#7: Halo: Combat EvolvedPlatform: XboxYear: 2001
Original review score: 5 out of 5 Stars
Halo forever changed the first-person shooter genre, but it did so quietly with a host of small, brilliant innovations. Halo proved that hardcore FPS games could not only work, but thrive on home game consoles.
Why It Was Innovative:
Before Halo, console first-person shooters were a dismal affair: the horrid console-based control schemes made the PC the only place to play serious FPS games. Halo changed that attitude almost overnight through a host of subtle gameplay tweaks that are now so popular they're practically universal in the action genre. Halo's recharging shield meter, for instance, allowed players to hang back from the action to restore lost health - a landmark design decision that reduced player deaths and, by extension, frustration. Other trend-setting gameplay elements included the two-weapon carry limit, the emphasis on melee strikes and grenade throwing, and the introduction of drivable vehicles. Throw in a legendary multiplayer mode and dazzlingly colorful visuals and you've got the recipe for an FPS revolution.