Call of Duty has grown so much since its early years. Who knew the first-person shooter would be a juggernaut in the industry?
Regardless of how the games perform for reviewers, each game hits a high mark. While people play the games for their expansive multiplayer, it’s the stories in the games that also leave a mark. So let’s run through the best 5 Call of Duty campaigns in a ranked list.
Call of Duty: 5 Best campaigns, Ranked
The stories in the series can be deep and rich with compelling characters. For example, Ghost and Price and the Modern Warfare saga have become household names. It’s because the writers most of the time flesh out these narratives, and in turn, get us as players engaged better. However, not all stories are that big and wild. The ones that follow have not only helped make Call of Duty what it is but have forced players to realize that shooters can have good stories.
Prior, most Call of Duty games were pretty simple to follow along with some twists. Good guys shoots the bad guy. Real Mission Impossible stuff. With Black Ops, the games went with a physiological approach. Set during the Cold War, as players we didn’t know if Alex Mason was good or bad. We just saw what he did during the events of Black Ops. This was probably the first time that I played a Call of Duty game and began questioning if the intent of the main character was what was presented to me.
Before Advanced Warfare was released, all the Call of Duty games were set either before my time or during. This entry was the first that went into the future, and because of that Sledgehammer Games was able to play around with the narrative. The reason why I put this game on the list is because while it’s set in the future, our present-day setting isn’t that far off. War usually is fought by two or more nations, in Advanced Warfare, the game showed us how companies and arms dealers can initiate a conflict. To me, that’s even more dangerous because governments and businesses play by different sets of rules. While Adnaved Warfare certainly embellishes some facts, it doesn’t stray too far from reality.
Modern Warfare 2
I know, this should be higher on the list, and with the remake winning fans over, it could have been. However, with Battlefield challenging Call of Duty’s crown, things weren’t that smooth. Ultimately Battlefield 3 won my heart and became my go-to shooter. With that being said, the story for the 2009 release of MW 2 is something that sticks with me. Spoiler Ahead. When Commander Shepherd betrays you in probably one of the most iconic twists in gaming, little me was in shock. For the first time, I think I realized shooters can be more than just good versus bad.
Modern Warfare 3 (Remake)
I didn’t like the original MW 3, it felt more like DLC than it did a full game because the story progressed with the same beats as the original MW 2, it didn’t pull me in. The remake for MW 3 seems to erase all that for me. Plus with new ways to do missions, MW 3 is becoming more than its story. However, the narrative is hecking dark. Without giving too much away, there’s a certain mission involving a plane that had my jaw on the floor. Another interesting thing the remake of MW 3 does is that this is a grey area, alignaces might not be what they seem. Something we saw in the Black Ops sub-series. I believe this is also the second time I’ve felt the stakes are against me. I do enjoy that because it gets me into the story better.
See if your favorite voice actor is in the Modern Warfare 3 remake.
World at War
Call of Duty started as a shooter set in World War 2. While those events are dark, the initial games didn’t present it as much. It was more of a hero’s journey. For World at War, this was the first time the series took a very very dark turn. The one mission that stands out when you play on the Russian front for the first time, and you’re a soviet soldier navigating through the dead soldiers. This section is one I’ll always call back to. Then on the other front, playing as the American squad trying to get through a dense jungle with Japanese soldiers waiting around the corner, made me alert. Unlike the game prior, World at War showcased the horrors of war. I do believe if World at War wasn’t made, Call of Duty wouldn’t be as realistic or dark as we see it today.