Even if Halo 2 returned with Online, the experience just wouldnt be the same as it was all those years ago.
Halo 2 was special because of more than just its matchmaking (though obviously that played a big part). Back then we had the following:
- No party chat so everyone was using in-game chat
- Proximity chat
Those two factors alone make a huge difference. We made friends on Halo 2 because we met other players who were funny. We made friends on Halo 2 because you played with someone you liked, added them and started playing customs. We created Zombies, Tower of Power, Swat, MLG (competitive for consoles). We invited players to glitch out of the maps because of the 'M' sign on Coagulation, which people used to think meant McDonalds. We invited players we talked to in MM to try to get out of Burial Mounds with the Spectre
Basically, what I am trying to say is, the experience will be different. These days, people just stay in Party Chat and rarely talk in game so you never have a laugh with randoms and get these cool ideas anymore. I have never had the same experience I have had in Halo 2 on a console since. The only console game that has even come close to providing an experience like that is the Destiny Raids but that is just that, for the Raids only. Players usually hang around after the raids and chat for a bit but then they leave. Halo 2 would literally be MM with difficulty getting Customs going.
Some of my best memories from Halo 2 were due to the voice chat and proximity chat. Ever played Relic in a stressful, balanced game and had to live through the terror of an enemy Warthog coming at you whilst playing the Numa Numa song (back when that was popular) through proximity chat? It made the game fun.
If Halo 2 was to return it would be like this:
- Everyone in party chat so it would be a ghost town
- Custom games would be difficult to host because people would not communicate as often as they used to
- It won't have the cultural impact (Machinima)
- It won't have MLG support
Halo 2 was an experience, an experience that even if the original returns with LIVE, will never be the same. To me, Party Chat is both a blessing and a curse. Unfortunately to me, it has lead to the lack of a community feeling outside of the forums.
Just my opinion and experience from back in the day.