This was an incredibly hard list to make. This is strictly my own opinion and what missions I think are the best.
Honorable Mentions- Tip of the Spear, Halo (Halo 3), Cairo Station, The Silent Cartographer, Shutdown, The Quarantine Zone, High Charity, Regret, Tsavo Highway, Outskirts
10. New Alexandria – Halo: Reach
This has been a personal favorite of mine since I first played this wonderfully fun and inventive mission. Driving a falcon from decayed skyscraper to decayed skyscraper gave a fresh feel to the Reach campaign and brought me back to the New Mombasa missions in Halo 2 but I’ll get to that later. The DJ brute easter egg remains one of the best in the series as well as perhaps the funniest apart from the Johnson-Elite romance in Halo 1. The satisfaction I felt when I barely beat the mission with a nearly destroyed falcon was immensely awesome. A true standout in an outstanding game.
9. Reclaimer – Halo 4
This mission was the one that really brought Master Chief back into the fight with the UNSC. The enormous Mammoth revamped the Elephant from Halo 3 and has earned a spot in the memorable Halo vehicles. Gunning down enemies from the mammoth or charging them in the vast canyon whether on foot or with a friend in a warthog is gravitating fun and this whole mission defines the action in Halo; long range, close quarters, vehicular, all of it.
8. Halo – Halo: Combat Evolved
The mission that stated it all… sort of. This will always be the true introduction to Halo for me just from the opening when Chief walks out of the crashed pod into an unknown world or ring whatever. The atmosphere is just set perfectly with the music, the tone, the dialogue from Cortana, the structures of Halo and more. Players knew they were playing something special when they wrapped up this mission and indeed they were. We all were.
7. Metropolis – Halo 2
We finally got to take the battle to earth and boy was it exciting. The scale of this mission is set from the get go with driving a Scorpion across a massive bridge, then to a smaller, tense courtyard of sorts with elites around every corner and finishing with taking down that damn scarab that’s been antagonizing you the whole damn mission. You really feel like the savior of humanity after defending them on their home field.
6. Midnight – Halo 4
The only Halo mission that really got me to tear up. This and Johnson’s death. The shear emotion of this mission gets it on this list. Cortana is one my favorite all-time videogame characters and to see her sacrifice herself for Chief added to her greatness. The final conversation between the two as Cortana fades away into nothing but not without leaving her mark in gamer’s hearts. As for the level itself the opening flight portion reminded me of the Rogue Squadron days on my Gamecube, primarily the death star trench run. The FPS portion offers intense combat that really gives you a feel of urgency and an epic finale despite a rather anti-climactic boss fight. This mission also has some of my favorite music in the series only adding to Midnight’s emotional effect.
5. Delta Halo – Halo 2
Chief and friends find themselves on another Halo ring but this time they’re ready. The shot of Master Chief dual wielding an SMG and a Rocket Launcher after dropping from space onto the ring is one of my favorite moments in the series (by the way 343 please bring back dual wielding). As you mow your way through waves of covenant the presence of the Prophet of Regret feels ever so nearer leading to in my opinion the most memorable “boss fight” in the following mission.
4. Long Night of Solace – Halo: Reach
The first time you get to fly a spaceship in Halo is amazing! The dogfights are never boring and always fun to go back to adding to this mission’s replay value. I wish 343 adds these space battles from this mission into multiplayer modes like dogfights or a more intense version of invasion (also bring back invasion. C’mon 343). Once the battle goes into the corvette a series of intense close quarters skirmishes follow as well as the death of my favorite character in Reach.
3. Two Betrayals – Halo: Combat Evolved
My favorite mission in Halo 1 bar none. This is similar to Assault on the Control Room but I love this mission because it’s the Flood and the Covenant against you and banshees are at your disposal. Flying up to each objective for Cortana offers some of best gameplay in the series as you try to learn how to stop Halo from destroying the universe as well as the villainous 343 Guilty Spark, you Johnson/best friend killing son of a bitch.
2. The Ark – Halo 3
You’ve probably been wondering where the Halo 3 missions are. Well here’s one. The Ark is without question the best vehicle mission in all of Halo. When the UNSC drops in the big guns for you it is a true sight to see in all of its glory. Speaking of glory; destroying two scarabs at once is the ultimate way to make the player feel like a complete badass. Also, teaming up with the separatist Covenant to hunt down and put an end to Truth adds to the mastery of this level.
1. The Covenant – Halo 3
This has been my favorite mission in Halo for many years but it was still a wicked tough decision between this and The Ark for number 1. I love every moment of this mission from beginning to end. Teaming up with Elites is cool enough but fighting alongside the flood in the homestretch to take out Truth is legendary as well as the Arbiter stabbing the evil bastard and ending his reign especially after he just killed Keyes. “The Covenant is the best, no two ways about it for me.