Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
If it moves, frag it. This is the first-person shooter rule of thumb, but some manage that task better than others. The following games prove that there's more to shooting than lining things up in your sights.
Publisher: Vivendi Developer: Monolith
Some four months later and that little girl still freaks us out. Indeed, F.E.A.R.'s diminutive devil-spawn made both the box art and headlines, but its real power is found in its unparalleled game engine. Never had bullet-time actually meant so much; slow down time and the game becomes as exciting to watch as it does to play.
More than anything, F.E.A.R.'s totally frantic gunplay went unrivaled in 2005, and that's the real ammo for any legitimate FPS.
Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft
What at first seemed like just another port job turned out to be pure jungle love. Far Cry Instincts delivered more raw first-person fun than any other console game this year, thanks in equal parts to its great engine, lush visuals and deep gameplay. We went animal for it, and hopefully you did, too.
Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Gearbox
Platform: PC | Xbox
It came out way back in March, but no military shooter managed to overcome the majesty of this touching tale of wartime heroes. Great A.I, superb delivery and a startlingly authentic take on the harsh conditions of war make the original Brothers in Arms a winner in the overcrowded WWII sub-genre.