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Best Hardcore Shooter Games Only On PC


  • First-person shooters have evolved to appeal to modern audiences, but hardcore tactical games like
    Rainbow Six
    still have a place.
  • Zero Sievert
    offers a challenging single-player extraction shooter experience with no multiplayer frustrations or cheaters, unlike
    Escape From Tarkov
  • Squad
    Ready Or Not
    offer highly detailed, team-based multiplayer experiences with a focus on tactics and communication for hardcore gamers.

First-person shooters have been one of the most popular video game genres ever since retro shooters such as DOOM and Quake pioneered and innovated the genre. As the first-person shooter has become more popular, however, the mechanics and gameplay have become more streamlined for modern audiences.



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Despite this, there has been a place for tactical and hardcore shooters since the 90s, with the SWATgames-ranked/”>and Rainbow Six franchises leading the charge. Now, these games are predominantly PC-exclusive affairs, likely due to the fact that their controls and the need for lightning-fast reactions aren’t well suited to controllers.

7 ZERO Sievert

Zero Sievert - A Gunfight On A Street

  • Platform(s): PC
  • Released: November 15, 2022
  • Developer(s): CABO Studio
  • Genre: Top-Down Shooter

Zero Sievert takes the addictive gameplay loop of extraction shooters such as Escape From Tarkov and combines it with a top-down perspective and a 2D visual style. Unlike Escape From Tarkov, however, Zero Sievert offers a challenging single-player experience. While its top-down perspective may provide a different challenge than a first-person shooter, Zero Sievert wears its hardcore influences on its sleeve.

Zero Sievert is packed with challenges, resource management, and intense shootouts, but lacks the frustrations that multiplayer games bring, such as cheaters. After the horrendous behavior of the team behind Escape From Tarkov, Zero Sievert is a refreshing extraction shooter experience for those who can look past its vast visual difference and lack of multiplayer interaction.

6 Blood: Fresh Supply

A Cut-Throat Boomer Shooter

Blood: Fresh Supply - Reloading A Shotgun

Blood: Fresh Supply

May 9, 2019

First-Person Shooter

Blood, released all the way back in 1997, was one of many fast-paced games-90s/”>first-person shooters that were released in the 90s. This classic shooter has since inspired other fast-paced, hardcore boomer shooters, such as the indie hit, CULTIC.


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Blood is a challenging shooter for many reasons, but primarily for its infamous hit-scan enemies that can quickly take out unaware players. As a result of this, its many ambushes, and its variety of weapons that need to be mastered, Blood is a shooter that requires the player’s full attention at all times.

5 SWAT 4

Snap-Decisions And Granular Tactics

SWAT 4 - A Squad Preparing To Breach

This old-school, hardcore shooter is arguably games/”>one of the best SWAT games available today. Although SWAT 4 is nearly two decades old now, having been released all the way back in 2005, it remains a visceral shooter experience that requires tactics and swift reactions alike.

SWAT 4 tasks players with leading a squad of SWAT officers through a variety of challenging missions. SWAT 4‘s FPS gameplay may be showing its age by now, but its tactical elements and focus on suspenseful design lend itself well to the hardcore style.

4 Ground Branch

Quick Time-To-Kill And Team-Based Tactics

Ground Branch - Killing An Enemy

  • Platform(s): PC
  • Released: 14 August 2018
  • Developer(s): BlackFoot Studios
  • Genre: FPS

This hardcore tactical shooter is an immersive military FPS with deep customization systems. In Ground Branch, players are able to deeply customize their character and, more importantly, their weapons.

Ground Branch features both PvE and PvP game modes, with up to eight players being able to work together games/”>in online co-op. Teamwork is massively important to success in Ground Branch, and the quick time-to-kill and team-based tactics are what make it such a hardcore experience.

3 Squad

An Inaccessible, Massive Multiplayer Shooter

Squad - A Firefight


December 15, 2015

Offworld Industries

This military first-person shooter focuses on attention to detail and high levels of simulation. With a maximum of fifty players on each side, a quick time-to-kill, and a focus on teamwork across twenty-four large maps, Squad is a particularly hardcore multiplayer shooter. Communication is a massive part of Squad, and this is facilitated by the game’s systems for proximity voice chat.



games/” title=”Best Multiplayer FPS games Of All Time”> Best Multiplayer FPS games Of All Time

It’s hard to top these legendary multiplayer FPS games for the impact they had on the genre.

In Squad, players are placed in a nine-person squad of soldiers, and must work together with that squad to do what’s best for the team in any given match. Players can even fortify locations on the map with barbed wire and sandbags, and each squad must also manage their ammo efficiently. This focus on tactics and teamwork, as well as the game’s immersive gunplay, makes Squad a relatively inaccessible hardcore shooter.

2 Ready Or Not

Highly-Detailed And Unforgiving

Ready Or Not - Preparing To Breach

Ready or Not

December 13, 2023

Void Interactive

This highly immersive tactical shooter features visceral, high-octane gunfights with a quick time-to-kill. Although Ready Or Not features single-player support, it’s arguably better when played in a group, as this adds an added level of tactics and teamwork.

Ready Or Not also features solid systems for customizing weapons and gear, giving the player more agency and making the already steep learning curve somewhat steeper. Like many tactical military shooters, players will have to worry about excessive force and shooting civilians in the crossfire as they attempt to complete their objectives, making the experience all the less forgiving.

1 Arma 3

A Military Simulation Sandbox

Arma 3 - Helicopter and Soldiers in a Field

Arma 3

September 12, 2013

As the third mainline game in this long-running series of hardcore military simulation games, Arma 3 had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, Arma 3 is a well-crafted, immersive experience that features an impressive level of detail.

The high attention to detail and intricate systems give Arma 3 a relatively high difficulty curve that’s easy for newcomers to bounce off. However, players who stick around to learn Arma 3’s controls and systems will soon find themselves immersed in its military sandbox.

Special Mention: Escape From Tarkov (A Failed Promise)

Escape From Tarkov - IGDB Screenshot (Exploring With A Gun Equipped)

While Escape From Tarkov is, mechanically, a tactile and immersive hardcore experience, it’s hard to recommend in its current state. Although Escape From Tarkov is a more than competent first-person shooter with an addictive gameplay loop, it’s unfortunately plagued by cheaters. Furthermore, the recent actions of its management have left many fans of Tarkov with a bitter taste in their mouths, worsening its reputation in a way that might be hard to turn around in the future. As a result, it’s harder than ever to recommend the game to newcomers.



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#Hardcore #Shooter #games

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