So at the time of writing we have been going dark on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for a year. It’s safe to say Infinity Ward’s flagship title has been a certified hit within the gaming community and has given the franchise a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Treyarch’s Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War will hit our consoles in November and with that in mind I think it’s time to take a look back at the franchise and decide on the best five.
5. Modern Warfare (2019)
Call of Duty had been a series beginning to stagnate. Fans had grown tired of the farfetched advanced technology and wall-running of the prior entries and clamoured for realistic and grounded combat. Infinity Ward answered the call and rebooted Modern Warfare, the pinnacle of the franchise.
Delivering a new and gripping campaign mode, and a very well put together multiplayer that clearly took inspiration from it’s predecessors. Then Warzone brought Modern Warfare to modern day video game trends, Battle Royale and Battle Pass content made sure to merge the old with the new and Infinity Ward made sure that it was catering for all kinds of fans. On top of Warzone we were treated to additional content like fan favorite map returns, and game modes, and it was free. The added cross play made for a new experience, bringing PC and console gamers together.
The undoubted issue has been the campaign wasn’t as strong as prior entries. It was good, and it was nice to play a campaign that had effort put in, but compared to the other entries on this list the campaign falls slightly short of the mark.
4. Black Ops 2
Black Ops 2 is the first and so far only time that Call of Duty has experimented with multiple endings to good effect. You carry out Strike Force missions and fulfil certain objectives in order to alter the direction of the story. This serves to add depth and replayability as you will be give a reason to return once the credits roll. Multiplayer is also improved from Treyarch’s first entry with the inclusion of the Pick 10 system, giving more control over your play style and loadouts. This is early signs of the customization that the series now offers.
Black Ops 2’s Zombies mode provides additional depth, even if the campaign narrative relies on self-imposed storylines stemming from you roaming with three team mates. The ridiculousness of the zombies world is plain to see and self-aware, as is banter between characters.
All in all Black Ops 2 is a perfect mix of serious gameplay and gripping story meshed with goofy B-movie comedy.
3. Black Ops
The original outing from Treyarch is the best of the bunch. It provides a storyline that is tonnes of silly fun and multiplayer modes that enhance your online experience. Gun Game is an inspired first example of the series main stay showing the innovation to endear the fans to this entry. The Cold War setting actually provides a fantastic setting for COD. With moral ambiguity and the ability to shock the player.
There is also the return of Nazi Zombies, previously seen in World At War (Honorable mention). Treyarch clearly have an understanding of how much the fans loved the original. Making the effort to expand the feature whilst maintaining the fun spirit. Seeing 3 different kinds of Nazi Zombies modes enhances the experience. The first of which is the standard defend this area. The second places players in the shoes of JFK, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon or Robert McNamara. These modes don’t necessarily reshape the game but they do provide the player with plenty of fun to be had. For sake of newcomers to the franchise, I won’t spoil this feature. But I strongly implore you to give it a go.
2. Modern Warfare 2/Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
Modern Warfare 2 had some mammoth shoes to fill. Although it isn’t better it is a testament to how brilliant this game that it is the closest that the series has come to recreating the experience it’s precursor delivers. The single player campaign increases the scale of the cinematic warfare spectacle and offers no sacrifice to the pace. The iconic No Russian mission delivered one of the most controversial scenes of the series and showed the guts of Infinity Ward and their desire to pull no punches. Multiplayer gets vital improvements such as the addition of the beloved Rust map and the polarizing tactical nuke killstreak. You’ll find the campaign experience is better enjoyed via MW2 campaign Remastered. A crisper and visually stunning way of telling the epic storyline.
We get treated to our first taste of Spec Ops mode in this entry . It’s a game mode that for the most part can be played single player but for a few missions. However the experience is most definitely best suited for Co-Op gameplay. Serving to show how great a cooperative COD experience can be.
Multiplayer saw massive improvements and more customizability. As well as becoming better visually. Infinity Ward made it clear that they listened to user feedback very well.
It’s up to you how you wish to experience this title. You can prioritize the beauty and graphical overhaul of the campaign remastered. Or you can play the Xbox 360 full game release on backwards compatible or digitally.
1. Modern Warfare Remastered
Call of Duty 4 is the series highlight, the pinnacle of the franchise. The entry that transformed COD into the multi-million dollar monster it is today. Quite often it is now the measuring stick for FPS games and in particular COD entries. You will hear the question “Is it as good as the Modern Warfare?”
And so you should as well, this is the genesis of Call of Duty. Gripping story and a fantastic and addictive multiplayer that to this day registers thousands of users. The unlocks and rewards system had completists hooked and the map design made for spectacular multiplayer combat.
A 2016 remaster of the game was bundled in with Infinite Warfare. It’s a testament to the level this game has reached that it was just as popular as the new release. I remember working the release weekend for GAME. It was easier to up-sell the Legacy Edition of the game which was more expensive..
What made it so special was the evolution from it’s predecessors. Before you had gripping stories told of World War 2. Stories were actually great, but they had already been told if you had played Medal of Honor or Battlefield. Multiplayer was lax and there wasn’t much fun to be had if you wanted to play with friends.
MW endeared itself providing an addictive online experience you could share with your friends.
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Whether it be a gripping campaign, immersive multiplayer or goofy zombies fun, Call of Duty is one of the best series you could sink your teeth into.
But what do you think of our list? Do you agree or do you disagree? Let us know in the forums section.