We've been looking at the best games in the Windows 10 store lately, and frankly, the offering there is thin. Thankfully, the Windows 10 store should be getting some heavy hitting titles in the coming months, including Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Killer Instinct, Fable Legends and Gigantic.
Microsoft's Xbox Store has a far richer selection, as you'd likely expect. While we wait for the Windows 10 store to beef itself up, we'll be looking at some of the best games currently, and imminently on offer for the Xbox One.
In this particular collection, we're looking Xbox One's premier first person shooters!
In the first person
"First-person" in games refers to the camera viewpoint. First-person shooters place you behind the eyes of the controllable character, guns in hand.
First-person shooters got popularized in the 90s by games like Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM. It's a testament to the power and importance of these games that both franchises still draw a ton of interest to this day. Later on, games like Quake, Half Life and Unreal Tournament added a new dimension (literally) to first person shooters, bringing credibility to the idea of competitive shooting gameplay.
Still, up until then, shooting games fit firmly within the realm of PC gaming, aside from a few exceptions. Halo and the original Xbox changed all that, though, bringing fast-paced shooting and responsive controls into the living room. Halo 2 combined with the power of Xbox Live went on to popularize console-based online competitive multiplayer, arguably changing the landscape of first-person shooters forever.
The games collected in this list represent some of my personal favourites tallied against some of the highest rated games in the Xbox Store. If you feel like this list should include a game not mentioned, as usual, hit the comments! These articles will get updated with further additions down the line.
Let's get started!
1. Metro Redux
Metro is one of my favourite first-person shooter series of all time, launching originally for Xbox 360 back in 2010. Metro Redux combines Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light into a single glorious re-mastered bundle, creating a beefy Xbox One package that'll last you for dozens of hours.
Metro follows the exploits of Artyom, a Ranger from the ruins of post-apocalyptic Russia. Nuclear war has decimated the world, and forced the population to live underground in make-shift homes deep inside Moscow's complex metro system.
Metro 2033 and Last Light are heavy with survival-horror elements, and both deliver big on the survival premise. You'll be maintaining your equipment, keeping your lights charged and scavenging ammo from the bones of the dead. Most of the game takes place inside the lovingly detailed Moscow metro system, where nuclear-horrors and extra-dimensional beings stalk the shadows with malicious intent. Amidst all this chaos, various human factions eke out a meager existence, hundreds sick from radiation poisoning or maimed by the horrors that lurk in the dark.
Metro is a thoughtful shooter, asking you to wade through the tragedy of nuclear war while surviving at any cost. Artyom relays his thoughts between levels through bleak monologues that also fill up an in-game journal.
If you love survival horror, post-apocalyptic settings and tense fire-fights in the dark, Metro Redux is a must buy title.
2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
The sheer value of The Master Chief Collection should earn it a place on any top first-person shooter list.
Halo: MCC comprises Halo 1, 2, 3, and 4 (with ODST if you purchased early, £3.99 if not) for the price of a single title. The collection unifies the entire main Halo pantheon into a single experience, combining the campaign and multiplayer modes into one interface. Each game got bumped to 1080p and 60 frames per second. Halo 2, however, has undergone a full-blown re-master, including gorgeously re-made cut-scenes, audio, models and textures.
For all 3 of you who don't know, Halo is a science-fiction shooter that follows the exploits of Spartan 117, the Master Chief. Throughout the games, the Chief gets support from Cortana, the very same Cortana that lives in Windows 10 and Windows Phone 8.1. Halo takes a pretty standard humans vs. aliens premise and throws on layers of memorable characters, nail-biting combat and sheer majesty.
Halo's multiplayer components are genre-defining arena shooters complete with vehicular combat and tactical play. Halo: MCC utilizes Xbox Live's dedicated servers. The match-making systems were a bit rocky at launch, but they're now firing on all cylinders across over a hundred multiplayer maps and dozens of game modes.
It's likely that every Xbox One owner who enjoys first-person shooters owns Halo: MCC already, but if you're new to the 'Box, now's the time!
3. Wolfenstein: The New Order
The industry widely regards Wolfenstein 3D as the godfather of the modern FPS. The Nazi-shooter launched way back in the early 90s and featured 2D sprites atop a pseudo-3D plane - giving MSDOS gamers a first-person viewpoint.
The franchise has survived throughout the past two decades in various forms. In the modern era, Wolfenstein produced a few mediocre games under Activision, before being acquired by Bethesda Softworks (Fallout, Skyrim). Machine Games, under the publishing tutelage of Bethesda, produced Wolfenstein: The New Order for new-gen consoles back in 2014. Quite frankly, they took the gaming world by surprise.
Wolfenstein games typically play out in an alternative universe where the Nazis won World War 2. They achieve their victories using a science-fiction combination of the occult and abominable biotechnology. Before The New Order, Wolfenstein gameplay was largely about running, gunning, and piling up hoards of Nazi corpses. The New Order tries to do something a little more intelligent.
There's still plenty of opportunities to reduce cyborg Nazis to bloody chunks, but the game also features sprawling levels, stealth mechanics, an intriguing plot and surprisingly well-written characters. Wolfenstein: The New Order is as much atmospheric as it is violent, with attention to the finer details I'd sooner expect of Half Life 2 or Bioshock.
Wolfenstein: The New Order joins Metro Redux as one of those rare modern shooters that enjoy longevity without a smidgen of multi-player components. Wolfenstein: TNO's beefy campaign will keep you entertained for well over 15 hours, and you can augment it with the equally beefy stand-alone expansion "The Old Blood". Truly, this is one of the best first-person shooters available on Xbox One today.
4. Battlefield 4
It's hard to mention first person shooters without talking about EA's huge-scale multiplayer behemoth: Battlefield.
Battlefield 4 came out last year with the goal of dethroning Call of Duty from its persistent sales superiority. Sadly, the game was plagued with launch issues to do with its engine and network infrastructure. Aspects that undoubtedly held it back in the wider gaming consciousness. Developer, DICE, put the brakes on the game's upcoming DLC map packs and begun working on repairs. After some hefty patches, Battlefield 4 finally came into its own, becoming the beastly military shooter fans expected (and deserved).
If you're a fan of single player games, you might want to give Battlefield 4 a miss - generally, people know to pick up Battlefield for its multiplayer. I think it's fair to say that no other game delivers such an explosive multiplayer experience on this sort of scale. Battlefield 4 features massive 64 player battles in huge open maps that are more typical of open-world games. Pilot jets, boats, tanks, jeeps and a wide array of variants with hundreds of unlockable guns and other equipment.
The sheer scale, combined with its destructible environments create what EA call 'Battlefield Moments'. These moments are explosive and dynamically occurring, simply using the tools provided by the game. Jump from a jet and hit another jet in mid-air with an RPG? Battlefield. Fly a helicopter covered in C4 into an enemy tank before parachuting away in a gigantic fireball of flaming shrapnel? Battlefield. Engage in a fire fight atop a collapsing sky-scraper? Battlefield.
There's simply such a high volume of epic memories I have with this franchise, that I can't recommend it enough. If you enjoy huge open multiplayer warfare, you probably own this game already. It's also part of the awesome EA Access Vault, which offers several EA titles for just $4.99 a month.
5. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Borderlands launched for the Xbox 360 back in 2009, spawning several other games. Gearbox Software ported both 'The Pre-Sequel' and 'Borderlands 2' to the Xbox One under one title, known as 'The Handsome Collection'. Borderlands is a cel-shaded shooter with heavy comedic leanings. The games take place in vaguely apocalyptic settings with heavy Wild West and sci-fi overtones and feature dungeon-crawling-loot-hauling gameplay you'd sooner expect of RPGs like Diablo. Borderlands' unique blend of loot-hunting and comedic characters and writing have helped it generate a significant fan-base, making it one to check out.
Destiny is a polarizing title for a few reasons, but it enjoys a staunch fanbase of dedicated fans and is persistently hard to ignore. Destiny comes from the legendary minds behind Halo, Bungie, who promised a persistently-online open-world shooter like none we'd seen before.
Destiny garnered mixed reception from both fans and critics. Regardless, millions still enjoy the game due to its MMO-like features, polished shooting and addictive loot systems. Destiny is what you'd get if you took Borderlands and gave it a few shades of seriousness, an MMO's most loot-addictive qualities and a Halo-like multiplayer experience. Destiny is also about to receive a massive expansion in the form of The Taken King, so it's a good time to catch up.
Titanfall is an Xbox One/PC exclusive developed by the team that created Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Titanfall boasts unprecedented fluidity in its multiplayer arena-shooting. It achieves this with a heavy emphasis on parkour movement, allowing combatants to wall run and double jump their way across the game's diverse and characteristically vertical maps. Titanfall's second signature gameplay hallmark is its mech-combat, which sees players call in and battle with gigantic Titans.
Titanfall lacked the longevity of a traditional Call of Duty or Battlefield, sporting fewer unlocks, but it's something the upcoming sequel can easily fix. Titanfall also joins Battlefield in the EA Access Vault, making it extremely cheap to pick up and play.
8. Upcoming First-Person Shooters (August 2015 onwards)
I think at least one universal truth for the foreseeable future is that we're going to see more FPS games. Here are a few first-person Xbox One shooters that should be on your radar.
Halo 5 Guardians
Halo 5 lands on October 27th, 2015, and promises to take the series to the next level. Halo 5 follows the events of Halo 4. Human colonies are being destroyed, and the Master Chief is missing. Spartan Locke has been drafted in to find him and solve a crisis that threatens the galaxy.
Microsoft are marketing Halo 5 using a faux-documentary called Hunt The Truth, which follows a war-journalist on his quest to explain the franchises' finer mysteries while chronicling the previous games.
Halo 5 Guardians has been built from the ground up for the Xbox One, sporting ramped up graphics and scale. The boost in depth extends beyond its epic single-player campaign, though, all the way through to multi-player. Halo defined competitive console FPS previously and hopes to re-imagine the genre again with Halo 5 Guardians. Arena modes will remain, providing that classic feel.
Halo 5 will also debut Warzone, which is a 12 v. 12 bonanza of Halo gameplay. In addition to taking place across huge maps with capturable bases, vehicles, and power weapons, Warzone will introduce A.I. challenges such as boss fights. The objective is to hit 1000 points before your enemy team, and you can build points in all sorts of ways.
Halo 5 Guardians looks set to be another excellent addition to the pantheon, and it's coming exclusively to Xbox One.
Star Wars: Battlefront
EA purchased the rights to develop Star Wars games soon after Disney acquired the franchise, and Battlefront will be the first of several in development to launch.
Star Wars: Battlefront is, in fact, the third Battlefront title, but EA are treating this latest one as a reboot. Battlefront is largely a multiplayer experience, hoping to create the ultimate Star Wars fantasy. You'll be able to play as either Rebel or Empire and assume the role of various hero characters like Darth Vader and Han Solo. Multiplayer battles consist of up to 40 players across various planets and modes, in addition to aerial dogfighting and combat with various vehicles from Star Wars' arsenal. Battlefront is also playable in the third-person, as well as first-person.
Battlefront's 12 maps and varied modes pick up inspiration from events in the Star Wars movies, including the battles for Hoth and Endor. It'll also support single-player, split-screen and online co-op for various contained PVE missions, although Battlefront sadly has opted out of having its own campaign mode.
EA is hoping to shift 10 million units of Star Wars: Battlefront, which shares a November 17th launch window with Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.