Another category that's always hotly contested, picking the best shooter of 2014 was no easy task. A traditionally conservative genre, this was one of the most innovative years we've seen in a while, certainly for FPS titles.
What we said: A star filled, explosion-packed blockbuster smash of a campaign mode with a set of stellar multiplayer modes where Kill Confirmed and the new ball-based sport, Uplink, are set to become new favourites. Both the campaign and multiplayer owe a huge debt to the exoskeleton, which has proven to be the ultimate catalyst in pushing Call of Duty back to the top this year.
What we said: Destiny's issues are rather obvious, and Bungie probably should have known better considering their pedigree, but this is all overshadowed by how fun and additive the game is once you get going. The feeling of wanting to do one more mission, to kill one more pack, on the off-chance I get some better loot, is the icing on the cake that is made up of satisfying FPS combat. Sure, the baking time is longer than other gaming cakes out there, and it isn’t the most exotic or original recipe in terms of its ingredients, but that doesn’t stop it from tasting so moorish that I want another piece right now.
What we said: Gigantic Army is pure bot-crushing, Pile Bunkering, beam-cannoning, dodge-dashing, shield-blocking, mech-stomping, boss-smashing, riot-blasting, speed-running, mind-blowing action at its finest.
What we said: Loadout lets you create the ridiculous bespoke boomstick of your wildest dreams, but is far from a one-trick pony. Manic old-school shooting, tight map design and a superb in-house engine make for a seriously impressive F2P effort that surpasses any number of full-priced downloads.
What we said: Titanfall doesn't do anything truly revolutionary, but Respawn's rollicking shooter delivers a welcome shot of adrenaline directly into the heart of the genre, packaging familiar components in a truly satisfying and accessible way. More importantly, though, it's fantastic fun, regardless of whether you're a hardcore FPS gamer or just want to blow off some steam. Every match feels like an epic battle, from first charge to desperate extraction, set throughout some of the best maps that we've rampaged through in years.
What we said: TxK is a marriage of hectic arcade fun, eyepopping style and impeccably-honed substance, proving that the arcade spirit is alive and well on PS Vita. You'll come for the visuals, stay for the action and fall in love with its irrepressible personality over many barmy hours.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
What we said: Wolfenstein: The New Order is big, dumb, fun no matter how much MachineGames might have tried to force it to be otherwise. The alternative history explored here is fascinating, if a little under-explored, but it's the boom and the blast that'll keep FPS fans coming back. A respectably lengthy game with modern looks but buckets of old-school spirit, The New Order is a silly, inconsistent, overblown treat.
Titanfall is more than 'Call Of Duty with mechs," but the slipper fits well enough for our purposes. Once again we find ourselves scampering around some tightly-designed maps with responsive and weighty controls, either as the corporate IMC or heroic Militia fighting for their independence. It's as solid and satisfying as you'd expect from the original Infinity Ward architects, handling much like any conventional shooter with a non-existent learning curve. We've got ADS, instant-kill melee, sprinting and a selection of oft-used team gametypes such as domination, TDM and capture the flag. Familiar stuff, but you'll only need a few seconds to realise that nothing will ever be the same again.
Nimble 'pilots' can double jump, run across any surface, grab onto any wall and leap extraordinary heights, allowing players to make full use of the stage in three dimensions. Doing so is child's play thanks to slick and generous mechanics, meaning that you'll soon find yourself racing across rooftops, leaping through windows and crossing entire battlefields without ever touching the ground. Each of the fifteen excellent maps embrace this newfound freedom of movement, offering multiple levels of elevation, avenues of attack, zip lines and opportunities to breach into objectives from above or below, linked together by a perfectly-designed network of corridors, open spaces and oh so tempting wall-run friendly geometry. You'll almost never run into a dead end, while battle lines flow organically across the level, not constrained to a single plane.
It's intoxicating, truly a new benchmark and a breath of fresh air, and we're not sure if we can ever go back. We don't want to go back. We won't go back. You can't make us.