With the release of Black Ops 4 getting Call of Duty fans excited for yet another year of high-octane action, we’ve all been discussing our favourite Call of Duty titles. Gone are the days where we could all get home from school and hop in a six-man party with all of our friends, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back and assess some of the greatest – and not-so-great – entries in gaming’s biggest franchise.
10. Modern Warfare Remastered
I was never a big fan of CoD4 back in 2007, and this feeling only amplified with its remaster that dropped alongside Infinite Warfare in 2016. It was funny to occasionally drop into Shipment and get 100+ kills, but besides that the game offered nothing.
Uninspiring maps, poor weapon balancing and a lack of competitive infrastructure made this difficult for me to enjoy.
9. World War II
God, what a bore. The enjoyable competitive season made up for what was a really, really forgettable game. No map or weapon will go down in Call of Duty history as a fan-favourite, and Sledgehammer Games did little to appease fans throughout the season. I’m glad to see the back of it.
Honestly, if the competitive scene wasn’t so thriving during Ghosts, I would probably shift it below WWII in these standings. However, the great Search and Destroy carries this game higher than it would be without it. It was probably more tactical than we have seen in any game since, and the community was positively in love with it, despite also having to play Domination and Blitz.
This is probably one of my least-played Call of Duty titles, which I think speaks for itself.
7. Black Ops
This is the first of two titles in this list that I think has been hugely underrated and managed to fly under the radar for Call of Duty fans. Following Modern Warfare 2, I don’t think any title could have been seen as a huge success, but Treyarch really did provide a great game with the opening title of the Black Ops franchise.
This was back when Nuketown was fun (which feels like a lifetime ago), the games started to become more aesthetically pleasing and there were still great forward-strides being made in-game. One example of this is the in-game wager matches, which were so much fun and brought something new to the franchise. It’s a shame that any recent attempts at “introducing something new” has been far less enjoyable.
That said, it wasn’t an amazing game by any stretch, and was more of a fun time-filler.
6. Modern Warfare 3
Much like Black Ops, MW3 manages to fly under the radar in every Call of Duty discussion. Many refer to it simply as “Modern Warfare 2.5” due to how closely it resembled its predecessor, but for me, that’s what made it so fun.
Maps were fun, weapon balancing and general playability were much better, and it still felt incredible to get a MOAB, the 25-killstreak reward. I can’t say the same for more recent iterations.
5. Advanced Warfare
Advanced Warfare is often lambasted for introducing advanced movement – or jetpacks – to the Call of Duty franchise, but it was a fun time to be a CoD fan. The hangover from Black Ops II and Ghosts was still a positive one and the scene grew exponentially as a new generation of players got involved.
Some of the maps were fantastic, much better than people remember, and the OpTic dynasty was born. Regardless of which team you support, to witness the OpTic dynasty in its glory was a joy, and Advanced Warfare was the birthplace of it all.
4. Infinite Warfare
A potentially controversial opinion given the anti-advanced movement rhetoric that has plagued Call of Duty since it was first introduced in Advanced Warfare, but this game really became much better than many would have let you believe.
I’ll admit, when the game first released I hated it. But, little by little, I came to really enjoy it. Infinity Ward slowly made changes and, by the time WWII was released after it, I found myself really quite enjoying the game. I would play Search and Destroy Gamebattles matches with my housemate every night at university and have hours of fun despite how terrible we were.
The movement was smooth, many of the maps were fun and weapons felt great. In fact, I’d even say I miss Infinite Warfare being the flagship game.
3. Black Ops 3
For me, Black Ops 3 was the game that reignited my love for the franchise. Though I played AW and Ghosts, neither managed to capture my attention for the entire year, and I didn’t “love” either game like I did this and the next two games on the list.
I believe Black Ops 3 was the greatest of the three advanced movement titles, and a top three franchise game, because it was well balanced and gave birth to probably my favourite competitive season yet. The CWL was introduced, many memorable plays were made and specialists – for all you can complain about them – were incredibly fun for players and spectators.
2. Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2 was my first Call of Duty title, and the one I spent the most time on. Even today, nearly a decade after release, I haven’t managed to rectify the K/D I had at the start of the game, but despite being terrible I still got on every single evening to play for two years straight.
Ironically, on paper the game is actually pretty terrible; weapon balancing was near non-existent, perks such as Danger Close and One Man Army still give me nightmares and the aim assist on snipers felt like a massive magnet.
However, it provided so many young players, like me, with a brand new hobby, a community to feel a part of and, for many, a thriving career. By now, we’ve all watched every single Modern Warfare 2 montage and gameplay on YouTube, and some of the careers that have developed as a result can only be admired.
1. Black Ops 2
It has always been tough for me to choose between Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops 2. My heart always says MW2 but, deep down, I know Black Ops 2 is the better game.
It was the perfect combination between casual and competitive, weapons were fantastic, maps were amongst the best in Call of Duty history. It was a game that was near-perfection, thrusting Call of Duty to the upper echelons of esports and housing a rabid player-base that still wish every year for the return of Black Ops 2.
I don’t believe for a second that Treyarch believed this game would be the phenomenon that it was, but they hit every nail on the head and created something that will forever be revered.
With any luck, Treyarch will do it once more with Black Ops 4, and Call of Duty will grow like it did in the other Black Ops titles.
Where do you think Black Ops 4 is going to land on this list? Send us a tweet, and let me know if you agree with me, or if you think I’m full of rubbish, on the official GINX Esports TV Twitter!