10. Crysis — This is what showed me what true PC gaming is capable. When I bought my high-end Alienware laptop back in 2010 this was the first game I played on it. It was non-linear, looked gorgeous in DirectX 10, had fantastic shooting mechanics, and had great abilities and weapons. Sadly, the story sucked, but I didn’t play it for that. Even today, Crysis is used as a benchmark for PCs (more Crysis 3 these days), and I still go back every so often to play through this on new PC hardware. It was ported over to Xbox 360 years later but still didn’t look that good.
9. Battlefield 1 — I usually don’t put recent games in these lists as they haven’t stood the test of time yet, but Battlefield 1 was so good, so new, and so fresh in a decade full of mundane and boring shooters that I feel how can it not stand the test of time? The graphics are phenomenal, fantastic short story single player missions, and some of the best multiplayer I have ever played. With unique weapons and great gadgets, how can you go wrong here?
8. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault — When I first got into PC gaming back in the mid-2000’s I played Allied Assault and realized why everyone said the PC versions were superior to consoles. The game looked amazing and the campaign was so well done and was so memorable that I wish it would be remastered. While Frontline was my favorite console MoH, Allied Assault stands as the best in the series.
7. Quake II — While I had the inferior N64 version, I still enjoyed this game so much and played it multiple times, but sadly missed out on multiplayer. It had a strong single player mode and the weapons and levels were so well done that later on, I played it on PC just to frag people online. Quake II is the best in the series and was a great rival to Unreal Tournament back in the day.
6. Halo 2 — For the longest time I HATED Halo with a passion. I was a HUGE PlayStation fanboy and I remember when Killzone came out I was laughing at the Xbox fanboys saying they were going down, only to realize how mediocre Killzone was. Years later I got over this stigma and started playing the games on Xbox 360 and loved Halo 2. It was original, fresh, the single-player campaign was the best in the series, and the multiplayer was like no other.
5. Unreal Tournament 2004 — While I loved the original, I had to play it in a 320×240 window on my 800×600 CRT monitor back in the day because my PC wouldn’t run it. I still managed to play online and beat the hell out of people, but later I had a PC that could run 2004 decently and I spent dozens of hours fragging people online. It’s still fun to this day and I wish I could experience the sheer rush of multiplayer in this game again.
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — While the first had a better single player campaign, the second game had perfect multiplayer. The maps were brilliantly designed, the weapons were perfectly balanced, and the perks and upgrades were fun to unlock. I even wrote my own map guide for this game. Call of Duty has gone downhill since, but this remains one of my top multiplayer games of all time.
3. Gears of War — This game is one of my all time favorites period. It was what showed me what the next-gen consoles could do and PCs couldn’t. I fell in love with the series and beat the game multiple times on each difficulty. Since then I have been a diehard Gears fan by owning and reading all the novels and closely following the lore. It’s one of the few shooters out there that has story and character to back up its gameplay.
2. BioShock — BioShock was one of those games I was dying to play since it was announced at E3. I followed this game closely all the way to release and played through the game a few times over. The lore, story, characters, atmosphere, gameplay, just everything about this game was perfect. Yes, it wasn’t System Shock, but I had never played that series so I couldn’t compare it. BioShock had a less than spectacular sequel and Infinite took the series in a new direction.
1.Half-Life 2 — This is by far my favorite FPS of all time. The game is just perfect and holds up even today. With the game being told in real time and not taking the player out the situation was something new back in 2004. The level design was perfect, the guns felt great, the atmosphere was lonely and foreboding. I have played this game more than probably any other and with the countless mods and enhancements, you can’t go wrong. Some people don’t understand this game because it’s slower paced and not full of explosions. The story is told not just through dialog but through the world as well, and gamers these days just don’t get that sort of treatment anymore.