If the current generation of consoles are the live service generation, the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 era of consoles may as well have been known as the FPS generation. With the massive dominance of Call of Duty and, to some extent, the Battlefield series at the time. There was always a bit of an overwhelming sense I would get from talking with others that certain companies were just trying to cash in, with the mindset that making an FPS would lead them to easy money just because others had found success.
I can visually remember renting the insanely boring Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising from the late Blockbuster with my brother in hopes of having something we could cooperatively play. Neither of us both expected much of the game but we had always felt like even bad games could be fun if you play them with others… Not in this case. We spent the entire night playing Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising not saying a single word to each other, before we knew it the sun was up and it was morning, we had pushed on to finally finish the game afterwards I’ll never forget the next words my brother said to me, “Man.. that game sucked.” This is something that stuck with me because I always had that feeling about a lot of the mediocre FPS during the ps3/360 generation. Your Turning Point: Fall of Liberty or Sniper Ghost Warrior. These are games that I’d say fall under the, “Why did I just play this?” category. Games so bad that its sickening to suggest that at one point these were full priced and someone actually bought them. Alas being guilty of such a shame I myself had come into a similar situation, becoming desperate for something to play early on during the playstation 3 era, I remember pre-ordering AND buying the video game Haze, FULL PRICE. Oblivious to the game being as bad as critics kept saying I pressed on to the end slowly realizing with each level that I had wasted my money. I never returned Haze, keeping it merely as a trophy of contempt, mainly upon myself.
Now I can safely say there was still loads of enjoyable FPS as well, this is the same generation that gave us Bioshock, to this day a game that I can pop in and play start to finish loving every minute, followed up with Bioshock 2, still a fantastic game even with it’s tacked in multiplayer and finally the sound Bioshock Infinite though I don’t have as many fond memories of Bioshock Infinite as Bioshock 1 & 2 I still had a great time playing through it. This is the generation where Far Cry to me truly shined as a series as well. Far Cry 2 being pretty ok, was still a fun experience with its open ended gameplay and Far Cry 3 being a phenomenal game with interesting characters and at the time a not tired formula. Even before Far Cry 2 and 3, Ubisoft had success with games I can say I thoroughly enjoyed with the Rainbow Six Vegas games and their Axe Body Spray ads. I can even throw in games like FEAR, which I had originally played on the xbox 360 years later going through another playthrough on Playstation Now. I believe prior to being available on PS3 and Xbox 360 it had been out for a while on PC. Still magnificent in it’s own right with it’s creepy atmosphere and pretty sound gameplay overall. Followed up with what I believe was underrated expansions included within FEAR Files, later confirmed to be non canon. Albeit the true sequels, FEAR 2 and FEAR 3 never living up to the success of the original.
This isn’t even nearly half, maybe not even a quarter of the FPS we’ve had, in my mind the loads of hybrid FPS such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Borderlands or Dead Island, first person shooter’s with a more RPG eccentric backgrounds or others like Resistance: Fall of Man and the interesting Mirror’s Edge. Sure last gen we might’ve been flooded with a lot of first person games, but I can’t say it was all bad.