With 2019 coming to a close, we’re not only ushering in a new year but a start of a new decade too! With that in mind, we’ve decided to rank to all the Call of Duty games — based on multiplayer alone — released this decade, and came up with this list below! Note that this isn’t a COD games ranked piece for every game released, but just those released this decade (2010-2019).
And before anyone gets upset, remember that taste is subjective, so not everyone will agree with the order below. While games are review based on everything it has to offer, we are basing this COD games multiplayer ranked piece based on just that — the multiplayer.
Call of Duty Multiplayer ranked (2010-2019):
Call of Duty: Ghosts (released – 2013)
Kicking things off is possibly the franchise’s most forgotten or unremarkable entry of all time. If you ask someone what their most hated or most loved Call of Duty multiplayer experience was, chances are, you won’t hear “Ghosts” in either of them.
Ghosts was a product of its time, introducing new mechanics like leaning and large scale maps. With the series’ fast kill time and requiring lean kills to acquire camo challenges, it enforced more camping than past Call of Duty titles.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (released – 2016)
When Infinite Warfare launched, this was the point that a lot of Call of Duty gamers were sick and tired of wall-running, jetpacks, and so on from Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3, with both games offering a better version of the high-speed, jetpack-themed gameplay.
Not only that, but Infinity Ward introduced its own take on Treyarch’s Specialists called “Combat Rigs.” On paper, it seemingly offered its class system that kind of works, but some were overpowered or just outright goofy.
Infinite Warfare did offer hundreds of guns for players, though with its crafting system, and we’ll give it that.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (released – 2014)
Advanced Warfare is both the bringer of change and the start of the bad juju for the franchise. Jetpacks were introduced in Advanced Warfare in the form of exosuits that allowed players to jump higher, run faster, and so on. While it offered a refreshing change at the time, the novelty quickly wore out its welcome real quick with the Call of Duty fanbase.
In addition to that, Advanced Warfare is also the first Call of Duty game to offer Supply Drops-specific weapons! For those that played it, chances are you can still remember how some guns offered a distinct advantage over its base version, and it can only be obtained via Supply Drops. This alone could have propelled Advanced Warfare to the bottom of the list if its gameplay and innovation (at the time) wasn’t considered.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (released – 2019)
While Activision says Modern Warfare 2019 is now the most played Call of Duty game this generation, we suspect that a lot of that pull has something to do with the game’s name (it’s Modern Warfare for crying out loud!), coupled with how starved the COD fanbase is for a proper boots-on-the-ground multiplayer experience.
Not to say that the game hasn’t done anything good, but the camping meta, Infinity Ward’s stubbornness in coddling new players at the expense of veterans, how strict skill-based matchmaking is, and other issues put this at the latter half of this ranking.
For all the issues it has, Modern Warfare has superb gunplay, an in-depth gun customization feature in the Gunsmith, and (so far, so good) amazing post-launch support from Infinity Ward.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (released – 2011)
Riding high on the Modern Warfare 2 momentum train, Infinity Ward dropped Modern Warfare 3 to the COD fanbase and introduced new ways to earn killstreaks via the studio’s new poinstreaks, which were divided into different Strike packages (Assault, Support, and Specialist).
While the new ‘streaks system was a welcome change of pace (depending on who you ask), the weapon system was revamped, too with mixed results. Introducing what the studio calls “Proficiency” for weapons, this paved the way for gun abilities.
In some cases, Modern Warfare 3 played it safe, but for some people, that’s just what they wanted from the third entry in the Modern Warfare saga.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (released – 2018)
After a bit of development turmoil that saw the game allegedly retransition from an Overwatch-like path to what we got when it released last year, Treyarch still managed to bring the goods with Black Ops 4.
The gunplay was solid, the Pick 10 system was still working as great as ever, and the maps still followed tried and true three-lane design. Unfortunately, though, it also brought in stuff like Specialist spam, Supply Drop-specific weapons (that were eventually restructured this year), an increase in health from 100 to 150 that made gunfights longer, and still didn’t deliver the boots on the ground gameplay that fans have been clamoring for since Black Ops 3 was released.
Take out Specialists stuff though, and how the Supply Drop mechanic in Black Ops 4 became almost predatory in nature, then you have a solid Call of Duty title still.
Call of Duty: WWII (released – 2017)
Originally published with its own Division system that were generally not well received by players, Sledgehammer Games (after studio boss Michael Condrey was shuttered off) overhauled the Divisions system to appease fans. Still, the thing was, it came in months after the game was released, and a lot of the players soured by the then Divisions system have moved on to other games.
If you stuck around though, Sledgehammer changed how the core multiplayer worked for the better, updated the game with new weapons were easy to earn without spending a dime on delivering a top-notch Call of Duty experience.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (released – 2015)
Undoubtedly the best jetpack/wallruning Call of Duty game, Black Ops 3 delivered fantastic gun selection, the traditional Pick 10 system, three-lane maps, and was generally a well-liked Call of Duty game. However, Supply Drop weapons were in full force here, which soured the game for most people since a lot of the post-launch weapons were only accessible by spending actual money.
Aside from that small issue though, Black Ops 3 was a solid entry in the franchise and was the pinnacle of jetpacks and Specialists without bordering on overkill when it comes to Specialist abilities being unleashed every few seconds.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (released – 2010)
While the first Black Ops didn’t really innovate and instead improved on Modern Warfare and MW2, it did introduce the now-forgotten COD Points system that allowed players to purchase (in-game only) weapons, accessories and more. Treyarch even allowed players to gamble with their COD Points in its “Wager Match” game mode.
Also, this was the first COD game to feature Theater mode that allowed matches to be recorded for some badass montages.
Sure, Black Ops might not have innovated that much, but it didn’t need to and was a very well rounded Call of Duty game.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (released – 2012)
Seen by many as the best Call of Duty game of all-time, this hinges mostly on the multiplayer and the innovations that Treyarch introduced that would not only become franchise staples but literally change how the game is played up to this day.
In case you didn’t know, Black Ops 2 was the first game where the Pick 10 system was introduced in place of the traditional three-tier Perks system, with the former offering a new level of customization that allowed gamers to play the multiplayer exactly how they wanted to.
If that wasn’t enough, Treyarch also introduced the scorestreak system in place of killstreaks, which encouraged objective-based play, and made the game focus on teamwork, winning, and not just getting as many frags as you could.
On the scorestreaks front, the studio put out all the stops too. There were attack dogs, predator missiles, and everything we’ve come to expect. Couple that with with the three-lane map design that allowed a balanced flow for each team, as well as a pretty well rounded available list of weapons (Supply Drops weren’t introduced yet), and you have a Call of Duty that’s revered to this day — and with good reason.
Well, there you have it! That’s our list of the best Call of Duty multiplayer for this decade ranked! Do you agree with our list? Which ones would you re-order? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.