The 5 most realistic shooter games ever made

Violent video games have been blamed for a lot of tragic events over the years, but you can’t blame games for the fact that some people can’t tell the difference between a video game and reality. However, when it comes to the following 5 games, the lines get a little more blurred than usual…

We’re talking realistic in terms of gameplay, how the guns work, how strategy is used, not realistic as in they have the slickest graphics. These games aren’t for everyone, because there’s more to them than just running and gunning, but if that’s what you’re after – you can’t go wrong with any of these.

5. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2

image: emuparadise

image: emuparadise

Released: 2004

Fans of the Tom Clancy series know more or less what to expect from each sub-series, and when it comes to Ghost Recon you’re expecting tactics and realism. The next in the series, Wildlands, is set to draw in March of 2017 with an open-world map. This series has come a long way, but it’s also come a long way from its earlier roots, which felt a lot more realistic with more of an emphasis on tactical gameplay.

You command a squad, telling them when to fight, when to hold back, when to flank, etc. If someone in your team died, they were out of the campaign for good, so there were permanent consequences for your mistakes and decisions.

4. SWAT 4


Released: 2005

Developed by former SWAT members, tactics and realism are the name of the game. The SWAT series isn’t for everyone, but if you love the breach scenes from Call of Duty and are looking for more depth in that experience (There may not be a lot of you…), then SWAT is the way to go. This time around, the game does take place in a fictional city, which could throw you off, but the older entries into this series take place in LA.

Uniquely, this game encourages apprehending suspects through non-lethal force. You’ll actually be penalized for using excessive force, and there are strict rules and protocols for using your weapons.

3. Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway


Released: 2008

You’d never run onto a real battlefield like you’re Rambo, and that type of strategy won’t get you very far in any of these games, Brothers in Arms in particular. Teamwork is incredible important in this one, and the devs put a huge emphasis on historical accuracy and realism, while still trying to keep the game fun – which isn’t always an easy task when you’re dealing with such heavy topics. Some of the encounters are almost haunting.

Using tactics inspired from real combat, that were actually used in these real battles, you’ll make your way through the war and countless hellish experiences, and you’ll come out with a new perspective, and even some knowledge on actual military combat techniques and strategies.

2. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

image: destructoid

image: destructoid

Released: 2011

Ten years after ARMA: Cold War Assault, it’s interesting to see the difference that a decade can make. Some of the elements that make this game feel a lot more realistic is simply how the guns react, and not really having a HUD to keep track of things like bullets and when you need to reload. You’ve got to count your bullets yourself. There’s a certain heaviness to how the weapons work, it brings you in more and connects you closer to the target you’re hitting. You can almost feel the impact of each bullet, it’s a strange feeling for a game.

There’s no health that automatically re-generates. When a player gets shot and survives, they’ve got to bandage up and find shelter.

1. ARMA: Cold War Assault

Released: 2001

In a lot of war shooters, you’ll start off at point A, and you’ve got to make it to point B along a relatively linear track, completing fairly standard objectives along the way. The first in the “Operation Flashpoint” series, this one may just be the most realistic, and certainly one of the most difficult. It was originally called Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, but was released under the ARMA banner due to ownership issues with the Operation Flashpoint name.

This game really helped propel the combat sim genre into new places. You’re given a set of tasks at the start, and you must choose the best way to complete them, it’s not as linear as we’re used to. You’ll choose the correct equipment for the job, including vehicles, based on what you anticipate coming up against. Combat takes place on a much larger and open map than we’re used to with these types of games, as well.