Skip to main content

Best FPS games 2021: the most essential first-person shooters for console and PC

Best FPS games
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best FPS games put you in the heart of the action and that's probably part of the reason why first-person shooters have been one of the most popular gaming genres for decades. 

When you’re experiencing everything from the perspective of your character, there’s an immersion and excitement that’s hard to replicate in games that keep you at a distance. 

If the immersive thrill of the first-person shooter is what you’re after, then we can help you find the best FPS games 2021 has to offer. Right now, there’s a wide range of games in this genre to jump into head-first. Whether you’re looking for single-player shooters with worlds that you can lose yourself in, or frenetic, competitive online multiplayers then there’s something for you. 

So, keep reading for our picks of the best FPS games you can play right now on console and PC. 

Doom Eternal

Best FPS games: Doom Eternal

(Image credit: iD Software)

If id Software’s compelling reboot of the Doom franchise in 2016 wasn’t enough of a riveting success, Doom Eternal doubles down on its pristine systems and satisfying shooting, drafting in platforming to make the combat more fluid, a rogue’s gallery of deadly bosses and an engrossing storyline. 

Among the best FPS games today, Doom Eternal eschews the horror elements found in Doom 3 and proceeds at a blistering pace, focusing on the gore and intricate animations that let you pound demons into a fine red mist with unbeatable flair. Better yet, your chaotic escapades will be soundtracked by Mick Gordon’s exquisite electro-metal offerings, designed to inject you with adrenaline and dress your palms with sweat.

Platforms available: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Stadia

Far Cry 5

Best FPS games: Far Cry 5

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rather than going full post-apocalyptic like many of the top titles these days, Far Cry 5 sticks close to the franchise’s theme of man vs man in the fifth installation to its main series. Not completely forgoing the popular end-of-the-world premise, however, this 2018 game has you battling doomsday cult Eden’s Gate, which has been tormenting the good folks of Hope County, Wisconsin. 

Of course, while you’re not exactly battling zombies or aliens here, there’s plenty of action to be had on foot, muscle cars, ATVs and even crop dusters, with heavy artillery at your disposal. After all, cult leader Joseph Seed and his group of fanatics aren’t quite as easy to defeat as they look. In fact, you might even recruit guns or fangs for hire or play in a two-person co-op mode.

With an interesting backstory, flying vehicles to commandeer and challenging puzzles to solve, Far Cry 5 is among the best FPS games you can play today.

Platforms available: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2

(Image credit: EA / Respawn Entertainment)

Titanfall 2 is one of the best FPS games around, there’s no denying it. Building on the already excellent Titanfall, this sequel combines fluid, fun movement with satisfying gunplay to create a game that's always dynamic and never dull.

We deemed Titanfall 2 a must-play game in our review, saying that, with it, "the series has risen to the upper echelon of futuristic war shooters." Even better, it’s great fun whether you’re going solo in its genuinely excellent single-player campaign or going big in its multiplayer. Titanfall 2 was crowned one of our best games of the generation for a reason. It’s a first-person shooter experience that just shouldn’t be missed. 

Platforms available: PS4, Xbox One and PC

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Best FPS games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

(Image credit: Valve)

If you’re very serious about accuracy and competition in games, then Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may be the game for you. Given its status as a great breeding ground for esports professionals, Global Offensive demands a level of skill and tactical knowhow that is far beyond the more casual shooters in this list and will certainly test your limits as an FPS player. 

Even if you’re not trying to be the next Shroud, squadding up with your friends, learning the maps and concocting stealthy hero moments, unravelling an enemy team’s composition with clever wall bangs and grenades is deeply satisfying, and something to try if you’re bored of the mainstream shooters that constantly coddle the player.

Platforms available: PC

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Best FPS games: Halo: The Master Chief Collection

(Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the most important and influential shooters ever made – and among the best FPS games in history, Halo completely changed the landscape of the genre and gave many developers a new bar to surpass when it came to shooter campaigns and online multiplayer. Luckily for those of you who may have clung to the PlayStation side of the aisle for the past two decades, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is now available on PC via Steam as well as Xbox One. 

They’re effortless to return to and hold up extremely well thanks to a series of dedicated ports and remasters from 343 Industries. The co-op campaign that spans the collection and tells the tale of Master Chief’s odyssey is particularly exciting and full of fun challenges and set pieces to work through in good company.

Platforms available: Xbox One and PC

Half-Life 2

Best FPS games: Half-Life 2

(Image credit: Valve Corporation)

Speaking of influential games, Valve’s Half-Life 2 came out in 2004 and revolutionized the shooter as we knew it. With a dynamic physics system that is still hard to top, a surreal setting and a suite of unforgettable characters, Half-Life 2 delivers an adventure that demands to be played if you’ve got any desires to understand many of the shooter games that have launched to acclaim over the past two decades. 

The game doesn’t show any signs of wear even 16 years after its release, which is testament to the success of its fundamental aspects. Follow Freeman into one of the best shooter campaigns ever crafted.

Platforms available: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

Superhot

Best FPS games: Superhot

(Image credit: SUPERHOT Team)

An excellent FPS and an antidote to most modern shooters, Superhot is an indie puzzle piece where time moves when you move. This means that careful manoeuvering and precision shots are of utmost importance, and the game consistently lobs intricate combat arenas at the player to test their reaction speed and the finer points of their FPS skills. This is all wrapped up in a simple but effective art style and an unexpectedly engrossing campaign which is far too good to spoil. 

If you’re lucky enough to own a virtual reality headset, you can check out Superhot VR, which ups the immersion and expertly transposes this puzzle shooter gem into the virtual realm. 

Platforms available: Oculus Quest, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC

Apex Legends

Apex Legends

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

If the speed and polish offered by the Titanfall series appeals to you, then Apex Legends could well be the FPS battle royale for you. 

Coming from Titanfall developer, Respawn Entertainment, Apex Legends is an FPS battle royale that really lets you move.  Like other battle royales, Apex Legends sees you work with your squad to be the last team standing but it really stands apart with its excellent gunplay, great map design and fantastic cast of characters.  Since its launch, Apex Legends has been an innovator in its genre and it’s continually growing with Respawn’s updates.

Platforms available: PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch (mobile support coming soon)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare / Call of Duty: Warzone

Best FPS games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

(Image credit: Infinity Ward)

If you’re not looking for something as serious as Counter-Strike but want a game that is still systematically satisfying and tons of fun to play with friends, you can’t go wrong with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which is a reinvention of the 2009 classic Call of Duty 4. 

Call of Duty has dominated the shooter space for decades now and there’s a good reason why. It still feels great to play and is very accessible as far as the popular modern shooters go. Even better, Modern Warfare recently added a free battle royale mode known as Warzone that has quickly become a tremendous success. In any event, playing some or all of this shooter package is worth your while, especially if you’re into military shooters with fancy perks, attachments, vehicles and more.

Platforms available: PS4, Xbox One and PC

Bioshock Remastered

Best FPS games: BioShock

(Image credit: 2K Games)

A key talking point in the initial discussions about whether games “could be art,” Bioshock launched in 2007 to critical acclaim, creating a peanut butter and chocolate combination of an immersive simulator (think Thief, Deus Ex) with a focused campaign full of survival horror elements and surreal characters. 

Most importantly, it delivered a gripping political tale that will act as a sufficiently mind-bending chaser to the safe and boring campaigns often tacked on to most modern shooter games. Just make sure you play the Remastered edition… and save all of those Little Sisters, you monster! 

Platforms available: PS4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Left 4 Dead 2

Best FPS games: Left 4 Dead 2

(Image credit: Valve)

By now, it should be fairly clear that Valve knows how to make FPS games, and zombie horde shooter Left 4 Dead 2 is testament to the studio’s ability to consistently reinvent aspects of the shooter genre. In this exciting gem from 2009, that holds up effortlessly today, you push through carefully crafted gauntlet maps whilst an AI director places new zombie types, hordes and items to challenge teams of four in a procedural fashion. 

Every round is unpredictable and full to the brim with a special kind of chaos, one that is only exacerbated in Versus mode, where teams of four can face off against each other, swapping each round to play as the zombies and the humans. It’s a deliciously clever game bursting with smart systems that are well worth getting the gang together for.

Platforms available: PC and Xbox 360

Overwatch

Best FPS games: Overwatch

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Contrary to popular belief, Overwatch isn't a MOBA. It is, however, a colorful, competitively focused first-person shooter from Blizzard featuring different classes incorporated across a variety of different heroes. Pitting two teams of six players against one another, Overwatch is all about teamwork and cooperation with their respective squads. That said, you'll want to make sure a healthy balance of offensive and defensive characters is secured if you ultimately seek survival.

After all, you wouldn't want to be demolished by the opposing team just because you have too many healers and not enough tanks or vice versa.

Platforms available: PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch

Rainbow Siege Siege

Best FPS games: Rainbow Six Siege

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rainbow Six Siege isn't just a technical marvel, it's an ongoing tactical endeavor. Like a handful of other titles on this list, Siege is about teamwork. Without it, it's your standard deathmatch shooter, save some impressively realistic destructible environments. 

Acting on the goal of either defending or challenging objectives, the five-on-five online co-op game is certainly no Call of Duty. Instead of running around swiftly across maps, dodging bullets and taking headshots, characters are given abilities and limited resources, such as wall reinforcements, barbed wire, traps, and explosives, to overthrow and denounce victory over the opposing team.

Platforms available: PS4, Xbox One and PC (confirmed for PS5 and Xbox Series X)

Destiny 2

Best FPS games: Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

As you'd expect from the creators of Halo, Destiny 2 features world-class shooting with a variety of increasingly exotic, collectable guns. The game's been around for so long, now, that it's amalgamated an absolute ton of content, including five story campaigns of varying length and quality across many different worlds. The seasonal content fluctuates wildly in quality, with the player base's perception of the game shifting all the time as a result, but there are potentially hundreds of hours of shooting to enjoy here if you get into it.

Just note that the loading times on consoles now are extremely long, making us all the more excited for the SSDs that'll come with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Platforms available: PS4, Xbox One and PC

Jordan Oloman

Jordan Oloman is a journalist and documentarian with experience across the pop culture/tech spectrum writing reported features, reviews. news, guides, op-eds and more for a wide variety of outlets. He is also an affiliate streamer on Twitch and have previous experience in scriptwriting, podcasting, game consultation and creating video content.