Halo video games

Halo video games DEFAULT

With over a dozen video games in the series, putting all Halo games in order can be challenging. Although the first Halo games were all orderly numbered, later prequels, spin-offs, and even mobile and arcade games made the timeline of the Halo games no longer crystal clear. To help you out, we’ve compiled the definitive list of all Halo games, both in order of release and in chronological order of the story.

This article was last updated in August 2021. We may earn a commission for purchases using our links.

All Halo Games in Order of Release

  1. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)

    Currently available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  2. Halo 2 (2004)

    Currently available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  3. Halo 3 (2007)

    Currently available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  4. Halo Wars (2009)

    Currently available as Halo Wars: Definitive Edition on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  5. Halo 3: ODST (2009)

    Currently available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  6. Halo Reach (2010)

    Currently available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  7. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (2011)

    Currently available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  8. Halo 4 (2012)

    Currently available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  9. Halo: Spartan Assault (2013)

    Currently available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (including Halo 2: Anniversary)

    Currently available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  11. Halo: Spartan Strike (2015)

    Currently available on pc. Included with Game Pass.

  12. Halo 5: Guardians (2015)

    Currently available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Included with Game Pass.

  13. Halo Wars 2 (2017)

    Currently available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  14. Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare (2017)

    Currently available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

  15. Halo Recruit (2017)

    Currently available on pc (for Mixed Reality headsets)

  16. Halo: Fireteam Raven (2018)

    Currently only available in selected video arcades. Find a location near you to play Halo: Fireteam Raven.

  17. Halo Infinite (2021)

    Available holiday 2021 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. Included with Game Pass.

All Halo Games in Chronological Order

Although the main games (featuring Master Chief) always moved forward in time, the other games take place at entirely different moments in the Halo Timeline. If you like to experience the Halo games in order of the story, we’ve got your back as well. Here are all Halo Games in chronological order:

  1. Halo Wars
  2. Halo Reach
  3. Halo: Combat Evolved (or Anniversary)
  4. Halo: Fireteam Raven (takes place during the events of Combat Evolved)
  5. Halo 2 (or Anniversary)
  6. Halo 3: ODST (takes place during the events of Halo 2)
  7. Halo: Spartan Strike
  8. Halo 3
  9. Halo: Spartan Assault
  10. Halo 4
  11. Halo: Spartan Strike (with simulations taking place during the events of Halo 2)
  12. Halo: Spartan Ops (part of Halo 4)
  13. Halo 5: Guardians
  14. Halo Wars 2
  15. Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare
  16. Halo Infinite

As Halo Recruit is only a Mixed Reality Experience without story content, it does not fit in the chronological order of the games.

For a complete overview of Halo’s chronological order, head over to our Halo Timeline, including every game, movie, book, and comic.

Our Recommended Order of Halo games

If you’d like to play all Halo games, whether to catch up just in time before Halo Infinite arrives or just because you’ve got that insatiable appetite for Halo (we know we have!), you’ll have a big decision to make: Will you play the Halo campaign in the original order of release, or in chronological order of story? Our recommended order to play the Halo games is:

  1. Halo: Combat Evolved
  2. Halo 2
  3. Halo 3
  4. Halo 3: ODST
  5. Halo Reach
  6. Halo 4
  7. Halo 5: Guardians
  8. Halo Wars
  9. Halo Wars 2
  10. Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare
  11. Halo Infinite

We’ve got a few reasons why we recommend this order. First, it’s obvious to just play the original Halo trilogy in order of the story. Not just because they are direct sequels to each other, but also because you’ll see the technology evolve nicely with each new installment.

Some might suggest playing Halo Reach first as it is the first one in the timeline of Halo games, but there’s quite a gap in graphics, controls, and even stuff like weapons and enemies between Halo Reach and Halo: Combat Evolved. It makes it harder to appreciate Halo: Combat Evolved for what it is. And also, if you haven’t played Halo: Combat Evolved, the story of Reach won’t hit you the way it was meant to.

Yet ODST and Reach are probably two of the most compelling stories in the entire series, so we definitely recommend playing those after you’ve finished the fight with Master Chief. They also tie in nicely to the original trilogy, so it makes sense to play ODST and Reach right after Halo 3.

After that, Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians will continue the story of Master Chief, bringing you entirely up to speed for Halo Infinite. If you have some spare time – and are in for a strategy game or two – be sure to check out Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2.

They offer an entirely new story in the universe that is not directly connected to the first-person shooters. Or not yet connected, as Halo Wars 2 will introduce you to The Banished, the main enemy in Halo Infinite! The expansion Awakening the Nightmare lets you even play as The Banished.

We leave top-down shooters Spartan Assault, and Spartan Strike out of our recommended playthrough order. Although both games are pretty fun to play, they do not add any significant events to the canon. You might want to check them once, but they are not worth replaying as part of your Halo marathon.

We also leave out Fireteam Raven, as it can be hard to find it in an arcade near you, and it should not stop you from playing all the other games in the Halo timeline.

Alternative Recommended Order of Halo games – The Great Journey

If you want to mix things up a little, just because you’ve already played every Halo game over and over again, here’s a fun new way to explore the universe. It’s what we like to call ‘The Great Journey’. It’s the true chronological order for all shooters and goes like this:

In this order, these games tie in each other seamlessly. It’s might be a little confusing to play the Halo series like this if you haven’t played every single game yet, and the jumps in technology, controls and graphics might set you of a little bit. But it is truly an unique way to experience all the shooters as one, single continue story. It’s truly a great journey.

Best way to play all Halo games

If you want to play all the Halo games, getting Game Pass is your best place to start. It includes every single game released on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and pc. That means you can play every main game, every major spin-off, and even Spartan Assault and Spartan Strike if you like. You’ll only miss out on Fireteam Raven and Recruit, the latter being available for free anyway.

If you’re not into Game Pass, be sure to get Halo: The Master Chief Collection, as it is the easiest way of getting Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Reach, and Halo 4, thus granting you access to the majority of the games.

This article is part of our Halo coverage. Be sure to check out our other articles as well:

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Halo (franchise)

Series of video games

For other uses, see Halo.

Video game series

Halo is a military science fictionmedia franchise created by Bungie. The franchise is currently managed and developed by 343 Industries, and owned and published by Xbox Game Studios. The central focus of the franchise builds on the experiences of Master Chief John-117, one of a group of supersoldiers code-named Spartans, and his artificial intelligence (AI) companion, Cortana.

The original trilogy centers on an interstellar war between humanity and an alliance of aliens known as The Covenant. The Covenant, led by their religious leaders called the Prophets, worship an ancient civilization known as the Forerunners, who perished while defeating the parasiticFlood. The eponymous Halo Array are a group of immense, habitable, ring-shaped superweapons that were created by the Forerunners to destroy the Flood, but which the Covenant mistake for religious artifacts that, if activated, would transport them on a Great Journey to meet the Forerunners. They are similar to the Orbitals in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, and to a lesser degree to author Larry Niven's Ringworld concept.[1][2][3][4]

The games in the series are critically acclaimed, with the original considered the Xbox's "killer app".[5] This led to the term "Halo killer" being used to describe console games that aspire, or are considered, to be better than Halo.[6] Fueled by the success of Halo: Combat Evolved, and by marketing campaigns from publisher Microsoft, its sequels went on to record-breaking sales.[7][8][9] By 2015, the games had sold over 65 million copies worldwide, with the games alone grossing almost $3.4 billion.[10][11][12] As of February 2021, that figure has risen to 81 million copies.[13]Halo has since become one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. These strong sales led to the franchise's expansion to other media; the Halo Universe now spans multiple best-selling novels, graphic novels, comic books, short movies, animated movies and feature films, as well as other licensed products.

The sixth main installment, Halo Infinite,[14] is due for release on December 8, 2021. Counting spin-offs as well, Halo Infinite will be the seventeenth installment in the series.[15]

Plot[edit]

In the distant past, a powerful race called the Forerunners fought an alien parasite known as the Flood. The Flood, which spread through infestation of sentient life, overran much of the Milky Way Galaxy. Exhausting all other strategies, the Forerunners conceived the Halo Array—ring-shaped megastructures and weapons of last resort that would destroy all sentient life in the galaxy to stop the Flood. Delaying as long as they could, the Forerunners activated the rings and disappeared.[16]

Nearly a hundred thousand years later in the 26th century, humanity—under the auspices of the United Nations Space Command, or UNSC—colonize many worlds thanks to the development of faster-than-light "slipspace" travel. Tensions between the government and colonies desiring independence sparks violent clashes. The UNSC sponsors the SPARTAN-II Project to create an elite group of enhanced supersoldiers, whose purpose is to suppress the rebellions covertly.[17] In the year 2525, human worlds come under attack by a theocratic alliance of alien races known as the Covenant. The Covenant leadership declares humanity heretics and an affront to their gods— the Forerunners—and begin a genocidal holy war. The Covenant's superior technology and numbers prove decisive advantages; though effective, the Spartans are too few in number to turn the tide of battle in humanity's favor. After the Covenant invade Reach, the UNSC's last major stronghold besides Earth, Master Chief John-117 is one of the few remaining Spartans left.

The rediscovery of the Halo rings sets the humans against the Covenant, who believe they are instruments of transcendence, not destruction. Master Chief and his artificial intelligence Cortana are instrumental in the destruction of a Halo ring to stop the Covenant and the threat of the Flood. The Covenant descends into civil war following the expulsion of the Sangheili species, with many grappling over the revelation that their religion is false. The disgraced former Covenant Sangheili commander known as the Arbiter, along with the rest of his race, help the humans destroy the Covenant and stop its leader, Truth, from activating the Halo Array via the Ark.[18] The Human-Covenant War ends, though conflict continues to rage throughout the universe. The UNSC creates a new generation of Spartans, and tensions between the UNSC and colonists resume.

Game series[edit]

Further information: List of Halo media

Original trilogy[edit]

Main articles: Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3

The games of the original Halo trilogy were developed by Bungie, and are first-person shooters in which the player experiences most action from the protagonist's perspective.[19] The first title in the series is Halo: Combat Evolved on Xbox, released on November 15, 2001.[20] The game was initially intended to be released for Windows and macOS, until Microsoft's purchase of Bungie in 2000 led to the game becoming an Xbox launch title and delaying any release for personal computers for 2 years.[21][22]Halo: Combat Evolved introduced many gameplay and plot themes common to the whole trilogy. Players battle various aliens on foot and in vehicles to complete objectives, while attempting to uncover the secrets of the eponymous Halo. One concept introduced in Halo: Combat Evolved, is limiting the number of weapons players could carry to two, forcing them to carefully select their preferred armament.[23] Players fight with ranged and melee attacks, as well as a limited number of grenades. Bungie refers to the "weapons-grenades-melee" format as the "Golden Triangle of Halo",[24] which has remained fundamentally unchanged throughout the trilogy. In Halo: Combat Evolved, the player's health is measured in both hit points and a continually recharging energy shield; the sequels forgo the hit point system, although it returns in spin-offs.[25] A Windows and Mac OS Xport was later developed by Gearbox Software, and released on September 30 and November 11, 2003, respectively.[26][27] A stand-alone expansion, entitled Halo: Custom Edition, was released as a Windows exclusive, and allowed players to create custom content for the game.

Its sequel, Halo 2 was released on the Xbox on November 9, 2004, and later for Windows Vista on May 17, 2007. For the first time, the game was released in two different editions: a standard edition with just the game disc and traditional Xbox packaging; and the Collector's Edition with a specially designed aluminum case, along with an additional bonus DVD, extra booklet, and slightly different user manual. Halo 2 introduced new gameplay elements, chief among them the ability to hold and fire two weapons simultaneously, known as “dual-wielding”.[28] Unlike its predecessor, Halo 2 fully supported online multiplayer via Xbox LIVE. The game uses “matchmaking” to facilitate joining online matches by grouping players looking for certain types of games.[28] This was a change from the more traditional "server list" approach, which was used to find matches in online games at this time. Upon release, Halo 2 became the game played by the most people on the Xbox Live service that week; it retained this title for over two years – the longest streak any game has held the spot.[29]

Halo 3 is the final game in the original Halo trilogy, ending the story arc begun in Halo: Combat Evolved.[30] The game was released on the Xbox 360 on September 25, 2007.[31] It adds to the series vehicles, weapons, and a class of items called equipment.[32] The game also includes a limited map-editing tool, known as the Forge, which allows players to insert game objects, such as weapons and crates, into existing multiplayer map geometry.[33] Players can save a recording of their gameplay sessions, and view them as video, from any angle.[34]

At E3 2014, Microsoft and 343 Industries announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection, released on November 11, 2014, for the Xbox One. The game includes the full campaign and multiplayer modes of Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4. The campaign of Halo 3: ODST was later released as downloadable content, and was free for those who bought The Master Chief Collection during late 2014.[35]

Reclaimer saga[edit]

Main articles: Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians, and Halo Infinite

Following Bungie's split from Microsoft, 343 Industries – a studio established by Microsoft in 2009 – took the helm of the Halo franchise.[36][37][38] 343 had already co-developed the Halo Legends animated series and had overseen production of Halo: Reach and 2011's Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.[39] The next game in the series, Halo 4, was announced at E3 2011 as the first entry in what would be originally known as the "Reclaimer Trilogy".[40][41] The game included many staples of previous games, such as new or redesigned weapon types,[42] an improved map-editing tool[43] and expanded multiplayer options and maps.[44]Halo 4 was released worldwide on November 6, 2012,[45] achieving record sales for the franchise.[46] In a new addition to the series, a story-driven multiplayer campaign entitled Spartan Ops was released over the weeks following Halo 4's release, telling what happened after the end of the main game.[47]

Halo 5: Guardians, was released for the Xbox One on October 27, 2015.[48] The game takes place across many worlds, mainly the Elite homeworld, and revolves around Spartan Locke's hunt for the rogue Master Chief, who is trying to find Cortana.[49]

The third part of the Reclaimer Saga, Halo Infinite, was announced during E3 2018.[50] The game will shift its focus back to Master Chief after the events of Halo 5.[51]

Spin-offs[edit]

Main articles: Halo Wars, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo: Spartan Assault, Halo: Spartan Strike, and Halo Wars 2

The success of the main Halo trilogy spurred the creation of spin-off games. Halo Wars is a real-time strategy game developed by Ensemble Studios for the Xbox 360. Set in the year 2531, the game takes place 21 years prior to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. Much effort was spent on developing a control scheme that was simple and intuitive, unlike other console strategy games.[52] The game was announced at X06, and released in February and March 2009.

In a July 2008 interview with MTV, Microsoft's head of Xbox business, Don Mattrick, stated that Bungie was working on a new Halo game for Microsoft, independent of other Halo projects. An announcement of the new Halo project was expected at the 2008 E3 game exposition, which Bungie stated "has been building for several months", but was delayed by their publisher Microsoft.[53] The Halo announcement was to be part of Microsoft's 150-minute E3 presentation, and was cut to trim the presentation down to 90 minutes; Microsoft stated it wanted to give the game its own dedicated event.[54] After the release of an ambiguous teaser trailer on September 25,[55] the project was revealed as Halo 3: Recon, later changed to Halo 3: ODST. Set between the events of Halo 2 and Halo 3, players take control of elite human soldiers called Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST). The game was released on September 22, 2009.

After releasing Halo 3, Bungie decided to create a prequel to the original Halo trilogy. As the game would take place on a human world doomed to be destroyed, their focus on the environment in the game was extensive. Longtime Halo composers Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori returned to compose Reach's soundtrack, aiming for a more somber sound to coincide with the story. Reach was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009, and the first trailer was shown at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards. Players who purchased ODST were eligible to participate in a Reach multiplayer beta in May 2010; the beta allowed Bungie to gain player feedback for fixing software bugs, as well as improving gameplay before finalizing the release. Microsoft's budget for the marketing campaign of Reach was the largest yet in the series, and created award-winning live-action commercials, action figures, and interactive media to promote the game. After release, the game grossed US$200 million on its first day, setting a new record for the franchise. Reach additionally sold well internationally, in addition to moving more than three million units its first month in North America. Critical reception was positive, with reviews from GamePro, IGN, and Official Xbox Magazine calling it "the best Halo title yet." The game was Bungie's final work on a Halo release.

In October 2017, 343 Industries developed and released a virtual reality demo title in partnership with Endeavor One called Halo Recruit.[56]

In 2018, 343 Industries partnered with Raw Thrills and PlayMechanix to develop a coin-operated arcade game called Halo: Fireteam Raven that was released in the later part of 2018, with Round1 USA and Dave & Buster's arcades releasing first.[57][58]

Alternative reality games[edit]

Further information: I Love Bees and Marketing of Halo 3

Alternative reality games were used to promote the release of the games in the main trilogy. The Cortana Letters, a series of cryptic email messages, were circulated by Bungie prior to Halo: Combat Evolved's release.[59]I Love Bees was used to promote the release of Halo 2. The game revolved around a website created by 42 Entertainment, commissioned by Microsoft and endorsed by Bungie. Over the course of the game, audio clips were released that eventually formed a complete five-hour story set on Earth between Halo and Halo 2.[60][61] Similarly, Iris was used as a viral marketing campaign for the release of Halo 3.[62] It featured five web servers containing various media files related to the Halo universe.

Cancelled projects[edit]

Several spin-off titles were planned or rumored for the Game Boy Advance,[63]Gizmondo,[64][65]Ultra-Mobile PC,[66] and Nintendo DS.[67][68][69]

In 2006, Microsoft announced an episodic video game to be developed by film director Peter Jackson's Wingnut Interactive.[70] The game, dubbed Halo: Chronicles, was confirmed to be in development in 2007,[71] and by 2008 was still hiring for positions on the development team.[72] Jackson told game blog Joystiq in July 2009 that the project was no longer in development.[73][74] Jackson's manager Ken Kamins explained that the project was cancelled as part of budget cuts tied to job layoffs in January 2009.[75]

Before the company was shuttered after producing Halo Wars, Ensemble Studios had been developing a Halo-themed massively multiplayer online game, often referred to as Titan Project, or just Titan. The project was cancelled internally in 2007–2008, without a formal announcement from Microsoft.[76][77]

343 Industries announced a free-to-playHalo multiplayer game for Windows PC, Halo Online, in 2015. The game launched with a closed beta test limited to Russia that year. The title was developed with Saber Interactive using modified version of the Halo 3 engine, and published by Innova Systems.[78] The project was cancelled in August 2016.[79][80] Players modified the game to circumvent the region limitations and add new content after the project's official cancellation.[81] The "ElDewrito" project saw legal takedowns from Microsoft for violating its game usage rules.[82] Despite this, ElDewrito's playerbase remained active, and the modders claimed its popularity hastened Microsoft's plans to release a Windows version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.[83][84]

Other appearances[edit]

Halo characters have appeared in tie-ins, such as the characters Spartan Nicole-458 and the Arbiter being playable fighters in Dead or Alive 4 and Killer Instinct: Season Three, respectively.[85][86] Master Chief was added as a playable character in Fortnite alongside a stage inspired by a Halo multiplayer map in 2020.[87]

Another game, Halo 2600, has the players control Master Chief and fight through 64 screens with varied enemies. It was written by Ed Fries, former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft, in 2010 for the Atari 2600.

The Halo theme tune was also available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.[88] In Forza Horizon 4 one level has the player racing across the map in the Warthog as the Master Chief, with the Halo ring visible in the sky, Cortana on the radio and various Covenant based obstacles to avoid.[citation needed]

Development[edit]

Bungie[edit]

Main article: Bungie

Bungie was founded in 1991 by Alex Seropian, who partnered with programmer Jason Jones to market and release Jones' game Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. Focusing on the Macintosh game market because it was smaller and easier to compete, Bungie became a preeminent game developer on the small Apple Macintosh platform. What became Halo started as a real-time strategy game for the Mac, originally code-named Monkey Nuts and Blam!,[89] and took place on a hollowed-out world called Solipsis.[59] The planet eventually became a ringworld, and an artist, Paul Russel,[90] suggested the name "Halo", which became the game's title.[91]

The first Halo game was announced on July 21, 1999, during the Macworld Conference & Expo.[92] It was originally planned to be a real-time strategy game for the Mac and Windows operating systems, but later changed into a third-person action game.[21][92][93] On June 19, 2000, Microsoft acquired Bungie and Halo: Combat Evolved became a launch title for the Xbox video game console.[22] After receiving Xbox development kits, Bungie rewrote the game's engine, heavily altered its presentation, and turned it into a first-person shooter. Though the first Halo was meant to include an online multiplayer mode, it was excluded because Xbox Live was not yet available.[94]

Halo was not intended to be the Xbox's flagship game due to internal concerns and gaming press criticism, but Microsoft VP of game publishing Ed Fries did not act on these concerns. The Xbox's marketing heavily featured Halo, whose green color palette meshed with the console's design scheme.[95]

The success of the game led to a sequel, Halo 2, which was announced on August 8, 2002, at Microsoft's New York CityX02 press event.[96] It featured improved graphics, new weapons, and a multiplayer mode on Xbox Live.[97][98]Halo 3 was announced at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo.[99] The initial conception for the third game was done before Halo 2 was released in 2004.[100] It utilized a proprietary, in-house graphics engine, and employed advanced graphics technologies.[101][102]

They created two more Halo games before becoming independent as part of their deal with Microsoft: a side story Halo 3: ODST and a prequel Halo: Reach in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

343 Industries[edit]

Main article: 343 Industries

Following the release of Halo 3, Bungie announced it was splitting off from Microsoft and becoming an independent limited liability company. While Bungie remained involved in the Halo series by developing games such as ODST and Reach, the rights to Halo remain with Microsoft. To oversee everything Halo, Microsoft created an internal division, 343 Industries,[103] serving as "stewards" for the franchise.[104] Frank O'Connor, formerly a Bungie employee,[105] now serves as 343's creative director.[103]

In announcing the formation of 343 Industries, Microsoft also announced that Xbox Live would be home to a central hub for Halo content called Halo Waypoint.[106] Waypoint is accessed from the Xbox 360 Dashboard and offers players access to multimedia content in addition to tracking their Halo game "career". O'Connor described Waypoint as intended to be the prime destination for Halo.[107]

The company's first new game, Halo 4, was released on November 6, 2012, to "generally positive" reviews.[108][109]

In December 2014, 343 Industries general manager Bonnie Ross expressed Microsoft's aim for the Halo series to last at least 30 more years.[110]

The company later released Halo 5 for the Xbox One on October 28, 2015.

In December 2020 it was announced that the company would be discontinuing support for legacy online services for Halo games operating on the Xbox 360 in late 2021. It was stated that the time and work required to maintain these services was not a priority compared to the support required for modern and future Halo titles.[111]

Cultural influences[edit]

In 2006, in acknowledgment of the "wealth of influences adopted by the Bungie team", a list of Bungie employees' favorite science fiction material was published on the company's website.[112] The developers acknowledged that the Halo series' use of ring-shaped megastructures followed on from concepts featured in Larry Niven's Ringworld and Iain M. Banks' Culture series (of which Consider Phlebas[113] and Excession[112] were said to be particularly influential). In a retrospective article in Edge, Bungie's Jaime Griesemer commented, "The influence of something like Ringworld isn't necessarily in the design – it's in that feeling of being somewhere else. That sense of scale and an epic story going on out there."[113] Griesemer also explained, "One of the main sources of inspiration was Armor [by John Steakley], in which a soldier has to constantly re-live the same war over and over again. That sense of hopelessness, a relentless battle, was influential."[113] The Flood were influenced by the assimilating alien species in Christopher Rowley's The Vang;[113] it has also been speculated that the Master Chief's name "John 117" may have been a reference to a character named Jon 6725416 in Rowley's Starhammer,[114] or to the John Spartan character of Demolition Man.[115] An IGN article exploring the literary influences present in the Halo franchise commented on similarities between Halo and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game: aspects of the SPARTAN Project and the design of the Covenant Drones are perceived as reminiscent of the super soldier program and Buggers found in the novel.[114] Bungie has also acknowledged James Cameron's film Aliens as a strong cinematic influence.[116]

A report written by Roger Travis and published by The Escapist compares Halo with the Latin epic Aeneid, written by classical Roman poet Virgil. Travis posits similarities between the plots of both works and compares the characters present in them, with the Flood and Covenant taking the role performed by the Carthaginians, and the Master Chief's role in the series to that of Aeneas.[117]

Music[edit]

Main articles: Halo Original Soundtrack, Halo 2 Original Soundtrack, Halo 3 Original Soundtrack, and Halo 4 Original Soundtrack

Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori produced most of the music for Bungie's Halo games. The music of Halo helped spur a renewed interest in chant music.[118]

The Halo Original Soundtrack contains most of Combat Evolved's music. Due to the varying nature of gameplay, the music present was designed to use the game's dynamic audio playback engine. The engine allows for the mood, theme, and duration of music played to change according to gameplay.[119] To afford a more enjoyable listening experience, O'Donnell rearranged portions of the music of Halo into standalone suites, which follow the narrative course of the game. The soundtrack also contains music not used in the game, including a variation on the Halo theme that was first played at Halo's debut at Macworld 1999.[120] In 2011, the soundtrack was remastered and rerecorded for the release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.

For Halo 2's soundtrack, producer Nile Rodgers and O'Donnell decided to split the music into two separate volumes. The first, Volume One, was released on November 9, 2004, and contained all the themes as well as the "inspired-by" music present in the game (featuring Steve Vai, Incubus, Hoobastank, and Breaking Benjamin). The second release, Volume 2, contained the rest of the music, much of which was incomplete or not included in the first soundtrack, as the first soundtrack was shipped before the game was released.[121]Halo 2, unlike its predecessor, was mixed to take full advantage of Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound.[122] In 2014, the in-game music was rerecorded and remastered for the Halo 2 Anniversary release which was part of the Master Chief Collection which included remastered versions of all Halo games with Master Chief as the protagonist.

The soundtrack for Halo 3 was released on November 20, 2007. O'Donnell noted he wanted to bring back the themes from the original game to help tie together the end of the trilogy.[123] The tracks are presented, similarly to the previous soundtrack for Halo 2,[121] in a suite form. Unlike previous soundtracks, where much of the music had been synthesized on computer, the soundtrack for Halo 3 was recorded using a 60-piece orchestra, along with a 24-voice chorus.[124] The final soundtrack was recorded by the Northwest Sinfonia at Studio X in Seattle, Washington.[125] The soundtracks were bundled and released as a box set in December 2008.[126] A soundtrack for Halo 3: ODST was released alongside the game and included many of the tracks from the game.[127]

For Bungie's last game in the Halo series, Halo: Reach, Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori returned to compose the soundtrack. O'Donnell wrote "somber, more visceral" music to reflect the darker nature of the campaign and style of the game. As Bungie had been making Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach at the same time, Martin O'Donnell had also been composing the soundtracks at the same time, but production for the music of Halo: Reach did not begin until after the release of Halo 3: ODST. The soundtrack was released on iTunes on September 15, 2010 and in a two-disc set on September 28, 2010.

For Halo Wars, the task of creating the game's music fell to Stephen Rippy. Rippy listened to O'Donnell's soundtracks for inspiration and incorporated the Halo theme into parts of his arrangements. In addition to synthesized and orchestral components, the composer focused on the choir and piano as essential elements, feeling these were important in creating the "Halo sound".[128] Rather than use the Northwest Sinfonia, Rippy traveled to Prague and recorded with the FILMharmonic Orchestra before returning to the United States to complete the music. A standalone compact disc and digital download retail version of the soundtrack was announced in January 2009 for release on February 17.[129]

The music of Halo 4 was composed by Neil Davidge and Kazuma Jinnouchi. The Halo 4 Original Soundtrack was released on October 22, 2012, followed by a two-disc Special Edition on November 6. Neil Davidge served as an out-of-house composer for 343 Industries which proved to be very expensive leading Kazuma Jinnouchi to take over the responsibility of music production for Halo 5: Guardians. The music by Neil Davidge and Kazuma Jinnouchi for Halo 4 received mixed reviews, being recognized as creative music but too different from the original Halo formula.

In 2014, Kazuma Jinnouchi confirmed he would be composing the soundtrack for Halo 5: Guardians. On October 30, 2015, Halo 5: Guardians Original Soundtrack was released on CD and Vinyl. The soundtrack used a 30-person choir located in Prague, Czech Republic. The orchestral soundtrack was recorded at the Abbey Road Studio over the duration of 5 separate trips.

In 2017, 343 Industries and Creative Studios released a sequel to Halo Wars titled Halo Wars 2. The soundtrack was composed by Gordy Haab, Brian Lee White and Brian Trifo under the direction of Paul Lipson who had helped in the audio and music of nearly every previous Halo title. The Halo Wars 2 soundtrack featured many melodies from the music that Stephen Rippy had composed for the first Halo Wars but with new arrangements and more melodies to represent the individual characters. The original game soundtrack was released on February 17, 2017 and released digitally on February 21, 2017.

Adaptations[edit]

Further information: List of Halo media

The Halo franchise includes various types of merchandise and adaptations outside of the video games. This includes bestselling novels, graphic novels, and other licensed products, from action figures to a packaging tie-in with Mountain Dew. Numerous action figures and vehicles based on Halo have been produced. Joyride Studios created Halo and Halo 2 action figures, while Halo 3 poseable and collectible action figures, aimed at collectors, were produced by McFarlane Toys and became some of the top-selling action figures of 2007 and 2008.[130]MEGA Bloks partnered with Microsoft to produce Halo Wars-themed toys.[131]

Books[edit]

As part of Microsoft's multimedia efforts, Microsoft Studios decided to create a tie-in novel for Combat Evolved. Eric Nylund wrote Halo: The Fall of Reach in seven weeks, and published in October 2001.[132] The game itself was turned into a novelization by William C. Dietz in 2003, called Halo: The Flood.[133] Nylund would write additional Halo works including the novels First Strike (2003) and Ghosts of Onyx (2006).[134] Other novels have been written by Joseph Staten, Tobias S. Buckell, Karen Traviss,[135]Greg Bear,[136]Matt Forbeck,[137]John Shirley,[138]Troy Denning, and Cassandra Rose Clarke.

A collection of Halo short stories, Halo: Evolutions, was simultaneously released in print and audiobook formats in November 2009. Evolutions includes original material by Nylund, Buckell, Karen Traviss and contributions from Bungie.[139] Tor re-released the first three Halo novels with new content and cover art.[140] Another collection, Halo: Fractures, compiled new and previously-released short fiction in 2016.[141]

By August 2021, the Halo series consisted of thirty-six novels by various authors.[142]

Comics[edit]

The Halo universe was first adapted into the graphic novel format in 2006, with the release of The Halo Graphic Novel, a collection of four short stories.[143] It was written and illustrated by graphic novelists Lee Hammock, Jay Faerber, Tsutomu Nihei, Brett Lewis, Simon Bisley, Ed Lee and Jean Giraud. At the 2007 New York Comic Con, Marvel Comics announced they would be working on an ongoing Halo series with Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. The limited series, titled Halo: Uprising, bridges the gap between the events of Halo 2 and Halo 3;[144] initially planned to conclude shortly before the release of Halo 3, the constant delays led to the final issue being published April 2009.[145]

Marvel announced at the 2009 Comic Con that two new comics, a five-part series written by Peter David and a second series written by Fred Van Lente, would appear the coming summer and winter.[146] David's series, Halo: Helljumper, is set prior to Halo: Combat Evolved and focuses on the elite Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. The five-part series was published between July and November 2009.[147] Lente's series, originally titled Spartan Black, revolves around a black ops team of Spartan supersoldiers assigned to the UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence.[148] The rebranded comic, Halo: Blood Line, debuted in December 2009.[149] A comic-retelling of the novel Halo: The Fall of Reach was the most recent comic series entitled: Halo: Fall of Reach. Fall of Reach was split into three mini-stories: Boot Camp, Covenant, and Invasion.[150] Two new series were announced in 2013. A three-part series, Halo: Initiation was released August 2013 with Brian Reed returning as writer.[151] Also announced was Halo: Escalation, an ongoing comic series covering the period directly after Halo 4.[152]

By August 2021, the Halo series consisted of thirteen different graphic novels and comic book series, written by various authors.[142]

Live action[edit]

Unproduced feature (2005–2007)[edit]

In 2005, Columbia Pictures president Peter Schlessel began working outside the studio system to produce a Halo film adaptation. Alex Garland wrote the first script,[153] which was then pitched to studios by couriers dressed as Master Chief. Microsoft's terms required $10 million against 15 percent of gross; most studios passed, citing the lack of risk for Microsoft compared to their large share of potential profits. 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures decided to partner to produce the film, paying Microsoft $5 million to option the film and 10 percent of grosses.[154]Peter Jackson was slated to be the executive producer,[155] with Neill Blomkamp as director. Before Blomkamp signed on, Guillermo del Toro was in negotiations to direct.[156]

D. B. Weiss and Josh Olson rewrote Garland's script during 2006.[157] The crew stopped and resumed preproduction of the film several times.[158] Later that year, 20th Century Fox threatened to pull out of the project, leading Universal to issue an ultimatum to Jackson and Schlessel: either cut their large "first-dollar" deals, or the project was ended. Both refused, and the project stalled.[154]

Blomkamp declared the project dead in late 2007,[159] but Jackson replied that the film would still be made.[160] Blomkamp and Jackson collaborated on District 9, but the director told /Film that he was no longer considering working on a Halo film if the opportunity arose,[161] saying that after working on the film for five months before the project's collapse it would be difficult to return. The rights for the film have since reverted to Microsoft.[162]

Although the feature film never made it, Neil Blomkamp did create a short movie called Halo: Landfall.[163] Originally released as three separate shorts back in 2007, Halo: Landfall gave us a first glimpse of what a Halo Movie might look like. It even featured a fully functional Warthog, which was later used in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn[edit]

See also: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is a live-action film and miniseries set in the Halo universe. Although shot as a feature-length film, Forward Unto Dawn was originally released as a webseries consisting of five roughly 15-minute episodes, the first of which was released on October 5, 2012, with the last episode released on November 2, 2012. The series' plot, occurring in the early days of the Human-Covenant War circa 2526, revolves around Thomas Lasky, a young cadet at Corbulo Academy of Military Science, and how John-117 inspired him to eventually become a leader. Lasky is also a prominent character in Halo 4 as a commander on the UNSC Infinity. The name of the series, aside from being a reference to the UNSC frigate Forward Unto Dawn, is given new significance in the series as part a running motif based on a poem. The film cut was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 4, 2012.

Halo: Nightfall[edit]

On April 3, 2014, it was announced that Ridley Scott and his production company, Scott Free Productions, were working on a Halo digital feature alongside 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios; Scott would be the executive producer, with David W. Zucker and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan as the directors. The feature was expected to follow the same format as Machinima's Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.[164] On June 9, 2014, it was announced at E3 2014 that the feature, titled Halo: Nightfall, would be included with Halo: The Master Chief Collection at its November 2014 launch. The feature introduces a new character to the franchise, Agent Jameson Locke, played by actor Mike Colter; Nightfall is considered to be his origin story.[165] Locke is one of the Spartans portrayed on the cover art of Halo 5: Guardians, and is set to play a large role in the series.[166] On July 24, 2014, 343 Industries released the first trailer for the feature.[167]Halo: Nightfall is available to watch through Halo Channel, an application for the Xbox One, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.[168] On March 16, 2015, the series became available to stream, download, and buy on physical disc.[169]

Paramount+ television series[edit]

Main article: Halo (TV series)

On May 21, 2013, 343 Industries announced that a live-action television series of Halo would be produced with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. Neill Blomkamp was rumored to be directing the pilot for the series.[170] The series will premiere on the American premium cable network Showtime.[171] It had been in development hell for five years. On March 1, 2018, it was announced that the series will start filming in late 2018, with speculation of the series airing in mid- to late-2019.[172] On June 28, 2018, Kyle Killen was hired as showrunner and executive producer and Rupert Wyatt as director and executive producer.[173] On December 4, 2018, Rupert Wyatt stepped down as director and executive producer from the project due to scheduling conflicts.[174] On February 21, 2019, Otto Bathurst replaced Wyatt as director and executive producer.[175] On April 17, 2019, it was announced that Pablo Schreiber was cast as Master Chief.[176] On August 2, 2019, Deadline reported that Natascha McElhone had been cast in two key roles: Cortana and Dr. Catherine Halsey, Bokeem Woodbine was also cast as Soren-066, along with Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky, and Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha. It was also announced that the series will be released in early 2021.[177] Filming officially began in October 2019.[178] In November 2020, it was reported that McElhorne had been recast in the role of Cortana by Jen Taylor, who voiced Cortana in every major game in the Halo franchise.[179]

Other shorts[edit]

Over the years, Microsoft produced multiple live-action shorts. These live-action shorts were meant to promote upcoming games in the series. Most of them are still available online.[180]

Anime[edit]

Main article: Halo Legends

Microsoft announced at Comic-Con 2009 that it was overseeing production of a series of seven short anime films, together called Halo Legends. Financed by 343 Industries, the animation was created by five Japanese production houses: Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation. Shinji Aramaki, creator and director of Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina, served as the project's creative director. Warner Bros. distributed Legends on DVD and Blu-ray in February 2010.[103][181] Six of the stories are officially part of the Halo canon, with the seventh, made by Toei, intended to be a parody of the universe.[182]

Animated series[edit]

In mid-July 2015, 343 Industries announced that a new animated series of Halo will be included in the Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition and Collector's Edition called Halo: The Fall of Reach, and will be based on the book Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund.[183][184]

Halo Evolution Shorts[edit]

Some stories in the novel Halo: Evolutions were adapted into motion comics. The Halo Evolution Shorts include Halo: Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian, Halo: Headhunters, Halo: The Mona Lisa, and Halo: The Return. These short animated movies were originally released on the Halo Waypoint app for Xbox 360 and can still be found online.[185]

Reception and critical response[edit]

DateTotal grossRef.
October 2015$4.6 billion[191]

The Halo franchise has been highly successful commercially and critically. During the two months following Halo: Combat Evolved's release, it sold alongside more than fifty percent of Xbox consoles[213] and sold a million units by April 2002.[214]Halo 2's sales generated US$125 million on its premiere day, making it the fastest selling United States media product in history up to that time.[215][216] Combined with Halo's sales, the two games sold 14.8 million units before Halo 3's release.[217]

Launch events, such as this one at a Best Buystore in New York City, were held the night of Halo 3's release.

GameSpot reported 4.2 million units of Halo 3 were in retail outlets on September 24, 2007, a day before official release – a world record volume.[218][219]Halo 3 broke the previous record for the highest grossing opening day in entertainment history, making US$170 million in its first twenty-four hours.[7][219] Worldwide, sales exceeded US$300 million the first week, helping to more than double the sales of the Xbox 360 when compared with the weekly average before the Halo 3 launch.[217][220] At the end of 2007, Halo 2 and Halo: Combat Evolved were the number one and two best-selling Xbox titles, respectively, and Halo 3 was the best-selling Xbox 360 title.[221]Halo Wars was the best-selling RTS console game, selling more than one million units.[222] The Halo series went on to sell more than 27 million copies by August 2009,[223] and more than 34 million copies by May 2010.[224][225] Tor Books reported that sales of all franchise materials are greater than $1.7 billion,[140] and Bungie's games before Reach accounted for $1.5 billion in sales.[226] The soundtracks to Halo 2, Halo 3, ODST and Reach all appeared on the Billboard 200 charts for at least one week.[227] By May 2011, total gross of Halo merchandise was $2 billion, with 40 million copies of the games sold.[228] The total amount climbed to $2.3 billion in July 2011,[229] and $2.8 billion in January 2012.[230] Total franchise grosses exceeded $4.6 billion by October 2015, with 25% of the figure from non-game-related merchandise.[191]

The Halo adaptations have been successful as well. Many of the novels have appeared on Publishers Weekly's bestseller charts and the Halo Graphic Novel sold more than 100,000 copies, a "rare hit" for the games-to-comics genre.[231]Ghosts of Onyx, Contact Harvest, The Cole Protocol and the first volume of Cryptum appeared on The New York Times bestseller lists,[133][232][233][234][235][236] and The Cole Protocol also opened 50th overall on USA Today's bestsellers list.[237] Tor's first three novels sold more than one million copies by April 2009.[238]

Overall, the Halo series has been very well received by critics. Halo: Combat Evolved has received numerous Game of the Year awards.[239][240] In March 2007, IGN listed it as the top Xbox game of all time, while readers ranked it the fourteenth best game ever on "IGN Readers' Choice 2006 – The Top 100 Games Ever".[241][242] Conversely, Game Spy ranked Halo: Combat Evolved tenth on its list of "Top 25 Most Overrated Games of All Time", citing repetitive level design and the lack of an online multiplayer mode.[243]Halo 2 also received numerous awards,[244] with IGN listing it as the number two top Xbox game of all time in March 2007.[241] From its initial release on the Xbox in November 2004 until the launch of Gears of War on the Xbox 360 in November 2006 – two years later – Halo 2 was the most popular video game on Xbox Live.[245]Halo 3 was nominated for and won multiple awards; it won Time magazine's "Game of the Year" and IGN chose it as the Best Xbox 360 Online Multiplayer Game and Innovative Design of 2007.[246][247][248] Most publications called the multiplayer aspect one of the best features; IGN said the multiplayer map lineup was the strongest of the series, and GameSpy added that the multiplayer offering will greatly please "Halo veterans".[249][250] Complaints focused on the game's plot. The New York Times said the game had a "throwaway" plot and Total Video Games judged the single-player aspect ultimately disappointing.[251][252] The series' music and audio has received enthusiastic response from game reviewers.[250][253][254]

Cultural impact[edit]

The main trilogy, particularly its protagonist, are considered iconic and a symbol of today's video games; a wax replica of Master Chief was made by Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas, where Pete Wentz compared the character to notable characters from previous generations like Spider-Man, Frodo, and Luke Skywalker.[255]The Escapist author Roger Travis compared Halo's story to Virgil's Aeneid, saying the religious and political struggle described in the games relates to the modern epic tradition.[117]GamesTM stated Halo: Combat Evolved "changed video game combat forever", and Halo 2 showcased Xbox Live as a tool for communities.[19] Game Daily noted Halo 2's launch was "easily comparable to the biggest in other sectors of the entertainment industry", marking the first time a video game launch has become a major cultural event in the United States.[256]Time magazine included the franchise in the "2005 Time 100", highlighting that in the first ten weeks after the release of Halo 2, players spent 91 million combined hours playing the game online.[257] A The New York Times report noted the success of Halo 3 was critical for Microsoft, persuading consumers to buy the Xbox 360 console which was experiencing waning sales compared with the Nintendo Wii, as well as helping restore the console's image. On September 25, 2007, the release date for Halo 3, Microsoft's shares rose 1.7% based on sales expectations for the game.[258]Halo has been described as a series that "has reinvented a genre that didn't know it needed to be reinvented", with aspects of the main trilogy being duplicated in other first-person shooter games multiple times.[259]

Variety called Halo "the equivalent of Star Wars".[260] The fandom is referred to as the "Halo nation".[261]

Machinima[edit]

Main article: Machinima

As a popular video game series with a large and active fan base, the Halo trilogy has given rise to an array of video productions in an emerging entertainment medium, machinima.[262] Virtually all machinima footage based around Halo is taken from the multiplayer modes of the main trilogy. Most productions are set outside Halo canon, while others are based on fan fiction closely relating to the story. Halo 3 includes a saved film function that allows camera angles not possible in previous games, and other features that simplify production. The game has become one of the most popular tools for generating machinima, and Microsoft updated its user license agreement to allow noncommercial distribution of such films.[263]

A notable machinima production is the comedy series Red vs. Blue created by Rooster Teeth Productions. It has achieved an unparalleled level of success in Halo machinima in specific, and machinima in general; it is credited with bringing attention to the genre.[219][264]Red vs. Blue generated annual revenues of US$200,000, and special promotional episodes were commissioned by Bungie.[219] The first series, The Blood Gulch Chronicles, ended on June 28, 2007, after 100 regular episodes and numerous promotional videos.[265] Subsequent series include The Recollection, which contains more dramatic elements than its comedic predecessor,[266]Project Freelancer, The Chorus Trilogy, Anthology, and The Shisno Paradox. Other machinima series include Arby ‘n the Chief, Fire Team Charlie, The Codex, and the in-game interview show This Spartan Life.

Esports[edit]

Players began creating impromptu Halo tournaments and local parties after the release of the first game. Bungie looked at the success of these matches as inspiration for crafting the online multiplayer components of Halo 2.[267]

Larger organizations soon began operating Halo competitive games. In August 2002, G4 hosted the Halo National Championship Finals, a FFA [free-for-all] tournament involving sixteen players from across the country (hosted by Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame.)[268] The Associates of Gaming Professionals (AGP), which focused solely on Halo, held its first event in November 2002.[269] Inspired by friends placing bets on their Halo matches, Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni formed Major League Gaming the same year.[270]

Microsoft and 343 Industries sponsored their own professional Halo league, called the Halo Championship Series (HCS), in 2014.[271] It was started in partnership with the Electronic Sports League (ESL). Seasons 1 and 2 ran on The Master Chief Collection.[272] In August 2015 Microsoft announced it would be increasing the total prize pool of the HCS to $1 million USD, for the newly announced Halo World Championship, which will be the debut event for Halo 5.[273] This prize pool was later announced to be crowd-funded, which later resulted in Major League Gaming announcing that the prize pool had climbed to $2 million USD. Later that week, 343 announced that the prize pool was locked at $2.5 million USD. This was the largest console esports prize pool ever.[274]

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Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_(franchise)
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Halo Video Games in Order of Chronological Release – Order to Play

The Halo franchise is part of the Microsoft gaming world for its Xbox series of video game consoles. This particular franchise falls into the science fiction genre as a military-style first-person shooter, or FPS.

order to play halo games

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Originally created by Bungie, Halo is now managed and developed by an Xbox Game Studio division known as 343 Industries.

Much of the franchise revolves around the character of Master Chief John-117, a supersoldier Spartan, often accompanied by his AI, Cortana, as they battle a religious theocracy of multiple species known as the Covenant.

In the article below we are listing the main Halo games in order of chronological release. This order is actually the recommended order to play for someone just starting out on this game series.

Table of Contents

1) Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)

halo combat evolved

The first installment of this franchise was released on November 15, 2001 for the original Xbox console. It would also see eventual release for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.

This game substantially grew Xbox console sales, giving Microsoft a badly needed boost as they tried to compete with existing video game console makers.

The content and caliber of the game were astounding enough to players that it set the standard for FPS games for years to come.

It was even honored with a remastered graphics re-release a decade later with an ‘Anniversary’ edition.

Man fans were drawn to the split-screen mode where two players could sit side-by-side and play with each other in front of the same television.

2) Halo 2 (2004)

halo2

The sequel and second game in this franchise came out in November of 2004 for the original Xbox console, with later releases for Microsoft Windows and even the Xbox One, as part of the Master Chief Collection.

The story and events of this game take place after the first one, and broke sales records at the time.

Earning $125 million on just its first day, it went on to be the highest-grossing video game for the entire original Xbox line.

Many fans enjoyed the multiplayer side of the game, continuing to play this one over later installments as long as the servers were up.

The inclusion of that MP in the Master Chief Collection was celebrated for bringing back the Halo 2 MP maps once more.

3) Halo 3 (2007)

Given the success of the Halo franchise, Microsoft relied heavily on Halo 3 to get consumers to buy its second console, the Xbox 360.

In September of 2007, Halo 3 came out, followed later by Xbox One and Windows releases as part of the Master Chief Collection.

The story campaign of this game was usually finished much faster by players than Halo 1 or 2, but the big selling point of this one was an emphasis on multiplayer, which had new maps rolled out for some time after the initial game release.

The single-player mode did conclude the trilogy arc of its predecessors, and smashed sales records that Halo 2 set.

Halo 3 earned $170 million on day one, and almost double that in one week. Like Halo 2, it went on to be the highest-grossing game of the Xbox 360 console.

4) Halo Wars (2009)

wars

In February of 2009, the franchise took a new direction with one installment with the release of Halo Wars.

This game changed genres, as it was not a first-person shooter, but instead a real-time strategy game, or RTS.

Originally released on the Xbox 360, it later saw release for both the Xbox One and Microsoft Windows as the Halo Wars: Definitive Edition. This game’s story took place about two decades prior to the original Halo, covering some of the first encounters humanity had with the Covenant.

5) Halo 3: ODST (2009)

ODST

Halo Wars was not the only franchise installment to come out in the year 2009, as Halo 3: ODST was also released.

It returned to the FPS roots of the series, but it did not focus on the Master Chief character, instead following five ‘orbital drop shock troopers’, or ODSTs.

This game first came out for the Xbox 360, before the Master Chief Collection made it available to Xbox One consoles and Windows computers.

While many fans of the franchise enjoyed the game, they did note that it seemed like a bit of a money-grab by Microsoft.

Disc one had the single-player mode, which was originally intended to be a downloadable content or DLC expansion to Halo 3, and disc two just had another variation of the Halo 3 multiplayer.

6) Halo: Reach (2010)

reach

2010 was the year that saw the last Bungie-developed Halo game, as their partnership with Microsoft ended, and they turned their attention towards their eventual Destiny franchise.

Reach was a prequel to the first Halo trilogy, again an FPS without the Master Chief character. The multiplayer side of this game struck a good chord with franchise fans, partly for its high quality, but also largely because it was Bungie’s last involvement.

The Reach multiplayer was retained and used for the Anniversary re-release of Halo I. Many hard-core fans of the franchise consider Reach the last ‘actual’ Halo game, since Bungie didn’t have anything to do with later installments.

7) Halo 4 (2012)

halo 4

Halo 4 was the first franchise installment done by 343 Industries, first for the Xbox 360, and later the Xbox One and Windows as part of the Master Chief Collection.

It was intended to start a new trilogy story over three games. While this game had some fans, the players of previous Halo games largely had a hard time recognizing this as being on par with previous installments.

8) Halo 5: Guardians (2015)

guardians

This sequel for Halo 4 came out for only the Xbox One in 2015. The single-player campaign was widely received as an improvement over Halo 4, although perhaps not back to the level of quality associated with Bungie installments.

The removal of the split-screen feature upset many fans who had spent years playing Halo with friends like this.

Numerous improvements and additions were made to the multiplayer side to keep up with current gaming. The influence of the Halo series over other shooters had long since worn off.

9) Halo Wars 2 (2017)

wars 2

This sequel to the first RTS Halo game continued that storyline for Xbox One consoles and Windows PCs.

Released in 2017, the end of the solo campaign started tying the RTS storyline into the Reclaimer trilogy of Halo 4 and 5.

10) Halo Infinite (expected 2021)

infinite

This game is expected to be released in the Fall of 2021, serving as what would have been Halo 6. The Master Chief will again return as the protagonist, finishing the trilogy arc of the two previous games for players on the Xbox One and Series X consoles, as well as Windows PCs.

As of the time of writing, a beta had been announced. Also, the split-screen feature was due to return in response to fan backlash.

Filed Under: Computer & Mobile Games

Sours: https://www.tech21century.com/halo-games-in-order-of-release/
Evolution of Halo Games 2001 - 2021

All Halo Games In Order According To Lore

Halo is a franchise that has been ongoing for decades at this point. It originally came out in 2001, and the series has since spawned a variety of video games, books, and so much more. The Halo universe has expanded to gargantuan proportions, but we're not complaining.

RELATED: Halo: The Master Chief's Biggest Weaknesses

Due to the long, sprawling lore that surrounds the franchise, it can be hard to determine where the story starts first. In order to rectify this, we have ordered Halo games in chronological order regarding where it lies on the timeline. Whether you are a long-standing fan of Master Chief's adventures or a newcomer wondering where to begin, read on and find out the chronology of Halo's universe.

Updated October 11, 2021 by Amanda Hurych: With the rapidly approaching release of Halo Infinite this holiday season, there is no better time to refresh your memory regarding the Halo universe's timeline. New information regarding the launch date of Infinite and its place within the series has been revealed. In addition to that, more tidbits regarding each entry in the franchise has been clarified and concisely conveyed. Now all we have to do is wait for Halo Infinite to come out as we go over the events of the narrative across every game in the series.

13 Halo Wars

Game Release DateFebruary 6, 2009
Halo Timeline2531 CE
DeveloperEnsemble Studios
GenreReal-Time Strategy
Average Completion Time10 Hours

Designed as a real-time strategy game, Halo Wars is considered the earliest game entry in terms of Halo lore. However, when considering the many books that comprise Halo's expanded universe, The Forerunner Saga definitely takes the cake in terms of earliest entry overall.

RELATED: Halo: PC Vs. Console - Which Version Is Better?

Taking place roughly 21 years before the events of the original game, Halo Wars focuses on a group of UNSC soldiers and scientists aboard the Spirit of Fire as they stop the Covenant from getting their hands on an armada of ancient Forerunner ships.

12 Halo: Reach

Game Release DateSeptember 14, 2010
Halo Timeline2552 CE
DeveloperBungie
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion Time9 Hours

The end mission of Halo: Reach takes place just a few moments before the original Halo: Combat Evolved, so it's not hard to tell where this falls on the Halo timeline. The game tells the tragic story of a team of Spartans attempting to defend the doomed planet Reach from an overhwleming force of Covenant invaders.

Fans of the series knew from the get-go that it would be a losing fight. The campaign possesses a somber tone, but it introduces robust gameplay through its multiplayer component.

11 Halo: Combat Evolved

Game Release DateNovember 15, 2001
Halo Timeline2552 CE
DeveloperBungie
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion Time10 Hours

The original title that started it all, Halo: Combat Evolved is the first game where players control Master Chief. With an excellent weapon sandbox and other phenomenal gameplay elements that have remained fundamental staples for the rest of the franchise, Halo: Combat Evolved focuses on the Chief's journey across the titular Halo ring.

Not only does he learn about the gigantic ringworld's true purpose, but he also has to defend himself and others against Covenant forces and the grotesque Flood.

10 Halo: Fireteam Raven

Game Release DateJuly 2018
Halo Timeline2552 CE
DeveloperPlay Mechanix Inc.
GenreArcade Rail Shooter
Average Completion Time1 Hour

Halo: Fireteam Raven takes place during the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and follows a group of ODST soldiers battling the Covenant on a Halo ring. Fireteam Raven is unique among the Halo games due to being a cooperative arcade shooter that originally debuted at Dave & Buster's.

However, fighting to protect the Pillar of Autumn against waves of Grunts and Elites still feels like a familiar experience to any Halo fan.

9 Halo 2

Game Release DateNovember 9, 2004
Halo Timeline2552 CE
DeveloperBungie
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion Time10 Hours

Halo 2 is often considered one of the greatest first-person shooters ever made with some even considering it better than the original. It directly continues the adventures of Master Chief, while also adding brand new gameplay elements that took the series to new heights.

From an expanded weapon sandbox to double-wielding, Halo 2 was full of surprises for fans. This includes the famously ambitious multiplayer and a new playable character in the form of the Arbiter.

8 Halo 3: ODST

Game Release DateSeptember 22, 2009
Halo Timeline2552 CE
DeveloperBungie
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion Time7 Hours

Originally thought of as a small side project by Bungie that merely supported the story of Halo 3, ODST eventually grew to become a full-fledged game that is able to stand tall among its brethren Halo titles. Playing as a lone ODST roaming the ruins of New Mombasa was an incredibly engrossing experience that no one saw coming.

The quiet streets in the dead of night, the jazz overtones courtesy of Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, and the unique plot progression make ODST a darling jewel in the collection of Halo games we've played. Halo 3: ODST takes place during the events of Halo 2.

7 Halo 3

Game Release DateSeptember 25, 2007
Halo Timeline2552 CE
DeveloperBungie
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion Time8 Hours

Halo 3 concludes the story started by the original Halo, before the later events of the Reclaimer Saga. Due to being the grand finale of a trilogy, the game was designed to be bigger and better than what came before.

RELATED: Halo: Which Games Have The Best Campaign?

Master Chief must deal with the entirety of the Covenant under the Prophet of Truth and eradicate the Flood from the face of the universe, all while trying to rescue his AI companion, Cortana. Many gameplay additions were presented to players, including the Forge Map Editor, which allowed you to modify multiplayer maps.

6 Halo: Spartan Assault

Game Release DateJuly 18, 2013
Halo Timeline2552 CE - 2557 CE
DeveloperVanguard Games
GenreTop-Down, Twin-Stick Shooter
Average Completion Time5 Hours

Halo: Spartan Assault is a twin-stick shooter that originally came out for mobile platforms. When it comes to placing Halo games in order, this one sits roughly between the events of Halo 3 and 4.

It gives players the chance to control Spartan Sarah Palmer as she fights against the Covenant. Although the game had fairly mixed reviews, it garnered enough attention to eventually create a sequel.

5 Halo 4

Game Release DateNovember 6, 2021
Halo Timeline2557 CE
Developer343 Industries
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion Time8 Hours

Halo 4 is the first game in the Reclaimer Saga and is also the first mainline Halo title to be solely created by 343 Industries. The story picks up four years after the events of Halo 3. Master Chief and Cortana are pitted against the Forerunner known as the Didact, as well as a splinter faction of the Covenant.

Halo 4 put extra focus on the relationship between Master Chief and Cortana throughout the campaign, and the multiplayer underwent massive changes as well, incorporating loadouts as an integral part of the experience.

4 Halo: Spartan Strike

Game Release DateApril 16, 2016
Halo Timeline2557 CE - 2558 CE
DeveloperVanguard Games
GenreTop-Down, Twin-Stick Shooter
Average Completion Time6 Hours

The sequel to Spartan Assault, Halo: Spartan Strike is a twin-stick shooter game in the same vein. This game technically takes place during two time periods: partially during Halo 2 and partially during events after Halo 4.

The game primarily focuses on the player hunting down an artifact called the Conduit. This artifact was first located in the ruins of New Mombasa, but it got transported to a Halo ring. The struggle to obtain it is the main objective of the narrative.

3 Halo 5: Guardians

Game Release DateOctober 27, 2015
Halo Timeline2558
Developer343 Industries
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion Time8 Hours

Halo 5: Guardians is the most recent outing for Master Chief (or at least it is until Halo Infinite launches). It tells the stories of both Master Chief and Spartan Locke. The latter hunts the former after Chief goes rogue to find Cortana.

However, despite having generally favorable reviews, Halo 5's campaign was criticized for lacking couch co-op among a few other complaints. Many fans felt the game to be a step backward for the series.

2 Halo Wars 2

Game Release DateFebruary 21, 2017
Halo Timeline2559 CE
DeveloperCreative Assembly
GenreReal-Time Strategy
Average Completion Time9 Hours

Halo Wars 2 is the sequel to the original Halo Wars and takes place after Halo 5: Guardians. It follows the Spirit Of Fire crew dealing with the Banished on the abandoned Ark. Similar to Halo Wars, it is a real-time strategy game that is set in the Halo universe.

Its controls and gameplay mechanics are likewise remarkably inviting for newcomers to the RTS genre. While it is not the definitive Halo experience, it is a solid entry in the franchise, with story beats that help to set up the plot for Halo Infinite.

1 Halo Infinite

Game Release DateDecember 8, 2021
Halo Timeline2560
Developer343 Industries
GenreFirst-Person Shooter
Average Completion TimeUnknown

Halo Infinite is the latest (and hopefully greatest) release set for the franchise. It has been confirmed that it will take place after the events of Halo 5: Guardians and Halo Wars 2. Various trailers have revealed bits and pieces about the plot including a new AI that will accompany Master Chief on his adventure. Known only as "The Weapon," this AI was created to thwart Cortana, though how this has come about is still a mystery.

343 Industries promises this is to be Master Chief's greatest adventure yet and, perhaps, the most ambitious Halo game to date. More details on the story will undoubtedly come about and the game's free multiplayer looks fantastic.

NEXT: Halo Infinite Guide: Everything We Know So Far

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Sours: https://www.thegamer.com/halo-games-in-order/

Games halo video

List of Halo media

Title Release date ISBN Media type Halo: The Fall of ReachOctober 30, 2001[60]ISBN 0-345-45132-5NovelizationNotes:Halo: The FloodApril 1, 2003[63]ISBN 0-345-45921-0NovelizationNotes:Halo: First StrikeDecember 2, 2003[66]ISBN 0-345-46781-7NovelizationNotes:
  • Story set between Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, starting right after the events of Halo: The Flood and leading to the beginning of Halo 2,[64] Reissued in 2010.
  • The New York Times bestseller.[67]
Halo: Ghosts of OnyxOctober 31, 2006[68]ISBN 0-7653-5470-5NovelizationNotes:Halo: Contact HarvestOctober 30, 2007[71]ISBN 0-7653-1569-6NovelizationNotes:Halo: The Cole ProtocolNovember 25, 2008[75]ISBN 978-0-7653-1570-0NovelizationNotes:
  • Follows the story of a group of Spartans, "Gray Team", too isolated to take part in the events of other publications[76]
  • The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today's best seller (trade paperback)[77][78][79]
Halo: Evolutions – Essential Tales of the Halo UniverseNovember 24, 2009[80]ISBN 978-0-7653-1573-1Collection of short storiesNotes:Halo: CryptumJanuary 4, 2011 ISBN 978-0-7653-2396-5NovelizationNotes:Halo: GlasslandsOctober 25, 2011 ISBN 978-0-7653-3040-6NovelizationNotes:
  • The first Karen TravissHalo novel.
  • The first of a Post-Halo 3 'Kilo-Five Trilogy' centered on the Office of Naval Intelligence and some ODSTs.
Halo: PrimordiumJanuary 3, 2012 ISBN 978-0-7653-2397-2NovelizationNotes:Halo: The Thursday WarOctober 2, 2012[83]ISBN 978-0-7653-3363-6NovelizationNotes:
  • Second novel in the Kilo-Five Trilogy by Karen Traviss.[83]
Halo: SilentiumMarch 19, 2013 ISBN 978-0-7653-2398-9NovelizationNotes:Halo: Mortal DictataJanuary 21, 2014[84]ISBN 978-07653-3545-6NovelizationNotes:
  • Final novel in the Kilo-Five Trilogy by Karen Traviss.[84]
Halo: Broken CircleNovember 4, 2014 ISBN 978-14767-8359-8NovelizationNotes:
  • Novel that covers some of the Prophet & Elite War, just under 900 years before the Halo event. By John Shirley
Halo: New BloodMarch 2, 2015 ISBN 978-1-4767-9670-3NovelizationNotes:Halo: Hunters in the DarkJune 16, 2015[85]ISBN 978-1-4767-9585-0NovelizationNotes:
  • Set in 2555, more than two years after the Master Chief went missing-in-action. Humans and Elites must attempt to overcome their differences as they embark on a covert mission back to the Ark. By Peter David.[85]
Halo: Saint's TestimonyJuly 27, 2015[86]ISBN 978-1-5011-0969-0NovelizationNotes:
  • A digital single
  • A military-grade artificial intelligence successfully launches an unprecedented legal appeal against her own death sentence
  • By Frank O'Connor, Franchise Development Director for the Halo franchise at 343 Industries[86]
Halo: Last LightSeptember 15, 2015[87]ISBN 978-1-5011-0336-0NovelizationNotes:
  • It is 2553, and the three-decade-long Covenant War that defined a generation has suddenly drawn to a close. Yet, in the remotest parts of human space, tensions remain that threaten to overflow into another full-scale conflict. Beneath the surface of the planet Gao lies a vast cavern system renowned for its therapeutic effects and rumored miraculous cures. But now Gao natives are turning up brutally murdered down there—violent acts that happen to coincide with the recent arrival of a UNSC research battalion protected by Spartan Blue Team, led by the renowned Spartan-II Fred-104.[87]
  • Print versions of the book from certain retailers contained a code that could be redeemed for a REQ Pack in Halo 5: Guardians, set to be released just over a month from the book's release date.[88]
  • By Troy Denning[87]
Halo: Shadow of IntentDecember 7, 2015[89]ISBN 978-1-5011-2276-7NovelizationNotes:
  • A digital-first e-novella.[89]
  • A powerful threat has set a cataclysmic plan in motion—a plan to lure the Half-Jaw [Rtas ‘Vadum] into a trap that will herald the utter destruction of the entire Sangheili race.[89]
  • By Joseph Staten[89]
Halo: FracturesSeptember 20, 2016[90]ISBN 978-1-5011-4067-9Collection of short storiesNotes:
  • A collection of short stories from the following authors: Tobias S. Buckell, Troy Denning, Matt Forbeck, Kelly Gay, Christie Golden, Kevin Grace, Morgan Lockhart, John Jackson Miller, Frank O’Connor, Brian Reed, Joseph Staten, and James Swallow.[90]
  • Includes the first printed versions of Shadow of Intent and Saint's Testimony, previously released as digital-first e-novellas in 2015[86][89]
Halo: Smoke and ShadowNovember 28, 2016[91]ISBN 978-1-5011-4460-8NovelizationNotes:
  • Digital-first eNovella
  • A continuation of the short story "Into the Fire" from "Halo: Fractures". The text from "Into the Fire" is also included in "Halo: Smoke and Shadow".[91]
  • "Find. Claim. Profit. In a post-war galaxy littered with scrap, it’s the salvager’s motto. And with a fast ship and a lust for adventure, Rion Forge [daughter of Sergeant Forge from Halo Wars] has certainly made her mark on the trade. When the discovery of a wrecked UNSC cruiser brings Rion’s past back to haunt her, stirring fresh hope into a decades-old wound, she’s hell-bent on finding answers: What really happened to her father and his ship, the Spirit of Fire?"[91]
Halo: EnvoyApril 25, 2017[92]ISBN 978-1-5011-0687-3NovelizationNotes:
  • The novel marks the return of Spartan Gray Team and gives the background of what they have been up to since we last saw them.
  • "It has been six years since the end of the Covenant War...and yet on the planet Carrow, a world on the edge of the Joint Occupation Zone, a decisive new battle suddenly erupts."[92]
Halo: RetributionAugust 29, 2017 ISBN 9781501138362Novelization
  • Members of a UNSC special operations team investigate the kidnapping of an admiral and her family, and are sucked into a conspiracy that threatens to undermine a fragile galactic peace.
  • The novel features characters from the Halo: Fractures short story "A Necessary Truth" and the novel Last Light.
Halo: Legacy of OnyxNovember 15, 2017 ISBN 978-1501132612Novelization
  • The adoptive daughter of two scientists moves to a Forerunner installation, where she must grapple with living next to the aliens who once killed her people.
  • The novel features characters from the Halo: Fractures short story "Lessons Learned".
Halo: Bad BloodJune 26, 2018 ISBN 978-1501128257Novelization
  • Features Spartan Edward Buck and other characters from Halo 3: ODST.
  • The novel follows up on the novella New Blood, as well as the events of Halo 5.
Halo: Silent StormSeptember 4, 2018 ISBN 978-1501138386Novelization
  • Takes place in 2526, early in the Human-Covenant conflict.
Halo: Battle BornJanuary 1, 2019 ISBN 978-1338253641Novelization
  • First book in the Battle Born: A Halo Young Adult Novel Series
  • First Haloyoung adult fiction (YA) novel
Halo: RenegadesFebruary 19, 2019 ISBN 978-1501192791Novelization
  • Follows up on the events of Halo: Smoke and Shadow and Halo: Primordium
Halo: OblivionSeptember 24, 2019 ISBN 978-1982114763Novelization
  • Sequel to Halo: Silent Storm
Halo: Meridian DivideOctober 1, 2019 ISBN 978-1338566352NovelizationHalo: Shadows of ReachSeptember 22, 2020 ISBN 978-1982143619NovelizationHalo: Point of LightMarch 2, 2021 ISBN 978-1982147860Novelization
  • Followup to Halo: Renegades.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Halo_media
Evolution of Halo Games 2001 - 2021

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