Call of Duty (CoD) Games (Main Series) in Order of Release

Call of Duty (CoD) is one of the most popular series of games around. In fact, it is the world’s best-selling video game franchise.

call of duty cod games series list in order

It’s a first-person shooter where you play from the perspective of a soldier making their way through war battles.

This series is so popular there are tournaments where you can win money as a pro video game player. Here’s some information about how this series unfolded.

Below we’ll list and describe briefly all main Call of Duty game titles from the order they were released.

Call of Duty (2003)

This series got started by Activision and came out for many platforms including Microsoft Windows, OS X, Nintendo DS, GameCube, Xbox, and many more. It has been ported for essentially every game system and mobile device right up until the present day.

The first setting in this game was for World War II. You’re playing through combined arms and infantry from that war. The game is a bit different based on the platform, with the Nokia and Mac OS X versions being a bit different than the versions for Microsoft systems.

Call of Duty 2 (2005)

The game initially came out for platforms including Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, mobile systems, and OS X. It has both single-player and multiplayer modes.

The game is again centered on World War II, and you can play through it multiple ways, including from the Soviet, British, and American perspectives.

This comes out to 27 different missions. You can also play it on 4 different modes going from Easy on through Veteran.

Gameplay options include coming with a set of binoculars that’s useful in certain situations. If you take enough damage, you’ll hear a strong heartbeat sound getting louder and louder to indicate stress.

If you die, you go back to your last checkpoint. Some attacks will kill you instantly, like grenades or shells from artillery fire.

Call of Duty 3 (2006)

This game came out for PlayStation 2, PS 3, Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360. The difference with this game is that it’s more open-ended than previous installments, making it so you can try different paths to complete your objectives in the game.

You have teammates controlled by an AI against opposing soldiers that also use AI-controlled tactics against you. This includes regrouping, hiding where there’s cover, and so on.

Gameplay elements including having your character either stand, go prone or crouch. You can carry two guns as well as smoke or fragmentation grenades.

One brand new element here is that you can throw grenades back at the enemy. You can be either Polish, Canadian, British or American for the campaign.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

Platforms for this one include PS 3, Windows, Xbox 360, and Mac OS X. This game won a lot of awards including the Best Xbox 360 game. It was the top-selling game in the world in 2007. It sold millions and millions of copies.

In terms of gameplay, you play a few different characters that overlap throughout the game. You follow your heads-up display to go from objective to objective throughout the game.

There’s even an extra epilogue mission after you beat the game. This is the first game that moves away from the World War 2 setting so that you’re instead using more modern items.

The multiplayer for this game also measures “killstreaks” where you can keep track of how many kills you’ve had in a row without dying yourself.

Call of Duty: World at War (2008)

The usual platforms for the timer are used for this game including Windows, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360. This game goes back to World War 2 for the setting. It has an open-ended approach like some of the more modern games in the series.

Gameplay elements that are new include finding weapons that have extra attachments like rifles with grenade launchers, extra telescopic sights, or even some that have bayonets on them.

In the Wii version of the game, you can get a Wii attachment that was called the Wii Zapper that is shaped like a gun for a more realistic gameplay feel.

Your character can recover from damage a bit in this game by staying outside of the range of fire for a while.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)

This game is the sequel to the modern game that came previously, moving away from the World War 2 setting again. It came out for Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360. It was also eventually compatible with PS 4 and Xbox One. There was a mobile version for DS as well.

In this game, you follow a group known as Task Force 141. Your goal is to hunt down the leader of an Ultranationalist Russian party.

The game was extremely popular with people loving that it was compact, that it had great campaigns, and amazing multiplayer options. It sold many millions of copies.

This CoD game is like many of its former versions as it’s a First Person Shooter game that focuses on gunfights. You can aim down iron gun sights in this one.

Blood hits your Heads Up Display whenever you’re shot in this one. You can play the campaigns, a special Spec Ops mission, or go into multiplayer.

Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

Black Ops came out for Windows, DS, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, and Mac OS X.

Gameplay includes the ability to kill an opponent with one knife blow if they don’t detect that you’re there. Different stances you take such as crouching and standing have an effect on how well you can move around stealthily or perform other options. The game has you moving from one perspective to another throughout the game.

All of the missions involve black ops missions where you are trying to accomplish objectives behind enemy lines without being detected.

Occasionally the game will move off of the usual first-person approach to a third-person one when you are piloting helicopters or stealth Blackbird planes. The multiplayer aspect of the game has team missions to accomplish.

CoD: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)

You can play this one on the usual platforms of Windows, Wii, PS3, or Xbox 360. In the game, you go from one character to another, which is separated into Acts, just like the previous games.

There’s a new mode called Cooperative which allows players to fight over huge waves of attackers. The waves go up in difficulty each time.

There’s no fixed spawning in this game, unlike what you get with Nazi Zombies in COD: World at War You can buy upgrades for equipment in this game using the in-game currency system.

There’s also the usual multiplayer game where you can try different modes like playing Capture the Flag.

The plot brings back Task Force 141 from the previous game and continues the plot where it left off from there.

CoD: Black Ops II (2012)

Platforms for this game include the usual Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360, but now also includes the, at the time, new Wii U.

The plot continues from the previous Black Ops game, which goes back and forth from the 1980s to 2025. In both timelines, you’re looking for a drug lord named Raul Menendez. This villain kidnaps people and even starts another Cold War.

Interesting gameplay elements include the fact that gameplay doesn’t always move in a straight line, and it’s possible to get different endings depending on your actions.

In general, the game got positive reviews from critics and players alike. People liked the different modes like multiplayer and the special version of Zombie mode.

There are also special missions called Strike Force missions which affect the story you are playing through currently, and they also have an effect on what missions you will play later. This aspect was a bit controversial among critics.

CoD: Ghosts (2013)

The platforms you need for this game include PS3 or PS4, Wii U, or Xbox 360, and Xbox One. In this game, you have fewer perspective changes because you’re mostly following just one character, whose name is Logan Walker.

You can play other characters here and there, including a dog named Riley. The German shepherd character is the first non-human character you can play in the series.

New game-play elements in this series include the squads option You can play this either by yourself or with friends. Each squad has 10 players in it and you can customize them however you want.

You can play your squad against another player’s squad, you can play against the computer or various other game modes with squads.

On top of that, there are many multiplayer modes for this game as well including a “search and rescue” option, a basic free for all option. A mode called “search and destroy” or many others.

CoD: Advanced Warefare (2014)

You can get this game for the usual platforms including Windows, PlayStation 3 and 4, or Xbox 360 or One. This is an FPS game like all of the other Call of Duty games.

There are major differences for this one, however. For example, you don’t have the heads-up display area like with other games. Instead, the game uses holograms from your equipment.

You have an exoskeleton in this game which makes it so you can dash, sky jump or boost, all movement options from your exoskeleton.

You can also choose what kind of basic equipment you have, including traditional guns but you can also opt for energy weapons instead. There’s also a stealth option for your Exo suit.

Besides your usual campaign and multiplayer modes, you get Exo Skeleton mode this time as well. You can play with your friends against waves in your Exo suit in this mode.

CoD: Black Ops III (2015)

This one has the usual PlayStation and Xbox options for platforms, along with Windows. The campaign is a bit different since you can play the campaigns with up to 3 other players, making for a 4-player cooperative mode.

The plot goes all the way to 2065, many decades after the last game. The setting goes into a third Cold War between differing global alliances.

Just like with the other Black Ops games, your missions are all behind enemy lines while you try and achieve objectives, and you use futuristic technology in order to accomplish them.

This includes using cyborg supersoldiers and robot-human drones. There’s a zombie mode in this version as well, and there were additional special editions and downloadable content to make the game even more complex.

CoD: Infinite Warfare (2016)

The platforms for Infinite Warfare are now down to Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. This CoD game was so popular that it won awards. It was also the best-selling game for November 2016.

This time you’re in a brand new physical setting, however, including outer space. As a result, there are new game mechanics like using a grappling hook to quickly move around an environment without gravity.

The game follows a character named Nick Eyes, who is a pilot. You can fight through aerial combat using a fighter named a Jackal that can transform.

Critics praised the game’s ability to transition between fighting in the air with a vehicle and going back to fighting on the ground. There’s also a new environment called Retribution which is a different world in the central hub.

CoD: World War II (2017)

Platforms for CoD: WWII is down to Windows, PS4, and Xbox One as it is an advanced game. The game was fairly popular with critics. People loved the story aspects and the fact that health didn’t regenerate anymore.

The gameplay is very different in this game since the movement options from the more modern games were taken away so you couldn’t jump super high or ride walls anymore. You can sprint for as long as you want, however. One option that’s also different is that you can perform something called “hit the deck” which allowed you to get to cover quickly.

The multiplayer options include letting you join squads like Airborne, Infantry, and others, who all have special abilities. You can also drag allies to cover as an extra option.

CoD: Black Ops 4 (2018)

Available for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One, this game doesn’t have a campaign mode at all. You can instead just do Solo Missions which are there to give you some backstory on the characters under the Specialists category.

The Multiplayer option doesn’t use automatic regeneration anymore. It also added a new system for recoil and other game physics.

There were also Zombie maps for fighting off zombies together as a team. There was a battle royale map as well.

People were initially upset about a lack of a campaign mode, but the multiplayer and zombie options grew on people over time. In Zombies mode, there was an option called Custom Mutations which let people customize how difficult it was to dispatch them due to their speed, endurance, and other options as well.

CoD: Modern Warfare (2019)

This game was available for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. It was focused on realism and tactics and moral choices. You got a score after the game was over about how well you did in terms of avoiding accidental damage to civilians that wasn’t warranted.

The multiplayer option was more exploratory and had more tactical options like letting you perform door breaches. If you want, you can also go into a Realism mode that takes away your HUD since you wouldn’t have that in real life.

There’s no Zombies mode in this one. You have more options like Warzone which is a battle royale game that has an epic scale. You can play against 150 other players. You can either go solo or battle in teams of up to four.

CoD: Black Ops Cold War (2020)

Cold War is available for platforms like PS4 and PS5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. It’s set further back between the first Black Ops and Black Ops II. The plot involves the Cold War in the 1980s and hunting down a Soviet spy with the name of Perseus who’s trying to blow up the U.S. From the inside.

Gameplay features customizing your character in terms of looks and the agency their from. You can even add traits that give you extra options in-game. You can end up with multiple different endings based on your choices. There are multiplayer options like fighting 6 players against 6 players, or even 12 players.

CoD: Vanguard (2021)

The newest Call of Duty game is currently in Beta before it’s officially released. They are having pre-release options including up through September 20, 2021.

There will be a combat pacing system which makes it so that you can enter specifics about what type of games you want for multiplayer so you can be assigned properly. The full game will be available on November 5.

It will be another game focused on World War II including important battles on the Western and Eastern fronts, as well in North Africa or the Pacific. Signature characters include Lucas, Polina for the Soviets, and Wade, each of them with special weapons.

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