With a new Battlefield game expected in late 2021, we’re taking a look at the best titles and what made the first-person shooter series great.
Battlefield games are known for their longevity, with many older titles staying active several years past their launch. Although Call of Duty is the biggest first-person shooter franchise in the world, older titles couldn’t hold fans’ attention as Battlefield could.
We’re ranking all of the Battlefield games released so far from worst to best.
#14 – Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
A console spin-off for Battlefield 2, Modern Combat fell flat on almost every front as the PS2 and Xbox weren’t powerful enough to capture what made Battlefield great. The Xbox 360 version was better but was largely forgettable in the grand scheme of things.
Bad Company, which came out two years later, captured console audiences in a way that Battlefield 2: Modern Combat could have only hoped for.
# 13 – Battlefield Heroes
Battlefield Heroes was Fortnite before the world was ready for it.
This free-to-play third-person version of Battlefield had the spirit that the early days of Fortnite so perfectly captured. It was casual with room to improve your skills, had cartoony graphics, and a more ‘happy’ feel considering the WW2 setting.
As it was free-to-play and easy to run, many enjoyed it at launch but it never stayed relevant for long. Before the servers were shut down in 2014, it had become a microtransaction filled nightmare that turned away both fans and newcomers.
Perhaps in gaming’s current climate, Battlefield Heroes would be better received. It’s now mostly forgotten about and remains nothing more than a quaint memory.
#12 – Battlefield 2142
Battlefield had established itself as a somewhat realistic military shooter, so a version set over a hundred years in the future wasn’t as well-received by fans as was hoped.
The game itself was solid, well-built, and gained a positive critical reception. Unfortunately, Battlefield 2142 isn’t remembered as one of the greats as it just wasn’t what Battlefield players wanted at this time.
#11 – Battlefield Hardline
Rather than the large scale warfare Battlefield fans were accustomed to, Hardline went for a Cops and Robbers setting. Developed by Visceral Games, it had a very lukewarm response from the community. It wasn’t outright hated, but very few loved it.
Unfortunately, it was too far away from what fans were used to, and Battlefield 3 and 4 remained the most popular Battlefield games until Battlefield 1 released in 2016.
#10 – Battlefield Vietnam
Battlefield Vietnam was one of the first video games to deal with this conflict, while Call of Duty and even Bad Company 2 later dealt with the war.
The game was fun, but it didn’t do as well of a job of capturing the horrors of the conflict in as impactful of a way that Bad Company 2’s DLC later did. While being fun, it didn’t have the depth that Battlefield fans had come to expect, so it will forever be remembered as a ‘good’ entry to the franchise, while other games far exceed that review.
#9 – Battlefield V
With major changes made to the game to make it more hardcore, Battlefield V fell well short of expectations.
Although returning to the franchise’s roots as a WW2 game, Battlefield V chose to focus on the lesser-known battles of the Second World War. The problem with this is that it didn’t feel like a WW2 game, and much of Battlefield’s player base returned to previous titles or switched to Call of Duty Modern Warfare.
The Pacific DLC which came towards the end of the games lifecycle gave it a breath of life, however. Now, if you’re wanting to play a modern WW2 shooter, BFV’s Pacific maps are a great place to go.
A battle royale mode, Firestorm, was also released for the game. While being a solid BR, the $60 price tag and lack of dev support caused it to die out after only a couple of months.
#8 – Battlefield 1943
Another WW2 Battlefield game and the spiritual successor to 1942, this console-only Battlefield game was well-received by fans. It was undeniably a Battlefield game set in the Second World War and is remembered fondly by Battlefield fans from the Xbox 360 days.
The main problem it had was it launched between the two Bad Company games, so it doesn’t define that era of gaming like the other games have.
#7 – Battlefield Bad Company
The first game to really take advantage of the destruction Battlefield is now known for, Battlefield Bad Company brought the PC franchise to console gamers.
While not being as fleshed out or popular as its successor, the game brought Battlefield to a whole new player base, and for it leading the way to Bad Company 2, we’ll always be grateful.
The campaign was a particular highlight for this entry, with the titular Bad Company quickly becoming endeared to fans.
#6 – Battlefield 1942
Battlefield 1942 has to be high up in this list, as without it, this list wouldn’t exist.
- Read more: New Battlefield game arrives in Holiday 2021
By comparison, it’s now extremely dated, but OG Battlefield players will always remember 1942 as the game that reinvented online shooters. Battlefield 1942 brought multiplayer FPS to a casual, mainstream audience and changed the way players enjoy shooters forever.
Wake Island remains a map in Battlefield titles to this day, showing that good map design is timeless.
#5 – Battlefield 4
Although having an extremely buggy launch, Battlefield 4 found its feet after a few months. Oddly, there was perhaps too much content for Battlefield 4, with the player base being heavily split up by DLC packs.
Now, however, Battlefield 4 is the game it was always intended to be. It isn’t difficult to find a lobby when using the server browser on PC, and the gunplay remains excellent to this day.
#4 – Battlefield 1
Battlefield had dealt with many of the wars over the 20th Century and beyond, but Battlefield 1 brought the shooter to the First World War for the first time.
Some fans were unhappy with the gunplay in Battlefield 1 as it leaned more towards a casual audience, but the atmosphere of Battlefield 1 can’t be denied. Fighting through the mud in the trenches with explosions around you, and behemoths above was a feeling like no other.
This wasn’t Battlefield as we’d seen it before, but boy, was it fun.
#3 – Battlefield 2
Battlefield 2 carried on where 1942 left off and began the evolution into what Battlefield is today. With a modern setting, you can see where Battlefield 3 and 4’s foundation. This game really captured
This is also where squad play first arrived in Battlefield, which is now one of the main things the franchise is known for. PC gamers from the time will always look back on Battlefield 2 with a smile, and many regard it as the franchise’s pinnacle.
#2 – Battlefield 3
There’s a reason Battlefield 3 is still popular today. Massive battles, brilliantly designed maps, and fully customizable weapons made this game one of the most popular to date.
With it being backward compatible on Xbox, and still active on PC, it’s still very easy to find a game on the server browser. If you fancy playing a large-scale modern military shooter, you can’t go wrong with Battlefield 3.
#1 – Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Arguably the best Battlefield game, Bad Company 2 took everything that made the series great and elevated it to new heights. The gunplay was fantastic, and no matter your class, you felt like you were making an impact in the huge battle around you.
This is also the first game to take real advantage of Frostbite Engine’s destruction capabilities. Almost every wall could be destroyed, and buildings could be leveled. This is now a staple in the Battlefield franchise but back in 2010, it was unbelievably next-gen.
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The Vietnam DLC was also fantastic. It did a better job of displaying the horrors of war than Battlefield Vietnam itself. Flying in transport helicopters to the sound of Credence Clearwater Revival and traversing the napalm-ravaged terrain felt like a completely different game to Bad Company 2, and that’s meant as a compliment. It was an entirely new experience and allowed BC2 multiplayer to offer true variety.
Battlefield games aren’t safe from featuring predictable, lackluster campaigns but Bad Company 2 gave us one of the best FPS campaigns to date.
It’s clear from this list that Dice and EA aren’t afraid to try out new ideas in their games, and unfortunately, not all of them landed. However, some absolute gems have come out of the franchise, and we’re excited to share any and all information about Battlefield 2021 with you.
What was your favorite Battlefield game?
Image Credits: EA / DICE
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