When it comes to first-person shooters, there’s no bigger video game franchise in the world than the iconic Call of Duty.
As of June 2022, CoD games have sold more than a whopping 425 million copies since the series’ inception in 2003, standing third all-time behind only the Mario and Tetris franchises. That’s especially impressive considering those series began in the 1980s. Financially, the franchise has generated more than $30 billion in revenue.
There have been a number of spin-offs and re-releases in the FPS franchise, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered or Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. But we have compiled a list of the primary games, the mainline series entries, and the ones that have had huge success in the world of entertainment, sometimes changing its landscape forever.
Here are all of the Call of Duty games in the order they were released.
2003: Call of Duty
Release date: Oct. 29, 2003Developer: Infinity WardSales: 4.5 million
The first CoD started the series in World War II and featured a story campaign and multiplayer modes. It was first released on PC, Mac, and even the N-Gage handheld device.
2005: Call of Duty 2
Release date: Oct. 25, 2003Developer: Infinity WardSales: 5.9 million
CoD 2 brought the series to consoles for the first time, releasing on Xbox 360 alongside PC and Mac.
2006: Call of Duty 3
Release date: Nov. 7, 2006Developer: TreyarchSales: 7.2 million
CoD 3 was Treyarch’s first foray into the series, keeping the fight in the 1940s. But things were about to change forever.
2007: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Release date: Nov. 6, 2007Developer: Infinity WardSales: 15.7 million
Call of Duty catapulted into the mainstream with CoD 4 when Infinity Ward brought the fight to the present day. Its awesome campaign and addictive multiplayer with the first prestige system likely changed gaming and FPS titles forever.
2008: Call of Duty: World at War
Release date: Nov. 11, 2008Developer: TreyarchSales: 15.7 million
Treyarch upped its game in 2008 with World at War, introducing the highly successful Nazi Zombies mode to the series for the first time.
2009: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Release date: Nov. 10, 2009Developer: Infinity WardSales: 25.02 million
If CoD 4 was the series’ entry into the mainstream, then MW2 is what truly turned the franchise into an entertainment juggernaut. It sold a whopping 25 million copies, which was unheard of at the time. That number would only grow.
2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops
Release date: Nov. 9, 2010Developer: TreyarchSales: 30.72 million
The success continued in 2010 with the first entry in the classic Black Ops series. The Zombies mode was expanded and the campaign introduced franchise favorite characters such as Frank Woods and Alex Mason.
2011: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Release date: Nov. 8, 2011Developer: Infinity WardSales: 30.71 million
The finale of the original Modern Warfare trilogy featured yet another epic campaign and addictive multiplayer.
2012: Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Release date: Nov. 12, 2012Developer: TreyarchSales: 31 million
The highest-selling CoD to date is often regarded by many to be one of the best in the series thanks to its competitive multiplayer, fun campaign, and further expansion of the Zombies universe.
2013: Call of Duty: Ghosts
Release date: Nov. 5, 2013Developer: Infinity Ward, Neversoft, Raven SoftwareSales: 28.98 million
The, thus far, standalone Ghosts title brought a dog named Riley to the fight.
2014: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Release date: Nov. 3, 2014Developer: Sledgehammer Games, High Moon StudiosSales: 21.76 million
The first “jetpack” CoD game turned the focus of the franchise from “boots on the ground” to “flying in the air” for a few years. Exosuits allowed players to boost jump in all directions as well as jump high in the air, changing up the gameplay in a big way. It was also Sledgehammer Games’ first work in the series.
2015: Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Release date: Nov. 6, 2015Developer: Treyarch, Beenox, Mercenary TechnologySales: 26.72 million
BO3 introduced specialists to the series for the first time. Each character had their own unique set of abilities and personalities.
2016: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Release date: Nov. 4, 2016Developer: Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Treyarch, High Moon Studios, Beenox, Vicarious VisionsSales: 13.6 million
Infinity Ward brought the fight to space in 2016 and many gamers felt the “jetpack” style of gameplay wearing thin. Activision heard the cries and the next CoD brought the fight back to Earth once more.
2017: Call of Duty: WWII
Release date: Nov. 3, 2017Developer: Sledgehammer Games, Raven SoftwareSales: 19.82 million
WWII returned the franchise to its roots with a grounded campaign and multiplayer experience.
2018: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Blackout
Release date: Oct. 12, 2018Developer: Treyarch, Raven Software, BeenoxSales: 14.3 million
CoD’s first foray into battle royale launched alongside BO4. Blackout showed Activision the world’s thirst for the last man standing mode and it began a huge turnaround for the series. This was also the first entry in the series to not have a campaign.
2019: Call of Duty: Mobile
Release date: Oct. 1, 2019Developer: TiMi Studio GroupSales: 500 million-plus downloads, over $1 billion in revenue
Smartphone gamers everywhere have been loving CoD: Mobile and its “greatest hits” theme. The game features modes, maps, characters, and weapons from across the franchise.
2019: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Release date: Oct. 25, 2019Developer: Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Beenox, High Moon StudiosSales: 30 million
Infinity Ward rebooted the MW storyline with some new characters while returning ones like Captain Price and more. The gritty campaign was supplemented by addictive multiplayer, but the big kid on the block was just around the corner.
2020: Call of Duty: Warzone
Release date: March 10, 2020Developer: Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, Beenox, High Moon Studios, Activision Shanghai, Toys For BobSales: Over 100 million downloads
Warzone shook up the battle royale landscape and gaming everywhere when it was released at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving players around the world an escape into Verdansk with one of the most successful BR games released thus far. It’s become a flagship in the series with future games tied into it, live events, and constant content updates.
2020: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Release date: Nov. 13, 2020Developer: Treyarch, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Beenox, High Moon Studios, Activision Shanghai, DemonwareSales: 30 million
A direct sequel to Black Ops 1, Black Ops Cold War saw the return of characters like Frank Woods, Alex Mason, and Jason Hudson in the 1980s.
2021: Call of Duty: Vanguard
Release date: Nov. 5, 2021Developer: Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch, Raven Software, Beenox, High Moon Studios, Activision Shanghai, DemonwareSales: Unknown, but lower than expected
The franchise returned to World War II once more in 2021. Activision Blizzard has not released the sales numbers for Vanguard, but the company publicly acknowledged that the game did not meet expectations for sales. It attributed this to the WWII setting and a lack of innovation in the premium release.
2022: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Release date: Oct. 28, 2022Developer: Infinity WardSales: Over $800 million on its opening weekend
MW2 is a direct sequel to the rebooted Modern Warfare from 2019, and it is Infinity Ward’s first main series release since, not including Warzone. The campaign will see the return of Captain John Price, Sergeant Kyle “Gaz” Garrick, Simon “Ghost” Riley, and John “Soap” MacTavish. Infinity Ward also introduced a revamped Gunsmith and AI systems for its co-op mode, Special Ops, along with large seasonal updates.
2022: Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 and DMZ
Release date: Nov. 16, 2022Developers: Infinity Ward, Raven Software, othersSales: TBD
The first substantial update in MW2 will introduce the new battle royale experience, Warzone 2.0, along with the Escape from Tarkov-like extraction mode DMZ. The new experience adds a new map, Al Mazrah, along with changes to the Warzone formula.
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