Halo Infinite was originally planned to launch alongside the release of the Xbox Series X, using the flagship franchise to push Microsoft’s new console. After repeatedly asking Xbox leadership for more time, the 343 Industries team finally convinced them to delay the game. More than a full year into the console’s life cycle, Halo Infinite has finally arrived. The decision to delay the game by such a long period of time proved to be the right move, as it’s without a doubt the best Xbox Series X game of 2021.

Halo Infinite looks stunning on the Xbox Series X. The world of Zeta Halo is vibrant and pretty, and the game sees some incredible performance thanks to the technology in the latest generation of Xbox consoles. What’s more, the game is available at no additional charge to Xbox Game Pass Subscribers. Members can also play the game without wasting a single second waiting for downloads thanks to the implementation of Cloud Gaming on consoles.

Another brilliant aspect of Halo Infinite is its free to play multiplayer. Xbox Live was quite literally built on the back of Halo multiplayer, so it’s fair to say that there were some high expectations that needed to be met with the latest entry. 343 Industries delivered in spades. Multiplayer feels like classic Halo, ditching some of the unnecessary elements of recent games and harkening back to the days of Halo 3. Combat feels refined, and the handful of maps available at launch feel like instant classics.

It’s fair to say that Halo Infinite had the most pressure riding on it than any other video game that came out this year. After all the memes, a turbulent development cycle, and a full year delay, 343 Industries did the impossible by delivering the best Halo game since it took over the series many years ago. The Xbox Series X has its killer app a year after its initial launch.

Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place. We will be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.