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How to Play The Halo Games in Order of Story [By Release Date and Chronologically]

When we are talking about “Games of All Time”, Halo Games series is one of the best military science fiction media franchise focus on the experiences of Master Chief Sierra-117 “John”, one of a group of supersoldiers code-named Spartans, and his artificial intelligence (AI) companion, Cortana.

Since its groundbreaking debut in 2001, the Halo franchise has captivated gamers worldwide with its immersive storytelling, breathtaking visuals, and exhilarating gameplay. Spanning multiple generations of consoles and captivating players with its rich science fiction universe, the Halo series has become synonymous with epic first-person shooter experiences. From the iconic battles against the alien alliance known as the Covenant to the enigmatic Forerunners and the relentless pursuit of the truth, Halo Games in Order take us on an unforgettable journey across the cosmos. With each installment building upon the last, fans have witnessed the evolution of the Halo universe, unraveled the mysteries of the Halo rings, and forged unforgettable connections with beloved characters like Master Chief and Cortana. Brace yourself for a thrilling adventure as we explore the Halo Games in Order and discover the expansive lore that has defined the franchise.


Every Halo Timeline in Order

The Halo game series has captivated gamers for over two decades with its epic storytelling and thrilling gameplay. The timeline of the Halo universe spans thousands of years, weaving together the fates of humanity, alien species, and ancient civilizations. It all begins with Halo: Combat Evolved, where players assume the role of Master Chief, a supersoldier fighting against the Covenant, a formidable alien alliance. The journey continues with Halo 2, delving deeper into the conflict and introducing new characters and worlds. Halo 3 concludes the original trilogy, as the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. The series expands further with prequels like Halo: Reach and Halo Wars, offering new perspectives and revealing untold stories. The timeline evolves with Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, delving into new mysteries and challenges. Finally, Halo Infinite promises to bring the saga to new heights, with a thrilling new chapter awaiting fans. Join us as we explore the Halo game timeline, charting a path through the stars and experiencing the rich lore that has defined this beloved franchise. Here are the Halo games in order of where they fall in the lore:

Halo Timeline in Order:

1. Halo Wars — 2531

2. Halo Reach — 2552

3. Halo: Combat Evolved — 2552

4. Halo 2 — 2552

5. Halo 3 — 2552 and 2553

6. Halo 3: ODST — 2552

7. Halo: Spartan Assault — Sometime between 2552 and 2557

8. Halo 4 — 2557

9. Halo: Spartan Strike — 2552 and 2557

10. Halo 5: Guardians — 2558

11. Halo Wars 2 — 2559

12. Halo Infinite — 2560


All The Halo Games in Chronological Order [Timeline of Halo]

1. Halo Wars

Halo Wars Images

Release Date: February 26, 2009

Halo timeline: 2531

Platforms: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One

Real-time strategy (RTS) video game Halo Wars is set in the science fiction world of the Halo series, takes place in 2531, roughly 20 years before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo Wars focuses around the Marine forces of the UNSC Spirit of Fire as they engage Covenant ground forces after the discovery of an ancient artifact during a journey to the partially glassed Harvest. 

Players take charge of forces from the United Nations Space Command in a command ship called Spirit of Fire. These forces are on a mission over a planet called Harvest, which is far away. The alien Covenant took Harvest from the UNSC, but the UNSC just got it back. However, Covenant activity is still going on in faraway places. When it is found out that this activity is about ancient Forerunner relics that were hidden just below the surface and were not found when humans lived there before, the war on planet Harvest gets a lot more interesting. The vehicles and units look and sound just like they did in the first Halo games. There are fast warthogs, wisecracking infantry, and raspy, determined aliens. A few new units and hero characters who fought the Covenant before there was a Master Chief are introduced in this game. In addition to the single-player campaign, there is a mode where up to six people can play together. In multiplayer games, players can choose to be in charge of either the UNSC or the Covenant. Each side has different strengths, but each also has special abilities that can change the outcome of a battle if they are used wisely. Getting hold of Forerunner relics on a map also has its benefits. During the game’s development, Microsoft said that it would shut down Ensemble once the game was finished. This made Halo Wars the last game from the successful 14-year run of Ensemble.


2. Halo Reach

Halo Reach Image

Release Date: September 14, 2010

Halo timeline: 2552

Platforms: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Halo Reach, developed by Bungie and released in 2010, takes players on a thrilling prequel journey set before the events of the original Halo trilogy. Serving as a poignant and heroic last stand, the game follows the story of Noble Team, a group of elite Spartan super-soldiers on the besieged planet Reach. As the Covenant forces advance, players step into the boots of Noble Six, a new addition to the team, and experience the harrowing battles that shaped the fate of Reach. With its gritty atmosphere, intense firefights, and emotionally charged narrative, Halo Reach offers a somber glimpse into the sacrifices made by humanity’s defenders. Players witness the valiant struggle against overwhelming odds and engage in breathtaking multiplayer modes that have become synonymous with the Halo franchise. Halo Reach stands as a testament to the bravery and resilience of the heroes who fought to the bitter end on the eponymous planet, leaving an indelible mark on the rich tapestry of the Halo universe.


3. Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo Combat Evolved Image

Release Date: November 15, 2001

Halo timeline: 2552

Platforms: Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox 360

Set in the twenty-sixth century, Halo: Combat Evolved, released in 2001 as the inaugural installment of the Halo franchise, revolutionized the first-person shooter genre and set the stage for an epic saga that would captivate millions of players worldwide. Developed by Bungie, this game introduced us to the iconic hero, Master Chief, and immersed us in a desperate battle against the alien Covenant forces on the enigmatic ringworld known as Halo. From the moment players crash-landed on the lush and mysterious planet, they were thrust into a gripping narrative filled with intense combat, awe-inspiring environments, and a meticulously crafted science fiction universe. With groundbreaking gameplay mechanics, including innovative AI and a seamless blend of vehicular and on-foot combat, Halo: Combat Evolved defined the standards for immersive storytelling and multiplayer experiences. Its immersive world, gripping story, and memorable characters laid the foundation for one of the most beloved and influential video game franchises of all time. Halo: Combat Evolved remains a timeless classic that continues to be celebrated for its innovation, introducing gamers to a universe that would be explored and expanded upon in the subsequent Halo games.


4. Halo 2

Halo 2 Image

Release Date: November 9, 2004

Halo timeline: 2552

Platforms: Xbox, Microsoft Windows

A Sequel to 2001’s critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 features new weapons, enemies, and vehicles, and shipped with online multiplayer via Microsoft’s Xbox Live service.

Released in 2004, Halo 2 propelled the Halo franchise to new heights with its ambitious storytelling, expanded universe, and groundbreaking multiplayer experience. Developed by Bungie, this highly anticipated sequel continued the gripping narrative of the original Halo, introducing players to new characters, civilizations, and conflicts. Following the dual perspectives of the Master Chief and the Arbiter, players were immersed in a galaxy-spanning war between humanity and the Covenant. Halo 2 introduced innovative gameplay features such as dual-wielding weapons, vehicle hijacking, and online multiplayer matchmaking, forever changing the landscape of competitive gaming. Its engrossing story, memorable set-pieces, and stunning graphics set a new standard for the FPS genre. With its cliffhanger ending, Halo 2 left players eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the saga. Halo 2 remains a beloved entry in the franchise, heralded for its epic scale, thrilling gameplay, and lasting impact on the gaming industry.


5. Halo 3

Halo 3

Release Date: September 25, 2007

Halo timeline: 2552 and 2553

Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Continuing 2004’s Halo 2, Halo 3’s story centers on the interstellar war between twenty-sixth century humanity, a collection of alien races known as the Covenant, and the alien parasite Flood. 

Halo 3, the highly anticipated finale of the original Halo trilogy, arrived in 2007, delivering an unforgettable climax to the interstellar conflict that had captivated players for years. Developed by Bungie, this game immersed players in an epic battle to save humanity from the relentless onslaught of the Covenant and the ancient Forerunners. As the iconic Master Chief, players embarked on a thrilling journey across stunning environments and engaged in intense combat against both familiar and new adversaries. Halo 3 introduced a robust multiplayer mode, featuring innovative game types, Forge mode for map customization, and the introduction of Theater mode for capturing and sharing epic moments. With its breathtaking visuals, gripping storyline, and refined gameplay mechanics, Halo 3 solidified the franchise’s status as an industry juggernaut. It left an indelible mark on the gaming landscape and provided a fitting conclusion to the initial trilogy, satisfying players and leaving them eagerly anticipating what adventures lay ahead in the expansive Halo universe.


6. Halo 3: ODST

Halo 3 ODST Images

Release Date: September 22, 2009

Halo timeline: 2552

Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S

ODST takes place in the 26th century, when humans under the command of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) are locked in a war with a theocratic alliance of alien races known as the Covenant.

Players assume the roles of United Nations Space Command soldiers, known as “Orbital Drop Shock Troopers” or ODSTs, during and after the events of Halo 2. In the game’s campaign mode, players explore the ruined city of New Mombasa to discover what happened to their missing teammates in the midst of an alien invasion. In the “Firefight” multiplayer option, players battle increasingly difficult waves of enemies to score points and survive as long as possible; Halo 3’s multiplayer is contained on a separate disc packaged with ODST.


7. Halo: Spartan Assault

Release Date: July 18, 2013

Halo timeline: Sometime between 2552 and 2557

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox One, Xbox 360 iOS

Halo: Spartan Assault, released in 2013, brought the legendary Halo experience offering an action-packed top-down shooter set in the Halo universe. Developed by 343 Industries and Vanguard Games, this game expanded the Halo franchise’s reach and allowed players to engage in thrilling combat as a Spartan super-soldier.

Set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, Spartan Assault presented players with a new perspective on the ongoing war against the Covenant forces. With a wide array of weapons, vehicles, and abilities at their disposal, players embarked on challenging missions across varied environments, battling hordes of enemies and unraveling a compelling storyline. With intuitive touch controls and stunning graphics, Halo: Spartan Assault proved that the franchise’s signature gameplay could translate seamlessly to mobile platforms, offering a bite-sized but exhilarating Halo experience for players on the go.


8. Halo 4

Release Date: November 6, 2012

Halo timeline: 2557

Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Takeing place in a futuristic science fiction setting in the year 2557, four years after the events of Halo 3, Halo 4 flows a cybernetically enhanced human supersoldier, Master Chief, and his artificial intelligence construct Cortana, as they encounter unknown threats while exploring an ancient civilization’s planet.

Halo 4, released in 2012, marked the beginning of a new era for the franchise as it transitioned from the hands of Bungie to 343 Industries. This highly anticipated installment revitalized the series, introducing players to a captivating story and pushing the boundaries of the Halo universe. As the iconic Master Chief, players embarked on a personal journey of discovery and faced a new threat, the Prometheans, while also delving deeper into the enigmatic Forerunner civilization. With stunning visuals, a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, and refined gameplay mechanics, Halo 4 delivered an immersive and emotional experience. It introduced new multiplayer modes, including the innovative Spartan Ops cooperative missions, providing players with hours of additional content and expanding the Halo lore. Halo 4 proved that 343 Industries could carry the torch of the franchise, setting the stage for an exciting future of Halo adventures.


9. Halo: Spartan Strike

Release Date: April 16, 2015

Halo timeline: 2552 and 2557

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, iOS

Halo: Spartan Strike takes place during two eras: the first part during the events of Halo 2, and the second part after the events of Halo 4. 

Halo: Spartan Strike, released in 2015, gamers another opportunity to experience the intense action of the Halo universe. Developed by 343 Industries and Vanguard Games, Spartan Strike delivered a top-down shooter experience that immersed players in a new battle against the forces of the Covenant. Set alongside the events of Halo 2, players took on the role of a Spartan super-soldier, engaging in a series of challenging missions across various environments. With a wide array of weapons, vehicles, and abilities, players faced off against familiar enemies while uncovering a new chapter in the Halo storyline. Spartan Strike showcased polished touch controls, stunning visuals, and addictive gameplay that captured the essence of the Halo franchise. It provided a bite-sized yet satisfying experience for fans on the go, proving that the intense and immersive world of Halo could extend beyond traditional gaming platforms.


10. Halo 5: Guardians

Release Date: October 27, 2015

Halo timeline: 2558

Platforms: Xbox One

Takes place in the year 2558, and is set eight months after the events of Halo 4. Halo 5: Guardians follows two fireteams of human supersoldiers: Blue Team, led by Master Chief, and Fireteam Osiris, led by Spartan Locke. 

Halo 5: Guardians, released in 2015, propelled the iconic franchise forward with its ambitious narrative and refined multiplayer experience. Developed by 343 Industries, this installment plunged players into a morally complex tale, where the line between hero and villain blurred. As both Master Chief and Spartan Jameson Locke, players embarked on separate yet intertwining journeys, driven by conflicting motivations and a search for truth. The game showcased the power of next-generation graphics and introduced new gameplay mechanics, including enhanced mobility and squad-based combat. Multiplayer modes such as Warzone provided exhilarating large-scale battles, while Forge mode allowed players to unleash their creativity in custom map creation. While divisive among fans for its departure from traditional storytelling, Halo 5: Guardians delivered a visually stunning and action-packed experience, further expanding the expansive lore of the Halo universe and setting the stage for the future of the franchise.


11. Halo Wars 2

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Halo timeline: 2559

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One

Set in 2559, 28 years after the events of Halo Wars and shortly after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Wars 2 follows the crew of Spirit of Fire, a United Nations Space Command (UNSC) ship. Spirit of Fire arrives at the Ark, a Forerunner installation responsible for constructing and remotely controlling the titular Halo rings. Conflict breaks out between the UNSC forces and an alien faction known as the Banished over control of the Ark.

Developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly, this highly anticipated sequel offered players the opportunity to lead massive armies and engage in epic battles against the Banished, a formidable enemy faction led by the fearsome Atriox. Set after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, the game introduced new characters and continued the gripping narrative of the ongoing conflict between humanity and its adversaries. With its intuitive controls, immersive environments, and strategic depth, Halo Wars 2 provided a unique and engaging gameplay experience. The multiplayer mode allowed players to compete against each other or team up in intense online battles. Halo Wars 2 showcased the franchise’s expansion into different genres, proving that the rich Halo universe could successfully be adapted to various gameplay styles.


12. Halo Infinite

Release Date: December 8, 2021

Halo timeline: 2560

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Set in the year 2560, Halo Infinite follows the human supersoldier Master Chief and his fight against the enemy Banished on the Forerunner ringworld Zeta Halo, also known as Installation 07, which has mysteriously suffered damage. The player character, Master Chief John-117, is a UNSC “Spartan” supersoldier on a mission to neutralize Cortana, his former partner. Unlike previous installments in the series, the multiplayer portion of the game is free-to-play.



How many games does Halo have?

As of my knowledge cutoff, the Halo franchise has released a total of TWELVE (12) mainline games. It’s worth noting that there have also been several spin-off titles, mobile games, and expansions, adding to the overall Halo gaming experience. Additionally, new games and expansions may have been released since my knowledge cutoff, so it’s advisable to consult the latest sources for the most up-to-date information.


All Halo Games in Order of Release Date

Here is the list of Halo Games release dates order:

1. Halo: Combat Evolved — November 15, 2001

2. Halo 2 — November 9, 2004

3. Halo 3 — September 25, 2007

4. Halo Wars — February 26, 2009

5. Halo 3: ODST — September 22, 2009

6. Halo: Reach — September 14, 2010

7. Halo 4 — November 6, 2012

8. Halo: Spartan Assault — July 18, 2013

9. Halo: Spartan Strike — April 16, 2015

10. Halo 5: Guardians — October 27, 2015

11. Halo Wars 2 — February 21, 2017

12. Halo Infinite — December 8, 2021



1. What is the order of the Halo games?

A. The order of the mainline Halo games is as follows:

  1. Halo: Reach (set before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved)
  2. Halo: Combat Evolved
  3. Halo 2
  4. Halo 3: ODST (parallel story to Halo 2 and Halo 3)
  5. Halo 3
  6. Halo 4
  7. Halo 5: Guardians
  8. Halo Infinite

This order follows the chronological progression of the story within the Halo universe. However, it’s worth noting that Halo 3: ODST takes place concurrently with the events of Halo 2, offering a different perspective on the story. Additionally, Halo: Reach serves as a prequel to the events of the original Halo: Combat Evolved. The spin-off titles and expansions, such as Halo Wars and Halo: Spartan Assault, are set at various points within the overall timeline but are not integral to the main narrative arc.


2. Which Halo is free on PC?

A. As of my knowledge cutoff, the main Halo game that is free to play on PC is “Halo Infinite.” Microsoft announced that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer component would be available as a standalone free-to-play experience for PC players, allowing them to engage in online multiplayer matches without purchasing the full game. However, it’s worth noting that the single-player campaign of Halo Infinite is not free and will require a purchase to access. It’s advisable to check the latest information and updates from the official Halo website or Microsoft to confirm the availability and pricing of Halo games on PC, as the situation may have changed since my knowledge cutoff.


3. Is Halo free on mobile?

A. As of my knowledge cutoff, there is no official Halo game that is completely free to play on mobile devices. However, there have been mobile spin-off titles and companion apps released for the Halo franchise, but these typically come with a cost or require in-app purchases to access certain features or content. For example, games like “Halo: Spartan Strike” and “Halo: Spartan Assault” were released for mobile devices, but they are not free.

It’s worth noting that the availability and pricing of mobile games can change over time, so it’s advisable to check official app stores, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, for the most up-to-date information on Halo games for mobile devices. Additionally, Microsoft and 343 Industries may release new mobile titles in the future, so staying informed through official channels would be beneficial.



In conclusion, the Halo Games in Order have taken us on an extraordinary journey through a vast and captivating universe. From the moment we first stepped foot on the ringworld of Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo Infinite, the franchise has consistently delivered unforgettable experiences. With each installment, we’ve witnessed the evolution of gameplay mechanics, breathtaking graphics, and a narrative that has deepened our connection to the characters and the lore. Halo has not only revolutionized the first-person shooter genre but has also created a sprawling science fiction universe that continues to captivate and inspire. As we eagerly await the next chapter in the series, let us reflect on the incredible adventures we have embarked upon, the friendships forged, and the battles fought, all within the immersive world of the Halo Games in Order.

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