The Ultimate Call of Duty on Mac guide

by | Jun 20, 2014 | Shooter

Are there better first-person shooters than Call of Duty games? Probably. Nowadays, when gamers talk about first-person shooters, they usually talk about Fortnite or PUBG.  But Call of Duty Mac games remain some of the finest FPS games for Mac

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 top franchises in gaming. 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… Plus, as some of the top FPS will probably never make it macOS (Overwatch comes to mind), Call of Duty games will help fill that void.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 MacRelease date: May 2014

Modern Warfare 3 (along with Modern Warfare 2) surprised us only a few weeks ago. 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, Modern Warfare 3 is the most recent Call of Duty available on Mac. Besides having the best graphics the franchise has to offer (as you can see for yourself in 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.

But even if the campaign is solid, the competitive Multiplayer is where you’ll spend most of your time. The formula doesn’t change much but adds enough features to make a difference. For example, the entire Killstreak system has been replaced by a new system where kills are no longer the only way to go. Completing objectives also count, and the whole purpose is to encourage different play styles. 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.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Release date: September 2012

Developed by Treyarch, 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.

Into first-person shooters? These are our favorites:

Game★ Best OverallBest for MacBookBest Value
GenreCo-opCompetitiveBattle Royale
Release date201220122017




Our rating★★★★★
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Full review
Requirements✅ Not Demanding✅ Not Demanding⚠️ Fairly Demanding
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2bRelease date: May 2014

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.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare MacRelease date: September 2008

I keep referring to this one, and for good reason… Other Call of Duty games 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

Call of Duty 2Release date: June 2006

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.

What next?

The Call of Duty franchise got better thanks to the recent release of Modern Warfare 2 and 3. Aspyr did a great job too, ensuring the games play smoothly and support Steam-Play. That said, the Mac still has some significant catching up to do. There are absolutely no signs of any of the newer Call of Duties coming anytime soon…

As always, the porting business is full of secrecy and Aspyr is no exception. We can only hope they’re working hard on bringing some more COD games to our platform of choice. So what’s your favorite Call of duty game? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission (this is how we pay the bills). This commission comes at no additional cost to you

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  1. Janichsan

    “Modern Warfare was the first to mix FPS games with RPG elements,…”

    No, it wasn’t. Battlefield 2 (2005) did this earlier than CoD 4 (2007).

    • Ric Molina

      I was mainly focusing on COD games but you are right indeed, they did it first.

  2. Janichsan

    Sorry for posting again, but I missed this first: “The only problem with Modern Warfare for Mac was its release date: 2011! 4 years after the original release!”

    CoD 4 for Mac was originally released in late 2008 – *one* year after the Windows version.

    • Ric Molina

      Wikipedia says you are right but most digital stores say it was released in 2011. In fact, even the Game Agent (Aspyr’s store) says the game was released on 2011… I will contact them to verify the actual release date and modify the article if needed.
      Thanks for the comment!

      • Janichsan

        Well, that’s because the digital download version was released in 2011. You might remember that in the dark, long forgotten past games were shipped on shiny disks. And with “dark, long forgotten past” I mean 2008. 😉

        • Ric Molina

          I got the confirmation from Aspyr and yes, the first release was back in 2008. Thanks for the clarification.
          BTW, man you are tough, hope you at least enjoyed the article 😉

  3. Jeronimo Yuli

    Nice guide, i hope mw2 or 3 appear in the summer sale

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      I’m confident they will man, Steam’s summer sale has some much going on, you just need to be on top of the limited-time sales and so on!

  4. ikir

    Interesting reading Ric!
    PS: check Cod4 release date

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