Top 20 Single-Player FPS Campaigns Of The Last Decade
Out of all the video game genres, the first person shooter or FPS may be the most ubiquitous one. Shooting at random mooks with instruments of destruction that seem as if extensions of your own person tends to be hella immersive. As civilization marches on, these games have put an increasing emphasis on multiplayer mode. But some don’t have the time nor the will to play on-line. But are there still any decent single-player FPS campaigns out there? Check it out:
20. Shadow Warrior (2013)
A re-boot of the 1997 Shadow Warrior 3D, this game may seem like Duke Nukem but with ninjas, and if you thought that, you would be right. With Wang slinging one-liners at you every other second, you might as well call it Saturday Ninja Live!
This is one of those games where melee weapons don’t actually suck. Even though you’re gonna be using firearms most of the time, the aforesaid are still right decent at spilling a foe’s blood. Bombastic, action-packed and dad jokes abounding, this is a must-play FPS.
19. Killzone 2 (2009)
A PS3 exclusive made by the same people behind Horizon Zero Dawn, Killzone 2 still looks and plays fantastic despite having come out nearly a decade ago. Guirrella really hit a winning formula with this one, explaining their decision to release it for this generation’s consoles.
18. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (2013)
When talking about Westerns, the obligatory first thought is Red Dead Redemption. But there’s another game that deserves your consideration: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. Even with the short-ass gameplay (on average, people take 5 hours to finish it), there’s much to be had in the cinematic realm.
With arcade-style gunplay and believable environments, this sort-of-a-knock-off-AAA-game is worth every penny you spend on it, even if some elements are a bit weak.
17. Resistance 3 (2011)
I probably should’ve gone with the first Resistance, but it came out in 2006, so crappy graphics, just stay with me on this one, k? Resistance 3 has a lot to offer, stemming from improvements and developments building off of the critiques aimed at the past two games. Imsoniac also deserves two thumbs up for the streamlined weapon system they carried over to this franchise over from Ratchet and Clank.
Borrowing a skosh of elements from Half-Life 2, even the B-movie-worthy plot can shine as it presents itself in a manner conducive to the well-being of your gaming experience (yeah, I copied that straight off of the U.S. Oath of Allegiance). On the balance, Resistance 3 provides a superb ending to a venerable franchise.
16. Far Cry 4 (2014)
A prima vista, Far Cry 4 is just a bland copy of the previous installment. But make no mistake, it’s vastly better. I mean, come on, it’s set in the freakin’ Himalayas. Now, the Rook Islands are fine and dandy, but you get damn tired sia of seeing tropical vegetation over and over and over again! And what is that half-hearted excuse of a plot capitalizing on the Western obsession and twisting of Oceanic rituals?
Compare that to Ajay’s plight. A U.S. citizen (‘MURICA) finding himself in the land of his progenitors, but one that he never knew, he is swept up in the heat of revolution, finding himself torn between Sabal and Amila, to find the mysterious Lakshmana or to help the rebels, to burn or not to burn opium (yep). Plus, you get to escape a Himalayan prison by body-sledding. Oh yeah.
Far Cry 4, unlike its predecessors, isn’t just about trying to get home, and who’s friend and who’s foe gets more and more blurry as the plot advances. All this rightly earns it a place on this list.
15. Crysis (2007)
For a 2007 game, Crysis is still looking sharp AF. Crytek really poured their sweat and blood into this game! Notwithstanding that, though, the plot is just like another generic military shooter’s, clichéd and full of holes. But the gameplay is another thing altogether. You can finish your mission however you want, whether it be stealthily or ‘Muricaly. Sadly, they transitioned from open-world to linear with the release of Crysis 2 and 3. =/
14. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007, remastered 2016)
Modern Warfare was THE game that revolutionized the entire FPS industry. At the same time, however, it also introduced a cancerous trend that remains even today a defining characteristic of single-player campaigns: Being heavily linear and majorly scripted. However, the execution of it all ticks the box of excellence, even with the aforementioned flaws.
13. Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
Most Call of Duty games fail to even remotely resemble the wildly-successful Modern Warfare series. Black Ops is not one of them. Even though it doesn’t offer anything new in the (il)linearity department, Treyarch’s flair is noticeable in the intense missions and overall storyline. Plus, it’s kind of like FlashForward; the plot can skip ahead and vice versa at a moment’s notice, lending itself to the precarious notion of “black ops!”
12. Borderlands 2 (2012)
Borderlands 2 fixed all the previous game and serves up a scintillating story peppered with dripping bon mots along the way. They especially paid attention to character development (Handsome Jack, anyone?). Gameplay-wise, this game would be perfection (yes, I just paraphrased Chandler) for gun nuts, solidifying its status as an FPS-RPG hybrid.
11. S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadows of Chernobyl (2007)
Oy gevault. This game might just possibly be the buggiest, glitchiest, rage-inducingest one I’ve ever played. Production values being non-exitent, you naturally get something that, at first, plays like one of those crappy virus-infested asset-stealing GTA clones on the Play Store. But its strength lies in the ability of the plot to draw you in, even though it may sting at first, and by the end, you’ll be wishing there was more of the story to go on with.
10. Bulletstorm (2011)
Sometimes the only ingredients you need to make a good FPS campaign is satisfying gunplay. In that regard, Bulletstorm would be a clear winner. The storyline is just a throwaway, but the arms mechanics are a different story altogether. You’ll be forced to find new, creative ways to kill you opponents so as to rack up points to upgrade your weapons and ammo, and you HAVE to change your strategy at every turn, or it’s bye bye points for you!
9. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)
Perhaps an FPS in name only, the cover system in the game makes it more of a third-person shooter. But the former’s still a major part of the gameplay, so I’ll be including it here. You can’t solve every objective in Human Revolution with pew-pews and kabooms, unless you want a long, drawn-out battle! But there are some levels that do call for you to pull a Terminator. As well, the tensions between regular humans and augments make for some fascinating allegories between the plot and the real world’s socio-cultural issues.
8. Bioshock Infinite (2013)
Serving as a new installment as well a fitting conclusion to the BioShokc franchise, this game takes place in the opposite realm of its predecessor’s, namely high up in the sky- the floating 50’s-cartoony racist-y American city of Columbia. One of the main themes of this game is alternate universes, guaranteed to fuck with your mind so much you’ll want to eat a gun.
The gunplay of this game may not be at its A game, but it’s an AAA release in every other respect and certainly a worthy successor to the first BioShock.
7. Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014)
Wolfenstein: The New Order, is a reboot of the granddaddy of the FPS genre – Wolfenstein 3D. Taking place in an alternate universe where the Nazis have taken over the world (and Venus!), it’s up to B.J. Blazkowicz in order to take ‘em to task.
This reboot isn’t just for old fans to nostalgize over, but Machine Games really tried to create an experience that would be inclusive of new players as well. While a bit linear, the levels are nonetheless packed with action at every corner.
6. Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
Okay, so technically speaking, New Vegas is an RPG. But it’s kind of a hybrid between that and an FPS too, so I’m putting it in here. With many of the bells and whistles Bethesda couldn’t include in Fallout 3, the story is far more complex and branching, which adds to the replay value.
Obsidian has also succeeded in making every quest in the game more than just filler. Every side quest is well thought-out and crafted and more than just go from point A to B, which Is a titanic accomplishment considering they only took 18 months from concept to release!
5. Metro Last Light (2013)
Metro Last Light transports the player to a world where light is not known and the underground is the only abode you’ve ever known. Adapted from Dmitry Glukhovsky’s book, 4A Games has managed to create a world with undertones of tragedy and yet, also, hope amongst the deathly monsters.
The gameplay will force you to think twice before unloading that entire clip of bullets on a bogey, because they’re sort of like cigarettes in the prison system- a very, VERY, valuable commodity, sometimes used like caps in Fallout.
4. Halo 3 (2007)
There’s not much I need to explain about Doom, as Bungie has managed to create a compelling FPS trilogy with a conclusion filled with action, intensity and unforgettable moments. Halo 3 doesn’t ofofer anything new gameplay-wise, but their intention was to supply a conclusion to Master Chief’s story, and boy howdy it is damn believable.
3. Doom (2016)
IT’S FUCKING DOOM. DO I NEED SAY MORE!?
2. Titanfall 2 (2016)
From the people behind Modern Warfare, Titanfall 2 invites you to the epic adventures of Jack Coope and BT-7274. These two characters are the main driving force of the game and really are a power couple. About the gameplay itself, you’ll be treated to a combination of parkour and shooting with level designs that clearly lend themselves to such. Time-travelling is also in the masala.
1. Bioshock (2007)
BioShock is, simply put, legendary. If gaming had its own Hall of Fame, this thing would take top spot on the shelves! Every aspect of it, design, atmosphere, character development, all are perfectly synthesized to create a stylized, quasi-Americana world with twists and turns lurking at every corner.
The plot itself takes the cake for one of the best narratives ever created, and the M. Night Shamalamadingdong-y plot twist will leave you reeling.