24, 01, 2020 | The G FUEL Team | comments(0)

All 18 Call of Duty Games Ranked From Worst To Best

Call of Duty is one of the most popular first-person shooters of all time. Ranking the Call of Duty games is one of the most controversial topics out there. No matter who you ask, they'll probably have a different answer for what the best Call of Duty games are. So if you're struggling to decide what the best COD games are, don't worry. We here at G FUEL did the hard work for you.

Some of our choices are bound to cause some discussion, so be sure to let us know in the comments section below what you think of our Call of Duty game rankings.

Just some clarification:

We'll only be taking a look at the stand-alone titles, not any DLC packs such as Call of Duty United Offensive or Big Red One.

Here are all 18 Call of Duty games ranked from worst to best:

18. Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Release Date: November 4, 2016
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare released on November 4, 2016.IMDB

Starting off our countdown is Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Released in 2016, the game was perhaps the most futuristic one at the time. During the single-player campaign, the battle was no longer set on Earth. Instead, we were duking it out in space. This change of pace was great to see. The overall execution was interesting enough to keep players playing the story mode until its completion. Looking over the multiplayer aspect of the game, it was one of the Call of Duty games that had a lot of fans complaining about the excessive movement during matches. With an emphasis on jetpacks and quick movements, it's hard to say Infinite Warfare is one of the better Call of Duty games.


17. Call of Duty 3

Release Date: November 7, 2006
Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Wii

Call of Duty 3 released on November 7, 2006.Moby Games

Moving to the complete opposite of the jetpack era of Call of Duty, next on our list is Treyarch’s first go at the franchise and the last in the original Call of Duty series. The original three games followed a rather simple format. All centered around some portion of World War 2 and came with a decently made multiplayer. Where Call of Duty 3 slipped up was that it never felt like a complete game. There were numerous bugs and glitches in the game, and it didn’t help that this was the first Call of Duty not released on PC. This was also the start of the yearly releases of Call of Duty, and it was the first time in the series that fans had felt let down.

16. Call of Duty: Ghosts

Release Date: November 5, 2013
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, 

Call of Duty Ghosts released on November 5, 2013.Call of Duty Wiki

Ghosts was the COD series’ first entry on the next-generation consoles at the time: the Xbox One and PS4, both of which just released that same holiday season. The strongest part of Ghosts campaign is perhaps the bond you form with your dog, Riley. Throughout the story mode, which is set in a fictional world where North and South America are at war, you really get a sense of how distraught and lonely this world is now. The game does a decent job at making you engaged in the story mode, but it ultimately slips up compared to other Call of Duty games. The multiplayer of Ghosts is one of the most debatable ones as well. Players are torn on whether or not they actually enjoyed it. It was the last boots on the ground game we would get for quite some time, and it was an overall fun search and destroy game but nothing more.


15. Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Release Date: November 4, 2014
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC

call of duty advanced warfare released on November 4, 2014.GameStop

Following up on Ghosts was the first jetpack game of the series in Advanced Warfare. The game introduced brand new movement mechanics. Players donning exo suits were able to dash and juke mid-air, which was a nice sight to see for the series. The story mode of the game was also an improvement on Ghosts. Many fans were skeptical of the game going into it as it was the first time Sledgehammer Games developed a Call of Duty game. One thing you may have noticed on this list thus far is the lack of sympathy we're giving toward the jetpack era of Call of Duty. Advanced Warfare was the first game in the series to really break the traditional mold of old Call of Duty games, and the execution at the time was decent. However, with other titles coming years later, it's hard to rank the first jetpack Call of Duty any higher on this list.


14. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Release Date: November 6, 2015
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and Mac

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 released on November 6, 2015.Amazon

2013-2015 wasn’t the best time for Call of Duty fans. The series was undergoing some massive changes with the introduction of jetpacks and other variables that made die-hard Call of Duty fans skeptical of the series going forward. The third iteration of Treyarch’s Black Ops series was once again continuing the story right where it left off: a high-tech battle, but now they introduced new characters and outfits called specialists. This was the first time in the series where players in multiplayer matches could gain access to weapons such as the tempest or a grapple gun. It was a fun concept that Treyarch ultimately improved upon in their most recent title. So, putting Call of Duty Black Ops III low on this list should not come as a surprise to many.


13. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Release Date: November 8, 2011
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 released on November 8, 2011.NYU Local

Once again, here’s a game on this list that isn’t necessarily bad but rather more disappointing due to the timing of Modern Warfare 3. This game was the final conclusion to the Modern Warfare saga. The story mode is intriguing throughout the game as we finally tie up some loose ends from Modern Warfare 2. Finally coming to a resolution with certain characters was nice to see. And if we were talking about just story modes, this game wouldn’t rank as low compared to others. Moving over to the online aspect of the game, Modern Warfare 3 didn’t do anything exceptional to further elevate the Call of Duty series. The only notable thing was that they changed killstreaks to point streaks. Depending on who you ask, this was either a good decision or a terrible one.


12. Call of Duty: WW2

Release Date: November 3, 2017
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Call of Duty World War 2 released on November 3, 2017.Call of Duty: WWII

Whether or not to put Call of Duty WW2 below World at War was one of the toughest decisions we faced when creating this list. WW2 was Call of Duty’s first game since the jetpack series of games. Fans were asking for another WW2-themed game for quite some time. The biggest highlight of the game is by far the single-player. The first mission you partake in is the iconic D-Day. From there, you can really see the cinematic world that they put into this game. Throughout the story, the game delivers some of the best cutscenes and dialogue in all of Call of Duty. It has an engaging story mode with some well-thought-out missions, and it's truly worth your time to go back and play it. If you're looking for a solid WW2 campaign, you may want to look elsewhere. Some of the maps are far too large for boots on the ground, and it was an okay go at multiplayer.


11. Call of Duty 2

Release Date: October 25, 2005
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, Mac, and Mobile

Call of Duty 2 released on October 25, 2005.Fanatical

Call of Duty 2 was the series’ first go at true console gaming. Released alongside the Xbox 360 in 2005, Call of Duty 2 was one of the must-have games for the newest console. Call of Duty 2 is another one of the games that put you in the shoes of multiplayer factions throughout the story mode, and executes it perfectly. It's a well-executed game, especially at the time, as this was probably a lot of players’ first go at the series. Nevertheless, Call of Duty 2 will forever be some players’ favorite game of the franchise, but for now, it resides here on our list.

10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Release Date: October 24, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Call of Duty Modern Warfare released on October 24, 2019.Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Modern Warfare has been relatively good. With this being one of the newest Call of Duty games, it's by far the best in terms of graphics and overall sound design. They re-added the story mode after it wasn't present in the previous iteration of the series. The story is decent. Some movements have you on your heels wondering what's going to happen next. It'll be interesting to see how they will continue the story into the next Modern Warfare. Moving over to the multiplayer component, additions such as 2V2 Gunfight and massive Ground War matches are some of the best the series has seen. However, players’ biggest gripe with the multiplayer thus far has to be the maps. The maps that were released at the launch were nothing compared to the previous Call of Duty games and was rather disappointing for fans. It's still up for debate how high Modern Warfare can climb on our rankings. But for now, we believe this is a good spot.


9. Call of Duty: World at War

Release Date: November 11, 2008
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC

Call of Duty World at War released on November 11, 2008.Humble

Treyarch’s second go at the series is widely considered one of the best WW2 story modes of the series. Straying from the traditional model, which follows the Americans throughout the European theater, the series experimented and let us dive into the bloody Pacific war along with a Russian storyline. Each soldier we got to follow throughout the story had their highlights, captivating fans as the graphics and the level of gore in the game was one of a kind. The game was considered one of the darker Call of Duty games, as Treyarch’s storytelling and graphical design were one of a kind for the series. World at War was also the introduction of Nazi Zombies. The four-player multiplayer game mode was an instant success. It was perhaps one of the best modes ever introduced in a Call of Duty game. We still see people play old Call of Duty games just for the zombies game mode.


8. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Release Date: October 12, 2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 released on October 12, 2018.GameStop

Treyarch’s latest installment in the series was a gigantic improvement over the last Black Ops game, and it was also the first Call of Duty to not have a story mode. Instead of having a single-player mode, Treyarch opted for the newly popular Battle Royale game mode. Blackout is a fantastic game mode in its own rights, and players still play it heavily to this day. It was a massive risk for the developers, and it paid off. The multiplayer of the game was also a huge step in the right direction for the series. There was less emphasis on movement and more emphasis on the actual gunplay. They also changed the health system for the multiplayer. The switch from regeneration to the use of stim items was a nice change of pace for the franchise.


7. Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War

Release Date: November 13, 2020
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War released on November 13, 2020.Activision Publishing, Inc.

The latest iteration of the main series of Call of Duty games is already a few months old, but fans have already made up their mind regarding the game. Black Ops Cold War is Treyarch’s latest entry into the series. And if you’re familiar with the developers at all, then you’re well aware they’re best known for their multiplayer and zombies game modes. The latter is back in full force this year, and so far they’ve released two zombies maps. Die Maschine and Firebase Z go back to the roots that Call of Duty zombies was founded on during the earlier titles. It’s fantastic to see some of the Easter eggs and boss fights within these maps. We can also assume they’re going to release more maps as the year progresses, and we can’t wait to see the story unfold to its fullest extent.

Moving on, the multiplayer portion of Black Ops Cold War is a mixed bag when talking to players. On one side, you have the critics who note the lack of maps within the game is perhaps the biggest downfall of Cold War. Treyarch is typically known for releasing some of the best multiplayer maps within the series, such as Raid and Standoff from Black Ops 2. So, it was a shame to see some of the maps within Cold War fall flat in this regard. However, the gunplay within Black Ops Cold War is one that can’t be ignored, and the weapons we’re able to use offer some of the best feedback in recent memory.

While it’s still early within Black Ops Cold War’s cycle, we feel comfortable placing this game at number 7 on our list.


6. Call of Duty

Release Date: October 29, 2003
Platforms: PC, Mac, and N-Gage

Call of Duty released on October 29, 2003.GamingScan

The game that started it all: the original Call of Duty. It was released in 2003 for the PC and was revolutionary at the time. The game was one of the pioneers of the FPS genre, and we may not be where we are today if it wasn’t for Call of Duty. The game’s story mode was based in WW2 and followed three of the allied forces: the US, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. Each of the missions for the allied forces was unique, and you never felt like you were repeating a mission. Activision used ideas such as the health bar, immersive sound design, and well-made weapons that really caught people’s eyes and elevated the series as soon as the game was released. It's hard to say just how much impact the first Call of Duty game had on the rest of the series, but if it wasn’t for this game, the FPS genre would not be where it is today.

5. Call of Duty: Black Ops

Release Date: November 9, 2010
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Wii, PC, and Mac

Call of Duty Black Ops released on November 9, 2010.Humble

The first entry into the famous Black Ops series was considered one of the best of all time when it was released in 2010. The story mode was set during the Cold War era between the Soviet Union and the United States. The story mode had some of the best scriptwriting in the series and was one that captivated and immersed fans in the series. Black Ops also saw massive improvements to Nazi Zombies. The creation of brand new maps and DLC maps throughout the year had fans constantly entertained. For many players, the most notable aspect of Black Ops is the multiplayer portion. The game introduced some of the best maps and weapons in the series. They also used a money system for unlocking items, which was another fun concept that Treyarch added. Overall, Black Ops is one of the most well-made Call of Duty games in the series.


4. Call of Duty Warzone

Release Date: March 10, 2020
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC

Call of Duty Warzone released on March 10, 2020.Activision Publishing, Inc.

Call of Duty has reached new heights in recent years, and this is in large part due to the abnormal success of its battle royale game mode, Warzone. Since its release in March of 2020, when the pandemic was starting to affect people around the world, the game has quickly become one of the best battle royales ever created. On top of that, Activision-Blizzard continues to develop the game to its fullest extent.

Over the last year, Activision-Blizzard has experimented with an ample amount of game modes within the game, as the normal map, Verdansk, can get a bit boring at times due to its size. The Rebirth Island mini-map has been one of the best features within Warzone. And although there are some sizeable issues with the game, it’s still amazing. If Activision-Blizzard can eventually solve the excess amount of hackers/cheaters within the game, Warzone can grow to even further heights.

We’re beyond excited to see where the game goes within the next year. With rumors circulating of a brand new map being released soon, expectations are high for Call of Duty Warzone in 2021.


3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Release Date: November 5, 2007
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and Mac

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare released on November 5, 2007.Humble

Moving on to perhaps the most controversial one on our list, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is one of the most beloved games in the series. It was by far the best game in the series at the time. It was the first time they strayed away from the WW2 theme and introduced some modern concepts into the game. This was also the game where we meet some of the franchise’s most loved characters, including Captain Price who is still seen in Call of Duty games today and is the centerpiece of the series. The game’s multiplayer also reinvented the series, with maps such as Crash and Shipment being some of the most iconic maps in the history of online gaming. COD 4: Modern Warfare is truly one of the best Call of Duty and FPS games ever created.

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Release Date: November 10, 2009
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 released on November 10, 2009.Humble

The sequel to Modern Warfare essentially took everything that the game was exceptional at, and somehow made it better in every way. Taking a look at the single-player, Modern Warfare 2 had multiple story settings throughout a fictional world and some of the missions were some of the most memorable in the series. We picked up right where we left off in the first game, and through some jaw-dropping twists and turns, we're left wondering what’s next for the series at the end. Modern Warfare 2 also featured other notable characters that would be some of the most loved in the series: Ghost and Soap. We felt connected to them and Captain Price. Moving to the online portion of the game, Modern Warfare 2 featured improved maps from the first game along with an overall solid gameplay feel. The revised weapons and perks also felt great. Some weapons were much stronger than others, and it was never boring to play Modern Warfare 2. It's hard to come by a series that's so universally loved, and the Modern Warfare series is certainly one of them.


1. Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Release Date: November 12, 2012
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 released on November 12, 2012.GameWatcher

Black Ops 2 followed up on the Cold War story mode we played through in the original game and took it to a more futuristic setting. It was also the first story mode in the history of Call of Duty games that gave us narrative dialogue choices. Once again, they improved the zombies portion of the game. It had more maps and more components that made the experience better than the last. The multiplayer portion of Black Ops introduced the Pick-10 system that was very different than the standard class system used in previous games. The Pick-10 system offered fans some strategy in picking their classes to see what works with what and how they can better equip themselves. The gameplay in Black Ops 2 is by far the best in the series. The multiplayer experience is the heart and soul of this game. No other Call of Duty has been able to recreate the magic that Black Ops 2 has. Which is why Black Ops 2 takes the crown as best Call of Duty game of all time.


What do you think of our rankings of the Call of Duty games?

Let us know your rankings in the comments section below!

Read more:

6 Best Warzone Skins (And How To Unlock Them)

9 Best Guns, Weapons, And Attachments In Call of Duty Warzone

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: Everything You Need To Know

Call of Duty Warzone: Everything You Need To Know

9 Best Guns To Use In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer

5 Best Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Maps


Top image via IGN

This article was written by Nick Farrell, a full-time university student who loves talking and writing about video games.

Tags: call of duty