With the recent announcement of the release date for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, there’s no doubt that CoD is, once again, in the air. It’s the perfect time to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and rank the best Call of Duty games that have graced our screens over the years.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the series, this list will help you understand the legacy of this iconic franchise.
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
Modern Warfare wasn’t just another game; it was a revolution. Introducing us to Captain Price and his unforgettable mustache, we were thrown into a narrative that felt so real, it blurred the lines between game and reality. The missions, like “All Ghillied Up”, are still talked about today – a testament to their impact. And the multiplayer? Oh man, it set a gold standard. Maps like “Shipment” and “Crash” became instant classics, and the introduction of killstreaks changed the online FPS scene forever. It’s no wonder many consider this the crown jewel of the Call of Duty series.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)
Black Ops II was a game-changer with its futuristic setting and branching storylines. The choices you made affected the outcome, giving the game a replayability factor that was unmatched at the time. Plus, who could forget its take on the Zombies mode? A culmination of a downright bonkers narrative coupled with tons of improvements and refinements.
3. Call of Duty: World at War (2008)
Going back to the series’s setting roots, World War II, World at War gave players an intense and gritty portrayal of the war’s Pacific and Eastern Fronts. Despite going back to less exciting weaponry, World at War managed to maintain the intense, fast-paced gameplay the MW series cemented. The introduction of the Zombies mode was a delightful surprise, spawning countless hours of cooperative gameplay that became a runaway hit in its own right.
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
Following the success of its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2 upped the ante with a controversial storyline and a multiplayer experience that many still hold dear. The introduction of the Special Ops mode was a cherry on top.
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
Jumping into the Cold War vibes, Black Ops was a wild ride! Remember Alex Mason’s mind-bending story? And Frank Woods? Classic. Plus, the Zombies mode got even cooler with those new maps. And let’s not forget the multiplayer – those killstreaks and COD Points really mixed things up. Honestly, Black Ops was more than just a game; it was an epic experience.
6. Call of Duty: Warzone (2020)
The franchise’s venture into the battle royale genre, Warzone, became an instant hit. With its expansive Verdansk map and the Gulag mechanic, it offered a fresh take on the popular genre, making it a must-play for both Call of Duty and battle royale fans.
7. Call of Duty: WWII (2017)
Returning to its roots, WWII provided an authentic and emotional portrayal of the world’s most significant conflict. Its multiplayer also brought back the “boots on the ground” gameplay, much to the delight of long-time fans.
8. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014)
Introducing exosuits and a futuristic setting, Advanced Warfare was a bold step for the series. Without question, it was one of the most divisive titles in the series as it deviated from its roots in big ways. Air dashing, double jumping, and a host of other futuristic abilities may have felt out of place for most fans, but the game as a whole was engaging and a nice change of pace. Kevin Spacey’s performance as the antagonist added depth to a compelling single-player campaign.
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015)
While the third installment in the Black Ops series ventured further into the realm of science fiction, it still managed to deliver a captivating story. The multiplayer, with its new movement mechanics, was polarizing but undeniably innovative.
10. Call of Duty (2003)
The game that started it all. Released in 2003, the original Call of Duty thrust players into the intense battles of World War II across various fronts. Its cinematic storytelling, combined with immersive gameplay, set the foundation for a franchise that would dominate the gaming world for years to come. The authenticity of its missions and the camaraderie of squad-based combat made it a standout title of its time.