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Community Picks: Most Memorable Game Levels

5: De_Dust a.k.a. Dust - ‘Counter-Strike’

The “Dust” level is one of, if not the, most popular maps in the franchise. The bomb-defusal stage has a mix of large outdoor areas and narrow hallways where you can kill enemies from afar or get close for melee kills. There are many places to hide, but your opponents can easily flank your position if you are unaware. The map was so popular that Valve created a sequel to it in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.


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4: Forgotten Capital - ‘Final Fantasy VII’

Die-hard Final Fantasy fans will remember this area not for its gameplay, but as the stage for one of the series’ most pivotal moments. Cloud and his comrades are in search of Aerith, who is located underneath the city. As the group makes its way to her, Cloud nearly succumbs to Sephiroth’s control and nearly kills Aerith. Unfortunately, Jenova, in the form of Sephiroth, arrives and kills her, much to the shock of many players. Based on the fact that it’s one of the top five levels on this list, the Forgotten Capital and Aerith’s death is still a vivid memory to many fans.


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3: We Don’t Go To Ravenholm - ‘Half-Life 2’

There’s a reason why no one visits this ghost town: The Combine’s shells transformed its inhabitants into nasty, nasty zombies. You’ll also encounter poisonous and faster variants of the headcrabs, which makes your journey through the town even more perilous. You’ll also get to meet Ravenholm’s sole survivor, Father Grigori, but you’ll need to disable his many traps first before you meet the man himself. The entire chapter is one of the scariest portions in the game, so it’s best to play the level with the lights off.


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2: Fort Frolic - ‘Bioshock’

The underwater city of Rapture is home to some of city’s strangest citizens, but none more so than Sander Cohen, who uses this level as his base of operations. In Rapture’s heyday, the area was the center of entertainment. Now it’s home to Cohen’s art “pieces.” As you explore Fort Frolic, you’ll notice multiple plaster figures. On closer inspection, you discover that these are actual human beings trapped within the molding. To pass through the area and onto Andrew Ryan’s office in Hephaestus, you’ll need to help Cohen with his final masterpiece by taking photographs of four corpses throughout Fort Frolic. The level itself isn’t terrifying, but the fact that humans are trapped within molds of plaster makes Fort Frolic looks like a haunted amusement park.


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1: GLaDOS Fight - ‘Portal’

The cake is a lie, and now you have to confront the evil A.I. that started it all. The massive room that houses GLaDOS includes an incinerator. By creating portals to reach GLaDOS’ multiple cores, you can “kill” it and escape from the halls of Aperture Science. This final level is a race against time, and it’s the ultimate test of your skills. Even with its cores destroyed, GLaDOS manages to survive, and you’ll have to endure another round of tests in Portal 2.


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  • chalabam
    The rain in Crysis with epic background music, the wind on the savanna in Far Cry 2, looking at the pit in St. Francis' Folly, the hearthbeats in Alien Isolation... All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...
    Reply
  • Ilya__
    Arcane Sanctuary in Diablo 2
    Reply
  • rogerrambo
    All Ghillied up, call of duty mwf. the hornets nest, medal of honor frontline.
    Reply
  • badaxe2
    Crysis "Onslaught" and most of Dark Souls should be in here somewhere.
    Reply
  • pw178860
    Dishonored 2 "The Clockwork Mansion" is the most outstanding level design!
    It should be mentioned here.
    Reply
  • Uniblab
    First unreal tournament(1999). CTF: "Facing worlds". Assault: "Overlord". Facing worlds was the first map that made you just want to look at before playing it. Drop player mode and just 'camera' around to see it all. Overlord was, like other choices, a recreation of the battle of normandy. Tough to get through and and some say, too real to what actually happened.
    Reply
  • illuminatuz
    I thought the helicopter mission from GTA Vice city will be part of this!!! Not fair man!!
    Reply
  • Flying-Q
    Being hunted by assassins in a warehouse in the original Half-Life.
    Reply
  • SSBrando
    The first American mission storming the beach in Call of Duty 2. Or the 9th level of Wolfenstein 3D when you open that door and giant guy says 'Guten tag!' and blasts you in the face. Or the first part of the battle of the Red Queen in American McGee's Alice. Or at any point you encounter a Spider Mastermind or Cyberdemon in Doom II. Those'll work!
    Reply
  • Pompompaihn
    Some good ones and some that I'm a little wtf over. Ravenholm is arguably the best level ever in my opinion. Perfect example of how to introduce a new mechanic to a game without having to have it explained artificially.

    Surprised not to see Rainbow Road on there. That's iconic.
    Reply