The Call of Duty franchise has become a household name in the gaming industry, captivating millions of players worldwide with its intense action, realistic graphics, and compelling storylines.

Among the various installments in the series, the Modern Warfare sub-franchise stands out as one of the most iconic and influential. In this article, we’ll delve into the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise, exploring its origins, key features, and the impact it has had on the gaming landscape.

The Call of Duty franchise has continually set sales records and delivered rock-solid multiplayer experiences, almost single handedly carrying the first-person shooter genre into the modern era. It remains a crucial pillar in the gaming industry, so much so that Sony and Microsoft were fighting over it in the lead-up to the Xbox giant acquiring Activision, the publisher behind the franchise.

The Birth of Modern Warfare:

The Modern Warfare series was introduced by Infinity Ward, the developer behind the original Call of Duty game. The first title, “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,” released in 2007, marked a significant departure from the World War II setting that had defined the earlier games in the series. This shift brought the game into a contemporary setting, introducing players to modern weapons, technology, and geopolitical conflicts.

Key Features of Modern Warfare:

  1. Compelling Storylines:The Modern Warfare franchise is renowned for its gripping narratives that explore the complexities of modern warfare and the moral dilemmas faced by soldiers. The series often presents a more nuanced and realistic portrayal of conflict, featuring characters with depth and motives beyond the typical war hero archetype.
  2. Cutting-Edge Graphics and Realism:Infinity Ward has consistently pushed the boundaries of graphics and realism in gaming. The Modern Warfare series is no exception, offering stunning visuals and lifelike environments that immerse players in the chaotic and intense world of modern combat.
  3. Multiplayer Excellence: Multiplayer has been a cornerstone of the Call of Duty franchise, and Modern Warfare has excelled in this regard. The series introduced iconic game modes such as “Search and Destroy” and “Free-for-All,” providing a diverse and engaging multiplayer experience. The introduction of the “Killstreak” system added an extra layer of strategy and excitement to online battles.
  4. Spec Ops Mode:Alongside its single-player and multiplayer components, the Modern Warfare series introduced the Spec Ops mode. This cooperative gameplay option allowed players to team up with friends to complete challenging missions, adding a cooperative element to the franchise beyond traditional multiplayer.

Evolution and Sequels:

The first Modern Warfare game was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which was developed by Infinity Ward and released on November 5, 2007. It was the first game in the Call of Duty franchise set in modern times, as all previous titles focused on World War II. It introduced the now-iconic Task Force 141, including the characters Captain John “Soap” MacTavish and Captain John Price, who are trying to take down a group of Russian Ultranationalists and their associates.

The Original Call of Duty:

Modern Warfare’s multiplayer served up some of the most iconic maps in the franchise, like Shipment and Crash, and was widely considered a fantastic example of online CoD, an experience on par with titans like Halo 3.

Modern Warfare ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, with Price receiving CPR after being injured in a massive final battle, and the events of that game lead directly into 2009’s Modern Warfare 2 (spoilers: Price lives, and there’s a prison breakout mission where you have to rescue him). The sequel (also developed by Infinity Ward) introduces two now well-known characters: Sergeant Gary “Roach” Sanderson and Lieutenant Simon “Ghost” Riley. The story sort of circles back to what was going on in the original game, with the Ultranationalists taking over Russia and Task Force 141 trying to stop them from committing terror attacks around the world.

Following the success of the first Modern Warfare game, the series continued to evolve with subsequent releases. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” (2009) further expanded the narrative and introduced memorable characters, while “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” (2011) provided a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.

In 2019, Infinity Ward rebooted the Modern Warfare series with a new title simply titled “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” This game retained the intense single-player experience, revamped multiplayer mechanics, and introduced the cross-platform play feature, allowing players on different platforms to compete against each other.

The Rebooted Call of Duty:

Here is where things get tricky. After Modern Warfare 2 the Modern Warfare franchise was stagnant for five years, until the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Re-mastered in 2016. At first, you could only get this re-master (which was developed by Raven Software) if you bought Infinite Warfare, the Infinity Ward-developed chapter which broke with franchise tradition by featuring a more futuristic setting. Modern Warfare Remastered was made available for individual purchase later in 2017 after petitions called for a separate sale.

Legacy and Impact:

The Modern Warfare franchise has left an indelible mark on the gaming industry. Its success paved the way for a new era of Call of Duty games set in modern or near-future settings, influencing other military shooters and shaping player expectations for realistic graphics and engaging narratives.

Modern Warfare 3rd

And that brings us to the upcoming Modern Warfare III. It’s the first game to break the franchise tradition of alternating sub-genres, as it’s coming out just a year after Modern Warfare II. We don’t know much about the campaign yet, save that Makarov will be the central villain, and Task Force 141 is once again taking center stage.

But we do know quite a bit about its other features—like the fact that a Zombies mode is coming to Modern Warfare for the first time ever, or that multiplayer will bring back (confusingly) every single map from the original Modern Warfare 2.

We know that there’s an execution animation that will let you kill people with weed smoke, and that red dot mini-maps will return (they were controversially cut from Modern Warfare II).

Most importantly, the Modern Warfare III multiplayer beta that took place in early October gave us the best look at what to expect from the game. We saw how extensive weapon selection is (it includes every weapon from II, as well as more than 30 new guns and attachments), how your operators will carry over from the previous game (Nicki Minaj fans, rise up), and got a good look at those revamped classic maps.

Will Modern Warfare III be a hit among long-time fans? It seems poised to be just that, but we won’t know for sure until it drops on November 10 for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. Whether it’s good or not, here’s hoping we’ve at least helped you understand the franchise’s storied (and confusing) history here today. It’s a lot!


The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise has become synonymous with intense, realistic, and emotionally charged gaming experiences. From its inception in 2007 to the present day, the series has continued to push the boundaries of what is possible in the gaming world.

Whether through its gripping storylines, cutting-edge graphics, or revolutionary multiplayer modes, Modern Warfare remains a pivotal and enduring part of the Call of Duty legacy.