Destroy the Flood, the Banished, and any other cretin that stands in your way as we take a look at the best Halo games of all time!
These games have been a tour de force on the Xbox over the years, helping to skyrocket Microsoft’s career in the home console market.
Now, everyone recognises the Master Chief, though it still doesn’t stop those pesky aliens from trying their luck with him. Why pick a fight with the most famous super soldier in the galaxy, for crying out loud?
Discover the 10 best games in the series below. Find out which are the best titles in the main canon, which games came where, and clear up any confusion with those two games that are both titled Halo 3!
Lock and load; it’s time to save the universe.
10. Halo Wars 2 (2017)
First up on our list of the best Halo games is Halo Wars 2, a more strategic offering to the ‘run in and splat aliens’ option that you might be used to from previous Halo games.
Fans of Fire Emblem and Advance Wars will lap this up, but on the whole, the reception for the ‘Wars’ titles has been pretty poor.
So much so that we’re not seeing a Halo Wars 3 dropping, with the series ending at just two titles.
But hey, if you don’t try, you don’t know, right?
Players control battle units from the world of Halo as they embark on twelve missions. You can go solo or team up with a friend, the choice is yours.
Though pick your friends wisely if you’re going to plan battle tactics with them. No-one wants another Leroy Jenkins situation.
The scenarios are what you might expect; survive waves of enemies, protect specific areas, etc.
One cool new touch is the removal of the Covenant in favour of an alien group called The Banished. I’m guessing they’ve been kicked out of their home world with a name like that, and I would’t want to mess with them!
9. Halo: Spartan Assault (2013)
Halo: Spartan Assault carries on the top-down gaming vibes, bringing the same kind of action from the main Halo series but from an early Metal Gear Solid point of view.
If you’re a fan of the Spartans (the Halo type, not Leonidas and pals), then this game gives players a chance to control two of them.
Take Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis as they recreate their past missions In a battle simulator. I’m not sure why they’d want to go back and relive the covenant battering them 24/7, but there it is!
If you’re hankering after the console version of the game, then you get 6 missions instead of 5, with the DLC coming as standard.
Not bad, huh?
Complete missions, earn points and experience, and trade that experience for better firepower. You can make levels harder by using skulls too and get more experience in the long run.
Though you’ll probably die a heck of a lot more too, so it’s a trade off!
8. Halo 5: Guardians (2015)
Halo 5: Guardians is the first entry in the actual main series. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good game. There are just better titles in the franchise; I guess the ideas have worn a little thin as the games have gone on.
Still, a 24-player multiplayer mode is enough to keep everyone interested. I mean, I know we’ve got Fortnite and PUBG, but are they set in the Halo universe?
No… no they’re not.
You know how the first couple of Harry Potter books remind you forcefully that Harry is a wizard and why he’s so mistreated? Boring, isn’t it?
Well, Halo 5 doesn’t do that; it just jumps in and assumes you know about the world of Halo already.
Play as two teams of soldiers, seeing the fighting from two different view points as you progress. Man vehicles and turrets, collect skulls, and control intense firepower including all the usual guns from the previous games.
It’s more of the same really. Still. that doesn’t stop us buying Fifa games year after year!
7. Halo Wars (2009)
Halo Wars is the first entry in the short lived wars series. Personally, I found the graphics better in the second offering but the gameplay better in the first.
Maybe that’s because it was new at the time and something different, or maybe because as the prequel to the whole Halo story, it provided an insight into life before Combat Evolved.
Set 21 years before the first game, players fight on the ravaged human colony Planet Harvest. The Covenant are up to their old tricks again, which means you’ve got to take them out in droves.
Though, as this is technically before the first game, I guess the Covenant are up to new tricks… I’m confused now.
Everything from the Halo universe makes an appearance in this game. Play as everyone from Marines to Spartans as you battle all factions of the Covenant either on foot or on the back of a Banshee.
The multiplayer Skirmish mode is my favourite; playing as an Alien never gets old!
6. Halo 3 ODST (2009)
Next up in our best Halo games list is Halo 3 ODST. That last bit stands for Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, and while it’s still called Halo 3, this is a different game to the actual Halo 3.
Think of ODST as an explorative detour from the main Halo series. It’s less linear, giving players the chance to explore more and see the world through the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, with the action taking place throughout Halo 2 and the start of Halo 3.
Explorative, happening along side other events, and played with a new character. Got it.
Players predominantly use the Rookie, a member of the ODST team. These guys aren’t super soldiers; they don’t have the same stamina or skills as the other lot, so you’ve got to keep your wits about you.
I guess it’s a more lifelike Halo experience, if one could ever exist.
The soundtrack on this game is stunning too. It’s like something you might hear in a speak easy, which while a weird juxtaposition, definitely works.
Take advantage of a multiplayer only version of Halo 3 too called Halo Mythic. I mean, it would be rude not to!
5. Halo Infinite (2021)
Halo Infinite is the newest entry in our Halo games list, dropping in 2021.
If you loved the explorative elements of ODST, then this massive Halo open-environment adventure is going to be right up your street.
Roam Zeta Halo defeating the Banished as you rescue and recruit trapped Marines.
The whole Halo ring is yours to explore, and it’s designed beautifully too. Think the Master Chief meets Dragon Quest: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
This game takes place after the events of Halo 5. The UNSC are in tatters, the Banished are trying to trying to fix the Halo Ring, and they’re essentially about to unleash hell on the universe.
Take the Master Chief on a mission to restore order and kill as many aliens as possible on the way.
As with most shooting games these days, it’s the multiplayer that really gets everyone excited. With seasonal updates and ever-changing scenarios and maps, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
4. Halo 3 (2007)
Halo 3 takes the 4th spot in our list of the best Halo games. And this is actually Halo 3 this time, I promise.
Unlike Halo 5 that feels a little like everything that has come before and instills the same long-running annoyance I have with games like Assassin’s Creed, Halo 3 still grabs me and pulls me in every time I play.
I think that even though the game mechanics are largely the same, the fact that the narrative is still flowing from the first two titles is what makes it such a special game. It feels new, exciting, and that idea of tying up loose ends is very satisfying.
If you don’t know anything about the loose ends from the first two titles, then it doesn’t really matter that much either. You can just jump in and kill aliens obliviously if that’s all you’re after.
And, any title that makes $300-million in its first week alone is totally worth you checking out.
Cortana is gone, so now the Master Chief has to make his phone calls and record his gameplay manually.
The Flood are almost wining the war, and despite all the epic firepower available, there is one secret object that Gould win the war for either side.
Who will get it first? (Make sure it’s you!)
3. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
The grandfather of all Halo games, Halo: Combat Evolved, takes today’s bronze medal.
I think it’s safe to say that shooting games were never the same after this title. Sure, we’ll all love classics like GoldenEye 007, but taking super soldiers out into combat and battling insane enemies that Turok and Samus Aran would love to have tackled… it was the stuff we all dreamt about.
And a new shooting franchise on a brand new console. Microsoft struck gold with the Master Chief all right!
This was the first time we ever stepped foot into the 26th century with old John-boy at the helm of the UNSC.
Can you remember the first time you climbed into a vehicle on this game or picked up an alien’s weapon? What about the multiplayer maps and battles with friends.
Having a super solider as part of a launch title definitely helped the Xbox jump into the market with a bang. And you know what; this game is still fun to play today, even with all these other Halo titles out there.
If you want to do it properly, grab this game and play through the series from the beginning. Skip Halo Wars though; I won’t tell anyone, ok?
Don’t miss the next one though, it’s a banger!
2. Halo Reach (2010)
Halo Reach takes place before Combat Evolved and runs up to the start of the first game in the main series.
Play on the Reach, a planet that holds millions and millions of humans just trying to go about their business. The Covenant, however, have found this secret location and want to end every last life.
Players take Spartans on a mission to stop the advancing Covenant army, implying cool tricks such as holograms, jetpacks, and cool camouflage abilities.
It’s Halo with some added extras… what’s not to love?
Go on then; let’s talk multiplayer again, shall we?
Gamers now have the ability to make their own multiplayer maps… how cool is that!
If you just want to jump into tried and tested multiplayer modes, however, then King of the Hill and Slayer return. Sometimes simple is best, after all.
Definitely check out Generator Defence though; protecting those generators from the Covenant makes me think back to the old Rogue Squadron days, except this looks a lot better!
1. Halo 2 (2004)
The results are in, and Halo 2 is officially the best game in the Halo series!
Combat Evolved might have changed the shooting game formula, but Halo 2 really perfected it and allowed Microsoft to own the genre.
Halo 2 sparked so much merchandise too. Kids were walking around with Halo lunch boxes, adults were buying Halo books, and so many Halo t-shirts began cropping up in stores.
Halo 2 took the game from the console and made it a household name, an Xbox staple, if you will.
Xbox Live multiplayer, insane maps, even more vehicles – this was the shooting game we all deserved, and it had finally arrived.
So, let’s be out with it; why do I like Halo 2 more than Halo 1?
In all honesty, it’s just more polished and irons out any kinks from the first game. That’s probably because the devs knew they had to make an even bigger impact with the difficult sequel too, and man did they deliver.
As I mentioned above, the online multiplayer was a blast. 8-million people bought this game, making it the Number 1 in our best selling Original Xbox games of all time too!
The Master Chief has undoubtedly had an effect on us all, and I would imagine every one of our readers has a Halo story to tell. Let us know your favourite Halo moments over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.