Counter-Strike Turns 25 Today, Still Most Popular Game on Steam

25 years ago today the first public version of Counter-Strike was released under beta. The game was originally launched as a modification of Half-Life on June 19, 1999. This modification was just 8MB in size and included 10 weapons as well as the maps cs_siege, cs_mansion, cs_wpndepot and cs_prison, as well as the game mode hostage rescue.

Counter Strike

In the summer of 2000 game developer Valve got involved and supporter further development of the game. After many more beta versions the game was finished and released on November 8, 2000 under the name Counter-Strike 1.0. It was still available as a free mod, but it could be sold as a standalone title with training missions. Version 1.1 brought with it one of the games most popular maps, de_dust2. And the Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC) was added in version 1.4. Version 1.6, which was one of the most popular releases took 15 months of development before Valve released it.

Since then we’ve seen many different releases of the game, with the most recent being Counter-Strike 2 coming out last year. Here is a breakdown of the major releases of the game:

1999: Half-Life Counter-Strike (Mod)
2000: Counter-Strike (standalone release)
2004: Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Counter-Strike: Source
2008: Counter-Strike: Online
2012: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
2023: Counter-Strike 2

The game itself is a tactical team-based shooter which its mechanics inspired a generation of games and is still used in brand new games today. The latest release, Counter-Strike 2 is the most played game on Steam with an average active user-base of around 1 million players at any time. Crazy to think that a simple mod turned into one of the most popular games of all time!

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What are your favorite Counter-Strike memories?

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