Counter-Strike 2 is here, and the response has been mixed, at best. That had us thinking, what are the best and worst Counter-Strike games?
While some think of the main three over the last two decades, there are actually more than that. So let’s rank the Counter-Strike games from worst to best.
For this list, we are looking at all global-release Counter-Strike titles. That means region-specific games like Counter-Strike Neo aren’t a part of it.
Let’s get into it.
All Counter-Strike Games, Ranked
6. Counter-Strike 2
While you may think recency bias is at play here, Counter-Strike 2 really is a major letdown. First, it’s a forced upgrade for everyone who loved Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. That means, whether you want to or not, you’re stuck with it.
From issues with cheaters, missing features, hitbox concerns, framerate drops causing in-game lag, and even respected players criticizing the game, there’s just nothing good going for the latest from Valve right now.
It may change in the future with more updates. But, right now, it belongs at the bottom.
Capitalizing on the Zombie craze of the late 2000s and early 2010s, Nexon is a free-to-play Zombie shooter using the same engine. The game being free led to many giving it a shot, but it’s a repetitive title that just wasn’t worth it at all. If you wanted a better zombie experience, you were better off finding an online server in Global Offensive.
4. Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
The follow-up to Counter-Strike, Condition Zero did update textures, maps, models, and more. However, the game didn’t feel like a true sequel to the original game. Instead, the gameplay felt a bit slower than the original to me, and just left you wondering why not just go back to the first game after playing through the campaigns instead of continuing to play.
3. Counter-Strike (CS: 1.6)
The first game that kicked off a phenomenon. Counter-Strike, or CS 1.6 as it’s known now, was the game that many remember as their introduction to the series. While there were a lot of issues with the first game, it’s beloved by many because it’s the first one. You really had to work to master certain guns, and the feeling of accomplishment when you finally mastered the AWP was second to none.
The best thing about the original, or 1.6, is that it was so lightweight, you could put the whole game on a small flash drive in the mid-2000s. This led to some great LAN sessions in the high school computer lab.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Say what you will about what the game ultimately became with loot boxes and gambling, but Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was an absolute gem of a first-person shooter. It was a game that was pretty easy to learn and get the hang of, but hard to master if you weren’t dedicated.
The gameplay is just as fast as Source and requires more skill than any of the prior games. Plus, the community around it, when you find a good one, makes for some of the most enjoyable online gaming moments you’ll ever have.
It’s just a shame that players were forced to leave it behind for good with the release of the aforementioned Counter-Strike 2.
First released in 2004, this game is the pinnacle of Counter-Strike games. While many will say 1.6 should be the top game, I think Source takes everything from 1.6 and does it that much better. Hitboxes were greatly improved, player lagging was fixed from 1.6, guns felt better to control and much more. The updated engine just made for a fun time all around.
The fast gameplay relies almost entirely on your skill with the mouse and keyboard — if you can avoid cheaters — and just leads to hours of fun. Plus
How would you rank the Counter-Strike games? Let us know in the comments below.