Counter-Strike Release Date for Every Game in the Series

Discover the release dates of all the Counter-Strike games. From PC to console releases and the influential Counter-Strike Online!

Calling all Counter-Strike commanders! Gear up for a history lesson with a bang! We’re about to take a tactical breach into the release dates of every game in the Counter-Strike series.

From the nostalgic beginnings to the modern era of combat, this intel will drop dates like you’re raining down fire on the enemy base. So, grab your kit, and let’s blast through the Counter-Strike timeline!

Key Takeaways

  • Counter-Strike started as a Half-Life mod and quickly evolved into a hit series with several notable games including the latest Counter-Strike 2, with CS:GO particularly revolutionizing esports.
  • The franchise expanded beyond PC with multiple console releases and online editions like Counter-Strike Online for the Asian market, demonstrating its wide-reaching influence.
  • Throughout its history, Counter-Strike has adapted to various platforms, including Xbox and systems like Linux and macOS, significantly broadening its accessibility and player base.

Chronological Order of the Counter-Strike Saga

Counter strile Selfie

It all started as a simple mod for the game Half-Life. A modification that mushroomed into the first non-beta version of Counter-Strike in September 2000.

The original Counter-Strike was the spark that ignited a series of sequels, each one adding a new dimension to the franchise. The Counter-Strike series includes:

  • Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (March 2004)
  • Counter-Strike: Source (November 2004)
  • Counter-Strike 1.6 (September 2003)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (August 2012)
  • Counter-Strike 2 (Announced March 2023)

Each game in the video game series has made significant contributions to the saga.

The series experienced a tangible shift with Counter-Strike: Source in November 2004. It was the first game in the series to use the Source engine, heralding significant improvements in graphics and physics over its predecessors. We’ll now explore each game’s release in more detail.

Also Check: When Did CS2 Release?

Original Counter-Strike Mod

Original Counter-Strike Mod

Minh Le, a fan of firearms, the military, and games such as Rainbow Six and Spec Ops, was inspired to create the original Counter-Strike as a mod for Half-Life. Despite initial difficulties due to a lack of SDK from Valve, Minh Le managed to integrate his character models after its release, utilizing the GoldSrc engine. His creation eventually became a popular counter terrorist team game, known as the original Counter-Strike.

The mod was first released in June 1999, featuring Minh Le’s player models. It caught the attention of Valve, and the rights to Counter-Strike were acquired in April 2000, marking a monumental step for the franchise. This move set the stage for the Counter-Strike mod to transition into a standalone game.

Counter-Strike’s Retail Debut

The transition from Half-Life mod to retail version was announced in August 2000, and by November of the same year, Counter-Strike hit the stores in North America. The retail edition introduced new maps and bundled other Half-Life mods, including a popular half life modification, while altering weapon and faction names to avoid legal issues.

Sierra Entertainment bolstered the game’s promotional efforts by launching the official Counter-Strike website in early November, just before the retail release. This marked the beginning of Counter-Strike’s mainstream journey.

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

2004 saw the release of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, expanding the horizons of the Counter-Strike series. The game introduced bots, allowing for an engaging single-player experience, a feature not present in the original Counter-Strike.

Additionally, in April 2004, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero owners gained access to enhanced player models, injecting a dose of realism into the gameplay. This marked the franchise’s first foray into a more immersive single-player mode.

You Might Also Like: History of Counter-Strike

Counter-Strike 1.6

Counter-Strike 1.6

Counter-Strike 1.6, also known simply as CS 1.6, was a significant update that launched in September 2003. It refined the classic gameplay, improved the user interface, and introduced new maps and models, solidifying its legacy as one of the most iconic versions of the game.

This update not only enhanced the multiplayer experience but also maintained a dedicated following that continues to thrive in various gaming communities around the world.

Counter-Strike: Source and the Source Engine

Counter-Strike: Source and the Source Engine

Counter-Strike: Source marks a significant milestone in the series, being the first game to use Valve’s Source engine. Initially, the game was released in beta form in August 2004, setting the stage for wider accessibility. Following its initial Windows release, Counter-Strike: Source was ported to macOS in June 2010, and later to Linux, widening its potential user base.

Despite these technological advancements, Counter-Strike: Source faced critique from the competitive community for its lower skill ceiling compared to its predecessor, CS 1.6. Nonetheless, its full release in November 2004 marked a new era for the franchise.

Global Offensive’s Entrance

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Released in 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive expanded its reach by becoming available on various platforms including:

  • Windows
  • OS X
  • Xbox 360
  • PlayStation 3
  • Linux

The game’s release led to the organization of professional teams and the establishment of major tournaments such as the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and ESL One series. This catapulted CS:GO to the forefront of esports, becoming one of the leading games in the competitive scene.

The Next Chapter: Counter-Strike 2 and the Source 2 Engine

Counter-Strike 2

Publicly announced on March 22, 2023, Counter-Strike 2 represents the most recent chapter in the Counter-Strike series. CS2, as it’s popularly known, has replaced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, bringing with it a suite of enhancements including new graphical improvements, physics, and gameplay mechanics.

Despite being the latest installment, the game has already amassed an active user population of over a million players, with a unique monthly gamer count of over 30 million. This speaks volumes about the continued popularity of the Counter-Strike series.

Also Check: How To Play Counter Strike 2? & How To Download Counter Strike 2?


From its inception as a Half-Life mod to its evolution into a global esports phenomenon, the Counter-Strike series has shaped the landscape of competitive gaming. Each game in the series has contributed to its rich history, with new features, improved graphics, and expanded platforms. The Counter-Strike series continues to captivate millions with its engaging, tactical gameplay and competitive spirit. Here’s to the next chapter in the Counter-Strike saga!

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the original Counter-Strike mod released?

The original Counter-Strike mod was released in June 1999.

Which Counter-Strike game first used the Source engine?

Counter-Strike: Source was the first game in the series to use the Source engine.

What is Counter-Strike Online?

Counter-Strike Online is a version of the game developed by Nexon in collaboration with Valve, specifically for the Asian market. It offers a unique experience tailored to the gaming preferences of the Asian market.

When was Counter-Strike: Global Offensive released?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released in 2012. It’s been around for quite a while now!

What platforms is Counter-Strike available on?

Counter-Strike is available on Microsoft Windows, OSX, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and is backwards compatible on Xbox One. Enjoy playing!

Posted by
William Westerlund

William is an author, editor, and an avid gamer with over 10.000 hours in CS:GO (Counter-Strike 2). He also enjoys playing Rust, Dota 2, and TF2 but never became a top 1% player in any of those games.