Call of Duty Ranking | From Worst To Best

Call of Duty is one of the most successful franchises in the video gaming industry, and it has been on top of the shooter genre for over a decade now. In that time, we saw some truly great titles, but also some very horrific ones. So, let's rank'em, and find out, what Call of Duty was the greatest of all time.

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We all know it's one of these two. | © Activision

Millions of players love Call of Duty, and get the new game every year. Despite some not so great titles, it's always one of the best-selling games every year. As is with everything in life, people have different opinions about Call of Duty. Some prefer Infinity Ward's style over Treyarch, while some others love the games created by Sledgehammer, but in the end we all love Call of Duty, and we want to see the game and the franchise succeed.

In this ranking, we have to clear a couple of things. Foremost, as is basically with every ranking, this will be based off of personal preference and experience. Some will agree with me, and some won't, which is something to keep in mind while you go through this ranking. Lastly, I didn't include Call of Duty 1 to 3, not because those are bad games, but because this ranking's main focus will be on the multiplayer experience. CoD 1-3 were a bit before my time, and even though they might be great titles, I will not include them in this ranking.

I also didn't include Warzone, since it technically isn't a Call of Duty game per se. It may be a standalone title, but let's be real here, it's just an 'extra mode' for the most of us. So, with those criteria in place, let's rank all the Call of Duty titles.

Call of Duty Ranking: From Worst To Best

Note that the multiplayer aspect plays the biggest role in my rankings. Pretty sure most people will think this way, since you do play the multiplayer a lot more than the other modes. Enough talk, let's get into the ranking.

15. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

This is a CoD that suffered greatly from bad timing. By the time this game released, most people were sick of jetpack Call of Duty's, which led to a lot of players taking the year off from this CoD. I too, am part of that group, and while I did play it a lot more than most people, it just didn't quite do it for me. In itself, this wasn't a horrible game, but you really have to embrace this game to enjoy it. That's why, this game sits dead last on this ranking.

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare
Bad timing ruined this CoD. | © Activision

But as is with every game, not all things were bad, and even the worst Call of Duty had some positive aspects. One of them being the increased skill gap due to the sheer amount of mobility. You could really set yourself apart from the others, if you mastered the movement in this game, and if you embraced it, it was quite fun dashing around like a mad man.

14. Call of Duty: Ghosts

This is going to be a bit of a controversial pick, but from a multiplayer point of view, this game just sucked, man. The TTK was insanely fast, which made gun skill basically obsolete, but the worst part about this game has to be the maps. My God, I can't think of a single good map in Ghosts. The maps were just super clustered, and had no flow to them. If not that, they were massive, and I mean truly massive. Like Battlefield 20v20 sort of size, for 6v6 multiplayer? I mean, come on.

Call of Duty Ghosts Activision
This game had some cool modes though. | © Activision

So, what was good about Ghosts? You'll find this reasoning in a lot of Infinity Ward games, but the game felt quite smooth. Especially the gun play was quite satisfying in Ghosts, which is why the low TTK didn't make any sense. Ghosts also introduced some fun modes into the game, like the one where you had to hide from Jason. But the maps really ruined this one.

13. Call of Duty: Vanguard

Yes, the newest Call of Duty is right at the bottom. That Vanguard ranks this low won't even be that controversial, because it truly is an awful CoD. I played a lot of Vanguard, and it just wasn't enjoyable. The equipment spam was unbearable, the streaks sucked - at least to begin with - and again, the maps were just badly designed. This CoD really felt like a step back from BOCW and MW2019. It just doesn't feel like a CoD that released in 2021, and it played that way.

Call of duty vanguard
The newest Call of Duty was a flop, sorry. | © Activision

I'm finding it really hard to write something positive about this game. Even the campaign and the zombies mode were super lack luster. As much as I didn't enjoy playing this game, I really enjoyed watching it in the CDL. Even though most pros weren't a fan either, Vanguard did make for some insane games that left you speechless at some times, so that's something I guess.

12. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

A lot of people will disagree with me here, and yes, even though it was quite a good game, I just think it took what made BO3 so good to the extremes, mainly the specialists. The Specialists in this game were super and annoying, and it was really frustrating when you died to them while on a streak. This wasn't an upgrade over BO3, but rather a downgrade. Even though this is one of the few criticisms towards the game, the fact that they played such a massive role, makes it land so low.

Call of Duty Black Ops 4
This game could've done without the specialists. | © Activision

Apart from the specialists, this game was rather enjoyable. It had great streaks, the weapons felt super nice, and as is with every Treyarch game, the maps were well-designed. This was also the first CoD to not feature a campaign mode, but instead it introduced Call of Duty players to the battle royal genre with Blackout. For its very first installment, Blackout was quite good, and it definitely was something refreshing, but it still had its problems.

11. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019

Yes, bring on the hate, but this game had a lot more negative aspects than positive ones. First of all: map design. This Call of Duty probably has the biggest selection of unplayable maps ever. Maps play a huge part in the enjoyment of Call of Duty, and with the exception of Shoot House, Hackney Yard and Gun Runner, the rest of the game's launch maps were unbearable to say the least. Secondly, this Call of Duty catered to the campers, more than anything else. I love to rush, it's what makes Call of Duty so fun, but having footsteps as loud as a gun shot, made moving around impossible in this game.

Modern Warfare
Not as good as some people make it out to be. | © Activision

Now to the few positives. Foremost, the graphics were absolutely insane, and it's a sexy looking game. BOCW and Vanguard felt like a step back, after this game, because it looked so good. Next, the feel of the game. The movement and the weapons felt super satisfying. The movement is super smooth, and it's probably the best feeling CoD game, as is the same with the weapons. They look and sound super clean, it's just extremely well-developed, so I can't wait for Modern Warfare 2, and let's hope they've learned from their mistakes.

10. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Similarly to Black Ops 4, this game was ruined by one aspect: Loot Boxes. It was beyond frustrating having to spend a ton of money for guns, or having to gamble with the few boxes you did get. By the end of its lifecycle, this game had what felt like a hundred different guns, and I only had like ten of them or so. And of course, you gotta stick the op weapons in the crates, so people spend money on them. Truly a dark age in Call of Duty, and without those stupid loot boxes, this could've been one of the best Call of Duty's of all time.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3
So much potential, such a shame. | © Activision

Apart from those loot boxes, this was actually a pretty great game. I liked the specialists, cos they added an extra element to the game, without being too annoying or op, like in BO4. The maps, streaks and guns were all really solid, I mean once you got the guns of course. Really is a shame that a single element can ruin such a great game. Speaking of loot boxes, we all know what the next Call of Duty on this list is going to be...

9. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Now, you could've gone either way here, but I ranked Advanced Warfare over BO3, because the loot boxes only gave you variants of the guns, so you could still play them, while in BO3, you either got the gun or you didn't. Having said that, I actually liked this CoD, probably more than most of the community. Yes, they introduced the supply drops, and we all know how much we spent, until we got the BAL-27 Obsidian Steed. But still, it was actually quite a fun CoD.

Advanced Warfare
Quite underrated I feel like. | © Activision

Apart from the introduction of supply drops, this was also the first jetpack Call of Duty, so it was something completely new and refreshing. Some liked it, and some didn't, but I enjoyed this change of pace in Call of Duty at that time. It was a lot of fun, the gun play felt fantastic, if you had the right variant, and the highlight has to be Uplink. Come on, how fun was that mode, not only to play, but also to watch in competitive CoD. This game did have some really great elements to it.

8. Call of Duty: World War 2

Let's be real here, this wasn't a complete game when it launched. It had by far the worst and roughest launch of any Call of Duty - same as Vanguard, come on Sledgehammer Games - and I'm talking unplayable level here. The connection is always bad at a cod game's launch, but this was truly insane, and it felt like getting a lobby with 100 ping was a blessing. The spawns were also super whacky, and all in all, it just wasn't a finished game when it launched.

Call of D Uty WW2
Rough launch, great ending. | © Activision

But, then came the improvements. Headquarters was a nice introduction, and being able to test streaks, 1v1 players or just go to the firing range, were all welcome additions. Even grinding the daily and weekly missions were kinda fun. After months of patches, this actually became a super fun and playable CoD. The maps were quite well-designed, and the weapons felt really nice. Unfortunately, most of the community had given up by then, which is a shame, but understandable.

7. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Most people would consider this quite low for MW3, but I think it's just right, because while it was a great game, it came with a ton of flaws. Where to begin? Well, starting with the support package, mainly the support Stealth Bomber. Everyone can muster together 12 kills or whatever it was, and getting rewarded for that, was kind of a joke. Speaking of which, death streaks. Why? That's the only thing I have to say about that. This CoD also had a clean 50/50 split between good and awful maps. You look at Dome, you smile, then you look at Downturn, and you puke.

Co D Modern Warfare 3 Remaster
So many great memories. | © Activision

Despite those negative aspects, this game was fun as hell. The weapons were awesome - I still dream of the ACR and MP7 - the streaks were super diverse and well-balanced, with exception for the support package, obviously. MOAB hunting with specialist package was, and is to this day, one of the best things ever, and that rush you get, once you've hit the MOAB is truly indescribable. Even playing Infected with your buddies, has to be a core memory for a lot of people - no better feeling than infecting one of your friends. Truly, a classic CoD.

6. Call of Duty: World At War

A lot of people stuck with CoD 4 when this game came out, and it truly is a shame. It’s one of the “founding fathers” of Call of Duty, and like CoD 4, its simplicity made it so good. But this game too, had some negative aspects. The MP40 was a complete menace when this game came out, and was by far the best guns, which left a lot of other guns unused. Also, the tanks on the bigger maps were op as hell, and super annoying to deal with.

Co D World at War
Old but gold. | © Activision

Despite those minor minor issues, it was basically a flawless game at that time. Not a lot you can mess up, when your game only has three streaks, a few guns and some perks, but that's what made this and CoD 4 so great. There wasn't a lot of bullsh*t in the game, so you knew what you were getting, every time you hopped on. This is also the game that gave us the Zombie mode, and we all know how crazy some fans are about that. Just can't go wrong with World at War.

5. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

A lot of people will think this is way too high for this game, but I really enjoyed it. The biggest downside when it came to BOCW, was the lack of content when it launched, but I would rather have a game with less content, than a lot that is trash - talking about Vanguard. Apart from the lack of content, this game had terrible visibility when it came out, and spotting enemies was near impossible. Another negative aspect were some of the insanely op guns this CoD had during its lifecycle. I mean, yes, every CoD has them, but not quite as many as BOCW.

Black Ops Cold War
The best current gen CoD. | © Activision

Even though this game gets hated on so much, I really enjoyed it. The weapons were all super fun, despite some being trash, and some super op. Some of the maps were definitely lacking in quality, which is quite rare for Treyarch, but the overall pace and feel of the game was clean. The longer TTK made gun fights more rewarding, and though the movement and graphics weren't as good as MW2019, it felt a lot more "arcadey". More like a traditional run and gun style of CoD.

4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The granddaddy of multiplayer Call of Duty. This is where it all began, and like WaW, there isn't a lot to criticize due to its simplicity. But, there were some flaws of course, and similarly to WaW, it didn't have the best weapon balancing, which makes sense, because they couldn't just drop a patch every week like they can nowadays. Still, the M16 with stopping power was an absolute menace, we all know that.

Co D 4 Modern Warfare
It doesn't get more iconic than this. | © Activision

But let's be real here, you really can't fault this game. Considering the time, this was a true revolution, and this is what began the whole Call of Duty franchise. We all love innovation, and we want to see new things in CoD, but sometimes going the simple route suffices, and CoD 4 and WaW are the best examples of that. I'm not old enough to have played this game when it launched, but I still went back and played it a lot, and it was still a blast, even if I was five or so years too late. The remastered version didn't quite have the same feel.

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 1

Some people would disagree with this, and have CoD 4 right here, but if you haven't noticed, I prefer Treyarch's style. Doesn't mean I dislike Infinity Ward CoD's, it's just Treyarch feels more like an arcade game, which are faster paced, and that is exactly why I loved Black Ops 1. It obviously had its flaws, like using money to unlock stuff - no, not real money. Even though it wasn't real money, the system still felt quite weird and off. And like every CoD, there were some super annoying guns and things in this game that didn't really make sense - like the camera spike.

Black Ops 1
Such a good game. | © Activision

Despite some few quirks, this game was basically flawless. Streaks, guns and maps were all A+, at least most of them. The game felt great, and it was probably one of the most fun CoDs of all time. Yes, a lot of people used the Famas, which was kinda op, but nonetheless it didn't rob me of any enjoyment, and I feel sorry for everyone that didn't get to play this game.

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The prime of Call of Duty, need I say more? Look, this game had a ton of flaws when compared to some other titles, but for some reason, it just didn't matter back then. Commando, One Man Army Noob Tubes, Nuke as a killstreak and Akimbo Shotguns are probably the most annoying things in the world, but if you stick everything into the same game, it kinda cancels out, and for some reason these things were never that annoying back then.

This game was kinda nuts. | © Activision

Why was this game so fun? Everything was OP, and I really mean everything. All the negative things listed at the top weren't the only broken things, they were annoying, which is why I consider them annoying, but even then, this game was so much fun. I was new to CoD when MW2 came out and a complete noob, and we all know how not fun it is to die over and over again, but not in that game. You could go 2-20 and still have an absolute blast in that game. You just have to had to play the game to understand it.

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Once I mentioned that I preferred Treyarch, we all knew this was coming. BO2 for me is undisputedly the greatest Call of Duty of all time. So what was bad about this game? Shock Charges, are one thing that springs to my mind. God, these things were super annoying and unnecessary. Another thing, the damn Remington shotgun, which was so goddamn op - launch 725 for comparison, for all the newer CoD players. Lastly, Toughness as a crutch perk, because the game was unplayable without that perk.

Black ops 2
Greatest CoD of all time. | © Activision

Aside from those three aspects, this game was flawless. It had great weapons, including the first ever DLC weapon with the Peacemaker, the greatest collection of maps ever, insanely powerful and fun streaks, and lastly great innovations. The pick 10 system revolutionized Call of Duty, and was such a great addition into the game. We also went from killstreaks to scorestreaks, which not only encouraged objective play, but felt so much more rewarding when you did earn a super high scoring streak. This game was just peak Call of Duty, and it will always remain my number one.

And there you have it, my ranking of all the Call of Duty game's. What do you think, and let us know how you would rank the Call of Duty games? I'm sure everyone has some different opinions. Let's just all hope that Modern Warfare 2 is going to live up to the hype. Will it dethrone one of my top five picks? We shall see.