Long before the days of Destiny, Bungie games have been a part of the gaming mainstream for decades. Games by Bungie have been around longer, though. Before the days of Destiny and Halo, Bungie was developing titles dating back to the early 90s.
While their early releases didn’t have the same widespread appeal, some titles still saw plenty of success and fan acclaim. To honor that 30-plus-year heritage, we will review a full list of Bungie games ranked from worst to best.
As always, this list is ranked with fan and critical responses and some personal opinions. In addition, we’re only going to highlight games developed by Bungie as a company. Bungie’s published games, as well as Gnop! And Operation: Desert Storm, will not be included in our ranking.
You may agree with the list; you’ll probably disagree. Either way, be sure to keep the conversation going in the comments.
Oni Is the Worst of All the Bungie Games
When I worked at GameStop, I noticed that the Oni box had logos for both Rockstar Games and Bungie. You’d figure that a game with such developer acclaim would be a rousing success. Alas, that is not the case with Oni, one of the worst games by Bungie.
Part of the issue has to do with the game’s development. Released in January 2001, this was shortly after Bungie’s acquisition by Microsoft. As a result, development had to be hurried to ensure the game’s release. This is noticeable in the final product.
Despite fluid animation and enjoyable combat, Oni falls short of what could have been. No style and little substance; it’s the result of a rushed game that needed more time in the oven.
Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete Is the First Bungie Game
Good luck trying to play Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. A multiplayer dungeon crawler that features PVP combat, Minotaur was arguably ahead of its time.
Despite lacking a single-player option, the multiplayer format results in a fast-paced old-school RPG experience. The joy of D&D-based/MUD RPGs combines well with the deathmatch-style gameplay.
Pathways Into Darkness Is the First of the Games by Bungie to Receive Widespread Acclaim
Originally set as a sequel to Minotaur, Pathways into Darkness brings the dungeon-crawling formula into a single-player adventure. Oh, and it has a lot of unique ideas, clever writing, and fantastic presentation.
Many unique ideas and innovations are quickly expanded, but don’t let that deter you. If you can find a way to play Pathways of Darkness, you’ll discover a hidden gem in the library of Bungie games.
Marathon Infinity May Be the Worst of the Marathon Trilogy, but It’s Still a Very Good Fps
With the Marathon games, Bungie delivered a high-quality FPS experience to the macOS platform. The final entry in the franchise is Marathon Infinity, a game that can’t always keep up with its new ideas.
Bungie kept trying new and unique things with the franchise. This makes sense, given the prior Marathon games; they were always offering a unique alternative to the genre. Not everything can pan out in Infinity, though—the new ideas, new narrative, and setting pale in comparison to its peers.
Myth: The Fallen Lords Is a Breakout Success and Unique Tactical Strategy Game
The Marathon trilogy proves that games by Bungie always have a unique hook and flair.
Myth: The Fallen Lords is no different, offering an RTS experience on par with the early Warcraft franchise.
Unlike other RTS games, Myth leans more into the tactics side of things. As a result, it’s all about tactical warfare and combat instead of micro and macro-management.
While today’s standards undoubtedly date the game, it didn’t get much better than this back in 1997. The graphics are fantastic, the gameplay and multiplayer support are what you’d expect from Bungie games (re: excellent), and the experience is enjoyable, aside from the single-player difficulty, which is beyond frustrating.
Myth Ii: Soulblighter Is the Most Successful of the Bungie Games Before Their Acquisition by Microsoft
The original Myth was a solid, albeit difficult, real-time tactics game.
Myth II: Soulblighter improves the original in every possible way. Updated graphics, improved accessibility, and a fantastic single-player campaign highlight the strengths of the sequel.
A lot of the key features for Soulblighter were originally planned for The Fallen Lords, but Bungie just ran out of time in development. Improvements to the game’s scripting, models, graphics, and level design all stand out.
What’s most impressive about Myth II is that despite the game being held back by technical limitations, it gives the impression of a cutting-edge game.
Marathon Gave Macos Gamers a Killer App
The PC had Doom. macOS had Marathon.
Bungie’s FPS offered an experience unlike any other on Mac. While PC owners had similar titles available, there’s still much to like here regarding delivering a great take on the genre.
Marathon combines classic old-school FPS gameplay, a unique sci-fi setting, and an enjoyable storyline. The futuristic weaponry stands out compared to similar titles in the FPS genre.
Marathon 2: Durandal Is One of the Most Successful of the Original Bungie Games
Building upon the original’s success, Marathon 2: Durandal is a fantastic sequel. Introducing unique multiplayer modes helped lay the DNA and framework for another FPS franchise Bungie would eventually work on.
Everything about Marathon 2 is just better than the original. The level design, gameplay, and story are all built up positively. Marathon 2 is everything a sequel should be and more. Even if it’s become dated by today’s standards, it’s worth checking out even today.
Halo 3: Odst Is One of the Worst Bungie Games Released When Microsoft Owned Them
Before the Microsoft acquisition, Bungie had a reputation for delivering unique and enjoyable experiences that lacked proper backing. The Halo trilogy showed what the developer could do with the muscle of a big-named publisher behind them.
ODST is a step in the opposite direction.
The game feels more like an expansion pack than a full release. Despite the $60 price tag at release, the game didn’t deliver $60 worth of content. While the Halo swan song from Bungie would redeem themselves, ODST left a sour taste in the mouths of many despite some enjoyable and unique Halo gameplay.
Check it out for the Firefight mode.
Destiny Is the First Post-halo Bungie Game
During its gameplay reveal at E3 2013, Bungie promised a host of options and adventures that awaited players. In reality, Destiny was a streamlined, linear dungeon crawler that took place in a world much smaller than it appeared.
Not to say that Destiny is one of the worst games by Bungie; it’s a fundamentally sound game with tight mechanics and engaging gameplay. It just failed to meet the incredibly lofty expectations laid before it.
Despite the near-perfect gunplay and combat we expect from Bungie, the story is undoubtedly the weakest link. The infamous inclusion of Peter Dinklage as the voice actor of Ghost will always be meme’d. The Taken King update did many things to improve the game’s overall quality, including re-casting Ghost to Nolan North.
Still, it was too little too late; there was no way that Destiny could live up to the hype. Thankfully, the sequel lives on as an excellent game.
Destiny 2 Addresses the Issues of the Original and Delivers an Incredible Sequel
Destiny 2 made the original look like a year-long beta test. It improves on the original in virtually every aspect. It is one of the definitive looter shooters on the market, featuring better-level design, a far better story, and better progression.
Despite being one of the better Bungie games, it’s still not without flaws. The expansions have been relatively hit or miss. Bungie also delivered some interesting and frustrating matchmaking and playlist decisions.
It’s still not a perfect experience, but Destiny 2 is an incredible shooter.
Halo 3 Is a Fitting Finale to the Original Master Chief Trilogy
Few games by Bungie will ever be as hyped as Halo 3. While it didn’t fully stick the landing, it still delivered a satisfying conclusion to the Master Chief trilogy.
The multiplayer is pretty good, too, I guess. I mean, it’s not like I spent my entire college years playing multiplayer with friends all night to the point where I went to work all hopped up on Halo 3 withdrawals and energy drinks.
Halo 3 is the same Halo you know and love, refined after two previous entries that revolutionized the console FPS. It’s one of the best Xbox 360 games ever made and will always have a special place in my heart.
Halo: Combat Evolved Isn’t Just One of the Best Bungie Games but Also One of the Greatest Fps Titles Ever
We already talked about what makes Halo: Combat Evolved one of the greatest games of all time. The core foundation of excelling in gameplay is already obvious when discussing Bungie’s past games. Now they have Microsoft money behind them.
Bungie delivers above and beyond exceptional gameplay. Enemy AI, weapons, graphics, sound design, levels, and story all deliver in every conceivable way. Never before was there an FPS able to provide Halo’s experience. Combat Evolved is more than just a subtitle; they really mean it.
The soundtrack, though, elevates Halo: Combat Evolved to an even higher standard. Even listening to the theme song today, a flood of memories comes rushing back, unlocking core memories in our brains.
Halo 2 Both Succeeded in Meeting the Hype and Yet Somehow Also Failed to Live Up to It. Oh Well, It’s an Amazing Game, Regardless
There are times when Halo 2 runs circles around Halo: Combat Evolved. The storytelling and narrative choices, while controversial to some, succeed.
Aside from the cliffhanger, of course.
Multiplayer is where things truly shine. As memorable as Combat Evolved’s multiplayer was, Halo 2 is an absolute masterclass. The rock-paper-scissors weapon formula works incredibly well with top-notch level design.
If Halo: Combat Evolved was the game that put Bungie on the map, Halo 2 puts them into the stratosphere. Never mind games by Bungie; Halo 2 is what we wanted from a game by anybody.
Halo: Reach Is a Beautiful, Harrowing Tale That Serves as a Wonderful Sendoff to the Halo Franchise by Bungie
Thanks to the back catalog of Halo fiction, we knew what the unfortunate fate was for Reach. Despite that, we spent the entire campaign for Halo: Reach on the edge of our seats.
I said before that the multiplayer is satisfactory. If I’m itching for Halo multiplayer, I jump into Halo 2 or Halo 3. If I want to experience a deep, emotional, and challenging single-player, I will boot up Halo: Reach.
It’s not the most difficult of the Bungie games, but it leaves a toll on you. Having to press on in the face of constant despair and adversary affects you. A million other bad things are waiting to rain on your parade for every good thing that will happen. Yet, despite all this, we keep playing. We keep progressing. We keep moving forward.
All of the Bungie games are great in their way. While some may not have been able to deliver a total package, others are the gold standard of their genre. By the time we reached the end of our list of games by Bungie, it was hard not to let personal opinion take over. You can honestly rearrange the Halo trilogy and Reach any way you’d like.
So how would you rank these games? Be sure to sound off in the comments below and keep the conversation going!