Kind of how John was originally portrayed before Bungie started throwing around the idea of John being some super-uber Spartan that excelled in every single one of his training and has stats higher than anyone else.Actually, John was never stated to be the "best" Spartan. It only seemed like that in the Bungie games because there were never any other Spartans around to compare the Chief to. But the Bungie-era extended universe showed that John was neither the fastest nor strongest Spartan (those titles went to Kelly and Fred, respectively). He wasn't even the highest ranked Spartan-II in the UNSC (Fred was, though technically I guess it was Kurt). In fact, the only stat that Chief had above all other Spartans was his luck stat.
True John was never stated to be the strongest, smartest or fastest Spartan, only the luckiest, which in Dr Halsey's opinion, made him the best.
The novel Fall of Reach shows that other Spartans were than him at specific activities. But just because you are not the best at any one thing does not mean you are average. Chief was never portrayed to have a speciality because the players needed to be able to play Chief the way they wanted. He seems to be a jack of all trades.
I personally believe that Chief is one of the best if not the best Spartan 2 on average.
If John wasn't anything special he never would have been able to acquire so much respect from his fellow Spartans. Kurt is stated to be right next to John when it came to skill. John also came first in the very first training practice and it has been inferred that he came first most of the time (though Chief states that Fred could have come first if he wanted to). He also has been given the rating of Hyper Lethal vector which only Noble 6 has.
I also feel that people often forget about John's other traits. Such as his unyielding determination and burning desire to win no matter the cost. One of the most notable things about him is tremendous charisma. Almost no one dares oppose the Chief and all look to him as if he's larger than life. Marines stand taller in his presence, and all Spartans respect him. His leadership skills focus on thinking outside the box and taking the initiative, which is why so many people follow him as he always seems to know what to do.
Chief also has the greatest feats of any Spartan to date. I'm not saying that some couldn't have done the same. Its just that we'll never know, so we can only speculate.
At the end of the day, Chief is not the best in any one skill but I think he is the best overall Spartan.
That's my 2 cents on the matter :)
As for the thread topic, you bring a very good point. It would be nice if 343 made more spin-off games.
I just feel that its not what their going to do. Spin-off games would not be as popular if they were done continuously as there would be little to no sequels for each game which would disappoint fans if those games were successful. On the other hand if one is successful then 343 will probably continue its story with a sequel and then we would have a new mainline series. I guess we will see.
Since you brought Mass effect up you do know that they made a new game right? Andromeda was to be the start of (probably) a new trilogy. But because of what happened, Mass effect is now on ice. I honestly think Halo will try something similar but whether or not they will succeed is another matter entirely.
Have a nice day :)
PS: Its nice to see the diverse amount of opinions people have on this topic, which makes it all the more exciting to see what 343 has planned.