Face-melting heavy metal action, soundtrack, and traversal are the quickest words to describe games like Doom.
The franchise has evolved greatly over the years. Moreover, the industry owes developer iD Software the existence of the modern FPS genre.
Selecting Games Like Doom
Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal are stand-outs in the FPS genre. Finding titles like these requires understanding what they offer.
- These are fast-paced action shooters with a linear story, linear levels, simple character progression, and a central hub world.
- The game forces you to use all weapons and skills by making enemies have clear weak points. Moreover, you need to re-supply your HP, ammo, and shields by using different skills and weapons.
- The action happens in increasingly insane battle arenas. You can jump, dash, swing, teleport, and run across these areas to defeat enemy waves and mini-bosses.
- Lastly, the game features an all-around badass protagonist defeating the hordes of hell in a story-driven campaign.
Halo: The Masterchief Collection
Halo would probably not exist like Doom. And perhaps Doom 2016 wouldn’t be the same without the influence of the Xbox’s behemoth FPS. However, while Doom is about being heavy, Halo is about being epic. Also, it offers multiplayer maps, an in-game editor, and a full co-op.
The campaign follows Master Chief, a human Spartan fighting against the Covenant alien coalition across 65 linear missions. The Master Chief Collection remasters the first Halo games, and, like doom, Master Chief is a no-nonsense soldier who never takes the helmet off.
The missions are linear, and combat revolves around attacking or defending positions or bases in arena-like locations. You use suit abilities, gadgets, sci-fi weapons, and vehicles against many types of alien enemies.
Serious Sam 4
Serious Sam 4 is the latest main entry in the demon-hunting FPS. It shares many elements with Doom. However, it’s less strategic, as it trades micro-management for massive enemy hordes, battles, and areas. Its main character, Sam Stone, is an “intergalactic hunter” exploding aliens in-between one-liners.
The series has always been a 3D shooter with situational guns. You go through a series of levels, advancing from one arena to the next. You still need to swap your weapons and skills on the fly to exploit the enemy’s weakness, and if you drag your feet, the game will punish you.
You can have unlimited weapons and ammo, plus a knife for close encounters. You can also drive vehicles, unlock skills, and find gadgets. Lastly, if you like the game, you may continue toward 2022’s Siberian Mayhem, which is a more refined version.
Half-Life 2 is the definitive linear shooter experience. You play as Gordon Freeman, a silent protagonist doing whatever others say he must do. Your job is fighting against a coalition of alien invaders in City 17. The story goes across 13 dynamic levels, plus two expansions (Episodes 1 and 2).
The game’s most impressive factor is how every level is different from the last. You’ll fight across an abandoned town in the night against zombie-like aliens. Then, you’ll take hold of prison by luring giant ants to attack the hostiles or fighting against giant machines with a group of allied NPCs.
Other than keeping you on your toes, the combat is fast-paced, and frantic, and relies on micromanaging weapons and scarce ammo. Moreover, there’s a gravity gun that pushes and pulls in-game objects, which you can use for combat and puzzle-solving.
Bethesda’s Rage 2 offers Doom’s iconic BFG weapon as part of its Deluxe Edition. That’s a blatant way of addressing the second saga entry to Doom fans. But on top of monsters and devils, you’ll also fight against crazy humans.
You’ll notice the similarities easily. The FPS combat is frantic, fast, and gory, and the enemies are violent and demonic. And gunplay is smooth and relies on micro-managing multiple weapons, ammo types, skills, and gadgets.
However, Rage 2 is an open world with vehicles, akin to games like GTA. Then, combat relies on big and bold weapons, skills, combat abilities, and crazy set pieces. You play across a dystopian world as Walker, the “last ranger” on a quest for vengeance against gangs and tyrannical authorities.
Shadow Warrior 2
Shadow Warrior 2 is the sequel to 2013’s Shadow Warrior, which is a reboot of the original 1997 game. In any case, the newer title is also a fast-paced FPS offering a single-player campaign or a 4-player co-op.
You’re Wang, a Yakuza member finding ancient artifacts. The story goes through a series of linear levels with arena locations. You defeat enemy waves on wide areas with some room to explore for secrets. Aside from shooting, you can climb walls, double jump, run, and crouch.
Another similarity to the latest Doom games is the procedural damage system. It allows you to blow off enemy armor, limbs, and body parts as you shoot them in specific areas. Additionally, the game features 70 different weapons (firearms and blades), and you can upgrade your equipment over time.
Bioshock 2 is also one of the greatest first-person shooters of all time. Its sequel to Bioshock, both focusing on environmental storytelling, horror, immersive elements, and refined settings.
You’re back in Rapture, a ruined underwater city. You’re “Subject Delta,” a hulking result of Rapture experiments, and your goal is reuniting with survivors in the city. This story goes across maze-like levels with a Metroidvania design.
The experience features excellent combat, but the approach is methodical and tactical rather than fast. You wield weapons on one hand, powers on the other, and passives. You can upgrade all of these elements, and unlock weapons and skills as you progress.
Rather than fast and explosive action, Prey offers a slow-paced tactical experience. It belongs in the horror survival FPS genre and is an immersive game with sim elements.
You awaken on the Talos; the year is 2032. The experiments aboard the space station stopped when aliens invaded the base. Your goal is to find other survivors and learn about these experiments. By the way, these experiments allow you to invest in skill trees and upgrade your weapons.
The setting delivers an atmospheric first-person shooter on an open-world map with Metroidvania elements. You can learn abilities from the aliens and find items to unlock areas. That said, combat is creative and, like it is on Doom, depends on how well you can combine the tools you have found to defeat aliens.
Quake 4 is the latest entry of the Quake series, also by iD Software. The developer abandoned the franchise to bring back Doom to its full glory. Even so, Quake is equally important for the industry.
More importantly, it offers a very similar experience. It’s a fast-paced FPS with a linear design, multiplayer game modes, and arena progress. Additionally, it uses Doom 3’s engine, a plethora of alien monsters, and an arsenal of explosive weapons.
The story takes you to the heart of the aliens’ home planet, Strogg, and you play as Corporal Matthew Kane. It’s a short experience featuring high-octane, action, gore, and violence. Also, Kane can jump, double jump, slide, dash, run, and similar.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Like Doom, the original Wolfenstein games pioneered the FPS genre. Between 1992 and 2009, iD Software created or produced these titles and helped popularize the genre.
The New Order is the first game under Bethesda Softworks. It’s a soft reboot that proved itself popular and capable of getting both new and old fans. Moreover, it uses iD Software’s game engine, present in older Doom games. There’re four games after New World Order if you like it.
You play as B.J. Blazkowicz in a linear story about shooting Nazi robots in the face. There’re 16 chapters with distinct layouts and over-the-top action. Lastly, you can engage enemies with stealth or fast-paced action.
Devil May Cry V
Do you want to play as an ultimate Devil Hunter? Do you want less story and more violence? Do you want to forget all about exploring to focus on the action? Your game is Devil May Cry 5, a linear third-person hack & slash title with an outstanding soundtrack.
You play as Dante, Neto, and Vergil. Each character has unique skills and weapons. Regardless, the gameplay offers arcade third-person melee combat with evolving skills. You fight, level up, and unlock abilities you can use with new button combinations.
Across 21-story missions, you go from one battle arena to the next, using increasingly complex, fast, and acrobatic skills to defeat enemies and bosses. As for the story, the Castlevania spin-off series is about facing a demonic invasion.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 is a beloved co-op, gory, and violent first-person zombie shooter. Since its debut, it has been a top 10 co-op game, even though there’s currently no more support from Valve.
You play as part of a 4-player team across five campaigns. The story features the “AI Director 2.0” procedurally generates changes (map layout, enemy spawn, enemy behavior, items, sounds, effects, etc.) to give you a consistent challenge
Lastly, the arsenal includes melee weapons, firearms, and grenades. Each gun feels heavy on your hand and packs a punch. Even without character progression, the level, enemy, and weapon design are enough to deliver a fast-paced shooter experience.
Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic is a co-op FPS where you play as a badass space Dwarves. You can go alone or party with up to 4 players on randomized missions and procedurally generated caves. That said, the game asks for a low price and a very attractive 3GB storage mark.
The game is all about the action and the replayability factor. You explore and fight your way through massive caves for resources. Then, you use these resources to improve your character. By the way, the caves are procedurally generated and entirely destructible; you can dig anywhere.
For combat, you can pick one of the 4 classes with unique skills to support a solo or a party playthrough. Playing as part of the team is the best part of the game, as mixing different skills delivers fun and fast-paced results.
Black Mesa is a fan-made remake of the original Half-Life. The story follows Gordon Freeman, a scientist in the underground Black Mesa research facility. He’s trying to go back to the surface after experiments result in aliens invading the lab.
Aliens, as well as militaries killing all survivors, will be the enemies. So, your mission goes through a series of highly distinct levels on a horror shooter experience. Ammo is scarce, new weapons are far and in between, and enemies are plentiful.
Then, the gameplay combines puzzle-solving, exploration, atmospheric storytelling, and combat. It’s, of course, a sci-fi FPS experience that happens across 17 linear levels that follow the original story closely.
Returnal is a third-person shooter with rogue-like mechanics. There’re no checkpoints, so dying means going back several levels, and losing all of the non-permanent upgrades you have found.
Doom fans will find Returnal’s fast-paced action, challenging bosses, and focus on traversal similar. The difference is how Returnal focuses more on aiming and dodging bullets.
As for the story, you play astronaut Selene Vassos, and you’re stranded on a time loop on an alien planet. Your mission is going back home, but the journey gets personal and dangerous.
Metro Exodus is a semi-open FPS and the latest part of the Metro series. You may play it as a newcomer though, as the story is simple to follow.
Here, you play as the leader of the resistance, and you’re guiding the survivors across the surface of a post-apocalyptic world.
Exodus shines because of its immersive elements and challenging action. Maps, crafting, managing inventory, and other key actions happen without in-game menus. Instead, you do it in real-time in a game that focuses on stealth, crafting, and advanced enemy AI centuries.