Originally Posted by daredrummer
The first FPS that actually recieved positive attention was Wolfenstein 3D (PC), by id software, in 92, although it still wasn't very popular. Then in 93, id software came out with doom(PC), a very popular game which got many people into FPS's. In 94, Doom II came out, and domark got into the game by releasing bloodshot, on genisis. Then LucasArts introduced Star Wars Dark Forces in 95, and millenium released Defcon 5. By this time doom and wolfenstein had been released on several systems. More and more games came out (descent is one i forgot to mention), and were released on several different systems. Then in 96, id software raised the bar yet again, with Quake. This game is consideres by many to be the birth of the modern FPS. 97 was another big year, with quake II, another star wars release, and powerslave. Nintendo also stepped into the game with Goldeneye 007. 98 was another huge year with big releases like Turok 2, Unreal, Forsaken, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. After titles like Quake, star wars, and goldeneye, people didn't think it could get much better. Man were they wrong. Half Life was released in 98, another amazing FPS. After this it just kept getting better with titles like Unreal tournament, medal of honor, team fortress, quake III Arena, perfect dark, deus ex, and red faction. Halo: Combat Evolved came out in 01 another groundbreaking game. In 02, Timesplitters 2 and battlefield 1942 were released. Then came metroid prime for GameCube, and Call of Duty for PC.
The rest is history.
A fairly convincing timeline of the FPS genre, personally I'm not a fan of where the genre has come, it suits an abusive style of competitive play but lacks fun. The best fun to be had FPS wise is the likes of Left 4 Dead, which is ironic coming from someone that has previously played CoD in game battles.
Originally I played Wolfenstein 3d as well, there was another game from the same era a lot of people forget about, Blake Stone. There were a few of those 2.5D shooters especially around the time of Doom, it inspired a lot more. Catacomb 3d was a particularly memorable one. Heretic and it's spiritual successor Hexen were also good examples of the early genre.
Quake certainly revolutionized online shooting back in the old dial up era, Quake 3 brought it closer to it's current incarnation and started competitive gaming, Unreal Tournament followed in it's footsteps and later Halo. Duke Nukem 3d, originally 96 the same year as Quake, so early on your timeline, made a huge impact when it was ported to the 64 and other consoles as well. I remember playing that game online as well, it was very popular.
Goldeneye was good, but Perfect Dark is the best the 64 had to offer FPS wise, Goldeneye was great for it's time, it has aged very poorly. When you're talking console shooters, Halo definitely needs a mention, not just because of how popular it is, that game altered the way targeting with an analog stick worked, it single handedly made FPS more popular on console then PC, which was previously the true way to play a shooting game. Sure, the N64 brought console shooters into the equation and many prolific PC shooters like Counterstrike and Battlefield persisted after Halo and still do, but Halo started the shift in development from developing primarily for PC to developing for console.
We could go an list all the FPS games ever made, but one of my personal favorite series was Timesplitters from the PS2 which you briefly mentioned. Head and shoulders above the competition in it's day and still has not been matched in many regards.