What are the best Halo games?
Since 2001, when Halo: Combat Evolved was released, the Halo franchise has been a titan of the video game industry.
Although each game in the franchise is enjoyable to play, some have undoubtedly been better overall.
Today, we’re taking a look at which games in the Halo series have made the biggest impact on fans.
The 10 Best Halo Games Ranked
To create this list, we took a look at each game’s strengths, story, and overall popularity with fans.
Using these metrics, we’ve been able to rank each to find which ones are the greatest in the series.
Here’s our list of the 10 best Halo games, ranked:
10. Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy game that follows the crew of the Spirit of Fire, a UNSC ship.
In this game, players have to construct a base, accumulate resources, and command their armies in order to defeat enemies.
The primary goal is to destroy opponent bases and capture other territories across the map using your accumulated forces.
While the gameplay is a huge departure from the FPS style that the franchise is known for, the controls work very well.
Online multiplayer mode is also supported so that you can play with or against anyone around the world.
What makes this a good game is that each battle feels nuanced, and the army-building tactics in Bliz mode are a welcome addition.
Although it isn’t as memorable as some of the other games in the Halo franchise, Halo Wars 2 is still an entertaining game to play.
Especially if you are someone who enjoys strategy games, a genre that melds very well with the Halo universe.
9. Halo Wars
Halo Wars was the first of the real-time strategy games introduced to the series, and it was something many fans had been looking forward to.
Giving players a bird’s eye view of the battlefield, Halo Wars is all about strategic combat.
While it features a story-based campaign mode, this Halo game really stands out when it comes to multiplayer.
The multiplayer skirmish mode allows players to command the UNSC or Covenant forces, with each faction having different strengths.
Players can also upgrade buildings, train new units, and gather supplies to become stronger.
Every battle feels well-balanced, though you have to think very strategically in order to win the game.
Although it lacks some of the expanded features of its sequel, Halo Wars is still a solid game overall.
It definitely still holds up today as one of the most entertaining games in the Halo series despite being over a decade old.
8. Halo 4
This first-person shooter was released in 2012, and it picks up the story of Master Chief.
One of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, Halo 4, can be played alone or cooperatively with another player.
Taking place four years after Halo 3, this game picks up with Master Chief waking from cryo-sleep with his defunct ship trapped in a gravity well.
After landing on the alien planet of Requiem, Chief and Cortana are beset by hordes of mechanical monsters and a new humanity-ending threat.
Unfortunately, Cortona is reaching the end of her AI lifespan and begins experiencing emotional fluctuations.
This culminates in one of the most emotionally charged scenes in the whole franchise, with Chief and Cortana sharing a touching moment in the end.
Upon its release, Halo 4 earned $3 million in its opening week, surpassing the record set by Halo: Reach.
Critics also praised the game for its story mode, graphics, and expanded combat options.
It may be only number eight on our list, but Halo 4 is a fantastic game and arguably the most emotional of the series.
7. Halo 5: Guardians
Released in 2015, Halo 5: Guardians follows two teams of super soldiers, one led by Master Chief and the other by Spartan Locke.
However, when Master Chief receives a cryptic message from Cortana, he and his team go AWOL to get answers.
While Halo 5 features a different perspective from previous games, it was incredibly well-received by critics and fans.
However, some critics did feel that Halo had worn itself out with a lackluster campaign.
That said, despite its differences from previous Halo games, Guardians is in no way a bad game.
In fact, it has become one of the best multiplayer games of all time, winning numerous best multiplayer game awards.
Although its story wasn’t as well-received by many halo fans as others in the series, Guardians is still incredibly fun to play through.
This is especially true given its impressive visuals that make every new environment look incredible.
6. Halo 3: ODST
The fourth game in the Halo series, Halo 3: ODST, introduces new characters known as Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.
Set during the events of Halo 2, this Halo game drops players into New Mombasa as it comes under attack by the Covenant.
Players have to explore the ruins of the city to try and find their missing teammates, lost among hordes of aliens.
ODST is a fresh new take on the Halo universe, and it’s refreshing to feel like an average soldier and not a walking tank.
As fun as it is to play through Master Chief’s story, ODST is a welcome break that is extremely well executed.
There is also the Firefight mode that tasks players with surviving waves of increasingly difficult enemies.
When ODST was released in 2009, it was the top-selling Xbox 360 game worldwide, bringing in over $125 million in sales in two weeks.
Having received positive reviews from critics, it was considered a milestone for the franchise.
ODST proved that the Halo universe could branch out without the Master Chief and still be incredibly enjoyable to play.
It was also most likely responsible for hyping fans up for Reach, which debuted a year later and also features a playable character that is not the Chief.
5. Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite is one of the best Xbox Series X exclusive games and the newest game in the Halo series.
In this Halo game, the Master Chief returns, this time to the Ring World of Zeta Halo.
On the Forerunner ringworld, the Chief faces off with Banished forces in an attempt to stop the weapon from being repaired.
The semi-open world structure of the game gives players room to roam without feeling claustrophobic.
However, it is still linear enough to keep you on track through each level setting, which is very similar to most other games in the franchise.
In multiplayer mode, Halo Infinite has all the common features Halo fans enjoy, such as capture the flag and deathmatch.
However, there is also a new training mode that allows players to test weapons against AI-controlled bots.
The next-gen graphics of Halo Infinite also make it stunning to play through, especially with all of the new locations and environments to explore.
Although there are already rumors of a new halo game, we expect that fans will still be enjoying Halo Infinite for a long while yet.
4. Halo 3
Released in 2007, Halo 3 is the conclusion to the story arc that started in Halo: Combat Evolved.
Picking up where Halo 2 ended, players take control of Master Chief once more to try and stop the Covenant for good.
As one of the most popular video games of all time, Halo 3 has sold 14.5 million copies to date.
It also received universal acclaim from critics, with many rating it 10 out of 10, a score that is difficult for many games to achieve.
Fans and critics also agreed that multiplayer was one of the game’s best features.
This is because the lineup of maps was the strongest in the series at the time, surpassing both previous titles.
For any Halo fans who were disappointed by the cliffhanger at the end of Halo 2, this game feels incredibly satisfying.
Like Master Chief said, Halo 3 really gives you the impression you’re “finishing this fight,” and the conclusion is epic.
Halo 3 was able to hit every mark and, as such, has become one of the best Halo games in the series.
3. Halo: Reach
Halo: Reach was Bungie’s final game, with subsequent titles being developed by 343 Industries, and we have to say they went out on a high note.
Taking a page from the success of Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach gives players control of a brand-new character.
As Noble Six, a member of the squad of super soldiers, players are introduced to the world of Reach.
Reach is under attack by Covenant forces, and players must do whatever it takes to defend it, along with the help of the Noble Team.
Throughout the game, you get to learn more about your squad mates, growing close to them by fighting together.
This makes each loss that you suffer throughout the story feel much more impactful, especially when you end up as the last man standing.
Like Halo 3, Reach received critical acclaim upon its release, with critics praising its well-written campaign.
At the time of its release in 2010, Reach earned $2oo million, setting a new launch day record for the series.
Although Halo: Reach debuted over a decade ago, it still holds up as one of the best games in the series.
2. Halo 2
Taking second place is none other than the second game in the series, Halo 2.
Released in 2004, Halo 2 was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the best original Xbox games of all time and selling 8 million copies worldwide.
Picking up where the first game left off, Halo 2 sees Master Chief working to stop the Covenant from completing their “Great Journey.”
Critics praised the game’s combat, as well as the campaign and multiplayer modes.
Halo 2 builds seamlessly upon the foundation of Combat Evolved, managing to be more than just a worthy successor.
While some fans were disappointed by the huge cliffhanger at the end, it only made them more eager for the next game.
Though Halo 2 will always stand out as one of the most exceptional games in the franchise.
Furthermore, it, along with many of the Halo Games on our list, have been completely remastered in the Master Chief Collection.
This means you can replay this classic in full HD, with the ability to switch between versions in-game to see just how far the graphics have come.
1. Halo: Combat Evolved
Of course, the game that started it all is going to remain the best in the entire series!
Development of Halo: Combat Evolved started back in 1997, with the final product debuting in 2001.
For the first time ever, players were introduced to the character of Master Chief and the towering ringworlds.
Combat Evolved set the stage for everything that came after it, though it initially wasn’t an instant success.
However, its popularity quickly picked up steam, and it became the second highest-selling game for the original Xbox.
The first game in the series received critical acclaim, with some praising it as the most important launch title for any console.
It received over 40 awards, including numerous Game of the Year awards, and in 2017 was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
Credited with modernizing FPS games, Halo: Combat Evolved has left a lasting legacy in video game history.
Halo games have sold over 81 million units combined, with total franchise sales amounting to roughly $6 billion in 2021.
Needless to say, the Halo franchise is one of the biggest in the world, and these games are the best in the series.
However, with a new game being rumored to be in development, we expect to see even more impressive games in the future!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Halo games:
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Halo 2
- Halo: Reach
- Halo 3
- Halo Infinite
- Halo 3: ODST
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo 4
- Halo Wars
- Halo Wars 2
What’s your favorite Halo game? Leave a comment below.
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