OPINION

Ranking The Best @Halo Trailers of All Time

Halo is known for a lot of things. Excellent gameplay, great storylines, incredible customization. But one of the reasons it has become such a legendary series is because of its excellent trailers. There are so many Halo trailers to choose from, and each game has a standout trailer if not multiple.

Ranking them is hard, because there are so many good trailers in the Halo series. We narrowed them down to seven based on the quality of the trailer, personal preference, and the importance of the trailer to the game.

After much internal debate, here are the seven best Halo trailers.

7. Halo on Xbox One E3 Trailer

This one is a bit weird. It was released in 2013 and was simply called “Halo on Xbox One” trailer. It essentially announced that yes, Halo will be on Xbox One.

What happens in the trailer has almost no relation to Halo 5 which released 2 years later. It could be a simple tone piece to what the next decade of Halo will look like. Or, it could have been a concept that was scrapped.

All of that is besides the point, what is shown in the trailer is exciting. The trailer shows a hooded figure walking through a desert. All of a sudden, there is a gravitational effect and the ground sinks into the Earth.

A Guardian appears, and he releases a wave of energy, which unveils that the hooded figure is the Master Chief, and he is clenching on a chain that is clearly Cortana given the context we know 6 years later.

What is Chief holding in his hand? Could it be Cortana?

The trailer is exciting because it holds a lot of mystery. What is the Master Chief doing wandering the desert? Why is there a guardian in the desert? What is he holding? Could it be Cortana? What does this all mean for the future of Halo?

The trailer was a great tonal piece for the next generation of Halo. While not everything in the trailer has come to fruition (yet at least) it was an exciting moment and had fans excited for the future of the series.

6. Halo 2 Announcement Trailer

This trailer is incredible in its simplicity. The Covenant have reached Earth and things do not seem to be going well. There’s a lot of panicked dialogue in the background, but Master Chief is cool calm and collected as always.

Cortana asks “What if you miss?” The Master Chief responds “I won’t”. He proceeds to jump out of a space station, float through space and land onto a covenant ship.

Then the Halo 2 logo appears. End trailer.

He doesn’t miss

This trailer was hype incarnate. The first trailer for the sequel to one of most groundbreaking games ever made? Check. The Master Chief dropping a cool one liner? Check. Incredible music from Marty O’Donnell? Check. This trailer had it all and was just the beginning of the incredible Halo 2 marketing campaign.

5. Halo Infinite Announcement Trailer E3 2018

This trailer was the opening of Microsoft’s E3 2018. The game had leaked a few weeks prior and there was a lot of speculation on what the game would be. Would it be a battle Royale? Would it be an only online game hence the “Infinite” tagline? The trailer didn’t answer those questions initially, but did give fans a lot to look forward to.

The trailer itself is beautiful. It shows off environments, various landscapes, wildlife, cool lighting effects, and more.

Just a few examples of the scenery from the trailer

For most of the trailer, you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking at. What game is this? Where is it located? What is going on? And then, this happens.

The Master Chief was BACK. It was a definitive statement, reminding everyone that the Master Chief, and Halo, still matter. This trailer is still incredible more than two years later, and it will go down as one of the all time great announcement trailers.

4. BELIEVE

The Halo 3 marketing campaign is legendary. There were several trailers involved in the campaign, and most of them are some of the best trailers ever made. The Believe trailer is one of the more unique trailers I have ever seen, as it features a fully modeled diorama.

The diorama shows a battle between the UNSC and the Covenant, and the UNSC are clearly losing. It shows the true horror of war, and it is an incredibly emotional trailer.

At the end of the trailer, when seemingly all hope is lost as a Brute is holding up what seems to be a lifeless Chief, he awakens and we are left with the single word “Believe”. It is an incredible moment and reinstalls our faith that the Chief is a Hero and all we need to do is believe in him.

3. We are ODST

This live action trailer shows a character being transformed from a regular person through the rigorous training of becoming an ODST and then being deployed into the battlefield. It shows the Halo universe as dark and grim and gritty. There is never a moment of happiness, and the life of an ODST is about completing the mission.

The trailer is foreboding and terrifying in many ways. The character is clearly very traumatized by what he has gone through, but he has to keep pushing on.

This trailer perfectly fits with the overall dark and somber tone of the game, where you are a lone ODST trying to survive. ODST is one of the best games in the series, and this trailer will live on as one of the best trailers in the series.

2. Deliver Hope

This is the gold standard for live action trailers not only in the Halo series, but among games. This trailer is incredibly powerful and emotional. The choice of music is impeccable and the action is astounding.

The trailer shows Kat taking an armed bomb through a war zone and fighting her way to throw the bomb onto a covenant ship. Throughout the trailer you see other members of Noble team fighting alongside her aiding her on her journey to the ship. Before she can make it she is taken out by a banshee and severely injured. Noble Six picks up the bomb and continues on her mission, and eventually throws the bomb onto the ship, destroying it.

The trailer is incredible because it delivers a sense of sadness and dread, but also hope. We know that Noble Team is not going to survive long before we play the game, but the point is that they keep fighting. This trailer conveys the heroism and determination of Noble Team in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and it is a perfect representation of the game.

1. Starry Night

Halo 3’s Starry Night is not only the best trailer in the entire series, it is the best trailer in the history of video games. I still get goosebumps watching this trailer nearly 14 years later, and it is an incredibly effective trailer.

The trailer shows a young John 117 talking to a childhood friend about life on planets. They go back and forth about this topic as they look up into the night sky. When he looks over to his friend, his friend is gone and instead you see his helmet. The scene immediately transitions to present day where the Master Chief is stunned, but not out of the fight.

Other soldiers on the coms believe they may have lost Chief, and Chief simply responds “Not Yet”. He then deploys a bubble shield to deflect an incoming Wraith missile, and then sprints directly into an army of Brutes.

This trailer distills what I love about the Master Chief into a minute trailer. The back story of the Chief, his determination to never quit, and his willingness to run head first into a group of enemies without second thought. This trailer is incredible, and we will be lucky if we ever see a trailer as powerful as this one ever again.

Austin "Proven" Nelson

Writer and Host of "You Had Me At Halo Podcast" for XboxEra. Halo 3 apologist.

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