To mark the release of Modern Warfare, I’ve decided to look at my Top 5 Call of Duty games of all time. While my interest in the series has waned over the years, the series has still produced some of the best shooters I’ve played and here are my 5 favourites.
5. Advanced Warfare
This might be the controversial choice straight off the bat because the multiplayer is arguably the worst the series has seen. Given that multiplayer is probably what the series is most known for these days, that’s understandable, but Advanced Warfare makes the list because of it’s incredible campaign.
The campaign in Advanced Warfare is seriously underappreciated. For me it’s comfortably the 2nd best in the series and not just because of Kevin Spacey’s performance. It’s paced surprisingly well for a Call of Duty campaign and has a nice mix of stealth based and bombastic action stages. It’s crafted in a way that really encourages you to use your full complement of abilities but it’s not contrived and it never forces the issue. I can’t recommend a campaign play through of this game enough and the Exo Survival/Zombie modes are pretty good too.
Just steer clear of the horrid multiplayer. It’s unfortunate that the maps were designed in a way to not be at all conducive to the new traversal systems and it makes for a very unpleasant experience.
4. Modern Warfare 3
It’s pretty fantastic what Sledgehammer managed to do here after the Infinity Ward/Respawn fallout. The game has a rock solid campaign, multiplayer and Spec Ops modes and had a surprisingly good VIP/Season Pass system for it’s time.
3. Modern Warfare (2019)
Yep, I know it just came out. I don’t care, the game is magnificent. The campaign isn’t “controversial” as it purported to be in the lead up marketing, but it’s still a great ride and one of the most visually stunning games of the generation. I imagine Infinity Ward has been building this engine in preparation for the next generation consoles and it really shows.
The multiplayer also calls back to the early Modern Warfare days and really strips back much of the noise from the Black Ops and Future series of games while also refining staples like upgrades and attachments for guns via Gunsmith.
The Spec Ops mode is fairly hit and miss and isn’t great fun unless you’re playing with friends but that should hopefully evolve with time. But as far as I’m concerned the 2019 version of Modern Warfare instantly places itself amongst the pantheon of great Call of Duty games.
2. Black Ops
Call of Duty Black Ops is by far the most complete package any Call of Duty game – and almost any first person shooter, has ever offered players. For almost that reason alone it takes the second spot on my list.
Not only does it contain one of the best campaigns in the franchise’s history, it included the now immensely popular Zombies mode, a full mutliplayer suite, Dead Ops Arcade mode and has even hidden the classic text adventure Zork in there for players to find.
The way it introduced players to the zombie mode is great. You beat the campaign and it basically acts as an “end credits scene” that puts the player in the shoes of one of four famous political figures including JFK. From then on it becomes a standard menu option.
Don’t forget, it’s backwards compatible on Xbox One and holds up great even today.
1. Modern Warfare (2007)
This is the game. This is the game that catapulted the Call of Duty franchise into the stratosphere from which it is yet to come down. This is the game that dethroned Halo as the go to multiplayer shooter and (for better or worse) changed the landscape for shooters going forward.
While it doesn’t contain the breadth of modes it’s successors would, it has the best campaign to ever grace the series and it’s multiplayer mode laid the foundations for the series moving forward.
There isn’t a Call of Duty fan alive (assuming they’re old enough) that doesn’t have fond memories of “All Ghillied Up”, or has forgotten the intensity that came with the sniper shot in “One Shot One Kill” that demanded you adjust for wind and also introduced us to the indelible Captain Price.
Clearly Activision knows how seminal this game in the series is as it’s the only one to get a remaster which initially came packaged with Infinite Warfare, but was later (as many predicted) sold stand alone.
Like Black Ops, Modern Warfare is also backwards compatible as is the entirety of the Call of Duty franchise from Xbox 360.