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The Best 'Call of Duty' Games

Updated November 13, 2020 40.9k votes 8.2k voters 72.5k views20 items

List RulesMainline CoD games only.

This list of all Call of Duty games, ranked best to worst, gives gamers the chance to decide once and for all the answer to the question: What is the best COD game of all time? The COD video game franchise is a great example of the best first-person shooter series that has been incredibly popular for more than a decade now. If you're a huge fan, feel free to rerank this list in any order you like to make sure that your favorite COD games are near the top!

The first installment in the Call of Duty video game series was released back in 2003. From that point on, COD became a staple with gamers. With each year that passes, the makers of Call of Duty continue to push boundaries, which is one reason why COD is consistently named among the best video games of all time.

From the uber-popular Call of Duty: Black Ops up to the newest release, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, this list features all the mainline series games. Vote up all your favorite releases, and vote down all the installments you thought simply didn't live up to the hype.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
    Photo: Infinity Ward

    Metacritic score: 94%

    Setting: 2016

    As the sixth installment in the series, Modern Warfare 2 takes a more cinematic approach than previous releases. The game is set five years after the events in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, with players assuming the role of different characters throughout various campaigns.

    Released in 2009, Modern Warfare 2 made more than $1 billion in sales by 2010. A remastered version was released on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC in 2020. It's also one of the highest-rated games in the series.

    • Release: 2009
    • Developer: Infinity Ward
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
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  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
    Photo: Treyarch

    Metacritic score: 83%

    Setting: late 1980s, 2025

    Following on the aftermath of the first game, Black Ops 2 features two campaigns set in different eras and includes eight different endings depending on the pivotal choices you make.

    Activision was actually sued over this game in 2014 by Manuel Noriega, saying his likeness in the game damaged his real-life reputation. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

    • Release: 2012
    • Developer: Treyarch
    • Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii U
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  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
    Photo: Treyarch

    Metacritic score: 87%

    Setting: Cold War

    Taking place during the tumultuous '60s, Black Ops has gamers assuming the role of CIA op Alex Mason as they explore Cuba, Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and more.

    As one of the most popular entries in the franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops took everything that was great about previous games and expanded upon them, most notably in the multiplayer department. From more unlockable weapons and perks to the introduction of CODPoints.

    • Release: 2010
    • Developer: n-Space, Treyarch
    • Platform: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii, PlayStation 3
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  • Call of Duty: World at War
    Photo: Rebellion Developments

    Metacritic score: 84%

    Setting: World War II

    Released on Veteran's Day, Call of Duty: World at War is divided into two campaigns: the American and Soviet. Much of the game takes place in the Pacific Theater, a region rarely explored by WWII games.

    World at War is often considered to be one of the most graphic and profane games in the series. It's also known as the first game in the series to feature zombies, a trend that has since become a CoD staple.

    • Release: 2008
    • Developer: Rebellion Developments, Exakt Entertainment, n-Space, Treyarch
    • Platform: Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii
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