With a new Call of Duty (CoD) released almost every year, there are plenty of games to choose from. There are 16 instalments of the mega-successful franchise, dating back to 2003 when the original game was released.
Available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, it was a first-person shooter set during World War II.
The series initially focused on World War II, before Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) introduced a new, modern setting. This was a breakthrough title for the series and received huge commercial success, eventually leading to a sub-series of CoD games.
In 2010 the success of Call of Duty: Black Ops – which took place during the Cold War – led to another sub-series, with three more Black Ops titles being launched in
the space of six years. There was also one standalone title, Call of Duty: Ghosts, which was the first game to be developed for eighth-gen consoles such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Best by series
Generally considered the best CoD game of all-time, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released in 2009. Featuring a thrilling campaign full of twists and betrayals, it was its multiplayer mode that made it so successful.
The maps were perfectly designed, helping all kinds of players, whether you wanted to run around shooting a machine gun or find a spot to hide with your sniper rifle. The kill-streak concept was also expanded, providing more ways to eliminate your enemies.
When it comes to WW2 CoD games, Call of Duty 2 (released in 2005) remains the outstanding title. The campaign saw you involved in the overthrowing of the Nazi party, from storming the beaches of Normandy to battling in the deserts of North Africa.
The scale was huge and the cinematic moments still hold up today, while the multiplayer relied on the brilliant map design. It was especially good for snipers thanks to lots of remote positions.
Released in 2010, Call of Duty: Black Ops remains the undeniable best in the sub-series thanks to it having something for everyone.
Its campaign was a thrilling mystery set during the Cold War and partially taking place in Vietnam, with actors Sam Worthington and Gary Oldman providing voice-work.
The multiplayer was strategic and the guns incredible, while two maps – Nuketown and Firing Range – proved so popular they keep coming back in future Black Ops games.
Launched in March 2020, Call of Duty: Warfare is a free-to-play battle royale version of the game that is available to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Part of the 2019 title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, this free bundle was downloaded by more than 50 million people in its first month.
The game allows you to go it online or form a squad with your friends and jump into a huge battleground with up to 150 players.
The idea is to be the last man standing, exploring the huge map for supply boxes and contracts to complete – both of which help you unlock better weapons and gain a tactical advantage.
The latest edition
The newest release in the franchise, Call of Duty; Modern Warfare was released in 2019 and is available to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
A reboot of the Modern Warfare sub-series, the campaign follows a CIA officer and British SAS forces as they team up to combat Russian forces.
Atmospheric and extremely tense, the story is a throwback to the older versions of the game and is hugely addictive. Equally, the multiplayer mode will keep you entertained for hours on end thanks to the range of game modes and well-designed maps.