5 Call of Duty Games That Were So Bad Even the Hardcore Fans of the Franchise Struggled to Finish Them

Even a Franchise as Big as Call of Duty Has Had its Missteps.

call of duty: infinite warfare, call of duty: vanguard


  • Call of Duty has had its share of triumphs and missteps. But some titles stand out for their poor reception even among die-hard fans.
  • Whether it was due to poor gameplay mechanics, unbalanced multiplayer, or uninspired storytelling, there have been entries that completely missed the mark.
  • These five games, in particular, stand out as examples of when the series failed to deliver, even to its most dedicated fans.
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Call of Duty has been a staple in the gaming world for years and is known for intense action and gameplay in an often historic setting. The franchise has seen success over the years, with titles like the first Modern Warfare and Black Ops celebrated as some of the best first-person shooters ever made. 


However, not every game in the franchise has been a hit. Some have even been considered unplayable by hardcore fans. Here are five Call of Duty games that were so bad, even the most dedicated fans of the series struggled to finish them.

1. Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty Vanguard is one of thw worse CoD games.
Call of Duty Vanguard had terrible reception. | Sledgehammer Games

Call of Duty: Vanguard faced immense criticism from the start. Despite being set in the often-popular World War II era, it failed to capture the excitement and innovation that fans expected. The campaign was widely panned for its lackluster storytelling and uninspired missions, making it a chore to complete for many players.


The game’s commercial and critical reception was also underwhelming, leading to speculation about the future of the franchise. Its reception was so poor that some fans rank it below even the most criticized titles in the series. While players liked some features of Call of Duty: Vanguard, the game quickly became a symbol of what many felt was wrong with the series.

2. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare was hated before it even released.
Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare didn’t even have a chance. | Infinity Ward

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare faced backlash from the moment it was announced. Fans were tired of futuristic settings and jetpack gameplay. The reveal trailer became one of the most disliked videos on YouTube. 

The game took the series to space, a setting that many fans felt was unnecessary. The game’s campaign received praise for its storytelling but failed to resonate with players. The multiplayer, while solid, was overshadowed by the fatigue of jetpack gameplay introduced in previous titles.


3. Call of Duty: Ghosts

Call of Duty: Ghosts is also among the most disliked CoD titles.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is what could’ve been but wasn’t. | Treyarch

Call of Duty: Ghosts was supposed to be a fresh start for the franchise on next-gen consoles. Instead, it was met with lukewarm reception. The game was criticized for its underwhelming campaign and unbalanced multiplayer. 

The story lacked depth and failed to engage players, while its multiplayer mode suffered from poor map design and overpowered killstreaks. Many fans felt that Ghosts did not live up to the high standards set by previous entries in the series.

4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is among the worst games of the franchise.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is simply, just mediocre. | Infinity Ward

While some remember Modern Warfare 3 fondly, it was far from perfect. The game was plagued by unbalanced gameplay mechanics and poorly designed maps. Features like Death Streaks, which rewarded players for performing poorly, were widely criticized.


Many fans consider it a low point in the otherwise celebrated Modern Warfare series as the game continued to get criticized even recently. The campaign was forgettable, and the multiplayer maps were poorly designed. These issues made the game frustrating to play for even the most hardcore fans.

5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is not very liked by fans.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 tried something new but it backfired. | Treyarch

Black Ops 4 tried to innovate by removing the traditional single-player campaign, and replacing it with a series of Specialist missions. However, this decision alienated many fans who enjoyed the narrative-driven experiences of previous titles. 

The game introduced operators and a battle royale mode, Blackout, which some players enjoyed. However, others found the overall experience lacking compared to earlier entries. It also faced criticism for its heavy reliance on microtransactions and lackluster multiplayer experience.


Even a franchise as successful as Call of Duty has its missteps. These five games serve as a reminder that not every release can be a hit. These games are examples of titles that even the most dedicated fans of the series struggled to finish. Whether it was due to poor gameplay mechanics, unbalanced multiplayer, or uninspired storytelling.


Written by Daniel Royte

Articles Published: 151

Daniel is a gamer through and through with a passion for gaming in his veins. His current adventures have taken him into the world of Elden Ring, Wuthering Waves, and Genshin Impact, amongst others.