Opinion: Ranking the Top 5 Call of Duty Campaigns

Jeffrey Mizrahi

From 2003 to 2018, these are the five best Call of Duty campaigns.

While the latest installment of Call of Duty ditched the traditional campaign, there are still fourteen action-packed stories that fans continue to love. From World War 2 to the distant future, Call of Duty has taken players to places near and far.

Looking back at these single player narratives, I ranked my top five campaigns based on how memorable they were. Missions that stuck with me years after the credits have rolled.

Here are my personal top five Call of Duty Campaigns:

5. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

The most futuristic Call of Duty campaign is also the prettiest. Hopping around planet after planet, witnessing some of the most stunning sky boxes I’ve ever seen, IW proved that Call of Duty can be more than just gritty war zones.

While you’re definitely fighting among explosive debris like in other campaigns, I remember just looking up whenever I had the chance and marveling at the stars and ships in the sky. Piloting a Jackal left me wanting more and played better than most dedicated spaceflight games.

4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 is literally memorable moment one after the other. No Russian. Burgertown. Whiskey Hotel. MW2 captured the feeling of defending your own soil. Fighting enemies in suburban America or the nations capital was rarely done in video games, but MW2 did it anyways.

Aside from the amazing locales, it fleshed out the relationships between series legends like Captain Price, Shepard, and Soap that are still relevant 10 years later.

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops

What makes the first Black Ops so noteworthy is just how they told the story. After every mission you were flashbacked to the interrogation room having to recount your lost memories. You became attached to Alex Mason and started to trust the characters around you. The infamous twist at the end of the game surprised me completely and had me seeking revenge for my lost comrade.

The grounded sci-fi story balanced outlandish moments with real world events that kick started the Black Ops series and defined what Call of Duty is today.

2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

After three World War 2 games, Infinity Ward chose to mix up what the series was all about and brought Call of Duty into the 21st century. While smaller modern day first person shooters existed at the time, Call of Duty 4 was the first to do it on a AAA scale.

From playing as a Saudi president being led to his execution, to literally being blown up by a nuke. This game learnt so much from blockbuster movies and put that same action into gamers hands.

1. Call of Duty: World at War

Treyarch knew they had to do something different with World at War. In a market saturated with World War 2 shooters, Treyarch chose two theaters of war and just focused on that. For one half of the campaign you’re fighting alongside the American army against the Japanese forces. Burning down fields with a flame thrower was enough to signify that this isn’t you’re typical shooter.

On the other end of the spectrum was Germany’s eastern front. From the Battle of Stalingrad to storming the Reichstag, World at War took you through events that actually happened in one of the most immersive ways possible. Tearing down the streets of Berlin with Reznov felt like you were really part of this all-out war.

Japanese bayonets hurling straight towards your face and Nazi limbs flying in the air. World at War depicted the enemies as the villains they were and pulled no punches when it came to brutality. Mix that with historically accurate events and a sound World War 2 story makes for my favorite Call of Duty campaign so far.

Let me guess… you disagree with this list, eh? Sounds about right. I’d love to know your favorite Call of Duty campaigns in the rankings below.