Every main Halo game, including Infinite, ranked

The Halo series turns 20 this year, with the original game launching on November 15, 2001. The massively influential franchise has seen its ups and downs and shifted development teams over the years. Bungie started the series, created five of the games on this list, and then handed it over to 343 Industries, a Microsoft studio made up of many Bungie veterans.

Ahead of Infinite halo, the third game out of 343, we’ve ranked the top seven Halo games. But now that we’ve played Infinite, we have updated our ranking.

It should be noted that we are focusing on FPS Halo games. We won’t rank from top to bottom Spartan assault Where Spartan strike. And while we’d like to rank the fantastic Halo Wars series, they’re a little too apples to oranges for this list.

Without further ado, Halo games from best to worst.

1. Halo 2

Image: Bungie via Halopedia

Halo 2 is the definitive Halo game. This not only makes Master Chief one of the biggest badass of all time in video games, but it also gives players the chance to play as a referee and get a taste of the Alliance. . This creates the strongest story the Halo series has seen so far. This turns the Covenant into a living and breathing militarized cult, rather than wacky aliens being dropped off in arenas.

Halo 2 Also adds some of the biggest features of the series like hijacking and dueling, adding dimension to the game without distracting from the action. The iconic Battle Rifle debuts here, with plenty of new weapons. And it’s one of the first Xbox Live multiplayer games.

Halo 2 is still an almost perfect example of how to increase the scale of your suite. Everything is bigger and better than the original, but it still looked like Halo.

2. Halo: combat has evolved

Master Chief and a group of Marines storm a beach in Halo: Combat Evolved

Image: Bungie via Halopedia

Halo: combat has evolved launched one of the biggest video game franchises of all time. It boasts some of the best campaign levels ever, and the iconic Magnum Pistol in the game is one of the FPS Hall of Fame. It’s been the originator of so many sleepovers and LAN parties that it has defined the last generation pre-Xbox Live. And perhaps more importantly, Bungie used Halo: combat has evolved prove that consoles can host FPS games, which have shaped the gaming industry forever.

It is difficult to describe how much influence and importance Halo: combat has evolved is. He has a few key flaws in his campaign – most notably the Flood being such a huge pain to contend with, and how often you go back through levels. But it’s an absolute titan of a game, and every console shooter or first-person game would be different today if it hadn’t existed.

3. Halo 3

Master Chief stands in front of a background, with Cortana's eyes silhouetted

Image: Bungie via Halopedia

Halo 3 is more fun to play than Advanced fights – it incorporates some of the great modern improvements of Halo 2 – but it’s barely missing this number two spot. It is a little safe mechanically, especially compared to the jump of Halo: combat has evolved To Halo 2. It also suffers from some forgettable levels – and the less fun Brutes to fight taking over from the Elites, while narratively cool, hurt overall combat. However, it served as the best multiplayer in the history of the series, with endless maps like The Pit to build via Forge, and very few games have come close to reversing its arena shooting action.

Halo 3 is flawed, but its massive scale and multiplayer mode overshadow all of its relatively minor issues.

4. Infinite Halo

Master Chief aiming a gun while standing over a valley in Halo Infinite

Image: 343 Industries / Xbox Game Studios

Infinite halo is an evolution. It’s the only Halo game that really deviates from the formula, but it becomes something more in the process. Infinite not only takes the campaign to an open world, but it makes multiplayer more accessible to everyone by going free-to-play. It’s a mechanically rich adventure, with the grappling hook adding a level of movement the series has never seen before.

But unlike other 343 games, Infinite still aggressively feels Halo – despite its massive changes. It’s a game that is consistent with one of the best-told stories in the franchise’s 20-year history.

There will likely never be a Halo game that will take Bungie’s original trilogy out of the Top 3, but Infinite halo comes damn near.

5. Halo: Reach

Halo Reach artwork featuring four Spartans

Image: Bungie / Microsoft

Halo: scope This is where the series begins to run out of steam. Bungie is using its prequel status to introduce a barrage of new weapons into the game, most of which are forgettable compared to the original sequel. However, the wide variety of gameplay offered by these new weapon and armor abilities prevents the game’s levels from becoming stale. There’s always something new to play with, although the moment-to-moment gameplay isn’t as tight as the original trilogy.

As the latest Bungie Halo, To reach is a bit of a bummer. Looks like Bungie is running out of steam on the franchise, ready to pass the torch to someone else. But despite this funk, Halo: scope remains a decent place to end an era.

6. Halo 3: ODST

The rookie, protagonist of Halo 3: ODST, explores the ruins of New Mombasa in a rainstorm

Image: Bungie / Microsoft Game Studios

Halo 3: ODST is a great experience that isn’t quite a fun video game experience. Instead of a group of Spartans, he follows an ordinary crew of ODST Marines (those that fall from the sky into pods). Its characters are all a bit loud and obnoxious, its missions are largely forgettable, and combat is less exciting when executed like a normal person. Part of Halo’s fantasy is playing as a giant alien or a big ass super soldier.

However, for its shortcomings, ODST actually has a really interesting semi-open world format. ODST tries to do something different, and some of it works, but it ultimately fails.

7. Halo 4

Master Chief looking at the sky in Halo 4

Image: 343 industries / Microsoft studios

Halo 4 is the first post-Bungie Halo game. It derails the story significantly, giving the Forerunners a chance to win the main antagonist title. And it’s that Forerunner focus that ends up landing Halo 4 further down on this list. 343 Industries adds cool mechanical vehicles to the series (allowing third person to trample legions of baddies) and actually features fun and memorable missions. But the Forerunners are getting worse and there’s no telling how to fight them. Even their guns, which look amazing, are over-designed.

As a first shot at a new studio, trying out one of the game’s most prolific franchises, Halo 4 is not too bad actually. It even contains one of my favorite Halo missions, Escorting the Mammoth in “Reclaimer”. But everything is a bit messy and pales in comparison to the rest of Master Chief’s adventures.

8. Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5 Guardians

343 sectors / Microsoft

Halo 5: Guardians does not look like Halo. After Halo 4, 343 took a lot of liberties with Halo – which, as a successor to Bungie, is understandable. But the result was a mix of tons of other AAA gameplay mechanics (like throwing boots), which turned it into something unrecognizable. Squad combat, the banana story that prioritizes a bunch of boring new Spartans over Master Chief, and an unimaginative mission structure just don’t come together to make a super fun Halo game.

Halo 5: Guardians goes some places to offer something very different, and it’s pretty cool to fight alongside the referee and the elites on their home planet. All this is commendable and not without merit, but apart from the aesthetics and some weapons it is even difficult to see Guardians like a Halo game.

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