In just a few short hours we’re going to be ushering in a new decade (for some it already is 2020), and for Battlefield fans, this is the perfect time to reflect back on the last 10 years of the franchise and to have our Battlefield games ranked list out just in time before the net-generation hits too.
Same as with our Call of Duty games ranking piece, we are basing this solely on multiplayer since this is what the Battlefield franchise is known for mostly. Don’t forget, as with all lists, taste is subjective so don’t throw a hissy-fit if your best Battlefield game isn’t #1 in this list.
Battlefield games ranked (2010-2019):
Ironically, we’re starting this list with the current Battlefield game out, and that’s Battlefield V. While the game isn’t bad by any means and has offered its own new innovations, there are too many deviations from past Battlefield games and many other issues such as the MMG+prone meta to rank this higher than the rest.
On top of all the design changes, compared to past iterations V isn’t exactly at par with the rest when it comes to features. We only got private games a year after release, and destruction isn’t as impactful as it once was before.
Battlefield V did away with Battlefield Premium, though, so we’ll give it that. That said, some people would rather DICE go the Battlefield Premium route again if that meant better support, consistent release of maps, weapons, and more, and I don’t blame them.
The only Battlefield game in this list not developed by DICE, but was instead made by now-defunct studio Visceral Games (Dead Space), Battlefield Hardline was the last Battlefield game released on the PS3 and Xbox 360, and offered a fresh new take on the franchise’s take on warfare.
Instead of an actual war, gamers played as cops and criminals and battled in banks, streets, parking lots, and more. Visceral introduced multiple levolution elements in their stages, and even a new way to resupply and get medkits from teammates without the need for them to actually do anything (this method has since been employed by BFV as well).
While Hardline was a bit more faster-paced than previous Battlefield games, it quickly faded faster than any other Battlefield game in the series, and Visceral Games was shuttered down, and the rest is history.
Despite being set in World War 1, Battlefield 1 offered a bunch of new gameplay design mechanics not seen in past Battlefield titles. Players were introduced to vehicle-based classes, Elite classes, and even the Behemoths that, depending on who you ask, is either a good thing or the worst idea DICE has ever had in terms of new additions.
Possibly the only major downside Battlefield 1 had compared to other games is the lack of gun variety. Aside from that, though, Battlefield 1 offered that familiar Battlefield formula when it comes to gunplay, gameplay mechanics, map design, and so on.
Note that for the last three games, it’s pretty much a toss-up in terms of which one really is the best Battlefield game this generation. You can move Battlefield 4 up between the remaining two, and people would understand why.
Battlefield 4 introduced large-scale destruction called “Levolution” that saw entire buildings crumble, dams get blasted open, and lots more. This wasn’t just “some” gimmick as it affected the way the map flowed, capture points, and more.
In addition to that, DICE amped up the gun customization for Battlefield 4 by letting you mix and match different attachments for your guns.
However, among the good stuff that we all fondly remember now, BF4 was plagued with technical glitches when it came out (more so than your usual DICE game) since its release coincided with the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One. At the time, players were subjected to tech issues that got so bad, EA was hit with a lawsuit. That said, once those were ironed out, gamers were treated to a Battlefield title that felt like a greatest hits tribute album. If you haven’t, we highly recommend you revisit the title after all these years.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Bad Company 2 is an anomaly that seems to have achieved cult-like status in terms of reverence among the Battlefield community. Originally disliked by hardcore players due to its lower player count, and more casual-friendly class system, Bad Company 2 won over players with its introduction of full-on destruction that saw entire stages leveled by explosions, gunfire and so on. The amount of destruction offered in Bad Company 2 quickly became a franchise staple, that even today is regarded as the series high point.
Aside from destruction, Bad Company 2 introduced a wide range of unique gadgets and equipment (controllable UAV, anyone?) and even a streamlining of how classes worked that we still see to this day (Medic, Support Recon, and Engineer). This new take on classes, gadgets, lower player counts in a match were played on some of the best maps the franchise has ever seen. Remember Arica Harbor? Nelson Bay? Yeah, we thought you would.
Bad Company 2 also introduced arguably the best Battlefield DLC, Battlefield: Vietnam that saw character model changes (back then, changing how characters looked wasn’t as prevalent in online shooters), new weapons, new maps, and new ways to play.
To further emphasize how much fans love Bad Company 2, any chatter on a possibility of Bad Company 3 sends fans into a frenzy, and we don’t blame them.
Surprised Battlefield 3 took the top spot? Don’t be. While Battlefield 3 might not feature destruction as in-depth as Bad Company 2, or offer the same kind of large-scale levolution set pieces seen in Battlefield 4, it more than made up for it with fantastic gunplay, a perfect blend of rock, paper, scissors gameplay, and possibly the most memorable set of maps in any Battlefield game ever.
What also makes Battlefield 3 stand out are the maps. To this day, we still see Operation Metro in new Battlefield games, and it’s understandable why. Not only that, but those who played the game will fondly remember maps like Caspian Border, Seine Crossing, Grand Bazaar, and more.
At face value, Battlefield 3 seemingly copied Bad Company 2’s class system, all while changing how gunplay, movement, and even how melee felt to something much smoother and less clunky. Speaking of melee, BF3 was also the first game in the series to feature execution-melee attacks that are now the norm in other FPS online shooters.
There you have it, soldier! Do you agree with our Battlefield ranking piece on the franchise entries released this decade? Did Bad Company 2 deserve the top spot? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.