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General

Top 10 Greatest FPS (First person shooter) games of all time

Top 10 greatest FPS games of all time

1. Half-Life (1998)
This is my pick for #1 FPS of all time, because although Doom pioneered the FPS genre, Half life perfected it. It introduced an actual story, a script, player-NPC interactions, and made the game feel almost believable. Even though Half Life 2 improved upon this even more, I think Half Life’s influence cannot be understated, this is the greatest FPS game of all time.

2. Doom (1993)
Doom could be #1, because it is the original game that popularized the FPS genre. Sure, Catacomb Abyss, Ultima Underworld and Wolfenstein 3D came before it, but Doom was the game that made people realize that games were no longer just platformers and arcade style shooters. It was violent, it had a revolutionary engine and it is the grandfather of all FPS games. Hail Doom!

3. Counter-Strike 1.6 (2000)
Originally a mod of Half Life, it became its own game and one of the most popular multiplayer games of all time. Everywhere in college dorms and internet cafes, CS was being played. This game set the standard for multiplayer matches and gameplay for virtually all FPS games after it, having weapon loadouts and 2 opposing factions.

4. Quake (1996)
Quake upped the ante on Doom with better textures and more sadistic weapons that weren’t based on the real world, but moreoever introduced multiplayer gaming and LAN parties to the public. Doom technically had multiplayer before but Quake made it popular. Quake also introduced the fast paced deathmatch style of play that would be found in every 90s FPS shooter since.

5. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
This was the game that sold the Xbox to the public and considered revolutionary in the FPS genre for a few reasons, first the game ditched health packs and carrying every weapon you find, to having a regenerating shield and a limitation of only being able to carry 2 weapons at a time, and secondly the ability to pilot vehicles. Both these innovations would appear in pretty much every FPS game after it.

6. Half-Life 2 (2004)
One of the greatest FPS games ever is also considered one of the greatest games of all time, period. Half life improved upon its successor with more of everything, with various styles of gameplay, puzzle-solving, and player-AI interaction, plus a new physics engine that really pushed the FPS genre as a whole. This game was considered the best game of the 2000s decade by a lot of publications.

7. Goldeneye 007 (1995)
The best FPS game on a console for the rest of the decade, Goldeneye combined a great story, and an incredibly fun multiplayer where you can play split screen 4 player, with various mods like the golden gun and paintball mode, this was along with Super Mario 64 the game that sold the Nintendo 64.

8. System Shock (1994)
The sci-fi RPG FPS game that built upon Ultima underworld and influenced System Shock 2, Dead Space, Deus Ex, Bioshock and a slew of other RPG/FPS hybrid games, this game was the original and was hugely influential in advancing the sci-fi genre.

9. Duke Nukem 3D (1996)
One of the first FPS games and the first popular FPS game to make use of a players voice, in addition to being able to interact with various items in the game. The player character had a personality which other games that came before it didn’t.

10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
Revitalized the franchise and all modern FPS games by having realistic combat driven storyline set in modern day, great graphics, and a multiplayer that set the standard for all FPS games that came after it

Categories
Tech

Top 20 Greatest video games of all time

Yay.. another top 20 list!! Here we go.. the topic is Video games. I’m going to list the video games in order of influence, and mention the developer, the first console it was published for (starting with Atari, not gonna count Space War or Pong since those were before consoles), and the first year it was released in.

1. Doom

Doom made FPS games popular
Doom made FPS games popular

Developer: id Software
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
Year: 1993

This game is the most important of all time because it made first person shooters popular. There were FPS games before Doom like Wolf3D and Catacomb Abyss, but this was the most well known one. Without Doom, we wouldn’t have the multi-billion dollar gaming industry of Call of Duty and Halo like we do now, its that simple. I remember my parents wouldn’t let me play this game because it was “violent” at the time. Now seems silly cause its so pixellated.

2. Space Invaders

Space Invaders pioneered shooting games
Space Invaders pioneered shooting games

Developer: Taito Corporation
Console: Atari 2600 (first port)
Year: 1978

Space Invaders has become synonymous with video games because of the pixellated space alien character. It pioneered space shooting games which were popular in the 1980s, and video games in general because without it, the modern video game industry wouldn’t have been born. This is the game that made Atari 2600 popular, and thus making video games a viable industry as a whole.

3. Pac-man

Pac-man is one of the most enduring popular arcade games of all time
Pac-man is one of the most enduring popular arcade games of all time

Developer: Namco
Console: Atari 2600 (first port)
Year: 1980

Pac-man, like Space Invaders, made video games accepted and popular among the masses. It was a brilliantly addictive game that continues to be widely played today. This game and space invaders helped create the video game industry and pave way for more advanced games, both on arcades and on consoles.

4. Tetris

Tetris is one of the most popular games of all time
Tetris is one of the most popular games of all time

Developer: Alexey Pajitnov
Console: Gameboy (most well known)
Year: 1989 (for gameboy)

Tetris is one of the most addictive and popular video games of all time. Designed by one Russian programmer, it has led to numerous versions and remixes, and continues to be widely known and played, much like Pac-man. This was the game that sold Game boy to the masses.

5. Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros made platformers popular and revived the video game industry
Super Mario Bros made platformers popular and revived the video game industry

Developer: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1985

Super Mario Bros made platformers popular in the late 80s/early 90s, and revived the video game industry from the crash of 1983. It is one of the most well known and important video games of all time. The success of this game led to the success of games like Sonic, and Super Mario 64, and other platforming games, but this is the original.

6. Grand Theft Auto III

GTA3 made sandbox games popular
GTA3 made sandbox games popular

Developer: Rockstar North
Console: Playstation 2
Year: 2001

Hard to estimate the impact of this game. In 2001, games were mostly linear, requiring you to finish a set of goals in a certain order. When this game came out, people were blown away because of the freedom they had. I had friends who played this game for days on end, because there was essentially no “end” to it. You could just not do the missions and just go about the city. This was and is a landmark title for video games for that kind of influence.

7. Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo changed the FPS genre
Halo changed the FPS genre

Developer: Bungie
Console: Xbox
Year: 2001

This game single-handededly saved Microsoft’s ass, and revitalized the FPS genre to boot. When Halo came out, it popularized the notion of using vehicles in FPS, and using shields instead of health packs, and only carrying two weapons. In comparison to 90s FPS like Doom, Quake, Duke3D, Unreal Tournament, which focused more on how many weapons and powerups you could get. Without Halo, there wouldn’t be Call of Duty or Battlefield or modern FPS’s.

8. Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II popularized fighting games
Street Fighter II popularized fighting games

Developer: Capcom
Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1992

This game made the fighting genre popular in the 90s, and spawned other games like Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur, etc. Anyone ever heard of Street Fighter I?? No, everyone talks about II, because this is the one that made it to the USA and made it popular. This is the one that had like 20 different versions.

9. World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is the first popular MMORPG
World of Warcraft is the first popular MMORPG

Developer: Blizzard
Console: PC
Year: 2004

World of Warcraft was the first popular MMORPG. Yes I know there was Everquest and Ultima Online, but WoW made the genre really well known in the public mind. People died over this game. People starved their kids to play this game. Anyways, its immensely influential, and you can see its influence in MMORPGs today like League of Legends and Guild Wars.

10. Legend of Zelda

Legend of Zelda was a landmark adventure game
Legend of Zelda was a landmark adventure game

Developer: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1986

Legend of Zelda was a landmark adventure game for the genre. It established elements popular in the genre including the overhead map, puzzles, role playing, etc. The influence of Zelda can be felt in virtually every adventure and RPG game today.

11. Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII popularized JRPGs in the west
Final Fantasy VII popularized JRPGs in the west

Developer: Squaresoft
Console: Playstation
Year: 1997

Final Fantasy VII made Japanese RPGs popular in western culture.. before there were a minority of players playing great classics like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger but JRPGs really became popular after Final Fantasy made it. Final Fantasy established the traditional JRPG formula, and blended it with great graphics and great storytelling, and spawned a legion of cosplayer fans everywhere. Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are considered amongst the greatest RPGs of all time, but I think FFVII still wins based on influence.

12. Angry Birds

Angry Birds made mobile games a force to reckon with
Angry Birds made mobile games a force to reckon with

Developer: Rovio
Console: iOS
Year: 2009

Angry Birds is the game that really made mobile games a force to contend with. They were such a runaway hit, and spawned such successful sequels that now iOS and Android can compete with PSP and Nintendo DS in the handheld market. In 2009, no one thought mobile games would be that big. Before Angry Birds, mobile games were essentially the equivalent of flash games and facebook games. But Angry Birds really proved how successful mobile games could be.

13. Starcraft

Starcraft is one of the most influential RTS games of all time
Starcraft is one of the most influential RTS games of all time

Developer: Blizzard
Console: PC
Year: 1998

Starcraft was one of my most beloved games when I was young. I used to make mods and conversions for it, and played the LAN multiplayer all day with my friends. It is one of the most influential RTS games of all time. It is so successful in Korea that they have 24 hour channels broadcasting tournaments there. The races are perfectly balanced. The story is great. The cinematics are awesome. And the multiplayer is very addictive. Even 15 years later, my Korean friends are still playing it.

14. Goldeneye 007

Goldeneye 007 made FPS the multiplayer genre
Goldeneye 007 made FPS the multiplayer genre

Developer: Rare
Console: Nintendo 64
Year: 1997

I’m also going to put Quake in this entry as well, but basically these two games changed FPS’s from Doom-like clones and dungeon shootem ups to a genre with more realistic graphics and awesome multiplayer abilities. I remember playing Goldeneye for hours every day after school at my friends house, and the multiplayer was just awesome. All those cheats, levels and mods were great. A very influential game in the genre.

15. Half Life

Half life gave FPS games more story and depth
Half life gave FPS games more story and depth

Developer: Valve
Console: PC
Year: 1998

Like Goldeneye, Halo, Doom and Quake, Half-life evolved the FPS genre. Where Goldeneye and Quake made FPS’s more realistic, Half-life gave them more depth, making use of scripted dialog to make the game feel more like a cinematic film rather than a typical shoot-em up. Without Half-life, there wouldn’t be Halo, and without Halo there wouldn’t be modern FPS games like Call of Duty.

16. Commander Keen

Commander Keen made smooth scrolling platforming possible on the PC
Commander Keen made smooth scrolling platforming possible on the PC

Developer: id Software
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
Year: 1990

Ahh.. how I loved playing Commander Keen in my childhood. This was the first game to use smooth scrolling platforming on the PC, and it revolutionized platform gaming on the PC. After Commander Keen came out, all these DOS games that were basically platforming clones of it came out as well. Commander Keen itself was based on the smooth platforming of Super Mario, that wasn’t done on PC at the time until John Carmack figured out a way to do it.

17. Sim City

Simcity made simulation games popular
Simcity made simulation games popular

Developer: Maxis
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
Year: 1989

Sim City (and by extension, the Sims), made simulation games a viable genre. Before Simcity, there weren’t any really good simulators out for things like playing God and building your own city, or controlling your own inhabitants. Its legacy can be felt in virtually all Sims games by both Maxis and other companies.

18. Pokemon

Pokemon revolutionized handheld RPGs
Pokemon revolutionized handheld RPGs

Developer: Game Freak
Console: Game Boy
Year: 1998

Boy, was Pokemon a huge fad when it came out. Pokemon cartoons, stuffed animals, trading cards – kind of like how Angry Birds is now. Anyways, it was a huge deal when it hit the US, because the concepts were so unique. Catching monsters to battle?? Trading monsters?? TWO versions of the same game?? It was such a unique idea at the time, and it was executed so well. Millions of children became addicted to the game, and I still don’t mind playing it today.

19. Deus Ex

Deus Ex is considered the  best PC game of all time
Deus Ex is considered the best PC game of all time

Developer: Ion Storm
Console: PC
Year: 2000

Deus Ex is a game of magnificent proportions… released by Ion Storm (the same studio that made the ill-fated Daikatana) in 2000, the game combines FPS, stealth, adventure and RPG genres, and does it seamlessly. For the great blend of elements, gameplay, graphics, storytelling and sheer scope, its often considered the best PC game of all time. Its legacy can be felt in virtually all sci-fi FPS’s since then, including Bioshock and Fallout 3.

20. Wii Sports

Wii Sports made casual and motion gaming popular
Wii Sports made casual and motion gaming popular

Developer: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Wii
Year: 2006

Wii Sports, along with Guitar Hero, made casual games part of social parties, and made motion/peripheral gaming popular. Without Wii Sports, its arguable whether or not Nintendo would have sold so many Wii consoles, and its influence on casual gaming is pretty vast, having influenced pretty much the design of the PS Move and the Xbox Kinect, and all those motion based games as well.

Categories
General Tech

PC / DOS games, then vs now, and how it’s affected my life

DOS games
DOS games

My interest in computers and programming have been directly tied to video games, here’s a little backstory on that.

My father was a Pascal / Delphi programmer, so our first computer was an IBM PC with a Pentium 386 and only 500MBs of hard disk space. Maybe 1 or 2MBs of RAM. He used to bring home these 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks from his school, Queen’s University at that time, and I remember one of my first games being Prince of Persia, which was and still is a great game.

I have many fond memories playing on that old PC, which was running MS-DOS and then Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 eventually. My dad use to buy these CDs full of DOS games back then. As you may remember, CDs can fit about 700MBs and that was alot compared to floppy disks. In any case, these DOS games ranged from amazing little jewels to just plain awful (some crashed when you try to run it). To play games back then, you had to run them from the command line, so people who played games back then had to have had a little bit of interest in computers.

These days, you just download a game from Steam or put in the DVD and run it, but back then, you had to setup and configure the game first, like what peripherals you were using, joystick, keyboard, mouse settings, Soundblaster settings, Adlib settings, 4 voices, 8 channels, etc. There was some work required before actually running the game. Which was done in the command line, using ___.exe or ___.bat. I have many fond memories of these DOS games back then, and comparing them to now is like night and day.

Here’s some of the things that DOS games had back then that we don’t have or don’t see much now:
1) Games were usually configured and run from the command line
2) Games were usually developed by independent developers and published as shareware or in episodes by companies like Apogee.
3) Groundbreaking games such as Another World were developed by one or two developers, in contrast to the multi million dollar studios and teams that are making games these days.
4) Mostly nerds and geeks played games back then, compared to now, where everyone including your grandma and dog know how to play a Wii.
5) First person shooters evolved from Wolfenstein 3D / Doom, shoot to kill without any sense of plot or story, to Halo and Call of Duty, focusing less on the number of guns you had, and more on the story and multiplayer. I lament that because I miss old school shooters, with tons of crazy weapons and health packs.
6) Multiplayer was mostly over LAN or split screen those days. These days, it’s all about the online experience. I also have fond memories of me and my brother using the same keyboard, over a split screen game, good times that I don’t see anymore.
7) Online experience was very limited, due to 56k modems and dial up; now its blazing fast 4G/Wifi.
8) These games were played on CRT monitors with resolutions lower than that of your mobile phone
9) Speaking of graphics, you can even configure those! VGA / EGA / CGA graphics were the norm back then.
10) No FAQs or troubleshooting or help guides back then. Also games tended to be a lot more difficult. This, combined with little or no internet, leads to long playability, mostly due to getting stuck at some part of the game and not knowing how to solve it.
11) Games often made use of joysticks, sound cards like Adblib and soundblaster, and had to be setup/configured from the command line
12) Games often lasted longer than the 8-12 hour affair you have these days. Since they came in episodes, each episode probably took 8-12 hours! Good example is Duke3D and Starcraft, which had much longer playtimes than their successors Duke Nukem Forever and Starcraft 2 (which has multiple episodes simulating the campaigns of the original game)

Alas, sometimes I do miss the 1990s and those were the golden age of DOS games, some standout games being:
Traffic Department 2192 (great story), Rise of the Triad, Catacomb 3D, Commander Keen series, Raptor (awesome music), Duke 3D, Dark Sun (played this game for months), Blake Stone (the sound fx are classic), Shadow Warrior, Pharoah’s tomb, Monster Bash, Jazz Jackrabbit, Hunter Hunted, Liero (modded this one many times), and many more.

These games influenced by childhood and in high school I would become interested in Korean multiplayer games such as Ragnarok Online, Gunbound, Maple Story, and try to hack and mod those games (packet sniffers, sprite/texture swapping, etc), directly influencing my decision to become a programmer and go into computer science.

So yes, sometimes these days I look back with nostalgia and remember how games were made back then, and how its affected me today… good times. Long live DOS games; you may be neglected compared to your console counterparts, but you will not be forgotten.

DOS games
DOS games