Ranking All Call of Duty Games 2020 Including Black Ops Cold War
Activision has released the Call of Duty series, a franchise that has been synonymous in the video game industry with yearly releases. These games have been a significant part of gaming for two generations now and are looking to be part of a third one with the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. But what is the very best Call of Duty game 2020?
Call of Duty Series Has Been Annualized for a Long Time
The Call of Duty series has been annualized for 15 years now. Except for the original game in 2003, we have had a new Call of Duty game release every year since 2015. With 15 years of constant Call of Duty games every year, that is a lot to consider.
That means that there are so many games available at this point that we would need two top 10 lists or a top 20 list to go over every single mainline game that matters. But for this particular list, we will focus on only the top 10 games that matter.
As such, there will be many games cut throughout two generations and 17 years of history. Some of your favorites may not make the cut, as loads of them didn’t make the top 10 in the series.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad games by any means. It does mean that they weren’t nearly as good as the 10 that we narrowed it down to. As such, we will take a look at the full breadth of the series in this top 10 list.
Best Call of Duty Game 2020: Top 10 List
It is important to note that when determining this list, I considered every game from the original Call of Duty to the most recent entry in the series: Black Ops Cold War. That game is barely a week old when I am writing this, but I have spent enough time with it to rank it on this list.
When it came to the criteria of making this list, it wasn’t easy. I focused mainly on my love and appreciation for the game. First and foremost, its legacy, how popular it was, how critics received it, how the community received, the amount of content, and so on.
Many factors went into this, but I have come up with a solid best Call of Duty game 2020 list to help figure out which of these games is truly the best one ever made. It wasn’t easy. You will likely disagree with some picks, but this is my list based on these factors.
From World War 2 to Black Ops Cold War, from space to the near future, there are many different places that the Call of Duty series has taken us over the years. Without further ado, here’s my pick for the top 10 games in the series as well as the best Call of Duty game 2020.
Kicking off this list is the Call of Duty 2018 entry: World War 2. Coming from Sledgehammer Games, best known for developing this game, Advanced Warfare, and co-developing Modern Warfare 3, this is where Sledgehammer finally showed its true strength alone.
While Advanced Warfare was a pretty disappointing game overall, World War 2 was a fine example of the series’s roots in World War 2, where it all began. After several games in the modern, post-modern, and even space-focused futures, WWII brought everything back to the start.
It was a much-needed refresh where the story was solid. The multiplayer was everything you know and love stripped back to the start. None of those focuses on the unnecessary stuff, making it all about the classic first-person shooter gameplay we know and love. While World War 2 isn’t my favorite setting, there is no doubt that this was how to handle it.
9. Modern Warfare 2019
Following up on WWII, both literally from year to year and in this list is Modern Warfare (2019). This was the first reboot we saw in the franchise that took a game we already knew and loved and reinvented yet again.
The Modern Warfare series started it all with the first sub-series. This reboot intended to set it back to the start. Was it perfect, or did it do it better than the original? Not really. But what I will say is that Modern Warfare has potentially the best and most well-written story of the series.
However, it lacked severely when it came to multiplayer, so it isn’t any higher on this list. The weapon balance was awful, even if the map selection was nice. The big team modes were an excellent addition but the lack of balanced gameplay held this one back from being better than it could have been.
8. Modern Warfare 3
Modern Warfare 3 had the difficult set up of being the first game in the series to end something; in this case, a trilogy of games that were popular around the globe. Quite frankly, the game did its best, but it just couldn’t live up to the expectations and quality of its predecessors.
At this point, the gameplay began to feel stale for players like myself as it looked just like the last several games and played just like them, too. The content was just alright, with some iconic maps and modes but little else to enjoy beyond that.
The series was starting to lose me at this point, at least for the Infinity Ward games for the time being. The just alright story didn’t help this game be any better than it could have been. That said, there are some fond memories that I have of it nonetheless.
7. Black Ops
The original Black Ops is an iconic game to me but one that I, admittedly, played after its sequel that I remember much more fondly. The setting for this title was very different from what the Modern Warfare series was attempting. It had a solid story that introduced some of the best characters in the series.
The original Black Ops multiplayer felt like it started a trend where every game that would come after it would look and feel the same. Things hadn’t gotten stale just yet, though, so it still looked pretty good and felt even better in the fresh multiplayer gameplay.
Then there was Zombies. Though Black Ops didn’t start the Zombies experience, this is where it took off and became something that was enough to get players to buy the game just for this. While certainly not the best Zombies mode to date, it will always be remembered for the mark it left on the series.
6. Infinite Warfare
Infinite Warfare remains one of my favorite games personally in the Call of Duty series and one that I would like to see Infinity Ward go back to someday, even though they may never happen. I’ve always been a fan of the more futuristic settings for games, which nailed it.
The game’s space-focused atmosphere lent itself to a strong story that is one of my favorites in the series. While the multiplayer wasn’t nearly as fun as the game before it, I did enjoy it enough to stick around with the community for a fair bit of time.
And then there was the Zombies. I stand by that the Infinite Warfare version of Zombies is the best one in the Call of Duty series. I would like to see Infinity Ward give it another try someday. Hopefully, this is something that will happen eventually.
5. Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2 is a strange game for me. It was the beginning of my love for the Call of Duty series waning, at least for the Modern Warfare side of things. It also represents some of the finest work that Infinity Ward has ever done.
The story is excellent, but I prefer the original Modern Warfare to it. The multiplayer stands up as one of the best ever made. It was the basis that several games would follow for years to come. In many ways, it is the most Call of Duty game of this entire list.
Whenever someone refers to a Call of Duty game, they may think of something like Modern Warfare 2. While personally not my favorite, it would be much lower if I was solely going based on my opinions. There is no doubt that this is one of the best Call of Duty games.
4. Black Ops Cold War
When it comes to the Call of Duty series, I’ve always been more of a Black Ops guy than a Modern Warfare one. That is why I adored the most recent addition to the series, Black Ops Cold War, which introduced everything that I love about what Treyarch does in a new generation way.
It is the best-looking game in the series by a long shot and one of the most fun to play. The multiplayer is some of the finest that Treyarch has ever done, making it more stripped down compared to the last couple of games it has done while not feeling slow or uninteresting at the same time.
Despite the more retro setting in the story, I enjoyed the brilliant espionage, politically-driven nature. And then there is the Zombies mode that holds this game back honestly more than any other part. If it were more substantial, that would have put it one more spot up on this list.
3. Black Ops 2
For many, Treyarch reached its pinnacle of greatness with Black Ops 2. I don’t deny that many believe that this is the game with the best multiplayer gameplay in the Call of Duty series. The sales numbers for this title are telling, for sure.
It came at an exciting time for me, when the series had waned completely. I was disinterested in anything else regarding it. As such, I dug into Black Ops 2 several years later and was surprised to see that it held up well even after playing games like the next one on this list.
The story is solid, the multiple endings are interesting, the multiplayer gameplay represents everything that Treyarch is fantastic at, and the Zombies experience is very close to being my favorite. While I get that TranZit was something that many disliked, I loved it, making Black Ops 2 one of the most consistently amazing games on this list.
2. Black Ops 3
My favorite game in the Call of Duty series is Black Ops 3. While there is a game that is undoubtedly better than it (more on that one in a bit), I can’t get over my time with this title. As I mentioned, I had drifted away from the series, tried Ghosts and Advanced Warfare, and couldn’t do it anymore.
But then I picked up Black Ops 3 when it came out on a whim while a student and fell in love with this game. The story is bonkers insane, but I enjoyed every minute of this unique cooperative experience that felt much more engaging than the lonelier stories.
The exosuit gameplay finally stuck here for me. The Black Ops 3 multiplayer remains my favorite to date, even if I am much better, in all honesty, at other games in the series. And while the Zombies isn’t my favorite, it was good enough to supplement everything else I love about this masterful entry in the franchise.
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
When it comes down to it, I can’t deny that even though Black Ops 3 is my favorite game in the series, there is one game that far surpasses it: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. For three games, it was all about World War 2. The series seemed to be only that.
But then Infinity Ward came out of nowhere and decided to shift things not to a later war but literally to modern day. It was a shocking way of handling the series and a direction that forever shaped Call of Duty. It remains the favorite game for many players; it is the best one, after all.
The story remains the finest that Infinity Ward has done with varied and exciting levels. The multiplayer gameplay was influential and groundbreaking for online play, leading to what we have today because of it. The graphics were solid for its time. The content was unparalleled, with every map, game mode, and weapon balanced and an integral part. For now, the pinnacle of the Call of Duty series remains in 2007 with Modern Warfare.