Halo is one of the most well-known franchises of all time, even to non-gamers. It was a revolutionary entry in the FPS genre and single-handedly kept the Xbox afloat, and even still does to this day. The game is more than just shooting aliens with cool weapons, but the entire world of Halo has deep rich lore that reaches far out into the universe with many characters and timelines. Comics, novels, short films, fan-fiction, the list goes on as to how far Halo’s story and universe has spread. I myself have read the comic series and would love to read the books one days, but what started it all was the games. Here is every Halo game ranked worst to best.
9. Halo Wars 2 – 2016
Sadly, Halo Wars 2 couldn’t expand upon the great idea of a real-time strategy game in the Halo universe. The original was already fairly mediocre and was left in the dust by bigger PC heavyweights at the time, and Halo Wars 2 just delivered a buggy boring experience that is hard to care about. The balancing is off, the story is lame, and the characters just really don’t matter here. It’s still the very basics of RTS at its core and doesn’t expand beyond that.
While slightly better than its sequel, Halo Wars was decent fun when it was released but didn’t reach the popularity the other games did. It was very basic, formulaic, and didn’t expand upon the Halo universe in any significant way. Even the Definitive Edition couldn’t really save the game. It’s fun and a good game for RTS newcomers, but veterans will scoff at its infant like gameplay and tactical gameplay.
My least favorite game in the shooter series. It’s boring, uninteresting, and was offering nothing new to the series at this point except a boring large open area that acted as a hub. It felt devoid of life and was so dark and plain. It honestly took me several tries to actually want to finish this game, and thankfully it’s very short.
With 5 Halo games, you’d expect that at this point the formula would be down pat and we’d get an epic memorable experience and fantastic visuals, sadly we didn’t get any of that. Halo 5 is a generic, boring, and unbalanced slog of a game that has dated visuals and unsatisfying multiplayer. It’s enjoyable for one playthrough, but even then you will be thinking about older Halo games while you play this. The environments all blur together with generic sterile steel walkways, garages, and boring lifeless environments. Not to mention the same damn enemies we have been fighting for a decade.
Halo 4 was entertaining, but it changed so much from the original trilogy that it made a lot of fans mad. The memorable environments, cut-scenes, and interesting characters are pretty much absent, and the game looked dated as it was one of the last Xbox 360 exclusives released. It would have been better to hold onto it and release for a launch title for Xbox One and improve upon it. The multiplayer was good (as it is with every Halo game) but the campaign just felt so generic. I honestly can’t remember the game at all and can’t recall a single moment, it’s completely blank in my head. That’s definitely not a good thing.
The first game isn’t at the top as it’s not the best. It lacked online multiplayer and felt simplistic compared to later games. It had some memorable moments, and of course, introduced some of the most recognizable characters and enemies in gaming history, and helped establish the Xbox as a solid gaming console. The game had revolutionary multiplayer and put a stamp on console FPS gameplay that was made fun of for years by PC gamers. Halo is a fun, yet dated, game and should be played by anyone who missed out on it.
Reach was an exciting time for Halo as it was a spin-off, but better than ODST. Everyone was excited for Halo 4, but it was far in the horizon. We got to play as a new team, and it had an interesting dialog, and fun new gameplay elements and great pacing. This game also has some of the most popular multiplayer modes and maps to date. It was a massive hit when it was released and for good reason. It wasn’t a reboot, but enough of a twist to make the series lemony fresh again.
This is probably the most popular game in the entire series as it was the first online Halo game. It took the industry by storm and was one of the largest entertainment launches in history. I remember seeing on the news, hearing about it, and every nook and cranny of the internet was buzzing with videos and articles about the game. People were paid to train others on how to play Halo, real-money tournaments formed, and the campaign is one of the best in gaming history. It’s a phenomenal game, and sadly the game hasn’t been topped.
Most people would pick Halo 2 as the top of the series, but Halo 3 is the most refined, balanced, and memorable game to me. It looks amazing on its Xbox 360 debut and was a larger launch than Halo 2. It featured some game-changing multiplayer modes, weapons, and had an amazing campaign that I personally enjoyed more than Halo 2. The story was interesting, Cortana and Master Chief’s characters were evolved and constantly moving forward, and it was just a fantastic shooter. Halo has yet to reach this point of greatness since, but Halo 3 has large shoes that need to be filled.