Originally conceived as a third-person real-time strategy game for Mac computers, Bungie’s Halo franchise has gone on to become one of the biggest first-person shooter franchises in gaming and an incredibly important one at that. It’s not unreasonable to say that if it wasn’t for Halo , Microsoft’s Xbox brand may not have survived past its first console. Kicking things off with the original Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001, Bungie effectively revolutionized the console first-person shooter with a game that featured an intriguing sci-fi story and setting, a charismatic hero in the Master Chief, and of course, fluid controls and exciting gameplay. In the decade and a half since Halo first arrived on the scene, the franchise has become synonomous with the Xbox brand and has launched many sequels and spin-offs of varying quality.
Although the franchise isn’t as popular as it once was, with Halo Wars 2 out this year and Halo 6 somewhere on the horizon, Halo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As a longtime Halo fan myself, I thought it would be fun to try and rank each game from worst to best (omitting remasters and collections of course). Obviously, that means this will be a somewhat biased list, but I think you’ll find that I’ve justified each of my rankings. Feel free to share your own personal ranking of the Halo games in the comments!
I haven’t been able to play Halo Wars 2 yet, so I haven’t included it here, but I’ll be sure to add it in once that changes. Also, I’m not including Spartan Strike because it’s essentially an inferior version of Spartan Assault and would rank at the bottom of the list anyway.
9. Halo: Spartan Assault
Set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, Spartan Assault is a top-down twin-stick shooter that was originally released on mobile platforms, but eventually made its way to Xbox One and Xbox 360. Unfortunately, the jump to consoles didn’t do much to change Spartan Assault from the unremarkable, though competent twin-stick shooter that it is. This is a genre, after all, that has given us some incredible games over the years, such as Geometry Wars, Super Stardust HD, and Resogun, and Spartan Assault falls far short of those titles.
The game’s online co-op mode and overall presentation are definitely its best features, but at the end of the day, this is more of a passing curiosity for Halo fans than an experience they’ll want to return to. There are much better twin-stick shooters out there that are actually worth your time and money and aren’t laded with microtransactions.