Call of Duty games indeed constitute a sizeable pile. The series captured the attention of and time to time revolutionized the gaming world. Nevertheless, not every addition to this huge collection was perfect. Among the great hits of the series with lots of memorable moments, there were blunders some would rather forget. Therefore, here’s a ranking of all Call of Duty games, from our perspective.
16. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Infinite Warfare was a weird attempt to encapsulate a futuristic setting. Consequently, the fans were the harshest critics of the game. During its announcement, Infinite Warfare’s trailer became the second most disliked video on YouTube. To be fair, the game had good visuals and some fun ideas in its design. Yet, the linear nature of Call of Duty did not cater to a “space saga”. Overusing jetpacks and zero gravity did not amount to anything good. Therefore, the game’s multiplayer section received criticism for being boring and lacking innovation.
15. Call of Duty: Ghosts
The first Call of Duty game of the current generation was another game that failed to meet expectations. Nonetheless, the story was worth considering to play the campaign. It was set in a fictional war between North and South America. From the start, the protagonist and his dog Riley were interesting characters to embark on this journey with. However, the lack of finesse in writing caused a downwards curve for the story’s advancement. On the other hand, the multiplayer side wasn’t sufficiently deep to compensate for the flaws of the narrative. Despite there are those who describe Ghosts as an underrated entry in the series, the game became forgettable really quickly.
14. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Advanced Warfare had one of the most ambitious marketing activities of the series. Kevin Spacey, who hadn’t revealed his true colours back then, was at the helm as the main villain. Furthermore, Sledgehammer attempted to build on the “futuristic” features Ghosts had introduced. They brought exo-suits and augmented reality gadgets to make us feel more immersed. Yet, this entry in the series also failed to stir the fans up. Probably, Activision and their friends should have had taken the hint and never made Infinite Warfare. Nevertheless, on the multiplayer side, exo-zombies and interesting weapon variants put this game ahead of Ghosts and Infinite Warfare.
13. Call of Duty 3
The third entry in the original series never found its way to the PC platform. Therefore, it should be self-explanatory why this game never become popular and sent the series into a short hibernation. After its two successful predecessors, Call of Duty 3 failed to live up to the expectations. The game was laden with glitches and bugs. On the other hand, it brought interesting features such as open-ended missions. Interestingly, this was the first game that brought the animation of throwing a grenade back to its owner.
12. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Treyarch has sought to improve the high-technology aspect of Call of Duty. Black Ops 3 was one of the rather successful attempts and introduced the “specialists” formula. Furthermore, new characters and outfits became a feature for the multiplayer. In order to enrich the experience, players could utilise tools such as grappling guns. On the other hand, the gamers can’t stop praising the Zombies mode of Black Ops 3, even today. The game featured a campaign that supports co-op up to four players. Moreover, the specialist formula was also applicable for campaign. Players were able to change the outfits and gadgets of their specialists.
11. Call of Duty: WWII
Meanwhile, Battlefield 1 was taking the gaming world by storm, Call of Duty franchise was struggling with the futuristic themes. Therefore, the immediate response became a return to the roots. Interestingly, WWII made EA release a World War 2 game and eventually made Battlefield franchise scarred with controversy. The game had a thrilling campaign with lots of fun missions. Moreover, the multiplayer mode had some revolutionary features for the series. The social area where players could meet and show off their gear was also a pathway to multiplayer matches. The division system brought a desire for the grind. Similarly, the narrative-driven multiplayer matches brought a fresh mood to the series.
10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Modern Warfare 3 closed the curtains for the ongoing saga of Captain Price and Soap. Therefore, the campaign had lots of highlights many players still remember today. Moreover, traveling around the world and controlling various operatives from different special forces were really interesting. On the multiplayer side, the game managed to preserve the traditions of the Modern Warfare series. Nevertheless, the game didn’t bring anything new to the multiplayer mode. Maybe we can consider the “point streak” as the only new feature, which was not really memorable. Yet, there are many worse multiplayer experiences that some of the games in this list present.
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
The fourth installment of the Black Ops franchise was an improvement to Treyarch’s formula. Although the game was smashed by many because of the exclusion of a story-driven campaign, many players populated the servers. Furthermore, it was the first crack at the Battle Royale genre with Blackout. The use of vehicles, gadgets, and the ability to navigate the map, still make some players prefer Blackout over Warzone. Also, Treyarch kept the hype alive with many events and the exciting changes on the map. On the other hand, other game modes such as Team Deathmatch and Domination became enriched with character abilities. Apparently, players didn’t feel the absence of a campaign mode as Zombies and Multiplayer features kept them busy.
8. Call of Duty: World at War
Arguably, World at War has one of the best campaigns in the franchise. Treyarch decided to tackle story-writing differently and took us on the other side of the world, the Pacific war. Moreover, this time they presented us with Russian soldiers, instead of an American. Therefore, this brave decision mixed with the traditional pace of Call of Duty campaigns and created an immersive experience. Every soldier also had their own thrilling storylines with a variety of highs and lows. The game was unforgiving and grim, it attempted to present the ugly side of things. Also, Treyarch brought Nazi Zombies into the franchise for the first time. This game mode became so successful, none of the Call of Duty games went short of it after World at War.
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops
The first Black Ops showed us how elaborate and profound the Call of Duty formula is. Just like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty will never be short of eras to set the game in. Because you know, war never changes… The storyline, which took place during the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union created its own fans. Furthermore, many memorable characters to whom famous actors lent their voices, amplified the immersive experience the game had to offer. The multiplayer part was also another token of Treyarch’s contribution to the franchise. The maps were iconic and with the authentic weapons of the era, players felt a great connection to the game. Also, Treyarch added further colour to the multiplayer with unlockables and money system.
6. Call of Duty 2
The second game in the franchise was an excellent attempt from Infinity Ward, in terms of making a multi-platform game. In my opinion, Call of Duty 2 became an inspiration for the studio to keep the brand alive and feel courageous to push the boundaries. The campaign mode offered multiple factions, which became a tradition for future games. On the other hand, these factions offered action-laden stories and a huge variety of cinematic events, some without stopping the gameplay at all. Furthermore, these factions were all playable in the multiplayer mode. Many players, probably with a feeling of nostalgia, still consider this game’s multiplayer mode as the best of the franchise.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
The fans were quite skeptical about Price’s return. Moreover, there was a sizeable criticism about the ‘creativity’ in naming the game. Nevertheless, the return to the roots, the campaign mode and the multiplayer mode reminiscent of the original, made many players board the hype train. However, the biggest impact in the gaming world is Warzone. The revamped Battle Royale after Blackout reached 10 million players in a very short period of time. Of course, Activision’s decision of making Warzone free to play had a great effect on these numbers. Nonetheless, the Call of Duty name preserved its greatness and gave its rivals something to think about. The studio’s attitude towards keeping the experience alive and fresh is also appreciated by many.
4 Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
The second chapter in the Black Ops story was a great show to behold. The writing squad, consisting of great names such as David S. Goyer, decided to build upon the Cold War saga with another “potential” cold war on the other side of the continent. Blending the war for rare earth metals with personal vendettas, Black Ops 2 presented a breathtaking campaign. The multiplayer experience it offered was also quite pleasant. Indeed, innovative features such as Pick-10 system and equipment drops created a unique multiplayer mode even Treyarch couldn’t (or wouldn’t) replicate. The gameplay was also smooth and accessible, with a variety of high-tech weapons and gadgets, players definitely had one of the best Call of Duty games in their hands.
3. Call of Duty
In 2003, the brains behind Medal of Honor: Allied Assault released a new WW2 game. The gaming world approached it with skepticism, which didn’t go on for long. Because the first Call of Duty game was definitely a promising addition to the WW2 shooters. The tradition of multiple factions, instead of only one character, first appeared in this game. Conversely, the storylines of the American, British, and Russian soldiers definitely felt different from each other. Activision also built the foundation of the traditions that developed in the franchise, such as immersive sound design and the sensation of cinematic gunplay. After this game, the rest is history and the brand became a pioneer that definitely lifted the face of the FPS genre.
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
This game revived the Call of Duty brand which was stuck in the WW2 era. Instead of making the series something ordinary and repetitive, Infinity Ward took a drastic turn and came up with something else. Modern Warfare was set in a world, where war shows its cruel face as it would in ours. Furthermore, the game introduced characters such as Captain Price and Soap MacTavish whose storylines definitely outgrew this game. The cinematic experience of the missions all across the world, with different factions and characters, surely brought the game among the greatest FPS games ever. On the other hand, the multiplayer offered great gunplay with creative perks and great balance between weapons. Therefore, the game catered to the strategies players wanted to apply and allowed exciting matches. In my opinion, this game made Call of Duty games the huge franchise that earns billions for Activision.
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
When Infinity Ward presented Modern Warfare 2’s “snowy mission” at E3 2009, the gaming community was sure something wicked was heading their way. Indeed, Modern Warfare 2 definitely took the newly founded franchise up a notch and made many things its predecessor presented, better. The campaign was huge excitement with the scores by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe constantly adjusting the tension. Furthermore, the story and the characters are still memorable today. The players felt their connection to Captain Price and Soap fortified. Also, everybody welcomed Ghost and his story. The multiplayer was also a huge success with iconic maps and the huge improvement of the model presented by Call of Duty games. The weapons and perks were even more interesting and fun to play with. Therefore, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a game that many think is an irreplaceable and insurmountable milestone for the FPS genre.
The saga continues…
To sum up, Call of Duty games are a part of the video game world that none of us can ignore. The series will continue to grow as there are many rumours circle around the 2020’s release. Therefore, this list can’t be set in stone and definitely open for change. We will happily keep following one of the greatest events in video game history.