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Every Call of Duty Game Ranked Worst to Best

While Black Ops is absolutely a fantastic game, and often ranks even higher on lists like this, the multiplayer modes are a bit lacking. Again, what’s here is fantastic. The series had found its groove by 2010, though, and Treyarch found little reason to deviate. So while the competitive and Zombie modes are absolutely worth checking out (and continue to be favorites for many nostalgic fans), they just didn’t do much different than what had come before at this point.

Call of Duty: World at War

4. Call of Duty: World at War 

As already noted, Treyarch’s first attempt at making a Call of Duty game was not great, but the developer’s sophomore effort still stands out as one of the better entries in the series. Yes, it’s the fourth game in the series set during World War II, but much of the action takes place in the Pacific rather than Europe. But what really stands out is just how graphically violent the whole thing is. While many Call of Duty campaigns play out like PG-13 action movies, World at War pulls no punches by showing the horrors of war with dismemberments and realistic burns. 

Multiplayer played it safe in this entry, largely just copying the RPG mechanics of the previous year’s landmark entry, Modern Warfare, but setting everything during World War II. That might seem a little lazy in hindsight, but it was exactly what the series needed at the time, and it’s held up well. More importantly, this is the game that debuted Nazi Zombies: a mode that has become a fan favorite. 

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

It’s hard to overstate just how revolutionary the original Modern Warfare was when it came out in 2007. It wasn’t just that this was the first game in the series to move the action to a modern setting. The additions of XP, the prestige system, and killstreaks brought brand-new levels of customization and replay value to multiplayer. There are good reasons why pretty much every other online title of the last 15 years has copied this game in some way.

And while most players lost dozens of hours to multiplayer, the campaign is no slouch either. This is the game that gave the world “All Ghillied Up” and the explosive ending to “Shock and Awe.” Even the epilogue mission, “Mile High Club,” is iconic, and beating it on Veteran continues to be a true test of skill.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

As amazing as the first Modern Warfare was, Infinity Ward somehow managed to top themselves with the sequel just two years later. The campaign is basically a highlight reel of the best moments in Call of Duty history. From the thrilling Rio De Janeiro favela pursuit and storming the gulag to the infamous “No Russian” mission and the absolutely insane conclusion that sees Soap pull a knife out of his own chest to throw at and kill Shepherd, Modern Warfare 2 does not let up.

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