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The greatest multiplayer maps of all time

13. The Parish | Left 4 Dead 2


Entry by Tyler Nagata, Senior PC Editor


Specifically, Chapter 5: The Bridge, which makes Modern Warfare 2 on Veteran mode seem like Mario Party! Nothing brings a group of friends together like dying together. This happens a lot in the finale of Left 4 Dead 2’s last campaign, The Parish. Whether you’re playing as the survivors in a campaign or versus match, this is the map that will test your teamwork skills to their fullest.


Above: Jockeys are especially deadly on this map 

Sticking together will help your group push their way through a zombie infested bridge in order to reach a rescue helicopter. But as always, the horde is relentless. You’ll worm your way through the cluttered chaos of flaming wreckage, but it’s still ridiculously tough to keep moving with zombies charging at you from all sides. Enter the special infected…


Above: The horde never stops 

There are tons of sneaky places for Smokers and Hunters to hide, and with so many large trucks gumming up your escape routes, there could be a Boomer ready to spawn around every corner. With so much constant harassment, it’s easy for Spitters to sit back and cover the survivors in goo every time they pause to catch their breath. And then, Jockeys and Chargers can kill you in one hit if they manage to knock you off the side of the bridge… Don’t even get us started on the Tank. Count on running into at least one during your short lived journey, and expect him to hurl lots of abandoned cars at your face.


Above: You have guns that shoot bullets. The Tank has arms that throw cars 

But it’s this ridiculous difficulty that keeps us coming back. The Bridge shows us Left 4 Dead’s director at his most devious, revealing him to be the most cruel and spiteful AI system of all time. Thankfully, once you finally blast your way through all the final waves of infected and wipe the Boomer barf from your eyes, the rescue chopper awaiting your hard earned arrival will seem so sweet it may as well be made of chocolate.


12. The Longest Yard | Quake III Arena


Entry by Tyler Wilde, Features/Community Editor


The Longest Yard isn’t necessarily the best of the original Quake III DM maps, but it’s certainly the best remembered. The map was introduced on April 24th, 1999 (which I remember because it was my birthday – thanks for the present, id!) in the Quake III beta and became the flagship map for the game, representing how great a departure it was from the previous Quake iterations.


Above: Q3dm17 via Quake Live 

The wide-open aerial map is hugely dissimilar to the claustrophobic environments of Quake II, and the boost-ey gravity jumps which propel players between platforms offered an exciting new bad-thing-to-do-if-someone-in-the-game-is-good-with-a-rail-gun. Though its design isn’t exactly calculated, and it lacks the timeless quality of Quake II’s Tokay’s Tower, it was the sort of map that we expected from the future of first person shooters, and that made it super exciting.


Above: This was the shit in 1999


 

11. Sandtrap | Halo 3


Entry by Charlie Barratt, Senior Microsoft Editor


A dull and dreary desert. A never-ending pile of sand, with a few unremarkable rocks poking through the mind-numbingly monotonous surface. A vast void of empty nothingness. Why choose this map, when Halo 3 offers so many other more colorful, more bizarre and more unique ones to wage war upon?


Above: Why Sandtrap rules: Reason #246 

Because Sandtrap is more than a map… it’s a canvas. With such a generous swath of uncluttered land, and the editing power of Custom Games, you can transform Sandtrap into pretty much whatever you like. Make the ground deadly and throw two battleship-sized Elephants into the mix – bam, you’ve got a rousingly epic round of Pirate Ships. Equip each player with a rocket launcher and Mongoose – bam, you’re acting out a Mad Max version of Rocket Races. Use Forge to painstakingly place boxes, pipes and bridges at exactly the right angle – bam, you’ve recreated 2D platformer Super Mario Bros. inside a 3D Microsoft shooter.


 
This may not be the purest Halo map for hardcore Halo fans, but that’s precisely what makes it so special. Sandtrap enables me to escape that familiar formula and experience a different kind of Halo for once.


 

10. Gridlock | Gears of War


Entry by Chris Antista, Associate Editor



Above: Here is it in Gears 1 

Whether playing against a group of your murderous cohorts in the original Gears of War, or wave after unending wave of Locusts in Gears 2’s resplendent Horde survival mode, there’s a reason this classic horseshow map has remained consistent in the series.


Above: And here it is again in Gears 2 

For one, it keeps it simple by creating immediate “Spawn N’ Clash” collisions of mid-map mayhem, all the while demanding players fully utilize the cover system the series is known for, via a veritable buffet of objects to hide behind. Even players less quick on the draw can find strategic joy hidden along Gridlock’s periphery, from the numerous darkened snipe nests, as well as ample opportunities provided to learn the finer points of proper proximity grenade usage. Plus, it’s almost always assured that two or more of the more brazen players will make a mad dash for the Boomshot that spawns in the middle archway and these micro skirmishes tend to serve as kickass precursors for what’s to come.

81 comments

  • BaraChat - December 20, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    Very enjoyable read, even 2 years later. I think that's one article or "Top XX best YYYY" thingy you guys should update for 2011-2012, with he slew of FPS we had since that on was made. As always, keep up the great work fellas.
  • sveini22 - August 23, 2010 7:29 p.m.

    Estate FTW
  • MrQueenie - August 23, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    I remember Poisson from Call of Duty 3, spent hundreds of hours driving around on motorcycles, smoke bombing houses, and crawling around on the ground reviving people while avoiding being sniped by a one shot one kill Kar98k. I also vote for Azeroth in World Of Warcraft:)
  • greenjoker - August 19, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    nice article guys..A+...nice touch on keeping base on older games...i got to say that quake 3 arena level longest yard blew us away back in high school..good one too on the twisted metal 2 map...ah par
  • greenjoker - August 19, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    nice article guys..A+...nice touch on keeping base on older games...i got to say that quake 3 arena level longest yard blew my friends and i back in high school..good one too on the twisted metal 2 map...ah pari
  • inyoface024 - August 19, 2010 1:16 a.m.

    No killzone 2 radec academy? wtf?
  • GearsofRabies - August 11, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    Chris and Brett have exceptional taste in Multiplayer maps, some of you don't (i'm looking at you charlie).
  • og88 - February 8, 2010 4:44 p.m.

    guys i think u missed DE gael for UT 2004.
  • mckillustrator - February 2, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    how is lockout from halo 2 not on this list? i mean yeah i get it, this is gamesradars list and not mine, but seriously? that map is perfect. my fondest memories of playing any multiplayer game ever are from playing lockout.
  • darthtd - December 21, 2009 10:59 p.m.

    What about Half-Life Stalkyard?! JEEEEZZZ LOUISEEEE
  • LordGenki - December 15, 2009 5:30 a.m.

    You left out the single greatest deathmatch level ever created: Deck 16 from the Unreal series
  • Rorix - December 11, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    I dont like de_dust that much, it's too for campers, too easy to get a stalemate. Better dust2, or nuke.
  • AA95mp - December 11, 2009 9:42 p.m.

    @JohnRabbit agreed.
  • AA95mp - December 11, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    What about Hall of Giants for the original Unreal Tournament, that'll always be one of my favourite games.
  • grimv9 - December 11, 2009 3:48 a.m.

    In reply to Jonethe5ths post about custom maps. How bout the custom UT maps like Hell Bender Race variations I remember a time the servers were always full of those maps and very popular. My gripe on what was not added: What about the classic 2Fort map TF2 I think the name was different but quake was the game to have that exact general idea of that map. I believe it was a quake 2 custom map. So much death and doom! Oh and what about ctf facing worlds on UT 99 anyone remember that how crazy and amazing that map is?
  • Hellwolf - December 9, 2009 6:29 p.m.

    CRASH IS AWsome!!!
  • JohnRabbit - December 7, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    This entire list is negated by the fact that it contains no entries from the Unreal Tournament series. More specifically 'Facing Worlds' from Unreal Tournament 1. I have never spent more time in a single map.
  • B-12 - December 7, 2009 4:34 a.m.

    For the first year I had Halo I didn't play on anything but Blood Gultch. I love it even more so than Valhalla.
  • CAPST3R - December 6, 2009 7:33 p.m.

    i preferred backlot and crossfire on cod4. i understand that people like shipment and rust because of it's close-range, fast-paced action. but i prefer more ranged action. not sniping, but the ACR and M4A1 are both brilliant at range, and can target an enemy before you can get the scope up on any sniper. and rust is piss-annoying when those dual-shotgun-wielding cocks on MW2 start gunning. luckily, i'm smart enough to know that the M1014 is better than dual-wielded. people don't realise this, but IW balanced these pretty well aswell. the M1014 with the grip or FMJ, as far as i can tell, is actually the best shotgun, closely followed by the ranger with the FMJ. you can still fire 2 at once, but still have sleight of hand and FMJ.
  • oryandymackie - December 6, 2009 4:33 p.m.

    Damn....reading this article makes me wish I had Live. Even my mate, Mr Halo 3 "Stop killing me, I'm looking at the scenery!" (true statement) has it, and with a Fallout 3 nickname like Dora The Explorer he SURE doesn't deserve it. Blood Gulch (L).

Showing 1-20 of 81 comments

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