Call of Duty is legendary. It’s a statement that most gamers will agree with, even if you don’t like Call of Duty as a franchise. Since 2003, Call of Duty has been the most dominant FPS game in the world, standing strong as the pinnacle of the market, boasting an audience of hundreds of millions of players. It’s one of the most valuable franchises on the planet, it offers a vibrant and dynamic esports landscape, and it absolutely refuses to die in any way. Therefore, today, we’re here to discuss all Call of Duty games, breaking the franchise down like never before.
Without any hesitation, let’s get into the important information regarding both the oldest and newest Call of Duty games.
All Call of Duty Games Ranked
It simply must start with the single most important question we can answer. Which Call of Duty game is the greatest of all time? It is one of the hottest debates in the Call of Duty environment, with die-hard fans, veterans, and newcomers all throwing their hats into the ring. With Call of Duty being split into a number of sub-franchises, the general community is somewhat fragmented, and fans of each franchise defend their claim valiantly.
However, there is a way to categorise them, and it comes in the form of a mix of personal preference, and cold hard statistics. We’ve taken the most up-to-date numbers from Metacritic, an aggregate ranking site, determining the rightful place of all Call of Duty games. We’ve also made a note of all the Call of Duty games’ release dates, so you can see which era of Call of Duty was best.
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (94/100) – 2007
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (94/100) – 2009
- Call of Duty 1 (91/100) – 2003
- Call of Duty 2 (89/100) – 2005
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (88/100) – 2010
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (88/100) – 2011
- Call of Duty: United Offensive (87/100) – 2004
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered (86/100) – 2016
- Call of Duty: World at War (85/100) – 2008
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (85/100) – 2018
- Call of Duty 3 (83/100) – 2006
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (83/100) – 2012
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (83/100) – 2014
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 (81/100) – 2019
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (81/100) – 2015
- Call of Duty Mobile (81/100) – 2019
- Call of Duty: WWII (80/100) – 2017
- Call of Duty: Warzone (80/100) – 2020
- Call of Duty: Ghosts (78/100) – 2013
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (78/100) – 2016
- Call of Duty: Finest Hour (76/100) – 2004
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (76/100) – 2020
That’s a mighty list – all Call of Duty titles (main) boasting their highest Metacritic rankings. Where does your all-time favourite Call of Duty title land in the leaderboard?
All Call of Duty Games – Best to Worst
From the figures above, you can clearly see that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare tops the pile. This was the first Call of Duty title to launch in the Xbox 360/PS3 era, and it was hugely popular at the time – in fact, some people still play it today. When it was released, it changed the face of multiplayer FPS gaming, and it kickstarted Call of Duty esports. Many of the best Call of Duty players in history found their feet with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
However, when we look at the bottom of the leaderboard, we see a shocking revelation. The most hated and least rated title in history is Black Ops Cold War, the newest iteration (behind Vanguard) and the least appreciated of all time. There was something of a controversy surrounding Black Ops Cold War, as it had a disastrous production cycle, a less than favourable reception, and it was plagued with bugs and hackers from launch onwards. It’s easy to see why it boasts the lowest score out of all Call of Duty games.
Regardless of where they place on the list, though, almost every Call of Duty game is relatively highly rated, compared to many other titles. Quite frankly, Call of Duty drives forward a vast portion of the gaming industry, contributing massively to esports through Call of Duty betting, the competitive platform, and the attraction of countless users.
All Call of Duty Games with Zombies
There are many, many people who play Call of Duty specifically for the Zombies game mode. It has been around since 2008, and it’s a widely (and wildly) appreciated side mode, set apart from the main story and multiplayer playlists. With the launch of Call of Duty: World at War in 2008, fans were able to appreciate Zombies for the first time, playing the iconic and oh-so-memorable Nazi Zombies mode.
Today, Zombies has evolved numerous times into a platform all of its own. It’s adored by millions, heavily supported by Treyarch (the lead developer for Zombies), and boasts just as much content as the multiplayer modes themselves. Since Treyarch found massive success with Zombies, other developers like Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward also had a crack at the mode. Here’s the definitive, chronological list of all Call of Duty games (in order) that feature Zombies in one way or another:
- Call of Duty: World at War (2008)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015)
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)
- Call of Duty: WWII (2017)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018)
- Call of Duty Mobile (2019)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020)
Do All Call of Duty Games Exist in the Same Universe?
Let’s take this as a very important question because, for some, it can seem a little complex. When you take into consideration the huge list of Call of Duty titles, you might think that it’s all contained in the same universe. However, you couldn’t be further from the truth, as for many years, the Call of Duty universes have stood far apart, but sometimes, they’ve crossed over. It looks something like this:
- All five Black Ops titles are in the same universe, with World at War also being connected.
- Modern Warfare 1, 2, and 3 are in the same universe, and Modern Warfare 2019 is a reboot of that universe.
- Infinite Warfare, Advanced Warfare, and Ghosts were contained in their own individual universes.
- Call of Duty Warzone connects both the Modern Warfare 2019, Black Ops, and Vanguard universes.
- At present, Call of Duty Vanguard is in its own universe, save for a small crossover into Warzone.
Does that clear things up? It might be confusing, but it’s because the Call of Duty franchise has actually been developed by numerous development studios, such as:
- Infinity Ward
- Sledgehammer Games
- Raven Software
And in the past, around 19 smaller studios have contributed to Call of Duty. It’s a huge and diverse landscape, and quite frankly, it may never, ever end.