Ranking the Call of Duty Co-op Modes

With the official unveiling of the next Call of Duty title, it has been confirmed that Infinite Warfare will include a Zombies co-op mode. Cooperative modes have been a staple of the Call of Duty franchise since 2008. Zombies have dominated the scene but a few other standout modes have broken through. Here are my rankings for every Call of Duty co-op mode from World at War to Black Ops 3.

1. Zombies – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

The zombies mode really became a staple with the Black Ops series. The characters, story, and locations all became much more important for the development team and it showed in each map. All three of these areas really shined when it came to Black Ops 2. Each zombies map featured a unique location with a very different atmosphere than the last. Tranzit, Die Rise, Mob of the Dead, Buried, and Origins all had very distinct gameplay features and set pieces that added fun elements to the mode. The Giant of Buried and the remnants of the infamous Alcatraz prison are two great examples.


2. Spec Ops – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

What is dead may never die. The original Spec Ops mode has clearly been abandoned by Activision. Releasing with the 2009 title, the series has yet to recapture the magic of Spec Ops. Before zombies and alien hordes Call of Duty fans were raking up stars in this awesome mode. Not only was it fun but it was also challenging. Some missions required stealth, some required speed, and a lot of them required skill. Every Spec Ops mission was filled with tension and excitement as you strived for those three stars. With Infinite Warfare set to include Zombies, it’s doubtful we’ll see a return to Spec Ops glory anytime soon.


3. Zombies – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Although I’ve only played the original map and one DLC map thus far, the Black Ops 3 zombie mode is right up there with the best of them. While Shadows of Evil is nothing to brag about, Der Eisendrache is one of the best zombies maps yet. As a fan of the zombies easter eggs, this map has had the best implementation. Not only does it include the ancient bows, but it also includes the most difficult boss fight zombies has ever seen. While most easter eggs involve running around picking up items and solving puzzles, Der Eisendrache is concluded with a very difficult boss fight. I like a challenge and Black Ops 3 looks to be giving gamers just that with its iteration of zombies.


4. Extinction – Call of Duty: Ghosts

Extinction is the first new mode since the start of zombies. A mix between survival and zombies, Extinction features a horde style gameplay with objectives mixed in to break of the monotony. While the original Extinction maps weren’t all that great in my opinion, the consecutive DLC maps were really fun. The challenges and boss fights are what really stood out to me. From the rhinos in Mayday to the ancestors in Awakening, each DLC added tougher enemies and a more epic boss fights.


5. Exo-Survival/Exo-Zombies – Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

While the Exo-Survival mode in Advanced Warfare was a lackluster, run of the mill co-op mode, the Exo-Zombies made up for it. Similar to other zombie incarnations, Exo-Zombies featured easter eggs, boss fights, and endless hordes of zombies. The twist came with the Exo-suit that allowed for much faster gameplay. But Exo-Zombies also featured some of the most memorable weapons to date. Who can forget the CEL-3 Cauterizer, Blunderbuss, or LZ-52 Limbo?

6. Zombies – Call of Duty: Black Ops

Black Ops is where the zombies mode really kicked off. Featuring celebrity characters and over the top map locations, Black Ops is where the easter eggs became more of a feature than a hidden gem. While the maps themselves were fun to play, I feel like developers were still getting a hang of the easter eggs. Each one was too reliant on luck rather than skill. While there is usually some element of luck in every easter egg, these early zombies maps required multiple items from the mystery box and other factors that were simply out of the players control.


7. Nazi Zombies – Call of Duty: World at War

Where it all started. Nazi Zombies is the original zombies mode that isn’t even featured as an official co-op mode on some sites. Looked over as a mere small addition, this is where the zombie crave began. However, this was also during a point in which the easter eggs were just that. The focus was surviving as many waves of zombies as possible. The mode was simply another horde mode but with zombies, no better than Exo-Survival.


8. Spec Ops/Survival – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Finally we have the Spec Ops and Survival modes in Modern Warfare 3. The Survival mode was nothing more than a simple horde mode which has been done to death. On the other hand, being the sequel of Modern Warfare 2, I had high expectation for the Spec Ops mode. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to its predecessor. These missions simply didn’t capture the tension and suspense of the Modern Warfare 2 mode.

There you have it. Eight Call of Duty titles each with their own version of co-op. With Infinite Warfare releasing this November, how will it rank among the rest? Which is your favorite cooperative mode in the franchise? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

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