10 Essential First-Person Shooter Campaigns You Must Play

It's not all about the multiplayer, y'know...

iD Software

For whatever reason, over the years the gaming public has distanced themselves more and more from FPS campaigns. Thought of as a mode only played only and included 'just for the sake of making trailers', in recent years we've actually seen games like Star Wars Battlefront, Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege forgo them altogether in favour of fully supporting a multiplayer component instead.

And that... is a crying shame. I'd wager many of your finest memories from the first-person shooter genre are routed in epic story moments, crafted set-pieces and sequences where a heady narrative is propelling you towards a specific endpoint.

It's easy to forget the original Halo only had online multiplayer on PC, whereas the rest of us were losing our collective minds at the sight of the Silent Cartographer beach level, the hordes of Flood that needed to be taken down, or the infuriating betrayal of 343 Guilty Spark, right at the climax of the story.

When done well, when you're really embodying a character literally through their own eyes, making decisions, responding on the fly and living out your favourite Hollywood blockbuster one bullet at a time, there is nothing better.

In the words of the Foo Fighters, it's times like these...


10. Medal Of Honor: Frontline

Medal of honor frontline

It may look barren and muddy as hell now, but back in 2002, the entirety of MOH: Frontline was genuinely - and I use this word fairly literally - mind-blowing. You need only take one look at how far the genre's come, how much the idea of being part of a 'cinematic experience' frames every single campaign released today, to see how Frontline's furtive first steps were so influential.

And that's only the first level.

Barrelling out your landing craft and storming Normandy gave way to taking a rocket launcher to a number of Nazi tanks, an insanely cool, silenced pistol-toting stealth section and an open-ended village segment where you traded mortar fire in between bouts of exploration.

Incredibly progressive and rather ahead of its time considering the genre wouldn't catch up for another five years, Frontline made an impression so perfect, it's been etched into the history books ever since.

Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.