The franchise primarily tells the story of a Spartan super soldier named Master Chief John-117 and his assistant Cortana, who use artificial intelligence in an attempt to battle the species known as the Covenant. While this all sounds interesting, the franchise itself is pretty hard to get started with for a newbie, especially considering two games were released in one year.
In this article we list all the Halo games in chronological order of release and how they should be played during the story.
best chronological order of games in the Halo franchise on XBOX
1. Halo: Combat Mission (2001)
Released in November 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved is the first installment of the franchise. It was playable on the original XBOX, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It tells the story of the main character and his fight against The Covenant. The player is the Master Chief.
The game was a huge success for Microsoft and reached new heights in console gaming. In the tenth year since the game’s release on the XBOX 360, a high-definition version was released with remastered graphics that were once again appreciated by many. The most popular feature of this game was the splitscreen mode, which allowed two players to play a first person shooter on the same screen.
2. Halo 2 (2004)
The second part of the franchise, Halo 2, broke several records upon its release. It was originally released on the original XBOX, and later on other platforms such as the XBOX One and Microsoft Windows.
It was released in November 2004 and brought in $125 million on its first day. But the hype surrounding the game continued for days, as it became the most impressive game on the original XBOX console. While the story mode itself was a huge success, many fans enjoyed the multiplayer aspect so much that the servers were saturated even after the next installments were released.
3. Halo 3 (2007)
Halo 3 came out around the same time Microsoft released its XBOX 360 console. Given the current popularity of the franchise, the company has focused on marketing this game as a selling point for the console itself.
In terms of gameplay, the story that began in the first part of the game has reached its denouement, although it is quite short compared to its predecessors. However, this was understandable, as Bungie focused on the multiplayer features of the game, with large maps and a variety of combat techniques. Like Halo 2, this game broke financial records, earning over $170 million on its first day of release. In November 2014, the game was re-released on XBOX One as part of the Master Chief Collection.
4. Halo Wars (2009)
Since the story was already in the previous installment, Halo Wars was more of an experience and depended on the Halo title to generate sales. The game also changed developers during this time, when 343 Industries took over and decided to change the genre for this game. The franchise was originally intended to be a real-time game (RTS) rather than the original first-person shooter (FPS) format.
At the time, Microsoft was actively using its motion capture features on the XBOX 360, which allowed Halo Wars to be portrayed very nicely. As for the story itself, the game is set in the year 2531, 21 years before the events of the first part, Halo: Combat Evolution. Although more of an experiment, this game is quite immersive and unique from the original FPS series. Newcomers to the Halo franchise can even start with this game if they want.
5. Halo 3 : – PROBABILITY (2009)
While 343 Industries was responsible for the development of Halo Wars, Bungie continued to work on the first-person shooter format of the Halo franchise. Another Halo game, Halo 3, came out in 2009: ODST.
Although the title is Halo 3, the story is set during the events of Halo 2. The player takes on the role of soldiers of the United Nations Space Command, known as ODST. This was another contest where the fans’ favorite, MasterChef, was not present. Instead, the franchise focused on ODST exploring the devastated city of New Mombasa.
6. Halo: Coverage(2010)
The end of the 2000 decade marked the end of the collaboration between Bungie and Microsoft as we know Halo: Reach (2010) will be the last Halo game developed by an American video game company.
The story is set in 2552 and is presented as a direct prequel to Halo : Combat Evolution. Here, players control Noble Six, an elite unit of super-soldiers, and attempt to deploy them against the Covenant. In December 2019, the game was re-released as part of the Master’s Main Collection.
7. Halo 4 (2012)
After a chaotic few years for the Halo franchise, the story has finally continued with the return of the beloved Master Chief and Cortana. The player once again takes on the role of the Master Chief and fights a new faction that has separated from the Covenant members.
Despite the change of developer, the return of Master Chief helped the game reach an impressive $220 million on its first day of release.
8. Halo 5 : Guardian (2015)
Halo 5 was released as a direct sequel to Halo 4 : Guardians was released with many improvements to the single player campaign. While it doesn’t reach the heights of the original trilogy, it’s certainly fun to play thanks to the motion capture capabilities. On the multiplayer side, however, this game disappointed the masses, with 343 Industries deciding to remove the split-screen feature from the franchise.
The game consists of two fire teams, Blue led by Master Chief and Fireteam Osiris led by Spartan Locke. When the first one disappears, Osiris’ fire team tries to bring him back. Although the story is unique and entertaining, it has mixed opinions because of the ending and short length. For now, we are still waiting for the sequel of this game, which was announced as Halo Infinite and is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023.
9. Halo of War 2 (2017)
In 2017, 343 Industries in partnership with Creative Assembly released the second real-time game (RTS) in the Halo Wars 2 franchise. In 2559, it was a sequel to the first Halo Wars game in terms of title and story.
This game is one of the most scientific Halo games of all time, as it focuses heavily on automation and outposts. The main task of the player in this game is to destroy enemy outposts and capture territories on the battlefield. All in all, a fun game to play in anticipation of Halo Infinite.
10. Halo Infinite (2023)
Halo Infinite, the final installment in the trilogy that began with Halo 4, remains one of the most anticipated Halo games of all time. The dynamic duo of Master Chief and his AI assistant Cortana return to battle the Covenant.
Unlike Halo 5: Guardians, where the story centers on the Osiris shooting team led by Master Chief, this game will be more human. The Master Chief would also be central to the game, as he will try to save humanity from an alien race. The game will be available on the new XBOX One X and S consoles, as well as on XBOX One and Microsoft Windows.
The Halo franchise on XBOX has broken several sales records over the years and continues its legacy to this day. What we like most about this series is that the developers keep experimenting from time to time.
Not to mention how they handle the multiplayer aspect. Since the release of the trailer for Halo Infinite, many gamers have returned to the franchise, while newcomers are also attracted to the game. If you’re also considering playing Halo games on the XBOX, our list will definitely help you out.
frequently asked questions
In what order should I play the Halo games?
I recommend you start with the FPS titles, in this order: Halo: Rich, Halo: Wrestlemania evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 ODST, Halo 3, Halo 4, and finally Halo 5: Guardian. After playing these games, I recommend playing the Halo Wars series in order, from Halo Wars to Halo Wars 2.
In what order should I play the Halo Master Chief Collection?
If this is your first time playing, I highly recommend that you use the : Halo CE, 2, 3, ODST, Reach, 4. Reach is a prequel to CE, and some of the story battles you may miss if you haven’t played CE. Just to add to what everyone is saying: MCC uses the Halo CE and Halo 2 Anniversary versions.
What is the first Halo game on the timeline?
The original trilogy. The original Halo trilogy of games was developed by Bungie and are first-person shooters in which the player experiences most of the action from the perspective of the protagonist. The first title in the series is Halo: Combat Evolved for Xbox, released on the 15th. November 2001.
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