Over the years, 16 Call of Duty games have been released to the public – many of them to critical acclaim. Countless more side games have been released to consoles and mobile platforms. Ever since 2003, this series has accompanied us and has become an integral part of the video game industry. But what is the best Call of Duty game?
This question isn’t easy to answer. Many titles have revolutionized the way we view shooter games. So we’ve assembled a small list of world-class COD games and given our personal judgement. You might have a different view on this, but we feel that we’ve hit the general consensus quite well. So strap in as we’re taking you through a ride down memory lane!
#5 – Call of Duty: Black Ops
The list starts off strong right away. Released in 2010, the game had to walk in the footsteps of Modern Warfare 2 – an impossible challenge, if we’re being honest. Black Ops wasn’t up to par with MW2, but that’s like saying that the original ‘Star Wars’ movie wasn’t as great as ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Sure, that’s technically true. But they’re still amazing, boundary-breaking movies.
The same holds true for the first Black Ops title. The maps and weapons introduced were universally beloved. The scriptwriting made the game’s campaign one of the greatest stories in FPS history. The developers didn’t skimp on details as well – Sam Worthington and Gary Oldman are just two examples of fantastically talented actors lending their voice to the game’s characters. One thing in particular makes this a contender for best Call of Duty game ever: Nuketown.
#4 – Call of Duty 2
For many gamers, this title might have been their first interaction with the shooter genre. Unfortunately, COD2 may have set their expectations a little high. The game follows the allied forces’ invasion of Germany and the reclaiming of Europe from the Nazis during World War II. Released in 2005, the game was incredibly advanced for its time. The multiplayer was fluid, fun, and not too demanding. Especially casual FPS players found the right kind of mix for their online adventures.
The campaign followed four different characters across multiple continents. The scale was unimaginable and the game’s cinematic moments still hold up today. From Stalingrad to the African desert, every location was meticulously realized. The game will shock you and draw you into its world, just like it did 15 years ago. For that achievement alone, COD2 might deserve to be called the best Call of Duty title of all time. And it certainly should be, were it not for the rest of the games on this list.
#3 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Remakes are always kind of a mixed bag. For many developers, remaking a game means polishing up the graphics by a tiny notch and charging full-price once again. So when Activision announced to be working on a game called ‘Modern Warfare’, fans were a bit sceptical. The original MW game had redefined the boundaries of first-person-shooters. So they didn’t really believe that a remake of this game would improve on the original. But Modern Warfare was not just a calculated money-grabbing effort. The game deserves to be standing on its own and is not just a shot-for-shot remake of the original.
#2 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
The 2019 Modern Warfare edition draws a lot of inspiration from this 2007 title. Nonetheless, the original sticks out with its campaign and multiplayer elements. Many of the missions are still remembered by shooter fans as some of the best in the genre. The online portion, more than ever, brought players into a tense battle over kills and deaths. With customizable weapons, players could take more control than ever of their performance in-game.
When COD dediced to move away from the World War setting into a distant future, fans were skeptical. The historic battles were beloved not only for the gameplay itself, but also for their context. Nonetheless, the game delivered a realistic storyline that didn’t feel forced or out of place. Modern Warfare is amazing, but it’s not the best Call of Duty game just yet.
#1 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2 was the Call of Duty update of a lifetime. Fans awaited this game with nervous anticipation. The original Modern Warfare title was well-received and loved amongst all COD fans. So when MW2 came out, there was no way for it to be better than the first one.
Except that it was. The game took the things that everyone liked about the predecessor and found ways to make them even better. The online play has been smoothed out even more and the remade weapons work like butter.
The campaign connected to the first title and threw the player into a captivating storyline. Many of the characters, like Ghost and Soap, became fan-favorites of the course of the game.
Many fans of the shooter franchise argue that MW2 deserves to be called the best Call of Duty game of all time. Rightly so, because the title had once again pushed boundaries and managed to upset enormously high expectations. All of the titles released afterwards would be judged by how well they compare with Modern Warfare 2.
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Call of Duty 2020: What Lies on the Horizon?
With Call of Duty sales being as high as ever, Activision are bound to release a new title soon. After the new Modern Warfare game, expectations are once again set incredibly high. The upcoming title has not yet been announced. However, speculations and leaks point towards a continuation of the Black Ops line, as the game is supposed to be set in the Cold War. Along with a single- and multiplayer component, there will be a Battle Royale game mode.
The great thing about COD is that it is always evolving and changing. Sometimes, that means making mistakes (*cough* Infinite Warfare *cough*), but often times this results in great innovation. It doesn’t really matter what the best Call of Duty game is, as long as Activision keep pumping out quality titles almost every time.
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