When Halo: Combat Evolved launched in 2001, it revolutionised the first-person shooter and largely shaped the genre as we know it as today. Originally, Halo was revealed at Mac World as a PC/MAC game until Microsoft’s purchase of Bungie in 2001, leading to the game as a key launch title for the original Xbox. While not originally planned as one of the major titles for launch, Halo quickly took off and created a phenomenon that had never been seen in the gaming industry.
Fast-forward three years to the release of Halo 2. The sequel largely stuck with the same solid gameplay whilst adding much-needed features such a dual wielding which is still a key part of the series today. The biggest introduction in the game, however, was the use of online multiplayer with Xbox Live. Traditionally, gamers had previously used a server list to find an online game, but Halo 2 changed this with the ability to pair you straight into a game with other players with the use of matchmaking. This was the first console game to largely incorporate online play and it provided a great base for the online games of today. These achievements are backed up by the fact that Halo 2 was the most played game on a weekly basis on Xbox Live for over two years.
Moving over to the HD era, Bungie released the final game in the trilogy, Halo 3 in 2007. This game gave players an opportunity to edit their own maps in a brand new mode called Forge. In addition, players were now also able to use the technology of the Xbox 360 to record their matches for later review.