Though several developers contribute to the modern Call of Duty games, Treyarch is widely considered the standout among them. While Infinity Ward initiated the series, Treyarch distinguished itself by taking bold risks, often delving into specific historical periods rather than exclusively focusing on contemporary warfare. Notably, Treyarch introduced the iconic Zombies game mode, a cornerstone of the Call of Duty franchise.

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The Black Ops series

It is evident that the developers allocated varying degrees of time and creativity to different games. Whether it's a deficiency in content, a lackluster multiplayer experience, or a dearth of innovation, there are numerous ways a Call of Duty game can disappoint fans. The high expectations are a testament to the consistently outstanding quality of many of Treyarch's past games. It is important to note that the games discussed in this list specifically refer to those in which Treyarch led the development, excluding instances where they only contributed to a single mode.

1. Call Of Duty: Black Ops

The initial Black Ops installment injected a much-needed breath of fresh air into the series, sustaining the momentum established since the early Modern Warfare games. Even more than a decade after its debut, Black Ops stands as one of the finest first-person shooters ever created. Its campaign diverged from the conventional, adopting a psychological thriller approach that captivates players from start to finish.

Black Ops
Call Of Duty: Black Ops


Beyond the compelling campaign, Black Ops excels in its multiplayer aspect, boasting outstanding maps and killstreaks. The game introduced a variety of distinctive weapons, such as the Galil and AUG, which have since become iconic in the series, making comebacks as fan favorites in subsequent titles. Not to be overlooked, the Zombies mode featured a blend of original and classic maps, including Kino and Five. In essence, Black Ops is a comprehensive package that effortlessly caters to every type of fan, regardless of their preferred game mode.

2. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2's multiplayer seems to represent the culmination of collective developer efforts over the years. Gone are the overpowered weapons and unfair Perks from Modern Warfare 2, replaced by the absence of such elements. The introduction of the pick 10 class system empowers players to explore an endless array of playstyles, injecting a refreshing twist into the conventional class structure.

Black Ops 2
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2

While the Zombies mode fell short of expectations, with Tranzit widely considered the weakest map in the mode's history, the campaign shines as a notable highlight. It allows players to actively shape much of the narrative through their actions. Set against the backdrop of a Second Cold War, the game showcases genuinely unique and creative weapons and killstreaks, resulting in an exhilarating gaming experience that remains enjoyable for extended periods.

3. Call of Duty: World at War

Call of Duty: World at War may not boast the most advanced mechanics or an abundance of content compared to future titles, but in terms of unfiltered immersion and emotional impact, it can be argued as the pinnacle of the series. The campaign allows players to delve into the gritty and harsh realities of World War II, experiencing the conflict through the perspectives of the Red Army or the U.S. Marines. Both storylines are enriched with compelling narratives, complemented by intense gunplay and a variety of iconic weapons like the MP40 and PPSH.

World At War
Call of Duty: World at War

In the Zombies mode, the eventual set of four maps each bring their own unique elements. Whether it's the introduction of the Pack-A-Punch machine in Der Riese or the inclusion of zombie dogs in Shi No Numa, each map contributes something innovative that significantly contributes to the mode's widespread popularity. While the multiplayer experience may have its ups and downs due to the varying quality of maps, this minor drawback is overshadowed by the overall excellence of the game.

4. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 faced initial criticism from both critics and fans, largely due to numerous bugs plaguing the game at its release. However, over time, many have grown to appreciate it more, thanks to substantial improvements. The exceptional gunplay added immense enjoyment to the core gameplay, and the extensive array of attachments and weapons contributed to a highly rewarding overall experience. Despite various patches, a few guns, notably the ICR, continued to dominate the multiplayer.

Black Ops 4
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4

The campaign demonstrated a notable improvement from its predecessor, and while the Zombies mode started somewhat weak, it evolved into a more comprehensive experience with reintroduced maps like Blood of the Dead and Five. Although Black Ops 4 didn't stand out in any specific aspect, it excelled in delivering exceptional moment-to-moment gunplay, arguably unmatched in the Call of Duty series. The absence of a compelling story might deter some players, especially considering the mixed reception to the Zombies storyline. Nevertheless, the multiplayer and the inception of Warzone through Blackout provided ample enjoyment for players.

5. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3

While the complex campaign and the high-speed multiplayer in Black Ops 3 didn't particularly stand out, it proved to be an ideal game for enthusiasts of the Zombies mode. The initial map, Shadows of Evil, unfolded in a vibrant and sophisticated 1940s city, requiring players to explore, solve puzzles, acquire weapons, and fend off relentless waves of zombies to progress to the next round. The release of the Zombies Chronicles downloadable content in 2017 introduced another 8 classic maps, enhancing the mode's replay value significantly.

Black Ops 3
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3

Furthermore, Black Ops 3 stands out for possibly having the most distinctive multiplayer in the series, resembling more of Titanfall than the traditional Call of Duty, incorporating features like wall-running and jet boosts. While this deviation isn't inherently negative, as it ensures matches are consistently dynamic and enjoyable, the rapid time-to-kill could potentially make certain moments feel overwhelming.

6. Call Of Duty 3

Considered by many as the beginning of Call of Duty's journey into mainstream popularity, Call of Duty 3 is a somewhat overlooked gem for long-time fans and was undeniably ahead of its time. However, when actively playing the game, it becomes apparent that Treyarch faced a notably brief development period, resulting in a somewhat rough overall experience. The 12v12 multiplayer modes felt overly expansive for an arcade shooter like Call of Duty.

Call Of Duty 3
Call Of Duty 3

The campaign, while somewhat generic and lacking engaging, memorable characters, undeniably benefits from smooth and fluid gameplay. The sheer power of most weapons adds to the overall enjoyment, making it a fun experience despite its shortcomings.

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