The 10 Best Call Of Duty Maps Of All Time

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Soldiers featured in Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 1, and Call of Duty: Black Ops collaged together.

Call of Duty fans’ passions run hot when it comes to the series’ multiplayer maps, which have been the topic of discussion and controversy since United Offensive, the 2004 expansion pack that added multiplayer to the original Call of Duty. Maps are so integral to the Call of Duty experience, so important to each new game’s success, that favorites often get spruced-up and re-released—the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, for instance, is bringing back every single map from 2009 smash Modern Warfare 2.

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Some maps in Call of Duty’s extensive multiplayer offerings are thoroughly mid (Quarry) or downright awful (Piccadilly, honey, I’m sorry), but many CoD maps represent the absolute best in video game level design, with distinct movement lanes, great sightlines, and beautiful visuals. These maps are the GOATs, the standouts, the reminders that the franchise is so popular for a reason, and today I’ve tried to pick the 10 best of the bunch.

A lot of the maps on my list are on the smaller end, as smaller maps tend to highlight the best features of CoD’s multiplayer mechanics and gunplay. And many of them are also “three-lane” maps, which describe setups that offer three different directions for players to take from their spawn points, which are often divided by buildings or obstacles that nearly cut them off from one another, but don’t completely isolate them.

You’ll also find that these maps are all from older Call of Duty games—that’s because I believe more recent titles (like Modern Warfare 2019 and Vanguard) have larger, more visually complicated maps that don’t play to the series’ strengths. CoD is at its best when it’s a little frenetic, a little chaotic, and a ton of fun—and running through maps that have myriad sightlines and far too many directions to get attacked from is only fun in Warzone, not multiplayer.

Ready? Here are the 10 best Call of Duty maps of all time, in no particular order.

The loading screen image for the Nuketown map, which shows off the cul de sac at its center.

You can’t have a Call of Duty map ranking without including Nuketown, which has had several iterations in various CoD titles since its debut in 2010’s Black Ops (there was Nuketown 2025 in Black Ops 2, a zombie version in the same game, the futuristic NUK3TOWN in Black Ops 3, and a Russian-themed one in Black Ops 4). Every version is almost identical: a close-quarters map is modeled after a nuclear testing site, with a fake suburban street, houses, and mannequins smack-dab in the middle of a wide-open space. It’s so Oppenheimer-coded.

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Nuketown is miniscule in terms of Call of Duty maps—it’s one of the smallest ever, alongside Rust—which means that you are almost constantly getting shot at, having grenades chucked at you, or getting beaten over the head with a riot shield. Its smallness makes for some absurdly frantic gameplay, with a death toll that swiftly climbs no matter how good or bad the lobby’s players may be. Dropping any sort of killstreak on such a small map almost always results in massive casualties (and sometimes full team-wipes) and at the end of every match, Nuketown gets, well, nuked.

And Nuketown stands out from other early Call of Duty maps in part because of how colorful it is—one house is a bright, kelly green, while the other is a soft, 1950s pink with a bright red garage door. The Astroturf is vibrant, the homes are ornately decorated, and there’s even a rainbow in the distance. It’s…pretty!

There’s a reason that Nuketown 24/7 was a game mode in the original Black Ops—this map is top-tier, the perfect space for enjoying CoD’s legendary gunplay and movement.

Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops: Amazon | GameStop

The loading screen for Terminal, which shows airplanes parked on the tarmac.

Terminal is modeled after the infamous No Russian campaign mission from Modern Warfare 2, and debuted as a multiplayer map in the same game. It’s set both inside and outside of an airport terminal, with planes and cargo transports parked outside and airport shops, bars, rows of benches, and luggage inside.

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There’s a maze-like quality to the map that’s heightened by the security checkpoints that chirp warnings if you run through them, alerting enemies to your location—you’ll want to pay attention to where you’re running to avoid them, and avoid them if you can. A window-lined hallway is always littered with bodies, since its see-through walls make it easy for people outside on the tarmac to spot and shoot anyone walking through.

Whereas Nuketown can occasionally feel suffocatingly small, Terminal has enough space and movement lanes to feel like a “proper” map. You’ll still die on it more times than you’d like, though. I have a vivid memory of trying to flush campers out of that parked airplane on the tarmac, only to be ruthlessly gunned down by someone peering down from the glass hallway above—that memory repeats, ad infinitum, to mimic how many times I fell victim to that exact trick.

Buy Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Modern Warfare's loading screen for the Crash map shows the downed helicopter at its center.

Crash debuted with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and is yet another example of the franchise’s small map superiority (there’s a reason none of the giant-ass maps from 2019’s Modern Warfare made the cut here). Its tight corners and mix of tiny interior spaces and slightly more open exterior alleys forces players to keep their head on a swivel at all times, lest it get blown off. A majority of the fighting takes place at three major choke points, including one that is befitting for fans of sniper rifles—a rare boon on such a small map.

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Crash is so universally beloved that a recent Reddit post on r/gaming that reads “arguably the best multiplayer map of all time” alongside a picture of the downed helicopter at Crash’s center got nearly 30,000 upvotes, as of this writing. Seems like a full-throated endorsement, wouldn’t you say?

Buy Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: Amazon

The loading screen for the Hijacked map, which features a zoomed-out look at the superyacht you fight on.

Hijacked (aka the closest I’ll ever get to actually being on a yacht) first featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and came back in the beloved battle royale Blackout mode from Black Ops 4. It’s set on a superyacht that has been hijacked, making for some extreme close-quarters combat as the yacht is, naturally, surrounded by water. But the map cleverly plays with verticality where it can, offering a second story on the two structures that sit on either side of the yacht and a small boiler room area below the main deck. Open spaces in the center, bow, and stern of the ship make for dangerous throughways, and a hot tub in the center is a hilarious camp spot.

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Hijacked isn’t the best for objective-based modes because of its layout (I believe one of the points is set in the incredibly small boiler room, which often leads to a grenade fest that isn’t fun for anyone), but a few rounds of Team Deathmatch on this superyacht can be an absolute blast.

Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Amazon 

A wide look at the Rust map, which features a multi-tier oil rig at its center.

You knew this was coming. Rust, a Modern Warfare 2 map set on an oil yard, may be best known as the ultimate map for 1v1 call-outs, but it’s also yet another Call of Duty map that feels like its designers wanted to let players loose on a nearly too-small map and sit back and watch as chaos ensues. There will be players who believe this chaos to be a bad thing, and there will be players who embrace it—I am in the latter camp, and though it can be frustrating to die to someone camping at the tippy top of Rust’s tower, when the roles are reversed you can enjoy an almost a God-like sense of power.

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This map is controversial, but if you’re looking to play any smaller-sided matches (1v1, 2v2, even 3v3), you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better battlefield than Rust.

Buy Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

An aerial view of the Raid map shows off the fancy Hollywood Hills mansion on which its set.

I love when Call of Duty somewhat rudely reminds me of my economic standing by setting a map in a place I could never afford to step foot, but then lets me fuck up everything on that map with bullets and explosives. Class solidarity!

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Raid, which debuted in Black Ops 2, is set in a giant mansion in the Hollywood Hills, where FBI agents are facing off against Mercs and destroying this expensive home in the process. There are some nice long sightlines for snipers, but plenty of smaller interior spaces set up some fantastic close-quarters firefights.

While people have pointed out that the layout of this sprawling mansion makes no sense (the master bedroom is detached from the rest of the house, the kitchen requires you to go outside to reach it, and its “panic room” has a window you can crawl through), I’m not planning on living in this house, just killing people in it.

Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Amazon 

Call of Duty's firing range map is shown, with an abandoned humvee at its center and hastily erected buildings surrounding it.

Yes, this is technically another small map, but I’d argue that there’s also room for medium-range weapons when playing on Firing Range, which debuted with 2010’s Black Ops (just no snipers, unless you’ve got a variable scope). Firing Range has wooden house-type structures that everyone always fights to control, a tall tower in the center that is dangerous to try and scale, an RV-style building that often gets bombed out, and dirt paths connecting the main structures. Both teams spawn so closely together that you can often throw a grenade straight out of the gate that will land at the opposing team’s feet, taking one or two enemies with it.

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Firing Range is the kind of map that’s essentially just an endless battle to hold one of two buildings—a tire-lined mini-maze and proper firing range on the west side of the map are virtually ignored, as everyone always fights over the central and eastern spots. It’s chaotic, of course, but almost always a good time.

Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops: Amazon | GameStop

A picture of the original Shipment map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that shows shipping containers, oil drums, and a burnt-out car.

When it comes to iconic Call of Duty maps, Shipment and Nuketown are probably the franchise’s top two. Shipment first appeared in the original Modern Warfare, and has seen several reiterations in the 16 years since. Shipment is simple, symmetrical, and incredibly compact—set in a completely fenced-off area full of a mix of open and closed shipping containers, there’s always something waiting for you around a corner or through a giant metal door. Spawn-killing reigns supreme here, so if you’re one to get easily frustrated, Shipment may threaten to push you over the edge.

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The 2019 Modern Warfare remake sought to erase some of those spawn sightlines to avoid this, and added a bit more verticality. It’s a great remake, though I find myself longing for the original Shipment in all its chaotic glory.

Buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Amazon | GameStop

The Favela loading seen from Call of Duty, which shows densely packed buildings and a large hill in the background with the Christ the Redeemer statue at the top.

Problematic depiction of Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro aside, Favela is one of those Call of Duty maps I find myself longing for during lengthy Modern Warfare II sessions. It’s a multi-tiered map set in the slums of that city with an emphasis on verticality—sure it’s got a ton of those small, claustrophobic spaces that are markers of other great CoD maps, but they’re stacked on top of each other here, which shakes things up a bit.

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Favela also has some beautiful visual storytelling, with details littered throughout the map that help it feel properly lived-in—which is not something all multiplayer maps can pull off. Favela is beloved, and luckily, it’ll be coming back with Modern Warfare III, since the upcoming game will be remaking every single Modern Warfare 2 map.

Buy Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

The loading screen for the Summit map in Black Ops, which shows a ski lift on one side, some type of radar scanner on another, and a metal building in the center.

Summit was featured in the original Black Ops game and has been in several games since—for good reason. Set in the Ural Mountains of the USSR, Summit has one large, central building with narrow paths around it that have dangerous drop-offs. Four choke points are all based around that central room, which has several entrances, multiple levels, and a few windows, as well as a glass ceiling to leave you vulnerable to any airstrikes.

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A well-placed motion sensor can help you camp that central room, and maintaining it is crucial to your success. External spots just outside that central room are often littered with throwable equipment, so it’s often risky to try and peek to see who is coming after you—though you’ll have to in order to try and keep control over that central space.

The softly blowing snow is juxtaposed against the harshness of the control room structure and the metal walkways that surround it, which makes for a cool vibe you can enjoy while repeatedly dying to campers. Summit’s fun, man.

Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops: Amazon | GameStop


Is your favorite Call of Duty map missing in action? Sound off in the comments and try and convince me why it belongs here.

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