Nostalgia gets us, especially if the game made a great impact on us back then. Makes us think, “They don’t make games like they used to anymore,” doesn’t it?
But with so many titles in the Call of Duty franchise over the years, and many of them being so gooooood (even the new ones!), it’ll be hard for even a loyal fan of the series to choose a favorite title! If ever our AC-130 gunship gets grounded on a remote island and we only have one game to play, which title will you choose?
Which is the Best Call of Duty Game?
The Early Titles
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter franchise that spans across many different titles across many different platforms from many different developers. Since the first Call of Duty was released in 2003, it spawned everything from short films to merchandise that created a franchise that has lasted decades. The Call of Duty franchise wouldn’t be as strong as it is today without the early titles that made it a household name.
Call of Duty (2003)
The original Call of Duty developed by Infinity Ward and released for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows set the franchise in motion. It was one of the first games that offered just enough complexity to the gameplay while not being overly complicated and easy to pick up and play.
Call of Duty: United Offensive (2004)
Call of Duty: United Offensive was merely an expansion upon the first Call of Duty title. This title was also only released for Microsoft Windows in September of 2004. The developer, Gray Matter Interactive, focused more on the multiplayer aspect of the game with larger maps, new weapons, a ranking system, and vehicles. It also sported three new multiplayer modes: domination, capture the flag, and base assault. It also won 2004’s “Expansion of the Year” award, but that wasn’t too hard to get seeing the popularity of the Call of Duty title at the time.
Call of Duty: Finest Hour (2004)
Call of Duty: Finest Hour was a spin-off developed by Spark Unlimited for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. Released in 2004, the game made no major gameplay changes while following a different campaign that complemented the storylines of the first Call of Duty title.
Call of Duty II (2005)
Call of Duty II came about a couple of years after the first Call of Duty in 2005 for the Xbox 360 (it now has an Xbox One port) and Microsoft Windows. Unlike the first Call of Duty, it offered a faster play style, improved graphics, and three separate single-player campaigns. Call of Duty II wasn’t just commercially successful, it also got positive reviews among gaming critics.
Call of Duty: Big Red One (2005)
Call of Duty: Big Red One was developed by Treyarch and released in November of 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube consoles. The game mechanics stayed relatively unchanged, but the story was from a different perspective of a soldier in the American 1st infantry division. Despite it being released to mixed reviews, it received a “Platinum Sales” award from the ELSPA.
Call of Duty 3 (2006)
Call of Duty 3 was released in November of 2006 by Treyarch across almost every console except the PC and also sports backward compatibility. This title was one of the best-selling titles of 2006. In fact, in only a couple of months, it sold almost 2 million copies despite its mixed reviews by game critics. The title was also the first to introduce only a single campaign but through the eyes of four different protagonists and sported a multiplayer mode with enhanced graphics and vehicles.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released on the PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS systems, as well as Microsoft Windows. This title, released in 2007 and developed by Infinity Ward, is claimed to be one of best in the series. The game was so popular possibly because of how it stepped into more modern warfare (get it?) after consecutive campaigns in World War 2. While it received mixed reviews, it still sold over 1.2 million copies and was a commercially successful title release.
Call of Duty 5: World at War (2008)
A year after Modern Warfare was released, a different developer by the name of Treyarch, released World at War. In 2008, gamers went back into World War 2 with the 7th generation consoles, the Nintendo DS, and Windows. It scored favorable reviews with major game critics mostly due to its fast-paced action and gore compared to previous titles.
Call of Duty 5: World at War – Final Fronts (2008)
Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts was developed by Rebellion Developments and released on November 2008 on the PlayStation 2 console only. Unfortunately, this title didn’t have any multiplayer capabilities due to the decline of the popularity of the PlayStation 2 multiplayer function. This game was also poorly received by critics due to its glitchy nature and poor AI. Like other spin-offs, it merely was just a different perspective of the original World at War title.
Fortunately, in recent years, there is an increasing demand for multiplayer functionality, in part due to the popularity of battle royale games. Thus, we’re looking forward to having dedicated battle royale modes for console titles.
Call of Duty 6: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
Modern Warfare 2, released on the 7th generation consoles and Windows, was released two years after Modern Warfare in 2007 by Infinity Ward. It also spawned one of the biggest gaming controversies to date regarding an airport scene where you could murder civilians. It got to the point where it had to be censored in certain countries. Despite that, this was one of the best-reviewed Call of Duty titles by gaming credits ranging from Destructoid to IGN.
Without the success of these original Call of Duty titles and their spin-offs, the franchise wouldn’t be as strong as it is now. While there had to be some trial-and-error with the series, nobody can tell us which title to love, regardless of negative reviews, positive reviews, or anything else.
Though I started my journey into this FPS world from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, my vote for the best Call of Duty Game goes to World at War for its ability to keep me glued to the screen with its mix of nostalgia of olden weaponry plus the best gaming concepts and controls. That’s not to say I don’t love Call of Duty 4. With the reboot of Modern Warfare 2019, I’m plenty excited to know who will be the cast of voice actors, particularly for Captain Price and maybe Soap!
Agree with me? Or not? Let us know below which is the best Call of Duty game in your veteran opinions.
Next up, vote for your favorite Call of Duty game from titles that were released in the past decade in:
And while Call of Duty fights more advanced wars, we enjoy them with advanced technology, a.k.a. mobile devices. Which do you think takes the mobile cake?