6. Getting revenge | Dust to Dust | Modern Warfare 3
Makarov haunted the Modern Warfare sub-series from it's first instalment, and Dust to Dust is the perfect send-off for the bastard. Playing as moustachioed death-merchant, Captain Price, you stomp through his defences in a Juggernaut suit, hijack and crash his escape helicopter, wrap a cord around his neck, ride his body to ground level through a shattering skylight, then enjoy a cheeky cigar while you wait for evac. That's how you exact revenge.
5. Planting the Russian flag at Reichstag | Downfall | Call of Duty: World at War
This ending has got it all. Explosions. Shouting. Smoke. Patriotism. Edge-of-the-seat tension. A surprise attack. Reznov wildly hacking a Nazi to death with a machete. A Russian flag flying as Berlin burns all around. Rousing music. Comradeship. Victory. Cheering. Its a guaranteed vibrations down the vertebrae moment.
4. Crossing the Volga River | Stalingrad | Call of Duty
The first Russian mission in the original Call of Duty was a good indication of what developer Infinity Ward was going to bring to the FPS table, namely shock factor. The boat trip across the Volga River is loud and chaotic, disorientating and terrifying. Its a master-class in scene setting, creating an unusual sense of powerlessness in the player even before it eventually throws you into the fray without so much as a rifle.
3. Betrayed by General Shepherd | Loose Ends | Modern Warfare 2
Whether you saw this coming or not, the moment General Shepherd is revealed as one of the bad guys is thoroughly, tangibly, affectingly bleak. Not the first time Infinity Ward has landed us with a well done you survived the mission but hard luck were going to kill you anyway sucker punch, but it really doesnt lessen the impact when it happens. The brutal, cold-hearted manner of the betrayal - Shepherd shoots Ghost and Roach point-blank and then sets light to their bodies before nonchalantly strolling away - propels the player crazy-eyed with vengeance into the games finale.
2. Nuclear death | Aftermath | Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
One of the most talked about gaming moments probably ever and undoubtedly Infinity Ward at its cinematic finest, the dev expertly hitting all the right notes on the shock scale. The frantic preceding Shock and Awe mission ensures adrenal glands are at full pump, and its apparent successful conclusion is a fist-pumping moment. But the high is short-lived, cruelly blown apart with the force of, well, an atomic blast. Then all thats left is the unfathomable sinking feeling of futility as Sgt Jackson crawls from the downed chopper, inevitably to his death in the dirt of a scorched wasteland. A residual sense of gloom lingers with the player long after the screen has bleached to a sickening nuclear white.
1. Behind enemy lines with Captain MacMillan | All Ghillied Up | Modern Warfare
Dressed like shrubbery for a slow-slow-quick-slow-slow dance deep in enemy territory, this is tense, terrifying, nerve-wracking and arguably *the* standout mission in the entire series, which is kind of funny as its so completely at odds with Call of Dutys deafening, indefatigable shoot-shoot-and-shoot-some-more signature style. As you weave unseen through enemy patrols, stopping occasionally to stealth snipe the occasional oblivious soldier, or lie prone in the grass as a tank rumbles by just feet away from your position, its genuine dont-forget-to-breathe, edge-of-the-seat stuff.
Do your duty
Thats 13 of our best Call of Duty moments, but how about you fine citizens? Were sure you have some indelible campaign memories youd like to share. After all, there are plenty to choose from. Let us know in the comments.
If you want more, you could always try our Call of Duty recycles old cutscenes, but it doesn't really matter, or perhaps the Call of Duty: Ghosts tips and tricks might be to your liking.