With the release of Halo 5: Guardians today, many are ready to take a leap forward into the future of the franchise, where Master Chief’s adventures will continue on the Xbox One. And while the series’ story has been captivating and interesting, it’s Halo’s multiplayer experience that most often brings the best memories to players.
In that vein, we’ve compiled a list of the best Halo multiplayer maps in the series’ long history. Since many maps have been reused or reinvented with different names, some of the below selections may incorporate maps from more than one Halo game.
Halo 2’s Lockout map is one of the most well-known due to its close-quarter gameplay that offers three levels of action for players. Because it’s such a simple map, Lockout has become a favorite among Major League Gaming players, which in turn has helped spike popularity among Halo players in general.
Due to its design, Lockout pushes most of the action toward the middle of the map, making it as fun for 3v3 games as 10v10. It also requires players be ever mindful of where they are compared to enemy combatants, making it a great choice for those looking to improve their PvP skills.
Hang ’em High/Tombstone
Hang ‘em High is one of the handful of multiplayer maps included in Halo: Combat Evolved. Its multilevel action and numerous obstacles make it a great map for 4v4 Slayer and Capture the Flag games.
Due to its popularity among players, the map made a return to Halo 2 under the name Tombstone. While the Halo 2 version had a much different look and feel, the layout and play style were very much the same as its predecessor.
Battle Canyon/Beaver Creek
Who can forget the first time they fought on Halo’s Battle Canyon? From the perfect sniping lanes to the iconic arch in the center, this map has the perfect nostalgic feeling for Halo players. The map was so beloved that it was remade into Beaver Creek in Halo 2.
Where this map really shines is its Rocket Launcher spawn, which brings players flocking to the giant rock walkway in an effort to capture the launcher for their team. Once acquired, the player with the launcher made for a powerful friend or foe and could change the tide of battle for their team.
High Ground in Halo 3 quickly rose to fame as a top map choice for one-sided objective games like Territories, One Bomb, and One Flag. In it, players fought their way through multiple avenues in an effort complete their goal.
What makes High Ground so great is its many paths and sight lines. The brave can go through the middle lane, right at the enemy, while the sneaky can maneuver through side passages to flank enemy forces.
The epic sniping opportunities and quick-action vehicle gameplay make Blood Gulch one of the most iconic maps in the Halo universe. The map is easily the most famous from the original Halo, and as such was remade in Halo 2 as Coagulation, and served as the inspiration for Halo 3’s Valhalla.
In addition to its popularity among players, Blood Gulch also served as a key location for the Halo series Red vs Blue. The series was so well received it won four awards at film festivals and continues to gain interest despite being over a decade old.
Halo 3’s Snowbound is a medium-sized map that features two Covenant bases, making the map good for both long-range and close quarter combat. And thanks to the map’s weapon spawns, both bases quickly become heated contention points for players, making for some fantastic gun battles.
Unlike other Halo maps, Snowbound offers a unique extra feature that makes for a fun distraction while playing. At the edge of the map on the Tundra side, players can venture out of the map area. If they do so, an alarm sounds warning them to return to the game. If they don’t, turrets open fire. Sometimes it’s fun to break away from the fighting and see how long a player lasts before getting gunned down by the turrets.
Halo’s Sidewinder map presents a unique layout in the form of a horseshoe, making it a frantic fight towards the inside, and a sniper’s haven around the outside. Additionally, the icy nature of the map makes it a challenge for vehicles to maintain traction as they speed around the map.
The maps most popular game mode is capture the flag due to its branching pathways and structures. The map’s fame was also popular enough that it was remade into Avalanche on Halo 3.
Ivory Tower from Halo 2 is a fantastic example of a close quarter combat FPS environment. Additionally, the maps weapon placements for the Rocket Launcher, Sniper Rifle, and Energy Sword make it a hectic and engaging map for players.
Ivory Tower has become a favorite for players for custom Juggernaut games where gamers play Hide and Seek. Many also enjoy the map for Slayer thanks to its fast-paced action and multiple levels.
Ascension is a Halo 2 map best known for its sniping opportunities, despite being a small map. With a couple stellar sniping locations where players can peak out, snipe enemy players, and then scuttle back into hiding while they wait for another opportunity to dispatch more enemies.
Aside from its exciting sniping gameplay, Ascension also offers a couple unique glitching opportunities, where players can get outside the map or use super bounces to get around the map. The map was remade for Halo 2: Anniversary as Zenith.
The final map on our list is Midship, a Halo 2 map that’s perfect for small free-for-all and Oddball games. The map features a handful of great sniping locations, though having many players makes camping around the map difficult, in turn making the map more exciting for most players.
Midship will be making a return in Halo 5: Guardians as Truth, albeit with upgraded graphics and a few changes to the layout.
Many More Favorites
Naturally, with 14 years of Halo to work with, there are many more popular maps among Halo fans. Now’s your chance to share with us which maps are your favorites. Let us know in the comments below.
Halo 5: Guardians is out now for Xbox One. Make sure to read our Halo 5: Guardians review.