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Top 10 Best FPS Games of the 2000s

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Kurt Hvorup If the 90s saw the dawn of the First Person Shooter, the 2000s saw their absolute peak. Welcome to and today we’re continuing our series of the Best FPS Games of All Time by counting down our picks for the Top 10 BEST First Person Shooters of the 2000s! Specials thanks to our user “Jacob Koopmann” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 First Person Shooters of the 2000s

Whip out your shotguns and overpowered space pistols, ‘cause it’s time to party. Welcome to and today we’re continuing our series of the Top First Person Shooters with our picks for the top 10 First Person Shooters Games of the 2000s.

We’ll be taking a look at the most widely-acclaimed first-person shooters released from 2000 through to 2009, emphasizing those that we feel best represent the good that can be done with the genre. As is often the case, we’re placing a limit of one game per franchise. We also want to focus strictly on shooters, so since Deus Ex falls more in line with RPGs, it’s sadly disqualified.

#10: “Left 4 Dead 2” (2009)

While we appreciate what the original "Left 4 Dead" brought to the table in terms of cooperative zombie-killing action, it's the sequel that really stands the test of time. Players once again take on the role of four distinct survivors, with this group going from Georgia to Louisiana to reach safety. "Left 4 Dead 2" takes the first game's AI Director system, which ensured that each playthrough had different enemy and item placement, and expands on it by rewarding risk-taking with better weapons and equipment. Further, the introduction of melee combat added an interesting wrinkle to play, as survivors can now kill zombies with greater prejudice... but are also at greater risk of injury.

#9: “Crysis” (2007)

For what it cost to rebuild our PCs after the inevitable meltdowns, it was worth it. "Crysis", only the second game developed by Crytek, proved to be quite the powerhouse in terms of graphical fidelity, rendering its island setting in astounding detail. Looking past the game's looks, though, reveals a tightly-balanced shooter with a strong central mechanic: the Nanosuit. Worn by the main character Nomad, it allows players to turn invisible, gain super-strength, run at blistering speeds and even deflect weapons damage. However, the Nanosuit being governed by a battery keeps gameplay fair, while still enabling different approaches to situations. Whether you go in stealthily or blast through enemies without care, no one method is truly penalized.

#8: “Team Fortress 2” (2007)

Whichever team you align with, there’s good times to be had. “Team Fortress 2” helped to set the standards for team-based multiplayer shooters, what with its nine equally-viable and personable classes that ensure skill and cooperation are the key to success. There’s something inspiring about a well-coordinated group of players coming together to cause havoc... and something equally amusing about teams being able to improvise without consequence. The game’s anarchic sense of fun can be felt in every aspect of the production, though most notably in the psuedo-Pixar cartoon art style that contrasts with the often gib-filled nature of combat. Shine on, you beautiful snowflake of a game.

#7: “Battlefield 2” (2005)

Building on the squad-centric play of games past, “Battlefield 2” proved itself a genre-defining game. The unprecedented diversity and size of its various maps – ranging from urban sprawls to coastal bases – allowed for use of varying terrain to one’s advantage. More importantly, though, the game proved enduring thanks to its finely-balanced infantry classes and drivable vehicles, matched by new features such as Commander Mode and a voice over IP system. Suddenly, players could communicate and work together with greater efficiency, which certainly helped matches feel grander in scale and contributed to a general feeling of comradery during play.

#6: “Metroid Prime” (2002)

Nintendo and first-person shooting – who would’ve guessed this would turn out well? Released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002, Newcomer Developer Retro Studios went about the uneviable task of conveying the “Metroid” franchise’s take on atmospheric action-platforming in a first-person perspective. Yet to this day, the grim yet visually varied locales of Tallon IV remain ingrained in gamers’ memories, with combat and exploration carefully balanced. “Prime” found a way to maintain an often-haunting mood and engage in thoughtful world-building while still remaining true to the series’ fundamental elements. Even now, it’s hard not to admire the craftsmanship here.

#5: “Counter-Strike: Source” (2004)

Lock and load... and prepare for many deaths. “Counter-Strike: Source” has long been considered a staple of the competitive gaming scene – long before Call of Duty took over, Counter-Strike was the go to modern combat game. Its reflex-testing action and plethora of weapons to use are engaging and challenging enough on their own, and that’s before considering the addition of more strategically-minded elements. Features like damage being tied to which body parts are shot and movement affecting accuracy give “Source” the feel of a tactical shooter, yet the pace of battles ensures game sessions never get dull and always keep you on your toes.

#4: “BioShock” (2007)

If there’s an art to the construction of an FPS, then this is quite the masterclass. “BioShock” took the gaming world by storm, enchanting players with its art-deco design sensibilities and the tragic beauty of its underwater setting. Yet beyond the blend of grotesque imagery and classical influences, the game proved exciting in its gameplay, which emphasized using superpower-esque abilities called Plasmids in tandem with normal weapons. From the visceral combat to the plentiful modification options, from the top-notch vocal performances to the intriguing themes at play, this is an experience worth remembering.

#3: “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” (2007)

The first “Call of Duty” may have helped to define first-person shooting in the new millenium, but this modern military shooter was the fireworks show that changed everything. “Modern Warfare” upended the series’ norms at the time with its shift to the present day, focusing on a large-scale political conflict very much ripped from the headlines. Its truly intense action set-pieces and effortlessly shocking story turns made for a outstanding campaign, remaining a source of many people’s favourite gaming moments. On top of that, “Call of Duty 4” propelled online console playing securely into the mainstream, although it was still using the groundwork laid by the our next entry…

#2: “Halo 2” (2004)

No one can deny that “Halo: Combat Evolved” was a great title, yet it’s difficult to argue its sheer quality and ubiquity could compare to its first sequel. Narratively, “Halo 2” picks up not long after the original game, but chooses to expand the series’ mythos by offering two parallel storylines to follow. Switching between the Master Chief and the newly-introduced Arbiter, thereby providing two different perspectives on events, made for an intriguing and surprisingly deep story. Beyond that, “Halo 2” made worthwhile tweaks to its predecessor’s already exemplory gameplay, adding in features such as dual-wielding and the ability to board vehicles in motion. That the game was also built for intuitive online matchmaking should not be surprising. Where would Xbox Live - heck, where would Microsoft be – without this flagship titan.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Perfect Dark” (2000)

“Medal of Honor: Allied Assault” (2002)

“Doom 3” (2004)

#1: “Half-Life 2” (2004)

Turns out the right man in the wrong place really does make all the difference in the world. Released in 2004, “Half-Life 2” carries forth its predecessor’s immersion-first approach to gameplay and expands upon it in astounding ways. Front and center were the physics. Whether using the iconic graphic gun or not, the physics on display in Half-Life 2 allowed for puzzles that made real world sense and a world that felt reactive and alive like nothing players had ever seen. But the brilliance of Half-Life 2 was more than just fancy technology: it taught you it’s system without tutorials, it told it’s story without giant swathes of exposition, it let you behave like a real thinking like a real person using real world logic. It was smart, and it treated players like they were smart too.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite FPS from the 2000s? For more contemplative Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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