The 8 Best First-Person Shooters for PC to Buy in 2018

Take aim at these popular games

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First person shooters (FPS) are some of the most popular games available on PC, and for good reason: they present quick and thrilling action where players war against robots, demons, and even each other. Back in 1993, it was a first-person shooter game — "Doom" — that was installed on more computers worldwide than Windows 95.

The FPS games that stand out, like our picks below, all bring out new gameplay elements that shake up the genre. "PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds" lets you go head to head with 99 other players as you scavenge on a giant island. You’ll venture back to the action-packed 80s with all its glorious VHS aesthetics in "Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon." And if you’re careful, strategic, and listen to every footstep and heartbeat, you’ll cement your team to victory in the competitive "Rainbow Six: Siege." So steady your mouses and aim carefully: these are the eight best shots for FPS games on PC.

Our Top Picks

Best for Battle-Royale Gameplay: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Courtesy of Amazon

Full of tense, heart-pounding action, the battle royale first-person shooter mode of "PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds" is addictively fun. The game can be played in third person mode, but the excitement heats up in the first-person perspective where there is no advantage of peripheral vision.​​​

"PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds" is simple. You (alone, with a friend in a duo, or with three friends in a squad) and 99 other players start the game by parachuting out of an airplane onto an island. From there, you must scavenge for weapons, armor, and energy drinks while fighting to survive. During this time, the safe areas in the map shrink, so you’ll be rushing by foot or in a vehicle through forests, abandoned suburbs, and over high mountains finding a safe spot to secure. If other players spot you, they'll try to kill you — only the last one standing can win.

Best for Team Gameplay: Rainbow Six: Siege

Dying Light
Dying Light. © Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

"Rainbow Six: Siege" is delightfully strategy-heavy, relying on diligent communication as you and your other teammates move about to complete missions. The online competitive first-person shooter isn’t just about pointing and shooting — instead, it rewards players who figure out the best strategies to overcome other players.

The main mode in "Rainbow Six: Siege" is a five-versus-five match where one team protects a target (like a bomb or hostage) and fortifies their positions while the other finds a way to infiltrate their position, hunting for intel using remote control drones. Since its release, the game has expanded to include over 40 different operators that players can choose from. Each has a unique ability, like using sledgehammers to break open walls, employing armor packs, and detecting enemies through walls with a heartbeat sensor. You’ll rappel up rooftops, breakthrough floors, voice chat and pin map markers with teammates, and if you want to take a break, you can always practice with solo missions against enemy AI that’ll train you up.

Best for Large-Scale Battles: Battlefield 1: Revolution

"Battlefield 1: Revolution" takes players back to the early 1910s, and to the immense, global scale of World War I. The game is inspired by historical WWI events, allowing you to fight as a Harlem Hellfighter in France or work as a rebel with Lawrence of Arabia.

The grandiosity of "Battlefield 1" is best shown in its "Conquest Mode," an online, competitive multiplayer match that takes place all over the world of the game, with locations drawn from actual historical events. Chug along in battleships, armored tanks, on horseback, or piloting aircraft fit for the time period. This game emphasizes teamwork, requiring you to pick specialized classes with customized tools and weapons, from anti-vehicle infantry to medics, who utilize their skills in five-player squadrons. The single-player campaign mode lets you control six different characters in six compelling stories that take place all over the world.

Best Robot-Themed: Titanfall 2

Screenshot of the Overwatch video game
Overwatch.

Like a blockbuster Hollywood movie, "Titanfall 2" puts you at the controls of a giant robot battling other giant robots in a first-person shooter sci-fi adventure. The game’s main single-player campaign follows a buddy-style story of a militia rifleman and his robot BT-7274.

"Titanfall 2’s" core gameplay mechanics involve piloting and commanding giant robots called Titans while navigating on foot as a pilot with a wide range of mobility. Slide, sprint, hurdle, jump, and wall-run as a human pilot while operating a giant robot. Together, your characters will battle against mercenaries, renegade robots, alien beasts, and other Titans in heavy combat encounters. Titanfall 2’s main campaign incorporates both puzzle elements and platforming and will last players six hours as they explore richly-detailed atmospheres from lush jungles to military compounds and more.

Best Zombie-Themed: Killing Floor 2

Fast-paced and full of action, "Killing Floor 2" is a first-person shooter with one basic objective: kill the zombies before they kill you. The game can be played alone or cooperatively with up to six players.

Gameplay in "Killing Floor 2" involves fighting your way through waves of different types of zombies, from typical ghouls and sirens to muscular undead menaces with grinders for arms, all of which leads to an eventual big boss battle. Players rake up experience points and dollars with each kill they get, spending money on different weapons between rounds and unlocking skills surrounding their combat classes like field medic, demolitionist, or gunslinger. Despite the "run-and-gun" combat, "Killing Floor 2" becomes more frantic and tactical the more you play and includes dynamic difficulty that adjusts to your performance.

 

Best for Action Fans: Dishonored 2

"Dishonored 2" places you in the role of a supernatural assassin in a first-person shooter game that is equal parts stealth and action — and situational awareness is vital to survival. Players are given free-range to complete each mission in a multitude of ways, traversing an immersive sandbox environment that doesn’t rely on just running and gunning.

You’ll enter the imaginative world of Karnaca, a living city modeled after southern European countries and inspired by fashion, architecture, and technologies from the mid-1800s. You’ll dash through twisting alleyways, hidden entrances, and up through towering buildings, occasionally encountering enemies. You can choose to use non-lethal attacks like getting the drop on foes, or you can go all-out with swords, pistols, or grenades. The game includes multiple endings depending on the decisions you make, and you’ll be enticed into multiple playthroughs to explore the environments, utilize your attacks differently, and uncover every detail you might have missed. 

Best for Retro Sci-Fi Fans: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Oozing neon, retro-futuristic aesthetics, "Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon" transports you to an open cyber world of violent androids and laser-shooting dragons that's straight out of 1980s sci-fi. This standalone expansion of "Far Cry 3" is set in the dystopian year of 2007, where the world is enduring the aftermath of a nuclear war. You are Sergeant Rex “Power” Colt, an American cybernetic super soldier who must stop a rogue agent from reverting the world to its prehistoric state using rockets and zombies.

A lightning-streaked sky and synth-laden soundtrack by Power Glove create the perfect backdrop for terrible, punny one-liners and '80s-inspired space guns, ninja stars, and even bows and arrows. "Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon" retains many of the same gameplay elements of the "Far Cry" franchise, like distracting guards, performing stealth takedowns, hiding in bushes, and driving some rad vehicles.

Best for Horror Fans: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

"Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" takes the survival horror FPS genre to the next level. Filled with plenty of scares, the game features realistic graphics and an unsettling storyline: players take on the first-person perspective of a man searching for his wife on a decrepit plantation that's inhabited by a monstrous cannibal family.

Resources are limited in "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard," so you’ll have to be wise with your use of the precious ammo in your handguns, shotguns, and flamethrowers, all while making sure you have enough herbs and first aid medkits to heal you. You will constantly be on edge with every tight corner you turn while solving puzzles in pictures and waiting for the next monstrosity to crawl out a wall to face you. Many of the battle sequences in the game feel cinematic, with enemies unpredictably lunging at you in stunning — and terrifying — detail.