The Best Call of Duty Games of All Time

Since the inception of Call of Duty back in 2003, we have been treated to some amazing games. Whether it’s a compelling campaign, outstanding multiplayer experience or brilliant PvE adventure, this franchise has done it all. It is understood that many top five lists will be different for various reasons, but we stand behind our list as we look for the best Call of Duty game.

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2

Image: Activision/Blizzard

Affectionately known as MW2, this instalment of the franchise delivered tremendously well. The campaign had a perfect balance of action and storytelling. Players certainly felt a connection to all characters, with one of the most memorable moments in gaming being when Shepherd betrays our heroes. Ghost and Roach’s demise lives on with many. Additionally, with an impactful soundtrack, strong dialogue and challenging difficulty, the campaign delivered in spades.

Multiplayer had also been a strong feature for this game. Each weapon felt unique and well balanced. This would allow variety to mix up each game, as players wouldn’t be using the same two weapons. Map design was also a strong suit, and with there being a total of 26, there was a great variety available. In addition, great weapon design, balanced time to kill and vast customization had catapulted this games longevity. Overall, when many fans call for a remake of MW2 13 years after its initial release, it can be considered one game that remains in at the top, and for many people, it is by far the best Call of Duty game.

2. Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2

Image: Treyarch

Released on November 13th 2012, COD: Black Ops 2 followed up its predecessors success, not to anyone’s surprise. This game had excelled in all modes which left fans entertained for its lifecycle. The anticipation built by fans and critics where met with the game they deserved. Many people across the world would line up for midnight game releases. On top of this, no major critic at the time rated the game less than 8/10. The campaign for this game had been the first of the franchise to feature branching storylines. This meaning various choices made from the player in-game effected where the storyline would go.

This iteration of multiplayer had also been well praised for a feature, that to this day would be welcomed. The pick 10 system allowed the player to pick between many perks and attachments, with each choice allowing for many ways to play. Kill streaks from previous games had been changed to score streaks. This would require players to collect points to attain streaks. As well as having 31 total maps, one of the largest pools in the franchise, it introduced League play. This change brought about more competitive play, leading to the professional scene experience large growth.
Zombies had also been fun, with competitive modes such as Grief making its debut. Nuketown Zombies provided a small but adrenaline fuelled adventure, with tranzit allowing for a more story based adventure. Additionally, the easter eggs had been challenging which kept many entertained.

3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)

Modern Warfare 2019

Image: Activision

This reboot of the classic Modern Warfare series had been one of the most eagerly anticipated games for a while. A trailer which heavily featured Captain Price would always be popular, and with over $600 million worth of sales within the first three days of release, it was one of the top 10 best sellers in 2019. Even after 12 years since the original MW released, it displays how fondly many players remember their first experience of the franchise.

The campaign itself did not hold back, as there was tragedy throughout. Many moments divided critics, which included innocents suffering, terrorist attacks and extreme torture. Despite critics, the campaign provided in spades, and with a terrific ending that led onto Price selecting his 141 Squad, a lot of nostalgia would hit home. Special Ops had also been a fun experience to have alongside the campaign.

The major difference being the inception of Warzone, this franchises version of a battle royale. Even now in 2022, Warzone has grown exponentially and can be considered one of the top 5 in the battle royale category. Overall, the large weapon selection, breath-taking graphics, and map variety pushed this game into stardom.

4. Call of Duty: World At War

CoD World at War

Image: Treyarch

Where to start with this gem of a game. It had released in 2008 on to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with future releases on other consoles following. It did receive mixed reviews, as some critics commented more on the games lack of innovation. Regardless of this, the game eventually sold just above 15 million units, and with backwards compatibility enabled, it is still worth a playthrough.

The campaign itself had some nice variety and with it being based around several battles throughout world war 2, writers took advantage of the setting. Stories had been told on both ally and hostile forces, which provided an insight into the motives behind each side. With arguably the most difficult veteran campaign in franchise history, the campaign delivered.

Multiplayer had also received praise, as each weapon sounded and felt brilliant. Each of the 23 maps had been unique and killstreaks had great impact. Alternatively, this had been the game that introduced zombies, which at the time was a revelation. Still to this day, Zombies is an iconic feature leading to many different iterations in titles going forward.

5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Modern Warfare Original

Image: Activision

How could we leave out the first mainstream release in the franchise. Affectionately known as COD 4, this game brought us many iconic franchise characters such as Price, Soap and Makarov. With 17 million units sold across all platforms and no major critic scoring less that 8/10, this game was a major success and the start of a juggernaut’s growth. With utilising modern consoles at the time, the graphics had been exceptional which led to many picking up the game.

The campaign itself had great depth and a fantastic storyline, further explored in MW2 and MW3. Veteran difficulty also ensured more players seeking a challenge had one. The games multiplayer exceeded expectations, and with 20 unique maps, many great weapons, iconic camo’s, variety of perks and equipment, there was plenty to get stuck into in game. Call of Duty esports owes a huge deal to the title as well, launching the scene into the spotlight. This game had been such a favourite, it received a full remaster and was played by millions worldwide.