While Call of Duty has always been a popular game, there is one installment to the moneyspinning franchise that sent the game’s popularity to the moon. That of course was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The release of the game came in 2007 and it coincided with the boom of the internet, with online gaming starting to become part and parcel of everyday life.
It’s scarcely believable that the game was released some 16 years ago and back then, online gaming hadn’t truly taken off. Facebook games such as Candy Crush (2012) and 8 Ball Pool (2010), as well as popular card and strategy games such as online poker in Ignition (2016), didn’t even exist. But over the next few years, many different forms of online gaming were about to boom, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would be at the forefront of the revolution.
While the entire Call of Duty franchise has now released 19 games, the success of the original Modern Warfare trilogy is undeniable. It sold units in the hundreds of millions, picked up awards on a regular basis, and generated revenue that likely measured more than many small countries’ GDPs. And while the series’ online servers were jampacked with hundreds of thousands of gamers every single day, the series’ campaign mode – a story that took three separate installments to fully tell – is an underrated gem.
Here, we’re taking a walk through the campaign mode of all three games for a healthy dose of nostalgia, as well as highlighting the success of each game individually.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2007)
The storyline of the original Modern Warfare was an epic journey that revolutionized the first-person shooter genre by taking gamers on a thrilling tour of multiple battlefields. The story follows John “Soap” MacTavish as he serves in a British special forces unit alongside his squadmates Gaz and Captain Price. As they battle their way through former Soviet states and the Middle East, players will find themselves in some sticky situations that they have to fight their way out of, such as battling Russian Ultranationalists in abandoned villages and infiltrating enemy bases.
The now 16-year-old game achieved colossal success. It sold millions of units the world over, as well as earned a plethora of awards, such as numerous Game of the Year accolades. The impact and influence it has had on various industries, from gaming to entertainment, is undeniable – with revenues generated by the game estimated at over $700m. The game was so popular that Activision released a reboot of the classic in 2019, and also released a sequel to said reboot just last year.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
The sequel to Modern Warfare took things to another level with its gripping narrative and iconic missions such as “No Russian” and “The Gulag”. Players follow Soap once again as he takes part in a joint US-British task force known as Task Force 141 alongside Captain Price, with the pair dead set on stopping global terrorist Vladimir Makarov from unleashing a nuclear attack on America.
Just like its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2 sold millions of units and generated an incredible amount of revenue. It became one of 2009’s highest-grossing entertainment launches, as well as winning ten awards from a number of highly reputable publications, such as IGN and BAFTA.
The game remains one of the best-selling video games of all time, with nearly 30 million units sold worldwide.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
The final installment in the Modern Warfare trilogy follows Soap yet again as he leads Task Force 141 into battle against Makarov’s forces across Europe, Africa, and even New York City. This time around, however, players can also join other characters such as Private James Ramirez in his mission to protect America from Makarov’s ultimate plan for destruction.
The game provides sequences that many of us thought we’d never see, such as a Russian invasion of the United States of America’s East Coast, resulting in enemy helicopters chasing one through the Manhattan streets. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another game that matches this level of intensity.
As expected, the game was once again a runaway success by any unit of measurement. Modern Warfare 3 also sold over 30 million units worldwide, while also generating billions of dollars in revenue. On top of that, it earned a spot on the illustrious Time Magazine’s list of the best video games of all time.
For gamers looking for an intense single-player campaign experience look no further than the original Call Of Duty Modern Warfare trilogy. With its gripping storylines and iconic missions across three different titles and over 10 years; it is easy to see why this beloved franchise remains one of the most memorable gaming series since its inception back in 2007. Whether you’re starting anew or returning for nostalgia’s sake – it’s always worth revisiting these timeless classics.