Arguing over which Halo game is the best is an exercise in futility. Fact: They’re all amazing! For the past two decades, first under Bungie, then under 343 Industries, Halo has put on a master class of tone, pacing, and raw, punchy first-person gameplay. But perfection is non-existent; just as most every Halo game has at least something that helps it stand out from the pack, it has something that holds it back. Here’s the best and worst parts of every mainline Halo game.
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Best: The vibes. Halo started off as a generic first-person shooter, its first level set entirely on a bog-standard, drab, gray spaceship. Then you, as supersoldier Master Chief, crash-land on a freaking ringworld. From there, you shoot your way through a never-ending procession of interesting environments: lush jungles, frozen canyons, space-Brutalist temples, even the violet-hued hallways of an extraterrestrial spaceship that puts the boring old human one to shame. Master Chief’s first outing was intriguing and mysterious and hinted at something grander without explicitly revealing too much (that came later).