Best First-Person Shooter Games For Beginners

Highlights

  • First-person shooters may seem intimidating, but with practice and trying out beginner-friendly games, they can be easily approached and enjoyed.
  • Games like Dead Island 2 and Halo Infinite offer beginner-friendly experiences with an emphasis on melee combat and cooperative play respectively.
  • Other recommended titles for newcomers include Prodeus, Splatoon 3, and Bioshock.

THEGAMER VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

First-person shooters might be one of the most popular video game genres to have ever existed, but it’s not every person’s initial cup of tea. Indeed, for someone that grew up on JRPGs or real-time strategy games, it can seem quite intimidating and unapproachable at first blush. It requires an entirely different sort of responsiveness and situational awareness.

RELATED: Old FPS Games That Are Better Than You Remember, Ranked According to Metacritic

But when it comes down to it, it’s really not all that difficult to get accustomed to. Just like with anything else, the best way to get accustomed is through practice, but the most important part in diving into this genre is playing solid games. If you’re looking to dip your toes into the FPS genre, these are the best places to start.

Updated October 20, 2023 by Amanda Hurych: With so many FPS games perfect for newcomers to the genre, we’ve decided to further highlight the platforms and developers behind the best ones. No matter what console you game on, there’s going to be a first-person shooter game that’s beginner-friendly!

18 Dead Island 2

A Walker Getting Electrocuted in Dead Island 2.

Dead Island 2

Platform(s)
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC

Released
April 28, 2023

Developer(s)
Dambuster Studios

Publisher(s)
Deep Silver

Despite showcasing a hellacious version of LA overrun by hordes of zombies, Dead Island 2 is an easily approachable FPS game. It puts the fun back in slaying zombies. With an emphasis on melee combat as well as shooting firearms at the undead, Dead Island 2 just feels great to play. Not to sound too gory, but stomping on skulls and swinging baseball bats at skulls is incredibly satisfying.

Obviously, if blood-spattered zombie-killing grosses you out more than it entertains you, this might not be the best starter point to get you into first-person shooters. But if that sounds like a hell of a great time, then Dead Island 2 is one of those games that’s great for easing you into the FPS perspective. Its primary focus on melee gives you time to acclimate to being in first-person before you’re precise-aiming.

17 Halo Infinite

Three Halo Infinite Spartans posing dramatically with weapons up

Halo Infinite

Platform(s)
Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

Released
December 8, 2022

Developer(s)
343 Industries

Publisher(s)
Xbox Game Studios

More than many of the other FPS games on the market, Halo has typically been very welcoming toward newcomers. With its emphasis on physics-based fun in social playlists and zany multiplayer games like Infection and Grifball, Halo catered to a wide audience. And while Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians tried to shift their focus toward more competitive spaces, Halo Infinite has slowly brought itself back to appealing to more people.

The open-world campaign can be completed with friends online, and the multiplayer offerings have grown since launch. There are rotating event playlists, a variety of social games, and a slowly expanding selection of community-built games.

16 Call Of Duty: World At War

Promotional Image for Call of Duty: World at War

Call of Duty: World at War

Platform(s)
PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS

Released
November 11, 2008

Developer(s)
Treyarch

Publisher(s)
Activision

The Call of Duty series is notorious for having a highly competitive multiplayer side to it, so it’s a daunting place for a newcomer to the genre to start. But if your curiosity about the series compels you to dip a toe into one of its games, World at War is a solid place to start.

Related: Which Call Of Duty Character Are You Based On Your Zodiac?

The campaign features more mature themes than seen previously, but it’s a digestible length, as most Call of Duty campaigns are. The multiplayer is a solid offering, but the clear star is the Zombies mode. World at War is the first CoD game that features this staple, and while it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles you can now find in modern iterations of the mode, you can have a blast playing what laid the foundation.

15 Prodeus

Super Shotgun Prodeus

Imagine the straightforward nature of Doom with the speed and flow of a modern FPS game. That’s what you get with Prodeus. The look of it might turn you away as it thoroughly embraces the vibe of a boomer shooter. But if those pixilated graphics don’t succeed in putting you off, you are in for one of the best FPS experiences currently around.

Prodeus is fun, and what makes the game even better is you can chomp through the levels with a friend in online multiplayer, shooting demons and gross-looking eye things. If there is one thing newcomers to the FPS genre should search for in a title, it’s cooperative play; it makes everything a gazillion times more approachable if you have a friend alongside you.

14 Splatoon 3

tower control anarchy battle in progress

Splatoon 3

Platform(s)
Switch

Released
September 9, 2022

Developer(s)
Nintendo

Publisher(s)
Nintendo

Don’t be deceived by the cartoonish aspect of Splatoon 3. Competitive matches can be quite the challenge, especially if you’re going up against a team that knows the ins and outs of the game modes you’re playing.

However, Splatoon 3 makes for a good entry point for beginners to the genre. No, you’re not shooting at people the way you would in a typical FPS game. You’re more focused on shooting the floor, trying to cover it in as much paint for your team as you can. But the objective-oriented style of gameplay here definitely teaches good teamwork, and having to pick weapons that suit your playstyle the most is also something that most FPS games welcome.

13 Deep Rock Galactic

Deep Rock Galactic Best Class For Solo Split Image

One surefire way to make a first-person shooter title more inviting is to make it a cooperative experience. And Deep Rock Galactic is one of the most welcoming cooperative FPS games available now. You and up to three friends are dwarves whose job is to collect minerals and survive wave upon wave of hostile bug creatures populating the planet. Each of the four classes possess a different kit, but the shooting aspect of the game remains largely the same.

No matter the weapons at your disposal, you and your team can work together to eliminate swarms using your trusty guns. Because you’re not spending your time fighting other players, you’ve got room to learn how the varying weapons work, how to navigate the cramped caves, and how to dig a hole.

12 Deathloop

Colt fighting Eternalists with dual-wield pistols in Deathloop

Deathloop

Platform(s)
PS5

Released
September 14, 2021

Developer(s)
Arkane Studios

Publisher(s)
Bethesda

Another way you can get into FPS games without worrying about the highly competitive nature of the genre is by starting with a title that blends aspects of another genre with those of a first-person shooter. Deathloop, developed by Arkane Studios, mixes a bunch of different genres together in their time-loop narrative, making it an ambitious, but altogether doable game for newcomers to FPS titles. You play as Colt, a former security man for an island that lives through the same day over and over again.

Your main objective is to break this loop, uncovering bits and pieces of how you’re supposed to go about that with every passing (same) day. What makes Deathloop perfect for beginners is that it offers a variety of ways you can go about moving through areas. You don’t have to go in guns blazing all the time; you can attempt stealthy entrances or lay traps for unsuspecting Eternalists. And when you do decide to solve your problems with shooting, you can just funnel your enemies into a doorway and pick them off one by one. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

11 Half-Life 2

Dog with Alyx Vance in Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2

Platform(s)
PC, Xbox 360, Xbox (Original), PS3, macOS, Linux, Android

Released
November 16, 2004

Developer(s)
Valve

Publisher(s)
Valve

This might be a very aged game for a first-timer to dive into, but Half-Life 2 is a classic for a reason. It’s a fantastic game, and it’s fun balance between shooting segments and puzzle-solving make it a measured experience for a beginner. Fighting the forces of the Combine with a delightful array of weaponry is just as engaging as figuring out how to navigate the headcrab-infested tunnels of the sewer.

Though Valve’s masterpiece might initially turn you away given how old it is, trust us when we say it has aged like wine. Not only will you be playing through one of gaming’s most iconic titles in the history of the genre, you’ll be having one heck of a good time doing it.

10 Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood characters posing with weapons

Back 4 Blood

Platform(s)
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox One X, Xbox One S

Released
October 12, 2021

Developer(s)
Turtle Rock Studios

Publisher(s)
Warner Bros. Interactive

Back 4 Blood is essentially a newer version of Left 4 Dead. You and up to three other friends can join forces and escape various levels while hordes of zombies attack you, including some special types of zombies with specific attacks and quirks and methods of handling. Though the card system used for progression can be more confusing than it is helpful, the base game of Back 4 Blood is one of those perfect foundations for someone just starting out with first-person shooters.

Related: Best Horror Games On Xbox Game Pass

The fact that you can play through each mission with friends automatically makes Back 4 Blood an invitation to goof around with its gameplay. You can experiment with different weapons and try out various strategies as you aim to complete the objective. And plus, the fact that you can pick up downed teammates, heal them, and boost their performance with your character-specific abilities means you are encouraged to keep playing no matter how tough a particular horde (or zombie boss) gets.

9 Quake

quake

Quake

Platform(s)
PC, Switch, Nintendo 64, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Sega Saturn

Released
May 22, 1996

Developer(s)
id Software

Publisher(s)
Bethesda, GT Interactive

While going as far back as 1993’s Doom might be daunting for prospective players on account of the sprite-based graphics and inability to actually look up or down, Quake straddles the fine line between old-school simplicity and modern accessibility almost perfectly when it comes to serving as an entry point to the genre. The recent release of a remaster for modern consoles doesn’t hurt prospects, either.

Quake’s campaign is as straightforward as it gets: shoot the bad guys, get bigger guns, shoot bigger bad guys, then rinse and repeat. The UI’s simple and easy to parse, the weapon sandbox is fun and diverse, and even the narrative is a no-frills affair. The multiplayer is also a great way to test out the basic format of an online match and get acquainted with the gameplay loop of an arena shooter.

8 Superhot

superhot

Superhot is more of a puzzle game than it is a shooter, but shooting is part of the puzzle-solving. The name of the game is eliminating every enemy with whatever you have at your disposal. Whether you’re smacking a gun out of an enemy’s hand only to grab it mid-air or bringing a katana in a gunfight, this game makes you feel like you are in an action movie.For newcomers that may feel overwhelmed by modern shooters or aren’t fans of gore-filled action, this game is a great compromise.

Superhot is straightforward in terms of its shooting mechanics. There is no aiming down the sights, just simply point in the direction you want to shoot/hit an enemy, hit the trigger, and walk around to avoid bullets. The game adds a fun twist where time moves when you move (which includes enemies and their projectiles), essentially serving to set up the action-forward puzzle to be solved in each stage.

7 Bioshock

bioshock

Bioshock is certainly a more contemplatively paced and narrative-heavy take on the FPS formula, but it’s a good practice in dipping your toes into a “thinking man’s” shooter. Cast as Jack, players must survive the ravaged confines of Rapture, the once-capitalist-utopia under the sea, as they puzzle out a method of escape while sussing out the hows and whys concerning how they got there to begin with.

RELATED: Best Controllers For First-Person Shooters

Bioshock can be a bit more challenging given some resource management, survival aspects, and progression mechanics, but these also serve as an easy bridge for players coming from RPG roots. Utilizing Plasmids (essentially magical powers) provides another layer for players to consider when approaching combat, but ultimately help to teach players to “look before they leap,” which can be crucial when playing more advanced FPS titles or immersive sims.

6 Borderlands 3

borderlands 2 gunfight in crazy location

Borderlands 3

Platform(s)
PC, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5

Released
September 13, 2019

Developer(s)
Gearbox Software

Publisher(s)
2K Games

Borderlands makes for an easy jump for RPG enthusiasts on account of the loot-and-shoot gameplay direction, but ultimately, the FPS mechanics themselves are very smooth and approachable for those who may not be steeped in experience with previous shooters. Every entry brings a fresh selection of character classes with unique skillsets that, while distinct, hardly invalidate a given playstyle.

There aren’t any particularly “wrong” choices to make in terms of the RPG progression mechanics and skill points, allowing players to focus on the simple things: shooting bad guys and picking up increasingly zany and overpowered weapons.

There’s also that signature Borderlands storytelling. The sci-fi meets Mad Max aesthetic is endlessly charming, and each title is jam-packed with enough juvenile humor to keep players from feeling too pressured when they’ve hit a snag. The cherry on top is the emphasis on cooperative play — learning the ropes of playing a shooter is always much, much less intimidating when you’ve got a few friends to help out.

5 Doom 2016

doom

The 2016 reboot of what’s commonly referred to as the genre’s most definitive and important title is an unsurprisingly great jumping-in point for genre newcomers, but take note: it’s not exactly the shallowest end of the pool. Doom’s pacing is fast when compared to similar titles, but that’s certainly not something that works to its disadvantage.

After mankind’s hubris essentially rips open the portal to hell, players step into the armored boots of the Doomslayer, a superhuman killing machine bent on sending the demons back where they came from — and the game does a fantastic job of making you feel like it.

There are a few mechanics that’ll take some getting used to, such as, Glory Killing enemies to restore health, using alternate fire modes when appropriate, and generally making sure you’re using the right gun for the right job. But once you get a good handle on the different mechanics, the game rewards you recklessly pressing forward into combat far more often than it punishes it.

4 Apex Legends

apex legends

Apex Legends

Platform(s)
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, iOS, Android, Switch

Released
February 4, 2019

Developer(s)
Respawn Entertainment

Publisher(s)
Electronic Arts

If you’re looking to get into some action right away and don’t want to worry about any sort of campaign, Apex Legends is the way to go. The multiplayer experience from Respawn is heavily influenced by the Titanfall series, with similar weapons and locations. Other than more powerful weapons, you can find stronger armor and various gun attachments littered across the map. The free-to-play game launched in 2019 and has since grown exponentially. With 18 different characters to choose from, you have a wide selection of Legends to master.

The different Legends each have their own unique abilities that will help on the battlefield, which makes team composition vital to success. There isn’t a standard team deathmatch multiplayer mode, however; the only multiplayer experience in Apex Legends is battle royale. If anything, Apex Legends is a great introduction to the battle royale-style multiplayer to see if that type of experience gels with you.

3 Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein The New Order - Interesting Weapon to kill mecha Nazi

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Platform(s)
PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

Released
May 20, 2014

Developer(s)
MachineGames

Publisher(s)
Bethesda

Wolfenstein: The New Order is another title that brings classic first-person shooter mechanics into the modern day with fresh new takes. Players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz, tearing through a dystopian alternate history 1960s America where the Nazis won. Wolfenstein has various difficulty options to choose from, and while their naming convention may poke a bit of fun, do not feel discouraged playing on the lower difficulties. The game is centered around making you feel like a super-soldier, after all.

A lot of the gameplay mechanics are straightforward. From weapon upgrades to stealth combat, nothing is so complicated that it feels like you need to hop on a wiki page to puzzle it out. At the very least, all you need to know is how to aim and shoot — anything more you learn will just make the experience even more fun

2 Halo: The Master Chief Collection

master chief halo anniversary

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Platform(s)
Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC

Released
November 11, 2014

Developer(s)
343 Industries

Publisher(s)
Xbox Game Studios

While not technically one game, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an excellent entry for players wanting to explore the evolution of modern first-person shooters. New players can start with Halo: Combat Evolved to learn the basics of regenerating shield mechanics, taking cover, vehicular combat, and learning to keep your two favorite guns, while seeing how each entry that follows after keeps adding to that core gameplay. Halo is known for being quite challenging at its highest difficulties, but playing the campaigns on lower difficulties is always a great opportunity to learn.

A centerpiece of what makes Halo: The Master Chief Collection a great entry is its multiplayer experience. The cooperative multiplayer campaign experience is a fun way to relieve some of the stress of learning shooting mechanics by doing it alongside friends and getting pointers along the way. However, the competitive multiplayer experience is a great way to put your skills to the test against more experienced players. While there is no guarantee you will do great in your first match, it gives you perspective on how good you get.

1 Titanfall 2

titanfall 2

Titanfall 2

Platform(s)
PS4, Xbox One, PC

Released
October 28, 2016

Developer(s)
Respawn Entertainment

Publisher(s)
Electronic Arts

Regarded by many as the greatest FPS game ever made, Titanfall 2 checks all the boxes on what a shooter should have. There’s a wide range of weapons, each having advantages and disadvantages for any given situation. It has one of the best narratives of an FPS, serving as arguably one of the best replayable campaigns out there.

Developed by Respawn, Titanfall 2 launched with widespread acclaim and praise. Critics and fans were blown away by the overall game mechanics, as the game went on to win various awards. Regardless of whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran of the FPS genre, Titanfall 2 is a game that must be experienced.

NEXT: Best Battle Royale Games For Beginners

Leave a Comment