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Games like Call of Duty that'll have you reloading for more

(Image credit: Activision)

The best games like Call of Duty will send you to warzones near and far with a thirst for blood. Activision's war-shooter is at its best in its fastest, most frantic and quick-firing moments, which is something we've tried to reflect in this here list. It's hard to believe COD is gunning for its 20th birthday, and the best games like Call of Duty do well to put their own spin on everything the FPS juggernaut has spent two decades refining across multiple development studios. Vanguard, of course, marks the latest entry for this war-torn soldier, but here are the best games like Call of Duty to deputise when you're in need of a break from its relentless firefights.    

PUBG Battlegrounds 

(Image credit: PUBG Corp)

Developer: Krafton
Platform(s):
PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Android, and iOS 

Any battle royale could have kicked off this list, but Player Unknown: Battlegrounds (now known simply as PUBG Battlegrounds) gets the top spot as the original and most gritty. If you favoured sniper weapons in COD multiplayer, then you’ll be well at home on PUBG’s sprawling maps. You parachute down to land with 99 other players and battle it out until only one of you is standing. This is free-for-all turned up to 11, though you can buddy up with pals battle it out in small groups if team co-op is your thing. 

Apex Legends 

Apex Legends

(Image credit: EA)

Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Platform:
PS5 and Xbox Series X (via backwards compatibility), PS4, Xbox One, and PC

EA's free-to-play shooter came from nowhere to challenge Fortnite and PUBG's dominance of the free-to-play battle royale genre in early February 2019, reaching over 50 million players by the end of its first month. In 2021 Apex Legends is home to a vibrant community, thanks to a responsive, squad-based shooter with amiable characters, and clearly-defined skill classes. It's developed by Respawn Entertainment, of mech-shooter Titanfall fame, who also made Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Battlefield 2042

Developer: DICE
Platform(s): PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Battlefield 2042 wants you to surrender to the spectacle. With the first-person shooter market more fractured than ever before, developer DICE has gone all-in on an expressive, expansive multiplayer design. For PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X owners, the player count has doubled from 64 to 128, and the maps are built to a truly unprecedented scale to accommodate. You are confronted by the impact of these innovations continuously, every time you are air-lifted into one of its seven combat zones. Battlefield 2042 has scale in spades. 

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

(Image credit: Valve)

Developer: Valve
Platform(s): PC

If you’ve never heard of Counter Strike: Global Offensive (aka CS: GO), welcome back! We hope your nine year trek through Antarctica was fruitful, and your reconnection with civilisation has been smooth. Your first task now should be to play Valve’s iconic multiplayer shooter. Since release, it’s become one of the eSports heavy hitters with tournaments that draw crowds of millions. No wonder, really, since it takes COD’s close-quarter combat and strips it of all fluff. There are no double jumps, wall runs, or laser guns here. The only way you’ll win CS:GO is with sheer skill and determination honed through match after match. 

Overwatch

Overwatch

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Developer: Blizzard
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

When Overwatch first launched in 2016, it was a revelation. The first-person shooter mixing MOBA elements with exquisitely designed maps and modes has dominated charts since release. Some of the key selling points are its characters. It has one of the most diverse hero rosters in any game, both in terms of backstory and ability. The latter, however, is what gives Overwatch such great replayability. Every hero has a unique playstyle that requires careful mastery, like Pharrah’s aerial rockets or the balancing act between Zarya’s particle and projected barriers. There are 30 characters currently available, meaning you can spend months perfecting each one. 

Titanfall 2

Titanfall

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Platform(s):
PS4, Xbox One, and PC

The first Titanfall did well, but it was Respawn Entertainments outstanding sequel that truly made it a COD contender. Titanfall 2 builds on the foundations of its predecessor, adding a cleverly written single-player campaign and sharpening its multiplayer shooting mechanics. The series meshes traditional firefights with giant mechs that players control to dominate the field. This creates truly unique strategies where you must balance the raw power of mech fighting with the fluid freedom of running around outside your unit. Don’t forget, Titanfall 2 is the world that spawned Apex Legends, so expect big things.

Spec Ops: The Line

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Developer: Yager Development
Platform(s):
PC, and Xbox One via backwards compatibility

Dubai’s gleaming skyscrapers and pristine beaches have been battered by a catastrophic sandstorm, burying a once-great city and trapping its citizens. Your job is to go into the ruins and rescue as many as you can - but it won’t be easy. Feral gangs dog you every step and natural disasters strike frequently. Spec Ops: The Line draws heavy inspiration from Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness, so expect some weighty morality decisions. If you play Call of Duty for its multiplayer Spec Ops won’t be a strong swap, but the single-player campaign here is a true must-experience for narrative fans.

Halo Infinite 

Halo Infinite

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Developer: 343 Industries
Platform(s): Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC

Halo Infinite feels like a homecoming. 343 Industries was faced with what should have been an impossible challenge: to celebrate a 20-year legacy while outlining the foundations for future adventures. And so there's another ringed world to explore and a new Smart AI companion to shine a little light in its darkest corners; a new extinction event for humanity to narrowly circumvent and yet another fight for Master Chief to threaten to one day finish. Halo Infinite is Halo as you remember it; Halo Infinite is Halo as you've never seen it before. 

Rainbow Six Siege

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Developer: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, and PC

A month after Black Ops 3 hit shelves in November 2015, Rainbow Six Siege released. But while Call of Duty players eventually moved on to the next COD instalment, Rainbow Six Siege’s player base has expanded to over 25 million. It constantly updates with new free maps, building off a solid base game that tasks players with fighting as either terrorists or counter-terrorists. Terrorists play defence, counter-terrorists must infiltrate their territory and take all enemies out. Rainbow Six enjoys a regular flow of new DLC that shake things up just as they’re becoming slightly stale, ensuring this is a game you can master and still find enjoyment from years later.

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus creature fight

(Image credit: Deep SIlver)

Developer: 4A Games
Platform(s)
: PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Some of the best games take their inspiration from outside of the industry, and the Metro series is a great example. Based on novels by Dmitry Glukhovsky, the series takes place among the devastation of a global nuclear war. The survivors fled underground to form new civilisations in the worlds metro tunnels, but the latest instalment Metro Exodus allows players to venture back up to the surface. There’s no multiplayer campaign, but you can test your shooter skills honed in Call of Duty throughout Metro Exodus’s excellent single player story. The focus here is exploration and stealth, so if you’re looking for a change of pace, this is it. 

Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Nintendo
Platform(s):
Nintendo Switch

If you’ve got kids - or have found yourself tasked with entertaining kids for longer than ten minutes - Splatoon 2 is a vital parenting instrument. The Nintendo-exclusive third-person shooter is a kid-friendly take on the multiplayer genre, swapping out bullet loaded guns with ink spraying pistols. The actual gameplay modes are fairly similar: take out enemies, claim territory, and steal resources, but the paint mechanic completely shakes things up. Spraying the environment is as important as splatting enemies, creating interesting new ways to play even for adults that just want something different from Call of Duty’s monotone maps. 

Alysia Judge
With contributions from