The Best CS:GO Maps: Our Top 3
It’s a fact that some of the most iconic maps in gaming history are CS:GO maps. Many are remakes from CS 1.6 and CS: Source, and their incredible map design has allowed them to still be played many years later.
The maps on this list are all Bomb Defusal maps, with the mode being by far the most popular in the game. All Wingman maps and Hostage Rescue maps, while usually well-designed, simply don’t have the staying power of the other maps on this list.
3. Dust 2
Dust 2 is the ultimate iconic CS:GO map. A part of the map pool since CS 1.1, its core design has remained the same over the years. Though the map is the successor to the original Dust, it’s the sequel that has kept players engaged years later.
Dust 2’s popularity stems from its ease to play. The map is relatively balanced between T and CT sides, giving newer players the perfect learning grounds while they get to grips with the basics of the game. Make no mistake though – the map’s design allows for a more experienced player to dominate proceedings, meaning there’s something for everyone on Dust 2.
While Dust 2 is currently excluded from the Active Duty map pool, it’s only a matter of time before Valve brings the map back to the competitive scene.
Alongside other classics like Inferno and Cobblestone CS:GO has another map that has stood the test of time. Nuke debuted prior to the release of the original Counter-Strike, and remains essential learning for players wanting to get better at CS:GO.
Nuke isn’t the most beginner-friendly of CS:GO maps, requiring great utility use on both CT and T sides to get solid results. Because of this, it has an extremely high skill ceiling, with its narrow hallways punishing even the best of players. But even if you’re a new player looking for a true baptism-of-fire, Nuke could still have plenty to offer you. The map has shown that it isn’t going anywhere, so you might as well learn it now.
Mirage was first created as a fan-made map for CS 1.6 by community member Michael Hüll. The map was only made an official map post-release of CS:GO. The resulting 2013 Valve remake is the Mirage players see today, and its inclusion has been a resounding success, with the map currently standing as the most-played CS:GO map of all time.
Mirage works perfectly as an introduction to utility for new players. There are plenty of easy-to-use smoke and Molotov line-ups, that even the newest player could execute to good effect. It’s a map that truly helps players improve their game, and is a great launching pad to other maps.
Due to fan reverence for the map, any attempt from Valve to change it always hits front-page CS:GO news, although big updates to the map are rare. To date, it remains the only map to have featured in all 17 CS:GO Majors. In CS:GO Mirage truly is the King, and long may its reign continue.
There were so many CS:GO maps that we could have mentioned here. Map design is one of CS:GO’s highlights, with its tactical gameplay requiring inch-perfect design from the developers. With no new map for a while, we’re excited to see what Valve adds next.