Call of Duty Zombies has become inseparable from the series, with modes that span more than a decade and a half at this point. There have been dozens of different maps throughout that time, and a CoD Zombies experience can be made or broken by a map since so much of the gameplay hinges on the player’s surroundings, their ability to maneuver, and how much the surrounding content propels them to continue exploring. Some of the best maps ever introduced keep all these things in mind while oftentimes pushing the Zombies experience further in some way.
10. Zombies in Spaceland
One of the rare times where a Zombies mode outside of the Black Ops series got it right, Zombies in Spaceland is a stylish trip to the ’80s with all of the exploration and easter egg potential fans want. The characters weigh it down a bit by being more annoying than endearing, but it’s fun to play regardless.
9. Der Eisendrache
The first DLC Zombies map for Black Ops 3 creates an ambiance that is equal parts cold, disturbing, and mysterious. The perfect combination for avoiding the nazi zombie hordes and other beasts that come on this map while attempting to complete some of the best easter eggs with the most satisfying rewards the series has ever seen.
8. Der Riese
The beginning of Zombies in Call of Duty: World at War saw Treyarch throwing multiple attempts at the wall to figure out what works and what doesn’t regarding this new round-based mode they’d created. They hit the nail on the head with Der Riese, creating an early blueprint for the kinds of settings, weapons, and variations fans liked to see the most in Zombies maps moving forward.
7. Blood of the Dead
Black Ops 4‘s return to the Aether storyline is a formidable return to the characters of Richtofen, Dempsey, Nikolai, and Takeo. Technically, it’s closer to a remake of Mob of the Dead than its own map, but the updates Treyarch makes here, combined with the map running on Black Ops 4’s unique Zombies system, make it feel entirely different but just as fun as its ever been.
For many, Origins feels like a worthy final chapter to the story being told, both literally and through gameplay, in World at War and the first two Black Ops titles. It exists on a scale no Zombies map has yet seen and can feel a little overwhelming to some as a result, but for those who understand the inner workings of the map, it’s an absolute joy to revisit.
5. Kino der Toten
The first Zombies map to come with Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 is an all-time classic. Many fans of the series say the map hasn’t aged well, with its scope being notably more narrow and limited than future maps in the series. It still maintains many of the ingredients of a great Zombies map and is an absolute joy to revisit.
4. Die Maschine
Treyarch’s reimagining and vast expansion of the map that started it all, Nacht der Untoten, makes it feel like one piece of a much larger world in Die Maschine. This map showcases all of the best qualities of Black Ops: Cold War Zombies with plenty of areas to explore and the new features present in the game utilized to the fullest extent while uniquely stylizing the map for the new time period being presented.
The second Zombies map to come standard with Black Ops 1 is as ridiculous and hilarious as it is ambitious. The idea of mowing down hordes of nazi zombies was already a head-turning and confusing concept, but the idea of doing it while playing as three of the most famous world leaders of the Cold War era trapped in the Pentagon enters a realm of strange that makes Five a treasure.
2. Mob of the Dead
Mob of the Dead is Black Ops 2 Zombies running on all cylinders. It balances the scope the game had tried (and failed) to achieve with Tranzit by having no shortage of unique areas that are each fun and suspenseful to run around in while having some truly inspired easter eggs and the terrifying Alcatraz Island prison setting to boot.
Ascension saw Zombies take a step into everything it has consistently tried to recapture ever since. It has a sizeable and heavily explorable map, innovates with new perks and unique enemy characters, and contains a unique art style and setting unlike anything else the Zombies series offers. Ascension sees Treyarch fully realizing all of the best components of Call of Duty Zombies, and it continues to be a blueprint for the best Zombies maps to this day.