Call of Duty has become a household name in the first person genre of shooting games. Very few people haven’t heard of this game yet, Call of Duty has rightfully revolutionised the first-person shooting experience and has given the gaming community one after another record-breaking game since its inception in the year 2003. Call of Duty is published by Activision, a video game giant in its own right with multiple “Triple-A” games under its belt. For the Call of Duty franchise, however, Activision has worked with numerous developers to give the varying range of the 16 Call of Duty games that we know today.
Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch are the developers that have accomplished the whopping task. Call of Duty, famously known as COD, has traversed through many environments where their respective stories have taken place—starting up from the World War eras to the cold war, to modern situations, to post-modern and sci-fi settings. Every story has its own accolades, but here, we will be listing out the top five campaigns that struck the perfect chord or hit pretty damn near it from the sixteen games that we know of.
CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE
Released in the year 2014, this game broke free from the design its predecessors were known for. This was the first of the series that took the post-modern and sci-fi approach for the game. The game features the player having an exoskeleton with futuristic powers and which one has to use and further develop. The approach to the game was fast-paced and was a thrilling experience for whoever played it. The storyline was a bit predictable as many complained, but nevertheless, it was a through and through an outstanding experience with a decent amount of gameplay time.
Also unlike its predecessors, Call of Duty: Advanced warfare gave the players only one playable protagonist, US Marines Private Jack Mitchell, with one terrific story. The game was dubbed as an overall success, and the game stood out for its visual and voice acting, which featured Kevin Spacey as the antagonist.
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR
The fifth instalment in the series, Call of Duty: World at War was developed with Treyarch as the lead developers. Initially released in the year 2008, this was the franchise’s last game based on World War II up until Call of Duty: World War 2 was released almost a decade later.
The campaign narrative for the single-player playthrough was focused on two distinct fronts on two sides of the war and the world. The player in control of US Marine Private C. Miller who was fighting against the Imperial Japanese troops towards the end of the war, and on the other side, we controlled Private Dmitri Petrenko of the Soviet Union’s Red Army while closing in on Berlin in the same time period. The game portrayed historical battles accurately, along with the brutality of the war. It was a commercial success and had one of the best stories to date.
CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the first transition into the modern era after three back to back world war time period games. Led by lead developer Infinity Ward, Modern Warfare focused on a continuous storyline packed with energy and emotion. The innovation in the gameplay mechanics was a considerable step forward from the earlier games, and this was the first time Call of Duty introduced us to everyone’s favourite recurring characters, Captain Price, Soap MacTavish, Kyle Garrick, etc.
The gameplay is spread throughout the Middle East and also into Russia in between a civil war. The all ghillied up stealth mission is one of the best in Call of Duty and first person shooter genre as a whole till date. Hans Zimmer and many notable actors contributed to the game’s soundtrack and characters. This game received acclaim worldwide for its achievements.
CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS
Treyarch outdid themselves with the seventh instalment of the Call of Duty series. Black Ops was one of the most revered games in history in the first-person shooting genre. With the game-changing interface and innovative technology, this game broke all preset barriers. This game went back to the 1960s as CIA operative Alex Mason tried his best to navigate through a sequence of events in his memory.
This game combined adventure and action with stealth and espionage with giving a really good thrilling ride with various twists and turns. This game also had Call of Duty’s signature multiple playable characters styles. Other playable characters include Jason Hudson and Viktor Reznov. Not to give off much, Black Ops went on to be one of the best selling games within the franchise and beyond.
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2
Reserved for the top spot, is of course Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This game was the direct successor to the Modern Warfare 1 story, further investing us in the lives of the protagonists, Soap MacTavish, Captain John Price, General Shepherd, and many others. This story is one of the best ever written, and it had it all, adventure, emotion, betrayal, aggression, everything. It was an action-packed roller coaster ride from start to finish.
The story of this campaign has its fair share of controversies as the famous controversial yet fabulously executed gameplay of the gunning down of the Russian airport, and mowing down innocent civilians as a part of a terrorist strike was a part of this. The game was an instant success and sold millions of copies worldwide. This game was such a success that it’s still relevant even after a decade in this day and age since its initial release in the year 2009.
And there is that, the top five best campaign stories in the Call of Duty franchise. Some of these games have retained the value and have even gained more as time has passed due to its stellar storytelling and fluid game mechanics. Some campaigns had to be left behind while making this list as they were equally as good or missed by a little bit.