As the best-selling game from the days of the original Xbox, 6th place might be seen as a strange place for Halo 2, especially since it pretty much invented competitive online gaming over Xbox Live. Despite the huge success of its multiplayer aspect, Halo 2 had some serious flaws in terms of its single player experience. Although the opening stages, which featured a large-scale Covenant assault on Earth, are some of the best in the entire series, the plot takes a downhill turn after this point. The introduction of the Arbiter as a playable character proved unpopular with players, many of who would have preferred more campaign time from Master Chiefs perspective. The Arbiters unpopularity is best displayed by Bungies decision to give him a much smaller role in Halo 3, keeping the action firmly related to the Chief. Not only were the Arbiter sections unpopular, but the plot was generally seen as being far too short. Throw in one of the most atrocious uses of a cliffhanger ending ever seen in modern gaming (an ending that occurred at the very moment where Halo 2 seemed to be building up to something epic) and you have a game that, despite high sales, failed to replicate the high standards set by its predecessor. A load of unintelligible lore and sci-fi mumbo jumbo involving the tentacled Gravemind character just added to the narrative woes.
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