Halo has been a thing almost as long as the Xbox console. The original Xbox had a great launch lineup, especially with it being the first of its kind, but Halo: Combat Evolved is what gave Microsoft the ability to reshape the industry forever. 

It’s been twenty years since the start of the Halo franchise and in that time Microsoft has published over a dozen titles in the series, including seven games that involve Master Chief, the cyborg supersoldier hero of the series. 

The series started in space but it’s been a tumultuous ride for the series at times, with some titles feeling more rushed or perhaps even a little less necessary. Each game relating to Master Chief’s story is still a sci-fi epic worth experiencing all in their own right. 

These are Master Chief’s adventures ranked from really good to maybe not as good, but let’s be nice because making games is a lot of work.

Ranking the Adventures of Master Chief Through the Halo Saga

Halo: Combat Evolved 

The first Halo title is probably most people’s favorite. Developer Bungie laid out a great story that felt much more mature for the time. It may sound silly in retrospect, especially because of how some of the game’s scenes have aged, but Combat Evolved was a big deal for a reason. 

It was a dramatic story with explosions and action, but it didn’t stop there. Halo: Combat Evolved is also filled with imagination and wonder. And you can hear it too. The soundtrack is almost as breathtaking as Crash Bandicoot’s lush, orange fur. 

If you’re going to play one game in the series, make it this one — especially with a friend on co-op. 

Halo 4 

This is probably my only controversial choice but whatever, it’s my list, and I’ve been yelling this forever. Now I’m yelling it on Prima Games so you have to believe me. Halo 4 is so, so good and shame on anyone who calls it a bad game. 

Halo 4’s only real crime is it feels disconnected from the rest of the series in terms of aesthetic and story, but it’s still an amazing game to play. Master Chief, Cortana, and the Covenant are all here with some of the tightest shooting in the series, up to that point. 

It also has the best multiplayer in the series and I will die on that hill and then respawn because you’re gonna hide outside of combat. Thank you..

Halo Reach 

Halo Reach was Bungie’s last game in the series and it was a magnificent swan song. Taking place first chronologically, Halo Reach is a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved. 

Reach tells the story of how Master Chief was brought aboard The Pillar of Autumn, which is the ship that’s under attack at the start of Combat Evolved. It’s a heartbreaking story with sacrifice and empathy baked into the entire, thrilling ride. 

The game also had medkits because it took place before video games figured that out. I don’t know. No one liked that. It goes under Halo 4. Medkits are bad for shooters, pass it on.

Halo 3 

Halo 3 almost doesn’t need an introduction. It’s an absolutely incredible game that concludes Bungie’s time with Master Chief. The campaign is as bloated as it is ambitious, but that doesn’t stop it from having some of the best combat encounters in the series, especially for the time. 

Halo 2 

Halo 2 is a very good game with some really interesting ideas, such as the interweaving storylines between Master Chief and Arbiter. The two characters start out so different and as enemies but they eventually become allies. 

Halo 2’s multiplayer helped shape Xbox Live’s features and functionality, which greatly influenced online gaming as a whole in the console space. 

It’s down here with Halo 5: Guardians because of the sentinels though. I still have nightmares about those lasers wiping out my shields while I endlessly searched for a door. 

Halo 5: Guardians 

Halo 2 isn’t a bad game, and neither is Halo 5. It’s actually a really good game. It feels good to run and shoot in Halo 5: Guardians; It just doesn’t feel like a Halo game most of the time.

Halo Infinite is coming soon though and it looks like Halo more than any other game in the series, except maybe Halo: Combat Evolved. It’s a good time to be a Halo fan, especially with Xbox Game Pass, where each game can be played, including Master Chief’s next adventure.

Related: Halo Infinite Campaign Overview Shows New Baddies, Open World, Skill Trees & More