Related Videos

Top 10 Badass Arena Shooters

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Selina Antonucci It’s time to frag like it’s 1999! Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Arena Shooters! Special thanks to our user “Dan Paradis” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Top 10 Arena Shooters

Lock and load because when it comes to multiplayer shooters, it doesn't get much more hardcore than this. Welcome to and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Arena Shooters.

Okay so, the arena shooter was a difficult sub-genre to define. For this list, we've chosen to look at classic arcade-style multiplayer shooters that drop players in small deathmatch arenas, focus on score-based matches and that start players off on even footing. This means class and objective based shooters like Call of Duty, Splatoon or Overwatch can are not on the list, but you might notice a few entries that bend the genre rules a little.

#10: "Screencheat" (2014)

Here's an indie title so reliant on nostalgia it may ONLY appeal to the late 90s early 2000s home console fans. So, this game's very unique gimmick plays on the biggest flaw with split-screen multiplayer, how because every player is playing on and looking at the same TV screen, everyone can see what everyone else is seeing. Screencheat embraces that by making every player invisible, forcing players to look at other people's screens to see where they are and where to shoot. A stylized and fun time waster to play with friends, the end result is a game that's not only totally absurd, but even a little bit spooky.

#9: "Turok Rage Wars" (1999)

Doing it's absolute best to bridge the gap between PC first person shooters and it's home console brethren, Acclaim developed a shooter exclusive to the Nintendo 64, Turok: Rage Wars. An ambitious gambit, Rage Wars was a multiplayer focused FPS whose single player was little more than matches against it's AI controlled bots. Leaning away from the previous games in the Turok franchise, this game aimed for balanced play with weapons and maps more akin to what would find in a Doom or Quake game. While the title hasn't aged well, it definitely offered it's fair share of enjoyable multiplayer mayhem.

#8: “Reflex Arena” (2014)

If there’s ever been a better place to find throwbacks to the genres of old than the Steam marketplace, we’ve yet to find it. For example, it’s there that you can find Reflex Arena, a game that prides itself on being a straight up homage to the twitchy deathmatch games of the late 90s (many of which you’ll see later on this list). Anyone who’s disappointed that the new Quake is gonna have hero classes in it or that killstreaks and golden AKs dominate the online scene these days should definitely rocket jump their way into this title. It’s time to frag like it’s 1999 – which is coincidentally less than you’d have to pay to try it.

#7: "TimeSplitters 2" (2002)

Bringing Goldeneye 007's distinct style of split screen multiplayer into the 6th gen era, TimeSplitters 2 kept simple and chaotic couch deathmatch alive for another generation. With it's time traveling theme, players get to frag each other in maps ranging from different time periods and mixing in guns like plasma weapons in with tommy guns and lever action sniper rifles. Fast paced action with almost no downtime between lives this game may look like a bit of a shit-show by today's standards, but believe us, the carnage is well crafted and intentional.

#6: "Half Life 2: Deathmatch” (2004)

Yes this game has multiplayer, and while not widely recognized or even touched upon by it's many fans, those that took the time to try it out were treated with a fairly unique deathmatch experience. Like all classic arena shooters, Half-Life 2 Deathmatch took the all the single players weapons and let players shoot, slice, impale, blow up and blast each other apart with them. Of course the real fun here involved the game's signature Gravity Gun, which turned many fights into a juggling act of catching and throwing heavy things at one another looking for the funniest and most humiliating ways to literally crush your friends.

#5: "Doom" (1993)

While mostly talked about for it’s impact on single player first person shooters, the success of Doom’s multiplayer goes largely under-appreciated. Considered bare bones by today’s standards, being able to bring your weapon arsenal to bear on your friends in any of Doom’s maps was so popular that many ISPs were having trouble keeping up with the demand twitch shooting brought to their networks. For 90’s gamers however, lag be damned and despite the fact that the technology wasn’t quite there yet, players stuck with it and Doom’s evolving and updating multiplayer is still being enjoyed to this very day.

#4: "Perfect Dark" (2000)

Rare’s 1997 darling Goldeneye 007 is quite possibly the most important console shooter of all time, which is amazing considering the fact that the multiplayer was a last minute addition. The game’s spiritual successor, Perfect Dark took the wonderfully addictive competitive gameplay and gave it the attention it deserved. Improving on every aspect of Goldeneye’s death match, players get a huge variety of well-balanced weapons and drop them into maps that were designed as multiplayer stages and not just repurposed single player levels. While there is something uniquely fun about Goldeneye’s multiplayer deathmatch in elaborate singleplayer maps, Perfect Dark truly brings together the best of both worlds.

#3: "Halo 2" (2004)

The first Halo was a marvel whose split-screen multiplayer dominated living rooms all over the world. Halo 2 however, added a feature pretty much unheard of for console gamers at the time, online multiplayer. Expanding the chaos with a bigger player count, more vehicles and bigger maps, Halo 2 brought the franchise’s multiplayer from ‘fun time waster’ to THE reason to own a copy. With a huge weapon variety and tons of match customization options people were still enjoying Halo 2’s multiplayer right up until the servers were shut down in 2010. Luckily subsequent Halo games continue to have fantastic multiplayer and Halo 2 will always hold a special place in gamer’s hearts.

#2: "Quake III Arena" (1999)

With the evolutionary success of Quake 2’s multiplayer deathmatch, it was only natural for developer id Software to give gamers more of what they were craving. Multiplayer focused shooters were still a controversial idea back in the late 90s, but Quake III was so much fun that gamers were won over almost immediately. With a laser focus on fast paced competitive gameplay, hardcore shooter fans finally had a game exclusively designed to pit the best in the world in an endless loop of kill, die and resapwn. While it may lack some of the frills of its ‘unreal’ competitor, Quake III stands as a monument to the culmination of everything the 90s brought to multiplayer first person shooters.

#1: "Unreal Tournament" (1999)

Choosing between Unreal Tournament and Quake III was just as difficult for us now as it was for gamers over 15 years ago. Like Quake III, people were skeptical at first with the idea of a multiplayer focused first person shooter, but with over 50 incredible maps and 6 game types including the fantastic 'assault' mode Unreal Tournament proved that a multiplayer game could have just as much content and value as any single-player shooter of it's generation. From the sharp and satisfying sound effects on every rocket to the thrills of instantly gibbing enemies with the Flakk Cannon, this game is some of the tightest and most fun multiplayer shooting out there, and the pinnacle of arena shooters.

Do you agree with our list? What arena shooter do you think deserves the trophy? For more fast passed top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs