With the increase of online gaming, and the fact that almost everything released now comes with an online component, the design of multiplayer maps has never been more important.
So I’ve got together a list of the best 10 multiplayer maps out there – the fact that 8 of the 10 maps come from just 4 titles goes to show the excellent work that those designers are doing.
10. VISTA (Red Faction: Guerrilla)
(Apologies for the poor quality of the video this is literally the ONLY video anywhere I could find)
We start our round up, funnily enough, with a map that is actually played offline in local multiplayer.
‘Wrecking Crew’ mode in Red Faction: Guerrilla tasks each player with causing the most damage to the buildings in the area within 1 minute.
The mode is as fun as its sounds and all the maps are pretty well designed but Vista’s mix of the namesake tower and large scale buildings mean this is the most requested map whenever we play.
9. HIGHRISE (Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
I’m not a massive fan of MW2 but the multiplayer is pretty fun in short bursts and the Highrise map is one of the highlights.
Set, essentially, in the upper floor of two buildings and on another building’s rooftop inbetween – this is a close quarters map with plenty of scope for sneaking into the enemies’ tower.
One of my favourite tactics was using the lower walkways to get into the opposite tower and launch an attack behind the enemy – that is of course if I could get in without being spotted… easier said than done
8. ROOFTOPS (Resistance: Fall Of Man)
Another roof based map but this time set in the alternate sci-fi universe of Resistance.
Apart from the futuristic weapons this has one major difference from the other games on this list. There are several air cannons on the ground that you can walk over and be boosted skywards and back onto the rooftops.
Unlike Highrise (above) you won’t die if you fall off the building giving you the option of staying up high on the roof and shooting from distance or getting down on the streets & alleyways for a more intense firefight.
7. INVASION (Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
Easily my favourite Call Of Duty map, I have had a fair few successful rounds in this small deserted town in Afghanistan.
With plenty of buildings to search and/or hide out in Invasion has just the right mix of open and enclosed areas.
It’s also big enough to have quite a bit of freedom of movement and also has a few different routes to various parts of the map so it’s best not to stay in one place too long.
6. THE FORT (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
This is one of those few occasions where a DLC map (free I might add) turns out to be better than some of the maps the game shipped with.
The Fort is based on a level from the single player of the original Uncharted and it says a lot that this level is fantastic whether you’re playing the standard modes or co-op.
The amount of places you can get to in an attempt to outwit your enemies is great – whether you’re up above the open part of the map or underground near the tombs battling it out (or trying to get the rocket launcher ) you can be sure you’ll be using as much of this brilliant map as possible.
5. THARSIS DEPOT (Killzone 2)
It’s got to the stage, having played over a year’s worth of Killzone (not literally ) that myself and my mates have a few favourite maps to play on.
One of these is Tharsis Depot – big enough to accomodate a full 16 v 16 but at the same time small enough that even 2 v 2 doesn’t feel too spaced out.
Set on the same refinery as the single player mission, Tharsis Depot is full of steel and has an elogated bottleneck between the bases down one side of the map. Co-incidentally that is also where one team has to defend in search and destroy – which usually leads to all kinds of chaos.
With two floors to choose from there are plenty of ways to surprise your enemies and I am a HUGE fan of waiting around in the corridor just off the main room in the middle to shotgun any enemies that come my way
4. PORT VALDEZ (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)
This was one of the maps from the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 beta and it is still one of my favourite maps on the game.
The balance between defence and attack (in Rush mode) in terms of positioning of buildings etc is truly superb.
The last few bases of this massive map are fantastic and you really do have to consider your tactics. Making a run for it is all well good but you can almost guarantee a host of snipers will have their sights trained on the entrance of whichever base you’re at.
A really well designed map, especially considering the size and amount of bases in it.
3. THE SANCTUARY (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
This map is my personal favourite from Uncharted 2. Whether it’s plunder, elimination, deathmatch or whatever – The Sanctuary almost always throws up a great match.
The underground tunnels are a fantastic addition in that they effectively add a third layer to proceedings and the risk/reward of positioning the Hammer on the exposed ledge is a stroke of genius.
In fact you can also climb to the top of the tower in each base, above the main rooftops so technically The Sanctuary has FOUR levels to play with.
A monster of a multiplayer map considering how compact it is.
2. VALPARAISO (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)
As with most of the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 maps Valparaiso has plenty of scope for both long range attacks and also close quarter battles.
It’s even possible to trek up to the top of the massive lighthouse to the side of the map for sniping opportunities – though heaven help you if you get spotted in there as you will be swiftly dealt with
With plenty of hills to fight up/down on, this is a wonderfully varied map boasting four differently styled bases that will keep you entertained for ages.
The mixture of jungle environments just within this map is a testament to how well made it is – you’ll start in dense jungle before breaking into the open for a while until eventually you’ll find yourself in another dense jungle setting for an enclosed final base.
Most definitely my favourite multiplayer map for a long time but even then Valparaiso doesn’t take the number 1 slot…
1. RADEC ACADEMY (Killzone 2)
Yep, the daddy of all multiplayer maps
Radec Academy is a superbly designed map with both open areas and some really tight corridor and stairway areas which lead to some intense firefights.
The positioning of the search and destroy targets (for both teams) is inspired – essentially requiring you to hold a room that has three or four different entrances.
Meanwhile there is the opportunity to snipe from the balcony overlooking the square – but you’ll have be quick to take those chances as people don’t hang around… unless you’re lucky enough to find an unsuspecting soul taking stock in one of the doorways opposite
Then of course you have the tunnels that run between each base and the building at the back of the map which can get quite crowded if a speaker spawns down there.
Overall for me personally, it’s tough to think of what more they could’ve done to improve Radec Academy – I sincerely hope it makes an appearance in the multiplayer mode of Killzone 3… whenever that appears.
So there you go – my top picks for multiplayer action. Let me know via the comments if you agree? Maybe I’ve missed some out or perhaps you prefer a different map from those games?