Top Ten Most Memorable Multiplayer Maps
It's a top ten, I'm not going to spoil it here!
Multiplayer is the sole reason some people by games, and most gamers have fond memories of dominating their friends in their favorite game in the middle of the night. Nowadays multiplayer is rarely done with someone in the same room as you, but while the experience may have changed, what will not change is the memories of some levels. These are the ones that stick out most in my mind, but first a few rules.
1. More than one person has to be able to play at a time. Duh.
2. The levels may not be the best, the most balanced, or even the ones people play the most, but just the ones that seem to represent their game.
3. No fan made levels. They needed to be in the original game.
4. One level per franchise.
Without further ado, here are my top ten most memorable multiplayer maps!
10. Pit I - Mortal Kombat (Arcade)
One of the first games I ever played that allowed two people to play at once, Mortal Kombat was notorious for being violent, but that's not what I remember about it. I will never forget the pit stage, as I remember seeing someone get punched off the ledge, fall several stories down and land in a bed of spikes sitting at the bottom. This is the stage that paved the way for the stage fatality, and while there have been spiritual successors and remakes, the original will always be the most memorable.
9. Casino Night Zone - Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
You know you have a memorable level when players stop trying to race each other to the end just so they screw around in the different parts of the level. A level that was just as popular for single player as it was for multiplayer, Casino Night Zone let you put it all on red and try to dominate the categories of score and rings and completely neglecting the whole "racing" aspect that was the priority in other levels. This is always the first level I play when I bring this game out to play multiplayer with my friends.
8. Tokyo Megaplex - SSX Tricky (Gamecube, Xbox, PS3)
The sleeper on the list, Tokyo Megaplex has fond memories in my mind as the definitive level from SSX Tricky. A futuristic terrain park with plenty of rails and ramps, this is the level that most players play to try and get high scores in Show-Off mode. It's even possible to play this level and only touch the ground about 5% of the time. It may be a game that didn't get as much recognition as its later successors, but this is the level that I'm hoping will be DLC in the future for the new SSX.
I know this course appeared in the original SSX, but I never played it, so I'm going with the SSX Tricky version.
7. de_dust - Counter-Strike (PC)
I'm not even a PC gamer but this game stands out as one of the most definitive levels in multiplayer gaming. Nothing beats hiding in all the curves and corners of this level and laying traps for the counter-terrorists to fall into. What's amazing about this level is it was originally made by fans for their Half-Life Mod, but Valve loved it so much that they put it in the game when they gave it an official release!
6. Yoshi's Tropical Island - Mario Party (N64)
Oh how I hate this level, and yet I love it, but I hate it, but I... Okay before I turn into Gollum, let me explain. This is the level that made me love to hate Mario Party, it always seems that I would be two spaces away from getting the star, and Peach has to go step on a "?" space and now I'm two spaces away from Bowser. But you know what? I loved it, and I loved watching as my friends came face to face with Bowser when I stepped on the "?" space. Trolling is fun.
5. Nuketown - Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, PC)
Call of Duty has so many different multiplayer maps, it'd be hard for any one map to stand out, but Nuketown is no ordinary map. With it's small scale and limited cover, it doesn't take long to get back into the fight after respawning. Not only has this map spawned a remake in the sequel Black Ops 2, it's also spawned a level of the same design for the zombies mode AND has it's own playlist where it's all Nuketown, all the time. If that doesn't count for something, I don't know what does.
4. Block Fort - Mario Kart 64 (N64)
Some of you may argue with me here, but this is the definitive multiplayer level for Mario Kart. It had the simplistic design of one of the SNES multiplayer maps, but with multiple levels allowing for sneak attacks from above. When my friends and I get together to play this game on the Virtual Console, this is the map we jump right to. We don't screw around with Big Donut, Double Deck, or Skyscraper, it's all about Block Fort, and God help you if I catch you on the red block.
3. Battlefield - Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube)
Everyone has their own rules about Smash Bros. "No items!" "You can't use Shiek!" "We have to play on Hyrule Temple." I hold no such rules, I'll play on any level, against any character, with items on or off. I do however have a preference, and that preference is the level Battlefield. It has been in every Smash Bros game, but only became selectable for multiplayer in Melee. While some people may prefer Final Destination for its larger size, I prefer a closer battle and the elevated platforms of Battlefield.
2. Complex - Goldeneye (N64)
I won't argue that there are a lot of phenomenal levels in Goldeneye, and any one of them could be on this list, but if I allowed that, then there would be no room for anything else on the list. So when it came down to it, it was between the Complex and the Facility, but what took the cake was that you can spawn in the bathroom vents in the Facility, allowing for your friend to come cut you off before you got a weapon. So I stuck with the Complex, a level with secret passages, multiple levels, and "the cabin" a small room that my friends and I would play King of the Hill with.
So, let's re-cap before we reveal number 1.
10. Pit - Mortal Kombat
9. Casino Night Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog 2
8. Tokyo Megaplex - SSX Tricky
7. de_dust - Counter-Strike
6. Yoshi's Tropical Island - Mario Party
5. Nuketown - Call of Duty: Black Ops
4. Block Fort - Mario Kart
3. Battlefield - Super Smash Bros. Melee
2. Facility - Goldeneye
And the number one most memorable multiplayer level is...
1. Blood Gulch - Halo (Xbox)
Back before there was online console gaming, there was system link. And the game that brought that to fruition and spawned online was none other than Halo for the original Xbox. This was the game that caused me to have four TVs set up in my basement, just so my friends could bring over their Xboxs and we could have a 16 player game. The level Blood Gulch was classic because it had vehicles, teleporters, was a reasonable size, and was perfect for team based games. This level is so iconic that it's been remade multiple times and is considered the standard for what multiplayer maps should be like.
Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my list, please let me know if you'd like to see more of this. I know everyone does top tens, but I try to keep it unique by doing top tens that haven't been done. Please subscribe and I'll hopefully have another blog out in the next few weeks.