The best competitive FPS games in 2021

Get on the grind with these competitive shooters

A woman aims a sniper rifle on the crook of her elbow and her knee, kneeling in a dirty battlefield

There’s nothing better than a proper competitive first-person shooter. These games, regardless of whether they’re new or old, ignite a fire in the belly of most players – leading many with a desire to be the best they can possibly be. It’s this feeling that has players all over the world coming back to competitive shooters time and time again.

But what are the best competitive FPS games in 2021? From old classics like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to new challengers like Valorant, there’s something out there for everyone. Picking the right one, however, can be a fairly challenging task in itself.

Luckily for you, we have compiled the best competitive FPS shooters you can grind right now. Warm up those hands and practice those flick shots because these games will certainly get your blood pumping.

The best competitive FPS games are:

  • Apex Legends
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • CS:GO
  • Escape From Tarkov
  • Overwatch
  • PUBG
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Splitgate
  • Valorant

Apex Legends' Octane rushes through the desert, pistol in hand. Gibraltar stand behind him

Apex Legends

Respawn Entertainment’s entry into the battle royale genre was met with great reception when it was revealed to the public during the spring of 2019. Since then, the development team has kept the game fresh with seasonal updates and limited-time modes.

One of the best features of the game is its ranked mode. With dynamic Apex Legends ranks, players can track their progress through visual MMR markers.

The gunplay and movement in this game makes it one of the best competitive FPS games out there right now – a trend that is only bolstered with Apex Legends Arenas ranks.

Call of Duty: Warzone

We can’t have a best FPS list without a Call of Duty game, can we? Warzone is the standout mode from the franchise in recent years and anyone who’s played it will understand why.

Away from the sweaty lobbies of Search and Destroy and Control in games such as Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War, Warzone offers players the chance to play tactically on Verdansk and Rebirth Island either alone or with friends.

Gear up quickly: the best Warzone guns right now

While you’ll still come across the occasional slide canceler, Warzone’s gameplay is truly engaging.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CS:GO

Regarded as one of the greatest shooters of all time, Counter-Strike Global Offensive has been the premier tactical shooter since it released all the way back in 2012. While there are several casual modes, the real competitive challenge is climbing the CS:GO ranks. From standard 5v5 to CS:GO’s battle royale mode, Danger Zone, there’s something for everyone in this timeless classic.

However, you’ll need to have a steady hand if you want to make your way to Global Elite. Aim is what separates some of the top players from the rest in CS:GO, and if you’re not prepared to learn the angles, you’re going to come up short.

Learning plays for an online game might sound taxing, but when you get it right, there’s really no better feeling.

Three players camp a Reserve roof in Escape From Tarkov

Escape From Tarkov

Battlestate Games’ Escape From Tarkov isn’t your traditional competitive FPS, but it’ll certainly put your skills to the test. In this hardcore realistic shooter, you’ll be tasked with completing quests and looting, all while coming under fire from other players and AI Scav raiders.

While there’s no ranking system in Escape From Tarkov, hardcore players live for the day they can claim their Kappa secure container, a 3×4 pouch that can only be obtained by completing the bulk of the game’s complicated quests.

Get started quick: use our Escape From Tarkov beginner’s guide

The game still offers a decent challenge if you can’t be bothered to grind the quest line. If you’re a good shot, you’ll relish the opportunity of thinking on your feet and defeating enemies in exhilarating engagements.

Overwatch

Overwatch

Blizzard’s foray into the FPS genre certainly caught people by surprise, but for all the right reasons. Overwatch is a great shooter, but instead of relying on individual skill, it relies on team play and composition.

Players will need to pick a hero from three categories: damage, tank, and support, and finding the right blend of these characters is key to victory. As such, players will need to hone their skills with a few select characters to have a real impact in the game.

Get off to a good start: the best Overwatch heroes to use

Once your skills are up to scratch, make sure to check out the Overwatch ranks. The competitive playlist can, at times, be frustrating, but it you have a good team that knows what they’re doing, it can lead to exciting match ups that’ll have you flexing your skills in no time.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PUBG is the ultimate battle royale game. First launched in 2017, the game catapulted the genre into stardom. With third-person and first-person modes, PUBG offers players a chance to experience grisly king of the hill battles across a variety of different maps that’ll test different aspects of your skill set.

The game might have fallen behind new battle royale games, such as Warzone and Apex Legends, but it still has a loyal following who put their skills to test in PUBG ranked.

PUBG might not be as polished as some of the other games on this list, but it still offers an unforgettable experience that’ll have you hooked from the moment you get your first kill.

Rainbow Six Siege operator uses a sledgehammer to smash through a wall

Rainbow Six Siege

If you love big brain plays, you’ll love Rainbow Six Siege. This tactical shooter rewards strategic thinkers with a penchant for team play and communication. While there are set plays for taking and defending sites, Siege’s offering of dozens of operators, who all have unique abilities, make the game’s multiplayer mode one of the best games out there right now.

From the droning and preparation stage, to blowing up holes in the ceilings and walls, Siege can be played differently with every game.

Sure, Rainbow Six Siege ranked can be a little bit sweaty at times, but if you’ve got a good aim, a microphone, and a desire to learn, you’ll pick things up fast.

Splitgate players from red and blue team stand in front of portals

Splitgate

Splitgate might not be a new game, but it’s certainly caught people’s attention in recent months. With a successful console beta that tapped into the nostalgia for games like Halo and Portal, 1047 Games realised it was onto a winner.

The game has now launched its first season, allowing dedicated players to grind through the Splitgate ranks.

Valorant agent Raze running with a rocket launcher in front of the icy backdrop of Icebox

Valorant

Valorant might be the youngest game on our list, but it’s certainly not the smallest. Riot Games has used the best bits of CS:GO and Overwatch for this tactical team-based shooter and it works. By combining CS:GO’s weapon system and economy with Overwatch’s roles and abilities, Riot Games has created one of the best competitive FPS games on the market.

Games don’t last as long as CS:GO, but they still require the same amount of concentration if you want to come out on top, especially if you’re intent on working your way through the Valorant ranks.

So there you have it, those are are best competitive FPS games in 2021. If your new year’s resolution is to get good this year, then you better get cracking.

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