Mistakes were made, so there are now technically 101 videos on this list. These writeups are getting harder and harder to do and the more I watch these montages, the more I find myself re-arranging them, particularly in the top 40. That's also contributed to this taking way more time. The line separating the montage at, say, #30 and the montages just outside the top 10 is very, very thin and remember just because I've placed something lower than it would be on a greatest montages list, doesn't mean I don't like it. Anyway, enough pointless text, here are montages 40 through 21 (+ a bonus montage)
40. TranQ H3M2/Trevx64’s Final
TranQ: Of all of TranQ’s montages that he provided both editing and gameplay for, this is my favourite. One thing I love about TranQ is that he always seems to value style points and usually has some lower multi clips in his montages that give it a little extra fun. The combination of high multi kills with sick (often high level) MLG clips is wonderful. You go from dirty MLG exterms to impressive social jaros to unique doubles or triples. The first song has a very neat feel to it and I really do enjoy it. Right at the start you can tell he’s picking clips he personally enjoys with the Ghost Town QS over and that’s endearing. What really gets me about this montage is the second song, though. I love how it’s got kind of fun clips in it, but also has the most impressive of his clips in this montage mixed together with a song that’s fairly upbeat but with a serious undertone. The result is the type of song montage wise that almost gives you chills. This isn’t one of his most polished edits, but he does the important things and as a whole it feels fitting of the style of montage. I absolutely adore the Pit jaro and I’m really happy with how he edited that, but I think my favourite part of this from an editing point of view is the turning trocity on Epitaph with the syncing on the BR shots and then the syncing with the edit of the floor lighting up. It’s so exceptionally well done. Of course, there’s the killtac on Construct that’s in about half of the montages ever made yet still doesn’t lose its wow factor. All in all this is definitely a montage that’s cashing in on my criteria of “feel” being really important.
Trevx64: The reason I have two montages tied for this spot is that I actually somehow missed a montage that should have been in my top 10. Since I’d already gotten this far before realizing that, I felt it unfair to completely remove a top 40 montage. I’ll keep this write up short, but basically how could you not love a montage that starts with a mongoose launch that turns into a killtrocity and features a large number of clips that are basically ingenious ways of breaking the boundaries of the game?
39. Status Quo (Ace, Flamesword, Totz) edited by Insane, pTw, Zanster
Almost like the Str8 tage’s little brother, Status Quo’s montage appeals slightly more to me. It’s kind of a similar idea edit wise with would-be badass rock songs that bring out “catchy” or more melodious choruses. Typically, those songs don’t appeal to me in montages which is why the Str8 tage isn’t higher, so the gameplay and editing have to be good to make up for it. I think the editing in this is mostly solid. There is solid flow, some good syncing and a generally good atmosphere. I like certain bits of editing like the Onslaught clip where the guy is picking kids off from his basement (I forget if that’s the real call out) and a lot of the syncing in the second song (particularly parts where the song fades out for emphasis). Overall, the gameplay in this is just fantastic. It’s kind of funny how little Totz is used since he has some of the best clips. The Guardian double on Cloud followed by the 3 no scope exterm on Pit is one of the best two clip sequences around. Pro gameplay tends to impress me based on how routine the players make their clips look and that’s always been particularly true of Ace. He’s also one of those pros who likes to include sprees and more impressive double kills alongside his triples and overs on the best players in the world and I always enjoy that. One thing that this montage does that very few manage to do is blow me away with BR clips. The reason sniper clips are so rampant is because they are so flashy and BR clips can be a bit indistinct, but I think the amount of skill in the BR clips in this montage really make them a focal point.
38. Renzo H3M
In terms of full montages, this montage has the best high level snipers gameplay you can find. While it always annoyed me that kids on Twitch and YT so gullibly referred to Renzo as the best in team snipers, I can’t deny that he had an incredible knack for hitting clips and I think only one or two people I know of could put together a level 50 team snipers montage with better clips. I really like that Renzo didn’t edit this because you get a bit of the taste of how hectic that playlist could be and it’s also worth so many points to me to see so many clips on so many known names in that community (I’m actually a little disappointed not to see myself in here because I’m pretty sure Renzo had an overkill on me and Fevered looking down the lift to gold 2 on Construct). I always felt like Renzo was at his most dangerous once he’s hit a double kill. While most players can hit single kills with ease and then nerves get to them as the multi gets higher, Renzo seems to operate the other way around. Once he’s hit the double and he sees the triple, it seems like he can’t miss. I really enjoy the song choices he made and I feel like the clips he put into each section kind of match the pace of the song (if that makes any sense).
37. Look Before You Leap 4 edited by Fusion, Jagged Shrapnel, Xwo
If you search for this montage, you can find a helpful how-to video on raising chinchillas. When this first came out, I thought of the Look Before You Leap series. It’s a bunch of guys turning off all damage on maps and using the rocket launcher to fly across maps, do difficult jumps and have FBWalshy go UNBELIEVABLE on their videos. So needless to say, they were exceptionally lame and I almost didn’t watch this because I thought it would be the same. I’m sure glad I decided to check it out and I’m even more glad that this is a completely different style. The jumps made in this montage are on actual matchmaking settings. While they’d be hard to pull off during actual games, the fact that they can be makes me actually enjoy this montage. When I think about how much I used to struggle with that jump from bottom to top gold on Guardian and then watch Gary UK do that three cone jump on Last Resort, it’s a painful reminder about how bad I was at jumping. There is an outstanding amount of ingenuity in this montage, but what really stands out is the pure ability in using ghost jumps and ledges for launching. I love the laid back feel of this montage, too. With the other LBYL installments there was this fast paced style to them and I think the slow, chill beats in this one are far more fitting of a jumping montage. I want to list off standout jumps in this, but literally every single one is better than anything I can even remotely achieve. The cone jump on Last Resort is possibly my favourite trick jump ever, but I love the last Avalanche one, the Cold Storage jump, the one that goes up to the top of the booth on Rat’s Nest and, for practicality, the one that goes up the sphincter on Isolation. All in all this is just an outstanding montage and definitely my favourite jumping video.
36. NocturnalKernal H3M1 edited by Seraphic
Seraphic’s edit on this is wonderful. His song choice, dark colouring and a lot of his transitions all create a very sinister theme and the result is wonderful. The smoke blowing effect on Guardian for the 2 for 1 is excellent, the transition from Construct after the 2 for 1 bank into the Pit is one of the best transitions I’ve ever seen, the angle with NK lunging up P2 on Heretic with the sword is a great touch and the bouncing text on the Puckett commentary is wonderful, too. Speaking of that commentary, gotta love Puckett saying “4th perfect headshot” on a clip with literally one headshot. The gameplay is also really good. I think a lot of the clips are kind of routine MLG montage clips, though he does have an impressive collection of 2 for 1 triples (especially the bank one on Construct) and some nice clips on known names. His best clips in here are breathtaking, however. The Pit double exterm, the Narrows QS over from flag looking to snipe and the final no scope killtac are all personal favourites. This is just a very sound, very well put together montage.
35. Cubby H3M1 edited by Muggsy
What an edit. I love when the music for the montage kicks in during the THF logo and I love it even more when it’s a song like Sail that has a really epic sounding intro. Muggsy puts together one of the best intros out there with a simple idea perfectly delivered. The syncing of the text to the music is absolutely wonderful. Actually, the syncing throughout the entire montage is wonderful. As a general rule, I often don’t like songs being reused, but I think the way Muggsy used this song completely makes up for it. The first Construct clip is such a wonderful piece in terms of syncing. The clip after that he has some wonderful BR syncing. Even the use of simple flashes in and out of black are used expertly. Fuck, he even has some wonderful syncing to beatdowns on Heretic. The way he uses the bridge of the song with the grenade jump flag cap is also one of my absolute favourite sections in any montage. As for the gameplay, it’s pretty solid but nothing really special. There are a few really nice clips in here like the Pit clip on Outlawz and Upside, the Pit triple at custom and the two bookend clips. It’s definitely the editing that gets me, though.
34. Velander H3M1 edited by Impulse Fire
I don’t have much to say about this one because I can no longer find any version of it that has not been muted and it’s been a very long time since I watched it. I remember being in love with it and it might have a higher placing if not for the unfortunate Youtube muting. I do remember the editing being astounding. Impulse Fire had a beautiful, vibrant colour on this montage that was instantly recognizable and his editing was molded so nicely to the songs and he put up really beautiful effects. The gameplay was also astounding, right from the very first clip where Velander so calmly hits the no scope for the overkill. Other standout clips include the flag exterm on Onslaught, the ninja sticky to double sticky on Guardian, the through the crack double on Pit into teammate 2 for 1 triple, the phantom beat down double kill on Pit, the sticky overkill on Construct, the invis stick triple into no scope exterm on Guardian, the whip triple on Guardian and the fadeaway Guardian no scope exterm. I think it could be argued that Velander has probably the best MLG sticky clips around.
33. .exe (Roadblock) edited by pTw
I think Halo montages are a lot like movies. While a lot of people hang on to the classics (and that’s fair enough), the more movies come out the better the technology is and the better they get graphically with editors trying new things, having better capturing devices and of course taking inspiration from old montages and taking it to a new level. That’s why I’m really impressed to think that this montage came out late in 2009 and more than 6 years later it still stands up as one of the best edits ever. Honestly, the syncing on the Construct clip (you know which one) alone could probably have earned this a spot on this list. I love the theme that pTw carries throughout. The intro (by Zanster I believe) is beautifully done, the effects are excellent and the song choice is on point. I love the little info boxes that pop up all over, especially the part right after the Construct clip (you know which one) with the guy on the man-cannon. You could probably argue it’s a bit overedited, but at no point do I feel it’s intrusive. The gameplay is mostly alright, but nothing spectacular since I believe Roadblock had used most of his best footage for his final. There are a couple nice clips (a no scope triple from sword on Pit and a Guardian overkill come to mind), but for the most part it’s just a canvas for pTw’s editing.
32. Joltor H3M1 edited by Dutchy
Girls just wanna have fun. It’s good to see someone like Dutchy who is known for his stellar gameplay put out and edit like this and show he’s got talent in that department, too. Actually, it isn’t. Fuck that guy, I hate people who are better than me at everything. The edit for this montage is really well done. I remember when it first came out seeing a couple comments about mistakes he made during the edit and it pissed me off because it’s supposed to be a fun montage, not something you take too serious. I love the Joltor letters at the start (someone else might have done these, I’m not sure). I absolutely adore the song choices, both of which are still regular plays on my iPod. I love the rather nerdy themes throughout (the Pokemon reference, the star effects, the Mario pipe). Joltor’s gameplay is kind of along the same lines. There are a lot of cool single snipes and lower multis that are fun to watch. His MLG clips are pretty nasty and his clips in the second song are mostly ridiculous. I love the last multi team trocity exterm and every clip after the brief credits is filthy, too. This isn’t a funtage, but damn if it isn’t a feel good experience.
31. Fatrat H3M2
As with all Fatrat montages, there are clips in this where, when I first watched it, my reaction was just “WHAT?” I still have that reaction to certain clips in this. Most notably is the sticky/lift/snipe killtac exterm to end the first song, which gets better every time I see it and the trio of exterms on the same kids on Blackout, highlighted by the clip where jumps over the fucking overkill but instead of backsmacking him he grabs the sniper. I’ve never see that shit before. Another of my favourite parts from this montage is the Epitaph clip where he gets a trocity, then dies, then goes back and gets the sniper and his a spinning triple kill right after. I love the progression of that clip. I also really like the wide variety of maps that he gets clips on for this montage. Fatrat’s ability to get really nice overkill exterms is legendary and I’m always impressed that he always seems to get the sticky or hit the best shot on the exterm itself. The songs are really nice, though nothing that really sticks with me. I think they have a feel that really suits Fatrat and his gameplay.
30. Together (Grilljake, Holmbolm, North Power, Spawn) edited by Holmbolm
I know a lot of people will be disappointed by my lack of funtages in this list, but hey, here’s one. I guess most funtages don’t really have my brand of entertainment but I really do love this one which is just basically 4 dudes having a lot of fun with just playing the game plus Spawn’s ridiculous gameplay. I also thoroughly enjoy Holmbolm’s This Is Halo series, but for me this is my favourite work of his. There are so many fun clips in this that it’s too much to list them all. I just love the mixture of really simple things like North Power’s ninja on Spawn where Spawn quits out like happens so much in custom games, the launching clips on Sandbox and Sandtrap, the random shit like the golf ball splatter and the double banshee splatter on Valhalla, Spawn’s clips (again) and above all else the reactions. The first song is definitely my favourite because it’s got a bit more of a serious undertone (without being overly serious) and I think it mixes well with the goofy gameplay. I also love the cameos (TranQ saying motherfucker always makes me smile, same with Bacon saying fortress) and the whale transition puts Zola to shame. All in all just a beautiful experience.
29. Frenetic Array (Docko, Heff, Slayer, Voltage) edited by Mattisson
If you didn’t already lose all respect for me for my placements of Str8 Rippin, Apex and Roadblock’s Final, then this one probably does it for you. If that still doesn’t, then maybe this next part will. My least favourite major Halo 3 montage of all time is Fragtale’s. That’s because the editing feels so out of place with the music that I just can’t get into it in the slightest. That’s why Frenetic Array is so much better. Mattison found the perfect music to match his editing style. First of all, the intro is fantastic. Considering the H3 footage in it basically amounts to 4 angles and 4 no-scopes, it’s one of the best intros ever made. It sets the tone so well with the epic music and the montage follows suit. With montages that are as major as this one, it’s almost easier to pick out why it doesn’t rank higher on my list and I will say there are a couple things that bother me. The fading in and out of the HUD really bothers me because it can only make you think “he didn’t hit the clip in time” and the only other issue I really have is that as the montage gets going, there are a couple of sections that are really short that kind of lose the flow. Other than that, everything is amazing. It feels like the syncing almost goes a little too far, but I personally like how often in the montage things are synced. The effects are wonderful, particularly his custom explosions and his delivery on the nuclear apocalypse theme throughout. I really like his song selection, particularly the kind of sad, kind of glorious sounding final track. The gameplay is also phenomenal. There are almost too many insane clips to name, but in line with the excellent editing I think the last clip in almost every song is fantastic (the stretch of triples at the end of the first song, Docko’s Pit no scope exterm, the Narrows triple from lift landing, the very last Guardian exterm which is so wonderfully synced). Of course there are tons of other unreal clips like the Construct no-scope exterm from closed street and, well, just about every other clip. This is a monolithic montage and a standard setter.
28. Fatal, Listomania, Nostril, Wezlit Quadtage edited by Ishii
The first song in this is absolutely phenomenal. The feeling of the song going with Ishii’s gentle push of an edit is really wonderful and having that song stuck in my head afterwards resulted in this being rewatched many, many times. Just syncing some shots nicely and pacing the clips very well is really all that was needed because the gameplay is phenomenal. The amount of dirty multi team clips in the first part is ridiculous, namely the jaro exterms (especially the Guardian one). There is also a bit of variety to it, with a nice lift snipe tac in trocity on Narrows, a nasty MLG tac on Guardian and above all that unholy life or death poc on Snowbound. The second doesn’t resonate with me quiet as much, but it’s still a really strong piece and hearing that song semi often, it always makes me smile. The gameplay is certainly just as good as the first part with a little more MLG (which I suspect is thanks to Fatal). The Last Resort whiple leading into the Orbital 2 for 1 tac exterm is a beautiful little section and the final trocity exterm into naire is impressive. Hell, I almost forgot to mention how much I love the last two naires to end the first song. And just with all great movies, tragedy makes everything that much better and the final clip delivers that.
27. Dance 2 by McGee
Also known as Killtac Exterm: The Movie. When you see MCC montages (with a few exceptions like Erikkvo, Ruxs and that Venomz one that came out recently (he must have taken a break from 3s respawn MLG)) it seems like 90% of the clips are team snipers. A shift occurred at some point in Halo 3 where it became much more prevalent to see snipes clips and the result is a very watered down product. MCC kids could learn a lesson from this montage and McGee in general because he hits the best low level snipers clips. Seriously, how many snipes exterms are in this bitch? The first song is really fun and I love his mix of clips. The epitaph clip where he gets launched up is good on its own, but he decides to tornado backsmack some kid and works out. Then there’s the SWAT like triple on Pit, the launch clip at the start, the flamethrower over and some other unique clips to go alongside his insane regular clips. I love his little touches he puts into this (the choke picture, Puckett’s “wait he’s not done” and the face on the elite in the second song come to mind). As much as I do like the first song, it’s the second song in this that really gets me off. Aside from just being another really fun song, it seems McGee picks up the pace with the clips (in quality I mean) and put in some nice little edits (the syncing with the chorus is wonderful). McGee’s clips are pretty all encompassing so it’s hard to pick out favourites. He seems to devastate kids when he snipes them and he’s got a knack for cute little plays like waiting up gold lift on Construct to backsmack kids. And oh my, the last clip.
26. The Phenomenon (Exeption, R1) edited by Cristali
I still lay awake at night sometimes wondering “what if someone who knew how to edit got a hold of this footage?” I’m still not sure which big name editor would have done the most with this gameplay, though, because I think when you get gameplay this good, most editors feel the pressure and want the editing to be as good as the gameplay. Instead we got a montage with ugly editing, ugly songs and ugly capturing and yet it’s still in my top 30 because the gameplay is that good. I don’t know if I would say it’s the best MLG gameplay ever, but it’s definitely up there. It’s actually insane that both of these guys manage to be on each other’s level. The first part, Exeption’s, is insanely good and probably the easier to digest because the song isn't so bad. The way he snipes he’s like a predators. If you watch the construct clip where he gets the overkill on closed from rockets, the killtac on Narrows and the needle spawn trap overkill on Pit, you can really see how insanely he tracks. His clips are so confident. There’s a BR overkill on Construct where he pretty much turns away from the kid before the last shot has even registered. I don’t even understand. Then there’s the lift exterm on Narrows, the spawn trap exterm on the ledge on the same map, the no scope exterm on platform on Pit and perhaps my favourite of his clips, the triple from courtyard on Pit where he whips the kid while jumping behind the concrete block. The second part has one of the worst songs possibly ever made, but the gameplay might actually be a touch better. Again, like Exeption, R1’s clips are brimming with confidence. Favourites for his part include the double exterm on Onslaught, the no scope triple in closed on Construct, the no scope exterm from S2 on Pit, the Narrows clip that was in Legacy and, perhaps my favourite, the triple on Construct where he quickscopes the shit out of the kid closed street while jumping off the double on open street. As if the gameplay itself isn’t insane enough, a lot of it is against really known names, particularly in the European MLG community.
25. Phurion’s Final
Very few people, if any, had a greater impact on Halo montages than Phurion. His wide array of influences, large volume of content and general contributions to the Halo community all deserve to be recognized. Needless to say, his final montage carries a lot of weight. I love the intro that nods to his previous projects and I love the song he picks for the first part. His gameplay is always impressive. His high sensitivity sniping and his knack for going for style points certainly are part of his legend. His editing is also really smooth on the first song, flowing wonderfully with the song. His style really shows in the second clip in the montage where he gets a pretty standard triple kill and then throws his controller at the wall in hits the overkill. There are a ton of standout clips here, namely the Longshore clips, the Citadel jaro, the Assembly stick jaro, the Snowbound trocity starting with the straight up sticky, the Jered8laze melee no scope over on Guardian, the Narrows trocity double exterm, the no scope exterm on bottom mid Narrows, the whip exterm on Construct and the shotty/rockets swapping clip on Epitaph. Basically everything. The second song is a bit of a weird one, but I kind of like the feel of it considering this is his final. Again, the gameplay is excellent with a pistol tastrophe, a nasty Narrows MLG overkill and the last clip. The last fucking clip. It’s like a lightning bolt coming down on that poor kid.
24. The Buktage (Buk20, Buk57) edited by Ph1lza
There’s a pretty simple formula to this one. It’s one part highly impressive MLG gameplay and one part strangely addicting song. For what it’s worth, I think Ph1lza does a good job with the edit. There isn’t much to it other than some clean cuts, a little syncing, a very small amount of angles that are done exceptionally well (love the one on the Pit triple after the bridge of the song) and a couple of Nintendo references on a couple clips (especially love the Mario going up the lift). The gameplay is unreal. It’s mostly on known names (again, mostly European but some NA pros, too). There is a lot of really solid BR work in this montage and some really filthy snipes, particularly the quick scopes and no scopes. The skill and confidence under pressure is something to behold, most notably on the snipe pick up over exterm on Pit. Other notable clips include the out of scope snipe on Conz on Pit, the no scope triple from Pit training, the Narrows over exterm on DLKING, and the tac double exterm at the end. The only complaint I have is the reverse gameplay effect in the bridge of the song which is kind of neat but would have been better filled with more gameplay.
23. Black Box edited by Sor3
Sor3 might be the best editor to ever grace Halo 3. I really wonder sometimes if I could actually masturbate to his edits. The intro… oh my the intro. What a great song choice, it just fills your soul and runs through your veins. The beautiful, beautiful box effects in the intro credits, the bits coming off the first Spartan you see, the little “black boxed” graphics, it’s all so sexy. The way he uses the intro from the DFA1979 song is just perfect with the upside down angles that feel like you are being violently dragged away from the maps. What an artful edit that’s just absolutely full of personality. Every single little thing he does seems so significant. I love the way he brings back the black box theme throughout without overusing it. I love the black blotches that appear and form into that creepy, creepy box. I love the “3 on fucking 3” text. There’s just literally nothing about this edit that isn’t amazing. It’s too bad the gameplay doesn’t stack up, but at the same time it really does let the editing stand out. And what beautiful editing it is.
22. Headshot Shy H3M3
I just about put his latest montage on here, but sadly I stopped watching 62 minutes into it. I remember the first time I watched this I’d actually never heard of Headshot Shy. I was thinking about what nice cinematography he had, gorgeous angles, beautiful song, wonderful backflip angle on the first overkill but I was kind of thinking the gameplay, right from the first clip seemed kind of low standard. Then he hit that killtac shot. It kind of set up a theme for this montage. I don’t think I’ve seen a player ever hit no-scopes so effortlessly and so comfortably. He full expect to hit his shot every single time. There are so many insane clips in this montage that I don’t even know where to start. There’s a naire in the first song that I remember someone commenting on as being “the most ghetto naire” they’ve ever seen, but it’s so impressive to see one like that where he just grinds with the pistol and the backsmacks and just stays alive long enough to pull it off. A lot of the clips end at the overkill or the killtac but still wow me for the pure ability and the unreal no-scopes, but he’s just as liable to put up jaro or higher with the same ridiculous shots. It’s also a gorgeous little edit. The song choices are top notch and the way he edited to them is perfection. His angles are really wonderful and give the clips an added level of artfulness. This is just a completely beautiful video in every way.
21. Tallow H3M edited by TranQ
Way too much TranQ on this list, amirite? My favourite of the two Philtertages, I think this is one of TranQ’s better edits. While the gameplay is amazing, it’s the atmosphere of the song that puts this over the top for me. It’s just a beautiful song with such great pace and TranQ nails it editing wise in both flow and in syncing to the ups and downs of the song (perfect utilization on the clip where he hits kids over the cannon back to back, for example). A lot of the time when you get a fast song and then follow it with something slow like this, it fucks with the vibe of the video but I think TranQ pulls it off and the second song works well, too. I love Tallow’s clips. There is a nice variety here with some different gametypes and both social and MLG clips making appearances. The Foundry trocity, the Narrows lift to lift no scope exterm, the Pit QS jaro, the Pit 2 for 1 51 kill killtac exterm, the Narrows MLG dominance sequence, the Narrows MLG overkill on LQTTERY, the Pit naire, the Epitaph tastrophe right after it and the last Snowbound naire all count as personal favourites, though I don’t think there’s a bad clip in this. Just an excellent piece of work from both of these gentlemen.