The most iconic multiplayer maps in first-person shooters
Since the dawn of time, the opposing forces of red and blue have engaged in an eternal battle. Flags have been captured, bombs defused, and hills have...
Since the dawn of time, the opposing forces of red and blue have engaged in an eternal battle. Flags have been captured, bombs defused, and hills have turned men into kings. First-person shooters have remained a staple of the competitive multiplayer gaming scene since their inception, with each successive generation becoming even greater and bolder.
From the earliest tech-based environments that merely hinted at their form to intricately detailed vast landscapes, the most acclaimed battlefields have earned a place in the history of gaming. These maps, spanning from land to sea and even space, have remained some of the most memorable and iconic in the industry.
10 Crossfire - Half-Life
While Counter-Strike would ultimately overshadow the multiplayer mode of the game for which it was originally offered as a modification, the original Half-Life still provided a robust multiplayer experience that was more in line with the Quake series, to which it was related. Among the 17 maps that comprised the game's initial release after updates, none are as memorable as Crossfire.
A trademark of the Half-Life series, Crossfire stands out with its realistically depicted helicopter landing pad and building complex, with the two areas offering distinct gameplay styles and verticality. Perhaps the most uniquely defining feature of the map is the ability to launch an airstrike from a protected bunker, annihilating any unfortunate enemies outside.
9 The Edge - Quake 2
As the old saying goes, "He who controls the Railgun controls the universe." Or at least, it should be that way, as Quake 2 introduced this powerful and essential weapon to the world of deathmatch, setting the tone for competitive gaming in the years to come.
Featuring an open courtyard area that is ideal for duels, Quake 2 rewards knowledge of weapon placements throughout the rest of the map and encourages strategic gameplay by planning one's path through the level, provided one doesn't encounter someone with the same idea first.
8 Office - Counter Strike: Source
A staple of Counter-Strike since the early betas, Office takes players far away from the wilderness of jungles and deserts and places them right in the heart of a city engulfed by a snowstorm.
In its inclusion in the second version of the game, Counter-Strike: Source, Office made full use of the new capabilities of the Source Engine, including fully realized physics objects that behave as one would expect, as well as a selection of windows just waiting to be shattered during firefights or simply for the satisfaction of doing so.
7 Wake Island - The Battlefield series
Spanning an impressive nine games and over two decades, Wake Island has endured as a familiar cornerstone of the Battlefield series since the release of the original Battlefield 1942 in 2002.
The horseshoe-shaped Wake Island, based on a real coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean, provides a pleasant tropical escape from the stresses of life. Sit back, relax on the beach, and make sure to observe the battle raging across land, sea, and air—a staple of Battlefield's chaotic combined-arms gameplay.
6 Flatgrass - Garry's Mod
While Flatgrass may not be the first map that comes to mind when thinking of first-person shooters, it still deserves a place on this list. For most players, it will be the first map they choose when starting Garry's Mod for the first time. For many, it will be the only map they will ever need.
Immortalized in countless memes, Flatgrass serves as a canvas for anything your imagination can conjure. Whether that means building elaborate structures with props, posing ragdolls, or simply goofing around with friends, Flatgrass is exactly what it needs to be: another tool in the box.
5 Hangar - Doom
Most commonly recognized as the frequently quoted opening level of the first single-player episode of Doom, "Knee Deep in the Dead" (e1m1) or "Hangar" also admirably serves as a deathmatch map for Doom's multiplayer mode.
While this was somewhat overshadowed in the multiplayer realm by id's release of Quake in 1996, Doom did the important job of laying the foundation for upcoming generations of games. E1M1 can be seamlessly translated into the multiplayer mode, and anyone with even a superficial understanding of the game should feel right at home navigating the halls and corridors of this Phobos military base.
4 2fort - Team Fortress 2
The beauty of 2fort lies in its simplicity. Two teams, two flags, and two forts. What more could a mercenary want? Combined with the timeless art style of Team Fortress 2, 2fort has proven itself as one of the most instantly recognizable maps in the gaming world over time.
The two halves of the map are functionally identical and are connected by a bridge that spans the waterway between them, as well as through the sewer system that serves as a secondary entrance for spies and other infiltrators attempting to access intelligence. The fortress walls overlooking the bridge are the domain of snipers, who often find themselves engaged in duels with each other.
3 Facing Worlds - Unreal Tournament
Perhaps due to its aesthetics or its simplicity, Facing Worlds has established itself as one of the most unforgettable landscapes in Unreal Tournament and is arguably one of the most memorable maps of all time. Perched high above the ground, Facing Worlds could be considered the "Final Destination" of first-person shooters.
Facing Worlds is another exercise in minimalism: the two towering ziggurat-like structures and the narrow pathways that connect them reduce the Capture-the-Flag game mode to its purest basic elements.
2 Blood Gulch - Halo CE
As they say, war never changes, and nowhere is this more true than in the aptly named Blood Gulch. Designed for the Capture-the-Flag mode of Halo CE, Blood Gulch encompasses all aspects of the game to the fullest extent.
Whether you're launching an aerial assault with a Banshee, hopping into a Warthog with a few friends, or sneaking along the paths along the canyon walls to take sniper shots with your sniper rifle, Blood Gulch offers something for every play style.
1 de_dust2 - Counter Strike 1.6
Of all the maps on this list, de_dust2 is undoubtedly the most iconic. Dust2, the successor to the original Dust, remains one of the most played maps in the entire Counter-Strike series even to this day.
With a dry atmosphere and a memorably three-lane structure, Dust2 reduces the formula of Counter-Strike to its most essential form. The gameplay on this map has a natural ebb and flow, with long sightlines dominated by snipers and smoke grenades serving as invaluable tools for both sides.