Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 73
  2. Negative: 0 out of 73
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  1. Nov 22, 2011
    They could have easily just threw on a fresh coat of paint on it and called it an HD remake like a lot of other titles, but 343 has more respect for Bungie, Halo and the fans than that. They have added a ton of new features well worth the $40 price tag.
  2. Nov 14, 2011
    If you have never played Halo: CE before or just want to Pistol 3-Shot your friends once again, Halo: CE Anniversary is a must buy for all Xbox 360 owners, especially those that are fans of Master Chief in any way.
  3. Nov 14, 2011
    343 have done a fantastic job updating a 10 year old game into something that feels entirely modern.
  4. 90
    If it wasn't for the stupid Kinect features and lack of the original multiplayer, Halo CE: Anniversary would be perfect. Even considering this, I loved every second with Halo CE: Anniversary and just know that I will be going back to it time and time again. For an aging Halo fan, it does not get much better than this.
  5. Nov 30, 2011
    Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries should be commended on this 10th anniversary release of Halo: Combat Evolved. It's definitely for the Halo fan or for those that like well-made first person shooters with some great gaming mechanics and some amazing gaming environments that almost make this a new game. The ability to swap between classic and remastered is a treat in itself and really makes you appreciate what the developers created with the original game.
  6. Nov 28, 2011
    As a tribute to one of the most important FPS game of all times, the Anniversary edition of Halo C.E. delivers a somehow dated but surely superb experience to fans of the series.
  7. Nov 20, 2011
    343 Industries made a great job in refreshing the first Halo graphics, making it a game capable of competing even with modern FPSes. It's not perfect mainly due to its 10 years age, but it's highly recommended both to gamers that never had the chance to play the original game and long time fans.
  8. Nov 17, 2011
    Few other games with as many miles under their belts look and feel this good. A fresh coat of paint is all this game needed to remind the world how Bungie brought shooters out of the stone age.
  9. Nov 16, 2011
    More than the celebration of a classic and a symbol of the Xbox systems. For fans and lovers of the FPS genre, 343 Industries turned this celebration into an opportunity to go back to the game that has made a huge contribution to the genreon consoles.
  10. Nov 14, 2011
    An ambitious remake. One of the most memorable campaigns in the history of first person shooters can now be relived with wonderful HD graphics. And six of the best multiplayer maps from the original rounds off what is a fantastic package with great value.
  11. Nov 14, 2011
    There are no vehicle assaults or perks in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary but the original gameplay, brought again to life by a shiny new engine, is still so enjoyable that it seems a modern title.
  12. Nov 14, 2011
    10 years ago Halo: Combat Evolved amazed everyone with stunning gameplay, an absorbing story and an epic soundtrack. Since then it has become a bit old graphically, so 343 Studios decided to do a remake with enhanced HD and even 3D graphics and remade the soundtrack to 5.1 surround sound. 6 classic multiplayer maps were reimagined as well, and a new Firefight mission was added. The online multiplayer is even compatible with Halo: Reach. Basically, they made a near-perfect game even better.
  13. Nov 14, 2011
    Halo is an experience worth repeating and CEA is the treatment that the original deserved. Highly recommended.
  14. Nov 14, 2011
    Halo exhibits a single-minded focus that the modern FPS, with its choreographed set-pieces and thrilling scripted sequences, largely disregards. This is a game about the arc of a perfectly thrown grenade, a game about tense games of cat-and-mouse with foes as powerful as you, a game about constant improvisation with the tools at your disposal. It's a game that always feels tactical, and a game that – even now – has the capacity to surprise.
  15. 90
    The love that's gone into this HD remake makes it more than worth its budget price. If you've never checked out this series, don't get bogged down by details: Halo is about a big bloke shooting cool guns at cool aliens in cool places. Ten years later, that's still enough.
  16. Nov 14, 2011
    At the end of the day, I think Halo: Anniversary is primarily designed for hardcore Halo fans. If you don't already own Halo: Combat Evolved or are still addicted to Halo: Reach, then I highly recommend getting Anniversary.
  17. Nov 14, 2011
    Considering Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary is being sold at a reduced price, I really can't see any reason not to take the plunge given how well the gameplay still holds up and the tender way in which it's been repackaged. Whether you're a veteran looking to experience the original magic for a second time or a newcomer wondering what all the fuss is about, this is an excellent package.
  18. Dec 12, 2011
    The game includes more updates and upgrades than I expected, and it's nice to have Master Chief back again even if it is in a game we've technically all played before. Certain sections seem more linear and artificially extended than I recall, which is disappointing, but when you account for the game's reduced price, it's still a good value.
  19. Nov 25, 2011
    Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is more than just a simple high defintion remake. The game is running on two engines, the original CE one and a new one. It's a great way to show the progress that has been made in ten years. In spite of some technical errors and the absence of many original multiplayer maps, 343 shows that it has the power to create next year's Halo 4.
  20. Nov 28, 2011
    Anniversary does a fantastic job at retelling a story by staying true to its legacy and also being an overhauled experience that many of us have probably forgotten over the years. If you were too young when Halo was released, or never played it for some reason, pick it up and you can see how the phenomenon all began.
  21. Nov 14, 2011
    All in all, this is a welcome return to an adventure that changed the face of gaming a decade ago.
  22. Jan 3, 2012
    It's an amazing piece of gaming history, to be certain, but a purchase decision still comes down to this: If you're a fan of the series who loved or missed the original, it's a no-brainer. This is one of the best pieces of fanservice our industry has ever produced, and you need to go buy it. On the other hand, if you're an FPS fanatic trying to decide between this or Rage or Deus Ex, you may want to think twice before dropping 40 bones on a shooter that doesn't quite stack up to the competition.
  23. Dec 14, 2011
    After playing Halo: Combat Evolved in 343's Anniversary edition, I'm confident that Halo is a lot more New Order than it is Flock of Seagulls.
  24. Pelit (Finland)
    Dec 9, 2011
    As far as remakes go, Halo really hits the mark. Halo: Combat Evolved still offers top quality gameplay, however the repetitive level design is really starting to feel dated. Oh, and The Library chapter still sucks. [Dec 2011]
  25. Nov 16, 2011
    Halo Anniversary sits in a middle ground between faithful remake and spirited reinvention. Players who want an exact replica of the original will be frustrated by the absence of a faithful multiplayer experience. Hardcore modern gamers could be annoyed by the dated nature of the campaign design. However, for the majority of players who fit in the space in between, this classic game has received a new coat of paint and gives you reason enough to re-enter the fold.
  26. Nov 15, 2011
    A good remake for one of the most important FPS in the last decade, with good Saber3D engine, but not like Halo 3 or Reach. Multiplayer has seven new maps, not enough in comparision with ODST, and online co-op is only for two players, but it's a great experience in general.
  27. 85
    This feature-rich ode to the classic that started it all is an impressive upgrade - one that deserves a place in any fan's library.
  28. Nov 14, 2011
    It was a great game ten years ago, and it still is today, thanks to a great work of updating its gameplay and upgrading its visuals to offer a refreshed look. It also integrates online multiplayer which we expect to be expanded through DLC.
  29. Feb 15, 2012
    Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is almost as good in reality as it ever was in your memory. The graphical update is welcome and the multiplayer maps are decent if not amazing. There are a few rough edges and cracks around the once infallible gameplay, but nothing that would stop you enjoying Halo: CE immensely the second (or first – lucky you) time around.
  30. Nov 18, 2011
    It's not perfect, nor is it flawed in that regard apart from being a tad outdated. Even though it is largely a remake, there is still plenty of fun to be had playing this title all over again.
  31. Nov 14, 2011
    For those who have not yet experienced the first adventure of Master Chief, the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a great option.
  32. Nov 23, 2011
    In the end, if you have never played the original, or are looking for a walk down memory lane, then Halo Anniversary is definitely for you.
  33. Dec 21, 2011
    What better way to celebrate the ten year anniversary than to bring the original game back with a shiny new coat of paint and some other bells and whistles that, while some may scoff at, truly establishes 343's love for all-things Halo.
  34. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Dec 28, 2011
    As a remake it holds up better than any other shooter from the same era. [Feb 2012, p.90]
  35. CD-Action
    Dec 27, 2011
    You rarely come across a game that ages so gracefully – updating graphics (that look great, by the way) was enough, because the story is still great and shooting aliens is as enjoyable as it was 10 years ago. [January 2012, p.70]
  36. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Dec 8, 2011
    A dedicated homage to one of the greatest games ever. [Issue#79, p.72]
  37. games(TM)
    Dec 1, 2011
    A faithful recreation in every sense of the term. [Christmas 2011, p.96]
  38. Nov 30, 2011
    A worthy remake of a great FPS for consoles.
  39. Nov 25, 2011
    Combat Evolved remains every bit the essential, console-defining shooter it was ten years ago.
  40. Nov 24, 2011
    A great opportunity to revisit the most influential first person shooter of the last decade.
  41. Nov 23, 2011
    It is always fun to play as Master Chief and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a good way to spend some of your gaming time until Halo 4 hits next year.
  42. Nov 21, 2011
    It might not deal with terrorists or modern combat, but Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary remains a downright enjoyable experience from start to finish that most gamers should experience.
  43. Nov 21, 2011
    It's pretty remarkable how well this game is holding up to it's current competitors. Halo had a massive impact on shooters in general, and this handsome will tell you why.
  44. Nov 17, 2011
    A nicely executed, nostalgic way to keep Master Chief active in the public consciousness on an off year.
  45. Nov 17, 2011
    Indeed, despite some impressive work to overhaul this classic, Halo CE did age a little here and there. But this remake also proves the genius behind some elements, which were kept intact, like its core gameplay, AI, and universe that still withstand the comparison with today's standards, 10 years later. With its attractive price and comprehensive offer, added bonuses, it's hard to miss for the fans and those who missed the episode that started it all but loved the others.
  46. 80
    As long as you're prepared for the fact that Halo neither was nor is a perfect game, this piece of restored gaming history is well worth the cost.
  47. Nov 17, 2011
    Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a remarkably well-done update for a game that has deservedly earned an honored place in gaming history.
  48. Nov 15, 2011
    Though it expertly renovates one of the defining campaigns of the console FPS, Halo: Anniversary is perhaps less successful at being a tribute, woefully omitting a large part of what made the series a success on top of somehow forgetting about party favors along the way. In the end, Anniversary comes a bit underdressed to its own celebration, but if you've got a soft spot for the Chief or have yet to experience Halo in its original form, now would be a great time to start the fight.
  49. Nov 15, 2011
    It reaches highs that some Halo recent entries still haven't reached, and due to some unfortunate pacing, some of its biggest lows, too. All in all, its timeless combat ensures that old fans can soundly enjoy it once again, while newcomers can fully appreciate why it's always been so highly regarded.
  50. Nov 14, 2011
    This remake of one of the most memorable campaigns in FPS history is an anniversary worth celebrating, but if you were never a fan of the original it's unlikely to change your mind.
  51. Nov 14, 2011
    Halo's 10th anniversary certainly deserves celebrating but a HD remake only serves to underline how little the series has moved forward over the years.
  52. Nov 14, 2011
    There's a lot of reverence and respect shown for this game here. As a value proposition it may not make a lot of sense and in more ways than one the campaign shows its age, but for hardcore Halo fans, those factors really shouldn't matter.
  53. Nov 14, 2011
    And yet, even with the flaws, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary dramatically succeeds in being a celebratory look back at what was considered a "perfect" first-person shooter experience 10 years ago.
  54. Nov 14, 2011
    It's a mighty fine game – for my money, the best in the Halo franchise – that deserves to accumulate a cult following. Microsoft should be applauded for having the balls (and the money) to exhume it in such a magnificent manner.
  55. Nov 14, 2011
    A great way to celebrate the original Halo. The remastered HD graphic is good enough and the simple but effective gameplay of the first Halo game can still offer a lot of fun. The addition of the Skulls system is really appreciated just as the Reach multiplayer. If you've never played Halo, you should try this Anniversary edition.
  56. Nov 14, 2011
    Bungie's iconic title was clearly an ambitious project, and this modern remastering sufficiently highlights what it was that made the original Halo: Combat Evolved such a landmark gaming moment to begin with.
  57. Nov 14, 2011
    If you can approach the experience with an open mind and are willing to take a few frustrating old-school design choices, and you're fine with a 'best of' map pack versus a full redo, then this is a great way to bide the time before Halo 4.
  58. Nov 14, 2011
    Regardless of any complaints or criticisms above, we'd still wholeheartedly recommend Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary to any diehard fan of the franchise, and with just minor reservations to everyone else.
  59. 80
    Take Halo's combat model and place it in the worst spaces imaginable and you can still have fun with it - it's that good.
  60. Nov 14, 2011
    It's an awkward reinvention that manages to be at once faithful and a little wide of the mark. But such is the strength of Combat Evolved, this is still an Anniversary that's worth celebrating.
  61. Games Master UK
    Dec 16, 2011
    It's lost some of its sheen over the years, but Halo is still a monolithic classic worth replaying. [Jan 2012, p.74]
  62. Nov 28, 2011
    When it comes down to it, its all about the experience, and in that case, the original Halo remains in a class all its own.
  63. Nov 17, 2011
    If you haven't played through the campaign that redefined console FPS then there is no better way to do it than with the new HD graphics and remade maps. Unfortunately, long time fans may be disappointed with the small selection of maps on the disc and the removal of the original multiplayer component.
  64. Nov 14, 2011
    The first adventure of Master Chief is a must for anyone who hasn't ever played it yet, but it is too expensive and offers nothing really new. The gameplay feels too aged to have another go if you already played it in the past.
  65. Nov 14, 2011
    Anniversary edition is a collection of some of the best pieces of Halo. It revives a classic campaign that sports a fresh look. The multiplayer package adds classic maps into Reach's larger framework and re-enables classic CE behaviors for multiplayer fans to revisit the original, and even Kinect brings something unique to the table.
  66. Nov 14, 2011
    It's just a shame that it didn't have some more time behind it, as it seems that the pressures of a 10-year game anniversary were more important than finessing certain areas. My treasured memories haven't been completely destroyed, but the technical woes make this Halo remake more for the fans than anyone else.
  67. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jan 19, 2012
    Nicely done remake of one of the essential games among console FPS genre has the potential to surprise newcomers and thrill the veterans. [Christmas 2011]
  68. Dec 12, 2011
    Halo: Combat Evolved is a good overall package. Playing the campaign is like visiting with an awesome old friend that you haven't seen in a while. The multiplayer, though, is too barebones to feel like it's worth the $40 price tag. Couple that with the fact that the multiplayer doesn't quite emulate the feel of the original Halo and you're left with a game that is likely to disappoint many longtime fans.
  69. Nov 30, 2011
    Fans of the original will only see him in his glory days as they did 10 years ago, but modern gamers will see the rotten body for what it is and will, hopefully, stay away.
  70. Nov 21, 2011
    A very touching remaster of one classic title that is like a reward for all the fans. At the same time it is a perfect time for the new gamers that missed the start of the series. This title brings along a new graphics engine and more or less of big and small improvements and also several enjoyable bonuses. Yes – Halo is still a bit old, but not old enough to hold you from your enjoyment.
  71. Nov 17, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  72. Nov 14, 2011
    In the end, Combat Evolved Anniversary is a strange package. Its campaign feels half hearted, neither fully remaking nor preserving the original game.
  73. Nov 30, 2011
    It's still an important and hugely influential game and it should probably be played by anyone interested in first-person shooters. But unless you're part of the generation of gamers that are now in their 20s and you're looking to recapture your Halo heydays, this is definitely most gamers can skip even at its budget $40 retail price.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 516 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 516
  1. Nov 15, 2011
    I'm starting to doubt the value of the score in video game reviews (83 is fine, not my point). There is such an inflation issue with theI'm starting to doubt the value of the score in video game reviews (83 is fine, not my point). There is such an inflation issue with the perspective of readers that devalues anything less than 90 to pure trash.

    Anyways, for Halo CE fans this game is a 100. It's the game we love, with the faults we love, now with online co-op. Nothing gets better than that.

    I get lost on Pillar of Autumn and the Maw every time.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    There you have it gamers and gents, "Halo: Combat Evolved". The only game that beats COD to the death, only back with better graphics.There you have it gamers and gents, "Halo: Combat Evolved". The only game that beats COD to the death, only back with better graphics. Although all of this could have been a DLC, What more did you expect? Happy B day HalO!!! Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2011
    This is really a pretty simple concept, remake halo CE ten years after the original release with HD graphics, widescreen support, addThis is really a pretty simple concept, remake halo CE ten years after the original release with HD graphics, widescreen support, add terminals and skulls and online coop to a "legendary" campaign, If you loved the campaign then you will love it now, not much has changed as far as content. The missions are exactly as you remember them, although the terminals give halo fans more lore behind the series and achievement hunters something to hunt for. Sidenote : halo waypoint integration is pretty sick

    Outside of the actual campaign they remade 6 multiplayer maps, 4 from CE, 1 from CE for PC and 1 from halo 2. The multiplayer maps can be played on disc with their own set of playlists in the reach engine or can be exported with an included voucher for playing along with all other halo reach content and playlists. They added installation 04 as a firefight map and really excels as such. Honestly this part of the halo work is where firefight was born, posted up on a structure fighting off waves of aliens. Feels really good in the mode that was basically built around this idea.

    If you are a halo fan it is well worth the $40 for the remastered campaign, the firefight, the online coop, and the remaster multiplayer maps. Really the only reason I dont give it a "10" is that if you hate reach multiplayer or dont own the game anymore the export DLC code is no good to you. But if you arent smart enough to buy the game from amazon with a $10 credit and sell the DLC voucher on eBay or to a friend for another $10 effectively making it $20 I dont know what to say to you. This game is a VERY awesome purchase for $40 and im stoked that 343/microsoft decided not to gouge the community with a $60 release. This game is not only a really fun way to relive the past but gives me great hope for 343 industries and where they will take the series.

    This is not part of the review, just a message to a few of the people on here who are complaining

    Stop directing complaints at Bungie, they are gone and no longer affiliated with this game or future halo titles. 343 industries is the new team for halo and have gotten off to a good start with this one. Also to anyone who just wants the maps for reach you can buy the 6 map DLC pack for $15 bucks which is pretty solid as well. The maps play awesome both in their classic format with no AAs and with the new revamped formats like "Battle Canyon"

    If you played it 10 years ago its still amazing, if you never played Halo 1 you owe it to yourself to play the game that started it all, now in HD and online coop allows you to enjoy it with a buddy.
    Full Review »