Gun guys always appreciate anything that involves shooting, touching, holding or even thinking about a gun. We love war movies, shoot ‘em up flicks and first-person shooter games—really any form of entertainment that involves muzzle flash.
Some might say, at least for the younger generation, video games lead the pack. Through the years, these games have affected us in ways that we might not even fully comprehend. Who doesn’t remember blowing away ducks on Nintendo after middle school, or look forward to sniping some terrorists Call of Duty-style after a tough day at the office? Face it; we need these games as much as we need range time.
So, in celebration of thumb aerobics and couch time, we decided to come up the best eight shooting video games ever to aid in wasting your time. What are the criteria, you ask? We based our selections on a few things: the realistic portrayal of guns or their use, impact on popular culture and the overall fun-to-play factor.
Go ahead click through the images below, let out your inner Guns & Ammo geek, and tell us your picks.
This tactical shooter took realism to the next level while focusing on stealth, tactical movement and precision shooting. Play revolves around the mission planning of the Rainbow Operatives with quick, deadly and strikingly realistic combat. One shot can kill your target, but the gameplay favors cautious aiming over the typical free-wheeling shoot ‘em up style of previous first-person shooters.
The game, loosely based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same title, is still one of the industry standards 13 years later.
Console: Sony PlayStation
You can’t talk zombie games without mentioning Resident Evil. The original release in 1996 featured all the classic zombie movie anecdotes including viral outbreak, town on lockdown and allowing players to live out their zombie hunting fantasies.
Resident Evil may not be the prettiest looking game by today’s standards, but it featured real-life guns like the beautiful nickel-plated Colt Python (pictured above) and other now storied video game guns. As zombies become more popular in today's culture, this game just seems all the more relevant....and awesome.
The popularity of this game goes far beyond entertainment value. America’s Army has actually been used by the U.S. Army in recruiting to teach various military tactics and codes of conduct. In addition, there have been reports of soldiers using tactics in the field they’d learned in the video game. While these accounts have been disputed, there's no doubt that this game had an impact and potentially helped save lives.
One of the more popular guns portrayed in the game is the M16A2 rifle, which can be switched from single-shot to short bursts. Exceptional marksmanship grants the user sniper privileges – after all, not everyone can be a sniper – and an honor system based on teamwork allows the player to move up through the ranks. In terms of health, it’s one of the most realistic games out there. You take a shot, you go limp, and you’d better call for a medic, because one more could mean game over.
We can’t help but mention a game that puts the gamer as close to a snarling grizzly bear as one can get without braving the wild.
With its realistic portrayal of guns like the Remington Model 700PSS/700P (pictured above), smooth gameplay and true-to-life interaction with the environment and wildlife, this game stands out as the top first-person shooter in the hunting realm.
The Medal of Honor series was initially focused on the veterans of World War II, AKA “the Greatest Generation,” until a 2010 reboot placed the focus on today’s soldiers in Afghanistan. In 2008, the series was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling first-person shooter franchise in history.
History buffs will geek out over the series’ portrayal of WWII-era weaponry, along with its use of cinematic cut scenes in the same vein of movies like Saving Private Ryan.
Console: Nintendo 64
This game is one of those rare case in which the movie didn't turn out to be a popular or relevant as the game it spawned. Released as one of the Nintendo 64’s launch titles, GoldenEye was hailed as one of the most influential first-person shooters of its time and ushered in a period of realism in the genre, straying from environments introduced by games like Doom years earlier.
For the most part, the guns portrayed in this game – given fictional names like “AR-33” or “KF7 Soviet” – are true to their real-life counterparts, save a fairly unrealistic depiction of the FN P90.
Call of Duty focused on infantry and combined arms in World War II in early iterations, but has since broadened its horizons with new installments. The series showcases one of the widest variety of weapons – spanning from WWII to modern day conflicts – of any shooting game ever conceived. As with GoldenEye, the franchise’s claim to fame is its multiplayer mode, but this revolutionary game took the platform much further with features like the Zombie Nazis mini-game.
Knives and crossbows even make appearances, but the main attraction for the millions of gamers worldwide is the firepower. Oh, how we love the firepower.
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
OK, we know what you’re thinking.....Duck Hunt? REALLY? There aren’t technically any guns in Duck Hunt!
That may be true, but think back to the first gun you ever held, real or prop. Chances are, some of you were probably aiming the Nintendo Zapper at the TV screen long before you were firing rounds down range.
The game still has replay value today--as long as you haven’t grown sick of that annoying dog--but the real impact of this game was teaching kids not only how to hold a gun, but also how to aim it. We're just assuming the little gamer didn’t cheat by holding the gun up to the screen and firing point-blank. For introducing some of you to the great lifestyle of shooting, Duck Hunt earns the top spot on our list.