The Call of Duty series is one of the highest-selling video game franchises of all time. While there’s a multitude of other first-person shooter and warfare games out there, none have made as much of an impact as Call of Duty. From storylines, character development, world design, and historical relevance, this franchise has consistently produced top-tier games.
Call of Duty started off being set in World War II, then transitioned to the Cold War, Vietnam War, modern-day combat, and even the future and outer space. Throughout the years, players have strongly connected with characters like John “Soap” MacTavish and Captain John Price.
There are 17 installments of the series so far, and some players have already played all of them. If you’re one of those people and are looking for something similar to play, check out our list of the 10 best games like Call of Duty that everyone needs to play.
1. Battlefield Franchise
Battlefield is at the top of our list for a reason. While this series is focused more on their online multiplayer mode, its world design, and gameplay still rival that of Call of Duty’s. Battlefield titles also have a single-player campaign mode with a fairly good storyline.
Most of the games in the franchise are set in World War I and II. Beginning with Battlefield 1942, these games have allowed players to experience the impact of these battles in first-person. Titles like Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield: Bad Company, on the other hand, are set in the future.
Single-player mode lets you travel to the different theatres of war and drop right into historical battles. In multiplayer mode, you’ll play in squads with members using different soldier classes. Each class has different roles and weapons. Multiplayer games are done with a large number of players in massive maps that have different objects and vehicles to interact with.
The Battlefield franchise has produced 11 games and 12 expansion packs since the original came out in 2002. It has sold more than 57 million copies worldwide and across all platforms as of 2020. It’s available on Windows, OS X, and most generations of the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Its latest installment, Battlefield V, was released in November 2018, with the upcoming Battlefield 2042 set for release on October 22, 2021.
2. Spec Ops: The Line
This 2012 third-person shooter was released by 2K Games. While the company is most famous for its NBA 2K series, they drew the attention of fans when they revived the Spec Ops series with The Line in 2012. The original series produced six installments from 1998 to 2002.
Spec Ops: The Line quickly gained a cult following because it takes inspiration from famous works like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the cult classic movie Apocalypse Now. Yager Entertainment began the development for this game in 2007 and it was designed to change players’ views on the horrors of war. The game turns warfare into a grey area of moral ambiguity as opposed to a simple good versus evil framing.
There are different weapons available in the game and you can unlock more as you progress through the storyline. You can only carry two weapons at a time, so you need to choose between the different types. The squad gameplay allows you to give commands to your comrades, Sergeant Lugo and Lieutenant Adams. At important points in the story, you’ll need to make tough, morally ambiguous decisions.
The game has a multiplayer mode where players can choose from six different soldier classes, with each class having its own upgrades and abilities. Spec Ops: The Line was praised for its storyline, moral themes, and gameplay. It has sold more than 770,000 copies worldwide.
3. Titanfall 2
Titanfall is Electronic Arts’ first-person science fiction shooter franchise. The first game, Titanfall, was highly anticipated because its developers were also behind the Call of Duty series. The sequel began development immediately after its predecessor’s success and was released two years later in 2016.
A single-player campaign mode was introduced in this installment. You control mech-like exoskeletons called Titans who have different attributes and abilities to help them in battle. The story follows Frontier Militia soldier Jack Cooper, who takes over his deceased mentor’s Titan. The Frontier Militia is fighting for independence against the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) who is exploiting The Frontier’s natural resources.
The game’s multiplayer mode was improved but it retained the classic elements of its prequel. The Titan Meter, which allows the player to summon their Titan once full, is one of the game’s most iconic features. There are 11 multiplayer modes available, with Attrition being the most popular. This is a standard team deathmatch mode where teams earn points when members get kills.
Titanfall 2 received positive reviews from multiple media outlets. GameSpot and IGN both gave it a 9 out of 10 ratings, while PC Gamer (US) gave it 91 out of 100. Despite being released around the same time as massive games like Battlefield 1, Skyrim, FIFA 17, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the game still sold more than nine million copies in its first year.
4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is arguably the world’s biggest multiplayer first-person shooter game. It certainly has one of the largest competitive scenes in esports. It’s the fourth installment in the iconic Counter-Strike series, released in 2012, eight years after Counter-Strike: Source.
The game was developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment and was released on its popular distribution service, Steam. It retains the classic elements of the series, with the two sides, Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, fighting against each other. CS:GO is famous for its top-tier simple gameplay and mechanics. There are no storylines or characters, just good old squad versus squad competition.
Its most popular game modes are Casual and Competitive. Here, two teams of five play against each other in a best-of-30 match and switch sides mid-match. Terrorists aim to plant the bomb and defend it until it explodes, while the Counter-Terrorists need to prevent the explosion by eliminating the enemies before they plant the explosive device or by defusing the bomb.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sold more than 25 million copies worldwide before Valve made it free-to-play in 2018.
5. Metro Exodus
This is the third installment of the Metro series. Published by Deep Silver in 2019, Metro Exodus is a first-person survival horror game set in a dystopian wasteland. It follows the events of its predecessors and follows the main character Artyom in 2035 Moscow.
After Metro: Last Light’s ending, Artyom takes his allies on a locomotive called Aurora as they journey to the far east in hopes of survival. Artyom has left the Spartan Order due to the corruption within the faction. The game can either end favorably or unfavorably which is consistent with the franchise’s style.
Metro Exodus was nominated for several awards and won Best International Game at the 2020 Pegasus Awards. It has earned more than $69 million as of 2019 and it sold more than 200,000 copies in two days after it was released on Steam.
6. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige
Rainbow Six Siege is one of the world’s most popular tactical shooter games. Developed and published by Ubisoft, this online co-operative shooter has become one of the biggest esports titles in the world. Its latest major tournament has more than $3 million in cash prizes.
Siege has character classes called Operators, which have different nationalities, gadgets, and weapons they can use. Teams can choose from different Counter-Terrorism Units (CTUs): FBI SWAT, British SAS, German GSG-9, French GIGN, and the Russian Spetsnaz.
Each team can choose their spawn points so the defense can set up their traps and positions while the attacking team can develop their siege strategy. Killed players can enter support mode to assist their team with the use of drones and security cameras that can scout the map.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege separates itself from other popular tactical shooters with its structural destruction elements. The game received positive reviews all over and has more than 70 million registered players as of December 2020.
7. Apex Legends
Apex Legends is another massive esports game. This game was developed by Respawn Entertainment and exists in the same universe as the Titanfall franchise. Published by Electronic Arts in 2019, Apex Legends quickly became one of the best battle royale and hero shooter games in the scene.
You play in two or three-player squads, choosing from the playable Legends who each have unique abilities to help in battle. In the Battle Royale mode, 60 players land on an island and have to find supplies and weapons that they will use to eliminate all the other squads to win the game. The playable area of the map slowly shrinks to force players to eventually find and fight each other.
On the other hand, Arenas is a team deathmatch between three-player squads. A squad needs to have at least three points and be two points ahead of the next best squad in order to win the match.
The game is available for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and supports cross-platform play. Its mobile version, Apex Legends Mobile, is set to be released in 2022. Apex Legends has more than 100 million players worldwide as of April 2021.
Overwatch is Blizzard Entertainment’s team-based hero shooter game. It was released for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2016. It was made available for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. Cross-platform play is now available for all consoles.
Players are split into two teams of six, with each player choosing a playable hero from the available pool. There are three hero classes which are Damage, Tank, and Support. Damage heroes are the main damage-dealers to attack or defend control points. Tanks try to take in most of the damage from the enemy teams. Support heroes provide healing or other buffs to help their Damage and Tank teammates secure the victory.
Overwatch is one of the biggest esports games worldwide, with the Overwatch League having 20 teams competing for the championship prize of $1 million. The Overwatch World Cup was organized by Blizzard and sees teams representing their home countries.
There are more than 60 million current players for Overwatch. As of July 2019, users have spent more than $1 billion through in-game microtransactions.
9. Doom Eternal
Published by Bethesda Softworks, Doom Eternal is a first-person shooter released in 2020. This is the sequel to Doom and the fifth main installment of the Doom franchise. It’s available on Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the Xbox Series S and Series X.
You play as the Doom Slayer and fight against creatures from Hell. Following the series’ storyline, demonic forces have taken over most of the Earth. The human survivors have joined the Armored Response Coalition to fight them.
The gameplay uses a first-person perspective and a reward system that encourages you to engage enemies. There are several different weapons available like the Super Shotgun, Rocket Launcher, Crucible Blade, and the Doomblade. Wall-climbing, swinging from bars, and dashing are some of the new physical elements added in this installment.
Doom Eternal received very positive reviews from most media outlets. IGN and PC Games gave it a 9 out of 10 ratings. It sold more than 100,00 copies on its first day and has sold more than three million digital copies worldwide as of March 2020.
10. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is one of the biggest games in the world and has basically established the battle royale genre. It’s available for Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Stadia. Its mobile version, PUBG Mobile, was released for iOS and Android in 2018.
In PUBG, a hundred players are dropped onto an island where they have to search for weapons, armor, and other equipment while trying to kill other players. The large map’s playable or safe area slowly shrinks overtime to force players to meet and fight each other. Only the last player or team wins the match.
The ability to loot dead bodies encourages players to be aggressive as opposed to hiding out to survive. Players earn in-game currency depending on their performance after each match. The game dominated the charts and quickly became one of the highest-grossing and most-played games of all time.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sold more than five million copies in its first three months after its early access release. It has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide as of 2020. PUBG Mobile has had more than a billion downloads worldwide as of March 2021.