Are there better First-Person shooters on Mac than Call of Duties? Definitely (we reviewed the Top 10 so you can decide for yourself). Still, Call of Duty earned its place as king of first-person shooters for a reason.
It all started over 10 years ago with the original Call of Duty. That game was simply mind-blowing. The graphics, the scale of the battles, the Multiplayer, it puts all the competition to shame.
The games only got better from there (peaking perhaps with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare) and the fact each game breaks a new sales record is telling. The formula is well-known: Solid graphics, Hollywood-worthy single player campaigns, and extremely intense Multiplayer modes. In fact, the Multiplayer is so good, most players skip the single-player campaign altogether and go straight to Team Deathmatch (I know I do)!
But the success doesn’t prevent people from criticizing the franchise. The graphics feel stale, yes, and the formula has barely changed since Modern Warfare. Still, Call of Duty is one of the Mac Gaming’s cornerstone franchises. Not all Call of Duties has made it to the Mac, but you would be surprised by the choices you currently have. This guide is meant to introduce you to all the Call of Duties out there and help you chose the best one for you. Starting with the latest…
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
Mac Release date: May 2014
Modern Warfare 3 (along with Modern Warfare 2) came to the Mac by surprise only a few weeks ago on Steam. That last part is particularly a big deal since Steam has lots to offer: Steam-Play games can be played on both Windows and Mac (for the price of one copy) and also let you play competitive cross-platform multiplayer!
Developed by Aspyr (as all Call of Duties on Mac), Modern Warfare 3 is the most recent Call of Duty available on the Mac. Besides having the best graphics the franchise has to offer (as you can see for yourself on the video below), the game concludes the story that started two games before. Without spoiling anything for you, Modern Warfare 3’s campaign is as intense and crazy as it can get.
Modern Warfare 3 also features a new mode, called Survival, where you and a friend get to fight endless waves of enemies, with each wave becoming increasingly difficult.
Should you get it? If you’re a fan of the Call of Duty series, this is the one for you. Granted, at $39.99, this the most expensive game on the list, but it’s also the most feature packed.
Get it from the Mac Game Store
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Developed by Treyard, Black Ops was the first Call of Duty game set in the Cold War.
The campaign has everything you can expect from a COD. It has tons of explosions, missions taking place all over the world and memorable set-pieces. The story itself is good, but what really steals the show here are the Multiplayer and Zombie modes. Black Ops’ Multiplayer doesn’t reinvent the wheel, yet it takes things further with the introduction of hundreds of customization options, more perks and new match modes.
And just in case you don’t feel like saving the world or dominating the competitive Multiplayer mode, Black Ops also introduces a brand-new Zombie mode in which you play cooperatively with friends against endless waves of zombies (which get tougher and uglier with each wave).
Should you get it? Overall, Black Ops is a great package and that’s why it’s part of our Top 5 First-Person Shooters. But without the goodies Steam-Play has to offer (for example, Black Ops doesn’t support cross-platform Multiplayer) and a price tag at $39.99, you’re better off with Modern Warfare 3.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare wasn’t as revolutionary as the first one was, but it still managed to improve the amazing Call of Duty 4’s formula.
As far as the single player campaign goes, this is a direct sequel to the original Modern Warfare story. Despite your best efforts in the previous game, the ultranationalists seize control of the Russian Federation and begin a series of terrorist attacks. I won’t spoil the story for you, but the campaign is packed with impressive moments. For example, the infamous airport mission, which asks you to kill hundreds of innocent civilians is in there…
As far as the Multiplayer goes, Modern Warfare 2 retains the same experience points and unlockable reward system as before. As it was expected, the developer focused on adding new features, new weapons, equipment and perks that can be upgraded to “pro versions” after meeting certain requirements.
Modern Warfare 2 also introduced the effective, but extremely annoying tactical nuke. After a 25 kill streak, the nuke gives you an instant victory and kill everyone on the map, including yourself…
Should you get it? At $19.99, Modern Warfare 2 is a great buy, perhaps the Call of Duty with the most bang for the buck. If you haven’t played newer COD games before, this one should be perfect for you.
Get it from the Mac Game Store
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Mac Release date: September 2008
I keep referring to this one, and for good reason… Other Call of Duties have perfected and improved the formula, but it was Call of Duty 4 that started it all.
This was developer Infinity Ward’s first multi-million dollar hit. The game completely revolutionized the first-person genre, including a single player campaign like we’ve never seen before and a completely revolutionary Multiplayer. Call of Duty 4 was the first game to pull off the Hollywood-worthy action sequences you and me now take for granted. It was also one of those rare COD games to have a story that was both engaging and made sense (just play Modern Warfare 2’s story and you’ll see what I mean).
On the Multiplayer side, it introduced experience points, unlockable weapons, customizable classes, and perks. This sounds basic today, but that’s only because this game made it happen.
Call of Duty 4 is also available on Steam and offers cross-platform Multiplayer. However, be aware that the Multiplayer is packed with cheaters…
Should you get it? This game could be the perfect introduction to the COD franchise, but at the same price as Modern Warfare 2 ($19.99), this is a hard sell. The only exception could be fans who absolutely want to experience the whole Modern Warfare campaign.
Call of Duty and Call of Duty 2
This is as classic as it gets. Both Call of Duty 1 and 2 focused on the intensity of World War II’s battles and played an active role in the evolution of the First-Person genre.
I will always remember COD 2’s single-player scale of the battles. It was the first time I actually felt like I was part of something bigger than just me and my M1 Garand (man, I loved that weapon!). There was action everywhere and a ton of people to shoot at.
The Multiplayer was also top-notch. The Xbox 360 only allowed 8 players in a single match, but you could push it to 64 players on the PC. That was HUGE back then.
But alas, those days are long gone. These games deserve a place in history because of everything they did for the genre but it would be hard to fully enjoy them today.
Should you get them? If you enjoy old-school gaming, yes. If you are still rocking an older MacBook, this game could also be a good option as its requirements are pretty easy to fulfill nowadays. For the rest of you, you will be better off playing Modern Warfare 2 or 3, depending on your budget.
The Call of Duty franchise got better thanks to the recent releases of Modern Warfare 2 and 3. Aspyr did a great job too, ensuring the games plays smoothly and support Steam-Play. That said, the Mac still has some significant catch-up to do. Both Black Ops 2 and Call of Duty Ghosts have been out on PC (18 months and 6 months, respectively) with no signs of a Mac Port.
As always, the Mac Porting business is full of secrecy and Aspyr is no exception. We can only hope they’re working hard on bringing some more COD action to the Mac.
So what’s your favorite Call of duty game? If you’re looking for other Mac gamers to play some Multiplayer with, let us know in the comments!