Top 5 Call of Duty Games of All Time

Our picks for the best Call of Duty games of all time...

As a franchise, Call of Duty needs no introduction. From its original 2003 release to Modern Warfare III in 2023, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and rank the top five Call of Duty games of all time.

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As an avid Call of Duty fan myself, it should be stated that the list will naturally have a bit of bias involved. However, we tried to include games that not only were hugely successful among the franchise but games that also broke glass ceilings and pushed the franchise to new heights.

So with that said, here’s our picks for the top five best Call of Duty games of all time.

#5 – Modern Warfare (2019)

MW 2019
via Activision

Modern Warfare 2019 has widely been regarded as one of the best Call of Duty games in recent times. This game saw a rebirth of the original Modern Warfare franchise, bringing back the action-packed, grounded, and intense realism that made the series so loved in the first place.

The multiplayer mode offered fast-paced combat, with an array of returning weapons like the MP5, Uzi, and more. While this game was definitely critiqued due to its subpar map design, and the removal of integral features in the COD franchise, looking back it was a step in the right direction for Call of Duty as it somewhat revived the franchise.

Perhaps the most notable thing that came out of Modern Warfare 2019 was the introduction of Warzone. Warzone took the Battle Royale genre by storm and reintroduced Call of Duty to younger gamers who may have never played the franchise before. Warzone’s success single-handedly put Call of Duty back on the map and hyped fans up for future releases.

#4 – Call of Duty: Black Ops

Black ops 2010
via Activision

2010’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, developed by Treyarch, was an introduction to Call of Duty for many players around the globe. It’s no surprise that this game is often referenced as a favorite for many players…it simply pushed the franchise forward by introducing beloved multiplayer mechanics and features such as more customization, iconic maps, and iconic weapons. Ask any Call of Duty player about the “Commando”, they’ll more than likely reference Black Ops.

The campaign, set in the 60s during the Cold War and Vietnam War, featured many real historical figures such as Fidel Castro, JFK, and more. This intense campaign only added to the allure and immersed players even more into the game. It’s no surprise that Black Ops was a tremendous success, spawning multiple sequels, some even outshining this one.

# 3 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

via Steam

Infinity Ward hit the jackpot with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. This game was the spark that set Call of Duty ablaze in the 2000s going into the 2010s. While the campaign featured many iconic moments to this day, the real success came from its multiplayer mode. This game revolutionized the FPS genre with its then fast-paced, cinematic, and immersive gameplay. Call of Duty staples like killstreaks, perks, and loadouts were also introduced with this game. These features have since gone on to make an appearance in every Call of Duty game since.

Another reason why this game sits so high on our list is because of the nostalgia factor. Time always tells which games will leave a long-lasting impact. And considering that almost every gamer has either played or heard about COD:4, we’d say its legacy remains intact.

#2 – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

black ops 2
via Steam

2012 was a year marked with several nostalgic events: the London Olympics, Gangnam Style, the End of the Mayan calendar, and of course, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Even though this game appears as number two on our list, it is still widely considered the best Call of Duty game of all time. So where to start?

The campaign featured a futuristic departure from Call of Duty, taking place in the year 2025. The branching storyline featured multiple endings, a first at the time for Call of Duty games. However, similar to previous Call of Duty titles, this game’s multiplayer is what captured the hearts of millions.

The maps, the weapons, the scorestreaks, and everything that encompasses Call of Duty multiplayer was near-perfect in this iteration. Treyarch took notes from the successful launch of Black Ops in 2010, and took their development of Black Ops 2 to the next level. They even re-imagined several iconic maps from the original Black Ops and gave them a futuristic spin…who remembers Nuketown 2025?

Whether it was in esports, “trickshotting”, or just “pubstomping”, Black Ops 2 also catered to several communities and spawned the rise of many of the biggest content creators and gaming organizations we know today. Simply put, Black Ops 2 is Call of Duty, they are synonymous in meaning. And the record-breaking success of this game is a testament to that.

#1 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2009)

MW2 No russian
via Prima Games

2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 can be seen as the pinnacle of the franchise. Following up from 2007’s Call of Duty 4, this game improved on that formula in every way imaginable. This installment continued the saga of Task Force 141 in a thrilling global campaign to thwart a terrorist menace. However, the game’s campaign faced immediate and pointed criticism due to its controversial “No Russian” mission. In this mission, players are embroiled in an airport massacre and have the option to participate in the violence. While this mission initially saw heavy criticism, it is still regarded as one of the memorable moments in video game history.

In the multiplayer mode, this game featured some of the most iconic maps of the Call of Duty franchise. These maps included Rust, Highrise, Terminal, and Favela. Weapons such as the ACR, FAMAS, and UMP45 all have reappeared several times in the COD franchise, simply because of how beloved they were in this game. While this game wasn’t the most balanced, that’s primarily why many regard it as being one of the most fun COD games of all time. In-game features like Skill Based Matchmaking weren’t a thing, so everyone was simply having fun, using crazy weapons and attachments. Excellent map design, ridiculously overpowered weapons, and a cultural impact unlike any other is why we placed this game atop our list.

So there you have it, our pick for the best Call of Duty games of all time. We also recently touched on the most played Steam games, so be sure to check that out. Your favorite game might just be on the list…

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