Edge: "If you want to know why Halo is one of the games of the last decade, it’s not too hard to find reasons. You can almost reel them off – there’s the 30 seconds of fun, the two-weapon limit, the regenerating shield and the role as flagbearer for Microsoft’s fledgling Xbox console. There’s the context of where the console FPS was in 2001. The big things like AI and the small ones like incidental dialogue. Talking about why Halo was and is brilliant almost risks turning into a checklist, not least thanks to the sheer size of what Microsoft has subsequently built around it.
But what was Halo before it became Halo? A mould-breaking, market-cracking FPS that stunned players, critics and probably even Microsoft itself. A day-one release for the original Xbox that instantly legitimised its entry into the market, showing there was much more to Microsoft’s strategy than deep pockets."