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Forums - Gaming Discussion - What's your favorite main series Halo game?


What's your favorite main series Halo game?

Halo: Combat Evolved 112 22.86%
Halo 2 105 21.43%
Halo 3 114 23.27%
Halo 3 ODST 15 3.06%
Halo Reach 86 17.55%
Halo 4 29 5.92%
Halo 5: Guardians 29 5.92%

The first Halo was the signature launch title for the original Xbox and became one of the most successful FPS games of its time. For a while the series was even the most popular FPS IP before it was supplanted by the fourth Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare.

Halo did not establish the FPS genre on consoles - a generation earlier Goldeneye 007 sold ~8m copies on the Nintendo 64 - but it did establish genre staples like a self-regenerating shield, and later on with its second game, the online multiplayer component.

What's your favorite main series Halo game?


Bonus question: What are your hopes and expectations for the upcoming Halo Infinite?

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Halo ODST since the day I finished it.

Bonus answer: My hopes and expectations for Halo Infinite is that it's not as bad as Halo 5.

Ride The Chariot

Main series or just the first person shooters? ODST is definitely a spin off, Reach can be arguable. Anyways, Halo 2.

Five...because that is the one I played...

Though this will very likely change when I decide to play through all the main Halo games leading up to Infinite.

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I have to give it to Halo 3. So many long night online sessions.

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For Campaign, that's easy: Halo CE. It still has the most fun campaign to date. I like the level and encounter design and the difficulty is well-balanced, with Legendary being challenging but not cheap like later games (esp. Halo 2).

If I had to rank all the Halo campaigns in terms of gameplay/fun factor, it would be CE>Reach>ODST>3>5>2>4.

For multiplayer, that's a tougher one. I still have a lot of fond memories of all the CE LANs I attended from 2002 to 2004, but playing that game online revealed how broken its weapon sandbox was in a multiplayer context. Halo 2 had arguably the best maps in the series, but it too suffered from serious weapon balancing issues, mainly deriving from dual wielding, the sword having unlimited energy, the plasma pistol charged shot having excessive tracking, the shotgun being wildly inconsistent, and power weapon not respawning on a timer. To this day, I consider Halo 2 to have the most utterly broken gameplay of any Halo game's MP, which is a shame considering how great its maps are. Halo 3 fixed a lot of the issues present in Halo 2, but it introduced issues of its own, namely the weapons being way too mushy and inconsistent thanks to reduced aim assist and the lack of hitscan. Reach's overall sandbox felt better to use than Halo 3's, esp. with hitscan returning, but it introduced armor abilities and Bungie decided to have those as part of preset loadouts rather than on-map pickups, which produced all sorts of other balancing issues. Of the Bungie-era games, I'd say Reach was the best.

Moving on to 343-era Halo, the multiplayer has continued to see improvements in many areas but again those improves came with changes that detracted from that. Halo 4 probably had the best weapon sandbox at that point, but it retained armor abilities (replacing the ever-annoying armor lock with the just-as-annoying X-ray vision ability) and took the loadout ball and ran with it, giving players full customization complete with CoD-style perks. Halo 4 also largely replaced traditional weapon spawns with ordnance drops, with personal ordnance being Halo 4's rough equivalent to CoD's killstreak rewards. Halo 5 I think has the best overall weapon sandbox in the series, with everything being useful and having a purpose. BR/DMR starts were greatly de-emphasized, meaning the constant cross-mapping in previous games wasn't nearly as big of an issue. But on the flipside, the Spartan abilities greatly accelerated the pace of combat. The more deliberate, methodical pacing that had defined Halo was replaced with a high-speed, high-mobility, and therefore far more "twitchy" experience, and it was hard for my old ass to keep up with.

Halo 2 Anniversary, despite not being part of a main series game, was probably the best-playing Halo multiplayer to date. It's basically close to how Halo 2 should have played back in 2004. The only bad thing about it was that only a handful of Halo 2 maps were remade for this mode. Where's Midship, Waterworks, Terminal, Turf, Ivory Tower, etc.?

If Halo Infinite can keep 343's good weapon balancing, slow down the pace of combat, and make any mobility-enhancing abilities tied to on-map pick-ups (which seems to be the case with the grappling hook, at least), it could end up being the best main-series Halo MP to date. But at the current time, I still don't think I can make a definitive ranking of all the Halo MP modes.


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Combat Evolved, great game, mostly excellent level design, where even the weaker levels at least have a neat concept to them, the gunplay is cool as well as its combat scenarios, the music score is excellent, good pacing and story beats, is just a lot of fun, think it has areas where 2, and 3 surpass CE, but CE feels like the most well rounded and complete experience of the 3 games.

Bonus: None, also don't really feel like playing post Reach for now, so that is part of my none hopes.

Halo 3.

Bonus: More open, more focus on scope and sandbox gameplay. Hopefully not as an excuse to hamfist a battle royale mode into the game. As Shadow mentioned, much of what's killed the spirit of Halo was chasing esport trends with twitchy arena gameplay. Chasing battle royale would be just as bad a mistake.

I don't care as much about balancing if they can increase the overall scope of the gameplay. Halo has always felt like it could naturally fit a huge multiplayer mode with gigantic maps and vehicles to traverse them. Pelicans and Phantoms have been in every game but never truly usable. Elephants were roughly implemented and never really viable. Even something like the Shadow which only appeared in the campaign of Halo 2 used as a carrier for Ghosts. They already have a ton of assets available to naturally implement into a huge multiplayer mode. Just add a squad system similar to Battlefield to top it off. This has always felt like the natural evolution for Halo in my mind.

Of the games I played:

1. Halo 2
2. Halo: CE
3. Halo 3

1. Better campaign and multiplayer than the first. The addition of the Arbiter to the campaign mode was great, and duel wielding was fun. Net code was definitely better than the first game too. There was still a small issue with the host advantage, but only about half as much as the first game. The overpowered pistol was also gone.
2. Fantastic game to kick off the franchise. Played tons of campaign mode and tons of multiplayer in LAN with my friends in college. The pistol was very overpowered, and the net code caused some issues. We played each other so much, eventually we could tell who would win because of the advantage the host console had.
3. Don't remember a lot of specifics on this one. From what I can remember, the campaign wasn't as good, and neither was the multiplayer. I remember not liking the new enemy type they added. We didn't play anywhere near as much of this as the first two games. My friend group pretty quickly transitioned over to Gears of War 2.

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Halo 2, best campaign and multiplayer. Spent countless hours beating the campaign over and over and eventually leading to the Legendary playthrough. Spent a lot time with couch multiplayer with my brother and friends. The disappointment of Halo 3 was only part of my overall dislike of the 360, but Reach was pretty good.