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This Is The Highest Selling Call Of Duty Game Of All Time

The Call of Duty series is, by far, one of gaming's most commercially successful franchises of all time. At 300 million units sold as of May 2019 and with insane daily revenue, the popular first-person shooter franchise is equally matched by few other franchises.

However, while each Call of Duty installment has been, more or less, a commercial success, some have performed much better than others. Not only is this true in a commercial sense, but critically, as the series has hit the highest of highs and had its share of lows. For instance, the 2007 smash hit Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is very fondly remembered among Call of Duty fans and maintains a 94 rating on Metacritic as of late 2020. Meanwhile, Call of Duty: WWII's Metacritic ratings range from 73 on PC to 80 on Xbox One. 

Ratings don't necessarily translate to sales, though. This can be seen in Statista's breakdown of the series' sales numbers. As an example, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's total copies sold falls well below the series' best-selling title at 19.84 million copies sold. Call of Duty: WWII falls just below that at 19.82 million copies sold, despite the former's launch being a decade earlier.

A modern success

Of the series' 17 iterations, the highest-selling Call of Duty title is 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. With its first year of sales being the highest in franchise history, the soft reboot of the Modern Warfare subseries has sold over 30 million copies across platforms. Confirmed by NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare turned out to be a resounding success for Infinity Ward, the developer of both the original Modern Warfare trilogy and its reboot.

This is despite the game's critical response, which was still mostly positive with an aggregate score of 81 on Metacritic. While its gameplay was praised as airtight, in line with the rest of the series, its campaign was criticized for some of its more controversial moments and short length. Even so, the game helped the series bounce back from the previous year's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which sold the least amount of copies of any Call of Duty game at 3.5 million units, according to Statista.

Sales beyond the call of duty

While Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War's sales figures aren't quite in yet, the game that spawned the subseries, 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops, came in second place at 30.99 million copies sold. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 fell just behind that at 29.59 million copies sold while 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts sold approximately 28.8 million copies.

Series highlight Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the third best-selling Call of Duty released, with 30.97 million units moved. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, on the other hand, sold about 25.02 million units.

While Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the series' official low point, 2003's Call of Duty is the second worst-selling Call of Duty entry, with 4.5 million units moved. Call of Duty 2 was just above that at 5.9 million copies sold, with Call of Duty 3 edging out the second installment at 7.2 million units moved.