All Halo games, ranked

We ranked all of the titles from worst to best.

Image via 343 Industries

When you talk about some of the most established video game franchises out there, you always include Halo on your list. It’s not only Bungie’s greatest creation, but it is truly a work of art and has transformed Master Chief into the icon he is today.

The very first Halo game, Halo: Combat Evolved, was released way back in 2001. This title paved the way for the Halo franchise, which grew with main installments and multiple spin-offs. The sci-fi setting and aesthetic are all maintained, and Master Chief is almost always present, but the different takes on how the story is shown in every game, as well as the continuity of the narrative, are always highlighted.

With numerous titles in the franchise, there is no doubt that you’ll have your favorites. There will be comparisons every now and then, especially when a new game is released. And with all the current Halo games that we have, it is natural to determine which games are better or worse than the rest.

But how exactly can we do that? Well, it’s just a matter of which of these titles have impacted the Halo community and even the newer fans in a nutshell, in terms of the different elements involved in video games, such as the storyline, graphics, and overall significance to the fans. 

Best Halo games in order

11) Halo: Spartan Strike and Halo: Spartan Assault

Image via Xbox

Both these Halo Spartan games are considered players’ least favorite Halo games to date. Both games are different from the traditional Halo games since both Spartan Strike and Spartan Assault are played in a move-and-shoot setting in the form of twin-stick shooters.

The games revolve around the Covenant faction and their timelines from the events of Halo 2 to Halo 4. Even though the developers tried to make a spin-off that could play a significant role in the mainline Halo universe, these games weren’t as effective as the other spin-offs, possibly due to the fact that these were originally meant to be mobile games.

10) Halo Wars 2

Image via Microsoft

Any real-time strategy fans out there? If so, then Halo Wars 2 could be the best pick for you if you want to experience the Halo world through this game setting. Its mechanics are simple and easy to learn, while you can command your team from a bird’s eye view to conquer enemies coming your way.

Another thing that made Halo Wars 2 lovable to fans, especially newer ones, is its controller-friendly nature. The game is best played through a controller to navigate and explore different areas while being the commander of your squad. It may be a bit unusual for a Halo game, but this RTS experience is one for the books.

9) Halo 5: Guardians

Image via Microsoft

Halo 5: Guardians was the first new Halo game made for the Xbox One console. But despite much anticipation for the game, it really did not live up to the hype, with its campaign being criticized for various reasons. Cortana was also presented as the game’s villain, but in reality, she’s not.

Still, Halo 5: Guardians became the fastest-selling Xbox One exclusive, making over $400 million during its first week of release in 2015. If it wasn’t for the pre-release hype, however, then the commercial success wouldn’t have happened at all.

8) Halo Wars

Image via Microsoft

Halo Wars is Bungie’s first take on the real-time strategy genre for a Halo game. Players of the franchise had the opportunity to build bases and buildings, and lead an army to explore and beat enemies, primarily the Covenant, while having a different view compared to the usual Halo games. And even if it felt different for some, Halo Wars was still received well by many.

One major factor that made the game own the genre is the fact that it was originally released as an Xbox 360-exclusive title, keeping it away from comparisons to other RTS games, which are seen more on PC. Though a re-release was made for Xbox One, it did not have much impact compared to Halo 5: Guardians.

7) Halo 3: ODST

Image via Bungie

If you don’t want to play as Master Chief all the time but still want to play a Halo game, then Halo 3: ODST could be your best option. Here, you will play as The Rookie, who is not as strong as the face of Halo, but the heart and soul are there. The new character gives the game a more human touch.

The Rookie is separated from his troops, and the main objective of the player is to find them. Set in the city of New Mombasa, Halo 3: ODST’s narrative is close to the original Halo 3, yet you will still feel how this spin-off turned out to be a good game.

6) Halo 4

Image via 343 Industries

343 Industries took over the mantle of producing the Halo games in 2012, and their first entry to the franchise was Halo 4, making it one of the most-anticipated Halo titles in history. Of course, the expectations were high, and it still somehow lived up to the hype despite not being an excellent game.

Halo 4 is a good game. Its graphics really shined and paved the way for the succeeding Halo games to provide a visual design like what Halo 4 established. The story also has been a relatable factor for most Halo fans already since Master Chief and Cortana’s relationship was deeply rooted and presented. Its multiplayer component, however, is the thing that held back the game from becoming a top 5 Halo game.

5) Halo Infinite

Image via Microsoft

Halo Infinite is the most recent entry to the Halo franchise. Being a comeback title for an already established series of games in this age can really drive major excitement from old and new fans but can also lead to disappointment. Halo Infinite has managed to live up to the hype so far, though.

Halo Infinite’s setting leaned more toward an open-world environment. The open world may not be perfect, but the effort to move in that direction is much appreciated. The multiplayer aspect is also solid, especially with the four-vs-four arena that provides an intense yet exciting experience for players to play more with their friends. The multiplayer component is also free-to-play, making it a special bonus for everyone.

4) Halo 2

Image via Bungie

Halo 2 could be dubbed as the most action-packed Halo game to ever exist. The combat aspect is defined by the matchmaking and skill-based rank system, which made players more competitive than ever. Being the second title in the whole Halo franchise, Halo 2 cemented its place as one of the most popular games in the world when it was released in 2004.

The game also made the Xbox Live feature more popular when it debuted. Halo 2 wasn’t perfect, however. Some downsides of the game include the introduction of the Arbiter levels, as well as the option to choose either Master Chief or a Covenant Elite, which made the game confusing at points. Still, Halo 2 is one of the most successful Halo games to date.

3) Halo: Combat Evolved

Image via Bungie

Halo: Combat Evolved introduced everything about Halo–the sci-fi FPS style, the spaceships, aliens, remarkable storyline, and of course, Master Chief and Cortana. All the other Halo games that followed wouldn’t be successful if it wasn’t for Combat Evolved.

One of its main strengths was the LAN multiplayer setting that revolutionized the PvP shooter genre on console. Combat Evolved was released in 2001, making it a game more advanced for players during that time. = But the game delivered on its combat system, which sparked a legacy that remains today.

2) Halo 3

Image via Bungie

Probably the most enjoyable Halo game to play with your friends, Halo 3 is a multiplayer masterpiece. Its maps, weapons, vehicles, and even the enemies along the way are made with finesse to showcase the overall action-packed sci-fi gameplay it has to offer.

The new game mode, Forge, was one of the best additions in Halo history. In this game mode, players had the chance to create and design their own maps, making an extra connection to players and bringing out their creativity. Halo 3 is not just one of the best Halo games but probably one of the best video games of all time.

1) Halo: Reach

Image via Microsoft

Likely the most critically-acclaimed Halo title of all time, Halo: Reach also became one of the most commerically successful Halo games to date. It currently holds an average rating of 91/100 on Metacritic and it made $200 million in sales on its first day of release.

Aside from the outstanding design and graphics, the option to customize your Spartan also made the game remarkable. This made players more connected to the characters they were playing while enjoying various game modes such as Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Reach was Bungie’s last Halo game before the rights went to 343, making it the best way for the studio to sign off as the original creators of the franchise.