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Call of Duty Celebrates 20th Anniversary of (Virtual) Wars + Heroism & Relevance

It’s been 20 years since Call of Duty was first released, and today, it has 23 mainline games and several spinoffs. With plenty in store for the franchise in the coming years after Call of Duty’s 20th anniversary on 29 October, let’s look back at the franchise’s growth and its roster of beloved characters.

Call of Duty 20th Anniversary

The original Call of Duty game was set in World War II and soon became a hit among gamers, featuring an arcade-style multiplayer format. It soon added Call of Duty 2, 3, and 4, which continued expanding the game’s features and combat modes. World at War added zombies in a secret mode, which continued its story in the Black Ops games.

Call of Duty 20th Anniversary (2)

Then came one of the franchise’s classics, Modern Warfare, which added secret post-credit levels, additional game modes, and was the first game to be set in the modern era. It won two BAFTA Video Game Awards and plenty of accolades.

Introducing characters like Captain John Price and Soap, Modern Warfare is one of Call of Duty’s most talked-about games. Subsequent games like Modern Warfare 2 expanded on Task Force 141’s iconic characters like Simon “Ghost” Riley, a fan favourite, and even spawned a comic series about the character. Modern Warfare 3 seemingly ended the Modern Warfare trilogy, though it would return in a reboot.

call of duty's 20th anniversary

During this period, the Black Ops trilogy would be further developed, pushing the timeline to 2065 with futuristic soldiers and a sci-fi-themed campaign. It would eventually return to its World War II campaigns with the release of Call of Duty: WWII in 2017.

call of duty's 20th anniversary

The Modern Warfare games were later rebooted in 2019, overhauling the existing game features and adding customisable character skins and weapons. In the same year, Call of Duty’s mobile game was released, generating even more interest in the game franchise. The series continues today, with the highly-anticipated Modern Warfare III reboot releasing on 10 November 2023.

It’s been twenty years since the first game was released, and players have been saving the world since 2003, with the game’s story being as relevant on Call of Duty‘s 20th anniversary as it was then.

The full breakdown of the franchise’s history, including new innovations and memorable moments from every title, can be viewed on the official blog.