Here it is: the one that so many bought, so many played, and so many threw their pads at the TV in disgust with. Call of Duty 4 is the franchise’s Dark Side of the Moon, its Empire Strikes Back, its Uncharted 2: Among Thieves; it brought into play a number of features that are now industry standards, and gamers have spent more time playing it than they have sleeping.
The modern setting breathed new life into the series and the rapid firing weaponry made skirmishes intense and brutal. More than anything, Call of Duty 4 was densely populated, meaning floating from one game to another was fluid and easy, making the weeks pass like microseconds. The introduction of killstreaks, a levelling up system, perks and weapon customisation brought variety to the game, but at the same time Infinity Ward managed to keep the whole thing balanced. Map design was also improved, meaning that there was no safe place to camp and choke points kept the action moving. Put simply, Call of Duty 4 is not only the best multiplayer game in the series, it’s one of the best of the entire genre. Still.