Universal acclaim - based on 86 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 86
  2. Negative: 0 out of 86
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  1. 100
    It's solid gameplay, immense replayability, online functionality and incredible production values will ensure its place in video game history, and it is, without a doubt, a satisfying and fulfilling close to the beloved trilogy[?].
  2. 100
    The Forge is a gargantuan achievement that puts game design in the hands of players, daring you to be creative and invent a Halo 3 multiplayer experience all your own. Of course, the multiplayer is every bit as astonishing as it has been in past iterations and even eclipses its predecessors in many respects.
  3. 100
    The best game yet in one of the best FPS franchises of the era. Better than either of its predecessors, Halo 3 still can't quite escape the category of flawed masterpiece - but this time around, the flaws are so minor that even the most churlish of reviewers would be hard pressed to mark the game down.
  4. The single player is bigger and brawnier than anything that's been attempted on a console before. The multiplayer, which already shadowed the competition, has improved to the point of ridiculousness. The new features - Forge, Saved Films, Coop - are frighteningly addictive. And if you don't like any of that, you're always welcome to edit it until you do.
  5. 100
    It's hard to imagine a feature of this game that someone won't love... Sure, no one aspect of the game is life-changing on its own, but perhaps the package as a whole is. After all, Halo 3 has enough content to keep you stuck to your controller for weeks, if not months or even years.
  6. Halo 3 transcends video games. It is a global entertainment experience. Just as "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" and "Spiderman 3" brought to a close two of the most lucrative and epic film trilogies of all time, Halo 3 brings to a close perhaps the most complete, engaging and downright fun video game trilogy of all time. There is absolutely no way any Halo fan will be disappointed by this game.
  7. 100
    It's well-tested, well-honed, and polished--all qualities you'd expect from Bungie, but the developer's talented and hard-working team shouldn't be taken for granted. Halo 3 may look OK and play similarly, but it will stand in the top echelon of Xbox 360 games for years.
  8. 100
    The maps are all well-designed, the equipment adds strategic elements to matches, and the creative powers granted to players are unrivaled, at least for a console game. Add to the recipe that unmistakable Bungie polish, and you have a Multiplayer experience that will be enjoyed for thousands of gamers for years to come.
  9. It's a fight worth finishing so if you haven't already, get out there and do just that.
  10. AceGamez
    My mind is blown. Every level brings new and different scenery...and the scale of it makes "Halo 2" look both limited and amateur by comparison. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Halo 3 takes on "Half-Life 2" and wipes the floor with it.
  11. Edge Magazine
    In substance it's nothing new, merely a magnificent, beautiful monster of an FPS sequel. In concept and execution, though, Halo 3 is the future. [Nov 2007, p.80]
  12. 100
    Halo 3 isn't perfect, but it's so close it's unnerving. There's very little to fault with this game, and the flaws that are there are almost completely overshadowed by the overall quality and incredible amount of content and features.
  13. 100
    What it does do is take a great game with superb gameplay and improve upon it in every way imaginable. You will also not find a more complete package for your money this year.
  14. Halo 3 may not be as innovative as its predecessors or have the best graphics on the Xbox 360, but it's an outstanding game and a fitting end to what's been a fantastic trilogy.
  15. This 10 is based on the fact that Bungie has successfully raied the level of what to expect in future shooters and how much stuff you can cram into one game with a high level of polish and expertise--and not as an afterthought or as padding. [Nov 2007, p.50]
  16. Still, judging a game like Halo 3 on the single-player campaign is like taking a movie to task for its opening credits. Halo 3's multiplayer is its reason for existence.
  17. Hardcore Gamer
    Halo 3 is the combination of a thoroughly decent singleplayer campaign, a great multiplayer component, and absolutely incredible enhancements to each. [Nov 2007, p.52]
  18. 100
    This is truly the perfect way for Bungie to close out the trilogy. With its fun, if a bit short single player story, four-player online cooperative support, tight multiplayer gameplay and unmatched customization options, Halo 3 lives up to the unprecedented hype.
  19. 100
    Playing around with all this just might make you realize that while the individual components of Halo 3 aren't all top class, the sheer number of them offers more game hours of solid enjoyment than nearly anything else on the market, for any console.
  20. One of those rare instances where the developer exceeded expectations and over delivered.
  21. 99
    Halo 3 is essential. An Xbox 360 without a copy of the game is like a human without a heart.
  22. Overall, Bungie has crafted another masterpiece that serves as a fitting end to the trilogy (no big cliffhanger here).
  23. Halo 3 takes everything that made Halo a favorite game and tweaks it until it has achieved near perfection. The single player experience is a thrill ride from the beginning to the end and the multiplayer will probably be the king of Xbox Live until another game in the Halo series releases.
  24. Halo 3 is one of the most engaging, polished, content-laden pieces of software you'll ever play. The single-player winds down the story nicely while providing one epic confrontation after another, and you'll want to finish the fight several times over. It's relentless, finely crafted, expertly tuned, excellently paced, and incredibly satisfying. And where replay value is concerned, few console games are in the same galaxy.
  25. Bungie has spent three years and countless loads of money making Halo 3 and fortunately for them (and publisher Microsoft) it has paid off.
  26. Despite some flaws, Halo 3 is a crowning achievement on Master Chief's enormously popular trilogy.
  27. The graphics and sound are fantastic, the story and gameplay are brilliant and the multiplayer aspects are just amazing. The additon of Forge and co-op gives the game a much longer life span than many other games. You couldn't find a better game for any console.
  28. Halo 3 is the best Xbox 360 game to date. The single-player campaign and storyline are both very strong, but it's Forge and the Saved Films features that will likely go down in history as Bungie's crowning achievements. They've basically taken everything great about the series and improved upon it in every way, then added some amazing new features that we'll be using for years to come.
  29. Halo 3 is the gaming equivalent of a Hollywood blockbuster. It's not going to revolutionise the genre - it's not meant to - it's meant to be great fun, which it is. Never lose sight of that. The visuals, guns, vehicles, enemies, set-pieces, musical score... they've all been cranked up to 11 to create an experience up there with the best sci-fi properties.
  30. The online tear is a blast to play and with all the new bells and whistles they added to the game, you may not play anything else online for quite a while.
  31. The game is definitely far superior to its predecessor and is just about on-par with the original, maybe even more so since it feels more complete.
  32. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Sure, no one aspect of the game is life-changing on its own, but perhaps the package as a whole is. [Dec 2007, p.116]
  33. Between the ability to come up with your own bizarre custom modes and the theater mode, which records damn near everything you do with crystal clarity and allows you to play it back from multiple points of view, the worst thing you can say about Halo 3 multiplayer is that it's going to force you to buy an Elite 360 just for the sake of having more hard drive space.
  34. 96
    While Halo 3 doesn't look as good as games like "Gears of War" and "BioShock" it makes up for that with superb lighting effects, an engaging storyline and a multiplayer mode that will be played countless times over.
  35. It simply combines the best parts of Halo (wide-open, diverse environments) and Halo 2 (dual wielding weaponry), and throws a few new weapons, vehicles and enemies to the mix. The result is a thrilling and ultimately satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
  36. Halo 3 is the action game to buy this Fall, quite simply because it does exactly the same thing that the previous two have.
  37. It's the addition of the Forge level editor and the saved films that give the game an even longer set of legs, legs that will probably keep you running at full speed until Bungie figures out where, exactly, to go from here.
  38. 95
    The campaign, which is very good, is Halo 3's weakest point. It doesn't capture the cavalier spirit of the original Halo, but you'll still have fun playing through it. There's no first-person shooter on 360 that can equal Halo 3's blend of cinematic action, adrenaline-pumping shootouts, and male- (and female)-bonding gameplay. Look beyond the gameplay and you have a rich feature set unlike anything ever delivered in a videogame.
  39. Halo 3 takes every positive aspect from the first two Halo games, perfects them, puts them in a shinier and better looking package, tosses in wonderful community-driven content for a console game, establishes some awesome environments, and does it so damn well it's impossible to not have fun while playing.
  40. This last installment for Master Chief in the Halo trilogy isn't perfect, but it comes pretty close.
  41. More weapons, more vehicles and some very exciting game modes which I expect and hope that future titles incorporate too. Has Bungie delivered on the hype? I most certainly think so.
  42. Halo was remarkable in the ambition and innovation that made it so fresh, but the mighty number three doesn't have quite that same freshness - instead, it has a reassuring maturity to it, crafted as it is by a team who have learned from every mistake they've made and every word of feedback the community has offered over the years. Halo 3 is the best Halo has ever been, and you won't find a greater accolade than that.
  43. Bungie was able to utilize the 360's hardware to provide not only a visual stunning masterpiece, but a great sounding one too.
  44. Halo 3 gives a deeper, smoother and grander ride then ever before.
  45. If I had to describe this game in one word, it would be "solid" – the weapons feel just right, the sounds represent impact perfectly, and the sound effects themselves are entirely suitable.
  46. 95
    The conventional multiplay aspects would have left most reviewers a sweaty mess on their carpets, but Bungie's innovations have pushed the boundaries on not only what multiplay does, but what multiplayer is. Shooting doesn't seem to be the be all and end all, all of a sudden.
  47. The story was excellent and the campaign was extremely exciting to go through. The online is awesome, although it needs some work on gametypes.
  48. Pelit (Finland)
    Halo 3 is the best game in the series. Not only that, it is the best console shooter ever. Yet, at the same time, it fails to feel as fresh as "Halo 2" did when it arrived. While "Halo 2's" dual-wielding revolutionised the Halo gameplay, Halo 3's equipment does no such thing. [Oct 2007]
  49. 93
    Halo 3 is an excellent first-person shooter, and with it, Bungie ends its trilogy on a strong note.
  50. Games Master UK
    Genre-defining. [Nov 2007, p.58]
  51. On the one hand, the level design feels absolutely superb, showing the sort of versatility and pacing that awesome shooters are made of. On the other hand, this is exactly the reason why single-player feels so short and why it IS so short.
  52. The bottom line is, online or off, Halo 3 is a game every 360 owner should at least try out
  53. Clearly Bungie's efforts were focused on the multiplayer facets of this game; and that alone makes it worth owning.
  54. The combination of the excellent campaign, tried and true multiplayer, and online co-op make this a game that shouldn't be missed by anyone.
  55. Where lies the big innovation in the third iteration? It looks better, and plays about the same, but it doesn't take many chances-the "forge" system and the new custom games are excluded from matchmaking, and the neat theater option isn't really an upgrade to the gameplay. But still, we applaud you, for in giving us more of the same, you have given us exactly what we wanted.
  56. Despite Halo 3's overall greatness, we can't help but feel somewhat let down by the narrative's lackluster conclusion (but stay tuned after the credits roll for a coda that hits just the right note).
  57. 90
    The game's end sequence, to put it mildly, is an eight-car pileup. Fans of the series will recognize it as a poorly veiled swipe of a sequence in the original Halo, a challenge highlighted by a series of goofy circumstances and improbable level design meant to create an explosive end. The end result, however, is fairly absurd, as the whole shebang reeks of game developers wracking their brains to come up with the cleverest, most exciting finish, and shattering the fourth wall in the process.
  58. 90
    The Forge and Theatre modes redefine what it is to make a game "for the fans", as they are substantial and influential additions to the game and have the potential to build Halo 3 even further then it has ever been before.
  59. A few niggling flaws — or maybe just impossibly high expectations — keep Halo 3 from perfection. But on the whole, it’s a heartfelt and worthy conclusion to one of the most beloved video game series of all time.
  60. Bungie has delivered an excellent Campaign mode, arguably the best multi-player experience on any platform and almost endless replay value. But Halo 3 scores most highly for artistic vision, capitalising on all of the series' greatest visual motifs.
  61. Naturally, the game is highly detailed, and the transition to the current console generation has certainly been successful. But you can’t help but notice the amount of aliasing, and it really doesn’t suit Halo 3 in any way.
  62. 90
    The campaign by itself offers a painfully mediocre experience. Halo 3 really shines in its multiplayer aspects, both Co-Op and competitive. Co-Op alters the campaign experience enough to marginalize the vast majority of its problems and bring you back time and again to play through with friends.
  63. It’s the Halo sequel that fans have been demanding. And it’s the game that’s going to sell a lot of Xbox 360s.
  64. Halo 3 may not fully live up to the obscene hype, but it certainly survives it.
  65. games(TM)
    Combat refined. Combat perfected. But not Combat evolved. [Nov 2007, p.98]
  66. Navigating the environments with a controller isn't as intuitive as a mouse and keyboard setup, but with a bit of patience and some experimentation… well, Bungie has seen to it that Halo 3 will probably be the most played Xbox 360 game for at least the next year.
  67. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Single-player is too similar to what has come before to earn perfect marks, whereas all other aspects are worthy of such commendation. [Issue#25, p.72]
  68. Play Magazine
    The war, as it was, has been won. [Nov 2007, p.70]
  69. What it comes down to is that Halo 3 is still a great playing first-person shooter that manages to get just about everything right.
  70. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    The trilogy ends with a title that doesn’t bring anything really new regarding the solo campaign, but maintains the fun and appealing gameplay that this series is known for. In the end, it’s on the multiplayer front that Halo 3 shines the most, with an overwhelming number of options and exemplary support by Bungie. [Oct 2007, p.55]
  71. A phenomenal conclusion to the trilogy, offering an epic story that is more satisfying than the second game, action on a much bigger scale and a multiplayer section that has been improved from the immensely entertaining multiplayer of the second game.
  72. Halo 3 is a fantastic game: a magnificent example of multiplayer gaming with an enjoyable side order of single-player, but it’s really hard to justify as being a true classic.
  73. 89
    There's no denying how awesome the replay and Forge features are – but they're not the core of the game. Don't get me wrong, the single player campaign is very strong, the action is tight, and the AI is F.E.A.R.-killing. But for every positive, there was an area of the game that left me wanting more – the backtracking, the overly cheesy storyline, the underwhelming visuals. And multiplayer feels too much like a HD-version of Halo 2 with a few gadgets you can toss around.
  74. The story just isn't put-together well enough, the graphics are disappointing, and the levels have you constantly running back and forth. Yes, if all of these things were rectified, the game would be spectacular. But they're not.
  75. Halo 3 is fun, and its Forge and Theater modes will provide hours of multiplayer entertainment, but nothing could've prepared us for our slight feeling of disappointment. The game's far too reliant on old gameplay tricks and recycled levels, and it really lost its narrative power.
  76. Billions of hours are destined to be lost online as it slowly takes over the world because the multiplayer alone covers the retail price, and features such as Forge and Saved Film only further justify the purchase.
  77. While Halo 3 doesn't force upon the player another tortuous romp through The Library, it does feature an agonizing substitute complete with seemingly endless waves of Flood victims. This--along with a handful of recycled locales in the final third of the game--is a lack of ingenuity in level design that sticks out sorely amid a slate of superbly conceived features.
  78. 85
    Halo 3 will not revolutionize the first person shooter, nor is it taking the Halo franchise to anyplace really new. What it does do is deliver the penultimate Halo experience with improved graphics and tons of MP features.
  79. An interesting campaign, spectacular if played in cooperative, a consistent multiplayer format with a great sense of community, but let down by some bugs and ambiguous design decisions.
  80. Halo 3 is "Halo 2" with somewhat better graphics. That’s all you really need to know. If you loved "Halo 2," you will feel just the same about Halo 3. If you played "Halo 2" and couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about, Halo 3 is not the revelatory experience that will change your view of the series forever.
  81. The fight might well be finished but like the end to any war, Halo 3 isn't pretty. One of the top multiplayer experiences available on any console (as expected) redeems a largely disappointing Campaign, but even that doesn't change the fact that the 'Xbox mascot' baton has passed to Fenix and his crew of COGs.
  82. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    The single player campaign is not anywhere near as compelling or as epic as is billed. Anyone new to Halo probably won't see what all the fuss is about, completely confused as to why this third installment is so important to so many people. It's good, and there's enough here to make for a memorable game, but how memorable depends mostly on how invested you are in the franchise already.
  83. There is still a lot of fun to be had with Halo 3, mostly for veterans of the series, just don't try to convince me that this is the end all be all of FPS gaming. Gamers like myself who have already seen and played "the future" will likely dismiss this old-school gameplay and move on to the far more visionary titles that are just around the corner.
  84. 80
    Another disappointment is the often-clumsy ally AI. While the enemy units display proficient level intelligence, your marine companions often struggle to cope with the enemy onslaught. This is never more evident as when you’re riding alongside a CPU driver in a Warthog; they drive so erratically you half expect them to crack open a crate of Carling midway through the mission.
  85. netjak
    The best thing I can say is that if you never really cared about the single player game in the first place, you can expect to have a great time with Halo 3 for years to come. If however, you are looking to “Finish the Fight”, and don’t plan on paying for Xbox Live Gold, you would be best served to wait for a price drop or two… or three.
  86. The ads promise an epic tale of tragedy, sacrifice, and heroism that Halo 3 really had no hope in hell of ever delivering. More troubling, however, is the fact that after playing the game, I can suggest with some certainty that they promised a game that Bungie didn't even bother trying to produce.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5418 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    Anyone who ever gave this game anything less than a 7 is lying to themselves. It may not be a 10 but you know its pretty damn good. TheAnyone who ever gave this game anything less than a 7 is lying to themselves. It may not be a 10 but you know its pretty damn good. The multiplayer alone should warrant an automatic 9 and when you pile on the deep (and yes, at times convoluted) story it has to be at least a 9.5. If you own an XBOX 360 and have somehow not experienced the excellence that is the Halo series, do yourself a service and pick this up on the cheap. Trust. Full Review »
  2. TylerI.
    Jan 30, 2010
    As some of you may give this a 0, how can you guive it that. The balance is soo well done online, for wxample the player skill balance. Also As some of you may give this a 0, how can you guive it that. The balance is soo well done online, for wxample the player skill balance. Also each game everyone has the same weapon. You can get shot a few times and still have a chance. Isn't that great? I'm not a big fan of the older campaigns( Halo and Halo 2) I loved this one. Thr levels Tsvaso's Highway to the level Halo is just pure fun on Legendary. But the multiplayer is where the entire community is. You could probably play this game in 2016 and there probably will be at least 500 people on. But now 2.5 years after it 9/25/07 release there are 75,000 to 200,000 people on depending on the time. Just purely one of the best games on the Xbox 360 you can buy!!! Full Review »
  3. Nov 30, 2011
    After killing about 13,000 Spartans in mulitplayer, I can confidently say that this is one the most addicting games ever. So much better thanAfter killing about 13,000 Spartans in mulitplayer, I can confidently say that this is one the most addicting games ever. So much better than COD. Bungie did a really geat job on the campaign missions as well. Full Review »