Quake III, along with Unreal Tournament (which was released 10 days earlier) introduced the concept of multiplayer-centered play in FPS games. These days, FPS multiplayer is just as important of a component in many FPS franchises as the single player experience, if not more important. However, from the late 90s to the early 2000s, it was unheard of to build an FPS game around it’s multiplayer component, even with the popularity of Doom deathmatches and Goldeneye. However, ID software did just that with Quake 3, and just like they did before with Doom so many years ago, they changed the way we look at the FPS genre.

Unlike the previous two games in the series, there isn’t much of a story. You are one of dozens of gladiators who are whisked away to an alien planet to participate in an intergalactic death tournament. You got your pic of several character models, including the marine from Doom. There are several weapons, powerups, and maps to do battle on. The gameplay features fast and furious shooting that is always intense, and remains fun to this day. Fans also continue to support the game with mods and total conversions, and the game remains a favorite at LAN parties. Quake 3 has been ported to several systems, both officially and via open source modification. The Dreamcast port was among the best, as it featured 4 player shooting both online and offline, and Dreamcast players could play against PC gamers. The PS2 game tried to introduce a mission structure into the game’s single player mode. Recently, ID released a browser-based version of the game which is free with ads.

If Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament hadn’t been as successful as they were, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy games like Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield as much as we do. Quake 3 is a demonstration of ID software at its best and most innovative. If you ever enjoyed blowing your friends apart online, then you owe it all to this classic.