#3: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
This is the one that started it all, and while that means it sort of the bane of our modern gaming market, at the time, it was incredible. This was the first Call of Duty game to emerge from the backward years of 1939-45, and embroil us in a conflict in the modern world, with modern weaponry, modern technology, and modern aircraft that we could call in for aid, and sometimes control. So the name is fitting, at least. Story-wise, it is easily the strongest game in the Modern Warfare series, which has become a separate entity from Call of Duty, interestingly enough. Unlike Crysis 2, pacing wasn’t one of its strong points, but at the time it was released, balls-to-the-wall action in a shooter with a modern setting was quite novel, and so it could get away with it. There were also a few missions that emphasized stealth, which the other two Modern Warfare games both tried and failed to implement. Couple all that with the fact that one of your missions is a brief jump into the body of a soldier dying slowly after the explosion of a nuclear bomb, and it’s easy to see why Call of Duty 4 had such a memorable campaign. Even if it did bring about the scourge of modern gaming.