I keep hearing, as recently as on the GB Freedom Stream, that games like GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, and Halo were only good if you had never played FPS games before, didn't own a PC, or just didn't understand what made games good.
This has become one of those videogame cliché's that people say over and over again to the point where it becomes "Fact" to people who weren't even around when these games came out. It's as common as the sister comment, "Halo was the first game that made FPS games work on console" (Forget all about Disruptor, a game from a little small time developer called Insomniac...)
But I have to ask, can someone actually justify that opinion?
GoldenEye came out in 1997, by my understanding. The key games happening on the PC at that time were Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, and if you were of that persuasion, Jedi Knight 2. Unreal was on the horizon, but it was still 3-4 years until "Unreal" meant anything with the release of Unreal Tournament.
Understand that there was no Half Life. PC games weren't doing grand interactive cutscenes. Most people had modems that were connecting over dial up. A few people had network access, but not many. Those that did were relegated to playing games that supported network play, and most of those games capped at 8 players. There was no mouselook. From what I remember, in the original Quake, which had little to no verticality in the level design, you had to hold down the "\" key to enable mouselook, which planted your characters feet and didn't count for aiming your gun (which was assisted anyhow, which means that, just like doom, shooting at ground level would hit enemies in towers above you... because the game was built with horizontal level design). In fact, I remember there being a huge backlash against quake when it first released. The current king of the hill was Duke Nukem for it's fantastic level design and innovative weapons. Even though quake was in 3d, people didn't want to like it because it lacked Duke's personality and sense of "cool". When Id released the demo a few months before release, PC Gamer even ran a cover basically saying "Quake sucks!" and had a whole article dumping on the game. It wasn't until months later that gamers got behind the network play and started to make Quake into the legend that it would become. (And it wasn't until Quake 3 that it really became the rocket jumping, track balling game that most people know it as being)
So, as much as I love both Duke and Quake, which are both some of my favorite games of all time, GoldenEye was still something really special. Not because it was a console game pretending it could compete with PC FPS games, but because it was LEGITIMATELY mind blowing at the time. It's use of traps (trip mines, etc.) had been used in DN, But Goldeneye brought them into 3d, and improved their usage. It's level design was fantastic. It's graphics were incredible for the time. And more than anything, it's use of missions was novel and interesting from a single player gameplay standpoint. Most games at the time were still doing "levels", (which I still enjoy) but Goldeneye brought in the concept of having "objectives". Some were even optional. And in a design decision I still think is absolutely genius and not copied nearly enough, the difficulty levels in the game were tied to objectives. So, the levels basically morphed into entirely new experiences based on the difficulty the player was playing. Playing thought the game again on hard didn't just mean enemies took more bullets, or that the player had less health, it meant that the player was actually going to new areas and doing entirely new things that were more challenging than earlier levels required the player to do. As a result, there was always a reason to play a level over again, but the "story" was not held up by a player being unable to play the game well. Also, it was one of the first games to give the player a sense of inhabiting an actual "character". Duke Nukem had done it before, so it wasn't the first, but Rare pulled a few great tricks to achieve the same result by different means.
Ultimately, as someone who owned both a PC and most of the leading consoles of the time, I could write essays on why Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and Halo were great games in their own right and not just games that people played because they couldn't play PC games. That mindset is not only entirely fallacious, it's the domain of PC elitist who frequently seem to misremember gaming history.
I encourage someone to provide a different point of view, because as a Console and PC gamer who loves FPS I legitimately don't understand where that sentiment comes from.