The 7 Best First Person Shooters for PC

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The Rundown
"Doom was the game that made the FPSa household institution and is one of the most well-known games within the genre."
"Underneath the game’s cartoony style is a tight, action-focused game with the perfect amount of humor and character."
Best Narrative:
Bungie Destiny 2 at Amazon
"here’s so much content available, Bungie was able to vault away half of their content in the latest expansion."
"Rainbow Six Siege originally released in 2015, and has steadily improved over thanks to solid developer support and an active community."
"Riot Games knows how to make free games with a gratifying competitive hook, and Valorant is no exception."
"The series has proven itself successful over and over, competing in new arenas like battle royale with Warzone."
"If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you simply cannot pass up the amazing value provided by the Halo: Master Chief Collection."

The best first-person shooters for PC will turn your computer into a battleground. A good modern FPS offers natural-feeling movement throughout the world, interesting weapons, and challenging enemies that increase in difficulty as you progress through the game and as you raise your difficulty level. We’ve come a long way since the 007 days, and today’s FPS games should be realistic enough to make it feel as though you’re peering through a window and into the game world as you battle.

While FPS games share the first-person perspective, each game is very different. The world, movement, enemies, hud, and other specifics will change from game to game. Even within the same FPS, you’ll notice differences when you change weapons. Multiplayer is extremely important for FPS, and some people choose these games based simply on what the gamers in their group are currently playing. However, if you’re looking for the best FPS currently available, we have you covered. 

We’ve reviewed dozens of games, and our pick for the best FPS is Doom Eternal. It’s fun, action packed, and fast paced, yet just about anyone can play Doom on the easier settings. If you already have Doom Eternal, we’ve also included our picks in other categories, like the best multiplayer FPS, the best looter, and the best free FPS for PC.

Best Overall: Bethesda Doom Eternal (PC)

Doom Eternal
What We Like
  • Fast, visceral action

  • Fun campaign

  • Over the top in the best way

What We Don't Like
  • Levels can feel long

Doom was the game that made the FPSa household institution and is one of the most well-known games within the genre. Doom was rebooted by ID software in 2016, and it made a huge comeback. Doom Eternal is a further refinement of that reboot, and it revels in all of its hard rock and demon-killing glory. 

In the game, Earth has been conquered by demons and the “mortally challenged.” They fear only one thing, the slayer, also affectionately known as Doom Guy. Your job is to punish demons and win back the earth. This is not the best game if you are looking for a deep story, but if you’re looking for bombastic fun, you’ll find it in Doom Eternal. This is a game that starts off fast and serves you new challenge after new challenge while introducing you to better and better armaments for your slaying pleasure. Double-barreled shotgun? Check. Chaingun which turns into a turret? Yep. A BFG 9000? Of course. 

Everything about Doom Eternal is fast, precise, and feels like one of the best examples of what a pure fun shooter should be. The campaign clocks in at around 16 to 18 hours, but can be longer depending on how thorough you want to be. Sometimes levels feel a bit long, but as you get faster and better at the game, the levels start to feel just right. There is a 2v1 multiplayer mode where two demons face off against a slayer. It’s a bit different from most other shooter games, but still a fun detour that’s definitely worth your time. Doom Eternal—one of the originals in the genre—stands tall as one of the best available today.

Best Looter: 2K Games Borderlands 3 (PC)

Borderlands 3
What We Like
  • Massive variety of weapons

  • Fun playable characters

  • Lots of humor and laughs

What We Don't Like
  • Cartoony look that some may not enjoy

If you originally looked at Borderlands 3’s art style and crazy action and thought this game was not for you, then perhaps it is worth another look. Underneath the game’s cartoony style is a tight, action-focused game with the perfect amount of humor and character. 

You are a group of four playable vault hunters who are traveling through Pandora and several other locations to defeat the Calypso twins. Along the way, you meet allies and characters who will send you on side missions to collect better items and level up. The campaign should take 30 plus hours to complete, but never feels like a drag or grind at all. 

The real draw to Borderlands 3 is the loot. The Borderlands series has always delivered with amazing weapon variety, and the third entry takes everything up a notch. Even though the weapons are procedurally generated, they all manage to have an individual feel and detail that will keep you from sticking to just one gun. You will want to change weapon after weapon just to try them out. The characters in the game are fun, and you will find yourself chuckling more than you would with just about any other game. Add in tons of exploration, vehicles, and super fun co-op, and you have one of the best FPS games.

Best Narrative: Bungie Destiny 2 (PC)

What We Like
  • Tons of variety in gameplay

  • Lots of continued development and support

  • Top notch multiplayer

What We Don't Like
  • Can feel like a grind sometimes

Destiny 2 originally released in 2017, so the fact that it’s still receiving major expansions (and is still being talked about) is a testament to the game and the fully-realized universe it provides players. In Destiny 2, you are a guardian empowered with the light. You live to face and defeat the power of darkness. While that may sound generic at first, once you dive into the narrative, you will see why this was selected as a top pick. 

With a deep weaving story that spans many expansions, you are given story mission after story mission. There’s so much content available, Bungie was able to vault away half of their content in the latest expansion, and there is still a massive amount of story and tasks. If you want, you can skip all the narrative almost entirely, and focus on running through the game quickly to get to the end game content. 

Destiny 2 offers something for everyone—you can focus on PvE content with strikes and raids in a cooperative setting, you can jump into PvP with some best in class multiplayer that’s always tight and rewards skill, or you can have both with a novel Gambit mode, featuring PvE and PvP in the same mode. Then, there are the weapons— those exotic level weapons that players love to chase. Sure, chasing those weapons can feel like a major grind, but the payoff almost always feels worth it. 

“We enjoyed Destiny 2 more than we expected to. The graphics are stunning, the voice acting is well done and the plot is well written. With a multitude of gameplay modes, there’s always something to do, and you can do most of it with friends.”—Kelsey Simon, Product tester

Best Competitive: Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (PC)

What We Like
  • Fast, tight matches

  • Large number of characters

  • Good amount of active players

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult for new players to jump in

Rainbow Six Siege originally released in 2015, and has steadily improved over thanks to solid developer support and an active community. In a competitive game, developer support is huge, and Ubisoft has done an incredible job of keeping their game afloat. 

The PvP is the main event in this game, and what makes it our pick for the best competitive FPS. Each round is a 5v5 battle between teams of chosen operators, of which there are over 55 distinct operators each with their own skill set and unique abilities to help match your playstyle. One team are the attackers attempting to breach and kill the defenders. The round starts with a setup period where defenders run around putting up barricades and getting into position, while the attacking team looks to gain some intel using remote-operated drones. Once the setup phase is complete, the action phase begins. Combat is methodical and tactical, rewarding thoughtful progression and teamwork, rather than running and gunning. Attempting to blast through the building is a quick way to end up spectating the rest of the match, as players often communicate enemy positions and set up in strong defensive positions. Luckily, each operator has fun tools at their disposal, and playing through and finding your favorites is half of the fun. 

Rainbow Six Siege can be a bit difficult for newcomers, as there is a hefty learning curve, but sticking with it is incredibly rewarding. There’s not too much that compares to saving your team when you’re the last one standing.

Best Free: Riot Games' Valorant (PC)

Valorant game logo symbol
What We Like
  • Finely tuned competition

  • Excellent powers mixed with gunplay

  • Fun to play

What We Don't Like
  • Not a ton of content

Riot Games knows how to make free games with a gratifying competitive hook, and Valorant is no exception. Valorant feels like all of the best parts of a combination of CS:GO and Overwatch wrapped in a perfect little 5v5 package. 

You can select from 13 characters, each with their own special powers and ultimate abilities. After selection, you will face off in an attacker versus defender type situation where one team is looking to plant a bomb and the other is looking to disable it (or either team can just wipe out the other team). The first team to win 13 rounds wins the match. 

Each round is fast, and this game definitely gets your heart pumping. You only have one life and death comes fast, so getting the jump on a rival player is crucial, as are your twitch skills to ensure you get the all-important headshot. The entire game feels like a highly balanced and curated affair, rather than a situation where massive amounts of goodies are thrown at players. You are rewarded for learning about the small amount of characters and how to handle the 18 weapons. With only five maps available, this is a game that forces players to focus on learning the ins and outs and playing to their strengths. Getting to play such a well-crafted game for free is simply the icing on the cake.

Best Multiplayer: Activision Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PC)

Call of Duty Black Ops 4
What We Like
  • Best in class controls

  • Plenty of variety and modes

  • Good story

What We Don't Like
  • Feels a bit redundant at times

The Call of Duty series has almost always held the crown in the multiplayer division. The series has proven itself successful over and over, competing in new arenas like battle royale with Warzone, and providing fun and original modes like Zombies—the series never seems to disappoint. 

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War takes the series to the 80s and focuses on a war not really known for its large battles, but instead known for its espionage and subterfuge. The campaign provides players with an excellent behind-the-scenes look at some of the Cold War action. It also provides plenty of high-octane set piece moments, making for a more balanced and interesting story. 

The reason Cold War is on this list is because it provides another excuse to jump into Call of Duty multiplayer. There’s the always-fun cooperative zombie mode, which has players face off against round after round of zombies, with a fun arsenal and a great deal of challenge. Then you have the PvP competitive modes—the main course. There’s a mode here for everyone, from a four-person team mode with 10 teams and 40 players to large map 12v12 modes to classic deathmatch. COD: Black Ops Cold War promises to provide that FPS death grip on your controller, and it’s an all-around fun ride.

Best Value: 343 Industries Halo: Master Chief Collection (PC)

Halo: The Master Chief Collection
What We Like
  • Six games for the price of one

  • Awesome multiplayer

  • Epic story

What We Don't Like
  • Not everything aged well

If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you simply cannot pass up the amazing value provided by the Halo: Master Chief Collection. You get six games for around the same price as a new release, including tons of remastered content. 

The first stop is the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary edition— the game that started it all as the Xbox launch title and introduced us to one of the most iconic game characters in a generation: Master Chief. With enhanced graphics and the classic multiplayer, there are a lot of reasons to replay this gem, but keep in mind that not everything aged perfectly. 

Halo 2 introduces the Arbiter, giving the story more dimension as players get to see a bit of the Covenant underworkings. Halo 3, released in 2007, continued the epic story and tradition of amazing gameplay and multiplayer. Halo 3: ODST provides gamers with another original look at the universe, as you take control of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. A great entry, the fact that the game doesn’t focus on Master Chief makes the world more interesting, and the war with the Covenant feels more like an actual war. 

Halo: Reach was a prequel to the original Halo. It features Noble team, a Squad of Spartans to which you are a newly assigned recruit. This game is another fresh take on the series, with interesting characters and a compelling story. Finally, there’s Halo 4 (released in 2012), which rounds out the offering with a triumphant return of Master Chief. It features new enemies and awesome multiplayer. Overall, there is simply too much offered to cover in a few paragraphs, which shows why Halo: Master Chief Collection is the best pick for value.

Doom Eternal is a pure shooter with a fun 2v1 multiplayer mode, making it our pick for the best FPS overall. If you’re looking for a looter, you’ll probably enjoy Borderlands 3

About Our Trusted Experts: 

Erika Rawes
has been writing professionally for more than a decade, and she’s spent the last five years writing about consumer technology. Erika has reviewed roughly 125 gadgets, including computers, peripherals, games, A/V equipment, mobile devices, and smart home gadgets. 

What to Look for in a First Person Shooter:

Controls- There is nothing more frustrating than playing a FPS and not having good control over where you’re shooting. Control is everything, and you want your skills to shine through. 

Interesting world- Do you want a Sci-Fi shooter, or something more realistic? Look for a world you can get invested in, as shooters can be a time sink, so you want to feel like all of that conquering was for a reason. 

Developer support - A first person shooter is not like an adventure game where you may play through once and move on, you want to play over and over and you want developers who have a plan to introduce new intriguing content. A good test is seeing how often new content drops. 

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