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What's Your Favorite Arena Shooter?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | With QuakeCon popping off, we direct our sights to the great arena shooters over the years.

Article by USgamer Team, .

It's QuakeCon time, so that means this week's community question is centered around it. Duh! So let us know: What's your favorite arena shooter? Quake? Unreal Tournament? It can be anything!

Also did y'all catch that Doom Eternal footage? Seeing that grappling hook and dash in action made me feel like that one Antonio Banderas gif.

Yes, your hand is basically a gun in Devil Daggers.
Kat Bailey Editor-in-Chief

I'll admit, I don't actually have a favorite arena shooter. I used to play a fair amount of Unreal Tournament, but Quake never really did it for me. Does Jedi Knight count? I really liked Jedi Knight.

The one and only shooter for me is Battlefield (I've been known to play some Overwatch as well, I suppose). That's because I can hop in a tank or a plane and actually do well, which is not something I can say for most other shooters. It makes it much less likely that I'll get no scoped by a 14-year-old.

Interestingly, the traditional "arena shooter" of old appears to be a dying breed. More and more, shooters are focusing on team-based mechanics and other more esports friendly approaches. It's sad in a way, but time marches on, I suppose. There will always be a subset of fans who love arena shooters. I'm just not one of them.

Matt Kim News Editor

Halo 2, full stop. I haven't played a Halo game since Halo: Reach (I never finished Halo 4), but Halo 2's multiplayer will always have a spot in my heart for introducing me to the thrill of arena shooters. It'll never, ever get better than playing a tense game of Slayer on Lockout or Coagulation.

In fact, just talking about Halo 2 is making me nostalgic for the pre-class based multiplayer days. Maybe I'll boot up Quake Champions now that it's free-to-play?

Caty McCarthy Features Editor

I dunno if I'd actually say this is an all-time favorite, but the first game to come to mind when I think of arena shooters is Devil Daggers, an indie game from a few years ago. Devil Daggers is a lo-fi arena shooter, lifting inspirations from old school Doom and other hellish things. It features rad PS1-era graphics and some nail-biting "try to stay alive for as long as possible" action. I wouldn't necessarily call it underrated since it got a whole lot of buzz around its release, but Devil Daggers is still one of those rare games I revisit every now and then, only to find hours slip away effortlessly as I chase high scores. If you haven't checked out Devil Daggers, I highly recommend it. Also it has some spectacular (and disgusting) sound design.

Also I'm going on vacation for about a week (yay!), so I've been kicking around whether to bring my Nintendo 3DS or my Switch. For the 3DS, I'd have WarioWare Gold to keep me company, but with my Switch, I can finally dive into Dead Cells. Or maybe just pick up Okami HD again, because I'm an idiot who has to own Okami on every console I own. The 3DS is more compact which is why I'm leaning towards it, but man, Dead Cells sure is tempting. Help me decide please, readers.

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Comments 20

  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #1 NiceGuyNeon 11 days ago
    I'm at Quakecon so I should say Quake 3: Arena. But have you played the Halo games when Bungie was the developer? OMG I still go back to those and have a blast.

    Unreal Tournament was OK, but Quake always did it for me and later Halo always did it for me.

    So yeah my answer is either Quake 3 (Live counts too) AND Halo (but really just the first three, and everything after Reach is pretty trashy).
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #2 NiceGuyNeon 11 days ago
    Also for Caty: I think Dead Cells looks spectacular. But for my flight I had a choice of bringing my Switch or my Vita and I decided to go Vita because I rarely play it whereas the Switch has evolved into my main platform. I don't know if that's the case for you with your 3DS but if it is I say go for it.

    But if not I also figure Switch is here to stay so maybe use the 3DS while it has some life in it!

    But Dead Cells looks so amazing, the Switch is still compact enough to fit in your backpack and be comfortably played on a plane or really anywhere that isn't too cramped, so I don't think portability is really an issue in this case.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #3 mobichan 11 days ago
    Can I say Geometry Wars or Smash TV?
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  • Avatar for themblan #4 themblan 11 days ago
    Quake III Arena was my first love. I remember playing the free demo a lot on my 200 MHz PC.

    Crysis 2 multiplayer was a cross between CoD and arena-shooter. Of the things that may qualify it as an arena-shooter, you could sprint and slide, super-jump and mantle on ledges, go invisible, and do Air Stomps, which had you landing on the ground with a force that killed anyone in its impact-radius.
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  • Avatar for Kochambra #5 Kochambra 11 days ago
    @NiceGuyNeon That's some excellent advice!
    I'd put it this way: Vacation time calls for doing things that you don't usually do, so Caty, bring whatever system you use the less.

    As for my favorite arena shooter, I guess Splatoon 2 doesn't count, being a 3rd person shooter?
    In that case, I'll have to go way back to a time when my friends and I used to gather and play at a friend's business, all of us shooting and shouting at each other in the same room.
    We had lots of fun playing the likes of Doom and Quake 1, 2 and III. But I think that we had the most memorable experience when playing Rebellion's first Alien versus Predator game, later re-released as Aliens versus Predator Classic 2000. What made this game so special, was how it allowed you to play as three different races with three different play styles. My friends tended to favor playing as humans or as a powerful predator, but I loved playing as an alien, extremely fragile but able to crawl on walls and ceilings, and deadly in close quarters. Good times! :)Edited 2 weeks ago by Kochambra
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  • Avatar for Maxbeedo #6 Maxbeedo 11 days ago
    The original Unreal Tournament was by far my favorite. Fast movement, sci-fi setting, great guns (and lots of creative gun mods), and it came out at a time where I was in several high school classes with computer science teachers who didn't know a thing about computers. We LANed that game so hard most days, even named a bot after the teacher. When I got to college and had a T1 in my dorm, I played enough to be ranked #3 in the world in the online rankings (top 50 in deathmatch, team deathmatch, domination, capture the flag AND assault). The only 2 people ahead of me played exclusively Instagib (1-shot-kill weapon) on exactly one map, probably using aimbots just for good measure.

    Here's a random one for you: Nerf Arena Blast. Basically Quake/UT but with nerf guns.
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  • Avatar for nimzy #7 nimzy 11 days ago
    Tribes and Unreal Tournament never clicked with me, and I only ever had the Quake III Arena demo (and had a blast with that even back in the dialup days).

    So my choice is going to be the original Halo. It was the first and only time I ever got seriously involved in competitive FPS games, and the local and regional tournaments I took part in are some of the best memories I have when I think about that giant black box sitting in my closet. Halo came at the perfect time and was the most accessible, easy-to-pick-up shooter I've ever seen before or since.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #8 Funny_Colour_Blue 11 days ago
    Some really great answers by@nimzy@Maxbeedo and@Kochambra, Arena shooters have changed a lot since then - it's one of those genres that definitely won't come back as they were, unless we were to go back in time to witness their inception all over again.

    Growing up in 2000, I was forced to get a Mac cause at the time that's what our art department at school supported - it was cool cause when we finally started using photoshop and indesign, I had a head start on the other students.

    ..But the problem was that, at home outside of Mac Addict Demo discs and inferior SNES emulators (iNes and SNES9x couldn't play Battletoads or MegaMan X2,X3 till 2007...I know right?!) I was desperate to play anything I could get my hands on.

    One of the games I ended up downloading was the demo for Rainbow Six Rogue Spear. It only had one level: The M.E.T. the Museum of Art in new york. it always took about 15 minutes to load on my orange imac, but once it was done, I played the crap out of that demo.

    One time I was playing online however, and a guy I lost to IM'd me immediately after and was like "…Hey you got Game Ranger?" and I was like "What's Game Ranger?" Apparently Game Ranger was a 3rd party app for PC/Mac gaming that would allow you to host/join and see what other people were playing on the network (hands down one of the best online multiplayer network ideas I haven't seen replicated since) - Not only that, but the guy linked me to a patch that would turn the Rainbow Six Rogue Spear demo into a full blown multiplayer demo with several multiplayer maps, it blew my mind.

    So there we were playing Rainbow Six Rogue Spear demo on the M.E.T level again, but this time, modified with several explosive barrels littered throughout the hallways, sneaking around, while armed with 9MMs, silencers and flashbangs. It was like something out of James Bond. One misfired bullet would blow the entire Museum to kingdom come - but in reality, my Mac would just crash me out of the game again , and I'd have to wait till the match was over to play - but dude it was so much fun!

    I know Rainbow Six is not an Arena Shooter. but when I think back to multiplayer shooters, this is the memory that I think resonates with me the most. I really miss that early 2000-ish era of free demos in PC/Mac gaming.

    rip Gamespy :'(

    P.S. I eventually went to see the M.E.T in New York for a year end Art Trip (...it wasn't as cool as the demo, lol.)Edited 3 times. Last edited 2 weeks ago by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #9 chaoticBeat 11 days ago
    Halo Reach was fantastic and marked the end of an era but I was all about the original Halo local multiplayer. Hang 'em High stands out to me now as one of me and my friends favorite maps.

    I'm excited for this new wave of old school shooters that we've gotten as well as the upcoming sequels. Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Doom Eternal, and Rage 2 all look great.
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  • Avatar for BulkSlash #10 BulkSlash 11 days ago
    Jedi Knight is always a good answer to any FPS question! I love that game, it would be so great to get a remake/remaster.

    I think my favourite arena shooter would be Quake 3 with the corkscrew mod. Basically it gave you a faster firing rail gun and a Spider-Man style grappling hook for swinging through levels. I have many happy memories of playing that at work during lunch breaks!
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  • Avatar for samet380 #11 samet380 10 days ago
    fortniteeere!!!@@
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  • Avatar for Pandalulz #12 Pandalulz 10 days ago
    *shrug* ?

    I have some fond memories of UT and the original Quake MP, but that was more about the where, when, and who than because I really enjoy those types of games.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #13 Monkey-Tamer 10 days ago
    UT99. It has my favorite game modes, and I still find it fun today. Some maps were so good they got ported to the sequels by modders. Domination is still one of my favorite ways to play. I can have fun with any UT game, but prefer the tight maps of the first and the absolute chaos of a fast paced free for all game. I've got it on Steam and GOG, and use a hi res texture pack to make it look better.
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  • Avatar for InsertTokenz #14 InsertTokenz 10 days ago
    If we are including any FPS as long as it has a multiplayer mode attached to it, then really any of the OG FPS games from the 90's (DOOM, DOOM 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Quake, etc.) would be my pick.

    But if the game has to be mainly multiplayer focused, then my pick might have to go to Unreal Tournament 2004. There was so much variety in that game with all the various modes right out of the box, coupled with all the custom maps/mods to really extended the replay value.Edited 2 weeks ago by InsertTokenz
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  • Avatar for Vodka-Tonic #15 Vodka-Tonic 10 days ago
    Unreal Tournament
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #16 donkeyintheforest 10 days ago
    i think i had the most fun with tribes 2
    @BulkSlash i loved multiplayer deathmatch all lightsabers in jedi knight and in the jedi academy/outcast sequels! so crazy esp with a ton of darkside powers going haha
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #17 donkeyintheforest 10 days ago
    i think i had the most fun with tribes 2
    @BulkSlash i loved multiplayer deathmatch all lightsabers in jedi knight and in the jedi academy/outcast sequels! so crazy esp with a ton of darkside powers going haha
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  • Avatar for nilcam #18 nilcam 9 days ago
    Does P.N.03 count?
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  • Avatar for BulkSlash #19 BulkSlash 9 days ago
    @donkeyintheforest Oh yeah Tribes 2! I’d forgotten about that one! There were so many awesome mods to games back then.
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  • Avatar for Dorchadas #20 Dorchadas 8 days ago
    UT99, especially with the Chaos UT mod installed. The grappling hook really changed the gameplay, and I especially remember orbiting around on the highest tower in Morpheus, while my roommates shouted at me as they tried to hit me. Good times.

    Facing Worlds will always beat out 2Fort for me.
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