Halo multiplayer has been a big part of not only the franchise of video games but for the Xbox series of video game consoles as well. What developer, Bungie, and eventually, 343 Industries, crafted throughout each Halo installment was special. With the upcoming release of Halo Infinite, we thought it would be a good time to compile a list of some of the best Halo multiplayer maps from the video games. While a lot of the maps from the original games have been brought back and slightly tweaked, as well as renamed, this list will only discuss the maps in the original names, games, and design.
1. Valhalla (Halo 3)
Valhalla is everything you need from a Halo multiplayer map. The gorgeous and vast map is set on the Ark and is very reminiscent of another map on this list, Blood Gulch. Featuring some forest throughout and rocky inclines and rivers, Valhalla is just the right size to make team multiplayer interesting and fun. Not to mention that it also features the Spartan Laser, a tactically advantageous energy weapon that any sensible player would go after at the start of a match. The compatibility of Valhalla with so many of the game modes makes it one of the best.
2. Sidewinder (Halo: CE)
Sidewinder's spacious and snowy terrain contains different possible routes for whatever objective you're playing in this multiplayer map. The map also features teleporters that can either become a strategic advantage or a hindrance that could lead to an untimely demise. Either way, the teleporters and possible routes that are featured in Sidewinder make this multiplayer map a chaotic, but a fun multiplayer map.
3. Ascension (Halo 2)
The huge towers are the highlight of this Halo 2 map. One could already picture the King of the Hill matches that would take place on this classic map. The placement of the two towers opposite each other makes King of the Hill interesting, with players racing to the top to use either tower as a defensive point against other players. Using the towers as vantage points, players could also use the turrets mounted there to their advantage until someone else inevitably replaced them at the top. Ascension is the type of map that works incredibly well for specific game types like King of the Hill, but also be fun with the various other modes included.
4. Terminal (Halo 2)
Halo 2's Terminal map is the right kind of chaos you want in a multiplayer game. The wide map has plenty of areas to create intense combat but also has an added layer of unpredictability because of the dreaded train. You've got to have perfect timing and spatial awareness to avoid getting killed by the train on this map. However, not all can escape the grim fate of being killed by it. You could be the best player in the game and still not rack up as many kills as that train has on Terminal. It's a fun map with added dangers to look out for, other than the players you have to fight.
5. Battle Creek (Halo: CE)
Battle Creek made its debut in the original Halo: Combat Evolved video game but has seen many iterations throughout the franchise. The map is basically a symbol for Halo's frenetic multiplayer. The wide and open space separated into two sections by a river left players with nowhere to hide. The result is constant run and gunning that lead to some truly fantastic multiplayer moments. Its simple design was what helped propel it as one of the best multiplayer maps for players looking for quick and kinetic action.
6. Zanzibar (Halo 2)
The sheer scale of Zanzibar, which made its debut in Halo 2 and later returned for Halo 3, is more than enough reason to belong on this list. Zanzibar makes players feel like they are a part of a full-scale battle, complete with all sorts of vehicles and weapons. Moreover, Zanzibar is one of the more popular maps thanks to the design and scale of it matching well with almost any combat type that players wish to approach the game with. Whether it be close quarters or long-range, you'll find a spot on Zanzibar that most suits your skillset in the game.
7. Lockout (Halo 2)
Lockout is one of the smaller maps on this list, but its structure still made it a breath of fresh air. There are different layers to Lockout, meaning players with all different sorts of play styles could find a way to make their mark on the map and dominate the competition. The size of it meant that although there was variety of play, it wasn't long until you crossed paths (and fire) with another player. The cat and mouse style of gameplay that Lockout provides essentially made it a kinetic and fast-paced map.
8. High Ground (Halo 3)
High Ground features an asymmetrical design with many alternate routes. Any one-side objective game mode is sure to be intense if played on High Ground. Because of this, there is a lot of strategic thinking that is sure to come if objective game modes are played on this map, allowing a different kind of experience than what you can get from the other maps on this list.
9. The Pit (Halo 3)
The sheer amount of gear and its placement on the map makes the Pit one of the best maps in Halo multiplayer. Featuring snipers, overshields, and rocket launchers, any match on the pit goes to whoever plays smarter, and not harder. There are grueling matches to be had on the pit, all thanks to its brilliant design and weapon placement. The limited amount of paths solidifies it as one of the best strategic maps, and one of the best in Halo multiplayer in general.
10. Ivory Tower (Halo 2)
The small and compact map that is Ivory Tower is one of the more underrated maps in the series multiplayer. The close-quarters combat that is required when playing in Ivory Tower diversifies the gameplay. Moreover, the location of the powerups strewn throughout the map required players to get out of their comfort zone to get what they wanted to possibly take the advantage from the opposing team.
11. Blood Gulch (Halo: CE)
Easily the most iconic map from Halo multiplayer, Blood Gulch is best known from the Red vs Blue series of videos that became a staple of the Halo franchise. The map is a certified classic, laying the foundation for what many of the maps on this list would come to offer, such as the open design for vehicular combat. The 4v4 Lan parties that took place on Blood Gulch in Halo's earliest multiplayer days helped to make so many memories for so many players that won't be forgotten.
12. Narrows (Halo 3)
Narrows is another great example of well-placed combat zones and lanes for players to go through to keep their enemies on their toes. Halo 3 is filled with well-designed and well-balanced maps, and Narrows stands above the rest as a prime example. If played correctly, the spawn points in this map could be used to the advantage of another team, essentially securing victory.
13. Timberland (Halo: CE PC)
Exclusively found on Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC, Timberland features two two-story bases that are separated by wide areas of land, consisting of creeks and steep hills as well as trees. The forest area of Timberland allowed for more covert gameplay than what is expected from other maps on this list. While vehicular combat is an option in Timberland, it isn't a wise one; the places to move unseen on this map tend to lead to ambushes to those out in the open in a vehicle. Overall, Timberland helps to keep multiplayer fresh and players on their toes.
14. Exile (Halo 4)
Exile, one of the more popular maps from Halo 4, featured a series of interconnected caves with some large spaces in between. This design allowed the use of several different vehicles, such as the scorpion, making this larger map one of the more vehicle-dependent maps of the game. The layout of Exile allowed for a host of game modes to fit nicely with its design and overall has a good strategic design with balanced outer and inner areas of maps.
15. Ghost Town (Halo 3)
Halo 3's Ghost Town map is an asymmetrical map consisting of 3 buildings filled to the brim with deadly weapons like the rocket launcher and the shotgun. This is a solid map that, while not as popular as some of the others on this list, deserves a spot because of its clever design that fits well with game types such as Oddball. The layout of the buildings and the different accessible paths will have players second-guessing their routes. This map also created intense firefights, usually starting from a race to see who grabs one of the powerup weapons first.
Et tu, Brute? Sometimes the harshest twist of the knife comes from those you least suspect.