Many will feel that I’ve chosen the wrong Call of Duty for this list. That is a fair point. Historically, everyone knows that the original Modern Warfare is the one that changed the industry with it’s great single player campaign and legendary multiplayer. Heck, having played both of these titles, I think the original has its successor beat in the single player department.
So why is Modern Warfare 2 getting all the praise? Being my first Call of Duty definitely had something to do with it.
For many years, I actively avoided the franchise. I had no interest in World War II, and by the time it went mainstream, I didn’t want to be part of the ‘dudebro’ culture that grew out of it. As luck would have it, my mom would win an Xbox 360 packed with Modern Warfare 2 at her work’s Christmas party. She never did play it, though I played enough to cover for the both of us.
At the time, I was blown away by its gorgeous graphics and bang-on shooting feel. As far as shooters go, I still think the Call of Duty series is the gold standard for feel. While the story was a bit of a mess, I had a lot of fun moving from one explosive scenario to the next. Of course, the multiplayer was the real draw. Even though I’m terrible at it, I still managed to put in over 100 hours of my life into that mode. Everything about it from the core combat to all of the levelling up mechanics around it made for an experience I couldn’t put down for a long time.
Though I’ve played most of the games in the series since, Modern Warfare 2 is the one that stands out the most to me. Had it not been the Trojan Horse, I may have skipped the franchise completely.