Generally favorable reviews - based on 89 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 89
  2. Negative: 0 out of 89
  1. Dec 16, 2010
    There are few video games released this year that you simply cannot miss, Call of Duty: Black Ops is one of them.
  2. Dec 16, 2010
    Treyarch's game is exhilarating and beautifully orchestrated, but it feels like a full-stop, it needs to be a full-stop, because toward the end of the campaign, bombardment fatigue begins to set in.
  3. Dec 10, 2010
    Congrats Treyarch, you passed the test. Black Ops still has some technical flaws (some erratic scripts), but it doesn't lack ambition, variety, nor freshness. Its solo campaign boasts a good scenario, and its multiplayer is as comprehensive and solid as ever, while changing some basic systems for the better and introducing soon-to-be-cult new modes, as well as community features one could only find in the latest Halo iterations before. There may be ways to improve it yet again, but the 2010 CoD delivers on its promise - we can't say anymore that Treyarch's Call of Dutys don't measure up.
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    I admit I had my doubts about Black Ops. It seemed that Modern Warfare 2 was going to be impossible to top, but Treyarch has come in and trounced that game in every possible way.
  5. Dec 10, 2010
    While maintaining the quality standard set by its predecessors, this explosive adventure through the conflicts of the Cold War pushes the series and the genre one step further.
  6. Dec 10, 2010
    Treyarch didn't reinvent the wheel with Black Ops. Instead of fixing what wasn't broken, the oft-maligned developer gave it a needed polishing and sent it on its way. With everything that this game has to offer, both on and offline, it will be a resident of console drives for a long time to come.
  7. Dec 10, 2010
    The good news is that the game is absolutely worth the investment, and even if you find yourself disagreeing with some of the changes Treyarch instituted or you run into a bunch of morons who are hell bent on ruining a particular mode for you, you have plenty of other options to keep you engaged for a good long time.
  8. Dec 16, 2010
    There is so much content packed into this game that I couldn't even fit all of it into my review. However, even the multiplayer alone is enough to warrant this rating.
  9. Jan 11, 2011
    Treyarch finally comes out of Infinity Ward's shadow, producing the best CoD to date. An epic and intense game, with a very good story and and many ways to enjoy it other than the single player campaign.
  10. Dec 10, 2010
    Conclusion is Treyarch had very large shoes to fill, and let me tell you they passed with flying colors, erasing any doubt that I ever had about them making the next Call of Duty titles for years to come.
  11. Jan 12, 2011
    Maybe gamers doubted if this Black Ops was going to be on par with the games made by Infinity War, but it even surpasses them in some aspects.
  12. 95
    Quotation forthcoming.
  13. Jan 8, 2011
    Call of Duty: Black Ops is a great game with a stunning, quite long, thrilling campaign and a well devised multiplayer with a few good stuff like the wager matches and the ingame currency that let you customize your character.
  14. Dec 29, 2010
    It's gaming popcorn and gaming porn rolled into one oh-so-decadent whole. [Jan 2011, p.69]
  15. Jan 12, 2011
    After years following in Infinity Ward's footsteps, Treyarch has a chance to show its qualities, and it delivers. Black Ops has everything the community is looking for: a compelling, spectacular and interesting story mode and an impressive multiplayer will keep the players busy for a long time. Add a beautiful design and a great direction in the mix, and what you get is simply a masterpiece in the first person shooter genre.
  16. 93
    A thrilling and brutal single-player campaign that's one of the series' best. But will you be blown away by multiplayer the fourth time around?
  17. Dec 10, 2010
    The total amount of worthwhile content makes paying full price for most other games feel like a crime. Treyarch has closed the gap between its games and the Modern Warfare franchise with boundless customization, a keen sense of what makes the formula a success, and listening to fans. You won't regret answering the call once again.
  18. Dec 10, 2010
    Black Ops is simply a terrific game and a solid addition to the Call of Duty franchise.
  19. Jan 12, 2011
    Black Ops is one of the best first person shooters this year, and is a obviously must have for any action fan. Intense, gory and quite brilliant, maybe it's not refreshing but at the same time its a stunning game.
  20. Dec 16, 2010
    Black Ops' minor flaws won't deter you from its gripping storyline and gratifying multiplayer modes.
  21. Dec 10, 2010
    It's easy to say that this is Treyarch's best game...when it's not just trying to imitate Infinity Ward.
  22. Dec 10, 2010
    Whatever your gameplay preference is, Call of Duty: Black Ops has you covered and is a must-have title for any shooter fan.
  23. Jan 16, 2011
    There are more highlights in the first two missions of Black Ops, then in Medal of Honor. The requirements of Treyarch seemed to be better, than in the past few years. They made an interesting setting. In addition, there's a nice zombie mode and an overwhelming multiplayer. No doubt, this is Treyarchs best Call of Duty ever!
  24. Jan 12, 2011
    All in all, you simply cannot find a better package out right now.
  25. Jan 12, 2011
    Thanks to an intense storytelling, a thrilling plot, and a redefined multiplayer, Black Ops is the best Call of Duty developed by TreyArch studio, and one of the most interesting chapter ever. Year after year, this great series keeps on arousing a huge amount of videoplayers.
  26. Jan 12, 2011
    Call of Duty: Black Ops is a great game, despite not being as perfect as we could believe. The single player campaign presents some narrative solutions that make it boring sometimes , but on the other hand everything on the multiplayer side is pure gold! The new modes can provide a lot of fun and if you liked the previous CoD for the online, Black Ops will be your next divinity to adore.
  27. Jan 12, 2011
    Treyarch honors the Infinity Ward heritage in the best possible way with exiting single player and outstanding multiplayer. A must-have for all action fans out there.
  28. Jan 12, 2011
    Black Ops is quite a pleasant surprise: On the one hand former second class developer Treyarch reaches the Infinity Ward's standard of gameplay quality and inventiveness for the first time. On the other hand Treyarch manages to set a course of their own through the unusual story and a ton of tributes to other masterpieces of action, be it movie or game. Plus Activision conceded the time and resources to Treyarch to aspire a really great game. And that's something you'll notice immediately. You'll recognize the passion and the effort that went into making this new episode. Black Ops delivers Call of Duty gaming at its best as well as a distinctly individual approach to the whole scenario. Infinity Ward will have to put their shoulders to the wheel to outplay Black Ops with the next CoD.
  29. Jan 12, 2011
    Treyarch bangs their fist on the table with Black Ops, clearly one of the best shooters published this year.
  30. Jan 11, 2011
    This is Treyarchs Masterpiece! It may not blow you away like Modern Warfare did back at its time, but it shure as hell is an intense shooter-experience with a multiplayer-part, that will keep you busy for months!
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1323 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 10, 2010
    Meh. Stuck on Rebirth Island in a loop. Standing behind the Russki he says I've been spotted and he just stands there and I'm looking aroundMeh. Stuck on Rebirth Island in a loop. Standing behind the Russki he says I've been spotted and he just stands there and I'm looking around trying to see who spotted me, and trying to figure where all of the bullets are coming from.

    If I don't hit the marks that the developers say I should I die. I REALLY hate having to play a level over and over, and over, and over, from the start because I didn't jump fast enough, or read the BS directions about hitting X to deploy the parachute. BO is more frustrating than fun. Once I complete it I won't be replaying the campaign, and since I don't have Gold Live multi player is out. If the Zombies game sucks I'll be selling it back to Gamestop.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2010
    This is by far the most complete and deep gaming experience in history. The balance in the multi-player maps and weapons will be imitated andThis is by far the most complete and deep gaming experience in history. The balance in the multi-player maps and weapons will be imitated and praised for years to come. This is the BEST game ever. Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2011
    I'm a little disappointed that the Call of Duty franchise has hit a point in the series' history where any subpar developer can slap the wordsI'm a little disappointed that the Call of Duty franchise has hit a point in the series' history where any subpar developer can slap the words "Call of Duty" on the front cover and it will become the most successful selling game of all time. Yes, Black Ops is still an excellent game, but I'm giving it a 6 because the game had a ridiculous amount of hype and yet, it delivered absolutely nothing new or inspiring to the table. As another user critic said, the game is doing nothing except receive a piggy back ride from Modern Warfare 2. If Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 switched release dates, MW2 would be the best selling game of all time. You could not tell the difference between which game was released first. The only reason that Black Ops is as successful as it is, is because of one reason: it is more new. I am not exaggerating this when I say it. It is not superior in any way, but rather actually a degrade in many aspects. To start, the graphics are literally the exact same. And in some cases, it somehow manages to be worse. I have absolutely no idea how, and I still have don't have an answer to this day, other than the engine is worse the MW2's. On the topic, since the engine is different, the entire feel of the game isn't as smooth as MW2 feels. I can't describe it too well, it just feels clunkier, and the hit detection is worse. The single player is very good, despite having another extremely short campaign. You can complete the campaign on Normal difficulty in probably 3 hours tops, so if you don't have online, I highly urge you to not buy this game. The storyline of the campaign is very original in my opinion, and the ending was very well-written. Despite this, it was a little anti-climatic, as I'm used to a pulsating thrill-ride the last ten minutes of a standard Call of Duty campaign. Voice-acting was extremely well-done, and there's some recognizable names behind the acting such as Ice Cube that really deliver an astounding performance. Some of the missions are a little cliche, a mere, "Been there, done that" feeling that you have already experienced this in other installments. Moving on to multiplayer, this is where I feel that I was disappointed the most. Sure, Black Ops has their original Nazi Zombies, but let's be honest, would you really pay $60 for just that? It's fun for awhile, but not enough to warrant a purchase alone. The multiplayer maps online are merely a host of mediocre maps that are nothing memorable. They involve a lot of camping spots and chokepoints that enemy players are constantly hovering around. Also, because so many of them are not as largescale as MW2's maps, sniping essentially goes out the window. On the topic of snipers, they themselves are worthless weapons in comparison to any assault rifle, and it is not uncommon to be called a noob for using one. The weapons are unbalanced, and everyone uses either the FAMAS or the AK74u, which is to be expected, since both of these guns are far superior to the others. The sound quality has actually become worse than on MW2, and the killstreaks available to you are boring or borrowed from MW2. One example is the Chopper Gunner; sound familiar? Amidst this darkness are some great new addions, however, such as the ability to customize your own personal emblem. Also, the addition of contracts is a rather cool idea, and some new game modes such as One in the Chamber are a blast to play. Overall, there are some great additions to Black Ops, but they don't add up to much. And they certainly don't add up to an entire purchase of a brand new game that feels, looks, and plays like MW2. If you have your copy of MW2 stlll, it would be best if you stuck with that. If not, I guess Black Ops would be a worthy purchase since that's what everyone else plays. Full Review »