It takes awhile to actually get to a first-person shooter on Metacritic. It begins with the fifteenth entry on reviews of games for all time across all platforms. First of all to keep things fresher, we aren't going to include compilations on here like The Orange Box. One of those games in said collection may make the list though.
Secondly, in order to create a more diverse list, we are also only including one entry per series. Whatever game is higher on the list is the one that made the cut. And on that same note this list is in descending order. We may not agree fully with how things ranked out, but this is according to numbers after all. At the very least it will make for an interesting conversation.
10 Unreal Tournament 2004 (93)
Epic Games is known most prominently for Fortnite now, but prior to that they made a big scene on the multiplayer market with the first Unreal Tournament. That’s what the Unreal Engine they create and distribute is named after. That is a free bonus piece of trivia. Unreal Tournament 2004 for the PC then was sort of a sequel and an expansion and is well regarded as one of the best in the series let alone one of the best multiplayer shooters of all time.
9 Quake (94)
Quake is another famous, or more like infamous multiplayer shooter in PC. By this point it is another footnote in the gaming history landscape. That is to say it is a series now forgotten among other juggernauts. Well, there is Quake Champions, but that hasn’t really gone as swimmingly as id Software would have wanted. The first game is still played today though. It is no Fortnite, or Call of Duty, but as is the case with other classics of this era, like Counter-Strike, it still has a dedicated following some twenty years later.
8 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (94)
This review is for the PS3 version although the Xbox 360 version has the same score. On that note this game’s predecessor also got a 94, but for whatever this was technically rated higher on Metacritic’s list. Anyway this may not have had a better campaign, but it is more renown for being a multiplayer addiction. It improved everything that the first Modern Warfare started and made it better. This is really when the series took off in a big way.
7 Portal 2 (95)
This is another case of multiple versions sharing the same score, which is to say Portal 2 got a 95 on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. The PC version was first for whatever reason. Calling it a first-person shooter is kind of disingenuous to what this game is actually about. It is more of a first-person puzzle game, but semantics aside, even though one doesn’t shoot enemies, this still belongs on this list. Those who disagree will be launched into space with Wheatley.
6 GoldenEye 007 (96)
One of the earliest multiplayer phenomenons was GoldenEye 007 on the N64. The campaign was good and highlighted great moments from the film, but everyone was more infatuated with playing with friends. It had the same dedication as Super Smash Bros. players. It must be recognized for what it did for first-person shooter games on consoles back then, but we can also admit it hasn’t aged well both graphically and in terms of the controls. We will always have our memories though.
5 BioShock (96)
The PC and Xbox 360 versions of BioShock were rated at a 96. The PS3 version, however, was strangely docked two points for a 94. Whether this is regarded as a 96, or a 94 doesn’t really matter. In our hearts this is still a 10/10, or on their scale, a 100.
BioShock blended the haunted vibes of Resident Evil with the shooting mayhem of something like Halo all in a unique setting never achieved on this scale. This rapture under the sea is beyond words.
4 Half-Life 2 (96)
Half-Life 2 first debuted on PC before it was eventually ported to other consoles. This version got a 96 and as an example of a port, the original Xbox version got a 90. The main issue stems from the obvious fact that console shooters just weren’t as good especially when ported down from a PC.
Ports aside though, Half-Life 2 is an example of one of those once in and a lifetime achievements. Fans are still hungry for this series to conclude even after it has been absent for over a decade. That is the power of this game.
3 Halo: Combat Evolved (97)
These next three games are all tied, but they are still on this list as they appeared on Metacritic. Let it be known though that they are all still amazing as the day they were created. The original Halo changed the console landscape for first-person shooters in a big way. Yes, ports like Half-Life 2’s were not great, but Halo was different. It was really the next big thing for console shooters since the days of GoldenEye 007.
2 Metroid Prime (97)
Halo could actually be considered inspiration for Metroid Prime. So much so that former members of this developer, Retro Studios, went on to help make Halo 4 with 343 Industries. Playing that game knowing that is pretty obvious now. Anyway there were those that doubted Nintendo could take this series successfully into 3D let alone as a shooter. It seemed crazy and we can admit we had our hesitations as well. History obviously proved the doubters wrong.
1 Perfect Dark (97)
Last, but not least, we have another first-person shooter from Rare. Yes, Perfect Dark was the fifteenth entry we foreshadowed in the intro. We don’t agree that it is the best, but compared to GoldenEye 007, it holds up a lot better. Even though the graphics aren’t as sharp as they once used to be, this blend of stealth and action is still as addictive two decades later.