Not going to lie. The title, best arena shooters, is a bit of a clickbait. Most of us that play shooters would read that and think I’ll be talking about the best arena shooters of all time. But there is no way I’m touching something like that with a twenty-foot pole. We can’t even agree on the best Call of Duty or Halo, let alone the best first-person arena shooter game of all time. So for my mental health, I’ll rank the best arena shooters out right now.
Best Arena Shooters Out Right Now
Quick anecdote: CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and Rainbow Six Siege are not included in my list. Not because they aren’t good games. I just have very limited to no experience playing them.
Splitgate, like most indie games, had its five minutes of fame, especially in an era where we all felt like we had nothing to play. It’s a fun game, but like Fortnite, it has a gimmick that was initially fun to play but soon became incredibly sweaty. I have no issue with sweaty games. I play Apex Ranked for fun, but needing insane mechanical skill and map knowledge even as a beginner is no fun to anyone looking to relax from a long day of work.
#5 – Apex Arenas
I stopped playing Apex after season four. I whined about it being too hard and walked away from it. I couldn’t get a kill to save my life. I picked it back up in season eight and still struggled, but Apex Arenas came out a season later. I know that Apex isn’t an arena shooter, and Apex Arenas is just a side game in the main game, but I’m still counting it. Why? Because it’s the reason I fell in love with Apex.
My biggest issue with Apex before Arenas was my inability to practice gunfights. I could practice in the range, but my in-fight game sense was trash. Apex Arenas let me grind out fights. I got better. But I have it as low on my list because it gets boring. Once you are confident in a gunfight, Apex Arenas is boring. I’d rather win a BR game than ease through an arena win.
FYI, Apex is the best BR, and it’s not even close. Here’s the trailer for the new season and character, Newcastle
#4 – Overwatch
Oh, Overwatch, the potential you had. I am a huge Overwatch fan. I bought the game when it first came out, and it still has the best-designed character kit of all time. (Shoutout to all my Ana mains. You have impeccable taste.) Of course, Overwatch has had its toxic metas and its extremely good metas, but what has killed this game isn’t even the actual game’s fault.
Activision Blizzard gave up on Overwatch. A game with an insane amount of fans who only wanted more lore. Do you remember the Hanzo Genji video and all the others like them? They were amazing. Then we had Overwatch 2 announced with the promise of more in-game lore, but it’s had more postponements and pushes than I care to count. The beta for Overwatch 2 just came out, and it looks like a blast, but will anyone buy a game that should have just been a massive update two years ago?
#3 – Call of Duty Vanguard
I love Call of Duty. What twenty-five-year-old gamer doesn’t? We grew up playing all the Black Ops and Modern Warfares. The golden era of CoD spoiled us. Then we got crap game after crap game. (Although Ghosts and Advanced Warfare are hidden gems). This leads us to Vanguard, arguably the second crappiest Call of Duty. (Just behind Infinite Warfare.) Squad spawns, bugs, map design, and everything else in this game make it annoying at best.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy playing it with friends, but there is something about easily dropping eighty to a hundred kills in some game modes that make Vanguard feel invalid. Remember when you had to earn high kill games, and not just everyone could get a nuke? Maybe I’m a purist or a nostalgic, but I’m excited for the new Modern Warfare 2 just so I can stop playing Vanguard.
#2 – Halo Infinite
Dear Call of Duty fans, Halo has always been better than Call of Duty. We just have devs that hate us. I have always preferred Halo to Call of Duty. It’s just a better game to me, and I know that many people will disagree with me, and I frankly couldn’t give a rip.
Yes, Halo Infinite is not a perfect game. The game is coded horribly. The nonhit reg is atrocious, and the server connection might be the worst out of any new generation game. However, Halo Infinite is a solid game. It’s in desperate need of some new content, but it’s a much more rewarding game to play than Vanguard. There’s something better about grinding out a stronghold win on Streets in Halo Infinite than a Dom wins on Gavutu in Vanguard. Tell me I’m wrong.
#1 – Valorant
Valorant is the best arena shooter out right now. I know the memes about it having “precise gunplay,” but it’s the most rewarding game to grind. Valorant will make you throw your mouse at the wall, but it will also get you the most hype when you get an ace, or a ninja defuse.
There is no lack of content, much to the chagrin of our wallets. (Seriously, Riot, please start making bad weapon bundles. My wallet can’t take much more of this. And no, do not ask me how much I’ve spent. We DON’T talk about that number.) A new character is always dropping or getting a release teased to us. Yet, Valorant keeps us coming back for more. It’s like a toxic relationship we can’t leave, except this one can be fun and rewarding at times.
With what feels like the slowest death in gaming history, more and more people are playing arena shooters. And I can’t blame them. Battle Royales challenged the landscape of shooters. There is more on the line with a BR game than an arena game. You versus one-eighty instead of six versus six, and the adrenaline and sense of accomplishment are unparalleled.
But arena shooters are still a blast, especially if you can fill a whole team with friends. Solo queueing is a nightmare, but if you and your friends are looking to feel nostalgic or have a fun night drinking and gaming, then arena shooters are perfect for you.
And if you hated this list then you are really going to hate my Top 5 PlayStation 2 Games list.