Mid-Week Gaming Poll: Best First Person Shooter Franchise

Let’s do a gaming topic for this week’s poll. Of the major First Person Shooter franchises on the current generation of videogame consoles, which is the best? Vote after the break.

In order to avoid listing off every FPS on the market, we’re going to focus specifically on franchises here. To qualify, there must be at least two games in the series. If I have to guess, this is probably going to come down to ‘Halo’ versus ‘Call of Duty’.

But what do I know? Not much of a gamer, I’ve only played one ‘Call of Duty’ game (‘Black Ops’), the latest ‘Killzone’ and a very small amount of the first ‘BioShock’. Help me fill in the gaps in my gaming knowledge. Which of these franchises would you rate best?

I’m sure that this list probably isn’t as comprehensive as it could be. Be sure to tell me in the Comments what major titles I’ve missed.

What Is the Best First Person Shooter Franchise?

View Results

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[Thanks to Griffin for some of the title suggestions.]


  1. Barsoom Bob

    I voted for Halo because of my bent towards sci-fi and when it first appeared on the scene, with the original X-Box, it was just mad fun to play. Up to that point FPS were not so well implemented on consoles and Halo blew the doors off that one. It added a bit more story to the game than usual FPS up to that point and there was something about the level of enemy AI in that game that I found hilarious, chasimng the little grunts around a rock to get the kill while they are babbling incessantly. Also had a genuine, WTF moment with the Flood.

    Call of Duty will probably be the proper choice, especially the first Modern Warfare game. So real and up to the minute and the A-bomb scenario was a shocker.

    Josh, I rank the first Bioshock as one of the best games I ever played, but it isn’t really a great FPS, more an atmospheric and dramatic experience. It does contain a truely great WTF moment in it, but the ending was a little weak.


  2. I chose other. While its been a few years since one was released, my favorite is Unreal, with a close second being Quake, and the third being Doom, forth being Half-Life Yeah, I like the old-school stuff. I am not a fan of Halo, and I have only played the first Call of Duty game. Farcry and Crysis were okay – mainly played them for the graphics.

    Bioshock is probably my favorite modern franchise series. It is just awesomeness! I haven’t played 2 or 3 yet (is three even out yet? I saw a trailer for it online the other day). So if I had to pick from the above list, it would be Bioshock, but as there are series I like better, I chose other.

  3. Barsoom Bob

    Bioshock 2 was basically more of the same but harder. Sampled it nut didn’t play thru. Bioshock 3 is going to be called Bioshock Infinite and is supposed to be released 2012. It is crafted by the maker of the first one and takes place in floating cities in the clouds.

  4. C’mon now, it’s gotta be ‘Half-Life.’ Nothing quite compares to the way that game feels and plays. If we include ‘Portal’ in there too it’s a no contest.

    • Josh Zyber

      I’ve added options for Half-Life and Portal. I didn’t realize that Half-Life 2 had been ported to the current generation of consoles. I played that one on the original Xbox.

      I hadn’t thought of Portal as a “shooter,” but I guess it could be called that.

  5. JM

    If third-person shooters are included, I vote for ‘Unchartered.’

    If you want to be more genre-narrow, I vote ‘Halo,’ for the mythology.

    But if ‘Bioshock’ is legal, then I have to lean towards ‘Mass Effect.’

    ‘Half-life’ would be the best franchise, had the series actually continued.

    In terms of hours played per dollar spent, ‘Borderlands’ owns my ass.

    * All games are played on the super easy setting, and I don’t play online.

  6. Prayformojo

    Tough choices, but the class system in Battlefield wins out for me. Of course depending on the character you build, Skyrim is as much an FPS as Bioshock/Portal. I think the list needs some narrowing to get a better comparison.

  7. Ed, Watertown MA

    The COD, Battlefield type FPS games end up boring me as you just go from one shootout to the next. Little story and little in the way of intellectual challenge.

    Bioshock is awesome but was only good for a few playthoughs once you’ve played out the two morality options.

    Borderlands though, keeps bringing me back with its variety of characters to play and different ways to advance using the endless variety of weapons. And the Gen. Knox/Claptrap Revolution DLC’s play like an entirely new game. Can’t wait for the sequel.

  8. Voted for Bioshock. Not a big fan of the more ‘traditional’ FPS games, if that makes any sense. I need a little something extra to hook me. Love the new Fallout games too.

  9. Alex

    I’m giving my vote for Half-Life/Portal. However, these days, particularly on consoles, I’m more of a 3rd person fan. I do love me some “Gears of War”.

    I think the last shooter that I really *loved* was a game called Painkiller. Anyone remember it? It had a wooden stake gun (a la Van Helsing) and some of the wicked coolest level design that I’ve ever seen. It also had a bitchin’ tagline: “Heaven’s got a Hitman”. Awesome stuff from the old school.

    • Oh, now if we are going to go old school like that, then I am going to throw in Postal, although I only ever played Postal 2 (I think Postal 1 was a top-down shooter, so technically, Postal is not a FPS franchise).

    • Return to Castle Wolfenstein is probably one of the best FPS games out there. But yeah, Wolfenstein 3D certainly brings back memories! Oh, the joy of shooting up pixelated Nazis!