Call of Duty Games In Order: History of CoD Releases (2021)

I know you’ve been looking for the Call of Duty games in order since you came on this page, and I will do my best to give you all the info that you want in this article!

When it comes to the best-selling combat video game franchise, Call of Duty is the name that comes to mind. Published by Activision, Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game that was initially released in 2003. Since then, we have seen a plethora of titles spread across various locations, timelines, and of course platforms. Well, if you’ve been hearing about this franchise for the first time or are looking to revisit the same, then we might have something worthy for you.

In this article, we’re going to talk about various orders of playing for the entire Call of Duty franchise. There’s going to be the release order and the timeline order. Without any further ado, let’s see both the orders for the franchise.

Call of Duty Games In Order

Since there is already a plethora of Call of Duty games and more incoming, it’s hard to keep track of the order of playing. When it comes to the timeline order, things get even messier. To save you from all the research and troubles, we’re here with various orders of playing for the Call of Duty game franchise.

We’ll start with the release order because that’s what the fans of the franchise are most accustomed with. I also think that one should play the games in order of their release date to get a fill of experience them like everyone else did. Once you are done with the entire series, and assuming you want to play the games again, you can go with the chronological order to spice things up a bit.

So, let’s start with the release order first and see all the Call of Duty games as they were released!

Call of Duty Games In Order of Release Date

1. Call of Duty (2003)

call of duty

  • Release Date: October 29, 2003
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, OS X
  • Developer: Infinity Ward

As mentioned earlier, the very first Call of Duty game was released in 2003. The game took place during the events of World War II. The title was developed by Infinity Ward and was published by Activision and it made use of the Quake III: Team Arena game engine.

At the launch, the title was only available for PC but then soon it made its way to consoles such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well.

Considering the popularity of the game, the developers decided to add expansion packs to the title. Activision announced the expansion pack dubbed Call of Duty: United Offensive a year later i.e. in 2004.

Coming to the campaign, you play as a Private Martin, a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The game captures multiple perspectives, through the eyes of American, British, and Russian soldiers.

The game also had multiplayer gameplay support in the form of deathmatch mode. In this multiplayer mode, players keep on respawning until a certain amount of kill happens or time runs out. Players can select different weapons at the time of respawn. There are various other multiplayer modes such as Behind Enemy Lines, Team Deathmatch, Retrieval, Search & Destroy, and Headquarters.

2. Call of Duty 2 (2005)

call of duty 2

  • Release Date: October 5, 2005
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, Xbox One
  • Developer: Infinity Ward

Built on the success of the first iteration, Call of Duty 2 takes place in World War II as well. The title acts as a sequel to the previous game. Just like the first release, Infinity Ward and Activision joined hands to bring this game to the market.

There are four individual campaigns that players can explore with each one of them bringing different perspectives. Just like the first iteration, this one too comes with various multiplayer modes.

While the original Call of Duty 2 was not released for the PlayStation, Activision decided to soon bring yet another title dubbed “Call of Duty 2: Big Red One” to the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube.

Basically, the game targeted the older consoles while also bringing the story set in the World War II timeline. Looking at the success of the second iteration, Activision decided to bring the Call of Duty II (Mobile) version with a top-down view. The game was available for non-iOS mobiles at that time.

3. Call of Duty 3 (2006)

call of duty 3

  • Release Date: November 7, 2006
  • Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox
  • Developer: Treyarch

Just a year later, Activision added yet another installment to its World War II-based historic FPS franchise. This time, the company decided to partner with Treyarch and Pi Studios for the development.

While the previous two installments enjoyed huge success on the PC platform, the third iteration did not make its way to the computers for some unknown reason. Set in the same historical period, the game brought multiple map options for players to explore.

Unlike the previous two games, the events in Call of Duty 3 are based on a single combined campaign. This means that the player keeps on switching between four nations and their respective characters. In this way, the developers were able to bring multiple stories into the single campaign.

There are around 14 playable campaign missions in Call of Duty 3. The third installment didn’t bring anything new to the gameplay style resulting in less remarkable result out of the three.

4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

call of duty 4: modern warfare

  • Release Date: November 5, 2007
  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Xbox One, PS4, OS X, NDS
  • Developer: Infinity Ward

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is one of the most beloved titles in the entire franchise. The game built the foundation for the most popular Modern Warfare trilogy.

The fourth title in the game brought some impressive changes when it comes to gameplay, storyline, and of course, graphics. Activision again worked with Infinity Ward to bring this title to existence. As the name suggests, the game takes place in the modern setting instead of the historic era. Modern Warfare takes you through the story of Soap Mactavish who is a soldier fighting the conflicts set in the Middle East and Russia.

The title brings forth an impressive gameplay and storyline which resulted in a fully-fledged trilogy afterward. In fact, the trilogy is still considered a benchmark when it comes to the elements of surprise, intense action, and an engaging story.

Infinity Ward even brought some changes to the multiplayer gameplay experience by adding leveling mechanics. Furthermore, we saw the introduction of a perks system bringing playstyle customization. All in all, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a must-try title in the COD franchise and if you haven’t played this, then you really should considering playing it!

5. Call of Duty: World at War (2008)

call of duty: world at war

  • Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, NDS, PC
  • Developer: Treyarch

Call of Duty: World at War again takes place during World War II, however it’s more of an improved version of the previous World War II-based titles bringing you gameplay and campaign experience similar to that of Modern Warfare.

Launched for those who are looking to have a revamped experience of the company’s popular Word War II-based campaign. In this title, the developers also introduced zombie defense mode which was one of the biggest addition to the franchise. Since then, Zombie mode has been an integral part of any Call of Duty installment.

Apart from this, there was an introduction of cooperative mode. When compared to the previous World War II games, the World at War title brings much more mature content to the experience.

6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)

call of duty: modern warfare 2

  • Release Date: November 10, 2009
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, OS X
  • Developer: Infinity Ward

The Call of Duty franchise reached new heights with the introduction of the Modern Warfare title. Infinity Ward had to make this into a fully-fledged trilogy and that’s how we got the Modern Warfare 2.

The title continues the story of its predecessor. Just like in the first installment, you play as a part of a British SAS operative and an American soldier. In terms of storyline and campaign, this game did not disappoint at all. You would get the same impressive gameplay experience that you witnessed in the original Modern Warfare.

Infinity Ward, this time, brought a new mode called Spec Ops in which there is a series of separate missions that one can undergo either solo or co-op.

The opening scene of the Modern Warfare 2 is still one of the most intense and popular missions out there. It was also a part of numerous controversies during the launch. In this mission, you are undercover as a member of a terrorist group who decided to execute a mass shooting in an Airport. As a player, you need to kill innocent civilians even though you don’t really want to. Just like the original one, this title also managed to continue the same excitement that the trilogy brought in the first place.

7. Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

call of duty: black ops

  • Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, OS X, Wii, NDS
  • Developer: Treyarch

After Modern Warfare 2, Treyarch took the lead and decided to bring a new series in the Call of Duty franchise. We’re talking about Call of Duty: Black Ops. Unlike the previous installments of Treyarch, this one focuses on the Cold War era.

Black Ops brings a whole new gameplay experience that focuses a lot more on the storyline than on the gameplay experience. We think the Black Ops still brings some of the best storylines we’ve seen in any first-person shooter title.

In this title, we see a talking protagonist which was something not present in the previous titles in the franchise. In this title, you’re captain Alex Mason, a CIA operative and a retired Marine Force Recon Captain, who is trying to recall certain memories in order to locate numbers station. If you haven’t played this title before, then you seriously need to do it right away.

8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)

call of duty: modern warfare 3

  • Release Date: November 8, 2011
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, OS X, Wii, NDS
  • Developer: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games

It’s time to talk about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which is the last title in the popular Modern Warfare trilogy. The third iteration is still the best-selling CoD game of all time with a sale of over 30 million copies. The installment further continues the story that we left at in Modern Warfare 2.

Unlike the previous two games, this one is developed by two companies namely Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games. From the gameplay point of view, there’s nothing new if you’ll compare the title to the predecessors. Although there was a key addition to the multiplayer mode i.e. “survival” co-op mode. In this mode, players defend against waves of enemies, something akin to the popular zombie mode.

From the story point of view, Modern Warfare 3 continues the same excitement, same suspense, and same fun. The way the story ends was also a nice tribute to all the main protagonists of the trilogy. The entire Modern Warfare trilogy offers some of the popular protagonists of the game industry.

9. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)

call of duty: black ops 2

  • Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Wii U
  • Developer: Treyarch

With the Modern Warfare trilogy coming to a successful end, it was time for the second installment of the Black Ops series developed by Treyarch to take center stage. The Black Ops II brings two campaigns set in different periods – the 1980s and 2025.

Throughout the gameplay, you would keep on jumping between two protagonists, each from a different time. In the 2025 era, you would see the introduction of various futuristic elements in the title which will soon be a core part of future CoD titles.

Black Ops II is also one of the famous titles of the CoD franchise. The title brings back the zombie mode with some new additions such as survival mode. It also brings a competitive mode called League Play where players with the same skills take part in league competitions.

10. Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)

call of duty: ghosts

  • Release Date: November 5, 2013
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PC
  • Developer: Infinity Ward

The next title in the Call of Duty games in order was dubbed Call of Duty: Ghosts, and it was one of the much-awaited titles as it brings various new elements to the gameplay experience.

We saw future and sci-fi elements throughout the game but one of the most interesting aspects was the introduction of a playable animal. You, as a protagonist, were able to control your trained German Shepherd named Riley. The trained dog will help you execute various aspects of missions throughout the game.

While the story seems like a typical one to many, the entire gameplay experience is on the better side. With that said, Call of Duty: Ghosts is one of those titles that had a very exciting ending leaving hope that a second installment might arrive later. Sadly, Infinity Ward never released the Ghosts 2 and that is something the fans were left waiting for.

11. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014)

call of duty: advanced warfare

  • Release Date: November 4, 2014
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Sledgehammer Games

After Modern Warfare 3, Sledgehammer Games got their own separate CoD title to work on and the result was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The game continues the futuristic aspect of the franchise with the events set mid-way through the 21st century.

There were a lot of super high-tech elements in the game such as the Exoskeleton suit that improves character mobility. There were various extra abilities such as cloaking, a portable shield, a health boost, and a lot more.

The futuristic elements were quite fun throughout the game but many gamers found the game quite disappointing as they were expecting a Modern Warfare-like experience when it comes to the storyline.

Coming to multiplayer, the experience remains similar. The game also offers a fresh take on the Survival and Zombie modes. The multiplayer offers a whopping 400 weapons to choose from. The developers also implemented supply drops giving players some new gear from time to time. Something you’re already familiar with the currently-trending battle royale titles. There is also an Exo Survival mode allowing four players to fight against the common enemies.

12. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015)

call of duty: black ops 3

  • Release Date: November 6, 2015
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Treyarch

In 2015, Treyarch came back with its third installment of the Call of Duty: Black Ops franchise. With this new installment, the developers abandoned the Cold War era and started focusing on futuristic settings. The move was something many players never accepted and the series started seeing a bit of decline.

With Black Ops III, the campaign was designed a bit differently. All the missions were designed with a 4-player co-op in mind. Furthermore, there was a more open-level design along with customizable characters.

The multiplayer aspect, on the other hand, remained the same and borrowed various elements from the previous games. There was a slight improvement in mobility when compared to Advanced Warfare. There was an introduction of character classes with unique abilities that is something we would see more often in other installments.

Coming to the story, the game takes place in the year 2065, around 40 years after the previous title. In this year, the world is suffering from climate change and has tons of advanced technology to exploit.

13. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)

call of duty: infinite warfare

  • Release Date: November 4, 2016
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Infinity Ward

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is yet another title developed by Infinity Ward. With this title, the CoD franchise took the timeline even further. In fact, the developers even left out the exact year intentionally.

In this title, players get to participate in combat in space within environments such as zero-gravity. To top things off, you would also fight enemies in the pilot seat of a fighter craft. Infinity Warfare was the first tile to release on the 8th generation of consoles i.e. PS4 and Xbox One.

In this installment, you fight against hostile forces trying to take over the solar system. To do that, you’ve got super cool weapons and gears to choose from, and believe me, there are a plethora of them. You can also enhance weaponry with special attachments which is a nice addition.

Once you complete the campaign, two more difficulty levels are unlocked namely YOLO and Specialist. The multiplayer uses the mechanism from the previous-gens so there’s nothing much to talk about it.

14. Call of Duty: WWII (2017)

call of duty: ww2

  • Release Date: November 3, 2017
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Sledgehammer Games

With a lot of consecutive titles focusing on futuristic settings, Activision decided to go back to the traditional gameplay experience that players were missing. Sledgehammer Games brought back the setting to World War II. This meant that players won’t find any advanced gameplay experience such as enhanced mobility that was available in previous installments.

One such drastic change was the removal of automatic health regeneration. This means you would need health packs in order to regenerate your health throughout the gameplay.

Even the multiplayer experience saw few changes with the elements moving back to a more traditional approach. For instance, custom classes were removed and something called divisions took its place. The Zombie mode makes a return with nothing new to talk about.

15. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018)

call of duty: black ops 4

  • Release Date: October 12, 2018
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Treyarch

Developer Treyarch released the fourth installment of the Black Ops series in October 2018. The title brings one of the biggest changes in the Black Ops series. Looking at the trending multiplayer and battle royale modes, the developers decided to scrap the single-player aspect entirely. The move was something gamers and critics disliked a lot and the game received a lot of bad criticism.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was now a fully-fledged battle royale title. The mechanics, on the other hand, remained the same. There’s no automatic health regeneration in this title and when it comes to movement mechanics, customization, and progression options, everything remained the same.

Back Ops 4 is a title that many liked and many didn’t. There were some new additions as well such as three new zombie maps. There were other exciting maps such as Ancient Rome, RMS Titanic, and Alcatraz. There was an addition of solo missions as well that focuses more on characters’ backstories.

16. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)

call of duty: modern warfare 2019

  • Release Date: October 25, 2019
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Infinity Ward

With the entire CoD franchise becoming more and more repetitive and a bit dull, Infinity Ward decided to spice things up by revamping its one of the most popular Modern Warfare trilogy.

The reboot of the iconic 2007 game resulted in the franchise’s favor. With Modern Warfare 2019, the CoD franchise went back to its traditional realistic down-to-earth setting and playing style. The game also brought back the iconic characters from the original trilogy.

The campaign mode takes place in a fictional event in today’s time where you help rebels from the fictional country Urzikstan in holding off a Russian invasion. From the storyline to the gameplay experience, everything on this title met our expectations. The inclusion of RTX made the graphics even much better. The game even explored mature content which was even more realistic and fun to experience.

Modern Warfare 2019 was even nominated for a plethora of gaming awards. The installment won the Best Online Multiplayer Game from the Game Critics Awards. Other popular awards include the Esports Game of the Year 2020, Best Original Score, Best Audio Design, and more.

17. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020)

call of duty: black ops cold war

  • Release Date: November 13, 2020
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
  • Developer: Treyarch, Raven Software

Activision is still sticking to its original pattern of releasing CoD titles – Infinity Ward and Treyarch taking place alternatively. With the success of Modern Warfare, it’s time to spice things up for the iconic Black Ops series. With Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Activision went back to its traditional formula. As the name suggests, the game takes place in the 1980s during the Cold War.

The entire campaign is said to be inspired by real-life events. Just like with Modern Warfare, the game brings various characters from the previous titles in the series. The game also implements multiple endings on the basis of players’ choices which is becoming quite popular nowadays. As expected, Black Ops Cold War received positive criticism from the gaming community as well as popular publications.

Call of Duty Games In Order (Chronological Order)

Here’s a look at the Call of Duty titles sorted in the timeline order, according to the year the events in the game took place. If you’ve played the entire series and want to play the game again but a bit differently, then you can follow this order.

  • Call of Duty: WW2 (1940)
  • Call of Duty: Finest Hour (1942)
  • Call of Duty: World at War (1942)
  • Call of Duty 2 (1942)
  • Call of Duty (1942)
  • Call of Duty 3 (1943)
  • Call of Duty: Big Red One (1944)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (1961)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (1960s)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (1980s)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (1999)
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2011)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2016)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2016)
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (2017)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2043)
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2054)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2065)
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2080)

Call of Duty Franchise (Spin-Offs)

There might be a ton of titles to play in the main series of the CoD franchise, but the developers have also released several spinoffs as well. Here’s a look at the various spinoffs that Activision has introduced in the Call of Duty franchise:

  • Call of Duty: Finest Hour
  • Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
  • Call of Duty: Roads to Victory
  • Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized
  • Call of Duty: Zombies
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Zombies
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified
  • Call of Duty: Strike Team
  • Call of Duty: Mobile

Conclusion

Call of Duty is indeed one of the most popular gaming franchises out there. If you’ve been a part of the gaming community, then you might have already played most of the main titles. If you haven’t, then you can do so right away. We have mentioned various multiple orders that you can play in, to spice things up. With that said, the future of the CoD franchise seems quite interesting as the company has finally returned to its success formula.

We’re expecting more Modern Warfare titles and Black Ops installments taking the story to next level. Till then, keep playing all the titles in the franchise by following the info featured in this article listing down all the Call of Duty games in order!

Also Read: Assassin’s Creed Games In Order

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