There's an old saying about buses in London; you wait ages for one and then two come at once. The same apparently applies for Halo games on the Xbox One; we've waited what feels like ages (well, two years) and now we're getting four at once. Rather than be bitter and cynical about this, we're simply emptying our calendar from November 11th onwards and embracing the fact that Halo is set to take over our lives once more. The Master Chief Collection had been rumoured long before Microsoft's E3 presentation earlier this month but still - finally seeing it announced felt awesome. Running through all four campaigns will be an absolute treat (especially getting to relive Halo 2 in a new shiny coat of paint) but it's the multiplayer details that have us wishing we could hibernate until November. The Master Chief Collection will feature every Halo map ever released, all playable in their original engines - which is an amazing amount of maps. Custom playlists will allow you to combine maps from each game, as having every game on one disc allows the Master Chief Collection to seamlessly switch between different engines to make every map work as well as they did back in the day. With most series', we'd be getting a lot of garbage maps but Halo has never let us down when it comes to quality and quantity; there's definitely going to be some hidden gems that we've long forgotten about. This list hopefully includes everybody's favourites, but due to the sheer volume of incredible maps there's bound to be at least one exclusion which probably deserves a place. If you can think of any map that definitely should have made the cut, please feel free to add it in via the comments section below. Together, we can build the ultimate Halo playlist.
25. Rat's Nest (Halo 3)
Released in the Heroic Map Pack for Halo 3, Rat's Nest quickly became a fan favourite. Perfectly symmetrical and big enough to accommodate vehicles, Rat's Nest is a great map to team up with a buddy and gun the enemy down in a Warthog. Prefer your close quarters combat? The central area between the two bases tends to turn into a big on-foot battleground as the two teams fight for control of the Rocket Launcher and Spartan Laser located in the middle of the structure. As a symmetrical map, Rat's Nest is great for 8v8 Capture The Flag action and the map's clever mix of corridors and wide open spaces means all play-styles are welcome. It's probably best to start learning this map now; it's sure to be featured heavily in The Master Chief Collection's objective-based playlists.
24. Guardian (Halo 3)
Often compared to Lockout and Ascension from Halo 2, Guardian is one of the most memorable maps from Halo 3. In fact, before the release of Blackout (a complete remake of Lockout), Guardian was known as the spiritual successor to Lockout. It's easy to see why; both maps feature a hectic central platform with a variety of paths and corridors to traverse if diving straight in isn't your style. If you like your weapons big and powerful, the Gravity Hammer spawns just below the central platform, and with close range combat almost guaranteed, wielding the Grav Hammer gives an immediate advantage. King Of The Hill on here was a real treat, especially when the hill moved to the middle, compounding everyone into the tiny space seen above. It's absolute chaos.
23. Damnation/Penance (Halo: CE)
As Damnation beautifully demonstrates, the Covenant love their purple architecture. Set in a Covenant facility (essentially an evil lair for the bad guys), Damnation creates more vertical gameplay than most other maps. Controlling the high base is imperative if your team is to succeed as it allows you to pick your enemy off from relative safety whilst they scramble around below. Much of the action is based around the pit area where three streams of water fall from the ceiling into a seemingly bottomless hole. Three walkways hang precariously over the pit but with a Rocket Launcher up for grabs, it might be worth testing your nerve if you're not afraid of heights. Great for objective game-types and Slayer modes alike, Damnation's (or Penance as it was rebranded in the Anniversary remake) purple interiors will undoubtedly be etched in your mind very soon after playing.