Perhaps the most recognizable first-person shooter property of all time, Activision’s Call of Duty franchise has spanned time periods, three console generations and brought online first-person shooting shenanigans to the console audience at large. Taking a look at the storied history of one of the biggest franchises in the industry, we’ve ranked the best Call of Duty games in April 2021. Hoo-hah!
Best Call of Duty Games Ranked In April 2021
Best Call of Duty games ranked in April 2021:
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty: Warzone (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC)
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty: WWII (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC)
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
- Call Of Duty: World At War (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC) – Released 2008
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC) – Released 2010
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops III (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2015
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops II (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC) – Released 2012
- Call Of Duty: Ghosts (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PC) – Released 2013
- Call Of Duty 2 – (PC, Xbox 360) – Released 2005
- Call Of Duty (PC, Xbox 360, PS3) – Released 2003
- Call Of Duty 3 (PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii) – Released 2006
- Call Of Duty: Mobile (iOS, Android) – Released 2019
- Call Of Duty: Finest Hour (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) – Released 2004
- Call Of Duty 2: Big Red One (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) – Released 2005
- Call Of Duty: World At War – Final Fronts (PS2) – Released 2008
- Call Of Duty: Roads To Victory (PSP) – Released 2007
- Call Of Duty Online (PC) – Released 2013 (China Only)
- Call Of Duty: Strike Team (iOS, Android) – Released 2013
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified (PS Vita) – Released 2012
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized – (Nintendo DS) – Released 2009
- Call Of Duty: Zombies (iOS) – Released 2009
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Force Recon – (Pre iOS/Android Mobile – Java) – Released 2009
1. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2009
Regarded by many as the pinnacle of the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 not only continued the Modern Warfare trilogy spanning single-player narrative, but it also delivered players across the globe perhaps the finest slice of online multiplayer action the series had ever seen. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 would later be remastered and re-released on PlayStation 4 in 2020 – albeit without its genre defining online multiplayer modes.
2. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2007
Now this is where business really picked up, so to speak. Marking a massive departure from the World War II setting that had defined the series for years previously, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was breath of fresh air for both the series and the FPS genre at large. With it’s modern day setting that kicked off a trilogy spanning narrative and some of the best competitive online multiplayer action ever seen up to until that point, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was truly the beginning of a new era for the franchise.
Some ten years after its release, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare would be reintroduced to PlayStation audiences in a remastered version of the game that would be released for PlayStation 4 in 2017 and would be offered free with selected retail editions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in late 2016.
3. Call Of Duty: Warzone (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC) – Released 2020
Originally starting out as a bolt-on to the suite of multiplayer modes in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, it wasn’t long before Call of Duty: Warzone struck out on its own as a standalone product. A take on the battle royale craze that the likes of PUBG and Fortnite have had the run of for years previous, it wasn’t long before Call of Duty: Warzone gained an almost unfathomably massive following.
At well over 60 million players as of writing, it would appear that Call of Duty: Warzone’s deft melding of Call of Duty’s super solid FPS gameplay with battle royale genre beats is pretty compelling to say the least. The future for Call of Duty: Warzone looks very rosy too – with 200 player matches planned in addition to a raft of additional content upgrades.
4. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2019
A full-throated re-imagining of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare if it was made from scratch today, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was for some folks at least, a comfortably familiar return to the series status quo after the multiplayer only Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. With cutting edge visuals powering a campaign that feels much more gritty and believable than the series has for years, it should come as little surprise that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was so well received both critically and commercially.
Beyond its surprisingly solid single-player offering, developer Infinity Ward didn’t skimp on the multiplayer side of things either, boasting a surprisingly well tweaked and refined take on the series formula.
5. Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2016
The first Call of Duty title truly designed with the power of the PlayStation 4 in mind, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the closest the series has come to embracing a full-fat sci-fi setting as players must battle it out across the cosmos against a hostile force, while leading strike teams of cyborgs, taking part in ship to ship combat and dropping into alien planets.
6. Call Of Duty: WWII (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2017
Returning to the World War II setting after a nine year series hiatus, Call of Duty: WWII was one rightfully regarded as one of the most cinematic entries in the series to date. With sky-high production values showcasing the struggle and strife of American forces on D-Day all the way through the occupation of Germany, the campaign of Call of Duty: WWII was (and is) something to behold.
Elsewhere, Call of Duty: WWII not only presented players with a sterling take on the series acclaimed Zombie mode, but also provided extra depth and sophistication to the traditional competitive multiplayer game types too, with multiple squads and divisions of troops being available to choose from and each possessing their own perks and progression trees.
7. Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC) – Released 2020
Marking the series PS5 debut, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War made the most of Sony’s new hardware, boasting 4K/60 FPS visuals together with ray-tracing, a 120 FPS mode and full use of the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller. This meant that whenever you fired a rifle, pistol or SMG, the level of tension and feedback that the controller would give you would differ from weapon to weapon.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War also had a hugely interesting campaign too. Taking place in the glitz and glamour of the 1980s, players had to rush across the globe to stop a rogue Russian agent from launching a whole bunch of nukes and, yeah, you know the rest.
8. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2018
It was over three years until Call of Duty: Black Ops made its return and when it did, it brought with it a number of extremely surprising changes, with the biggest and most obvious of these being the complete lack of any single-player mode. That’s right, for the first time since the series began in 2003, there would be a core Call of Duty title that didn’t have a single-player campaign.
The end result? The most comprehensive and valued stuff multiplayer shooter package that has probably ever been released as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brought with it a revamped Zombies mode that unfurled across multiple time periods, massively reworked Call of Duty competitive multiplayer, brand new Special Ops missions for cooperative play and finally Blackout – the first time that the Call of Duty would dip its toes in the waters of the battle royale genre. A precursor to Call of Duty: Warzone then? You betcha.
9. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2011
The concluding chapter in the Modern Warfare trilogy, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 upped the ante with an even more bombastic single-player campaign. With Kill Confirmed, Special Ops and other multiplayer modes all returning to round out what is certainly something of an incredible package, it’s easy to see why Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 still enjoys such a groundswell of affection nearly a decade later.
10. Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2014
With its furious Exosuit powered combat and Kevin Spacey villain, it’s certainly fair to say that the single player campaign of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was memorable to say the least. Such innovations bled into the multiplayer side of things too, as players could now dash along surfaces and boost up and around ledges in a manner not totally dissimilar to that seen in the Titanfall games. Throw in some of the best visuals that the series had seen in a long time and it soon becomes clear that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was/is one of the better games in the Call of Duty franchise.
11. Call Of Duty: World At War (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC) – Released 2008
Marking a somewhat unexpected return to the World War II theatre of war that kicked off the Call of Duty franchise five years previous, Call of Duty: World At War was actually a superbly compelling shooter that boasted one of the finest campaigns that the franchise has ever seen. Taking into locations from France, Germany and Belgium all the way through to Russia and the Pacific Islands, Call of Duty: World At War was simply a great heap of fun to play in single-player.
When it came to the online multiplayer side of things, Call of Duty: World At War was hardly slack here either, boasting an all-new cooperative game mode and the addition of vehicles to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s already stellar adversarial multiplayer gameplay.
12. Call Of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC) – Released 2010
With Call of Duty: Black Ops developer Treyarch was able to strike out on their own and separate itself from the brand identity that Infinity Ward had cemented with the Modern Warfare titles. Call of Duty: Black Ops brought with it an all-new alternate history setting alongside a choice selection of competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes that included the series first properly decent attempt at the hugely entertaining zombies game mode.
13. Call Of Duty: Black Ops III (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) – Released 2015
Encompassing a futuristic campaign with much larger levels, Call of Duty: Black Ops III permitted up to four players to take on its campaign in cooperative fashion. Beyond that, Call of Duty: Black Ops III took a leaf out of Advanced Warfare’s book when it came to the multiplayer side of things, boasting shooter action that was much more focused on jet propulsion and physicality.
14. Call Of Duty: Black Ops II (PS3) – Released 2012
Merging multiple timelines into one, from the Cold War of the mid 80’s through to a second, futuristic Cold War of 2025, Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II would build further still upon the foundations set in its 2010 predecessor with aplomb. With an all-star cast that includes actors such as Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton, together with an overhauled Zombies mode, Call of Duty: Black Ops II proved to be something of a tonic for series veterans who wanted something a little different than what the Modern Warfare titles had previously put out.
15. Call Of Duty: Ghosts (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PC) – Released 2013
Signalling the debut of the Call of Duty series on PlayStation 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts was a certainly something of a mixed offering. While the single-player campaign was pretty much a stolid rehash of everything that series had done previously, Ghosts did provide a beefy suite of multiplayer modes, including the sci-fi styled ‘Extinction’ cooperative game type in addition to the usual select of competitive multiplayer modes.
16. Call Of Duty 2 – (PC, Xbox 360) – Released 2005
The full-blown, full-fat sequel to 2003’s Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2 was a bigger, grander World War II FPS to say the least. Arguably kicking off the cinematic presentation that would define the series for years to come, Call of Duty 2 was a stunning shooter that explored all corners of the European Russian war, from Normandy and Stalingrad to the scorched deserts of Tobruk.
17. Call Of Duty (PC, Xbox 360, PS3) – Released 2003
The progenitor of the Call of Duty franchise, the original Call of Duty released exclusively on PC and Mac platforms and was the first of the series to be set during World War II. Leveraging the id Tech 3 engine, Call of Duty simply felt like a breath of fresh air, boasting ultra-responsive shooter beats that neatly complimented its world spanning theaters of war and combat from the conflict in Europe, to the siege of Stalingrad.
Later in 2009, Call of Duty would also be ported to the PlayStation 3 under the guise of Call of Duty: Classic – and surprisingly, it still holds up pretty darn well indeed!
18. Call Of Duty 3 (PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii) – Released 2006
Marking the debut of the Call of Duty series on Sony’s then newly minted PlayStation 3 hardware (and Treyarch’s on-going involvement with the franchise), Call of Duty 3 permits players to take control of either an American, British, Canadian, or Polish soldier during the European war focused single-player campaign.
Though the single-player campaign of Call of Duty 3 was arguably somewhat unremarkable, the multiplayer instead marked the beginning of something special for Activision’s shooter on PlayStation 3, with a deft and entertaining suite of multiplayer modes that would seed the huge interest and popularity that the franchise would soon command.
19. Call Of Duty: Mobile (iOS, Android) – Released 2019
As close to the meat and potatoes of the core Call of Duty multiplayer experience that mobile users have gotten, Call of Duty: Mobile was certainly something of an unexpected surprise when it launched for iOS and Android devices during October 2019. With over 180 million downloads just three months after launch, Call of Duty: Mobile arguably went from strength to strength, not only boasting a range of multiplayer modes (including 100 player battle royale matches), Call of Duty: Mobile arguably got the job done because if felt (at least to a greater degree), like Call of Duty multiplayer should feel.
20. Call Of Duty: Finest Hour (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) – Released 2004
The first Call of Duty title to be released on a PlayStation platform, Call of Duty: Finest Hour arrived on PlayStation 2 back in 2004. Though based somewhat on the original Call of Duty title which released on PC and Mac a year earlier, Call of Duty: Finest Hour acts as a side story to the events shown in that game, providing additional war settings from the perspective of British, American and Russian forces.
Also notable was the fact that Call of Duty: Finest Hour boasted 32-player online multiplayer matches on PlayStation 2 – something that was highly unusual to see on Sony’s beloved second home console.
21. Call Of Duty 2: Big Red One (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) – Released 2005
Like Call of Duty: Finest Hour before it, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One felt a little like a consolation prize of sorts for PlayStation 2 owners that wanted to experience the proper Call of Duty 2 on their platform. That statement however, perhaps undersells just how different Big Red One really was from the game seen on its PC, Xbox 360 and Mac counterparts.
Putting players in control of soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division in World War II as they swept across Europe and beyond, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One had a real sense of Hollywood production values being applied to it, boasting the voice talents of Mark Hamill and many of the actors from HBO’s Band of Brothers in addition to showcasing a documentary style presentation to boot.
22. Call Of Duty: World At War – Final Fronts (PS2) – Released 2008
Developed by British code shop Rebellion Developments (who would later develop and release the Sniper Elite franchise), Call of Duty: World At War – Final Fronts is more than just a mouthful, it also happens to be the PlayStation 2’s equivalent of Call of Duty: World At War which released on other formats during that same year.
Scaled back in just about every way one can reasonably imagine (the game even uses a custom engine because the humble PS2 architecture couldn’t properly handle the id Tech 3 engine of the time), Call of Duty: World At War – Final Fronts was certainly one (distinctly ugly) installment in the series the could be passed over without missing anything.
23. Call Of Duty: Roads To Victory (PSP) – Released 2007
The first and only Call of Duty title to see a release on Sony’s first lump of handheld PlayStation hardware, Call of Duty: Roads To Victory was a portable spin-off of Call of Duty 3 which released just a few months earlier on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. Sadly, Call of Duty: Roads to Victory left much to be desired, with a drab audiovisual presentation, curtailed single-player campaign and a largely pointless six player online multiplayer mode.
24. Call Of Duty Online (PC) – Released 2013 (China Only)
Released exclusively for the PC platform in China, Call of Duty Online was and is a free-to-play, microtransaction laden take on the Call of Duty series award winning multiplayer modes. A mash-up of all the Call of Duty games released to date (including maps from everything from Black Ops through to Advanced Warfare), Call of Duty Online was developed Activision Shanghai and Raven Software to break into the mainland Chinese gaming market.
25. Call Of Duty: Strike Team (iOS, Android) – Released 2013
Less of a furious first-person shooter and much more akin to a tactical squad battler, Call of Duty: Strike Team allowed players to switch from an overhead ‘drone’s eye’ view to the series standard first-person perspective. Set in the Black Ops story arc, Call of Duty: Strike Team has players using members of their team to flank, suppress and eliminate hostile foes. Bereft of any sort of multiplayer mode, Call of Duty: Strike Team marked an odd if not mildly enjoyable departure for the series and its touchscreen based tactical beats worked well with the mobile smartphone platform.
26. Call Of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified (PS Vita) – Released 2012
It was only a matter of time until Call of Duty made to Sony’s beloved PlayStation Vita handheld and in November 2012 that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately, the results were less than desirable as a disjointed, awful single-player campaign conspired with a limp 4 vs 4 WiFi only adversarial multiplayer mode to create one of the worst entries in the series to date.
27. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized – (Nintendo DS) – Released 2009
Muscling its way onto the humble Nintendo DS for the first time, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized sought to supply gamers with some semblance of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare experience on the move. Interestingly, given the greatly reduced technical capabilities of the Nintendo DS hardware, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized wasn’t actually too bad; boasting a completely new, alternate timeline single-player campaign together with support for six player online multiplayer to boot.
28. Call Of Duty: Zombies (iOS) – Released 2009
Call of Duty: Zombies was an iOS exclusive title that basically took the Zombies mode from the multiplayer offering of the man franchise and spin it out into its own game for mobile users. Upgraded and updated for years after its release, Call of Duty: Zombies (and later Zombies 2) was a mostly entertaining if a touch threadbare series spin-off that managed to boast some of the maps, weapons and enemy types that the Zombies mode did in the core, home console Call of Duty games.
29. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Force Recon – (Pre iOS/Android Mobile – Java) – Released 2009
Long before iOS and Android phones had the necessary technological grunt in order to attempt something resembling the home Call of Duty experience from a visual perspective, we had Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Force Recon, a top down, 2D take on the franchise that was just hugely unpolished, laggy and generally really, really bad. Oh, and if you were a T-Mobile customer at the time, your version of the game would miss whole chunks of content too. See? Bad.