GoldenEye 007 is the best shooter on a console hands down. It has never, or will never be bested. Fuck you, Halo fans! Why was it awesome? I’ll tell you why, because a 4 foot man could karate chop a 8 foot man in the balls. You hear that? It is the sound of any other argument being invalid. GoldenEye's multiplayer done other things right which successive games have failed to do for some reason, they may get some of them right but not all.
Weapon System – By far one of the best aspects was the system in which weapons were selected in multiplayer. By having a main weapon that was essentially the star of the show, it dictated the style in which the round would be played. Power Weapons was all about getting the RCP-90 and dominating with it. Remote Mines was all about using the mines the right way, and to the contrary Proximity Mines was about throwing as many mines as you could everywhere around the map until no one could walk 5 feet without blowing up. Usually from their own mines. Sure you could use them properly to rig spawn sites, ammo boxes, corners, etc but come one that is not nearly as much fun. Even better was the choice of having Timed Mines. Everyone knows these were fucking useless, however, Mines in general had the best supporting weapons, the ZMG and the AR-33. So if you wanted to play with these you just picked Timed Mines and stomped anyone stupid enough to actually try using the mines. Rocket Launchers was just a chaotic whirlwind of rocket spam and accidental suicides. Sniper Rifles was great if you played in an open area like Runway, but even stalking through the basement trying to ambush one another way hectic. The best part about this system was that instead of there being a few weapons which everyone uses to no end (*cough* counter strike *cough*) each option presented a different way of playing the game that differed quite a bit from option to option giving the game much more lastability. The choice to play unarmed was brilliant, especially on License to Kill.
Health System – This was a very clever system in my opinion. Either you could have it where everyone had their normal health and body armour, or you could opt to have every shot, from every gun one hit kill. Again this presented so many different ways of playing the game. License to Kill was much more fast-paced and dangerous as the best gun was the one with the best rate of fire. You only Live Twice was a clever idea in the way it eliminated players leaving a last-man standing. Capture the Flag is standard in a lot of other multiplayer shooters but once again, GoldenEye pulled it off well. Man with the Golden Gun was great for people that never really played License to Kill because it completely changed the dynamic of match and was all about dislodging who ever found it first from the place the gun spawned.
Random Spawns – What made this great was the fact players had to make use of the entire map, not just various spawn location and choke points. Because players could spawn all around the place, the game was really about knowing the map you played on and how to use every part of it. Most games today have cool maps but there are only a few areas of them that the fighting focuses on. Spawning all over the place meant that players constantly had to stay on their toes. There is of course an exception to this and it is if you played it as much as my brothers did. The spawning locations had an order in they would occur and it was quite possible to memorize the locations in which players would spawn after death. It wasn’t much of an issue in 4 player deathmatches, but in 1 on 1 games we had to stop using the map Stack or else whoever go the first kill would win the game.
No Online Play – This may seem stupid for a few reasons, foremost being that online play wasn’t possible with the 64. I hear you saying “Shut the fuck up you pooftah, playing GoldenEye online would be awesome! Everyone wouldn’t be able to see your screen and know when you are sneaking up on them” But I have to disagree, because most shooters are played online now we forget just how much fun it was being in the same room as the people you played against. It is why lanning is so much fun, because it adds such a better dynamic when the person you just fragged is sitting next to you and you can see their grief. Multiplayer sessions of GoldenEye were fun in the extreme because it was you and your friends just having fun, dicking around and shooting one another. It was a much more social atmosphere that is lost these days with the rise of online play. Sure you have headsets but it just isn’t the same. Also unless you had really shit friends you didn’t have to put up with the excessive mic-spam, trolled and racism that is most online gaming communities. If that happened you had to option to punch the person in the cock.
The Maps – Multiplayer experiences can thrive or die based on the maps you have to play on. GoldenEye also nailed this aspect of the game. The maps were simple yet had tons of places to exploit. Stack had secret passages, Library was great to stalk each other through, Facility had tons of ambush points, The Runway was perfect for sniper duels or just spamming grenades everywhere, Caves was a dream when playing with mines. And because different weapons could be used and players could spawn all over the map there were tons of different places to camp and use as choke points, rather than two or three as is the case these days.