3 First-Person Shooters That Actually Have Great Stories [MUO Gaming]

Dave LeClair 06-11-2012

first person shooterFirst-person shooters (or FPS) have long been a genre that is based around competition. Ever since the invention of multiplayer gaming, it only made sense to have shooters as a key genre. I once wrote an article about the best multiplayer shooters The 3 Best Multiplayer First Person Shooters Of All Time [MUO Gaming] Welcome to the first installment of MakeUseOf Gaming. On tap today we will be taking a look at the three best first person shooters in the history of gaming. First person shooters are one of... Read More here on MakeUseOf, and while I stand by my choices, I think some shooters get lost in the shuffle. Not all first person shooters are about connecting to the Internet and shooting people with your friends. Some FPS games remember that story is a key element in games.


FPS games that remember the story element are sometimes even chastised for leaving out multiplayer modes. Some are showered with praise for actually writing an interesting story involving shooting. Shooters are a genre that can be used for so much more than competitive gameplay. Literally being in the view of the protagonist offers a certain level of immersion that other viewpoints cannot match. Today, I am going to talk about some first-person shooters that I think got the story right. These developers did not worry about multiplayer, and they focused on making a game with an interesting, and compelling story.


Bioshock, from the creators of another FPS with a fantastic story called System Shock, had players enter the dystopian world of Rapture. Rapture was an underwater city that was supposed to be the perfect society, but of course, it failed. You find yourself thrust into a world filled with Big Daddys, Little Sisters, and plenty of creepiness. It meshed solid gunplay with a story that could best be described as riveting.

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Bioshock’s story had a twist that was met with some disagreements. Some gamers thought it was the best thing ever, and others hated it. Regardless, this was a first-person shooter that had people talking about the story. No one who played Bioshock talked about how cool the guns were, and how their clan went online and owned newbies. No, with Bioshock, they discussed the deep, engrossing story, and that is something you don’t see often from an FPS.

Half Life 2

Not including Half Life 2 would be an absolute travesty against gaming. The original Half Life had a good story; Half Life 2 had an amazing story. Gordon Freeman is one of the most iconic characters in video games, and it’s not because he is good with a gun (although he is, in fact, good with a gun). He’s iconic because of the story he’s mixed up in. Gordon and his encounters with G-Man during Half Life 2 are some of the best in FPS history, bar none.


first person shooter games

There’s a reason everyone is begging Valve for more Half Life. (Is Half Life 3 ever going to be released?) They want more of the engaging story. Sure, the game is fun to play, but that’s not why people are clamoring. Gamers want more Alyx, Gordon, and G-Man goodness. Without question, Half Life 2 is one of the best stories ever told in a first-person shooter, and we need more!


Picking one Halo game for its story is impossible, so I am including Halo as a whole (except Reach, that story was kind of blah). The Halo series has some incredibly deep lore surrounding the iconic Master Chief. The stories are well thought out, and back stories for all the characters and enemies fit together as part of a deeper universe; one that expandes even beyond the scope of the game. Halo is a rare case of what many consider to be a multiplayer game having an amazing story that is just as compelling and enjoyable as the multiplayer.

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Halo’s story is so good that much of the marketing is actually focused on the story. Sure, some gamers disregard the tale of Master Chief and go straight to fragging with their friends, but those people are missing out on what may well go down as one of the best stories ever told in video game history. Of course, with Bungie no longer involved, it remains to be seen where the story of Halo will go, but at least for the Bungie era, it is hard to argue with the quality of the Halo fiction.


These games prove that a first-person shooter can be deeper than simply going online and killing other players. Don’t get me wrong, I love multiplayer as much as the next guy, but sometimes, I am looking for something a little deeper from my video games, and these shooters offer that experience.

I considered including games like Fallout 3, Mass Effect, and Deus Ex, but those games are not pure shooters; they are RPGs with shooting as a core gameplay mechanic. While their stories are fantastic, they are not just shooters, and thus, were not included in this list. These three games are pure shooters, and their stories rival that of even the best RPGs.

What shooters do you think have the best stories? Let us know in the comments!


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  1. ha14
    November 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    cool games, this can give idea to those starting in this field.

  2. Roystan Ang
    November 8, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Awww.. I miss all these games...

  3. shaurya gupta
    November 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Halo means just it dude!!!!!!

  4. Boni Oloff
    November 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Half live 2 is an old game, but still have good image quality among the new games.

  5. Nikhil Chandak
    November 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I have played Half - Life 1 , its an amazing gun-shooting game like Counter Strike
    but Half-Life 2 seems to be great game !!!

  6. Terafall
    November 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

    For me Deadspace has a great story too

  7. Chaos Emperor
    November 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Yeah glad to see halo is there too.

  8. Nick
    November 7, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Going back a bit, but "No-one Lives Forever" had a good story and was very tongue-in-cheek funny. Bit of an underrated classic.

  9. Robert Tate
    November 7, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Thank you I love F.P.S. cant stand multi-player n e thing possibly because I'am older than peanutbutter my first experiences with multi-player was some idiot standing at the respawn spot and killing u over and over. lol

  10. Noel Martin Llevares
    November 7, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Although not a shooter, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is a first-person RPG with an epic storyline that cannot be beaten by Oblivion and Skyrim.

    • Chaos Emperor
      November 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

      well,what does that haave to do with this

  11. Andreas
    November 7, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Where is Island of Liberty? The plot was so thick and could turn at any moment depending on your previous actions in missions.

    This was by far my favourite game and changed the way I view the gaming industry. I could understand why PC gamers bitched all the way through the development of Human Revolution.

    Even though it is dated it's still worth the look.

  12. Paul Simard
    November 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I'd like to offer an entry in the category of MMOFPS games soon to be released. DUST 514 is the first FPS that takes place in the universe of the long-established universe of Eve Online. It's still in Beta, but to date, DUST 514 players can communicate in real time with Eve Online players, Eve Online players can aid DUST 514 mercenary teams using planetary bombardment from orbit. Eve players will be building many of the items needed by DUST players, too. It's noteworthy that Eve's ingame economy is almost entirely player-driven. So far, according to CCP, progress has been both positive and continuing. Both games, DUST and Eve, are operating on CCP's test server, and beta keys are free for all Eve Online accounts. The game thus far is only operable on the PS3 platform, and questions about expanding to other platforms are currently being evaded until the kinks are worked out. This is a first for the gaming community. Eve currently has over 400,000 active accounts, as I understand it, and all of them are playing in a single sandbox. Soon, DUST will be joining in the same sandbox.

  13. Scott Zagata
    November 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm


  14. Raj Bhagwandas
    November 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    It's amazing to see Half Life 2 on that list! Nice. Although, I show a strong hate towards Microsoft and Xbox users so I have to put you down about Halo. xD

  15. Dan Worwood
    November 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Although not incredibly deep, I LOVED the Portal 2 Story line and was entertained the whole time

  16. Arron Walker
    November 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I'm glad someone agrees with me on Halo - most people I know say it's got a very generic story, and I'll agree with them on that. I think it stands out amongst it's peers with it's depth and writing.

  17. Lu Wang
    November 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Agreed Halo had an amazing backstory. Unfortunately agreed on Reach as well... its the only game in the series that actually breaks all lore (as defined in the books). Not sure what they were thinking there.