Halo 3

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Halo 3 Game Poster Image
Well-made series finale too violent for kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 132 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 430 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

You're a hero trying to save the world from a malevolent alien race, but you do it by using extreme force.

Violence

As with its predecessors, this game lets gamers shoot aliens from a first-person perspective with the gun seen on the screen at all times (unless you're riding in a vehicle or manning a turret). Blood that splatters can be alien or human. Weapons include shotguns, machine guns, bombs, grenades, turrets (for mowing down hordes of enemies in a flash), and special alien weaponry, including laser blasters.

Sex
Language

Some occasional cursing can be heard in the single-player game, usually from teammates, including "s--t," "hell," and "damn." There are no "f--k"s.

Consumerism

Third and final title in this highly hyped video game series. While it's M-rated, parents will see product placement at Burger King, 7-Eleven, and other usually family-friendly businesses.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this adult game has been hyped by a massive advertising campaign that extends to normally kid-friendly establishments like Burger King and 7-Eleven. But the ESRB gave this first-person shooter game a "Mature" rating for violence for good reason. Throughout the game, players shoot aliens and humans using a variety of weaponry, and they'll see vivid images with blood. And know that when the Halo games are played online, players can communicate -- and curse -- via headsets.

User Reviews

Adult Written bymirushominus June 27, 2009

It almost appears that Marc did not play Halo 3 at all, or at best is extremely unobservant

While reading the "What parents need to know" (I am currently trying to find a good reviewing site for games and movies I have not played) section of... Continue reading
Parent of a 16 year old Written byprotectiveparent93 July 5, 2010

It's not bad at all

This site has to be the most inaccurate site I have ever seen in my life. The main character, Master Chief, is a spartan who is trying to protect the planet Ear... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 14, 2010

my 6 year old brother has more commen sense than commen sense.

at the beggining of the review, it said that you must use force to save humanity from the aliens. HOW ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSE TO DO IT! DEMOCRATIC DISSCUSION?
Kid, 12 years old July 8, 2015

Halo 3 one of the best

First, common sense media needs to understand they can't rate a game based off online communications, Microsoft can't control that, second the violenc... Continue reading

What's it about?

This Microsoft Xbox 360 exclusive begins as your character -- super soldier Master Chief -- crash-lands on Earth and is recovered by teammates. Your first goal is to make your way through a densely populated forest with fellow space marines to uncover an alien base. While ducking behind trees, rocks, and waterfalls, you battle alien creatures that are loyal to the militaristic Covenant, an alien species that has long been fighting humanity. Expanding on the capabilities and features of its predecessors, HALO 3 lets up to four gamers play through the entire campaign together in a cooperative mode and allows you to record a portion of your game, like a homemade highlights reel, to play back at any time, from multiple camera angles.

Is it any good?

Not only is Microsoft Game Studios' HALO 3 the most eagerly anticipated video game of 2007, but this action-sci-fi series has become a cultural phenomenon, spawning novels, comics, action figures, and a top-secret project with Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings).So the big question is: Does Halo 3 live up to the hype? Absolutely.

The extraordinary high-definition graphics, which include many non-interactive cinematic story sequences, push the limits of the Xbox 360. Thousands of lines of dialogue and a Hollywood-quality epic musical score also help you become immersed in this slickly produced sci-fi thriller. So whether you're an old fan or new to this franchise, Halo 3 is a must-own game for mature action or sci-fi lovers. Its gratifying solo campaign and many multiplayer modes, new features (including co-op play), and high production values all ensure that Halo 3 will live up to expectations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes the Halo games so popular. How are they different than other sci-fi shooters? For kids who want to play but have parents who put their foot down: What made you want to play this game? Why do you think Burger King and Mountain Dew helped tell kids about the game when the rating isn't T for "Teen" or E for "Everyone"?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Microsoft
  • Release date: September 25, 2007
  • Genre: First Person Shooter
  • ESRB rating: M for blood and gore, mild language, violence.

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate