If you ask a gamer to chart the rise of first person shooters from conception of the genre to their current state in the modern world in as few games as possible, say three titles, then you'll always hear the same games listed.
Right; you chose Wolfenstein 3D (or Doom if you're a bit younger), Quake and then Half-Life (One or two, it's a matter of personal preference). Even if the author is miles off (rare, but possible) then you'd have to admit that it's hard to argue with that selection of games.
The first thing that stands out about those games above is that, apart from Half-Life, none of them have very interesting storylines. That may be a bold statement, but deep down we all know that neither Doom nor the original Quake were built with a clear plot in mind – both of them had a story tacked on at the end purely to give some context to the violence. There can be no other explanation for the awful Shub-Niggurath boss at the end of Quake.