It's hard to narrow it down to just one, but I'll list my favourites from each game:
- CE: Keyes. This level is chaotic but fun. You don't have any allies, so you get to destroy anything that moves. I like it more than Two Betrayals because it's easy enough to navigate, somewhat short, and the hardest enemies in the game make their debut. The atmosphere and the chaos tell you that has officially hit the fan in full force.
- 2: Gravemind. This may be one of the hardest levels in the whole series, but it's a cinematic masterpiece. Like Keyes, the toughest enemies in the game make their debut here, and you witness the Covenant fall apart firsthand. There's no exposition, no cutscenes (I'm looking at you, Halo 5), you see the chaos unfold around you as you play the level. When the Covenant is fighting each other, you can let them duke it out, pick a side and kill the winner, or mow everything down yourself. Many people hate it because the first battle is excruciatingly painful, but my opinion of it hasn't been tarnished by trying it on Legendary... yet.
- 3: The Ark. I can see why people love this level. You start out sniping enemies with a squad of ODSTs, and then you get to cruise through the desert on vehicles until the last quarter of the level. You can find more Fuel Rod Guns than you know what to do with, and have so many options in each encounter. Playing this level on Legendary is a blast, and it's even more satisfying when you're able to keep any ODSTs until the end.
- ODST: Data Hive. It's an odd choice, but it's because of the story. Throughout the game, you learn what happened to your squad but don't really have a clear idea of what the mission was until you finish Kikowani Station. Then you hear Dare's SOS and fight off a squad of Brutes led by a Chieftain to descend into the Drone-riddled depths of New Mombasa. The eerie atmosphere and the culmination of your efforts have led to this and the effect is intoxicating.
- Reach: New Alexandria. The level's mood and atmosphere send the message that humanity is losing and hope is lost. It's also pretty fun to fly the Falcon and shoot down hordes of Banshees and Phantoms with the chaingun, and the secrets scattered throughout the level are entertaining. If nothing else, I like this level because I can party with Grunts and Brutes in the nightclub.
- 4: Reclaimer. You can do some pretty cool skips and there are almost no Prometheans you have to fight. It's one of the least painful missions in the game.
- 5: The Covenant. This level is so much fun. You start with a Spartan Laser and- wait, you mean writing +2 on my Halo 3 disc doesn't count as Halo 5? Damn. Then I guess the winner is the Breaking, not because it has fun gameplay or a huge impact on the plot but simply because it has awesome music, pretty lights, and I got the achievement for beating it on Legendary without dying on my first try.
I almost did this exact thing, but deleted the post lol. Looks like it's gonna be me too. Except this time, I don't have just 1 favorite mission from each Halo game...
CE: The Library, The Maw
- Everybody hates The Library, and I dunno what the **** they're on about. Mission's one of the best gauntlets, if not the best gauntlet in all of gaming. While Spark is there to guide you, he doesn't make any attempt to help you kill the Flood. So it's basically you versus the world here. It's desperate, hopeless, and iconic.
- The Maw contains our very first Warthog Run, and is a fitting finale to Halo CE. Destroying the engines or whatever's not really my cup of tea, but everything after is high octane fun.
2: Outskirts & Metropolis, The Great Journey
- I put Outskirts & Metropolis together since when I was a kid I would play them back to back all the time on my OG Xbox. Every day, all day. Its city combat, and leadup to defeating the Scarab was something I couldn't get over: even to this day. I mean, at the very start of Metropolis, you get a friggin tank meant to unload on a bridge of Covenant a-holes. Also, it's in these two missions that Johnson has some of his best, funniest quotes.
- The Great Journey's a special mission for me too, but mostly only to get to the end to fight Tartarus, and hear the Mjolnir Mix Theme with Steve Vai in the credits. I'd play this entire mission just to hear the Mjolnir Mix, even though some parts of the mission I don't really like.
3: The Storm, The Ark, The Covenant, Halo
- The Storm's another thing I couldn't get over when I was like, 11 or 12. The ominous leadup to the Scarab fight is one of the best moments in all of Halo. What I really like about it too is that the fire from the Covenant cannon-thing in the background perfectly syncs with the background music. I only found out a few years ago that that cannon sound wasn't in OST for the mission, which feels so wrong. They had to have known, right?
- Ah, The Ark... The opening Sniper thrash, everything getting blown away by the Forward Unto Dawn swooping in, the first Scorpion romp, cheesing the enemy-packed route to the Scarab by sliding down that huge metal incline directly to the Scorpions, the Scarab fight itself, the ******** Brute, the contest of strength against the Chieftain (though I always immediately tried to kill all the Brutes at that part)... There's allot going on here, bruh.
- The Covenant is colossal, and is like 2 missions crammed together. The Hornet beatdown, infiltrating them towers against the 2 Chieftains, the freaking Flood, Scorpion curbstomping, maximum overdrive twin-Scarab throwdown in the Hornets (or on the ground if you're that awesome), the gauntlet to get to Truth past like the hundredth Chieftain in this ******* level, and the ol switcharoo by the Flood.
- Halo... Yes. Killing that damned Spark is cathartic, yep. Getting the hell off of Halo is even more cathartic. It's basically orgasmic, just saying.
ODST: NMPD HQ, Data Hive
- Sniper combat on some tall-ass skyscrapers was something I never knew I needed in Halo, but we freaking got it. What really gets me about this level is the scenic view: it's pretty breathtaking.
- Data Hive is like, secret agent cooler action with a large element of surprise. It has that Die Hard feeling where you're a lone wolf against the world in a cramped locale, and it's great. It's just a cozy, winter time level.
Reach: Exodus & New Alexandria, Lone Wolf
- I like Exodus & New Alexandria the same way I like Outskirts & Metropolis. While the Reach missions are harder to play together due to being like, 3 times bigger, I still prefer playing them together. Exodus has that secret agent-y feel like Data Hive, but in a city. New Alexandria takes the cake with that open-world Falcon flythrough.
- Lone Wolf is a unique level where the level ends when you die, and it's fun to see how long you can last against an endless onslaught of Covenant. While this outcome is no less tragic, Noble Six going out in this way ensured he would never be forgotten.
- The story's a different story (HA), but I don't have much to say about Halo 4's gameplay... well, besides the fact that we got to pilot a freaking overpowered Pelican in Shutdown. That's great.
5: Battle of Sunaion
- Everything about this game's Campaign I already spoke about in sheer negativity, but if I had a favorite mission in 5 it would be Battle of Sunaion. The reason why is the blaring horns in the background, and the dark epicness of earthshattering conflict here. This was the thing I wanted to see out of Halo 5, but never saw it anywhere else. I mean, even in this mission we have to deal with bull**** like disabling stupid anti-air turrets, but I still like it because of that epic feel.