Call of Duty is now one of the most popular and most robust franchises in the entire gaming industry. These first-person shooters first gained their fame through a couple of fantastic titles set during the Second World War. Let’s take a look at the history of the series, shall we? In this article we’ll explore pretty much every single Call of Duty game that was released so far.
The franchise began in 2003 with the creation of Infinity Ward, a studio consisting of many folks who worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. The first Call of Duty game did everything that MoH:AA did, but did it better, earning the “Medal of Honor killer” nickname.
Interestingly enough, the rival MoH series pretty much ended in 2012 with Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a modern conflict-themed first-person shooter. The only new release is the 2020 VR action game, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Call of Duty, on the other hand, thrived and lives on to this day as a franchise. Why was that? There might be a couple of answers here. First off, the Call of Duty series was perhaps a bit bolder in innovating the first-person shooter genre and refreshing the traditional gameplay model. Second, it handled the whole “modern conflict” thing a lot better, succeeding where Warfighter couldn’t, not to mention it was the first WWII-themed series to transition to the new theme, since the original one quickly became stale.
Since then, the series flirted with other conflicts and historical periods, such as the Vietnam War and the Cold War. There were some futuristic installments as well, one actually taking the fight to outer space.
In 2019, the reboot of the Modern Warfare sub-series saw the franchise return to its more grounded, realistic roots, and to a great effect.
Before we move on to the releases in the Call of Duty series, let’s take a look at a couple other titles that were scrapped.
There were two planned World War II-themed titles, namely Call of Duty: Combined Forces and Call of Duty: Devil’s Brigade. The former was planned as a sequel to Call of Duty: Finest Hour, but all sorts of problems during its development caused the cancellation of the project. The latter, on the other hand, was a title focusing for the most part on the Italian Campaign. It didn’t come to fruition, either.
Sledgehammer Games were also working on Call of Duty: Vietnam, a third-person shooter set during the Vietnam War.
Still, the most interesting Call of Duty title that never saw the light of the day is Call of Duty: Roman Wars. Set in the times of ancient Rome, it was to let you play as Julius Caesar and the members of the Tenth Legion, both low grunts and officers. Activision, however, cancelled it as calling this one a Call of Duty game might have been a bit of a stretch, to put it mildly.
Alright, history of the franchise aside, let’s dive into the games that have been released so far. As you may be aware, there are dozens of Call of Duty titles on the market. Listing them all was a daunting task! Some of the games have received expansion packs. These have been mentioned under the base games, they’re not separate listings.
We’ll begin with the one that started it all. Ladies and gentlemen, behold:
|Call of Duty||2003-10-29||-|
|Call of Duty 2||2005-10-25||-63%|
|Call of Duty: World at War||2008-11-18||-|
|Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare||2007-11-12||-33%|
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2||2009-11-12||-|
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||2011-11-07||-25%|
|Call of Duty: Ghosts - Digital Hardened Edition||2013-11-04||-96%|
|Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Gold Edition||2014-11-03||-69%|
|Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Digital Legacy Edition||2016-11-01||-15%|
|Call of Duty: WWII||2017-11-03||-40%|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops||2010-11-08||-|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops II - Vengeance||2013-08-01||-|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops III||2015-11-05||-|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (IIII)||2018-10-12||-|
|Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War | Cross-Gen Bundle||2020-11-13||-70%|
|Call of Duty: Vanguard||2021-11-05||-62%|
Call of Duty
|Developer:||Infinity Ward, Aspyr (Call of Duty Classic)|
Ah yes, the OG, the one who slayed the Medal of Honor series and started a franchise that is still extremely popular to this day. Interestingly enough, it was made by a lot of people responsible for Allied Assault. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the first-ever Call of Duty game!
Call of Duty was a major step towards modern first-person shooter games. While much of its gameplay was like the one in the Medal of Honor series, Call of Duty featured several new features that have become a standard later on. For example: iron sights. It’s a common thing in today’s shooters, but Call of Duty was one of the first games to use that. Also, the player is less of a one-man army here. You need to work with AI allies to complete your objectives successfully and survive the firefights.
The game features a single-player campaign that consists of three separate storylines: British, American and Soviet. Missions include the Battle of the Bulge, landing at the Utah Beach, the Eder Dam sabotage, and the Battle of Stalingrad, among others, so there is plenty of excitement along the way.
The game has received an expansion pack, United Offensive, in 2004. It features three new campaigns (American, British and Soviet), as well as a multitude of changes and upgrades to the multiplayer component, including fresh maps, new modes and a rank system.
The game has been re-released in 2009 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as Call of Duty Classic and features a HD resolution.
Call of Duty: Finest Hour
|Developer:||Spark Unlimited, Kuju Entertainment (PlayStation 2 & Xbox)|
Yeah, this is the first console-only installment in the Call of Duty series, serving as a companion piece to the first game, with completely new missions and stories.
Yeah, this is the first console-only installment in the Call of Duty series, serving as a companion piece to the first game, with completely new missions and stories.
There are three campaigns here: Soviet, British, and American. They cover several battles that took place in Eastern, Western and North African fronts. Gameplay-wise, it’s pretty much your typical Call of Duty game, so expect a lot of wartime shenanigans.
The game features the multiplayer component as well, although only Xbox and PlayStation 2 ports allowed online play (for 32 and 16 players, respectively). All in all, it was a decent release, even though some complained about disappointing graphics and special effects.
Call of Duty 2
The second main Call of Duty game served as a launch title for Xbox 360 and introduced some interesting changes that further shaped the first-person shooter genre.
One of these new features is the regenerating health system. The previous game had a traditional health bar and med kits. This time around, however, if you take too much damage, you need to lay low and you’ll regain 100% health after a couple of seconds. As you already know, this has become a standard in action games. There are also icons that show you where a grenade has landed, so that you can avoid the explosion.
The single-player mode once again features a campaign consisting of three separate storylines: Soviet, British and American (there are four playable characters overall). You’ll get to defend Moscow, participate in the Battle of Stalingrad, fight the German forces in North Africa, and take part in Operation Overlord. All in all, expect a lot of excitement and action the series is known for.
There is, of course, a multiplayer mode as well, with the PC version supporting up to 64 players at once.
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
|Developer:||Treyarch, High Voltage Software|
Another console-only installment of the series on this list, Big Red One features a story centered around a soldier named Roland Roger, a member of the American 1st Infantry Division.
This means you’ll fight in North Africa and Europe (Italy, Germany, France). The gameplay is pretty formulaic: you complete various objectives, shoot enemies, work together with allied units, use weapon emplacements, there’s even a mission where you play as Roger’s brother, Stretch, and serve as a B-24 Liberator gunner and bombardier.
The game seems to be somewhat inspired by HBO’s Band of Brothers, as it features various actors who starred in the show. There’s even period footage shown in-between missions, narrated by Mark Hamill, who starred in The Big Red One, a 1980 film about the titular unit.
Call of Duty 3
Strangely enough, this major installment in the series is also console-only. It’s a shame, really, as it is a really decent shooter that has been well-received by the reviewers back in the day.
The game features four different campaigns: American, British, Canadian, and Polish. The gameplay is once again rather formulaic and features the same health regeneration system (hunker down behind some cover and wait a couple of seconds to regain full hit points) as its immediate predecessors, but Call of Duty 3 is the one that introduced the ability to toss live grenades back at your enemies. There are even scripted close-combat encounters and the need to perform multiple actions in order to arm explosives.
Call of Duty 3 also offered a multiplayer mode (which was unfortunately absent from the Wii version). It’s worth noting here that the franchise soon moved away from World War II, although occasionally returning to that theme.
Call of Duty: Roads to Victory
This Call of Duty 3 spin-off is the only game in the franchise that landed on the PSP. All subsequent portable releases in the series were released on the Nintendo DS.
Roads to Victory features three single-player campaigns – American, British, and Canadian – divided into fourteen levels. They cover events such as Operation Market Garden, Operation Avalanche, the Battle of the Scheldt, and Operation Varsity.
The game also let up to six players duke it out across nine maps via an ad hoc multiplayer (there were no online capabilities). Modes such as Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, as well as Capture the Flag, Hold the Flag, and King of the Hill were available to play.
The game has received a rather lukewarm reception due to its somewhat average presentation, clumsy controls, and poor AI.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
|Developer:||Infinity Ward, Treyarch (Wii), Raven Software (remaster)|
Ah yes, one of the most legendary releases in the series. Modern Warfare famously traded the World War II setting for modern conflicts. And this was an absolute win. Despite this controversial change, MW still became one of the best Call of Duty games and is considered one of the greatest video games of all time.
It’s notable for both its single-player campaign and the multiplayer mode. The former features a completely original story that you experience as one of the six playable characters, including Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish of the British Special Air Service and Captain John Price, another SAS operative. The game doesn’t focus on any real-world conflict and instead presents a fictional civil war in Russia.
Over the course of the campaign you’ll visit various countries in the East (including a fictional one in the Middle East) in search for the antagonists who pose a threat to global peace. The single-player component is notable especially for the “All Ghillied Up” mission, set in Ukraine in 1996, which gives you a huge degree of freedom in how you accomplish your goals.
Modern Warfare also rocked in the multiplayer mode. One of its notable features is the experience system. Leveling up is done through killing opponents, completing objectives and challenges. This unlocks new weapons and other stuff, like gameplay modes.
Ultimately, it’s one of the best installments in the series, which changed the direction of the franchise for good. The game has received a remaster in 2016 (released as a stand-alone title in 2017) and a reboot in 2019, which you’ll find on this list later on.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Nintendo DS)
The first Modern Warfare game also received its Nintendo DS companion. Since it’s mostly a fresh experience inspired by the base title, we’ll describe it as a separate entry in the series.
The single-player campaign, composed of twelve missions, focuses on the exploits of various soldiers (either U.S. Marines or British SAS) fighting battles that serve as more of a background to the main plot of the “proper” Modern Warfare game, a side quest, if you will. The screen is divided into two parts, the bottom one serving as a map which guides you to your objectives and the locations of your allies and enemies.
This version also features several multiplayer modes supporting up to four players. The reviewers have noted that technology-wise, this is quite an impressive release, considering the technical capabilities of the Nintendo DS.
Call of Duty: World at War
While World at War served as a return to the original theme of the franchise – World War II – it also started the Black Ops storyline by introducing a bunch of characters who would then appear in future installments in the BO sub-series.
While World at War features gameplay similar to the previous installments, the missions are more open-ended and you can complete your objectives as you see fit. The campaigns let you take part in a variety of historical battles as American and Soviet soldiers. World at War is brutal and gritty, full of gore, dismemberment and dark themes, which is also an interesting thematic change from the previous parts of the series.
The game also features a multiplayer component with various modes, including co-op for up to four players. But the most important aspect of it is the Nazi Zombies mode, first introduced in this installment. It’s a survival-type mode where up to four players are tasked with repelling waves of, well, Nazi zombies. Since then, it became a staple in the series.
World at War also received several spin-offs, including World at War – Zombies, an iOS game released in 2009 and centered around the Nazi zombies theme. Its gameplay is very similar to the mode from the main game. The other two titles – Final Fronts and the Nintendo DS version – will be described next.
Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts
Final Fronts is notable for being the final Call of Duty game released on PlayStation 2. Unfortunately, however, nothing else is remarkable about it.
FF features thirteen missions set in Europe and the Pacific. You play as American and British soldiers. The scenarios involve stuff like firefights, infiltration, tank battles and so on. You fight alongside AI-controlled allies who help you with completing your objectives.
It’s just too bad the intelligence of these companions is really poor. Still, Final Fronts deserves at least some recognition, since it’s a goodbye to an era long gone.
Call of Duty: World at War (Nintendo DS)
Much like the previous Nintendo DS game, Modern Warfare, World at War serves as a handheld companion to the base release, but with a different storyline and new missions to complete.
The gameplay is retained from the previous installments, but the levels are set during World War II. There are American, Soviet, and British campaigns available. You can also expect several mini-games along the way.
World at War DS also packs a multiplayer mode for up to four players. The developer, n-Space, also stuffed the game with lots of improvements over its predecessor. All in all, it’s a very good release in the series, once again showcasing the technical capabilities of the Nintendo DS.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
|Release year:||2009, 2020 (Modern Warfare Remastered)|
|Developer:||Infinity Ward, Beenox (Modern Warfare Remastered)|
Behold: probably the most controversial installment in the franchise. MW2 is of course just as good as the predecessor, even if a little bit short on innovation.
The single-player campaign of course continues the story started with the game’s predecessor. The goal? Stop Vladimir Makarov, the leader of the Russian Ultranationalist party, and defend the US from an enemy invasion. The campaign includes the infamous “No Russian” mission where you participate in a mass shooting at an airport. Since it’s pretty graphic and very disturbing, you can skip this level and proceed with regular missions instead.
As far as multiplayer is concerned, there’s a wide variety of features previously unseen available, including a whole bunch of modes, perks, and killstreaks. There’s even a co-operative mode where you can complete a selection of special missions which you can undertake either solo or with a friend. All in all, it’s a memorable installment in the series, even if somewhat stale when it comes to fresh stuff.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized
Another Modern Warfare, another mobile companion. Mobilized, much like its predecessor, serves as a side story that accompanies the main events presented in Modern Warfare 2.
Prince Farhad (whose name sounds so much like Farquaad, haha) has a problem with Ultranationalists and wants to solve it using a nuke. You and your team are tasked with stopping him and disarming the warhead before it goes KABOOM! and does bad stuff to the innocent.
Mobilized once again showcases the technical capabilities of the Nintendo DS, offers varied gameplay with all the staples of the series, and packs a pretty fun multiplayer component with new modes. AI is also so much better in this installment.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
And here we have one of the best-selling games of all time. Set in the 1960s during the Cold War, Black Ops puts you in the shoes of a CIA operative named Alex Mason, who is tasked with stopping sleeper agents from unleashing deadly chemicals in the United States.
Gameplay-wise, Black Ops features all the staples of the Call of Duty series, including scripted cinematic moments and sequences where you pilot a Hind attack helicopter, for example. In general, expect lots of adrenaline-inducing moments and intense missions.
The multiplayer mode is now more focused on objective-based, team exploits. The Zombies mode also made a return with this installment. There’s even a currency system which lets you purchase cosmetics for your online character.
Black Ops has also received a Nintendo DS version developed by n-Space and a mobile version which is a side-scrolling shooter set during the Vietnam War and which features a different storyline.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
|Developer:||Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games (with additional development by Raven Software, Neversoft and Treyarch), Treyarch (Wii port)|
The final part of the original Modern Warfare trilogy, MW3 once again puts you in the shoes of a member of the Task Force 141, tasked with hunting down Vladimir Makarov, the terrorist leader of the Russian Ultranationalist party.
The campaign tells the story of a war caused by Makarov’s attacks across Europe. Gameplay-wise, it’s your traditional Call of Duty fare, so there’s nothing special to mention here, aside from the fact that there’s another interactive scene featuring a terror attack, which you can of course skip if it’s too disturbing for you.
In case you’re bored with the series’ traditional offerings, there’s a new Survival mode where you need to fend off massive waves of invaders. There’s also a bunch of fresh competitive modes and tweaks to killstreaks, ranks, and unlocks. Once again, it’s a very good addition to the series and a fitting conclusion to the trilogy, even if unoriginal, as usual.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Defiance
This is the final Call of Duty game developed by n-Space and released on the Nintendo DS. Just like its predecessors, it serves as a companion piece to Modern Warfare 3 and offers a separate storyline leading into the events of the main game.
And yeah, it does things pretty much the same way the previous DS Call of Duty releases did, but there are some changes here and there. As far as the single-player campaign is concerned, there are fourteen missions during which you play as members of different military units and which serve as a sort of an introduction to the narrative of Modern Warfare 3.
There are also ten challenges for you to complete and a fun multiplayer mode (now available to play only via local networks) with various game types available. It’s a very decent send-off to the Nintendo DS spin-off series which once again pushed the mobile console’s technical capabilities to the limit.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
This installment finally brought some innovation to the series, which has become really stale a couple of games ago. After all, the single-player campaign features branching storylines, multiple endings, and even permadeath in certain sections.
The story is set in both the 1980s and 2025. The primary villain is Raul Menendez, a Nicaraguan cartel leader who ultimately sparks a second Cold War. The missions shift back and forth between the past and the near future. There are also special Strike Force missions which you can fail. You can’t restart them and their outcome has an impact on the plot. Your performance determines the ending (there are a couple available), meaning that there is some replay value in the game, as opposed to the previous installments in the series, since even the main missions offer branching paths and more freedom in how you complete them.
Multiplayer-wise, there are new loadout customization options, Scorestreaks instead of Killstreaks (you need to gain points instead of frags, which means you need to focus on the objectives instead), weapon progression, and League Play. There’s even the Zombies mode, which also packs a couple of new ways to play. Black Ops II is definitely one of the most interesting games in the series, period, and also the first foray into futuristic warfare.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Declassified
Behold: pretty much the worst game in the entire Call of Duty series. The problems in Declassified range from really bad AI of the enemies you encounter through tons of glitches to poor multiplayer and other kinds of stuff. It’s a technical mess.
Gameplay-wise, the game utilizes Vita’s dual-analog sticks, its touch screen and the rear touch pad. Aside from the single-player missions known as Operations (the story takes place between the first and second Black Ops game), there are Time Trials where you shoot wooden targets, the Hostiles mode where you fend off waves of attackers, and a multiplayer component where you can take part in 4-vs-4 matches across five game modes. All this sounds pretty good on paper, but the campaign is super short and the whole thing plagued with defects.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
|Developer:||Infinity Ward (with additional development by Neversoft, Raven Software, and Certain Affinity), Treyarch (Wii U version)|
This stand-alone installment in the Call of Duty series continues the romance with the near-future military conflicts and science fiction elements, first started with Black Ops II.
The single-player campaign featured in Ghosts tells the story of a futuristic conflict during which the Middle East is destroyed with nuclear weapons. This causes the oil-producing nations of Latin America to become a global superpower known as the Federation of the Americas. There’s a whole bunch of playable characters, with the principal one being Logan Walker; heck, you can even play as a German Shepherd named Riley here! Still, the campaign has been criticized for rehashing familiar elements and ideas and not offering anything new.
Other modes, however, have received a much more positive reception. A new one, Extinction, replaces the Zombies mode known from the previous games and introduces new enemies: aliens! Multiplayer packs new game types and destructible areas. While far from the best installment in the Call of Duty series, Ghosts still deserves checking it out.
Call of Duty: Strike Team
|Developer:||The Blast Furnace|
Now here’s an interesting take on the whole Call of Duty thing. A part of the Black Ops storyline, Strike Force blends first-person shooter gameplay – naturally taking into account the limitations of the platform – with elements of real-time tactics and commanding a whole squad of troops.
This pretty much sums up the whole thing. Strike Team has you complete various missions with different objectives. You can switch to an overhead perspective in order to issue orders to your team at any time. Aside from the campaign, there are also other modes: Survival Mode (you need to hold out as long as you can against infinite waves of enemies), Domination Mode (your task is to capture and hold three strategic points on the map and hold off enemy forces), and Time Attack (time is running out, so you need to kill enemy troops as fast as possible in order to gain extra seconds and survive for as long as you can).
Strike Team is a single-player experience, there is no multiplayer this time around. It’s a decent game that feels somewhat clumsy in the controls department.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
|Developer:||Sledgehammer Games (with additional development by Raven Software), High Moon Studios (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions)|
Previously, Call of Duty flirted with futuristic elements. Advanced Warfare, however, is a full-blown military science fiction affair, set decades into the future. And yeah, it’s the one with Kevin Spacey.
One of the biggest changes in the gameplay is the introduction of the Exo suits, which greatly enhance your mobility and allow for special moves, such as sky jumps. You can also use energy or laser-based weapons in additional to conventional firearms. Cloaking is also possible. You can also upgrade your Exo suit and weapons with special upgrade points.
The multiplayer component also makes use of this new Exo mechanic. Heck, there’s even an Exo Zombies mode featured. It’s definitely a fun installment in the series, but one can argue that it took a wrong turn with its military science fiction themes.
Call of Duty: Heroes
This one can be described as “Clash of Clans, but it’s Call of Duty.”
And that’s all that there is to it, really. Call of Duty: Heroes is a simple mobile-based real-time strategy with two layers to it. First, you need to attack and destroy enemy bases using Units (which you cannot control) and a variety of Heroes which you can control directly; they can also employ Killstreaks. The second layer is you building your own base using Gold and Oil as resources.
If you wanted to play Call of Duty: Heroes, we’ve got some bad news for you. The game was shut down on December 22, 2018, four years after its release.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
|Developer:||Treyarch (with additional development by Raven Software), Beenox and Mercenary Technology (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions)|
The sci-fi trend continued with this installment in the Black Ops sub-series. Set in 2065, it puts you in the shoes of a cybernetically-enhanced black ops operative.
What’s interesting about the single-player campaign is the fact that you can also complete it your friends in the co-operative mode which supports up to four players. This also had an impact on level design: they’re now more open and offer greater freedom in how you approach your tasks. You can also unlock a special version of the campaign, titled Nightmares, which boasts a new narrative and replaces most of the enemies with zombies and other supernatural baddies.
Speaking of them zombies, the mode returns, packed with new characters to play as, features to try out, and lots of maps to slaughter them undead on. Once again, while far from innovative, this Call of Duty game is a very decent one and is now considered a cult classic.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Oh yeah, this was a controversial one. After all, it has more in common with, say, Halo, Mass Effect or even Destiny than with the Call of Duty franchise. Still, it proved to be a surprisingly good title, even if it further strayed from what the series used to be about.
Still, that’s some way to innovate! Since the game is set in space, you can expect zero-gravity environments and visits to various planets and other stellar objects in our solar system. One of the most interesting additions to the gameplay is the Jackal, a transforming fighter which you can pilot freely and upgrade. There are side quests known as Ship Assaults, which reward you with tweaks to the Jackal and new customization items among others.
You can also expect a multiplayer mode with a major overhaul, including a new class system known as Combat Rigs, weapon crafting, and other things. The Zombies mode also makes a return and is now more accessible to newcomers. Contrary to the theme of the game and the main campaign, this one does away with space combat and is more regular in its gameplay. If you’re looking for a decent sci-fi shooter, this one might be a good pick. If you’re looking for a traditional Call of Duty game either about World War II or current conflicts, you might be better off skipping Infinite Warfare.
Call of Duty: WWII
|Developer:||Sledgehammer Games (with additional development by various other studios)|
The series marked a return to its roots with Call of Duty: WWII, the first installment in a decade or so to be a World War II-themed affair.
And it’s a traditional shooter, featuring a return of some old school gameplay mechanics. For example, WWII does away with health regeneration. You now need to either search the maps for health packs or get them from the medic on your team. Your teammates can also replenish your ammo and give you more grenades, in addition to a couple more abilities.
There’s also a bunch of changes in the multiplayer department, including new modes and a class system known as Divisions. Nazi Zombies have also returned. All in all, it’s a great installment in the series and a refreshing return to tradition, even if it once again feels a little bit stale and devoid of innovation.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
|Developer:||Treyarch (with additional development by Raven Software and Beenox)|
Another controversial installment in the series, Black Ops 4 shocked the fans with the fact that it does not feature a traditional single-player campaign per se and focuses for the most part on the multiplayer component.
Stylized for some weird reason as Black Ops IIII (why not Black Ops IV?), the game does have some solo missions that provide lore on the specialists available for you to play as in the multiplayer mode, but that’s about it. Online gameplay has been revamped in order to be more tactical in nature. Say goodbye to automatic health regeneration and hello to predictive recoil patterns.
The Zombies mode has also returned, this time offering even more customization and a whole slew of new features. Heck, there’s even the first ever battle royale in the Call of Duty franchise: Blackout. Up to 100 players can duke it out on a map where – aside from their human opponents – they can encounter zombies in certain locations. Again, it’s a very good title, but only aimed at the enthusiasts of the multiplayer mode.
Call of Duty: Mobile
|Developer:||TiMi Studio Group|
Another multiplayer-only installment in the franchise, Call of Duty: Mobile successfully brings the experience to smartphones, offering frantic gameplay very much on par with the main releases in the series.
Its offer is similar to what the Black Ops 4 package features, including a regular multiplayer mode, Zombies, and a battle royale component. Gameplay-wise, it’s a good old Call of Duty game retaining the characteristics of the series, but of course adapted to mobile phones.
It’s a free-to-play game, so you might want to grab it and check out for yourself. The reviews are very good in general, so you can expect a very decent shooter.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
|Developer:||Infinity Ward (with additional development by various other studios)|
The Modern Warfare sub-series got rebooted a couple of years back. The 2019 game does a lot to move away from the traditional gameplay model of the franchise.
This is achieved through more emphasis on realism and you having to make tactical and moral choices which have an impact on your rating and other things. Is this woman reaching for a gun or a baby in a crib? You’ll need to make such choices really quickly. Levels also offer more freedom in how you approach your objectives.
Aside from this, the game offers a reworked, cross-platform multiplayer, Special Ops missions that you can complete with others, there’s even a dedicated battle royale game, titled Warzone, which we will talk about in a moment. Generally, it’s one of the best Call of Duty titles, so be sure to check it out.
Call of Duty: Warzone
|Developer:||Raven Software, Infinity Ward (with additional development by various other studios)|
The battle royale component of the Modern Warfare reboot received a stand-alone release. It definitely was one of the best games in its category.
Yes, was, as its servers are about to be shut down in a couple of months and the sequel, Warzone 2.0, was rebranded as just Warzone, but this one is worth mentioning nevertheless. As it was stated already, it’s a battle royale title where up to 150 players duke it out on a huge, detailed map (several were available) and fight either solo or in teams of two, three or four. The last player/team to remain alive wins the match. One of the biggest innovations to the genre was the introduction of Gulags: a respawn mechanic where two defeated players face each other in a duel. The winner returns to the game. There are other ways to respawn as well, meaning that not all is lost if your character is killed.
The game also offered a mode called Plunder where your team works towards getting as much cash as possible in order to win the match. Another mode, Resurgence, features respawns. It definitely was a great game. If you want to try it out, hurry up, as its servers are getting shut down soon.
Call of Duty: Warzone is a free-to-play game, however, its servers will be shut down on September 21, 2023.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
|Developer:||Treyarch, Raven Software (with additional development by various other studios)|
Another return to the more realistic themes, Black Ops Cold War transports the player back to the 1980s and tasks them with apprehending a Soviet spy codenamed Perseus.
One interesting thing about the single-player campaign is the fact that you can create your own character, callsign “Bell.” You can also choose from different personalities which grant you in-game perks. There are even multiple endings, depending on the choices you make throughout the story.
Multiplayer-wise, there are returning and new game modes, various new gameplay features, larger maps that support 12-vs-12 matches, there’s even a mode called Fireteam which supports up to forty players. Zombies have also returned. All in all, the game looks great and while it’s nothing innovative, it’s a worthwhile addition to the franchise.
Call of Duty: Vanguard
|Developer:||Sledgehammer Games (with additional development by various other studios)|
Vanguard is a yet another return to the World War II theme. The game deals with the creation of special forces at the end of the conflict.
The gameplay in the campaign is a bit more tactical than usual, as you can use different paths to approach your objectives and fire blindly from behind cover, but the rest is pretty much the same as in other installments in the franchise. Nevertheless, it’s still a very enjoyable title.
The multiplayer component also saw certain revisions and new additions to the mix, including a mode called Arms Race where two teams of twelve compete to either capture or destroy five bases. And guess who’s returning: zombies! Vanguard definitely is a decent Call of Duty game which once again suffers from – you guessed it – lack of innovation.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022)
|Developer:||Infinity Ward (with additional development by various other studios)|
The sequel to the 2019 reboot once again offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be a Call of Duty game.
The single-player campaign once again focuses on the exploits of Task Force 141 and continues the story that the previous installment began. This time, you’ll face an Iranian Quds Force officer by the name of Hassan Zyani, allied with a terrorist organization known as Al-Quatala, which is also supported by their friends from the Mexican Las Almas Cartel. They’re all in possession of ballistic missiles and you need to stop them.
The package also contains co-operative Special Ops missions which continue the story in the campaign and a robust multiplayer mode. A major part of it is a free-to-play component, Warzone 2.0, which we will describe next.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 (known as Call of Duty: Warzone starting from Season 4)
|Developer:||Infinity Ward, Raven Software (with additional development by various other studios)|
One of the best battle royale games on the market, Warzone 2.0 once again proves it’s a fantastic title. Still, we believe that it’s the new mode that takes the cake.
But let’s get the battle royale thingy out of our way first, shall we? The game features a new map, the city of Al Mazrah, which serves as the devastated capital of the fictional United Republic of Adal. It’s larger than the maps featured in the previous Warzone and there is more water, which means you can make use of the new swimming mechanics. Gulags were initially a 2vs2 affair. You were also able to take out an AI-controlled boss named the Jailer in order to return to the game. This was reverted to standard Gulag duels instead. Additionally, there are more AI combatants who guard points of interest. Multiple circles spawn on the map before merging into one safe zone.
Still, the real star of the game is the DMZ mode, which is inspired by Escape from Tarkov. Up to three players (solo play is possible, but not really recommended) embark on a mission to explore the area, collect loot, complete various tasks for different factions, and exfil once they’ve done their thing, all within a certain time limit. Easier said than done! The map is crawling with AI-controlled enemies. Human opponents can be even more dangerous (though this depends on their skill level). New maps and factions were introduced with further seasons, including Vondel, a fictional city in the Netherlands. The Resurgence mode has also returned.
It’s definitely a fantastic game and what makes it better is the fact that you can pick it up free of charge.
Keep in mind that as of Season 4, Warzone 2.0 is known as just Call of Duty: Warzone, so don’t mistake it with the first Warzone game (to be shut down in September 2023).
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is a free-to-play game.
These are all Call of Duty games released so far. As you can see, it’s a pretty damn long list. What does the future hold for the franchise? Well, there’s a sequel to the Modern Warfare reboot in the works, that’s for sure (by the way, it was originally planned as an expansion pack, but it soon grew in size and scope). Development on Warzone (the sequel, not the previous one) will continue.
What does the future hold for the series? Will this franchise ever end? We’ll have to wait and see, but right now it seems that we’ll get more installments in the years to come.