By now, if you never heard Gregorian chant with a giant ring floating in space, then it means you missed out big time on possibly one of the best FPS games in history. The franchise has spawned a dozen games since its debut in 2001 on the original Xbox console. That said, what’s the best order to play the Halo timeline games?
Who makes Halo games?
Originally developed by Bungie Studio, Halo was supposed to be an RTS game at first, and then became this purplish/greenish first-person shooter later on during development. It was an OG Xbox launch title, and quickly became the killer app of the Xbox. Nevertheless, Halo games are not made by Bungie anymore, but 343 Industries.
Why is Bungie not making Halo anymore?
A few years ago, Bungie released all creative control of the Halo franchise to Microsoft. The current games of the military science fiction series are now being developed by 343 Industries Studios. To make the story as simple as possible, Halo was supposed to be a Playstation 2 game at first, but it wasn’t running well on Sony’s console. Eventually, Bungie got the opportunity to work with Microsoft; Halo was a huge success!
Unfortunately, Microsoft Games’ Division was pretty new at the time, and the guys over there didn’t really know what they were doing. Obviously excited by the money, MS was pushing the Bungie devs to a point where most of the original team just wanted to leave and never come back. With each new game, the creative spirit that made the first game so special was slowly fading away.
Why is Halo so popular?
What made this game stand out from the competition was the ability to play the Solo Campaign cooperatively in split-screen mode. Moreover, the graphics and the music were amazing, and the precise gameplay was top-notch. Finally, you had fun vehicles and multiplayer maps that were so well-designed that some of them made it in the next installments of the franchise.
Halo Games in Order of Release
Before we go on with our Halo Chronology list, here’s a complete rundown of all the games that came out to this day in the franchise:
- 2001 Halo: Combat Evolved
- 2004 Halo 2
- 2007 Halo 3
- 2009 Halo Wars
- 2009 Halo 3: ODST
- 2010 Halo: Reach
- 2011 Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- 2012 Halo 4
- 2013 Halo: Spartan Assault
- 2014 Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- 2015 Halo: Spartan Strike
- 2015 Halo 5: Guardians
- 2017 Halo Wars 2
- 2021 Halo Infinite
List of All Halo Games in Chronological Order
To get a full picture of the Halo story order, we made this easy-to-follow list for you so you won’t get lost in space while playing the incredible Halo series in order:
Going back to the roots of the series, Halo Wars is a real-time strategy video game with an interesting story happening in 2531, 21 years before the event of Halo Reach. In this game, you must stop the first genocide attack from the Covenant army on the planet Harvest with the help of the Spirit of Fire warship.
Halo Reach is the last Halo game developed by Bungie and is a direct prequel to Halo 1. Following several years of battle on Harvest, the Covenant are now strategically invading the Human colony called Reach, which serves as the main military base for the UNSC. You follow the team Noble, who are desperately trying to defend Reach.
Halo Combat Evolved (Halo 1)
The game that started it all on Microsoft Xbox! Halo Combat Evolved takes place during the same year of Halo Reach’s scenario, just a bit later. While Master Chief is in cyro sleep in the warship Pillar of Autumn, the Noble Team is still fighting the Covenant army on Reach. The ship gets suddenly attacked just moments after Masterchief’s awakening.
The planet Reach has been destroyed. Halo 2 takes place just moments later, on planet Earth. You incarnate Masterchief once more and helps humans defending Earth. Halo 2 was also a huge success, especially due to its online multiplayer mode that was offering a very solid experience to the players.
Halo Spartan Strike
Halo Spartan Strike is another plot line happening during the events of Halo 2. During this story, you follow a team of soldiers trying to get to a Forerunners (the Covenant’s Gods) artifact called the Conduit before the Covenant army does.
Halo 3 ODST
In Halo 3 ODST, you follow a tactical unit, ODST, moments before the events of Halo 3 (during the years 2552 and 2553). Halo 3 ODST wasn’t very well received by the players, nor the critiques, but its setting is still fun and enjoyable.
Halo 3, the third game by Bungie, was also an immediate success. Following the battle for planet Earth and the control of the rings, you play as Master Chief who is trying to help the Humans stop the Flood and the Covenant armies.
Halo Spartan Assault
Halo Spartan Assault is also another smaller game entry in the franchise. The scenario takes place between Halo 3 and Halo 4 and is a twin-stick shooter. You can get this game on iOS, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Steam, Windows Phone, and PC.
Around 8 months before the events of Halo 5 Guardians, Halo 4 was the first effort of the newly created studio 343 Industries to bring back the franchise. Overall, it had mixed reviews, but the game was still much better than ODST.
Halo 5 Guardians
The plot of Halo 5 takes place in the year 2558, but the game was primarily focused on its online multiplayer experience, which didn’t sit very well with the fans. The big reveal of Halo 5 was that Cortana wasn’t dead after all and that she was actually a villain. Furthermore, the fact that Master Chief was not a big part of the story disappointed a lot of fans as well.
Halo Wars 2
In the year 2559, the story of Halo Wars 2 continues with the crew and its ship, the Spirit of Fire, that finally arrives at their destination, the Ark. While the Covenants think that the giant rings will give them access to their gods, the Forerunners, the Humans discovered that the rings were built to contain a parasite, the Flood. The Humans think that the Ark is the key to controlling the rings.
Did you get your Halo Infinite pre order yet? The latest title in the Halo series is now in beta testing and is highly anticipated by the fans. It looks like Halo Infinite is going to be excellent, and feel more like Bungie’s Halos than Halo 4 and 5. A story teaser revealed that Master Chief will be working with a new AI and that Cortana is still the series’ villain.