25 essential video games every gamer should know

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25. Counter-Strike 1.6

Released in 2000 by Valve as a Half-Life mod, the original Counter-Strike is often referred to as Counter-Strike 1.6 (or CS1.6 for short) to differentiate it from the more modern versions of the game. This online multiplayer first-person shooter divides players up into two teams (terrorists and counter-terrorists), then sets them to compete against each other. Each player has only one life per round and will spectate the rest of the round once they die.

There are three game modes including a bomb scenario, hostage scenario, and an escort scenario. In the bomb scenario, terrorists need to traverse the map and set up a bomb in a specified location. If the bomb is planted, the opposing team needs to deactivate it before it explodes. In the hostage scenario, counter-terrorists need to rescue a group of hostages from the terrorists. Finally, in the escort scenario, one of the counter-terrorists is designated as the VIP, and the rest of the team needs to escort them safely to a location on the map.

The game quickly developed a community of modders, who create their own maps and game modes. Counter-Strike also spawned the start of the E-Sports Entertainment Association League (ESEA) and is often credited as the beginning of competitive gaming, an industry that is very popular today.