The Call of Duty franchise rose into the spotlight when it was first released in 2003 as a standalone game of the same name. Since then, publisher Activision and a set of four developers – Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software – have been constantly raising the standard of first-person shooter games. Its cross-platform support, superior graphics, and regular updates have unleashed a multiplayer frenzy among the gaming community that is rivalled only by a few other shooter titles.
Few video game franchises have been as influential as Call of Duty and even fewer have defined an entire gaming era where first-person shooters are the go-to genre for gamers across the world.
Overall, seventeen Call of Duty games make up the franchise – excluding the remastered versions for newer platforms. The next instalment – Call of Duty: Vanguard – will be released in November 2021 on all active gaming platforms. Here, we look at five of the most cherished and celebrated titles within the Call of Duty series –
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Release – November 8, 2011)
The Modern Warfare series culminated in 2011 when the third and final instalment of the series came out with a bang. Although it did not surpass the quality of its predecessor titles, Modern Warfare 3 set the tone for what was about to come, rather than what the franchise had already experimented with. Although the campaign was decent with about 6 hours of game time, the multiplayer experience held onto fans until Black Ops II was released later in 2012.
- Call of Duty: World at War (Release – November 9, 2010)
The fifth name in the Call of Duty series returns to the World War setting with a mesmerizing campaign mode that takes one to the Eastern and Western fronts – focusing on events such as the Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Okinawa, and the Battle of Berlin. Treyarch, the game developer, did a fantastic job on the multiplayer front too but it is the diverse and lengthy campaign mode that takes the cake.
5. Call of Duty Original Trilogy (Release – 2003 to 2006)
The original trilogy is a classic that truly set things flowing. With special mention to the sequel and the third title in the series, this is where it all started for Call of Duty. The first part released in 2003 is known by older gamers as the best war game in video games history, followed by the sequel. Although the third party didn’t garner as much acclaim as the previous two games, the series did what no shooter did before – bring the World War setting into play.
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Release – November 9, 2010)
The Black Ops series began on a high note and signaled the versatility the Call of Duty franchise had in its arsenal. This is the game when the zombies’ mode first took shape and has stuck on until now. The Cold War theme was extremely well presented with an unforgettable multiplayer experience that is to this day applauded. It set the tone for the series that has seen four instalments, ending with the Black Ops 4 title in 2018.
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Release – October 25, 2019)
The consoles and PCs of this generation were treated to a flawless rendition of Modern Warfare, although it is not part of the series that was released first more than a decade ago. With exquisite graphics, amazing controls, and a brilliant storyline, Modern Warfare is simply a spectacular standalone title worthy of being one of the best shooter games. It offers a next-gen gaming experience for fans of the series and takes them on a ride as never before.
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Release – November 5, 2007)
Many will argue this title to have deserved the first place and it certainly is a close call. It is no secret as to how influential and stunning the first instalment of the Modern Warfare series turned out to be. The brilliant level design is met by an outstanding storyline that is rivalled by a few other shooter games, thanks to the developers’ intention to step out of its World War setting and offer something new to audiences. An unmissable game that stands worthy of being a standalone title but rather sets new standards for a series revered until this day.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Release – November 10, 2009)
Arguably the greatest ever entry in the Call of Duty series emerged in 2009 when Activision brought to life a game that revolutionized the first-person shooter genre with its impeccable campaign, addictive multiplayer, and a variety of playing modes that would engage gamers for over a decade. Just when no one believed the franchise to top its predecessor, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, its direct sequel gripped shooter fans like never before. It is a timeless classic not to be missed if you are a fan of first-person shooters.
As one of the top-selling franchises in the world, Call of Duty is a popular esports venture for many gamers out there. Operated by Activision Blizzard, the Call of Duty World League (CDL) is a franchised competition for professional players, which is available to bet on at most sports bookmakers. For example, Asiabet.org has compiled a list of Call of Duty esports betting tips, a place where a wealth of information and strategies on betting markets and odds can be found.
The franchise has grown leaps and bounds since first coming into the picture about two decades ago. Call of Duty is rightly one of the torchbearers of the gaming industry and the action genre.