Feature: FPS Cult Classics

With Modern Warfare 2 fever gradually dissipating, it’s time to mull over the shooters you might have missed.

By Kristan Reed, November 19, 2009

With Red Dead Redemption on the way, wild western gaming may have life in it yet.

With Red Dead Redemption on the way, wild western gaming may have life in it yet.

LucasArts (PC), 1997

Only ever released on the PC, Outlaws tried to grab our attention back in the day by being the first FPS to bother with the much-underused Wild West theme. But despite benefitting from LucasArts’ typically lavish attention to detail, superb narrative, a highly enjoyable campaign and excellent multiplayer modes, the cool kids snubbed it, mainly on the strength of its rather shonky visuals.

If your eyes don’t bleed at the sight of angular textures and, more importantly, you can stand the hassle of getting it to run on a modern PC, there’s plenty to admire here – as with most of LucasArts’ output from that period.

Shame Free Radical had to split.

Shame Free Radical had to split.

TimeSplitters 2
Eidos/Free Radical Design (PS2, Xbox, GameCube), 2002

When Free Radical released this excellent sequel back in October 2002, it looked for all the world like that a new FPS powerhouse had arrived. Better in every conceivable way than the likeable original, it still stands apart from the herd for doing things differently, and with a sense of humour so often lacking in the genre.

As with the original TimeSplitters, the campaign mode wasn’t the star of the show – for that, you had to dive into the the utterly superb Challenge mode, where you were tasked with all manner of madcap tasks, from slicing up waves of zombies to smashing windows within a time limit. Still visually distinctive after all these years, it remains by far the best in the series. If you revisit any of the games on the list, make it this one.

0 Responses to “Feature: FPS Cult Classics”

  1. Adam Doree says:


  2. Sugreev2001 says:

    I own a lot of the titles you mentioned here,but there are a couple I never managed to get my hands on.I always wanted to play No One Lives Forever,and I’ll probably scout Ebay for an old copy.Another series I’ve always wanted to try has been the Timesplitters series,and I might pick the first two from a nearby Best Buy since I really have no next-gen games I want to purchase until 2010…so both of them will keep me busy till the end of the year with their single player campaigns.

  3. Too soon for The Darkness to make the list? Seeing as Riddick is there I’ll forgive you. The demonic powers of the darkness (excellently voiced by Mike Patton) make it one I won’t forget.

    Prey is worth a mention for it’s crazy level design, surely an inspiration for Portal.

  4. Patrick says:

    A game that is often missed in most folk’s list is ‘System Shock 2′ (by the creators of Bioshock, etc – name similarity?). It’s more of a hybrid FPS ala Mass Effect and Bioshock, but definately worth a play through if you haven’t.

    Also, where’s ‘Serious Sam’? First (and still the best!) co-op FPS. Or is that too mainstream for this article’s theme?

  5. Edwin says:

    It’s probably worth mentioning that we’re planning to do more of these cult classic features, so keep the suggestions coming… :)


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