Frantic multiplayer matches have become synonymous with the Call of Duty franchise. Its brilliant use of persistent progression and killstreaks has raised the bar for multiplayer FPS titles since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
The multiplayer wouldn't nearly be as fun if it wasn't for well-made maps. Every Call of Duty game has some good maps and bad ones, but the extremes of either spectrum are what fans reminisce or argue about. Whether you were a fan of objective modes or killing everything on sight, these maps offered something for everyone, good and bad. Here are the 5 best and worst multiplayer maps in the Call of Duty franchise.
10 Best: Dome (Modern Warfare 3)
Many Call of Duty fans forget that Modern Warfare 3 offered a good selection of maps like Resistance and Hardhat. Even though the game had a few stinkers, the majority of maps in MW3 were fun to play on.
Dome is arguably one of the best maps in the franchise but rarely gets talked about. It combines the close-quarters mayhem of fan favorites like Rust or Shipment with the more open-ended lanes most CoD maps are known for. It was a great map for Search & Destroy, Team Deathmatch, and 1v1 engagements. Dome is just a solid and —pardon the pun—well-rounded map.
9 Worst: Crisis (Black Ops)
Call of Duty: Black Ops included some of the most iconic weapons and multiplayer maps in the series, ranging from close quarters chaotic maps to more open-ended environments.
Crisis is a map that tries to do both and fails miserably at doing either. Part of the map is an open environment that is a complete deathtrap, while the other notable area is a hidden missile facility that has little cover. The main issue with Crisis is its lack of proper map flow, funneling most combat into the missile facility rather than the other two lanes and open areas the map contains.
8 Best: Hijacked (Black Ops 2)
Hijacked is a masterclass in tri-lane level design. This yacht contains three main lanes players must fight for control over, with a vantage point on both sides of the boat.
These window vantage points were powerful positions to control, as they let you control over a third of the map with ease. A smart undersection of the boat allows the opposing team to flank and control that area for themselves, giving a great sense of map flow and preventing spawn-camping massacres from occurring.
7 Worst: Fuel (Modern Warfare 2)
If you have ever played the Battlefield series, you'd know that DICE prides itself on large maps and combined arms warfare, including infantry and vehicle gameplay.
Fuel is a map that seems to have been taken from a Battlefield game without understanding what makes that series fun. Half of this map is, no exaggeration, completely empty. Players will spend upwards of two minutes running from one end of the map to the other, only to be sniped by someone camping a warehouse that overlooks the entire map. Modern Warfare 2 was known for its frantic gunfights, but this map caused gunfights to turn into a standstill.
6 Best: Crash (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
When most think of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, not to be confused with 2019's Modern Warfare reboot, they immediately think of Crash.
Few maps have such good map flow without the reliance on three lanes for its design. Crash focuses on players controlling a three-story building near a crashed helicopter near the center of the map. It offers a vantage point that covers nearly the entire map, but that can easily be countered through the use of grenades and long-ranged weapons. The outskirts of the map were great ways to close in on roaming enemies and take them out. Few maps can match the chaotic fun Crash offered.
5 Worst: Stonehaven (Ghosts)
Stonehaven gets a very bad wrap for being the absolute worst map in the Call of Duty franchise. Indeed, it is a poorly designed map, but it isn't the absolute worst.
Stonehaven is a massive map introduced in Ghosts that is focused on long-range engagements from either a castle or the rolling hills nearby. The issue with this map is its open-ended nature with no lanes or clear power positions for players to fight over. Instead, players find a section of the map to camp at and pick enemies off one by one. It's a rather boring map to play on, but it isn't downright frustrating like others.
4 Best: Nuketown (Black Ops)
Nuketown is the poster child of Treyarch's multiplayer in any Call of Duty game made by them. This map takes queues from Infinity Ward's Shipment and Rust maps and cranks it to eleven.
Stationed at a test nuclear site, players fight between two small buildings separated by a street containing three vehicles. There is just enough cover to regenerate your health after a gunfight, but the map isn't small enough to prevent good flanking routes. Compared to other maps of its scope, Nuketown is easily the best of them all. There is a good reason this map has been remastered not once, not twice, but four times! It also has its own Zombies map!
3 Worst: Gustav Cannon (WW2)
The casual and pro gaming community rarely agree with each other, arguing over the balance of weapons, killstreaks, or maps themselves. Both can agree unanimously that Gustav Cannon is the quintessential garbage multiplayer map.
Players are meant to fight over a cannon at the center of the map, using one of three lanes that are vaguely planned out to fight over it. The issue with Gustav Cannon is how open it is. A lack of cover separating the lanes from each other means that if your team controls the cannon, you can see the entire map. Every spawn location, lane, and potential camping spot. There is no counterplay to this map; the first team who controls the cannon always wins.
2 Best: Highrise (Modern Warfare 2)
Most montages of skilled gunfights and pure skill have come from this map. Highrise is the magnum opus of Modern Warfare 2's maps and, arguably, the best multiplayer map in the franchise yet.
This map is a perfect example of simple to learn, but hard to master. Highrise combines long sightlines between two offices across a rooftop with close-quarters engagements with underbelly sections that let players flank the enemy team. A helicopter landing pad is in the center, granting excellent vantage points to those who aren't under the map. Cranes can be climbed onto to get better vantages, ledges can be walked on to flank enemies, and the infamous climbing gauntlet on the main buildings leads to the best vantage point on the map. It's a genuine surprise how this map has never been revisited in future Call of Duty titles.
1 Worst: Downturn (Modern Warfare 3)
You might not remember Downturn at all, even if you spent a tremendous amount of time in Modern Warfare 3's great multiplayer offering. That is for a very good reason.
Downturn is the worst map in the franchise, bar none. This large map takes place in the ruins of Wall Street, containing medium-range sightlines and confusing map flow. There are no power positions, good cover, or fun close-quarters areas to mix up the gunfights. To add insult to injury, the map is so gray and covered in rubble it looks like a cut location from Fallout 3. No wonder this map was always vetoed during MW3's life cycle.
NEXT: 5 FPS Mechanics That Changed The Genre (& 5 That Are Outdated)