[Top 7] FPS Esports Games That Are Popular

Killing is business, and business is good! Especially when crowds roar at the sight of every kill. Here are the top 7 FPS esports games that are still popular.

First-person shooters are known for allowing you to see through the eyes of a combatant and fire at enemies. You are essentially the combatant yourself. Creating a decent FPS experience takes a lot of effort and gamers truly appreciate it when it’s done right, giving rise to the genre’s popularity.

It can be safely said that the first-person shooter genre gave rise to the birth of esports. It’s quite an easily defensible claim as Doom was known for introducing the term ‘deathmatch’ into the gamer vernacular.

The genre also shares the honor of taking speedrunning as a competition to the next level and legitimizing it. Let’s think about it for a moment, a FPS game is all about vanquishing the enemy with the upper hand. It’s a matter of pride to be able to claim yourself as the fastest, deadliest crack shot.

If you can assert your dominance over the bot, why not assert dominance over other human players? Indeed, the emotions surrounding human versus human competition in this genre are as vast as they are intense, and we are listing the top seven esports FPS titles that continue to see it all.

7: Halo Infinite (PC/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S) 

This is the most recent entry on this list. Halo Infinite carries forward the torch lit by the older Halo games in the 2000s. This long-awaited return to form for the franchise back to its tightly-balanced player versus player combat-focused roots.

Set in the far future of 2560, the multiplayer portion of the game focuses on the training and exercise of the United Nations Space Command’s new generation Spartan-IV super soldiers. Fresh off their victory against the brutal onslaught of the Covenant and other hostile alien forces in previous games, these super-soldiers seek to hone their skills to become the ultimate defender of humanity, much like the legendary Master Chief himself.

The single-player portion relates to Master Chief’s own struggles to survive in an isolated but crucial part of space during the same year, but it’s the multiplayer portion we’re interested in. It took the development team a hell of a lot of time to get all the mechanics and balances just right. The result is the best Halo multiplayer combat experience since Halo 3, perfect for the new era. Choose from a wide range of weapons, vehicles, powerups, and tactical abilities to dominate the enemy with.

Score accurate headshots with the BR75 Battle Rifle, vaporize them with the alien Heatwave or eviscerate them with the brutish Mauler. You can do all this while hitching a ride on a Warthog 4x4, being invisible, and appearing behind your enemy with a grappling hook! Combat is fair but there is much to learn, and the higher skill brackets are unforgiving.

The game commands a high player count on PC and a budding esports scene despite the issues regarding content and monetization but all that is expected to be fixed. You can jump right into the multiplayer portion as it’s the part of the game that’s free to play but single-player access costs $60 if you’re so inclined.

6: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Stadia/PS5/Xbox Series X/S)

You know you’re in for a ride when Tom Clancy’s name is put before a title. Commonly known as Siege, this game puts forth Ubisoft’s own vision of the classic terrorists versus counter-terrorists setting.

The game is set in a world in which terrorism is more of a threat as compared to our world. Being a multiplayer-only game, matches between players follow these confrontation scenarios. Or at least, that’s how it used to be during the early stages of the game’s life cycle.

These days, the game follows a nondescript hero-shooter setting and theme. Two teams composed of the most skilled members of counter-terrorist units worldwide battle it out in training sessions by alternating roles as attackers or defenders. Such a major change in theme allowed for the game to stand out as a unique experience, however.

Each operator character has unique abilities and attributes which contribute to gameplay differently. In an online match, attackers pick one of many spawn places from which to launch their attack, while defenders choose one of several spawn points from which to defend. A one-minute preparation period will then begin, during which the attackers will be given control of drones to scour the map for enemy operators, traps, and defensive set-ups, as well as the target objectives, while the defenders will be encouraged to foil their attempts at intelligence gathering.

Close quarters fighting is encouraged by the game's maps and it’s always extremely satisfying when you eliminate an enemy through a hole in the wall! Indeed, the game’s possibilities for environmental destruction make it popular and appealing to a lot of FPS fans.

Combine your knowledge of weak spots on the map with your breaching equipment and completely take your enemies by storm. Your victory may sometimes depend on it! It may take some time to get used to the game’s unique mechanics dealing with movement, mechanics, and environmental destruction. Once you get the hang of it, the fun won’t stop.

The game typically receives complaints regarding balancing, network issues, and monetization, which is best to keep in mind before you grab your copy on Steam. 

5. Apex Legends (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/iOS/Android)

No one expected this battle royale FPS to hit the quality benchmark and reach the popularity it ended up reaching. From the developers of the much-loved Titanfall and Titanfall 2 titles came quite the experience in early 2019.

Set in the same far-future universe as the aforementioned games, you are taking part in a bloodsport tournament organized by the Apex Predators mercenary group across multiple planets and locales. Jump from a dropship with two friends, find weapons and supplies, and fight your way through everyone else to become the champions.

There is a choice of different characters to choose from even though most are locked when you first start playing. Each character has unique abilities and attributes that are handled immaculately for the most part. You can cover impossible distances in the heat of combat as Pathfinder, or scan for enemies through walls and hard surfaces as Bloodhound.

Whatever character you choose to play as, one of them is bound to suit your playstyle. The movement and weapons meta consists of agile motion along with a lot of automatic weapons, thus incentivizing aggressive play. Precision weapons such as the Kraber, Sentinel, and the Bocek Bow are not out of place, however, as the large sizes of the maps can present great opportunities for dealing great damage.

Each map is unique and there is always a lot to explore in the battle royale game mode. The other game mode called ‘Arenas’ pits your team against another team in a 3v3 elimination match taking place on a much smaller map. This game mode displays the full brilliance of the game’s combat system and weapons meta, so be prepared to sink hours into it! 

That’s not the end of it, however. Newer game modes will be added as the game develops with each successive update slowly. Outstanding issues still remain regarding network issues, the inability of the chat filter bot to make decent decisions, and hackers. 

However, all this has not stopped the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) esports league from running and attracting a healthy viewer base. You can start your own journey to the league without paying a cent as the game is free to play. It doesn’t take much time to grind out the character unlocks either, and there are no pay-to-win elements.

4. Overwatch (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch)

Considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time by many, this absolute banger from Blizzard Entertainment shifted the FPS status quo to its current state after it came out in 2016. It was Blizzard’s first FPS and the hype was immensely real, which was delivered upon in spades. It’s set in a highly technologically advanced future gone wrong due to a robotic uprising and the corruption of the UN agency specifically created to combat it.

The lore is otherwise huge and expansive, told through numerous media. Each unique player character impacts and influences the lore differently, but for our purposes, we will focus on the gameplay. The game has a variety of game types, the majority of them are centered on squad-based fighting between two opposing teams of six players each.

Damage heroes, who deliver the majority of the damage to assault or defend control points, tank heroes, who can take a considerable amount of damage, and support heroes, who give healing or other boosts for their allies, are among the roughly two dozen pre-made hero characters available.

 Each hero has their own skill kit, which defines their inherent traits like health points and running speed, main attacks, a variety of active and passive skills, and an ultimate ability that can only be utilized when it has been charged by inflicting damage to opponents and healing allies. These modes usually revolve around capturing control of points on the map in a sequential manner, or escorting a payload between points on the map, with one side assaulting while the other defends.

Solo and team deathmatch, capture-the-flag, and special modes performed during certain seasonal events are among the other modes reserved for casual matches. Users may now create their own game modes using a restricted set of scripting tools thanks to recent revisions. Since the game's first release, new characters and maps have been released on a regular basis, bringing the total number of heroes in the game from 21 to 32 by April 2020. The game modes and mechanics on offer are explained in-depth due to Overwatch’s significance.

Many popular free-to-play and paid FPS titles since have been following some variant of Overwatch’s model, and it all can be traced back to it. But what about its popularity? Blizzard unveiled their intentions for an Overwatch League at BlizzCon 2016. The League's inaugural season began in January 2018, with teams competing for a one-million-dollar League winner reward as well as additional prizes from a total prize pool of US$3.5 million.

Despite some recent weakening, the scene is still going strong, and Overwatch 2 is set to push things to new heights. Aside from issues relating to balance, microtransactions, and cheating, the game is still fun to play. 

3. Call of Duty: Warzone (PC/PS4/Xbox One/PS5/Xbox Series S/X)

This was the release that marked the Call of Duty franchise’s return to the esports scene after the long hiatus since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Its fast-rising popularity came as a surprise to everyone.

The thinking behind Warzone’s setting is unique as the individual maps intertwine with the seasonal stories of the current mainline Call of Duty games: Modern Warfare, Black Ops: Cold War, and Vanguard. Player characters are not unique in terms of abilities for the most part but you may pick unique ‘skins’; being characters themselves. This is different from the formula followed in Apex Legends, which is notable for being developed by ex-Call of Duty developers.

Like Apex Legends, however, the maps on offer are vast and wide. Gameplay suits the bold players, and precision weapons occupy a special niche. The most unique aspects of Warzone are probably the 150-player matches and the ‘gulag’ system, where downed players duke it out one-on-one in a bid to remain in the match and get respawned.

So when you get a chance, you better fight for it tooth and nail! Battle Royale and Plunder are the two major modes in the game. Warzone features a new in-game cash system that can be used to purchase items at "Buy Stations" across the battlefield. Cash may be exchanged for restricted access to players' custom classes through "Loadout" drops.

Cash may also be used to buy things like CoD-trademark killstreaks and gas masks. Looting structures and killing players with cash on them are both good ways to find cash. The game garnered mostly favorable reviews from critics, with particular acclaim for the maps. Hence, if you’ve got a few friends, gather ‘em and get started because it’s free-to-play on all platforms. Balancing, network, and certain gameplay issues aside, Warzone is a bonafide Call of Duty battle royale experience.

2. Valorant (PC)

League of Legends developers Riot Games completely knocked it out of the park with their first FPS game. Since its release, Valorant has become a cultural icon and a representative of the gaming and streaming industries altogether.

You take on the role of one of the numerous Agents, characters based on various countries and cultures from across the world. Agents have special powers that need charges, as well as a special ultimate ability that requires charging by kills, deaths, orbs, or goals.

Each game begins with a "traditional" pistol just like in Counter-Strike and one or more "signature ability" charges for each player. The main objective of a round for the attacking team is to plant a bomb at one of the prescribed bomb sites on the map and the defending team has to stop them.

Anyone that has played Counter-Strike will find it to be instantly familiar. Many of the weapons also fulfill the same roles and work in very similar ways. Character abilities shake gameplay up intensely. You can lock enemies down in a radius using KAY/O’s throwing knife, zap around the combat space as Jett, or revive teammates and put up defensive walls as Sage.

The opportunities for unique and creative playstyles are impressive. Valorant’s esports scene has grown to a great degree in a very short span of time and it only seems to be growing more and more as it dominates pop culture. It’s easy to learn, but excruciatingly difficult to master but fortune favors the bold.

You can jump right into it without paying as it’s a free-to-play title, although certainly paid weapon skins may make gameplay slightly easier for you. Issues relating to weapon meta and anti-cheat vulnerability remain to be addressed but it’s probably one of the most casually enjoyable tactical FPS games ever made.

1. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC/Mac/Linux/PS3/Xbox 360)

Why is the oldest game on the list the number one? The answer is frighteningly easy. It is probably the most important esports FPS game ever to be released. The franchise was spawned from a third-party modification of the old Half-Life’s multiplayer component and Global Offensivebrought it into the modern gaming scene to define the genre yet again.

Every other game on this list probably owes its existence to this release. It’s set in present times where military and police anti-terrorist units struggle to prevent terrorist groups from accomplishing their goals.

Its bomb-defuse game mode is something that Valorant would take, along with most other core gameplay features such as well-designed maps, carefully fine-tuned weapons, and use of utilities. CS:GO is a tactical multiplayer FPS at its core, as no player has special abilities apart from individual skill. This level playing field has bred some of the most successful esports players and teams in history, with many of them going on to play Valorant, Overwatch, and Halo Infinite.

The main game mode named ‘Competitive’ sets two teams of five players against one other in a best-of-30 contest. When playing Competitive, players are assigned a skill rank according to the Glicko rating system, and they are matched with and compete against other players of similar skill levels.

Climbing this skill ladder will progressively demand that you take split-second accurate headshots, expertly assault, hold, and block chokepoints, and diligently ambush the enemy wherever they may be. CS:GO is often described as its own world due to the vast array of third-party game modes on offer.

Its vast in-game item marketplace is consistently rated as one of the most expansive ever created for a game, although all items are cosmetics and music kits. Its esports scene simply refuses to die out and it still remains strong after nearly a decade in existence. High-level matches are simply a sight to behold and will always retain their appeal to viewers.

Admittedly, the game is outdated by now and problems relating to cheating still remain. Despite that, nothing is going to taint the legendary status CS:GO has and it will go down in history as an icon. Grab some friends and get in the action for free as this venerable old giant will still provide ample tactical shooting entertainment.

I've had my baptism by combat fighting demons from hell at a time when other kids were fighting human soldiers and I'm still alive. I surely have valuable knowledge and experience to share, don't I?
Gamer Since: 2006
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Halo Infinite
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOOM, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Total War: Rome II

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