Why People Think Halo 2 Had One Of The Worst Game Endings Ever

Endings can often make or break a game. A prime example of this is Mass Effect 3, which otherwise featured strong gameplay and themes. Yet, the game was hurt by, and is remembered for, its ending. While not quite as epic a failure, Halo 2 suffered a similar fate, culminating in one of the worst video game endings of the early 2000s.


Halo 2's final missions were action-packed and high octane beyond belief. For 2004, it had been nearly unprecedented and showed the best of what the Xbox/PS2/Gamecube generation had to offer in terms of both presentation and storytelling.

Yet, as good as Halo 2's campaign was, it was ultimately undercut by a cliffhanger ending worth a thousand scoffs. At the end of the game, just after an intense boss fight, Master Chief promises he's going to "finish this fight." The screen then cuts to black, which is at first highly cinematic, but ultimately falls short of providing any closure.

What went wrong

Former Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell spoke with IGN in 2016 about the ending of Halo 2, which could explain why the game concluded on such a jarring and disappointing note. 

"We just couldn't finish the plan, it was just impossible," he said. "So, everything got re-jiggered, and we had the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers." The original ending, instead, had Master Chief and Arbiter "chasing the Prophet of Truth through the Ark and having a grand and glorious conclusion on Earth, finishing the fight right there."


Of course, we'll never know what the Prophet of Truth face-off would've been like, or if it would've turned out as epic as it sounds. However, the ending that resulted in "the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers" would've likely been an improvement over one that took three years to be resolved. Fortunately, however, the story can be played in full via Halo: The Master Chief CollectionUnlike gamers in 2004, you can see what happened in Halo 3 as soon as you finish the second chapter.