The Call of Duty franchise has been ingrained in popular discourse since its inception in 2003, and it has produced one of the most devoted and diehard fan bases in the entire gaming community. Its latest title, a revamped version of Modern Warfare 2, is the fastest game in the franchise to hit $1 billion (via IGN).
Top 10 Call of Duty Games Provided by ScreenRant
This game was not the first to see a historic amount of achievement. The series as a whole has enjoyed quite a bit of success, as a lot of its games have reached some impressive sales numbers, according to VGChartz.
Call Of Duty: WWII (2017) — 19 Million Copies
Call of Duty: WWII was released on Nov. 3, 2017. It is the second title to be set in World War II, following World at War in 2008.
This game had all the standard game modes that fans usually enjoy, like a campaign and multiplayer online. It also had a rendition of Nazi zombies with an intricate plot that was more than just surviving as many rounds as possible. Call of Duty’s latest game set in WWII, Vanguard, undersold its projections and Activision believes this is due to its environment (via IGN). Still, the installment from 2017 was able to crack the franchise’s top 10.
Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) — 21 Million Copies
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was released on Nov. 4, 2014. It is the 11th major installment in the video game franchise.
One difference about this game was its campaign only had one playable character, as opposed to previous games that would weave their story around multiple playable characters. This appealed to some players who wanted a more linear story. Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey had a big role in its campaign as well. Advanced Warfare was not as disappointing as Vanguard, but this game could be marked as the start of a dark age in the series.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) — 25 Million Copies
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from 2009 is arguably one of the most popular first-person shooter games ever. It was officially released on Nov. 10, 2009.
Modern Warfare 2 gave fans some of the most iconic moments in the franchise. The campaign was loved, as Ghost’s death is still one of the most heart-wrenching movements in gaming history. The thought and effort that went into the story of the campaign were appreciated by fans, which was shown in the sale numbers. It also gave fans iconic maps like Terminal and Rust. It is still up for debate whether the 2022 remake is as good as the original, but both are unconditionally loved by the fan base.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops III (2015) — 26 Million Copies
Call of Duty: Black Ops III was released on Nov. 5, 2015. It was the 12th major release in the history of the franchise.
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One of the biggest draws to this game was the fact that the campaign was co-op. So, friends can complete the campaign missions together, which helped contribute to its sales. There is a mode that players can unlock that replaces all the enemies in the campaign with zombies, which is the first time this has ever been done. Although certain achievements are difficult to unlock, fans of the previous Black Ops installments were pleased with this game.
Call Of Duty: Ghosts (2013) — 28 Million Copies
Call of Duty: Ghosts is the 10th major installment in the series. The game was officially released on Nov. 5, 2013.
Ghosts came right after the very popular Black Ops II, so fans were ready to buy anything Call of Duty released at this point. That game introduced some new concepts, like being able to play as a German Shepherd in the campaign, but fans were also slightly disappointed with its recycled use of the campaign’s format and structure. Ghosts did advertise a new game mode called Extinction, which saw the player fight alien creatures and most likely helped drive up sales.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops II (2012) — 29 Million Copies
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is one of the series’ most successful sequels. It was released on Nov. 12, 2012.
After the massive success of the first Black Ops game, Black Ops II was almost as successful. Fans got to play as the same two protagonists as the first Black Ops, as well as the son of one of the playable characters as well. It was also the first Call of Duty game for the Wii U, which helped with some sales, but the game was primarily played on PlayStation and Xbox.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020) — 30 Million Copies
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was released on Nov. 13, 2022. It is the 17th major installment of the franchise.
Black Ops is the most popular series in Call of Duty, so anything under that title will sell well. The game took place between Black Ops and Black Ops II, so fans were probably excited about discovering what went on between two of the franchise’s most popular games. It is also interesting that perhaps the pandemic, and the fact that people were spending more time at home, could have increased sales. The biggest attribute to this game’s sales, however, was the fact that Warzone was attached to it so players can launch the battle royale from Cold War.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) — 30 Million Copies
The franchise decided to remaster one of its series as it released 2019’s Modern Warfare on Oct. 25 of that year. It is the 16th overall installment.
Call of Duty remastered the game in 2016, but officially released a new version of it in 2019. Fans were happy to see that the game featured the same cast of characters that were loved in the original game, like Captain John Price. Fans also raved about the tease at the end of the campaign, which revealed the characters Soap and Ghost, signifying that there was going to be a sequel, which definitely helped drive up sales.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) — 30 Million Copies
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 rounded out the Modern Warfare trilogy when it was released on Nov. 8, 2011.
The main sales pitch for this game was everyone wanted to see how the story ended. Makarov was one of the biggest villains in the whole franchise, so fans were dying in anticipation to see how the story unfolded. The game also includes the Special Ops game mode, which was introduced in Modern Warfare 2. This was a big draw for fans as players could complete missions solo or with a friend.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops (2010) — 31 Million Copies
Call of Duty: Black Ops is the best-selling game in the franchise. It was released on Nov. 10, 2010.
The game technically serves as a sequel to World at War, which can help explain why it sold so well. It also had the zombies game mode for the first time since its originator. Black Ops is also the first time fans were introduced to the map Nuketown, which has had several versions since its inception and is definitely one of the most popular in the franchise. This game sparked one of the most beloved series in the franchise, and Activision gained unwavering support from the fan base after the success of this game.
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