Half-Life: Counter-Strike (2000)

3.85 from 143 votes
Originally created as a modification of the original Half-Life, Counter-Strike has since become its own franchise, setting new standards in online team-based shooters, and was at one point the single most-played online game in the world with a huge competitive following.
First released
Nov 8, 2000
CS, CS1.6
Half-Life, Counter-Strike
Developed by
Turtle Rock Studios, Inc., Valve Corporation, Rockstar Vancouver
Published by
Xbox Game Studios, Valve Corporation
Mac, Xbox, PC, Linux
First-Person Shooter
Modern Military
ESRB: M, PEGI: 16+
  • PC - Half-Life: Counter-Strike United States
  • PC - Counter-Strike 1 Anthology United States
  • PC - Counter-Strike 1 Anthology United Kingdom
  • PC - Half-Life Platinum Collection United States
  • XBOX - Half-Life: Counter-Strike United States
  • XBOX - Half-Life: Counter-Strike (Platinum Hits) United States

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Ultimate classic that still holds up today
Counter-Strike (1.6) is an all-time classic and one of the first games that I owned and played on my Steam account. I even bought it boxed and with that, started my journey on Steam.

Counter-Strike is a simple, yet so fun, game. You choose a team, in which your objectives vary. You can play as terrorists or Counter-terrorists. As terrorists, you keep and defend hostages, place bombs at specific sites and prevent the counter-terrorists from defusing them. As counter-terrorists, you try to save the hostages and defuse the bombs that terrorist have placed.

Meanwhile, you pump each other full of lead. I especially liked the VIP mode, in which one player is appointed as a target that will win the round if eliminated. The other players on your team need to defend you with their lives until the time is up to win. It is a unique and fun experience that was most fun at LAN parties.

When starting the round, you choose/buy your weapons. You can choose a variety of pistols, sub-machine guns, heavy assault rifles, sniper rifles and grenades. Some weapons work better for you than others, so half the fun is trying to figure out which weapon has the right feeling and handling for you. The weapons themselves however, are well balanced and I did not experience any unfair advantages with a specific weapon.

The Graphics in Counter-Strike are really nice for the time. They are well rendered and textured, and the frame rate is spot on. No tearing, no lag, it runs smooth as butter. The animations are stiff and when killed, you drop dead as a brick, but this the charm that the game has.

In terms of sound, this game nails it, especially for the time period. Guns sound aggressive and loud, and explosions can be felt through your headset. It is spot on and holds up great with today’s standards.

The controls are easy to learn and work fluent and responsive.

My only problem at the time with Counter-Strike was the limited time to choose your gear before the round starts. It is completely logical that players do not wait until everyone choose their shiny guns, but when first playing, I was still checking what weapon would be best for me, and before I knew it, I had forty holes in me. But, like with many other First Person Shooters, especially online, I just need to git gut.

I still cherish the memories of this game at the many LAN parties I attended to, the pure joy, tension and competitive game play that had this unique experience back then. The thrill when you finally blow someone up with a well lobbed grenade, the satisfaction when you finally sent a successful sniper bullet through someone’s skull, it was just amazing. Counter-Strike will always be one of my favorite online shooters today.

The upgraded Counter-Strike: Source introduces new graphics and an even smoother experience, however, Counter-Strike (1.6) will always remain an all-time gem that can be played any time. When I am feeling old, I just play this version over the Source remake or Global Offensive, just for good old times.

Definitely recommend this timeless relic.
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