With each entry selling millions of copies, Call of Duty is one of the best-selling properties of all time. Of course, all of that doesn’t mean that every single Call of Duty game is as great as the rest.
Despite the fact that there have been many excellent titles in the franchise, there have also been some missteps. Fortunately, we have put together a definitive ranking to give you an idea of which Call of Duty games are the best and which you should avoid.
Here is every major Call of Duty game ranked from worst to best.
16. Call of Duty: Ghosts
Many players were excited to see Call of Duty: Ghosts in 2013. After all, it was the first Call of Duty game on the PS4 and Xbox One. What fans got didn’t live up to the hype. While the story had some interesting moments, it was anything but memorable. Meanwhile, the multiplayer offering was adequate at best.
15. Call of Duty 3
Coming hot on the tails of the second game, 2006’s Call of Duty 3 was just too similar to its predecessors. The game did nothing to make itself stand out and that led to a very familiar campaign and multiplayer modes. Making matters worse, the title was notable for a large number of bugs and glitches.
14. Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare
The 2016 game installment in the Call of Duty franchise proved to be a huge letdown. Infinite Warfare is likely the title in the series that tried to change the formula the most. However, that meant it lost much of what made it great in the first place. In particular, the focus on jet packs and wall running was too much for most players.
13. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
For many, 2015’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was a welcome return to more normal gameplay. While it did innovate in a few areas, this game did little to make it stand out from Black Ops I and II. In fact, it wouldn’t be until the fourth title that some of the new mechanics were properly refined and made to work effectively.
12. Call of Duty: WWII
With many shooter series, such as Battlefield, choosing to reexamine historical events, Activision jumped on the bandwagon. The result was 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII by Sledgehammer Games. While the single-player campaign left a lot to be desired, the sparse nature of the multiplayer was quite refreshing.
11. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Although 2018’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 had a great multiplayer, it was severely let down for one reason. There was no single-player campaign, robbing many players of what they felt was an essential part of the experience. The fine-tuned online action doesn’t make up for a disappointing lack of a story mode.
10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Although it may not have had the sheer impact of the Modern Warfare titles, 2014’s Advanced Warfare still proved itself as a solid shooter. Sledgehammer Games also tried to ensure that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare had a more coherent and compelling story. Combined with the polished multiplayer, this was a nice change of pace and a good addition to the series.
9. Call of Duty: World at War
2008’s Call of Duty: World at War took the franchise back to its roots. The historical setting was a nice change of pace from the more modern stories of recent titles. Yet, the campaign failed to make a lasting impression on most players while the multiplayer was largely forgettable. However, it did have one enduring feature in the form of the Zombie co-op mode. Zombies became so popular that it has been included in most Call of Duty games since.
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Although it has proved to be divisive among many players, 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a return to form. Ditching many of the more futuristic elements that have plagued recent games, it goes back to a more barebones core. The popular Warzone, Gunfight, and Ground War also add plenty to keep things fresh.
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
The Black Ops series by Treyarch has always had a different feeling to the other games in the Call of Duty franchise. This 2012 sequel effectively carries on the experimentation shown in its predecessor. An engaging story and the introduction of gameplay mechanics, like the Pick 10 system, make it worthy of anyone’s time.
6. Call of Duty
This was the game that launched the franchise in 2003. It is a very different experience compared to the modern Call of Duty games, but it was still a hit. Its gripping campaign and unique multiplayer modes helped rejuvenate the first-person shooter genre. It also lays the groundwork for every Call of Duty game to come with its tight gunplay and fast-paced action.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
There was nothing particularly bad about 2011’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, it was certainly the weakest of the three original Modern Warfare games. What it lacked in innovation it made up for in terms of refinement and careful tuning to balance the multiplayer. Unfortunately, it is just too similar to its predecessors to be ranked any higher.
4. Call of Duty 2
Back before Call of Duty was the behemoth it is today, the franchise was a World War II shooter. Out of those early titles, 2005’s Call of Duty 2 is by far the best. It is widely considered one of the best World War II focused games and has a great campaign and multiplayer offerings.
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 actually had a lot to live up to after the roaring success of its predecessor. Infinity Ward managed to not disappoint. Despite some controversy over the “No Russian” level, Modern Warfare 2 proved that the first game was no fluke. Excellent multiplayer maps and a ramped-up campaign made it a must-buy.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops
2010’s Call of Duty: Black Ops arguably has the best campaign out of any game in the Call of Duty series. There are twists and turns in a plot that constantly stays compelling. Black Ops also brought the world Nuketown alongside the ever fun Gun Game mode. But most importantly, this game is distinct, carving out its own path after the success of Modern Warfare.
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Could there be any other No. 1? Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a changing point in the history of the series. It catapulted Call of Duty to new heights in 2007 and pushed the FPS genre to be the dominant force in gaming. The game revolutionized online multiplayer, with unique unlock systems, engaging maps, and fast-paced action.
What is your favorite Call of Duty game of all time? Tell us in the comments below!