Retro FPS games, otherwise known as boomer shooters, have had a resurgence in popularity within the past few years. Encouragement from the small outstanding retro FPS community, older developers, and companies have begun churning out some of the best 90’s inspired games as of late. From AAA to indie developers, we will cover the ten best boomer shooters you need to play in 2022.
Before we begin, we have a small disclaimer for this list. There are tons of games we would love to include on this list, but unfortunately didn’t make the cut. Our opinion isn’t fact. If you don’t see your favorite retro FPS on this list, it doesn’t mean it’s not remarkable in its own right. Also, there are many other games we would love to include on this list that haven’t been officially released, like Gloomwood.
The 10 Greatest Boomer Shooters You Can Play Today
10. PowerSlave Exhumed
This particular boomer shooter is an exciting game that many people have never heard of before, and for a good reason. PowerSlave Exhumed is a remastered engine port of the original Playstation and Saturn versions of the original 90’s Egyptian-inspired FPS known as PowerSlave. PowerSlave was initially released on the PS1, Sega Saturn, and PC with each version having slight to drastic variations.
In PowerSlave Exhumed, you’re an armed forces specialist sent to investigate strange reports at the ancient Egyptian city of Karnak. The city has been overrun with alien invaders, and ancient mummified humans have begun to run rampant. Tasked with stopping the invasion, you must embark through different parts of Karnak to locate and find ancient artifacts to aid you in overcoming the alien threat.
What Makes this Boomer Shooter One of the Best in the Genre
PowerSlave Exhumed is known for combining the best elements of Metroidvania games with the exciting premise behind 90s shooter games. As you progress through this great boomer shooter game, you will gather modern and ancient magical weapons. You will also discover ancient artifacts that allow you to traverse hidden paths to find more treasures to collect.
Some conventional weapons you will discover include an M60 and a flamethrower. You will also find magical weapons like the Cobra Staff or the Ring of Ra. Weapons follow a unique system in PowerSlave Exhumed. Instead of obtaining specific ammo types, you gather blue orbs which only replenish ammunition for the weapon you are currently holding, which shakes up some groundwork mechanics.
This boomer shooter has 23 levels, a fantastic soundtrack, and collectibles in each level for the completionists out there. We highly recommend backtracking to previous levels to look for additional power-ups. Like Metroidvania games, the real enjoyment comes from slowly growing your character’s strengths to play into that late-game power fantasy. It’s a wonderful addition to the usual retro FPS genre and it’s a welcome one.
Changes Made in this Remake
This remaster from Nightdive Studios mashes up the best parts of both old-school console ports. Yet, it also adds new modern-day additions and settings to elevate this excellent FPS to a modern-day hardware standard. Nightdive Studios are also responsible for remastering many boomer shooters like Shadow Man, Blade Runner, and System Shock.
Most differentiating changes between the original PC port of PowerSlave included changes to health, ammo, and even a few weapons functioned totally differently. We believe the console ports are the best version of PowerSlave; most of the PC changes didn’t fit the gameplay. For example, in the PC version, gaining Ankhs would give you an extra life, rather than an entire extra HP bar.
We highly recommend picking up this nearly forgotten relic of early console gaming history more than ever. If you are looking for an extra challenge, there are new difficulty modes. Also, there is a true ending for those who find and collect nearly everything in boomer shooters. There is also an option to enable classic graphics.
9. POSTAL: Brain Damaged
POSTAL Brain Damaged comes from the same controversial, twisted, and beloved POSTAL series. Unlike Running With Scissors previous entries in the series, POSTAL Brain Damaged takes the twisted humor their games are known for but brings that retro FPS twist. If you’re familiar with the POSTAL series, you know what comes next. Yet, you are in for a very confusing ride if you don’t.
This game is a wild roller coaster of twisted humor, memes, and fast gunplay. What feels like a mix of an arena shooter like Quake or key hunting around levels like classic DOOM games. At the same time, levels can feel like a bit of a mix-up. However, it’s one of the most accessible boomer shooters on this list to pick up and play if you’re not already a massive fan of the genre.
Combat and Gameplay in POSTAL: Brain Damaged
The weapons you obtain continue this upward trend of ridiculous and twisted humor that the entire game follows to the very end. The variety of weapons spans a basic shovel to a rocket launcher that fires holy hand grenades which play the “hallelujah” jingle before exploding. In other words, there is an amazing assortment of weapons to get your hands on. The enemies are far stranger than the guns, but we will let you experience that first hand.
The gameplay is simple and fun, the basic mechanics being easy to learn at the start of the game. The advanced skills, on the other hand, like this game’s version of bunny hopping, encourage you to utilize numerous tools like the power-slide jump or chain hook in order to execute them expertly.
This game shares its 90’s gameplay with its humor, and that’s the primary focus of the POSTAL series. If you’re not the type of person who enjoys POSTAL’s sense of humor, this might not be the best retro FPS for you. That aside, POSTAL: Brain Damaged dances on the line of being so janky and trippy visuals that makes it so memorable even months after putting the game down.
8. Turbo Overkill
Turbo Overkill is a beautiful combination of cyberpunk setting, fast, addictive gunplay, and devastating weaponry, which includes a chainsaw leg. This great boomer shooter was developed by Trigger Happy Interactive and published by Apogee Entertainment, the creators of the classic Rise of the Triad series.
In Turbo Overkill you are Johnny Turbo, a silent protagonist who is hellbent on cleaning up their futuristic city known as Paradise by forcefully liberating it from the advanced AI, Syn. Fight your way through the overtaken and trashed Paradise city by augmenting your body and weapons in various different ways. For example, you can give yourself a chainsaw leg, a mechanical arm that launches rockets, and much more.
Turbo Overkill has taken inspiration from tons of older media, from minor references to level recreations from movies. While we won’t spoil every reference, we did notice a few massive references to Blade Runner, The Matrix, and Judge Dredd. Unlike most games that stick to the usual formula for FPS games, Turbo Overkill establishes that familiarity in the first ten minutes of gameplay while still testing and expanding on the formula it is grounded in..
Nearly every weapon has an extra variant that can turn most enemies on your screen into a gorey paste. Your standard dual pistols have a lock-on function similar to TitanFall 2’s Smart Pistol or overclocking your shotgun to fire a wider spread of buckshot. With all of these inspirations taken from other IPs, Turbo Overkill feels like a love letter made for the fans of several different genres.
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What Sets Turbo Overkill Apart from Other Boomer Shooter FPS Games
Turbo Overkill feels flashy and fluid, your basic double barrel shotgun eviscerating anything that stands too close to you. Every weapon feels powerful, punchy, and packs an impactful surprise. The pistol alt fire we previously mentioned also obliterates any lower-tier enemy in a single blast. The damage growth over the course of this game is satisfying and incredibly fun.
The set pieces for levels are beautiful, and the gunplay is fantastic. Turbo Overkill appeals to both the new and old audiences of the genre, while still adding a challenge in every stage. The game’s upgrade system makes weaponry still feel familiar while impactful. The amazing levels of mobility, challenge, and customization make this game a must-have for anyone looking for a fluid and cohesive gameplay experience.
We highly recommend picking up a copy of Turbo Overkill. This is one of the best boomer shooters you can get for twenty dollars on steam. If that hasn’t sold you enough already, there is a roadmap showcasing future updates to come, including an endless mode.
7. Forgive Me Father
Forgive Me Father is a mixture of a 2D to 3D retro horror FPS set in a Lovecraftian setting but presented in a comic book style. Some quickly judge a new boomer shooter game and call it a “Doom clone” since those games are easy to make and oversaturate the genre. At a glance, Forgive Me Father feels and moves like a Doom clone but gives so much more that it sets itself apart entirely.
Mixing visual and narrative story elements, you can play as a priest or a reporter that sports their separate dialogue, characteristics, and talent trees. Forgive Me Father has a huge talent tree, allowing you to unlock more character perks or upgrade your preferred weapons.
Combat in Forgive Me Father
Combat is rhythmic and engaging, enemies taking damage based on what area they are hit, rather than contributing to a health bar. Shooting bigger enemies in the legs will make them slower, or drop and crawl on the ground. Headshots also matter, inflicting more damage or changing certain monsters’ aggression or moveset.
The more enemies you slaughter and the deeper you walk into the horrors of Forgive Me Father’s Lovecraft setting, you will begin to experience the madness the game brings. Not only does gameplay change, but the audio-visual experiences change based on your character’s level of madness. Not everything is as it seems, and the madness blends beautifully with the comic book style.
Forgive Me Father’s environmental set pieces tell a beautiful story, and immerse you into a dark Lovecraft-inspired world without the gameplay feeling out of place. If you’re looking for a great boomer shooter and want to experience a great story, we highly recommend Forgive Me Father.
6. Ion Fury
From the creators of Duke Nukem 3D, Prey, Shadow Warrior Classic, and Max Payne, brings you a new retro FPS game made on the iconic Build Engine, Ion Fury. If you’re a fan of Build Engine games or love the only Shadow Warrior, Duke Nukem, or Blood titles, you will feel right at home with Ion Fury.
Playing as Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, you are cleaning up the streets of Neo DC from a cybernetic cult led by Heskel, who controls the city from atop his highly guarded tower. Use an arsenal of devastating weapons, including multiple ammo types and alternate firing modes.
These fantastic weapons include a grenade launcher, heat-seeking smart bombs, and a tri-barreled revolver. Ion fury houses a rich, seamless level-to-level environment with tons of secrets and hidden ’90s references to explore and uncover. These extra bits of content are so well hidden that boomer shooter veterans are nearly guaranteed to miss a few.
Each level is handmade with zero procedural generation. Every stage includes multiple ways to take on your foes, including alternate paths and fantastic set pieces. It’s honestly magical to see what can be done with this classic Build Engine, and it’s all visually stunning. The Build Engine is infamous for its highly intractable and destroyable environments, and Ion Fury surpasses any previous Build Engine game on a technical scale by miles.
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What It’s Like to Play Ion Fury
Ion Fury is challenging but not outright unfair. The majority of your arsenal is also in the hands of the enemies. If they can obliterate you in just a few shots, so can you. For boomer shooter veterans we compare Ion Fury’s difficulty to Blood’s level of challenge. It’s difficult, and we relish the challenge, but Ion Fury is still a must play even if you’re newer to boomer shooters.
Ion Fury is also releasing their first DLC called Ion Fury: Aftershock very soon. One of the highlights of this DLC we cannot wait to get our hands on is the Hover Bike. Most notably, it comes armed with missile launchers! Aftershock is also bringing a new Arrange mode, which allows you to experience the original game with new enemies, weapons, and more that are likely added in the new DLC areas.
Accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack and fun one-liners from this unforgettable female protagonist, it’s a tremendous game plucked from the golden years of old-school gaming. It’s great to see 3D Realms continue to build upon the legacy they established back in the ’90s, and they haven’t lost their charm.
Viscerafest is a more simplistic take on the boomer shooter genre. Yet it brings incredible movement and challenging resource management with a protagonist so characteristic she gives Duke Nukem a run for his money. On the surface, Viscerafest looks like a DOOM clone. However, its strengths lie in its movement, strafing, bunny hopping, dashing, and unbelievably satisfying air control.
Paired with excellent movement, resource management is a far more significant threat and a consent pillar to the game’s difficulty. Ammo is not plentiful, and health is gained from enemy corpses, which Caroline can gib enemies with a brutal punch. Dashing and weaving through the battlefield while hot swapping your weapons to manage your resources makes for an extraordinarily challenging yet insanely fun gameplay.
If our testimony doesn’t convince you of Viscerafest’s difficulty, the game has a warning showcasing how difficult this game is. If you revel in the challenge, we highly recommend testing your metal with Viscerafest.
We also appreciate that Viscerafest caters more to the gameplay and the strengths of its character, rather than trying to be over the top and flashy. Many newer games focus more on their over-the-top visuals and effects. While Viscerafest does stick to a more simplistic style, its invigorating combat puts it higher than most boomer shooters.
Much like the previous games we mentioned, Viscerafest is still developing, and more acts, weapons, and enemies will be coming to the game soon. Act 2 was released recently, and we have had a blast overcoming the newest challenges the game provides and experiencing its engaging growing narrative.
Prodeus sports heavy guns, gore, and brutal fights all wrapped up into a fantastic aesthetic we quickly fell in love with. This is a great boomer shooter that feels like a mixture of Quake’s level design with the over-the-top gory combat from the Brutal DOOM mod pack. Developed by Bounding Box Software, Prodeus gets straight to the point with its overpowering gunplay and striking visuals.
Prodeus is widely seen as being the best DOOM-inspired boomer shooter of the modern day. Combat is fast, heavy, and punchy while not straining you to think about more demanding mechanics or over-the-top fast-paced movement. However, that doesn’t mean that Prodeus isn’t difficult. Sporting six different difficulty modes to hack and blast your way through gives you a more traditional ’90s challenge that many gamers miss.
Prodeus’ Art Style Lends Itself to the Game’s Intense Action
Prodeus blew us away with its mixture of highly rendered 3D art and retro-inspired design that branches out from the environment to the DOOM-like HUD. This intense boomer shooter FPS game sports an infinite blood and gore dismemberment system, making anyone on the other end of your weapons turn into a red paste. Your guns, screen, and the environment all get a fresh coating of gore in the heat of combat, giving you that feeling of playing a walking tank.
Combat boils down to what you’d expect, but if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If you have played any old-school FPS like Duke Nukem 3D or Blood, you will already become accustomed to the game’s combat. Respecting the old school style but adding an extra coat of paint and customizability is where Prodius shines.
Suppose you’re looking for a boomer shooter with a fast-growing community; we highly recommend grabbing a copy of Prodeus. Even if you manage to beat the campaign, there is still more to come in the near future. If you still need more Prodeus carnage in your life, a level editor is included in the game for you to make and play custom build levels by the community.
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The 3 Best Boomer Shooters to Play in 2022
Dusk might have been the sole game to bring about the recent boomer shooter resurgence. This FPS game is a beloved fast-paced horror boomer shooter released in 2018. It has amassed a cult following recently. Developed by David Szymanski and published by fan-favorite New Blood Interactive.
Dusk is a beautiful mix of bloody and satisfying open arena combat to dark and horrific environments with enemies straight from your nightmares. Featuring smooth action with tight air strafing, dunny hopping, and turning any enemy into bloody red chunks. This boomer shooter features some downright awesome things that we never knew we needed.
What Makes Dusk One of the Best Boomer Shooters Today
We were blown away when we realized that first-person backflips and front flips were possible while spinning our duel wield pump shotguns. Even powerups slowly introduced throughout each episode are game-changing and fun, most notably a powerup that stops time when you stop moving.
Even with these high-action heavy metal moments, Dusk still does a beautiful job of making its horror sections genuinely scary. Every single weapon you obtain stands out, feels impactful, and never stops being useful. One mission, you fell atop of the world and a rampaging powerhouse; the next, you feel utterly helpless in the unknown dark.
We cannot recommend Dusk enough. The only thing we wish it had was more episodes. It’s such a breathtaking game with only three beautiful episodes. We won’t spoil the unbelievable environmental story narrative, but it’s definitely worth the purchase. If you’re still looking for more Dusk content after you’re done, you can enjoy an endless mode, the wonderful modding community, and a long list of customization options at your fingertips.
2. Doom Eternal – Runner-Up to the Best Boomer Shooter
By now, you’ve most likely been aware of the overwhelming success of Doom Eternal. Doom Eternal paved the way for new and future boomer shooters by continuing to introduce genre-defining gameplay mechanics and atmosphere. While Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal have different style takes on story and combat, we cannot deny that Doom Eternal is a must-play.
Fast weapon switching, high maneuverability, resource management, and an assortment of gun combinations to master. Brutal melee, satisfying sound, and visual feedback with an iconic soundtrack to accompany the addicting slaughter. Doom Eternal raised the bar and shattered expectations.
Glory killing for extra health, turning enemies into health packs, chainsawing your opponents apart for ammo, or using them as a way to traverse around the map with the Meathook. Doom Eternal pushes the limits of speed and power given to the player in this legendary game. The only thing the demons and other enemies in Doom Eternal fear is you.
Two standalone DLC’s that ramp up the difficulty with each progressing chapter, along with a unique multiplayer Battle Mode. ID Software has proved time and time again that no matter if it’s 1993 or 2020, they still make undisputed masterpieces.
We cannot recommend Doom Eternal enough. Even if you somehow haven’t played this trend-setting boomer shooter, you’ve likely heard songs from its godly soundtrack. Do yourself a favor by grabbing a copy of Doom Eternal or giving it another replay if you haven’t already. Rip and tear until it is done.
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1. ULTRAKILL – The Best Boomer Shooter Game to Try in 2022
Mankind is dead. Blood is fuel. Hell is full. This lovely bloody and beautiful arena shooter combines levels and fights akin to the Quake series with a skill-based style scoring system like Devil May Cry. Developed by Arsi “Hakita” Patala and published by the beloved New Blood Interactive, this is our current number one pick out of the many boomer shooters you must play in 2022.
Rip and tear your foes, utilizing various destructive weapons that rank up your combo meter to a devastating effect. Ricochet bullets off flipped coins, parry your shotgun blast to increase its damage and velocity or ride rocket launcher missiles into your foes. Send monsters flying with earth-shattering ground pounds or grapple onto enemies to pulverize them into a bloody paste.
Similarities between ULTRAKILL and Doom Eternal
If you love Doom Eternal, you will feel right at home with ULTRAKILL. Jump and strafe across your bullets, to complete entire levels in seconds. Are you ready to overcome the unadulterated carnage and bleak world that ULTRAKILL brings to the table? Traverse a unique campaign setting inspired by Dante’s Inferno with plenty of well-hidden secrets during the slaughter.
Similar to Doom Eternal, your enemies are your health packs. Instead of needing to execute or perform glory kills, bathing in a rain of blood will restore your HP. With dozens of combos to rank up your style meter, weapon upgrades and megalomania-inducing carnage, ULTRAKILL scratches an itch few other games can reach.
ULTRAKILL also sports one of the best boomer shooter communities out there. Fan animations, memes, even the official voice actor Gianni Matragrano who voices the beloved boss Gabriel is extremely involved in the community. Wonderful gameplay, god-like soundtrack, combined with a stellar community, makes ULTRAKILL a must play for anyone.
ULTRAKILL’s second act released very recently and has brought the internet into a beloved uproar with new bosses, levels, and a few new ways to splatter your enemies across levels. Do yourself a massive favor and grab ULTRAKILL, it’s under 30 dollars on Steam and you won’t regret a minute.
Those were our picks for the ten best boomer shooters you need to play in 2022. There is a long list of games we didn’t mention on this list that look extremely fun and promising. Gloomwood, Roboquest, Perish, Metal: Hellsinger, and much more. We absolutely love the resurgence of boomer shooters that has occurred within the past few years, and we are incredibly excited to see what comes next.
If you’re in the market for some other games that might scratch this itch but aren’t quite as retro-inspired, we still got you covered. Check out our review of the best games like Ready or Not. Alternatively, check out our list of the most action-packed, horror games like Hunt Showdown.