Since 2001, Halo has been the flagship franchise for Microsoft’s Xbox console, with many mainline and spin-off titles released over the last 20 years, as well as various movies, comics, and graphics novels to help further expand the lore and story. Here are all of the mainline Halo games ranked from worst to best.
8. Halo 5
Throughout the 2010s the Halo franchise has been greatly expanded with movies, comics, graphic novels, and many other forms of media. For some reason, 343 Industries decided to make Halo 4 and 5 sequels to these pieces of secondary media which made the stories for the games really confusing for people that didn’t read or watch them. This resulted in a very disappointing release with Halo 5, with a confusing story and rather boring and flat gameplay, it is certainly the low point for the series.
7. Halo 3 ODST
Serving as a spin-off of Halo 3, ODST felt like a letdown when compared to the masterpiece that is Halo 3. Some players do enjoy the game, and it is certainly an acquired taste, but it is fun in its own way to explore a Halo story and game that is different in many ways but still keeps the core Halo experience.
6. Halo 4
Halo 4 is the first game in the series to be developed by 343 Industries, the development team that took over the franchise from Bungie following their departure from Microsoft. While it was a bit rough around the edges and it fell a bit flat in terms of the story and gameplay, it was a good first attempt but it would take another decade before the studio would fully find their footing with the Halo franchise.
5. Halo Reach
The final entry to be developed by Bungie, Halo Reach serves as a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved and focuses a lot on the events leading up to the first game with the graphic novels serving as an inspiration to help expand the lore of the Halo universe. Halo Reach is a game that players will either love or hate, with some having great memories of the game and others feeling like Bungie had lost its touch by this point, with the developers leaving Microsoft three years before the game’s release but still agreeing to continue developing Halo Reach.
4. Halo 2
Halo 2 was released as a flagship title for Microsoft’s new Xbox Live service, which would bring online multiplayer to the original Xbox, a service that is still used today. Now, players were able to play Halo online against players all across the world rather than being limited to local multiplayer. This, along with a fantastic campaign which elevated many aspects of the first game, helped make it one of the best selling games of the original Xbox and a beloved entry in the series that is still popular today thanks to the Halo: Master Chief Collection.
3. Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite is the latest entry in the Halo franchise and the third mainline game to be released by 343 Industries. After two games that ended up being lackluster, 343 Industries have finally found their footing with the franchise, delivering one of the best entries we’ve ever seen in the series. Halo Infinite was originally scheduled to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S, but it was ultimately delayed following backlash after the gameplay was revealed prior to launch. The game was delayed by a year, with the multiplayer released in November 2021 followed by the campaign in December 2021. Like all of the games on this list, Halo Infinite is available on Xbox Game Pass for both console and PC, meaning that all players have the perfect opportunity to jump into this new open-world entry in the series.
2. Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved was released as a launch title for the original Xbox and quickly became the flagship franchise for Microsoft’s console. Even by today’s standard, Halo is still a fantastic FPS game, but by 2001 standard it was groundbreaking. Like many games on this list, Halo: Combat Evolved was remastered and released as part of the Halo: Master Chief Collection with improved graphics which help bring it up to modern-day standards.
1. Halo 3
Halo 3 was a definitive title during the seventh generation of consoles, with the game being an Xbox 360 exclusive and helping to push online multiplayer on console into the mainstream alongside games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In addition to putting console multiplayer on the map for a new generation of gamers, it also features the best campaign in any Halo game. The game was recently re-released as part of the Halo: Master Chief Collection on both Xbox and PC, which is a perfect excuse to go back and revisit this masterpiece again, and many of the other games on this list.