The Destiny franchise has a checkered past with in-game storytelling. When Destiny originally launched, it lacked an impactful story and left fans more confused than satisfied. However, as the series progressed, so too did the stories and missions. Now, with Bungie getting ready to unfold a dark new narrative in Destiny 2: Forsaken, we’re going to take a look back and highlight 15 of the best missions in Destiny history.
15 Lost to Light
Starting off in Destiny: The Taken King, the mission Lost to Light tasked players with recovering a shard of crystal that once held Crota’s soul. Players return to the Moon to find the crystal empty, and the mission “concludes” when the players defeat the Ogre guarding the crystal. The real fun starts when the “Mission Complete” screen appears, only to be taken away when Oryx summons a horde of Taken. Nothing like this ever happened before or has happened Destiny 2 since. Players that already put down their controllers were in trouble, as players needed to run as fast as they could to escape the waves of Taken.
While the mission at first glance was nothing out of the ordinary, this trick alone made it one of the best missions in Destiny. When Lost to Light was the Daily Heroic Story mission, players also discovered a secret exit that triggered a timed quest to unlock the exotic sniper rifle, Black Spindle. Hopefully, with Heroic Story Missions coming back in Forsaken, more missions will feature these secret missions.
14 Queen’s Ransom
In the campaign finale of the Destiny: House of Wolves, Guardians took to Venus to take down the Kell of Kells, Skolas. Per Mara Sov’s request, the Guardians work alongside Petra Venj to capture Skolas alive. What sets this mission apart is how Skolas uses Vex technology to pull members of the House of Wolves through time to fight against the Guardians.
The Vex are incredibly powerful, but even they were outsmarted by the Kell of Kells. Combined with some jumping puzzles straight out of Vault of Glass, this mission is incredibly fun and interesting from a lore standpoint. How much would the world of Destiny change if Skolas completed his plan and used Vex tech to win the Battle of Twilight Gap? Hopefully, there will be more interesting quests like this in the Dreaming City when Guardians team up with Petra Venj once again.
13 Last Rites
Last Rites is one of the only stealth missions that Destiny has to offer, and it is certainly one of the best. Players must carefully navigate through Crota’s fortress using a stealth drive without making noise or getting too close to an enemy, making this mission incredibly stressful.
The stealth drive grants invisibility, but the invisibility runs out in Crota’s main chamber and the Taken begin their assault. Eris Morn, of all people, actually uses her power to pull the Guardian from the Ascendant Plane, a move that shocked many fans that doubted Eris’ true power. While Eris likely won’t be the new Hunter Vanguard, hopefully she will make a return in Destiny 2 soon.
12 The Iron Tomb
In the finale of Destiny: Rise of Iron’s campaign, Guardians must assault the SIVA replication chamber to finish what the original Iron Lords could not. The Guardians must stop the production of SIVA.
What starts off as a simple mission is quickly turned on its head when players reach the Replication Chamber to find that SIVA has taken over the Iron Lords’ bodies. To put an end to SIVA, players must finish off the Remnants of Felwinter, Jolder, and Gheleon – three of the most famous Iron Lords in Destiny lore.
To make the fight even, players are given free reign with the flaming iron axe, a fitting end to these three Iron Lords. Once the mission is complete, the players are officially inducted into the Iron Lords and are given the Young Wolf’s Howl exotic sword. With Forsaken bringing new exotic quests, hopefully some will be tied to interesting story missions like this.
Destiny 2’s 1AU is perhaps one of the most unique and visually-stunning missions in Destiny history. Players board The Almighty, the Cabal superweapon pointed at The Sun, and destroy the weapon’s core. While the objective of the mission is simple, the visuals during this entire mission set it apart from most Destiny missions. There are few Destiny moments as breathtaking as walking out onto the outer deck of the Almighty, seeing the Sun up close, and then realizing that it is dishing out constant damage due to proximity.
After players destroy the superweapon’s core, they must once again brave the immense solar damage to run to their ship waiting at the end of the runway, backlit by the Sun. There is nothing quite like experiencing this mission for the first time, though players experienced it many more times during the Solstice of Heroes armor grind.
Also from Destiny 2, Homecoming is the first taste of Destiny 2 that most players had, and it is one of the game’s most impactful missions. Homecoming was an incredibly dark start to the Destiny 2 experience, which many fans loved.
Bungie went out of their way to create this tone of hopelessness and loss. They introduced Dominus Ghaul and the Red Legion and showed that they were a true force to be reckoned with. While the game did not carry this tone throughout, and did Bungie fall back into this tone during the subsequent DLCs, it seems that Bungie is embracing the darker tone for Forsaken. Hopefully this tone shift will create a story that fans can rally behind once again.
9 The Taken King Subclass Missions
Destiny 2: The Taken King introduced three new subclasses that changed the way players played Destiny. Hunters received the Shadowshot Tether ability, Titans harnessed the Hammer of Sol, and Warlocks learned their Stormtrance. These three new subclasses all had tailor-made missions that allowed players to learn these subclasses in a short amount of time.
While it was fun to just run around and spam the new supers, the missions also gave players some insight as to what it meant to be that specific class. Titans learned of the Sunbreak order, who were all but erased from the City’s archives by Zavala. Warlocks learned of the balance between light and dark, peace and chaos. Hunters learned what it meant to take on another Hunter’s cloak. With Forsaken adding nine new subclass trees, hopefully there will be some interesting missions tied to them so players can test the true power of their new abilities.
8 The Sword of Crota
Crota, Son of Oryx, was known for one thing: his sword. Crota killed countless foes with his blade, including Eris Morn’s original fireteam. This mission tasks Guardians with tracking down the Sword of Crota and destroying it for good. While not a very long mission, this was the first real time that players could wield the sword relic, one of the most unique weapons in Destiny. This mission is essentially an excuse for Guardians to use the sword to cut down a ton of Hive before it fades from existence.
7 King of the Mountain
King of the Mountain is the opening mission to Destiny: Rise of Iron, and Guardians are tasked with reclaiming the Iron Temple at Felwinter Peak. This mission is notable for its scenery first and foremost; Felwinter Peak is one of the most beautiful locations Bungie has crafted for the Destiny franchise. It also marks the return of the first strike boss players ever faced: Sepiks Prime. This mission set the stakes for the SIVA Crisis, as Guardians learned quickly that SIVA could essentially keep rebuilding foes as long as it was in Fallen hands.
In the conclusion of Destiny 2’s campaign, Guardians fight to retake the City from the Red Legion. Players battle through the city, up through the skyrises, and onto Ghaul’s ship for one final encounter with the Light thief. Much like Homecoming, this mission featured parts where other players would be dropped into a stranger's instance to fight alongside them as they push through the Red Legion barriers. This made the mission feel more like a true siege where every player is working together to reclaim the City.
The boss fight against Ghaul was fun, though with a full fireteam he is easily defeated. However, this is the first time someone has physically stolen the Light from the Traveler, which could have some major lore implications in the future. The campaign wraps up with the Traveler reawakening, destroying Ghaul, and potentially teasing The Darkness – an enemy only mentioned in the lore. Whatever the future of Destiny holds, hopefully it will contain those mysterious pyramid ships.
The finale of the Destiny: The Taken King storyline lets players face off against the Taken King himself aboard the Dreadnaught. Players fight their way through the Dreadnaught and into Oryx’s chamber to face the Hive commander himself. But to get to Oryx, players have to face off against some powerful enemies Oryx took earlier in the campaign, like a Cabal commander and an Ogre. While these enemies are no joke, the fight with Oryx can be rough for players unfamiliar with his tactics.
In the fight, players have to constantly damage Oryx so he does not drain their super energy and life force, all while fighting off waves of Taken. When players reach Oryx’s health threshold, they are taken into a dark grey bubble where Oryx flies through the air to slash players with his blade. This tactic of teleporting and slashing prepares players for the “Shade” phase of Oryx’s final boss fight in the King’s Fall raid, and makes it a great first send-off for Oryx before he is taken down again in his Throne World. Hopefully, the Dreaming City raid ties well into the story of Forsaken like King's Fall did.
For a long time, Destiny 2 fans theorized that Black Hammer or Black Spindle, the powerful sniper rifles from Destiny, would return due to some datamined perks from the guns found in the game’s database. Fans finally had confirmation when a strange anomaly opened up on Io, sending players into the fast-paced, timed mission: Whisper. Players had 20 minutes to navigate the jumping puzzle and defeat countless Taken to earn the exotic sniper rifle Whisper of the Worm. This challenging mission definitely sets the bar for what fans expect exotic quests to be like.
3 Spark (Redux)
The award for most interesting boss fight hands-down goes to the Spark Redux mission from Destiny 2’s Solstice of Heroes event. The Destiny community exploded with love for the Russian nesting doll of Servitors at the end of Spark as soon as it was discovered. When players take down the large Servitor boss, that boss then splits into four smaller Servitors, who then split into four smaller Servitors each, and so on. This fight can quickly spiral out of control if players don’t know what is coming, making it one of the wildest and fun missions in Destiny.
2 The Coming War
The Coming War is the first mission in the Destiny: The Taken King campaign, and the player’s first real introduction to Oryx. When launching the mission for the first time, players see the Battle of Saturn play out, the Awoken and Oryx fighting among the rings of Saturn. This powerful cutscene heralds the arrival of Oryx in the Sol system, and the possible death of Mara Sov.
When the Guardian sets foot on Phobos, they see the Cabal running away from the mysterious new threat – the first real show of fear from the Cabal. Eris Morn also tells of the whispers she hears, building up to the big reveal of Oryx and the first fight against the Taken. Once players see the new Taken enemies, the mission is to run away and regroup. Players must fight their way across the Cabal firebase to escape without dying to the new Taken enemies. This mission quickly sets the stakes for what some believe is one of the best story campaigns in Destiny. Hopefully Forsaken’s campaign can kick off strong just like The Taken King did.
1 A Guardian Rises
Most Destiny players remember their first mission on Earth, in the Old Cosmodrome of Russia. Guardians are revived by their Ghost for the first time. With their trusty Khvostov, players embark on their epic journey through the Sol system, fighting against the minions of the Darkness. “Eyes Up, Guardian” has become synonymous with the start of an adventure, whether players first experienced with Peter Dinklage, or with Nolan North as Ghost. A Guardian Rises is a mission that most Destiny fans will never forget.
Across all the expansions and releases in Destiny history, there have been plenty of missions that have left an impact on the fanbase. Whether it’s exploring Russia in Destiny, or fighting against Hive across Titan in Destiny 2, players have made memories in these games. Hopefully Destiny will continue to make fun and memorable missions as players journey through Forsaken and beyond.
Destiny 2: Forsaken launches September 4 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.