must be killed. Deathloop throws you onto an island undergoing a never-ending science experiment that sees the same day repeating over and over again and it’s up to you to make it stop.
This highly stylized shooter from Arkane Studios challenges players to go through a semi-open world environment divided by four different times of day. Actions taken by the player ripple throughout the day, only to be reset the next day.
Your job is simple: kill all eight Visionaries in a single day for the day to end. How you do it is up to you.
Overwatch, Blizzard’s first take on the first-person shooter genre, exploded onto the scene in 2016 with a multitude of characters, each with their own style and abilities. Overwatch has remained a staple in many gamers’ libraries, with fast-paced rounds, modes, and maps. Overwatch has been seen as an introductory FPS for those who haven’t played conventional shooters.
Overwatch 2 was first announced in 2019 as a sequel to the first Overwatch. The game is to include new heroes, remakes of old heroes, new maps, modes, and new player vs environment modes akin to time-limited co-op events in the first game.
While there’s no confirmed release date for Overwatch 2, it could grace PCs and consoles in 2022 at the earliest.
Microsoft’s long-delayed shooter will come out on the latest iteration of the Xbox One as well as the PC as players as the Master Chief set three years after the events of Halo 5: Guardians. Cortana has taken control of the Forerunner war machines, and the Chief has to deal with it.
The Master Chief, or John-117, must battle his way through legions of the Banished on the world of Zeta Halo and find his way back to planet Earth in the newest installment of the long-running franchise. Also returning is the game’s multiplayer mode that’s sure to turn friends into enemies, and enemies.
Although Halo Infinite promises to be the biggest Halo game to date, it will be missing the Forge creator mode and a co-op campaign at the game’s launch.
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
The upcoming expansion to Destiny 2 expands upon the story first established by Bungie almost a decade ago. The Light is once again threatened (when is it not?) and this time it’s Savathun, a character referred to many times in the previous games. Unlike previous villains, who used the power of Darkness, the eponymously named Witch Queen harnesses the power of Light and uses the players’ own abilities against them with her an army of Light-infused Hive.
If this sounds like too much to get into: you’re right, it does. You’ll have to first play Destiny 2 to understand any of the lore, but rest assured — it’s going to be a great co-op experience well worth playing.