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awesome multiplayer mapsSometimes the arenas in which your multiplayer battles are fought are as memorable as the games themselves. The mere mention of certain titles first reminds me not of the single player campaign or arsenal of guns but my favourite multiplayer map, as that’s where I tended to spend most of my time. Dying, repeatedly.

Today we’ll be taking a short trip down memory lane and remembering some of the finest arenas in first person shooter history. Narrowing this list down to six was tough, but the good news is you can still get a game on every one of them – for the time being at least.

Don’t fret – you can reminisce, tell me what I missed and just how displeased you are in the comments at the end of the article.

de_dust (Counter-Strike)

I could have included any number of CS maps here, with de_dust2, cs_italy and de_aztec all being solid and fondly remembered maps. Instead I went for vanilla de_dust, purely on the basis that nothing says Counter-Strike quite like a vicious gun-fight in the underpass. The map has been featured in two games so far (three if you include Condition Zero) and is set to appear in the upcoming re-imagining of the franchise, CS: Global Offensive.

awesome multiplayer maps

For CS: GO (as it is already being abbreviated) Valve have widened the underpass and updated the visual style, though the map will still be instantly recognisable to veterans of the series. The new game comes out in August for PC, Mac OS X, PS3 and Xbox 360 and features new maps, game modes and the biggest shake-up to game dynamics so far – a molotov cocktail.

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CTF-Face aka “Facing Worlds” (Unreal Tournament)

Back in November 1999 developers Epic Games and Digital Extremes delivered one of the finest multiplayer experiences ever seen to apprehensive PC gamers. The original Unreal Tournament remains to this day an incredibly playable, addictive and accessible first person shooter, and while there are countless series-defining maps (Deck16, Phobos and Morpheus to name but a few), Facing Worlds was (and still is) the perfect capture the flag experience.

multiplayer maps

The map has been re-imagined and used multiple times in just about every release since the original UT, but to this day nothing quite compares to the original. Little else beats the feeling of teleporting to the roof, grabbing a sniper rifle and demolishing the flag carrier’s face before watching the rest of his body fly off into the depths of space.

Wake Island (Battlefield)

Battlefield 1942 used the real-world location of Wake Island on which to stage its flagship multiplayer experience, and there are few other arenas in the series that match it. The map has made it into several editions of the game in some form or another, with Battlefield 1943 providing a true modern remake for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network.

multiplayer maps

There are still Battlefield 1942 servers running for those of you who want to relive the original, or for those of you with Battlefield 3 4 Hardware Upgrades For Battlefield 3 Fans [Gaming] 4 Hardware Upgrades For Battlefield 3 Fans [Gaming] Battlefield 3 has finally been released, bringing a first-class shooting experience back to PC games. While consoles have received the game as well, for PC gamers it was a particularly notable release, as the game... Read More , the Back To Karkand downloadable content 4+ Free Downloadable Xbox 360 Games & DLC You Should Grab Right Now 4+ Free Downloadable Xbox 360 Games & DLC You Should Grab Right Now Read More adds all the eye candy and destructive power of the Frostbite 2.0 engine. Highlights include the ability to snipe someone on the complete other side of the map and destroy flimsy bridges with well-placed charges as your foes drive over them.

2fort (Team Fortress)

The original Team Fortress was a mod built on the Quake engine, with Team Fortress Classic being the evolution of that mod using the Half-Life engine. 2fort was an iconic map that introduced many to the frantic, class-based gameplay of the Team Fortress series and featured two opposing bases separated by a body of water and a single bridge.

multiplayer maps

The map has undergone quite a transformation since the original (pictured), though it has and always will be somewhat of a haven for snipers. 2fort was the first CTF map included in Team Fortress 2 which is now free to play A Selection Of The Best Free-To-Play Steam Games A Selection Of The Best Free-To-Play Steam Games Content delivery service Steam is a real money-spinner for Valve, prompting publishers like EA to shy away from it in pursuit of their own system. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of free gems... Read More . There really is no excuse not to download Steam and try it for yourself!

Valhalla (Halo 3)

The spiritual successor to the original Blood Gulch map from Halo: Combat Evolved, Valhalla was – for me – the most fun that could be had with a Battle Rifle and a Warthog. Higher Ground, Snowbound and Narrows all stick in my mind, but the Facing Worlds design, abundance of vehicles and plenty of well placed weapons made this one a true all-rounder.

great multiplayer maps

If there’s one map I would love to see make a return in the upcoming Halo 4 release it’s this one. Dodging Banshee fire in a Warthog while screaming down a river while your friend dashes into the base to steal the enemy’s flag? Yes please.

fy_iceworld (Counter-Strike)

This list wouldn’t be complete without a custom map, and for me no custom map flourished quite as much as fy_iceworld for Counter-Strike. The map was a simple square arena with the two teams spawning at opposite ends and there was no need to buy guns as they were all laid out in front of you when you spawned.

awesome multiplayer maps

This led to frantic, minute-long deathmatch scrambles as opposed to the usual tactics and careful gunplay synonymous with CS and its successors. In short, it was the perfect way to finish off an evening of bomb defusing and botched hostage rescues and it spawned a number of sequels and parodies.

Conclusion

I know, I know – I missed your favourite map, right? Vent your spleen below! The games featured here are all highly celebrated franchises, all have benefitted from dedicated communities, some still have a vibrant modding scene 4 Free Online Multiplayer Source Engine Mods For Half-Life 2 4 Free Online Multiplayer Source Engine Mods For Half-Life 2 Read More and all are home to arguably some of the finest maps ever rendered. Here’s hoping we see them honoured and rejuvenated in next generation’s shooters too.

  1. Milenko Curcin
    July 23, 2012 at 10:47 am

    For me, Quake II Q2DM1 was the best multi player map ever

  2. Kylee Kanavas
    July 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Yup you didnt miss my fav. They all are my favs

  3. marko
    July 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I think I love Counter-Strike is a game with a variety of multiplayer maps and you can not get bored sobreto brother want revenge

  4. Eric Lortie
    July 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Game: Halo 1
    Map: Prisoner
    Conditions: Only rocket launchers. 250% health

    In total, three friends and I literally spent months of our lives playing that. We called it "KABLOOMEY."

  5. Seppe
    July 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I like the Sibera map in Timesplitters 3.

    also liked other (less popular) bf1942 maps, like Gazala or Midway.

  6. NienorGT
    July 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

    You nailed it with Facing Worlds, this is the first map and first game I played online!

    No CoD? Where is Carentan (and ChinaTown)?
    DoD also had an amazing map: Avalanche.

    Despite not being the most popular game, I did spent countless hours in Danzig in Red Orchestra. :)

  7. Vipul Jain
    July 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

    i'd just differ on de_dust. it should be instead de_dust2.
    90 out of 100 servers are using this or inferno :p

  8. Jamie Wr
    July 20, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I didn't see Enemy Territory up there.One map I used to love playing was a map called cortex.It was simple.You had to stop the other team from getting certain goals on the board.One was a helicopter with a remote in a closet.It had a kitchen down stairs and a bathroom.It was a fun board to play because it looked just like the inside of a house.

  9. Joel Lee
    July 20, 2012 at 3:49 am

    So glad to see both de_dust and fy_iceworld on here. I just received a vicious slapping of nostalgia and it felt good. Thanks, Tim!

  10. zwollner
    July 20, 2012 at 3:11 am

    No.1 for me would have to be:
    The Longest Yard (Quake 3 Arena)

    • Tim Brookes
      July 20, 2012 at 3:30 am

      Thanks for your input, don't forget you can play Q3 (and that map) over at Quake Live!

      http://www.quakelive.com/

    • ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578
      July 21, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Longest Yard has been copied a bit, still fun as heck! :)

      • zwollner
        July 21, 2012 at 2:40 am

        Not saying it's the best, but It's one I'll never forget.
        I remember playing it non stop in the middle of class daily. :)

  11. Vlad Dodan
    July 20, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Quake 3`s DM17 was one of the most played maps in the world. (and in Quake terms, it might just stay like that no matter how many additional maps the fans bring to the table). :)

    • Tim Brookes
      July 20, 2012 at 3:27 am

      Yeah I remember it. I was never the biggest Q3A fan though I admit it was a great game. For me, UT was where it was at.

      I also remember UT standing out for its software rendering, meaning even my friends who had crappy shared family PCs could play albeit at terrible resolutions. Q3A required a full blown OpenGL graphics card - can you imagine?! :D

  12. Chris Hoffman
    July 20, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Facing Worlds, awesome!

    I loved the Unreal Tournament series so much -- I'm very sad that there's nothing really like it today. I guess I can go play the old games some more...

    • Tim Brookes
      July 20, 2012 at 3:10 am

      I feel old when I think back to playing Facing Worlds at LAN parties. The closest thing to UT today is the latest version of UT. To be honest, UT 2004 was a bloody good game, rivalling Halo for the whole vehicular deathmatch stuff.

      Unfortunately as the bulk of players have moved away from PC gaming, the franchise hasn't done as well as it probably should have. I bet licensing the Unreal engine is more profitable than the UT series now!

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 20, 2012 at 4:34 am

        They sort of ruined the series with UT3, sadly. Was not up to what they promised.

        • ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578
          July 21, 2012 at 1:35 am

          IMO ut2004 was better in every way (gameplaywise) except for the onslaught/warfare mode. I think they made great improvements on that mode. they removed too many modes. :(

          but hey, nothing beats ut2004 + ballistic weapons mod IMO. :D

        • Elijah Swartz
          July 28, 2012 at 1:20 am

          Epic Games didn't make Unreal Tournament 3, but rather focused on their very popular game engine. When a different team takes over the feel often changes. If I recall correctly, Unreal Tournament came out in 1999-2000, there was a Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 (I did like 2004 a lot too), and Unreal 3 was in 2007. It might be time for another UT game. Perhaps with there new game engine, they will do the next game justice. I didn't like the pseudo plot in Unreal 3 either. What's wrong with just trying to be #1 for the sake of being #1 lol.

        • Elijah Swartz
          July 28, 2012 at 1:40 am

          Is there a way to edit posts? I remembered wrong. Epic Games did make UT3. Oops.

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

          Yup, they did make it -- but it's clear they focused on the engine instead of the game.

          I was also annoyed about the promised Linux client that never materialized. But I suppose the game was dead on arrival, so they didn't see the point of bothering.

      • Elijah Swartz
        July 28, 2012 at 1:38 am

        There is definitely a game in terms of good FPS games these days. Quake 3 used to be a good alternative to UT. They now have Quake Live, but it's not really the same.

        I wouldn't be surprised if they focused on the game engine. Just looking at the list of games using the engine makes calling it successful sounds like an understatement.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games
        I think some games on tablets even use the Unreal Engine. Each UT game has been spread out by about 3-4 years, so maybe they'll be working on a new version sometime soon and do it justice.

        I'm also wondering if PC gaming is picking up any steam at all? The Steam Summer and Winter sales are almost worth creating a holiday over. I've heard lots of stories about people end up spending a significant amount of money (hundreds) because they deals were just too good to pass buy. Valve is making a lot of it's games playable on a Mac and plans on putting it out on Ubuntu sometime as well. The lack of console and graphics on consoles just bother me. Perhaps PC gaming will get a second wind. It would make me happy.

        MUO should create a Group on Steam.

        • Elijah Swartz
          July 28, 2012 at 1:48 am

          Another typo :(.
          There is definitely a lack of good FPS games. That's what I meant.
          If there isn't a post edit feature, I would request you add one.

        • Saikat Basu
          July 28, 2012 at 5:48 am

          Thanks for the feedback. Will definitely look into working that in.

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