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Halo Maps Ranked: 10-1

Oops. I accidentally got caught up in Halo 4 and forgot to finish my list. Well, here it is, the predictable end.
1Ivory Tower

#10: Small / Halo 2 and Halo: Reach (Reflection) / This pseudo-symmetric map provided gameplay that was perhaps too balanced at times, despite its chaos-inducing design. What Ivory Tower gave to Halo was pretty unique; it offered the illusion of control points. While most games became impatient, fractured rushes to the top of the map (snipe spawn), it actually proved more prudent to occupy different areas such as back wood. When teams camp the top, they confine themselves to easily-routed and claustrophobic hallways; escape options were entirely limited and predictable. This dynamic is just fascinating to me. Ivory Tower also lent itself to a diverse array of individual battles within the structure of a team game. Ivory Tower is also the best small map for 1 Flag / 1 Bomb gametypes. Lastly, the Halo: Reach version of this map looked so classy.
2The Pit

#9: Small-Medium / Halo 3 / Much is to be said for the only non-Halo 2 map in the Top 10: The Pit. I find that, like several other maps in the Top 10, The Pit is perfectly balanced and offers a lot of variety for the player. The one thing that holds the map back, for me at least, is that it is a shade too large in scope. It takes a long time to get where you need to be, and since Halo 3 had no sprint button, this fact holds it back a little bit. Still, The Pit is without a doubt the best Halo map to emerge since Halo 2 (including Halo 4 maps).

#8: Small / Halo 2 / Elongation is just a spruced up, and perfected, remake of Longest from Halo: CE. In addition to the much needed paint job, Elongation also added little nooks to the design that made worlds of difference, such as the moving boxes (which often also offered great comic relief). This map is perfectly balanced, to the same degree that Midship is. The only thing that holds Elongation back from being even higher, is gametype diversity. The narrow design of the map holds it back in that area. While flag games are unmatched here, gametypes like Oddball were not ideal (even though Oddball was used as a competitive gametype for some time on this map).
4Battle Creek

#7: Small / Halo: CE, Halo 2 (Beaver Creek), and Halo: Reach (Battle Canyon) / B. Creek is an interesting beast of a map. Eternally popular for both casual and competitive match. B. Creek's strength was in providing a great deal of fun, and a lot of room for great comebacks given the constantly evolving shape of each and every game played on the map. Its strengths come directly from the fact that the bases are not balanced; as Red Base has a very significant advantage in obtaining the Rocket Launcher and the Overshield (at least in Halo 1 and 2). I do also believe that Beaver Creek from Halo 2 is the greatest iteration of the map. The hallways added in the Reachmake opened the map up to more camping than we had already seen.

#6: Large / Halo 2 / Behold, the greatest big map in Halo. Containment is flawless. No other big map provided the level of balance that this map did. Nothing is too overpowered, every corner of the map is usable, and almost every Big Team gametype was playable and balanced on it. Though I don't like it as much as some other maps, Containment is the map I miss most from Halo 2, probably because it's so rare for me to find a worthy big map in the series. The one feasible issue I can see one taking with this map, is that sometimes, due to being very balanced and being very big, there were often stalemate matches. Though any stalemate can be overcome by adequate team cohesion.

#5: Small / Halo 2 / Turf is the greatest 2 vs. 2 map in Halo, and, sadly, was completely underutilized in the competitive arena during Halo 2's life cycle (though I believe this was due to spawning issues). I'd go so far as to say that Turf is my personal second-favorite map to come from the Halo franchise. Every portion of the map could be held to some advantage, and this is a facet of Turf that very few other maps can compete with. In particular, this aspect made 2 vs. 2 games different every time, with no one strategy dominating (like you will see happening on Lockout and Midship). I cannot think of a single weakness for Turf, or a gametype that stood out as being unplayable on it.

#4: Small / Halo 2 / Lockout is probably the most popular small map in the Halo canon, and for good reason. Lockout is the perfect asymmetrical small map. Being asymmetrical automatically disadvantages Lockout in regards to certain gametypes (Bomb, Flag), but Lockout excels so well in Slayer, Oddball, and King of the Hill gametypes that it counteracts any shortcomings; although personally, I was a big fan of 1 Flag on Lockout for casual games. Lockout is also the map that popularized and necessitated map control in Halo 2. Successful control of the ?BR Tower? was absolutely necessary to be crowned the victor, as there was no impossible vantage from that section of the map. A legendary map in the eyes of most, surely.

#3: Small / Halo 2 / Sanctuary is my personal favorite Halo map of all-time. The map has everything you could want in a competitive map, with the routes ranging from crowded but full of cover (in rocks), or spacey but open (in the courtyards). Sanctuary also provides ample opportunity to play mind games to outwit your opponents in the middle structure, or by the sniper spawn. The map could provide any power weapons, and host any gametype to a balanced outcome. It is a shame that Bungie decided to pay homage to Sanctuary in Forge World, because what we received was a laggy, unfaithful mess. For shame, Bungie.

#2: Small / Halo 1 (Wizard) and Halo2 / While Wizard is the original, and a fantastic map, Warlock made minute changes that ushered it into competitive perfection. The on-paper design of the map is one of the most simple in the series? history, yet provides severely balanced gameplay. Like Midship, Warlock does this with no power weapons necessary, but with player positioning providing all the leverage you could need. Depending on the gametype, Warlock welcomed a vast variety of playstyles, whether you prefer playing portal mind games, rushing down on and around platforms, or camping in the bases. Warlock is also one of very few maps in the Halo canon that provides a balanced One vs. One experience.

#1: Small / Halo 2 and Halo 3 (Heretic) / Midship is the ultimate first-person shooter map. Its versatility and balance is second-to-none in the shooter world. Pick any game type, and it works flawlessly for high-level play. Moreover, it accomplished all of this with barely any power weapons necessary. A shotgun was the only ?power weapon? on the map. On Midship, team positioning was the only power weapon. Bungie and 343 have yet to release a map as versatile and competitively copacetic as Midship, and that is why it is my number one Halo map of all-time.
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