Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
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  1. Play Magazine
    An extraordinary game that any action fan will go nuts over. Everything from the graphics to the sound to the action itself, Infinity Ward and Activision have taken the genre to an all-new level and it's truly something special. [Dec 2003, p.88]
  2. 100
    The most realistic war games I have ever played. Not only are the graphics stunning, the sound effects, music, dependence on teammates, weapons, and the overall feel of the game is amazing.
  3. 100
    It has it all: harrowing missions, top-notch graphics and special effects, and convincing audio and voice acting. Few games in this genre approach the level of polish and design seen here.
  4. Call of Duty can be summed up in one word. Intense. Yes, lots of shooters have provided many, many hours of intense situations before but none, including crowded games like "Battlefield 1942," have ever made me feel the insignificance and fear a soldier must feel while watching the slaughter of hundreds of his countrymen.
  5. 100
    Packs the power to astonish with its next-level A.I., absorbing mission design, and mesmerizing presentation.
  6. No game puts you closer to being on a field of battle in World War II than Call of Duty.
  7. 97
    The most intensive war action first person shooter combat title yet. I have not played a single-player experience that is as immersive and intense as the one in Call of Duty.
  8. This is the online game of 2003 with a single player experience that will be talked about and used to measure all future FPS military games for a long time to come.
  9. netjak
    The AI in the game is rather incredible. Most titles’ AI enemies are either idiots or precognitive, with no real middle ground. Call of Duty manages to get to that middle ground.
  10. I was absolutely blown away by Call of Duty. It’s a rare occasion when a game can make you feel as tense as this one manages to do; it’s also pretty rare to find an FPS that just feels so much different from all the rest.
  11. 95
    A brilliant action game from beginning to end, and is packed with so many amazing moments that it's my leading candidate for the best PC game of 2003, and there's a good argument to be made that's it's the best WWII shooter ever.
  12. During some of the battles it’s hard not to get emotional since some of the writing and voice acting is so well done.
  13. An intense singleplayer experience. It has awesome visuals and sound, epic game play and great multiplayer.
  14. Call of Duty can be described in one word: intense. There are no complicated mission objectives, no key-fetching to open doors (in fact, there aren’t even any doors to open), no squad-command signals - none of that. It’s all about edge-of-your-seat action, and it’s executed remarkably well.
  15. The new "Medal of Honor." Squad combat, iron sights, the incredible tactile feel of the game, the sound effects, the graphics, the intense levels - it’s done for first-person shooters in 2003 what "Medal of Honor" did two years ago.
  16. PC Gamer
    It's the 24-mission single-player experience that you'll remember for years. Call of Duty is a first-rate achievement. The sensory overload is amazing, and the interaction with intricately scripted action set-pieces is a big step forward in the art form. [Dec 2003, p.88]
  17. 93
    You have to love a game that glues you to your seat and keeps you interested... A thrilling piece of software that action fans should grab a hold of and love fiercely.
  18. Infinity Ward has restored my faith in gaming by producing a very mature, complete and meaningful project. Call of Duty is action at its finest, but told well enough not to offend those of us looking for a little more meaning and substance in our gaming.
  19. It’s also one of the few first person shooters that made me jump from ambushing Nazis.
  20. Without a doubt the finest WWII game released this year, and if other gamers agree a prime contender for the PC Game of the Year.
  21. Combining an authentic look, sound and feel with a simple interface and innovative game play mechanics, this game is a tough act to follow. Not only is Call of Duty the new leader of the pack when it comes to WW2 based FPS games, it is also clearly one of the best FPS games available, period.
  22. With such simple and smart gameplay, Call of Duty rocks in all the right ways. It looks outstanding and plays well without any needed patches. The single-player is very engrossing, really the best thing since "MOH:AA."
  23. If you’re into war games, but not usually an FPS player, you should definitely give Call of Duty a shot - you’ll be gobsmacked. If you are into FPSs and you liked Allied Assault, you’ll have exactly the same reaction.
  24. GameNow
    Despite its brevity and lack of good multiplayer, though, Call of Duty is easily one of the most fun shooters I've played all year. [Jan 2004, p.66]
  25. However, taking away all the glamour, polish and hype this title has, what you’ll be presented with is rather linear game with fairly limited replay ability. We did however find the single player campaigns surprisingly short.
  26. Computer Games Magazine
    Call of Duty is going to turn heads. It looks amazing, the action is fierce, and the multiplayer game is balanced, with plenty of diverse settings. [Jan 2004, p.58]
  27. It might not have the normal mapping people expect and love so much, but has plenty of style, textures, realistic character models and superb lighting and explosions.
  28. 90
    It's cliche to say those with heart conditions should stay away, but the game is truly one of those rarities that has you so caught up in the action, you don't realize that you were holding your breath until the mission ends.
  29. The Red Army levels are stunning.
  30. A riveting action piece from start to finish.
  31. 90
    Now that we’ve ended our time with Call of Duty, we’re confident enough to call this one of the top WW2 games on the market right now –despite its relative age- and quite possibly one of the most complete and engrossing WW2 shooters ever.
  32. A fantastic title...I would have liked more depth to the single-player experience and a little bit more story, but that's nitpicking really. [Dec 2003, p.176]
  33. A cinematic and thrilling experience. The ability to take part in the last century’s most defining and destructive war through the perspective of three different sides is quite engaging.
  34. 90
    As close to artery clearing, frantic action movie warfare as we've yet come.
  35. One of the best WWII-themed games ever released... Despite minor flaws with the story's continuity, length of game and odd mission choices, the game stands strong as one of the best of this year.
  36. An all-around excellent game that confidently challenges, head-on, all the other WWII-themed shooters out there and comes out on top.
  37. Probably the best shooter I've played all year. The only real knocks against it are that it's a relatively short game (I finished in about 10 hours) and the multiplayer is lackluster. But let's be honest: If you're into playing a World War II game online nothing compares to "Battlefield 1942" or Day of Defeat.
  38. Add in the camaraderie and chat, the shouts of alarm and the odd comedy moment to lighten the tension and you have a cracking game that would be perfect if only there were a couple of branches down the very straight and narrow.
  39. Where I fell out with CoD was the fact that however many cool things I could think of, it was all too easy to peel away the layers of glitz and gloss and come up with frustratingly long list of inconsistencies, flaws and slightly irksome design decisions that remind you that there's plenty of work to be done before the definitive World War II shooter gets made.
  40. An intense, gritty World War II-themed action game played from a vertigo-inducing first-person perspective.
  41. It may be nothing new, but it does each part so incredibly well that you cant help but feel the overall polished feeling of the game is something innovating in today’s world of rush releases. If you need yet another shooter, buy this and you’ll fall in love all over again.
  42. Edge Magazine
    Undersized and profoundly linear, but that cannot shake its solidity and the sheer intensity of the spectacle it creates. The most fun thing you'll get on the PC this side of Christmas. [Christmas 2003, p.108]
  43. games(TM)
    One of the game's greatest achievements is in how the heavily scripted action manages to escape the feeling of linearity that blighted MOH. Most probably due to the sheer intensity and urgent pacing of proceedings, it feels surprisingly fitting for players to be swept along at the mercy of the situation. [Christmas 2003, p.110]
  44. Instead of cramming three divergent threads into one game, the developers should have split them up. The Russian campaign could have stood on its own, but it feels like an afterthought.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 874 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 874
  1. Dec 10, 2011
    The first ever Call of Duty has many elements which the newer CoD games keep coming back to, or just simply lost. The graphics might not lookThe first ever Call of Duty has many elements which the newer CoD games keep coming back to, or just simply lost. The graphics might not look appealing today, and the AIs might look stupid, but this is where it all started, and look at how many good aspects of the game were simply lost as they kept making new games. For example, consider the battle of Starlinglad from the Russian campaign. Do we have that 'Victory or Death' charge with epic music in modern CoDs? No. Or the health pack system? No, these days you're an invincible sponge capable of soaking up millions of rounds. In terms of gameplay, this first CoD is still comparable or significantly better than the newer CoDs. Just play it if you haven't done so yet. Full Review »
  2. DeaconB.
    Feb 4, 2004
    The single play was brilliant, I loved it, but it was way too short. The multiplayer could possibly be good if there was a way to get rid of The single play was brilliant, I loved it, but it was way too short. The multiplayer could possibly be good if there was a way to get rid of all the cheating scum. Full Review »
  3. Jul 17, 2011
    It can be said that Call of Duty is the founding father of today's modern First-Person war shooters. It is a Classic. One Of The greatestIt can be said that Call of Duty is the founding father of today's modern First-Person war shooters. It is a Classic. One Of The greatest video games of all time, and dare I say, the best PC Game of all time. Despite its few flaws, and sometimes laggy gameplay, Call Of Duty not only enriches the FPS Experience, it also inspires alot of their fans to go forward and not be afraid. For a First Person Shooter Game, this is rare as nowadays you have franchises like Battlefield and the Tom Clancy series that gets to the point and never has that much depth in the story. Call Of Duty does. In fact, story is what makes up this game. Like a TV Drama, it draws you in, taking you back to relive the tragedy, greed, despair, hope and glory of what was the Second World War in Europe. No doubt about it, may not be a perfect game, but it is a True Classic. Have you got a PC? Get Call Of Duty off eBay or some retro VG Store near you, because if you don't have it, you're not a true PC Gamer. Full Review »