All Call of Duty Games: CoD Games Ranked Best and Worst, By Release Date

Call of Duty is arguably the most popular first-person shooter franchise of all time. It has existed since 2003, when Call of Duty launched exclusively on PC, rapidly rising to become a highly awarded and well-received game. In the last twenty years, more than thirty Call of Duty games have been released, from major, key titles, to spin-off games. Today, we’re here to look at all Call of Duty games in order, ranking them from best to worst and celebrating the entire franchise.

From classic WWII-themed combat to piloting spacecraft to distant planets, Call of Duty has proven itself to be a diverse series. In the last two decades, the developers have opened up Call of Duty to zombie defence games, battle royale platforms, and some extremely high-value esports tournaments and leagues. As time goes on, there’s no real sign of the Call of Duty train slowing, and every year, it remains one of the best-selling games.

Let’s dive in, break down the list of all Call of Duty games, and rank them accordingly.

All Call of Duty Games In Order By Release Date

All Call of Duty Games

Image Credit: WSGF

There are many games like Call of Duty out there, but few hold a candle to this two-decade-old franchise. Here’s the full list of Call of Duty games ranked by release date:

  • Call of Duty (2003)
  • Call of Duty 2 (2005)
  • Call of Duty 3 (2006)
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
  • Call of Duty: World at War (2008)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015)
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)
  • Call of Duty: WWII (2017)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
  • Call of Duty: Mobile (2019)
  • Call of Duty: Warzone (2020)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020)
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard (2021)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022)

How Many Call of Duty’s Are There?

When answering the question, ‘how many Call of Duty’s are there‘, it’s important to understand that there have been several spin-off titles. Since 2003, Activision has released a grand total of thirty-six Call of Duty games, some of which have been on mobile, exclusive to particular handheld consoles, or suffered from dramatically poor sales figures.

Typically, Call of Duty performs relatively well in the commercial market, receiving generally positive reviews. Unfortunately, as time has gone on, Call of Duty as a franchise has been somewhat unstable, with the top scores going through peaks and troughs with each passing year. Bizarrely, the highest-rated Call of Duty title of all time is Call of Duty (2003), the original release.

Does that mean it’s the best Call of Duty game ever? If we’re going by sheer numbers alone, then it might just be, but technology has advanced since then, and gamers hold games to a higher standard. We’ve seen some beautiful, intense, action-packed releases in the Call of Duty franchise in recent years, but some of them have just failed to secure the adoration of the fans.

Call of Duty Games Ranked

Best Call of Duty Games Ranked

how many call of duty's are there

Image Credit: Activision

It can be considered a mostly subjective debate, because as the old saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. For some, the worst Call of Duty game might be a flawless experience for the next player along, and typically, the community is split with each new title. In recent years, competitive Call of Duty has seen a major rise, and now more than ever, fans are desperate for balanced, clean multiplayer experiences above everything else.

Here are the best top three COD games ranked:

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Metacritic: 94/100

Released in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is often regarded as the best Call of Duty game of all time. For starters, it boasted one of the most intense, enjoyable campaigns players have ever seen, and it introduced some of the most iconic Call of Duty characters ever. It was a balanced title, and the multiplayer was absolutely flawless. In some ways, MWII served as the foundation of modern-day Call of Duty esports.

2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Metacritic: 83/100

Black Ops II launched in 2012 and it ticked so many boxes for the community. Firstly, it came equipped with a superb multiplayer platform that delivered one of the most exciting esports eras in the history of Call of Duty. It also continued the Black Ops story, which is widely considered the flagship series for Call of Duty. Also, it was the first Call of Duty title to feature a ranked mode, which made a huge difference amongst the fans of the more competitive modes.

3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)

Metacritic: 81/100

As a rebirthing of the Modern Warfare franchise, this 2019 title took the world by storm, becoming the highest-selling Call of Duty game in history. It was a complete reimagining of the most popular sub-series in the franchise, bringing an entirely new engine, story, and eventually, a battle royale mode. Out of all Call of Duty games, Modern Warfare truly is something special.

Worst Call of Duty Games, Ranked

best call of duty game

Image Credit: Activision

And now, we come to the worst Call of Duty games the world has ever seen. While this is still a relatively subjective debate, there’s more unity among the community for the negative experiences than the positive ones. When a gaming community hates something, it hates collectively.

1. Call of Duty: Vanguard

Metacritic: 72/100

Vanguard was the first WWII-themed Call of Duty game since 2017, launching in 2021 to an overwhelmingly negative response. It was a broken game when it was released, which was never fully addressed by the developers, and it never really progressed from there. Despite regular updates and an influx of content every month or so, the Vanguard platform remained mostly abandoned after launch.

2. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Metacritic: 71/100

For weeks after launch, the community was asking over and over again, is COD Cold War worth it? This was a relatively rushed title that was allegedly built in just five months, and when it was released, it offered a lacklustre experience. It was a bizarre point in the Black Ops franchise, which had up until that point been a best-seller for Activision.

3. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Metacritic: 73/100

As one of the most futuristic titles in the history of Call of Duty, Infinite Warfare was also one of the worst-performing games. It was a star-studded, space exploration title that offered a less than desirable multiplayer experience to fans that generally didn’t enjoy it. It was also one of the only non-Black Ops titles to receive a Zombies game mode. However, when we’re talking about the best Call of Duty Zombies game, this definitely doesn’t make the top spots.