There wasn't much build up around Halo CE but I played the campaign demo, on an Xbox Kiosk, for months leading up the release with the original Xbox. Halo 2, on the other hand, was amazing! The E3 2004 Halo 2 Campaign Demo
got everyone all sorts of hyped up then we saw the E3 2004 Halo 2 Multiplayer Demo
which pushed everyone over the edge! Everyone was chomping at the bit to play Halo 2! It's all anyone and everyone was talking about.
There was actually leaked Halo 2 Alpha Footage, before we saw anything at E3, of MLG players playing Halo 2 for the first time. I tried to find the video but the Alpha version of the game apparently can be found/downloaded online so I stopped looking. That leaked multiplayer footage really excited alot of people. The anticipation swelled leading up to Halo 2.
Halo 3 though, was the cream of the crop. The hype and excitement around Halo had never been higher. Nothing since then has ever come even close to how monumental Halo 3 was. It all started with the E3 2006 Halo 3 Teaser
then continued in December 2006 when the Halo 3 Starry Night Trailer
debuted during Sunday Night Football. May 2007 finally came and we were finally able to play the Halo 3 Beta which nearly destroyed the Xbox Live Servers because so many people were trying to log in. Between the invitations that Bungie sent out and the invites through buying Crackdown,
the servers were pushed to their limits. One of the final BIG trailers was the E3 2007 Halo 3 Campaign Trailer.
The old glory days of the old Halo games were unlike anything we've seen in the last decade. I'm happy that I was a part of all the hype and excitement of the older Bungie Era Halo Games and wish I could better convey how that time was truly the BEST time to be a Halo fan. It was, honestly, a time when every single Xbox owner had an Xbox because of Halo. No other game came close. If someone wasn't playing Halo, it was because they were playing on a Playstation or Nintendo.
Those were the best years to be a Halo fan.