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

XIII remains one of the best examples of cell-shading around.

XIII remains one of the best examples of cell-shading around.

Ubisoft (Xbox, PS2, PC, GameCube), 2003

Released during Ubisoft’s famously creative era in late 2003 alongside the likes of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Beyond Good And Evil, XIII shares the glorious spirit of adventure that resonates even today. Based on a Belgian comic book, the game plays out entirely in a cell-shaded action strip style, complete with onomatopoeic ‘Rat-Tat-Tat’ and ‘BAOOOOM’.

XIII’s aesthetic was more than a simple gimmick, and the storyline of an amnesiac on the run from mysterious individuals remains compelling throughout. Interspersed with stealth interludes, the intrigue never lets up, and XIII remains one of the most interesting left-field FPS titles around.

Police brutality? You bet.

Police brutality? You bet.

Urban Chaos: Riot Response
Eidos/Rocksteady (PS2, Xbox), 2006

Developed by the team behind the recent classic, Batman Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady’s debut offering put players in the shoes of a riot response member tasked with bringing order to a modern American city overrun with notorious Burners gang members.

Designed with pure action in mind, Urban Chaos placed the emphasis firmly on replayability, with numerous medals and sub-goals to be completed during the game. In addition, the against-the-clock ‘Emergency’ sub-missions unlocked as you played through the main story mode added a hectic element to those already distinct mechanics. Slow-motion combat upped the tension no end.

Roundly ignored in its day for being a bit ‘last gen’, Urban Chaos deserves far more credit. With Rocksteady’s talents now widely appreciated, it’s high time to go back and check out the excellent team’s first game. You might be surprised.

Over to you, readers. Pop any and all fond memories in the comments thread.

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… :)


Kikizo Classic: