This top five highest selling Call of Duty games of all time list is here to break down, reflect and chronicle some of the best first-person shooter releases ever seen in the gaming world.
Especially considering the news that Microsoft has agreed to purchase all of Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion, it seems now is a good time more than ever to look back on a bit of what the Call of Duty franchise has already accomplished. Here are the top five all-time highest-selling games in the Call of Duty series.
Top 5 Highest Selling Call of Duty Games of All Time
Before we get into the list, it's important to preface it by mentioning that the free-to-play Call of Duty: Mobile and Warzone have been so incredibly successful with their downloads, monthly active users (MAUs), and revenue generated that they shouldn't be directly compared to the console games.
In Activision Blizzard's Q3 2021 Earnings Press Release, the company announced on Nov. 2 that the "Call of Duty ecosystem" sustained reach, engagement, and player investment "well above" levels seen prior to the introduction of free-to-play experiences across console, PC, and mobile.
Additionally, it's unfortunately tough to get a clear, exact official number of how much money Activision specifically made with each specific COD title, let alone any single year, as publishers often don't share their data outside of when they hit new milestones.
As such, The NPD Group recently reported that Vanguard and Black Ops Cold War were the best-selling games of 2021 in the U.S., albeit without the exact numbers.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Perhaps the defining title of the Xbox 360's "golden days," as well as sitting fifth on this list is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Since its release in November 2009, MW2 has sold at least 22.7 million copies, according to IGN.
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
The first game in the series to feature futuristic warfare technology, Black Ops II has sold at least 24.2 million copies since its November 2012 release, according to IGN.
3. Call of Duty: Black Ops
A title that has since spawned four sequels by Treyarch, Black Ops has at least 26.2 million sales to show for it since its November 2010 release, according to IGN.
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
The third and final installment in the original Modern Warfare saga, MW3
has sold at least 26.5 copies since its November 2011 release, according to IGN.
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
In their 2020 Annual Report, Activision acknowledged that with the COVID-19 pandemic, their business experienced an increase in full-game and in-game content sales for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which also benefited from the launch of Warzone, as a result of the stay-at-home orders enacted in various regions that gave players more time to engage with their games. In September 2020, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announced that, since releasing in October 2019, the reboot had surpassed more than 30 million copies sold.