Hello and welcome back to Part 2 of my Call of Duty multiplayer tier list. In case you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 first so you know where we’re picking up from. Last, time we covered the good and not so good titles that Activision have given us over the years. However, despite Call of Duty getting a lot of hate as a mainstream, repetitive game, not everything released in the series has been disappointing. In Part 2, we’re going to wrap up this tier list and look at the best Call of Duty titles released.
Black Ops 2
Call of Duty reached its pinnacle of competitive play when Black Ops 2 was released. If I was making this list on maps and gun balance alone, I have no doubt Black Ops 2 would be top tier. I believe this was the first game where Treyarch made an effort to significantly nerf and buff weapons based on their usability. This has become an important staple on Call of Duty since as pointless weapons like MW2‘s F2000 and China Lake from Black Ops have mostly ceased to exist. Outside of a few rare exceptions, pretty much every gun in newer CoD titles is viable.
Black Ops 2 featured some of the best maps we’ve ever seen. Cargo, Raid, and Standoff were all brilliant designs that encouraged a mix of close, mid and long-range weapons. Certain guns like the MSMC and M8A1 were a little overtuned but more or less every weapon was competitive during Black Ops 2‘s prime. I used to love the Remington shotgun which is, in my opinion, the second most fun shotgun to use in Call of Duty history. Black Ops 2 also introduced a rare innovation for the franchise by introducing the pick 10 system. Instead of being locked to specific class setups based on having 1 primary, 1 secondary, a primary grenade and 3 perks, players were now free to make a class however they wished. Black Ops 2 was also the first Call of Duty to vastly expand the unlockable options for players to hunt down. Diamond camos in particular for mastering every gun in a class was a fantastic addition.
World at War
World at War is the most slept on Call of Duty title ever released. Perhaps overshadowed by Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 4 back in the day. A lot of people never gave World at War a fair chance. I’m guilty of this myself as the majority of my play time on World at War actually came later on when I got bored of later titles like Modern Warfare 2. A classic Thompson, round-drum combination coupled with Extreme Conditioning and Double Tap was an easy win every time. Fun fact about Double Tap. Most people probably assume it doubles fire rate as its name would suggest but the reality is that double fire rate would be way too strong. Double Tap actually increases fire rate by just 33%.
It’s criminal that Castle hasn’t been remade in any Call of Duty yet. Not even Call of Duty WW2, a game in the same setting, was able to get a reimagining of World at War’s best map. In fact, it didn’t get any remakes of any World at War maps. Instead, they gave Carentan its fourth appearance and that’s not including its cameo on Black Ops 3’s Infection. It hurts to know we live in a world where Castle is slept on but a below average map like Modern Warfare 3‘s Resistance can get remastered twice. Sort it out Activision. Outside of Castle, other great maps featured in World at War include Cliffside, Makin, Courtyard and Sub Pens.
World at War introduced the world to the fan favorite Zombies mode, featured surprising levels of gore, and starred a gritty single-player focusing on the horrors of World War II. If you wanted to play a Call of Duty game that actually felt like it was trying to show what war is about, then this is definitely your best option. At least it would be if last generation Call of Duty titles weren’t all hacked messes of de-ranking lobbies. C’est la vie, can’t do much about it now.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the best multiplayer CoD title ever made. I realize that 99% of people reading this are probably thinking I’m joking or having a laugh, but I really mean every word I just said. The main feature that sets Advanced Warfare apart from its fellow CoD counterparts is the unique exo-movement system introduced. Boots on the ground combat was replaced with exo-suit jetpacks, resulting in far quicker and more vertical focused gameplay. A lot of fans didn’t like this or felt it was too difficult to adjust to. I wasn’t one of those fans. How could I hate a game that created the ‘Press F to Pay Respects‘ meme?
I’m 23rd Prestige on Advanced Warfare and had carried on playing it right up until the day I moved across from Xbox to PC. It had one of the most unique and adapting meta games I’ve ever seen in a Call of Duty title. On day one, certain primary weapons like the BAL-27 and ASM1 were horrendously overpowered. Specific variants including the fabled Obsidian Steed and Speakeasy were even more potent than their base models. I imagine most players probably stopped playing around that point and just remember Advanced Warfare for these negative reasons. It’s a shame because by the game’s prime all but two weapons were viable for use in multiplayer. They never fixed how hopeless the Lynx was and the M1 Garand was. A tragedy from the patch it was added all the way up to this current day.
Much like WW2, Sledgehammer offered amazing support for Advanced Warfare too. Notable additions to the game include the STG44, Lever Action and my personal favorite Call of Duty gun ever released, the Blunderbuss. Partner that bad boy with overkill on Search & Destroy or the RW1 Railgun Pistol on Deathmatch and you’ve got a seriously fun class.
Maps were excellent, for the most part, with only Instinct being sub-par (but even that grew on me over time). Detroit, Biolab and Recovery are all some of the best Call of Duty maps I’ve ever seen. Recovery was particularly unique as it actually changed from a close quarters map to a more open, sniper-favored area as the lobby progressed. I think Sledgehammer Games were extremely ambitious with Advanced Warfare. I can tell they put their heart and soul into it and the final product was something special. It might not be the Call of Duty for everyone but the exact reasons why many didn’t like it are probably why I fell in love with it. It’s just a shame that exo-zombies was pretty bad, the campaign was sub-par, and this game began the downfall of Call of Duty’s now terrible hit detection.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
With my nostalgia glasses equipped for this, say hello to the best overall Call of Duty game ever made. Whilst Advanced Warfare edges out CoD 4’s multiplayer, there’s no doubting that Modern Warfare was the all-around better game considering how strong its campaign was. “All Ghillied Up” is still my favorite single-player Call of Duty mission to this day. I’ll give a quick nod to Modern Warfare Remastered, as even though it fundamentally ruined what made CoD 4 so great, its simplicity, certain additions were still well received. The D-25S sniper was my personal favorite of the new weapons added.
Its multiplayer was not very well balanced but also didn’t suffer from the power creep that ruined Modern Warfare 2‘s online. Certain guns felt a little oppressive with the M16 being too strong but other options like the AK47, M4 Carbine, and MP5 could all hold their own at any level. Even niche choices like the Mini-Uzi, Dragunov and W1200 were all very good in the right hands. I used to run the Dragunov ACOG fairly often and whilst difficult to use, it was an effective mid-range weapon. I don’t think there were any unusably bad weapons with even the lowest tier Skorpion being decent as long as you could close the gap to your opponent.
Modern Warfare features an impressive amount of maps considered iconic by long-serving Call of Duty fans. Backlot, Overgrown, Crossfire and Vacant are all very good maps. The DLC pack added some lesser inclusions like Creek and Killhouse but even then, Chinatown and Broadcast were decent. My opinions of certain maps have dropped a little since experiencing them again in Modern Warfare Remastered but generally speaking, Modern Warfare still features a very strong list of maps to play. One negative is that with limited options to deal with helicopters, this 7 player kill-streak did feel overpowered for the time. It’s still nothing compared to the crazy killstreaks Modern Warfare 2 would later introduce but it was enough to leave a sour taste.
And that sums up my opinions on the Call of Duty franchise. I know certain games like Modern Warfare 2 are probably going to be ranked higher on your list than they were on mine. Let me know below in the comments below as I’d love to hear what you guys think.
I’m a passionate games critic who has been writing actively since 2015. I have a particular interest in both racing games and JRPGs as well as a love for Overwatch and its eSports scene. I consider gaming and writing my two big passions in life. So much so that I’m currently studying a one of a kind degree that covers both in one! My goal in life is simply to become a renowned critic who is respected for his opinions.