Skip to main content

Best Call of Duty maps: Our 15 favourite locales from Call of Duty history

Best Call of Duty maps
(Image credit: Activision)

To date, there have been 16 core Call of Duty titles. That's a lot of entries to consider for our best Call of Duty maps list. From absolute classics on titles like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to recent hits on the latest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, we've dived headfirst into the multiplayer history of every game and chosen the best Call of Duty maps of all time. 

15. Octane (Call of Duty: Ghosts)

Best Call of Duty maps: Octane

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Ghosts wasn't the most well-received Call of Duty game when it came to the multiplayer and for good reason. The time-to-kill was impressively quick which encouraged corner camping, a number of guns had next to no recoil whatsoever, and most of the maps were sub-par.

Enter Octane. A dilapidated intersection in Las Vegas, this desert-themed map has one road running horizontally across the middle, splitting the map into two sections. Fast, close-quarters-combat was possible with the paths through the buildings, while anchors with assault rifles or snipers could overlook the centre with ease. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best map from Ghosts, especially when it came to Search & Destroy.

14. Resistance (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)

Best Call of Duty maps: Resistance

(Image credit: Activision)

Vive la resistance! This urban map based off a real location in Paris, France (seriously, it's almost like for like!) and caters mainly to close-range combat with tight streets and a couple of buildings to enter. Like Ghosts, Modern Warfare 3 was lacking when it came to excellent maps, but Resistance is the cream of the crop, thanks to the structured layout and it only having a few routes to move through the map. Domination is a stand-out mode here due to how frantic and constant the action is, while neither team has a spawn advantage from the start.

13. Poisson (Call of Duty 3)

Best Call of Duty maps: Poisson

(Image credit: Activision)

Most of you reading this may not have played Call of Duty 3. Treyarch's first mainline Call of Duty title wasn't the best in terms of campaign, but when it comes to multiplayer, Poisson sneaks its way onto the top 15 best Call of Duty maps of all time.

Situated in a small French village, there are a few buildings in the centre and dotted around the outskirts, but most of the map is quite open. The highlight comes in the various vehicles available though, with two tanks, one car, and one motorcycle available to each team. Cruise around the outskirts of the village while infantry soldiers scamper through the buildings and you'll discover this is one of the only Call of Duty 3 maps where true teamwork is required. You can't do this one solo like you can on so many maps in this game (*cough* Eder Dam); Poisson requires everyone to work together and utilise different roles.

12. Favela (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)

Best Call of Duty maps: Favela

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Call of Duty: Ghosts

Modern Warfare 2 had a number of maps that tried something new and exciting, and Favela was one of them with its increased verticality and amalgamation of buildings shoved together. Long range combat doesn't exist when it comes to this map unless you camp on the long street, because despite it being somewhat large, there's a lot of intertwining alleyways and paths that make it ideal for sprinting around with an SMG. Christ the Redeemer looks down upon Favela from up high and when combined with how colourful the map is, it's one of the most vibrant and memorable maps in the game.

11. Summit (Call of Duty: Black Ops)

Best Call of Duty maps: Summit

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Call of Duty Online, Black Ops 3, Black Ops 4, and Call of Duty Mobile

Typically, snowy maps haven't fared all too well in Call of Duty. Derail, Whiteout, Bloc, Salvage, Downhill... the list goes on. Summit is one of just a couple of exceptions to that however, with a balanced mix of close quarters combat and longer sight lines to hold down with an assault rifle. Everything from Capture the Flag to Search and Destroy plays well on Summit and neither side of the map can be considered the favourable spawn. Typically, whichever team controls the central building with the electrical equipment will dominate the map, so fight for that area to succeed.

10. Nuketown (Call of Duty: Black Ops)

Best Call of Duty maps: Nuketown

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Black Ops 2, Black Ops 3, Black Ops 4, Call of Duty Online, and Call of Duty Mobile

It's no secret that Nuketown has been done to death at this point, featuring in every single Treyarch game since the first Black Ops, so while most people are likely sick and tired of the picturesque model neighbourhood, there's no denying it's a great map. It's in the same vein as Rust, Shipment, and Dome in that it's purposefully a tiny map to provide constant action. Two houses overlook a truck and a school bus, which is where almost all of the combat takes place. It's an easy map to spawn trap on as long as nobody pushes in to the back yard of the enemy house and there's also a few sniper sight lines if you absolutely insist on using a sniper on this map. Just don't expect your teammates to like you.

9. Carentan (Call of Duty)

Best Call of Duty maps: Carentan

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty: WWII
  • Recreated as Chinatown in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

If not many of you played Poisson, the chances of you having played the original Carentan are even slimmer. However, you'll likely know Chinatown from Call of Duty 4 or Carentan from WW2, which are the same map, albeit with updated or altered textures.

Possibly one of the most balanced maps there is in Call of Duty, Carentan is a French town with a plethora of roads, buildings, and backyards to explore. On the south side of the map you can access a rooftop to cross into the biggest house on the map, which also serves as a solid outpost to oversee the roads surrounding it. There's a couple of mounted machine guns stationed throughout and the wide roads make for great anchor spots to gain map control. Just remember one thing... never snipe on Carentan!

8. Overgrown (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)

Best Call of Duty maps: Overgrown

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty Online

The first Call of Duty 4 map on this list (but not the last, don't worry!), Overgrown is also one of the biggest. It's not often maps with this much open ground and lack of cover work well, but Overgrown is an exception. It's a haven for snipers and long range assault rifles, with the two bridges being risky pushes if anyone has their eye on it from the other side of the map. Then there's grandma's house, an iconic Call of Duty location (that recently made its way into the Call of Duty Warzone Easter eggs) that overlooks the central riverbed and the field behind it. If you do opt for a sniper rifle, you'll be kitted out in a ghillie suit to blend in with the vegetation too, perfect for lying in wait.

7. Havana (Call of Duty: Black Ops)

Best Call of Duty maps: Havana

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Black Ops 4

While maps like Octane feature a street cutting the map in half across the width, the main road in Havana goes length-ways. This bustling Cuban city centre has smaller extra sections at the ends of the road, similar to Crossfire in Call of Duty 4, minus the slight slope on the main street. This means pushing out into the middle of the road whatsoever is a risky play because chances are, there'll be someone on the other team with eyes on it at all times; opting to flank down either side of the street, through the buildings is usually the best choice. Havana, ooh na na...

6. Terminal (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)

Best Call of Duty maps: Terminal

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Modern Warfare 3, Infinite Warfare, and Call of Duty Online

The definition of a true classic map, Terminal is one of the most notable maps in the entire franchise. Set in the same airport as the controversial single-player level No Russian, most of the map takes place in an airport terminal, with a small outside section that provides access to the inside of a passenger plane. All sorts of playstyles excel here; snipers can make the most of the long sight lines from Burger Town to the escalators or down the corridor in front of the shop, while the amount of cover and smaller paths lend themselves to SMG-based play. This diversity in playstyle options is a huge factor as to why Terminal is so popular, especially for Search and Destroy.

5. Raid (Call of Duty: Black Ops 2)

Best Call of Duty maps: Raid

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Call of Duty Online and Call of Duty Mobile

Raid is essentially an enormous mansion in Hollywood Hills, making it quite possibly the obvious answer to the question everyone's asked all the time; "which Call of Duty map would you most like to live in?". As a map, it follows the three-lane philosophy impressively, with the central courtyard being surrounded by a swimming pool on one side and a roundabout on the other. It's easy to be picked off by snipers at the start of matches on Raid, but aside from that, you'll mainly find players with assault rifles and SMGs holding down the three lanes. Raid is also one of the all-time top maps when it comes to Call of Duty esports due to how competitive and balanced it is.

4. Crash (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)

Best Call of Duty maps: Crash

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty Mobile, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)

Another map suited for essentially every style of play (these best maps follow the same pattern, huh), many people consider Crash to be the best map from Call of Duty 4. A destroyed helicopter is the focal point with a notoriously difficult B Domination flag to capture in the middle, while the three-storey and blue buildings overlook it. Snipers will often aim down alley, with a grassy knoll providing cover at one end and a parked car at the other. As long as you have a player situated at the top of three storey, you can normally dominate the map in respawn modes. Plus there's Winter Crash, which replaces the helicopter sound effect with Santa Claus saying "ho ho ho!" and bells jingling, which is just incredible.

3. Firing Range (Call of Duty: Black Ops)

Best Call of Duty maps: Firing Range

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Black Ops 3, Black Ops 4, Call of Duty Online, and Call of Duty Mobile
  • Remade for Black Ops 2 under the name Studio

While Firing Range is another small map only slightly bigger than Nuketown, it once again caters for every style of play. It's set in a training camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which means there's a few cardboard cutouts around and the buildings are fairly barebones. The watchtower in the centre is the perfect spot to camp with an assault rifle, while the back alleyway and road either side of the long trailer can be covered by a sniper. The other side of the map and the three buildings all provide close quarters combat in droves, but don't get too comfortable if you camp, because it's fairly easy for enemies to either flank or spawn behind you.

2. Highrise (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)

Best Call of Duty maps: Highrise

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Call of Duty Online
  • Remade for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as Skyrise

It's fair to say that every Modern Warfare 2 map had its own style and aesthetic, and Highrise is no different. Set atop an enormous skyscraper — with a helipad, no less — the map is essentially two offices duking it out in the middle. Right from both teams spawn locations is a sniper angle to get an early pick (and plenty of collaterals)  before emerging into the main area, split into three sections; helipad, generators, and underground. There's so many long angles to hold with a mid-to-long range gun, or those who want to rock something close-range can flank underground. Please Infinity Ward, can we have a Highrise remake for Modern Warfare in Season 4?

1. Strike (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)

Best Call of Duty maps: Strike

(Image credit: Activision)
  • Also in Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty Online

Where do we begin with Strike? It looks as generic as any urban map, but it flows so smoothly. The epitome of three lanes done well, having control of the room that overlooks the monument is absolutely crucial as it can defend the T-junction, which is the biggest choke point. There's also the greenhouse with the balcony that looks down into market, while the shop is a prime location for watching the monument push towards market. This trio of buildings, combined with the open streets, create intense back-and-forth skirmishes with enough space for tactical flanks.

Honourable mentions:

  • Castle (World at War)
  • Backlot (Call of Duty 4)
  • Scrapyard (Modern Warfare 2)
  • Vacant (Call of Duty 4)
  • Hovec Sawmill (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019)

One of the resident guide writers around these parts, give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. The youngest member of the GamesRadar team, I have an unhealthy addiction to Football Manager, shouting at the TV as Manchester United slowly descend from greatness, and playing Pokemon Go on the bus to and from the office.