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Best games like Halo to play while you wait for Master Chief's return

(Image credit: Microsoft)

You’ve churned through every campaign, mastered battle rifle headshots and spent more time with Master Chief than you have your own best friend. What next? Bungie’s Halo series is a unique blend of story, inventive solo missions and agile multiplayer fights, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other games like Halo that give you similar thrills. 

In this list, we’ll present 10 games like Halo that lovers of the series should try next. Some make the cut because they’re rock-solid FPS campaigns, which are sadly few and far between – others are on this list for their intriguing sci-fi setting, while more still are here because of their nimble multiplayer action, reminiscent of our best memories of Reach. If you think we’ve missed any out, make sure you leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Here are the 10 best games like Halo you can play right now.

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Let’s start with the most obvious touchstone. Destiny 2 is a brilliant MMO looter shooter that’s clearly inspired by Bungie’s work. The expansive planetary vistas, the floaty jumping, the myriad alien enemies: Halo is in its DNA. But this is no simple clone – it’s one of the best shooters ever made in its own right. 

If you loved Halo’s campaigns, then Destiny 2 has several of its own, complete with climactic set pieces and some touching story beats. If it’s Halo’s multiplayer you crave, jump into the Crucible, where you’ll find high-octane, competitive matches across a number of classic game modes. Halo made the actual act of popping headshots feel spectacular, but Destiny 2, somehow, manages to best it. Never before have video game guns felt this good to handle, and targeting weak spots rewards you with a trail of damage numbers and a shower of sci-fi sparks.

The amount of things to do in Destiny 2, between Raids, small-squad Strikes and story missions, is nearly endless. Any Halo fan will find at least one thing they love here, and you can try most of it out in the free to play New Light addition. What have you got to lose? (Hundreds of hours, that’s what!)

Titanfall 2

(Image credit: Respawn)

 Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

When it came out in 2016, Titanfall 2 had the best shooter campaign since a Halo game, and it still stands up to this day. It has more in common with Halo than just its high-tech sci-fi setting and powerful futuristic weapons: each story mission has its own theme and challenges, which varies the moment-to-moment action. A new enemy will transform your tactics, and make you think differently about the way you control your giant, hulking titan. Sometimes, you’ll be swarmed with foes, other times, you’ll battle intelligent bosses – and regularly, you’ll leap out of the cockpit to battle enemies on foot.

The fluid movement and vertical maps sometimes makes us think of Master Chief, too. Halo’s low-gravity jumping is replaced by ledge grabbing and wall-running here, but the results are just as glorious. The multiplayer community is, sadly, pretty spartan these days, but if you enjoyed Halo’s campaigns – who didn’t? – then Titanfall 2 is a must-play.

Doom Eternal 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

When we think of Halo, we think of circle strafing through fairly open levels, dodging enemies and picking them off with well-placed shots. Doom Eternal is that formula on steroids. More enemies, more dodging, more bullets, and more alien guts. It is the best FPS you can play right now, and its combination of beefy weapons, expansive, varied maps and engrossing resource management – killing enemies in certain ways showers you in health, ammo or armor – pulls you through the story at breakneck speed.

It’s more hectic than Halo, and more difficult on default settings. As every wave of demons descends on you, you’ll have to quickly come up with a plan of action and position yourself so you don’t get caught out, hopping around the environment as you secure kills. The asymmetric multiplayer doesn’t hold a candle to Halo 3, but the brilliant campaign, with its inventive setting, varied enemies and powerful guns, is up there with the best of Bungie’s offerings.

Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2

(Image credit: Valve)

 Available on: PC, Xbox One

Half-Life 2 isn’t just on this list for being one of the best shooters of all time. It’s here because its story captures the same feeling of exploration and wonder as the Halo series, albeit in a slightly more grounded setting. You’re not jetting between planets here, or gaping in awe at beautiful skyboxes. The stage is City 17, a gritty place policed by an authoritarian state, but each level still feels distinct and memorable, and gives you new ways to master the mechanics at your disposal.

It, like many of the Halo games, is also perfectly-paced, and it ramps up the challenge as it whisks you through the campaign to a worthy climax. Gordon Freeman is no Master Chief, and lacks the mobility of our Halo hero, but he’s a worthy star man nonetheless. Both, as it happens, are men of few words, and it’s up to you to imagine their personalities, which creates a bond between player and protagonist. Just don’t make us choose between the two.

Mass Effect: Andromeda 

(Image credit: BioWare)

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Hear us out. Mass Effect: Andromeda’s redeeming feature was its combat. Up until that point, Mass Effect combat was largely something you put up with so you could experience a captivating story and hop between planets, and at its worst, was downright tedious. But Andromeda’s flexible ability system made blasting alien foes feel slick, punchy, and responsive. Clearing a room of enemies was, for the first time, genuinely fun. As good as in a Halo game? Definitely not – but when you add in the talent of Bioware’s best writers, it’s certainly a galaxy worth exploring.

While most of the criticisms levelled at it were completely fair, there are some good stories to follow and majestic planets to explore. It’s fundamentally an RPG, which Halo is not, but if you like poking around alien structures, it will scratch a similar itch. Go for a Soldier class, which as its name suggests specialises in shooting stuff with rifles, and you’ll certainly see some similarities. Just don’t expect a masterpiece.

Mad Max

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

We’ll never forget the first time we manned the turret mounted on the back of a Warthog as it skidded across the beach in Halo: Combat Evolved. The way the series blends vehicle and on-foot combat hasn’t been bested since, but 2015’s Mad Max comes close to capturing some of the four-wheeled magic. Your car doesn’t have the shine of Halo’s tanks or sleek alien craft – it’s a rusty old banger built from the scraps of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. But it’s impressively versatile, and handles a bit like all of Halo’s vehicles rolled into one.

At the start of the game, it’s just a rusted shell. But soon, you’ll add wheel spikes, a harpoon gun, a rocket launcher, flamethrowers and armor. You spend most of the game in your car in high-speed battles, and upgrading is the core focus. When you’re on foot, Mad Max isn’t really anything like Halo: it’s a solid third-person brawler, rather than a tightly controlling FPS. But even if that’s not your cup of tea, it's worth pushing through these sequences, and before you know it, you’ll be back behind the steering wheel, causing mayhem.

Rage 2

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

A game that has been forgotten all too quickly, Rage 2 is an addictive, relentless shooter that, like Halo, makes you think carefully about the guns at your disposal and adapt your arsenal to whatever new situation you face. You feel more powerful than Master Chief here thanks to a suite of whacky abilities – one is basically a force push that sends enemies flying, while another makes you punch the ground and sends enemies skywards. Weapons have fun alternate fire modes too, such as one that tethers enemies to a point in space, so you can crunch their bones against solid ceilings and walls. 

The setting, a post-apocalyptic wasteland, is nowhere near as interesting as Halo’s sci-fi world, but the levels have some decent verticality to them, encouraging you to double jump around to find collectibles. Plus, roaming the map in one of Rage 2’s vehicles can’t help but remind us of some of our favourite Halo moments.

Borderlands 3

(Image credit: Gearbox)

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Did you ever wish Halo had a bit more weapon variety? Borderlands 3 might be for you. It’s a solid shooter with a gun count that numbers in the billions. No, seriously: every gun you come across will feel completely different, and many will have whacky, bespoke abilities. There’s one called the boomerang that you can throw, and it will keep firing as it spins through the air. The Eridian Fabricator shoots, well, other guns, spawning piles of loot to pick through.

In tone, Borderlands couldn’t be further from Halo. It’s crass and classless, and much of its humor misses the mark. But its shooting is endlessly fun. Grab a couple of friends and you’ll speed through its sci-fi campaign, savouring the set pieces and comparing notes on who can find the most ridiculous shotgun.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Dual wielding is, sadly, a feature no longer championed by Bungie. It hasn’t been in the series since Halo 3, and if you’re hankering for the feeling of having a plasma rifle in one hand, SMG in the other, then you’ll want to give Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus a go. It’s an old-school shooter that lets you dual wield any two guns, with hilarious results. Our favourite combination? A silenced pistol in our left, so that we can sneak through enemy bases silently, popping headshots from the shadows, and a shotgun in our right for when, inevitably, it all goes wrong, and we need to start blasting.

Once you’re spotted in The New Colossus, your only option is to press forward, being aggressive with your movement, and keeping track of where other enemies are to ensure you don’t get flanked. Granted, killing Nazis is very different to killing aliens, but we find the combat has a similar, fast pace – and the credible acting means you’ll actually care about hero B.J. Blazkowicz’s story.

Quake Champions 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Available on: PC

An underrated multiplayer gem that harks back to some of the best times we’ve had in Halo. Bungie’s series was, at its heart, an attempt to make FPS games feel at home on console, and as such it took inspiration from some of the PC’s best shooters, such as...Quake. Champions, naturally, has the same heritage, and if you enjoy multiplayer in Halo then you’ll feel at home in its mobile, frantic team deathmatches.

Being good at Quake Champions requires the same traits as being good at Halo: namely, knowing the arenas you’re fighting in like the back of your hand – allowing you to predict enemy movements and ambush them – and knowing what weapon to use in any given situation. Mastering Champions’ arsenal isn’t easy, but once you’ve got to grips with the rocket launcher, shotgun, and tri-bolt, you’ll feel prepared for any eventually. Just be ready to keep moving at all times, and mash that jump button to bunny hop. 

Sam's gaming PC is literally held together with masking tape, and he bought his PS4 from a friend of a friend of a (dodgy) friend for a tenner. He wishes that games still had paper manuals, mainly so he could get the satisfaction of ignoring them. He grew up in Essex, and now lives in London.