Zombies is very much the highlight of most Call of Duty games, both old and new. Like it or not, they're pretty much adored by Activision, and it's unlikely that the warlords of first-person shooters will look to ease up on the production line when it comes to breathing new winds into the mode, either. Because the fact is, it's not going anywhere, and so long as it continues to rake in millions of online players—it will refrain from taking a backseat.
With all of that said, some zombies modes have definitely performed a little better than others. Although we're not exactly spoilt for choice, we are able to line up enough to start judging them accordingly. And in this particular case, we have to give certain medals to certain modes. So, with all of that shoved aside, here's how we would rank the best Call of Duty: Zombies chapters.
5. Black Ops 2
Let's face it. If Black Ops 2 had stuck to using god-awful buses in its zombies mode and not done anything else to improve the overall gameplay experience—then this entry would have most definitely been plastered at the bottom of the pile. But as luck would have it, Treyarch was able to pull something out of the bag and somehow revamp what was shaping up to be a dire chapter.
Black Ops 2 certainly wasn't the game-changing follow-up we all had in mind after slaying its predecessor. If anything, it was somewhat lacking in new material, and served only as a slight rehash of older content. Not a bad thing by any means, but also not that exciting, either. But then, whatever it chose to be, there's no denying the fact that it turned out a whole lot better than the atrocity that was Call of Duty: Advance Warfare. Now that's where we drew the line.
4. Black Ops 3
To most undead-loving fans, Black Ops 3 was Treyarch's final nail in the board, which is what secured their place in the multiplayer world for years to come. Although you could argue that its place was grounded long before Black Ops 3, many would happily claim otherwise. A matter of opinion, sure, but it's easy to see where the vast majority pull their opinion from.
Black Ops 3 booted up with Shadows of Evil, and The Giant. Before long, these two maps bypassed the expectations of most players and found sanctuary atop the highest peak of zombie experiences. From there, it was only an upward spiral, and along came a slew of instant classic DLC, all of which paid tribute to the founding father of Call of Duty‘s zombies. Therefore, we're happy to slap this one in the top five, though not high enough to be able to cash in the platinum.
3. World at War
Of course, we have to bow our heads and pay respects to the earliest torchbearer of the zombie underworld. Without World at War paving the way for a whole generation of undead shenanigans, we never would've had any of the Black Ops and Warfare spin-offs. And so, for that, we're happy to give credit where it's due.
As the founding father or the zombies mode, it was of course a revolutionary design, and something no other first-person shooter had narrowed in on before. Although a far cry from perfection, it was still a living, breathing counterpart to an already bustling multiplayer world. It was different—and we liked different, given the fact that Call of Duty was running on fumes, what with its regurgitated storylines and predictable conclusions.
2. Black Ops Cold War
Black Ops Cold War may not have been the be-all and end-all Call of Duty entry, but it certainly was a well-rounded package of first-class content. But part of that came tied to its beloved zombies mode, which basically had a following long before the campaign even spilt its opening credits. Not a surprise, of course, considering how well the undead division had done for itself leading up to the Cold War launch.
That said, nostalgia perseveres in this case, which is precisely why Cold War falls just below the apex. It's not a sour mix by any means, but it's a far cry from the mode that hammered in the final nail way back when. And for that reason alone, we're happy to give it the silver. Though, to be fair, Die Maschine, which stands as a reimagined version of World at War's beloved Nacht Der Untoten, is partly the reason why we're content with saddling it with such high praise.
1. Black Ops
We can credit World at War for its innovations and artistic curveballs all we want, but when all's said and done, nothing truly hits home as well as Black Ops. Picturing the sheet quantity of Easter eggs, picture-perfect maps, and, not to mention Treyarch's inclusion of “115” in Kino Der Toten—Black Ops really does have the whole shebang.
Given its age, Black Ops' iteration of the cult-classic mode is still a prominent member on the monopoly. Although a great deal of entries have since passed and looked to concrete over its design, the fact it still holds its ground is an achievement in itself. Regardless of how old it is, it still holds a place in our hearts, and for that, we have to give Treyarch full marks for giftwrapping such a game-changing and timeless experience.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.