Is Warzone The Best Battle Royale Game?

In the last few years, we’ve seen the concept of the ‘battle royale’ surge in popularity. It started with PUBG, it was popularised with Fortnite, and it has since been expanded on by the likes of Warzone, Apex Legends, Fall Guys, Free Fire, and more. For many millions of gamers, Call of Duty: Warzone is the best battle royale to ever surface, but how much substance is there to that sentiment? It’s time for us to look closely at the best battle royale games and see if Warzone sits at the top of the pack.

As a free-to-play, well-built battle royale game that has enjoyed monumental growth since hitting the market in 2020, Call of Duty: Warzone certainly is a success – commercially speaking, anyway. It has since expanded to mobile platforms, too – so if you wanted to enjoy one of the best battle royale games for Android, for example, there’s that option. But as a whole, is Warzone the best battle royale game in the business?

Let’s find out.

The History of Call of Duty Warzone

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Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

Call of Duty: Warzone has been incredibly popular since it was released back in March 2020. It launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and became a home away from home for tens of millions of gamers the world over. It turned average gamers into streaming sensations almost overnight, and it spawned a blossoming esports ecosystem that’s still growing today. There’s no doubting the fact that Warzone was a phenomenal success, but is that alone enough to list it at the top of the best battle royale games out there?

It hasn’t always been a perfect journey, after all. In December 2021, Activision Blizzard’s teams removed Verdansk – the first Warzone map – from the game. This was seen as a controversial decision, as it was replaced with a map called ‘Caldera’, which everyone hated. In 2022, that too was removed from the core game, and in its place came Al Mazrah, another map that garnered negative feedback. It was also turned into a much slower, ‘heavier’ game, which rankled with fans.

As battle royale games retained their status as the most popular genre, Warzone wavered somewhat. In November 2023, the ‘fourth version’ of Warzone was released, introducing another new map – Urzikstan. This was seen as a genuine turning point for the game, as it was a map that players appreciated, and not only that but the developers injected the game with better movement, faster pacing, and innovative mechanics.

Is Warzone Still Popular?

There are plenty of games that could be considered the best battle royale game ever, but is Call of Duty: Warzone one of them? For the last few years, Warzone has remained relatively consistent in that there are always millions of people playing it across every platform. It remains popular on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok, and its esports scene is becoming much more valuable. It might not be as stable as it could be, but it offers a solid enough platform that people enjoy playing it daily, in most cases.

Now that the fourth iteration of Warzone has been released and the game has been made much faster, players are returning to the ecosystem in droves. It’s an ebb-and-flow routine that sees the player count rise and fall in great peaks and troughs, but there’s one thing that seems to be consistent: they always come back for more. Over time, Activision Blizzard’s teams are zeroing in on issues with hackers, exploits, and balancing, and for the most part, these changes are becoming much more community-led.

Once again, we’re seeing the best Call of Duty players enjoy Warzone, but does all this mean that it’s the best battle royale game available?

Is Warzone The Best Battle Royale Game?

There’s a lot of stiff competition, and unfortunately, Warzone can’t quite meet that competition and defeat it in open combat. At present, we’d say that Fortnite is the best battle royale game in the business, with Warzone perhaps sitting in second or third place behind Apex Legends. Fortnite has been innovating immensely over the next years, with Epic Games pumping so much creativity into the platform. In November 2023, Fortnite shattered peak player records, beating out every other game in the industry with ease.

That’s not something that Warzone seems capable of doing, and it still has too many niggling issues plaguing it for it to compete fairly against the likes of Fortnite.

It’s not a terrible game – not by any means. It’s just not the best battle royale out there.

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