Team Fortress 2

By now, Valve’s Team Fortress 2 scarcely needs an introduction, it’s the team-centric MP FPS with nine classes of playable mercenaries, hundreds of thousands of active fans, and countless cosmetic hats added since its launch in 2007.

By now, if you’re reading this review, you almost certainly have heard of TF2 and have almost assuredly played it, or at least know a fair deal about it in some capacity. You most likely know if you like it or not, but for the scant few who might be out there that have never picked up Team Fortress 2, I’d like to recommend you do so and try it out.

Gameplay is, at its core, simple – you play as any of the nine distinct available classes, in teams, usually between six and twelve per side, and use your array of weapons and class advantages to compete against an opposing team in a variety of gamemodes such as territory control, capture the flag, and ‘payload’ in which an attacking team must push an on-rails cart from one side of the map to the other and a defending team attempts to stop this from happening. This gameplay might be fun, but the game itself it not what has kept TF2 as a mainstay of the genre for thirteen years.

In its lifetime, Team Fortress 2 has seen dozens of updates in which new maps, useable weapons, gamemodes, and the franchise’s now-trademark hats have been introduced to keep the game alive and fresh among the active playerbase. What started on such a simple premise has been spun off into a series of top-tier animated shorts, a lore-filled ongoing digital comic and a whole world of support from Valve – which, while admittedly, has slowed with time and their recent focus on other projects – is still very much present within the community.

There are hundreds of figures within the Team Fortress 2 community who have put quite a bit of effort into creating fan-made projects – custom game maps and modded gamemodes, YouTube series, works of digital art and graphic design, songs – so anyone wanting to explore the TF2 fanbase after starting up the game for the first time certainly has a lot to look forward to going through. 

Valve spearheaded their Steam economy feature through Team Fortress 2 too, and even all these years after release, the game shows a highly active trading scene used by thousands.

If you haven’t played Team Fortress 2 yet, it’s certainly not too late to give it a go, and considering the fact it’s free and will run decently on pretty much any PC made within the past decade, there’s very little barrier for entry. If you’ve played before and gave it up several updates ago, you could jump back in and see what’s changed, or if you’ve seen the comics or fan content on the internet before and want to get to know the source, just dive right in a try it out.