First-person shooter

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Wolfenstein 3-D is one of the first FPSes with free movement and textured walls.

A first-person shooter or FPS, is a genre of video game where the player views the game world through the eyes of their character, shoots at opposing targets, and can move around in the 3D world. Perhaps the earliest first-person shooter was Maze War in 1973, which used a tile-based movement system. Free-movement FPSes began in the late 1980s with games like MIDI Maze, and, in the early-to-mid-1990s FPSes became especially popular, primarily because of id Software releasing Wolfenstein 3-D and Doom.

The term "first-person shooter" wasn't used until well after the released of Doom, but the name is now retroactively applied to all the previous games which pioneered the mechanic. There are several games which have aspects of the genre, but are commonly placed in a distinct genre due to their mechanics. Rail shooters and light gun games both shooters which frequently use a first-person perspective, but the inability of the player to freely move around in the game world presents a sizable enough change in content to warrant a different genre. Combat vehicle simulators and flight simulators also involve shooting in a first-person perspective, but their movement system is so different, they too are viewed as a unique genre.

I was a huge fan of early first-person shooters, in the early-to-mid-1990s, but I became bored with the genre. However, in the mid-2000s, I started hearing about the upcoming released of Half-Life 2. and saw some teens playing Counter-Strike, at a LAN party. This led me to downloading and playing Half-Life, which rekindled my interest in the genre. I have since played several more FPSes that I really like.


These are the first-person shooters that are important to me. For the complete list, see the category.

Title Released Notes
Borderlands 2009-10-20 Sci-fi RPG elements.
Borderlands 2 2012-09-18
Doom 1993-12-10 Popularized network deathmatch.
Doom II: Hell On Earth 1994-10-10
Wolfenstein 3-D 1992-05-05 The first free-movement FPS I played.
Half-Life 1998-11-19
Half-Life 2 2004-11-16
Half-Life 2: Episode One 2006-06-01
Half-Life 2: Episode Two 2007-10-10
Left 4 Dead 2 2009-11-17 Zombie theme.
Portal 2007-10-10 Puzzle-based FPS.
Portal 2 2011-04-19