With the Xbox One soon to head off into the sunset thanks to the arrival of the Series X/S it’s worth stepping back to revisit some of the games that made an impact here during this generation. Not all of them are exclusive but each of them resulted in many hours spent glued to controllers and that’s all that really matters. 🙂
I’ve said plenty about Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) over the years – I even “reviewed” it twice – but if there’s a single game that reflects the Xbox One platform over it’s lifetime it’s definitely this. When it first launched at the end of 2014 it offered fans a massive package with the four main Halo games plus a substantial multiplayer suite but issues at launch that left the highly anticipated multiplayer badly broken put the developers onto the back foot and they were forced into a years long redo of the product. It was a long haul to say the least but what we have now is such a substantially better product it almost feels like a reboot.
Initially bundling only the numbered Halo games (ie. those with the Master Chief) the title represented one of Microsoft’s most high profile attempts at a “remaster” of their past games… the only other one that immediately comes to mind was Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. The idea of having access to each of these games under the one menu as well as their unique multiplayer experiences does have a lot of appeal for nostalgic gamers but as was revealed over the life of game’s post release development being able to have multiple game engines mesh together was not easy and unfortunately they did not realize that until after the game shipped. Lucky for me at the time I was mainly focused on playing through the campaigns and those were just as good as they’d ever been. For anyone wanting to play the games without the need to dig out their old backward compatible discs it became the ideal option.
Much like the Xbox One X was in terms of hardware this is exactly the Halo collection we wished we had in the first place. All the campaigns run incredibly well and multiplayer now works perfectly too. With Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach bundled into the package, 4K support and upcoming support for crossplay with the PC version of MCC it finally lives up to being the ultimate Halo package. Shooters have evolved a lot since the original but if Halo‘s style of run and gun gameplay still works for you then this is going to represent an incredible amount of value thanks to the sheer breadth of both single and multiplayer content. To not have a Halo title in any list for Xbox might be considered sacrilege so I’m relieved that MCC has stepped up and become the collection that the franchise deserved. That it continues to get attention on the Series X/S and its PC version shows there’s still a lot of life left in it and that actually makes me happy. I know I’ll still be playing it. 🙂