Halo has always been renowned for its great soundtracks, and here are some of the finest ones.
As one of the most famous series in history, Halo set many rules for first-person shooter (FPS) games on consoles when it came out in 2001 for the original Xbox. Online gameplay, AI enemies that shine, and FPS adventures. Halo isn’t the best game series right now, but there’s one thing that has always made it better than all of its rivals over the past 20 years or so: its soundtracks.
Halo has always made great sound tracks to go with their great storytelling, with tracks that make you feel everything from sadness to elation to wonder and awe. Sorting the tracks into groups is nearly impossible without getting very angry, but which one is the best?
Halo 4: Arrival (Neil Davidge)
Cortana splits her crazy attitude into two partsWe need to stop the Didact. This track plays in the background as the Master Chief fights many Prometheans by himself at the end of Halo 4’s emotional mission to stop The Didact from Composing all of Earth.
Arrival brings out the last bit of courage in the Master Chief to save Earth once more, as the slow, sad buildup of Cortana’s rampancy grows and hordes of Promethean Crawlers, Knights, and Watchers attack. The track represents Cortana and Master Chief’s journey in Halo 4. The track is one of the best in the series because it’s about terrible straits, sheer drive, and never giving up.
Halo 5: The Trials (Kazuma Jinnouchi)
There was only one way to show Master Chief and Blue Team in Halo 5, and that was through a track that put together many famous Halo tracks. The Trials is Kazuma Jinnouchi’s best song on Halo 5’s strong music, beating out 117, One Final Effort, and the game’s theme song.
Jinnouchi does a great job of showcasing Blue Team’s expertise, despite their age, and why they are still the best Spartan team out there by combining the track itself with the epic introduction cutscene of Master Chief and Blue Team boosting through space to attack the UNSC research station Argent Moon that has been occupied by Storm Covenant forces.
Halo Reach: Winter Contingency (Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)
Everyone’s first look at Bungie’s last Halo game. Winter Contingency is a twelve-minute epic song that takes the player on a trip through Reach, the last refuge of humanity before Earth.
The world of Reach is set up in the beginning of the track, which focuses on mystery. As Noble teams look into a communications center that has been hacked and soldiers who have gone missing, they run into the powerful Covenant. A danger they didn’t know about knew where Reach was. The track then takes the player or viewer on a trip deep into the relay, where dangerous Covenant Zealots are trying to stop people from being told about their arrival. At the end, when the Covenant is fighting in the narrow hallways of the communications center, there is an awesome guitar piece.
Halo Wars: Insignificantia (All Sloppy/No Joe) (Stephen Rippy)
Insignificantia is the jazzy ending credits song that puts the player in a good mood after the intense battle and sad ending to Halo’s first departure from first-person shooter games with this legendary real-time strategy game. It features acoustic guitars, the series’ signature vocals, and the piano.
Ensemble Studios made the strategy game Halo Wars, which has a lot of great tracks, but “Insignificantia” is the one that really grabs people’s attention. The ship, The Spirit of Fire, flies off into the sunset as the credits roll, followed by a beautiful track and a beautiful message from the development team thanking their fans.
Halo 2: Epilogue (Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)
The closing song for Halo 2 called “Epilogue” really captures that feeling of coming home after being away for a long time. The music is smooth, and the time goes back to 2004. Everything is fine.
Bungie liked how this track made them feel like they were going home, so they used it again at the end of Halo 3 when The Arbiter and Rtas ‘Vadum (Shipmaster) leave Earth to go back to their own home world.
Even though the mood was sad, O’Donnell and Salvatori made sure to remember players to “Finish the Fight” by adding a Flood-themed buildup at the end.
Halo Theme Mjolnir Mix (Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)
The metal take on the old song. The Halo 2 theme takes everything great about the first game’s theme and turns it up to eleven! The track was a great summary of the game world when Halo 2 came out. It has heavy guitar riffs and a lot of excitement about Drift Boss.
With its “boots on the ground” look, the original Halo theme feels more grounded. But Salvatori’s guitar riffs have made it the theme song for all first-person shooter players since 2004. It’s a classic reimagining that puts it in the top five of the best movies in the series. It makes getting on a Scarab, killing everything inside, and then slowly walking away even cooler.
Halo 3: ODST: Deference for Darkness (Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)
The first Halo FPS that doesn’t put you in the role of the Master Chief puts you in the role of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper (ODST). The piano and saxophones in Deference for Darkness are very smooth and sound like they belong in a jazz band.
The last two tracks give the album a more grounded feel and end with a strange synth tune that sounds like it belongs on Forerunner. By having the Engineer hint at a plot point and tell the player that they have a job to do, Get out of New Mombasa city and find their team.
Halo 2: Blow Me Away (Breaking Benjamin)
It was the first time that a band from outside of Bungie Studios contributed to the making of a Halo music. Breaking Benjamin’s “Blow Me Away” plays an important role in the second-to-last Master Chief mission in Halo 2’s main story, “Gravemind.” When the Master Chief and the player go into the Mausoleum of the Arbiter to watch the Brutes and Hunters fight the Elites, Cortana tells them to “sit this one out.”
This makes the above-mentioned track welcome.A lot of people can’t help but join in with the violence that’s happening right in front of them thanks to Breaking Benjamin’s amazing guitar work and heavy drums. This really makes it one of Halo’s most famous tracks.
Halo 3: One Final Effort (Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)
The best Halo mission ever needs a track that’s just as good. One Final Effort is almost the best track in the game, but it’s not quite there yet.
The Elites, Master Chief, and Sergeant Johnson. At the end of the Human-Covenant war, each side will attack the Prophet of Truth’s forces with their own goals, and this track marks the beginning of that last big push. That one last effort was so good that it was put to the end of the Warthog run in Halo 3 to make the last few seconds more tense. Many people were inspired to start playing the piano by this track.
Halo Combat Evolved: Halo (Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)
On this list, Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori have done really well, and for good reason. Their songs have left a legacy that might never be topped. The soundtracks of video games have been used in other media as well.
The Halo song is everything that the Halo series is, was, and will always be. Fast-paced action on the ground, great confusion over alien buildings, and high-octane car parts avoiding Halo rings that are going off. With “The Siege of Madrigal” at the end, they even added a Marathon Easter egg. The Halo theme is the best piece of music in the series, and maybe even in all of video games.