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All Call of Duty games in release date order: Full list & how many are there?

Apr 17, 2023

Written by

Morgan Truder


2nd Jun 2023 18:12


It stands to reason you may have lost track of every Call of Duty game so far, considering that they have been released annually since 2005. Call of Duty is one of the highest-selling releases every year, often leading the way for first-person shooters. Originally, the games were focused on World War II. However, the series has bounced between the future, the past and the present over the years.

So, to keep track of all the games in the series, we have compiled a list of each Call of Duty title in the order they were released. We are going to focus on the mainline releases, as well as the Warzone games. So far, every Call of Duty game has been published by Activision, but the developer will often change depending on the game.

There have been plenty of spin-offs released too, alongside multiple versions of the same game. However, we are only covering the mainline entries. Here is the complete list of Call of Duty games in order so far, including the developer and the platforms the game was released on.

There have been 22 Call of Duty games in the main series. This includes both the Warzone games and COD mobile. There have also been 8 spin-offs/handheld ports of mainline titles as well. We will keep this updated as more Call of Duty games are released.

The very first Call of Duty came out in 2003, winning multiple Game of the Year awards after being well received and kicking off the series. The game boasted three campaigns, each highlighting the Second World War from a different perspective. These stories saw the player taking control of an infantryman in the British, American and Soviet forces as they fought against the Axis forces.

Call of Duty 2 was once again set during the Second World War, this time with four campaigns that tell three different stories. These campaigns once again focused on the Soviet army, the British, and the Americans.

One of the most notable things about Call of Duty 2 was its release alongside the Xbox 360 as a launch title. For many fans of first-person shooters, Call of Duty 2 is considered an all-time great and is still spoken about today as a defining entry in the series for introducing multiplayer.

Call of Duty 3 was released only a year after its predecessor, marking the beginning of when the series began to be released annually. Activision has released a Call of Duty game every year since, this was also the first time a new developer was brought in.

This time around the campaign had players choosing between a Polish, Canadian, British or American soldier. It was also the first Call of Duty game to introduce ranked play in multiplayer.

Even now, the original Modern Warfare is considered a high point for the series. Although there have been other great titles, few have been as well received by the fans. This marked the departure from the World War II setting, instead opting for a modern one.

One of the biggest things this allowed for was all new weapons, as well as introducing rewards for killstreaks, like an air strike or a UAV, completely modernising the game. It is also in Modern Warfare when being able to 'Prestige' was first introduced, which also led to perks and customisation becoming a much bigger feature.

After one year away, the series returned to the Second World War setting with a bang. World at War is a much more violent interpretation of the series - this was the first time dismemberment was in the game, so limbs were flying during both the campaign and multiplayer.

World at War was also the introduction of Nazi Zombies, a game mode that's been a staple of many Call of Duty games since. Zombies would have up to four players, all on the same team, trying to defend themselves for as long as possible against hordes of the undead. There was no end - instead, the point was to survive for as many rounds as possible while upgrading weapons along the way.

World at War also had different versions released on the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2, but these were watered-down experiences in comparison.

Modern Warfare 2 was a direct sequel to 2008's Modern Warfare, continuing the story and the themes of the game, once again it was another critical hit for the multiplayer, campaign and the 'Spec Ops' game mode, all of which gave the player plenty to get through. What Modern Warfare 2 may be most remembered for though is the controversial mission "No Russian".

During this mission, players committed a mass shooting in an airport in Moscow. The mission received a lot of criticism and is still considered one of the more controversial missions in a game, even today. In some regions, it was even removed from the game. Meanwhile, players were given the option to skip it altogether if they wanted to.

The first Black Ops game was another sequel, but this time around to Call of Duty: World at War - this time set during the Cold War. The campaign had a much greater emphasis on stealth, while the multiplayer was building on what we had seen before in previous entries.

Zombies also returned after not featuring in Modern Warfare 2. This time around there were three maps including "Five", which saw players take control of either JFK, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon or Robert McNamara. This also saw the introduction of a story introduced for the zombie game mode, although it became increasingly difficult to follow over the years.

The 2011 entry of the popular shooter was the third and final instalment of the Modern Warfare storyline. The story this time around was split into different sections, and once again featured a very controversial mission that saw players committing a terrorist attack on civilians.

In multiplayer, we also saw the killstreak system mixed up to try and prevent players from dominating games early, whilst ranking was also changed up in this game. Modern Warfare 3 was also the introduction of now popular game modes: 'Kill Confirmed' and 'Team Defender'.

Black Ops II continued the storyline originally introduced in World at War, while also expanding on the now incredibly popular zombies game mode introduced in the same game.

Black Ops II was also when weapon progression was first introduced, so you would unlock more attachments for a weapon you use a lot, as well as the introduction of 'Prestiging' a weapon. This was also where competitive play was first introduced in Call of Duty.

For the first time in years at this point, Call of Duty introduced a completely fresh campaign that wasn't an extension of any previous instalment. Ghosts was also the first Call of Duty on the PlayStation 4/Xbox One generation of consoles, but it wasn't as well received as previous titles in the series. At the time of writing it has a 78 on Metacritic, while the user score is only 4.1 (for the PlayStation 4 version of the game).

Advanced Warfare was the first Call of Duty solely developed by Sledgehammer Games, while the previous gen version was developed by High Moon Studios. Advanced Warfare was by far the most futuristic version of Call of Duty we had seen so far.

Long gone was the World War II setting - now, players had an Exoskeleton that allowed players to jump further, dash and boost. Laser weapons were also introduced, seeing the biggest overhaul to the actual gameplay since the series first left WWII.

The third Black Ops game saw a return to form after Advanced Warfare and Ghosts, as it continued the story Treyarch had been telling for years at this point. The game was set in a fictional future where another Cold War had erupted during the year 2065.

Zombies also returned and were expanded upon, while the multiplayer had Specialists for players to take control of and use, unlocking their backstories the more they used them.

Unfortunately, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is probably best known for having one of the most disliked trailers ever on Youtube. It marked the first time Call of Duty had a game fully set in space, so naturally we got grappling hooks, booster packs and zero-gravity.

This really mixed up the gameplay and was set during a war for the Solar System. It was all pretty high-concept stuff. Infinite Warfare was also one of the first Call of Duty games to feature a few famous faces, with the main protagonist being played by Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones). Lewis Hamilton and Connor McGregor also made cameo appearances.

Call of Duty returned to its roots by having a WWII setting for the first time in years. The movement was slowed down, resulting in it feeling heavier as all the jetpacks and space suits had been omitted in favour of the 1940s setting. We also saw the slide left in the future, so now players would have to jump onto the deck when they wanted to get down quickly.

The return to WWII was welcomed by fans as the slower gameplay was a pleasant change of pace from previous editions of the game, with the series returning to its roots.

The initial reaction to Black Ops 4 was largely negative, as fans of the series learned this would be the first Call of Duty without a traditional campaign. However, Black Ops 4 was the first attempt for Call of Duty to have a Battle Royale mode. This was called 'Blackout', and was the predecessor to the incredibly popular Warzone that would come later down the line.

Zombies continued to feature as a major part of the game, but this time around there were even more customisation options than before, so players could slaughter the undead in a way that better suited how they wanted to play the game.

2019 saw the Modern Warfare sub-franchise rebooted with new modes, new features and more introduced. This was also the first Call of Duty game players could use crossplay, so everyone could play with all of their pals for the first time - even if they were on different platforms.

Modern Warfare was also when we saw Call of Duty depart from loot boxes after they grew increasingly controversial. We also saw the return of a traditional campaign.

Warzone was Call of Duty having another pop at the increasingly popular Battle Royale genre, this time as a free-to-play title. The game worked alongside other Call of Duty titles, being updated to be in line with new releases so the map theme and weapons were the same.

The game boasted 150 players, had crossplay and featured either solo, squads or trios. Duos were eventually added later on. The second foray into Battle Royale was a huge success for Activision and is still going on today.

The continuation of the Black Ops sub-series saw the game return back to the past, with the game being set in the 1980s in-between Black Ops and Black Ops II. This is also the Call of Duty game with the longest name, as the developers had clearly used up all its original ideas for names by this point.

The campaign this time around offered much more freedom as players had light customisation options for the character, whilst there were also multiple endings for fans to enjoy.

Vanguard was once again a return to WWII for the series, this time around highlighting the very end of the war. This also marked a major update in Warzone, as well as introducing a new multiplayer mode called "Champion Hill".

This game also saw a continuation of the Zombie storyline that was first introduced in the previous game, it expanded and evolved the game mode even further than ever before.

The most recent Call of Duty was a continuation of the 2019s rebooted Modern Warfare series, which saw the game return to some of the more popular characters first introduced during the 00s, when Call of Duty was at its peak. The gameplay introduced plenty of new movement mechanics including swimming, as well as new vehicle combat.

The multiplayer also saw the introduction of some new game modes, including "Prisoner Rescue". Modern Warfare 2 did not tie in with Warzone, but during its life, Warzone 2 was introduced.

Released shortly after Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty had another stab at the Battle Royale genre and introduced the hugely popular DMZ game mode - an extraction-style multiplayer match. The new entry arrived with a new map as well as a greater emphasis on NPCs to take out during games.

The new Warzone is still in its infancy and is yet to hit the heights of Warzone, but it is likely only a matter of time until it does.

That is every single mainline Call of Duty game so far. It is surprising now, 20 years on from the series debut, just how many games there have been - and it doesn't appear to be slowing down. We will keep this list updated as more games release, but until then, be sure to check out all of our Call of Duty guides, so you can win in style.

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