Chris’s Top 10 Call of Duty Games
Love it or loathe it Call of Duty (or COD as the kids call it) is here to stay! Debuting in 2003, the Call of Duty series has gone on to sell millions of copies and made billions in sales for publisher Activision.
Many gamers have become jaded with Call of Duty over the years. COD is released every year and there have been multiple sequels. The setting changes, new modes are introduced, and there are tweaks to the gameplay, but fundamentally it is still a first-person shooter (FPS), and they are ten a penny these days. Call of Duty is also threatened by free to play shooters such as Apex Legends and Fortnite. And yet COD still remains one of the best-selling franchises of all time, which tells you something about the longevity of the series, and quality of each game.
Seeing as I’ve just completed the latest Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare, I thought I would share my thoughts on the series and rank my favourite Call of Duty games. So, grab a drink and stay frosty. It’s time to go Oscar Mike with my top ten.
10. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – 2016
The Call of Duty series has spanned different times in history and different places in the world, so I guess it was inevitable that outer space would make an appearance at some point. Infinite Warfare stars Kit Harington as the antagonist and you are tasked with taking him down. Call of Duty games have often featured actors and famous people, and Infinite Warfare is no exception. Conor McGregor plays a villain, and bizarrely Lewis Hamilton pops up as a mechanic! Infinite Warfare also had a free PSVR spinoff called Jackal Assault. This gave you the chance to pilot one of the spaceships used in the main game. Infinite Warfare is often seen as one of the weakest games in the series, but I quite liked the setting, and it features one of the best robot sidekicks ever to appear in a videogame!
9.Call of Duty: WWII – 2017
When Titanfall was released in 2014, I believe it changed the direction of the COD franchise for the next few years. Titanfall is a futuristic shooter which features fast fluid movement, double jumping and wall running. As a result, COD released three futuristic shooters from 2014 to 2016. With the perceived failure of Infinite Warfare, Activision decided to take Call of Duty back to its roots where it all started. With the promise of “boots on the ground” rather than a reliance on enhanced abilities, out of the ashes came Call of Duty: WWII. Although not particularly original, COD: WWII includes a decent story and another chance to storm the beach in Normandy. Fans lapped up COD: WWII and it was a huge success earning $500 million dollars in its first three days of release.
8.Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – 2014
*Plot spoilers ahead* Kevin Spacey is probably one of the highest profile actors to appear in a Call of Duty game. Any game featuring an Academy Award winning Hollywood star is no small thing, and it’s fair to say his appearance in Advanced Warfare was touted as a major selling point. Kevin Spacey starts off helping you by providing futuristic weapons and powerful exoskeleton (EXO) suits capable of superhuman abilities, however it’s not long before you realise everything isn’t as it seems. Let’s face it, if you’ve seen some of Spacey’s TV and movie roles, he can play menacing very well, so you can tell what’s coming from a mile off! Saying that, Advanced Warfare features some fun set pieces, and the introduction of the EXO suits are a welcome addition to the series.
7.Call of Duty: World at War – 2008
World at War is memorable for a number of reasons. Kiefer Sutherland stars and shouts at you….a lot! It was also the first-time Zombies mode was used in a Call of Duty game. As well as the single player campaign and regular multiplayer, Zombies pitted up to four players against wave after wave of the Nazi undead. This mode is now a staple of the series and has featured in many COD games since. It is hugely popular, and many people pick up COD just for this mode alone. I spent many hours playing World at War and for that reason alone, it deserves to feature in my top ten.
6.Call of Duty: Black Ops – 2010
It was only a matter of time before COD took you to Vietnam, and that’s exactly what Black Ops does. COD games are often cinematic, and not only wear their inspirations on their sleeve, but also jump up and down wearing a dayglow suit shouting “I watched this movie set in Vietnam, look at me!” As a result, you can fall into two camps. You can either groan and say, “well this isn’t very original”, or you can go with the flow. For example, one of the lead characters resembles Robert De Niro’s character from The Deer Hunter. During one section of the game you are forced to play Russian Roulette, which is a famous scene from the movie. You also board a boat during one mission, which reminded me of Apocalypse Now. Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones is playing whilst you are doing this which automatically makes it awesome! Black Ops also features real life historical figures including John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, and Fidel Castro. Hilariously, you control these characters during the Zombies mode. I had a lot of fun with Black Ops, and it seems I wasn’t the only one, as it sold in excess of 25 million copies, making it one of the best-selling games of all time.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 2009
Controversial, loud and explosive are just a few words to describe Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The follow up to the excellent Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2 had a lot to live up to, and in many ways, it delivered. Not only did it expand on the already excellent multiplayer, it also added a new mode called Spec Ops. This allowed you and a friend to tackle different missions together and was fantastic fun! The single player campaign will always be marred with controversy for the infamous “No Russian” level. During this part of the game you play as an undercover agent infiltrating a gang of terrorists, who enter an airport and indiscriminately kill dozens of innocent civilians. You can take part in the event or simply walk through it watching the terrorists slaughter people. There is an option to skip this level at the menu screen, but to me that seems like a massive cop out. I felt uncomfortable about this level when the game was originally released, and my feelings haven’t changed, especially in the current climate of terror attacks. I would be very surprised if this level was included if Activision ever decided to remaster the game. Still, despite spending most of this review talking about one of the more controversial elements of the game, Modern Warfare 2 is still a fantastic blockbuster experience. Imagine Michael Bay made videogames instead of movies and that tells you all you need to know about Modern Warfare 2.
4.Call of Duty: Ghosts – 2013
Call of Duty: Ghosts will always remain dear to my heart for a few reasons. It was the first COD available on (at the time) newly released consoles PS4 and Xbox One. It featured a new mode called Extinction. Most important of all, it helped create a lasting friendship with three very special people. Extinction was similar to Zombies, but rather than facing hordes of the undead, you are faced with an alien invasion. Imagine Left 4 Dead and you will see where I’m going with this. Each character chose a class and had special abilities. As you killed enemies, you built up points which could be spent to help your team survive. The objective was to get through the map, plant a bomb and run back to the chopper before it detonated. This sounds extremely simple, but the only thing standing in your way were hundreds of alien forces wanting to rip your head off! There were other Extinction stories released which helped keep us glued to the PS4 for over a year! It’s hard to describe just how much fun Extinction was to play with a group of friends. The friends I’m referring to are Pete (@tat_sun_) Tom (@TomMarett) and Wayne (@Diddygamer). Collectively we were known as The Fishy Pricks, (cod geddit?) Thanks to Ben for that moniker. I honestly don’t think I’ve laughed as much playing a game! Having to rely on each other to survive built up a special bond between us all which remains to this day. The sense of exhilaration felt by all of us when we finally made it back to the chopper after failing so many times is one of my all-time gaming highlights. I won’t mention the time that Tom abandoned us all to save himself. Unfortunately, we don’t get as much time to play with each other like we used to. Kids have come along (or are due), and life moves on. However, we still see each other at EGX once a year and our friendship remains strong thanks to our time with COD.
Fishy Pricks 2019 at EGX. Pete, Wayne, Tom, Chris
In fact, Call of Duty: Ghosts is one of my most played PS4 games, which tells you everything you need to know. Extinction hasn’t made another appearance in a Call of Duty game, which I think is a real shame. New consoles are due this year, so you never know; maybe Extinction will reappear for the next generation of consoles like it did in 2013, and the Fishy Pricks will reunite for one last run?
3.Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – 2019
It’s easy for people to be confused by the latest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. There has been Modern Warfare 1, 2, and 3, and the remaster of Modern Warfare released in 2016. So, where does this latest version of Modern Warfare sit with the previous games? The one constant of the series is Captain Price. He has appeared as a recurring character in different guises since Call of Duty 2, but he really came to prominence in Call of Duty 4. The story however is entirely original (as much as a COD game can be original), and you don’t necessarily need to have played the previous games to follow what is going on. The Modern Warfare series has always had controversial moments, and if I’m totally honest, the campaign in Modern Warfare is uncomfortable to play at times. It features terrorist attacks in London, and innocent civilians being gassed, including children. I’m happy for games to be realistic and have gritty storylines, but this seemed to hit a little too close to home, especially with terrorist atrocities happening at an alarming rate in real life. Saying that, Modern Warfare was fantastic and a real return to form. The multiplayer is superb, and it feels like I’m back to 2007, as I’m utterly addicted to team deathmatch and domination. Infinity Ward have done something special making Modern Warfare feel old school for veterans of the series like me, and at the same time fresh so it doesn’t feel like it’s re-treading old ground. Modern Warfare is the best COD I’ve played in years and deserves its place in my top three.
2.Call of Duty 2 – 2005
This is where my Call of Duty journey began, and I suspect it did for many others. Call of Duty 2 was a launch title for the Xbox 360, and I can’t think of a better way to show off what a new console is capable of than with this fantastic shooter. I’d played World War 2 FPS games before, such as Medal of Honour, but Call of Duty 2 seemed to take it to another level. The graphics at the time were fantastic, as was the sound which helped to deliver a really intense experience. The gameplay may have been refined over the years, but Call of Duty 2 set the standard of what to expect from a first-person shooter. Call of Duty 2 was also the first time I experienced playing online. I can still recall how amazed I was to be talking to my friend whilst playing a game. Little did I know this would become the future of videogames, and it would be something every gamer expected. Call of Duty 2 is an undisputed classic!
1.Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – 2007
For me Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a game that defined a console generation! Not only did it feature an incredible single player, but it also had a staggeringly good multiplayer, to which I became utterly addicted. COD4 was so addictive I would often lose hours of my life on the virtual battlefield. The phase “just one more go” is the perfect way to describe the multiplayer. I even felt I was developing a habit and eventually had to wean myself off it. I’d not played many multiplayer games before 2007, and COD 4 blew me away in terms of its gunplay and polished gameplay. I loved my Xbox 360, (even though 4 of them developed the red ring of death) and COD4 was the game that helped propel the videogame industry into the multi-billion money spinner that it is today. Call of Duty 4 was remastered in 2016, and I was curious to see if the game would still hold up. It’s fair to say that Raven Software did a fantastic job on the remaster! The update of COD 4 looks superb, plays like a dream, and most importantly feels as fresh as it did when it was released in 2007. The single player campaign is still utterly stunning and there are some incredible levels, such as All Ghillied Up, and Death from Above. I can still remember playing the final level called Mile High Club on veteran difficulty. On this stage you have to infiltrate a plane full of terrorists and save the hostages within 1 minute! It took me three days to complete! Let’s just say that I had a lot more time on my hands back in 2007! Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare still stands up today as one of the best first-person shooters ever made.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to let us know your top ten Call of Duty games.
Review by Chris.