All 6 Master Chief Collection Games in Order (Release & Chronological)

all master chief collection games in order

‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’ is a compilation of FPS games from the Halo series. It was originally released in November 2014 for Xbox One and later expanded to Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X/S. Developed by 343 Industries in collaboration with other studios, it was published by Xbox Game Studios. Each game in the collection received massive overhauls bringing them to the current gen. Since there are quite a few games in the collection, plenty of gamers wondered how to play them in the correct order, hence why this guide was created, let’s go!

All 6 Games in the Master Chief Collection in release date order

Upon release, critics lauded the updated audio and visuals, as well as new additions to the content. However, multiplayer and matchmaking issues led to an apology from 343 Industries and subsequent updates to rectify technical flaws. Many of these issues were eventually resolved through post-release patches, and the consensus was generally favorable for the studio. In terms of playing the games story-vise you have two approaches, the release date order & chronological order, we’re going to start with the release first

  1. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (original release in 2001)
  2. Halo 2: Anniversary (original release in 2004)
  3. Halo 3 (original release in 2007)
  4. Halo 3: ODST (original release in 2009)
  5. Halo Reach (original release in 2010)
  6. Halo 4 (original release in 2012)

All 6 Games in the Master Chief Collection in chronological order

Now that we’ve cleared up the release date order, it’s time to jump into the chronology of the games. The games can technically be played as standalone games but if you’re a hardcore fan focused on the lore behind them, here’s the timeline that you should be following. Most of the timeline of the games spans several months, with only Halo 4 skipping through more than 4 years.

  1. Halo Reach (takes place between July and September 2552)
  2. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (takes place in September 2552)
  3. Halo 2: Anniversary (takes place in October 2552)
  4. Halo 3: ODST (takes place in October 2552)
  5. Halo 3 (takes place between December 2552 and March 2553)
  6. Halo 4 (takes place in Jully 2557)


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1. Halo Reach (2552)

Halo Reach

On July 24, 2552, SPARTAN-B312, (You), arrives at a UNSC outpost on Reach. Under the command of Colonel Urban Holland, NOBLE Team is tasked with investigating the blackout of the Visegrad Relay, an important communications hub. Initially suspecting Insurrectionist involvement, the team soon encounters Covenant forces in the rural area surrounding the relay. Engaging in combat, they discover the Covenant’s responsibility for the communication disruption. Inside the relay station, they confront the Devoted Sentries, an elite Covenant Zealot team attempting to extract information.

2. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (2552)

Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary

Halo: Combat Evolved begins following the events of Reach as the UNSC Pillar of Autumn emerges from slipspace to encounter a massive ring-world known as “Halo” following the Fall of Reach. Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, a SPARTAN-II, is tasked with protecting the ship’s AI, Cortana, who holds crucial information about the UNSC. Facing Covenant attacks, John-117 evacuates to the surface of Halo, accompanied by UNSC Marines. With Cortana guiding him and armed for combat.

3. Halo 2: Anniversary (2552)

Halo 2 Anniversary

The game takes place a month after the events of Halo: CE and opens on High Charity, the mobile capital city of the Covenant, where Commander Thel ‘Vadamee faces trial before the High Council for his perceived failure to safeguard Halo. Despite his defense citing interference from the Flood, the Hierarchs—Truth, Mercy, and Regret—condemn him for neglecting his duty to protect the Sacred Ring. ‘Vadamee is subsequently demoted, stripped of his rank and armor, and marked with the Mark of Shame by Tartarus, the Jiralhanae Chieftain.

4. Halo 3: ODST (2552)

Halo 3 ODST

In the year 2552, humanity finds itself in a war against the alien alliance known as “The Covenant,” with dangerous consequences. Despite staggering losses and the destruction of countless worlds, Earth remains a closely guarded secret until a Covenant carrier breaches its defenses and attacks New Mombasa, an African mega-city. The assault triggers a response from the United Nations Space Command, deploying highly trained Orbital Drop Shock Troopers on a dangerous mission to confront the carrier from Navy ships in low orbit.

5. Halo 3 (2552-2553)

Halo 3

The storyline picks up around two weeks following the events of Halo 2, on November 17th, 2552. Master Chief John-117 crash-lands in an east African jungle on Earth and is rescued by Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, Arbiter Thel ‘Vadam, and a group of Marines. As they navigate through the jungle towards an extraction point, they encounter Covenant forces prompting Johnson to split the group for safety. Despite facing numerous Brute-led Covenant troops, John-117 and Thel ‘Vadam press on with the second squad. However, upon reaching the extraction zone, Johnson’s Pelican group is ambushed and shot down by Banshees.


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6. Halo 4 (2557)

Halo 4

Halo 4 starts on July 21, 2557, over four years since the armistice of the Human-Covenant War. Cortana, dormant for nearly five years, awakens John-117 from cryo-sleep upon detecting intruder alarms aboard the ship. She informs him of firmware upgrades to his MJOLNIR Mark VI armor before they confront the source of the disturbance. Battling against Sangheili attackers and their allied forces, including Unggoy and Kig-Yar, John-117 questions Cortana about their former allies’ aggression. With no clear answers, they discover a Covenant fleet, led by Jul ‘Mdama, surrounding the Forward Unto Dawn. Multiple boarding crafts dock with the damaged frigate as the situation escalates.

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