There are many great multiplayer games out there, ranging from shooters, to puzzles, to platformers. But the one multiplayer I can never get enough of is Halo 3. The Halo series pioneered both the sci-fi and shooter genres, but the multiplayer aspect of its third installment was about as close to perfect as I've ever seen. Unique, well balanced maps, great weapons, and emphasis on skill over anything else, and a great assortment of vehicles made it fun and fast paced. Importantly, the servers did a great job of balancing teams, so total blowouts were relatively rare. And who doesn't love the voice of Jeff Steitzer exclaiming "Double kill! Triple Kill! Overkill!" and so on?
That's just on the basic level. The game shipped with a bunch of different game types, including the classic Slayer, Team Slayer, and Capture the Flag. The endless settings customization options led to many others, including Shotty Snipers and my personal favorite, Rocket Race, in which players race in teams of two on Mongooses, trying to blast each other to bit with rocket launchers.
Customization is where Halo 3 multiplayer truly shined-and Bungie gave us the perfect tool. Forge mode was a simple yet extremely well-designed creation system that allowed console players with little to no experience to design some truly fantastic maps. Everything from Jenga, to platforming courses, to vehicle battle arenas to a "trash compactor" were built, and that's barely scratching the surface. Beyond simple item placement, players were also able to place spawn points, kill zones, capture zones, and flags. They could set items to only spawn during certain game modes and at certain time intervals. This is where the settings customization was important-it allowed for unique gametypes that actually set rules for the players, instead of players having to police themselves. This amount of freedom was pretty uncommon, even more so on consoles. Once again, Halo led the way, and few have even attempted to match it.
Of course, Halo: Reach improved greatly on Forge, but it was 3 that truly led the way. Will the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians hit that level? Let's hope. Cause let's face it-no one's done the timeless struggle of Red vs. Blue better.