The 2010s were a notable decade for gaming as graphics took off and as gaming consoles and PC rigs grew more powerful, the number of players in a given match finally went up as well. Many of the titles on this list were already parts of established franchises and represent their respective series as the best title of each to come out in the past decade. From futuristic tech to the guerilla warfare of Vietnam, these shooters were the ones we kept coming back to round after round after round.
Players have only recently gotten their first taste of Halo Reach in nearly a decade with the recently released PC version as part of The Master Chief Collection. However, the Halo fanbase has been espousing Reach's campaign for being some of the best co-op fun across any of the Halo campaigns. The shift from focusing on Master Chief himself to a small fireteam known as Noble-6 gave the campaign more character as players took up the role of different personalities rather than just any old generic Spartan. If you're the type of player to enjoy fending off waves and waves of enemies, the Firefight mode is still a damn good way to spend an afternoon with friends.
Prey fits the FPS genre more than other immersive sims that had come before it. As a spiritual successor to System Shock, Prey blended together exploration and survival horror together into an experience like no other. Even inanimate coffee cups and props pose an immediate danger as Prey's worst enemies were the Mimic Typhon that changed Prey into a strange game of Prop Hunt. It may be quite different from the first Prey game developed by Human Head Studios, but it is a truly remarkable experience.
PUBG might not hold the honor of being the first FPS battle royale (that might certainly go to The Culling or Btooom!) but it was the first title that succeeded in bringing the 'last man standing' form of gameplay to the mainstream audience. Being limited to whatever you could procure on-site and having to fight not just other players but an ever-shrinking battleground, PUBG was a unique experience that spawned a new form of shooter genre. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds might not be a perfect experience, but because of how influential it was on the genre, it deserves all of the recognition it can get.
Bethesda's 2016 reboot of their most famous shooter franchise was also the best title in the long-running series. Every single piece of DOOM, from the iconic imagery of Hell and demons running amok, to Mick Gordon's metal-infused soundtrack, to the visceral gunplay that forced players to combo from one weapon into another all combined into a surreal experience unlike any other. With Doom Eternal coming in just over two months from now, there's plenty of time to jump back in with another replay of the 2016 campaign.
While overlooked by all but the most ardent fans, Rainbow Six Siege has had a massive turnaround in the past few years. What separates Rainbow Six Siege from other round-based shooters is in how the destructible environments can be utilized tactically. Door stuck? Detonate a breach charge on the wall nearby and make your own way in. As Ubisoft continues to update Siege with new characters and gadgetry, the meta is constantly shifting and forcing those that play competitively to continue evolving their playstyle.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
While Call of Duty: World at War was the first to develop Zombies as a core pillar of gameplay, it was Call of Duty: Black Ops that perfected it. Kino der Toten still remains to this day as one of the absolute best maps in the mode's existence and it all started in the original Black Ops. Nuketown, another close-quarters multiplayer favorite, also saw its beginnings here. While future iterations of Black Ops and other Call of Duty series have come close to emulating that perfect teamplay, it's the very first Call of Duty: Black Ops that remains at the top of the long-running FPS franchise.
Centered around an alternate history where the Nazis won World War II despite BJ Blaskowicz's best efforts, Wolfenstein: The New Order rebooted the series into a story-driven campaign that went above and beyond just being a power fantasy. The revisionist history gave the series a new color and perspective while the setting allowed for some truly interesting moments (some of the collectibles included German takes on popular musical hits of the 1960s).
If it weren't for Respawn's creative assortment of guns and advanced weaponry, Apex Legends wouldn't exist in the state it's in today. The original release of Titanfall 2 was silently dropped into the busiest weeks of 2016, nestled in-between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. Despite all odds against it, Titanfall 2 stood out as a surprise hit and one of the best campaigns to ever grace a first person shooter.
While my friends were bouncing around between Team Fortress 2 or the latest Halo game, I was fully invested in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the PlayStation 3. It was the second time that an actual campaign had been in a Battlefield game, and while it didn't have the same humorous notes of the first Bad Company, the sequel did have its moments. However, it's the multiplayer that truly stole the show. Battlefield's tried-and-true class systems worked together in sync with one another and any well-coordinated team could usually mop the floor in Squad Deathmatch. Of all of the other titles for our best shooters of the decade, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has the best vehicle combat by far.
Over the course of this decade, Ukrainian development studio 4A Games managed to establish itself and the Metro franchise (based on the novels by Dmitry Glukhovsky) among the very best single player shooters in the industry. The Metro Redux two-in-one offering released in August 2014 stands out since it comes with Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light (both great games in their own rights) and all the respective DLCs, and can now be purchased at a low price; then you can proceed to the newest game, Exodus, released in 2019.
Among those that couldn't make the cut of being the best shooters of the decade were long-running franchises that while still great in their own right, missed a little something that made the entire package come together. Fortnite may have given the battle royale genre a much needed booster shot, but the Save the World mode (which was originally Fortnite's only offering) still feels somewhat lacking in comparison. Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 both feature great single player campaigns.
Destiny and Borderlands are the best options for those looking for a so-called 'shooter-looter'. If you're in the mood for a hero shooter, Overwatch still remains the king. Lastly, don't forget SUPERHOT, the most innovative shooter that we've played in years, especially when played in Virtual Reality mode.