Generally favorable reviews - based on 94 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 94
  2. Negative: 1 out of 94
  1. 90
    There are places where Halo 3: ODST could be improved, but when it comes right down to it, every Halo fan should buy this game. Even if you've lost interest in the franchise over the years or haven't ever given a Halo game a look, you'd do well to grab ODST and a few friends for some of the best multiplayer gaming around, especially with as wonderful an addition as Firefight.
  2. An awesome campaign and addictive new Firefight mode make ODST a thrilling new entry in the Halo franchise.
  3. Still controls like a dream, I credit the franchise for bringing decent controls for a FPS to the consoles.
  4. While ODST is my personal favorite Halo single-player campaign to date, it is a tad short at only six hours. Luckily, it is still excellent despite its length and has a ton of great multiplayer content to fall back on for replayability and longevity.
  5. If, like me, you’ve found yourself slowly falling out of love with Halo over the years, ODST provides a fresh, exciting experience that rekindles your interest in this seminal sci-fi shooter.
  6. 90
    In my opinion, Halo 3: ODST is the best Halo game yet. The campaign is shorter than in previous games, but the quality makes for a punchier, action-packed thrill ride from start to finish.
  7. Thanks to a combination of well-designed levels, a solid story line, addicting multiplayer and top-notch voice acting, Halo 3: ODST presents a package that is even more compelling than its namesake. The game is not only better than Halo 3; it is the best Halo title to date. And, planned or not, Bungie has also managed to create a compelling character in Gunnery Sergeant Buck. He is just as much the hero as Master Chief ever was.
  8. A great side story for the Halo universe, with an eerie atmosphere that's more exciting than the majority of the Halo 3 campaign.
  9. 91
    ODST does suffer for the lack of genuinely new elements it adds to the Halo universe, and the campaign mode is a bit brief. Yet between the enormous scope of New Mombasa, the unique atmosphere, and the brilliance of Firefight mode, I can easily see myself pouring more time into ODST than any other Halo to date.
  10. Halo ODST won't be able to win over the ones who never loved the saga. But for its price, it is really a great chapter even trying to innovate under some respects. It may not be perfect, but fans will love it indeed.
  11. Another superb Bungie shooter, but it doesn't improve on the existing formula enough. [Dec 2009, p.80]
  12. Halo expands focusing on the smallest things, with new gameplay and the same excellence we are used to.
  13. ODST doesn’t quite take Halo into unfamiliar territory, but it does show how robust and adaptable the core of the game is – and, more importantly, stands on its own two feet as a spin-off that’s better than the vast majority of original games.
  14. 92
    For those of you who own all the Halo 3 content, your still getting a full single player experience, and a great co-op multiplayer add-on. For the rest of us the value is only bigger, for me I got dozens of new maps, Firefight, and the story all of which have so far been a blast to play.
  15. This Halo manages to earn its own keep while learning from its predecessors’ mistakes and balancing fan expectations. It’s no small feat, particularly with that Master Chief guy nowhere in sight.
  16. With ODST, it often feels as if Bungie desperately wanted to create something different, but, for whatever reason, wasn't able to go as far as it wanted. There are obvious influences from other games, most clearly 2K Games' BioShock, and distinct tweaks in the tried and trusted Halo formula, but ODST is still very much a Halo game that fans will instantly find familiar.
  17. While Halo 3: ODST doesn’t wow you with innovation, breakthrough technology, or terrifically new gameplay, the campaign story is point blank better than Halo 3’s storyline; Firefight is an adrenaline rush so powerful you’ll need six-pack and a backrub just to settle down, and the multiplayer experience is still one of the best on the planet.
  18. ODST is a nice surprise. Leaving alone the extra-value added by a new game mode and 3 new maps for the multiplayer experience, the main campaign is involving, and remains one of the best stories of the franchise.
  19. Those expecting even Halo 3.5 may feel a little underwhelmed, with 3-II the most relevant numerical comparison, but for anybody who has so much as enjoyed the series in the past, this is an essential purchase.
  20. Not only an add-on! This is better than many of the main games! Next to the single player, you also get a great multiplayer mode. You just cannot do wrong if you buy this game!
  21. Halo 3: ODST is a great game that transcends its label of add-on. The singleplayer is powerful, Firefight is brilliant and the extra disc with the Halo 3 multiplayer is a great bonus. The price tag makes the game a must-buy for every Halo-fanatic and a great entry point for those who are unfamiliar with the series. It remains a point of discussion if the hype around Halo 3 was justified, but with Halo 3: ODST, Bungie deserves every praise it receives.
  22. Halo 3: ODST may not re-invent the franchise, but it's a stylishly delivered splinter of the Haloverse that's worth experiencing. It has everything a fan could hope for, and even more for the devoted multiplayer enthusiast.
  23. 90
    Most importantly though, it appears that Bungie are learning how to write and present an excellent single-player story to match the multiplayer prowess of Halo.
  24. Those who've already purchased the DLC might look at that £40 price tag with concern, but - make sure you're seated - we reckon its quality, not quantity that matters most here. And ODST has bundles of in both it's superb single-player and sublime online modes.
  25. A fantastic game that reminds us of why Halo was so great in the first place.
  26. Between the new campaign and Firefight mode, Halo 3: ODST shows that the Halo franchise can have a Spartan-free title that can still rise up to the same level of entertainment that is to be expected from the series.
  27. Bungie decided to create a different experience from what you find in other games, both in form and development of the narrative and in terms of gameplay. With a good campaign mode, the main problem with Halo 3: ODST is that its duration is somewhat reduced. However, it is still a great game that will please fans and lovers of FPS. The addition of a second disc with one of the best online modes available can be a decoy for those who have not joined the fight.
  28. Halo 3: ODST is a welcome addition to the world of Halo. With an engaging story, solid visuals, amazing sound, and addictive gameplay, it is much more then the expansion that it was originally supposed to be.
  29. Halo 3: ODST is an excellent add-on campaign for Halo 3, and one which all Halo fans should own.
  30. Halo 3 ODST offers up everything you'd expect from a Halo game. Fast paced action, a decent story, and a great multiplayer experience.
  31. . This is a meaty, loud and epic new Halo with a superb new campaign and an awesome co-op multiplayer mode with all the Halo 3 multiplayer shenanigans thrown in for good measure. It may be a little short and it's not a far cry from what Halo fans have seen already. But it's more of the same industry-defining quality you expect from Bungie.
  32. 90
    Halo 3: ODST has left its humble DLC roots in the dust, and is definitely worth the $60 price-tag. It probably won't win over any new fans to the Halo franchise, but it provides an invigoratingly fresh experience and plenty of fan service for those that have lived and loved the series for years.
  33. Bungie have done a grand job in expanding the Halo universe here and although the story aspect might not be as rigid as previous games, the execution and presentation is second to none and has been well thought out to capture your imaginations even if you don't immediately gel with the players on the stage as readily.
  34. Whether you're looking to go it alone, check out Halo 3's full suite of multiplayer options, or just see how long you and your buddies can keep the Grim Reaper at bay in Firefight, ODST has something for everyone.
  35. Disappointing only because of how high it sets the bar in its early stages. [Dec 2009, p.74]
  36. One of the more impressive aspects of Halo 3: ODST is the soundtrack, a symphony of fantastic and epic music that will inspire players to fight their hearts out every minute of the campaign mode. More than once while playing the subtle music ran a chill down our back, reminiscent of something available in only the most intense of films. Overall the title is exactly what we expected it to be, a different look at one of the most beloved franchises on the Xbox 360 console.
  37. Although it would have been interesting to actually use and maneuver yourself while in the Drop Pods, the story is fleshed out and the flashback levels has the warming welcome from Halo that we’ve enjoyed many times before.
  38. Halo 3: ODST maintains all the features that made we love Halo 3, bringing us a very good plot even if without introducing great gameplay or technical news. What we obtain is a highly enthralling experience that won't displease all the series lovers. We particularly liked the Firefight mode , which allows us to play with our friends without having to dive into the ultra-testosteronic Halo 3 multiplayer arena. The 49,99 Euros price is just right for the kind of content offered, so it's surely an advised buy.
  39. People might enjoy this game more if they stop overhyping it. ODST is a great game that is NOT meant to be a sequel but at the end of the day will still be judged as one.
  40. Short, but fun experience in the Halo universe.
  41. Even though you’re not playing the boss man himself, Master Chief, the game does have some “wow” moments that is matched with the traditional sturdy Halo 3 gameplay.
  42. Overall, taking into account the general atmosphere the game builds for you, the graphics and the excellent soundtrack, as well as looking at level layout, storyline etc. I’d personally (and I’m laying my life on the line here a little) have to say this is the best Halo game yet. Even if it is a bit short.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1034 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 241
  1. Mar 1, 2011
    One of the biggest disappointments I've ever had to suffer. I'm a long time Halo fan, and while I don't exactly love Bungie, I trusted them toOne of the biggest disappointments I've ever had to suffer. I'm a long time Halo fan, and while I don't exactly love Bungie, I trusted them to deliver a great experience. I'd already given up hope for a great campaign since Halo 2, and all I really cared about was playing survival Halo. I was initially taken aback that a game Bungie themselves had dubbed an "expansion to Halo 3", with an estimated price for $40 was now being marketed as a full game (thankfully Amazon gave me $10 back soon afterwards). Loading up into the campaign, I was almost immediately struck at how.. well.. bad it was. The cutscene animations are laughably poor, and the characters are all bland stereotypes. The storytelling was rather annoying, as between levels you'd have to "explore" an extremely repetitive New Mombasa while fighting outposts of Brutes (more like driving past them with a ghost you steal) and then searching for 10 minutes to find the next "clue". Somehow this piece of garbage reveals an extremely complicated story to your "rookie". Honestly, this is probably the worst Halo campaign in existence. Besides that, two things stuck out to me:
    1. Where in the hell are the elites? I personally hate fighting brutes; they're dumb, slow, and boring. Obviously since this game takes place about 2 seconds after the Master Chief fights with about a MILLION elites, you'd think there would be.. I don't know.. some elites left over. Well you'd be wrong. I'm not sure what the canon explanation is, but basically the H3 engine didn't have enemy AI coded into the elite characters, so we're stuck fighting Halo 3 elites before they even existed.
    2. You're supposed to feel different. You're supposed to feel like a smaller soldier, without super shields, who can't take on 50 brutes by himself. You don't. You still feel like a spartan, but you can see your hands this time. You still run and gun as you kill dozens of grunts and elites with superior firepower to your own. Yeah, you have to find healthpacks from time to time. Big woop. You definitely do NOT feel like a small fragile soldier, and there is no more strategy than previous Halo games offer.

    On to firefight.. boy what a disappointment. There is no defense strategy, there is no teamwork involved. Playing with 4 friends, we just got into a game and found the best strategy was to run our separate ways and kill as many enemies as possible. What makes this incoherent mess even worse is that you're forced to deal with these stupid skulls that turn on after a couple waves. These skulls force you to melee enemies to regain shields, to constantly dodge enemy grenades while yours are rendered ineffective, to deal with a terribly low supply of ammo. Do any of these things sound fun to you? They sure aren't. I knew they would offer the skulls for those looking for additional challenge, but to force them on you? Ridiculous. It ends up playing like a 4-player co-op campaign, except there's only one tiny level, and there's no story... and it's not even remotely fun.

    Some people loved the "storytelling" and "style" of this game, but ultimately, as a Halo fan, it was a huge disappointment. I played ODST for about a week before stopping altogether. Do I regret buying it? Not entirely. For one, I now have all the H3 maps on a single disk and my HDD has much more space. Two, I was able to complete the achievements towards getting Recon armor in H3. And finally, I was able to participate in the Reach beta. All that aside, I found this game terrible. I'm a HUGE Halo CE to Halo Reach fan, and I found this game TERRIBLE. Take from this what you will.
    Full Review »
  2. michaelk
    Jan 8, 2010
    this is another fantastic game that just seems to be getting loads of negative feedback but it really is a fantastic shooter the story is this is another fantastic game that just seems to be getting loads of negative feedback but it really is a fantastic shooter the story is great with a real sense of depth plus the secret story that you descover by downloading all the audio files really adds a sense of depth. firefight is awesome fun with the only real setback being that its friends only i'd really of liked it to be open to everyone but i'm lucky to have friends to play with and if none of them are about i have the classic halo 3 multi player plus every dlc map to play on against one of the largest communities of players thats still going strong even after 3 years as one of the most played games online i really honestly dont understand all the negativity ?????? this game is awesome on every level Full Review »
  3. Apr 22, 2011
    Halo 3 ODST is a decent game on it's own, but with the full Halo 3 multi-player experience packaged with it, it makes this an awesome deal.Halo 3 ODST is a decent game on it's own, but with the full Halo 3 multi-player experience packaged with it, it makes this an awesome deal. The campaign is interesting, with varied locations and classic Halo battles with the Covenant; although you don't play as Master Cheif, it doesn't detract from the experience. Firefight is a good addition, but the ability to go on Xbox LIVE would have made it much more interesting. Nonetheless, it is fun whether you go it alone or with some friends. Full Review »