Generally favorable reviews - based on 81 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
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  1. Nov 13, 2011
    Like a divorced parent trying to win the affection of an only child, the game dishes out rewards with every breath.
  2. Nov 8, 2011
    It's hard to believe Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has finally arrived let alone lived up to all the hype surrounding it.
  3. Nov 8, 2011
    Call of Duty manages to raise the bar with each game that arrives year after year and Modern Warfare 3 is no exception, except this time the franchise has made a much bigger leap than it has in years past. For starters, the online game is the deepest and richest CoD multiplayer experience to date and the Spec Ops co-operative mode is worth the price of admission alone.
  4. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 concludes the trilogy with a solo campaign that goes beyond my expectations, and a multiplayer with subtle yet efficient revisions. It boasts better balancing and takes into account the supportive players more than ever compared to the regular solo guns blazing hero. Quite comprehensive, it also re-introduces the beloved Spec Ops mode, and the launch of Call of Duty Elite grants him the best available service in that category. Even though in terms of production values, and scope of the competitive multiplayer, Battlefield 3 harms Activision's champion, it remains a title that is firmly anchored to its traditional strengths, and doesn't get lazy. The lovers will be ecstatic, the haters gonna hate.
  5. Nov 8, 2011
    The Infinity Ward engine is far from cutting edge – the overall look of the game has not moved on enormously since MW2. But the vision, the choreography, the sense of scale and detail – they are awe-inspiring at times.
  6. Nov 7, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is a shining example of refinement and improvement. It's familiar, sure, but here familiarity doesn't breed contempt, just respect and reward for those who've dedicated so much time to the series. And for new players, it's the perfect starting point, more accommodating and encompassing than ever...A game which is undoubtedly going to be played for a long, long time to come, and deservedly so.
  7. Nov 8, 2011
    All of that aside the final product that is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the complete package. It has a solid, single-player campaign (which is long enough if played correctly but feel free to complain if you want); a feature-rich multiplayer mode that has new modes and will be played by millions of gamers for years to come; a great Spec-Ops mode that includes an all-new Survival gameplay mode; and is the first Call of Duty title to launch with the new Elite service, something that will become a standard in the CoD franchise for years to come.
  8. Nov 8, 2011
    Overall, Infinity Ward (what's left of the original gang) and Sledgehammer Games have stayed loyal to the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare brand in the name of all their loyal fans.
  9. Nov 8, 2011
    Familiar-yet-new territory comes in the form of AC-130 missions, only these are far more robust, and desperate. You're clearing a path on-the-fly for teams on the ground, but equally switching between the two. And it's not just decimating ground forces, either. There's no arguing Infinity Ward make a chopper crash look the best in the biz, and you'll be swatting enemy helicopters from the sky like so many flies under your fly-swatter.
  10. Nov 18, 2011
    Looking back over this generation, it can be argued that Modern Warfare reinvented the way we play shooters, and now, Modern Warfare 3 may have come as close as we'll ever get to perfecting it. What few complaints we do have feel negligible in comparison to everything the game does right, and both the campaign and multiplayer components deliver on all fronts. If you've always been hesitant to try Call of Duty, this might be the time to jump in. It honestly doesn't get much better than this.
  11. Nov 12, 2011
    The multiplayer is the strongest it has ever been, and the coop mode has been expanded from an addition to a full-fledged mode. Modern Warfare 3 won't blow away anyone looking for anything new, but it will deliver enough thrills and quality to keep players engaged and coming back for more.
  12. Nov 8, 2011
    The multiplayer is a cut above the rest, with a ton of options and the ability to customize a huge number of details on any of the maps you set up for Private Matches.
  13. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 succeeds in every area and the development teams at both Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games should be extremely proud.
  14. 95
    One startlingly huge, polished, and downright entertaining shooter experience. Sure, we can come up with a list of things we'd love to see from the series - whether it's a revamped campaign approach or a revitalized game engine and aesthetic - but when everything here is this well-executed and offers so many enduring thrills, it's hard to knock it too much. MW3 absolutely delivers.
  15. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 treads familiar ground and focuses on tweaking rather than reinventing, and that's just fine. While there are no major revelations or surprises, this is still a gorgeously produced package that gives military shooter fans exactly what they want. There's a reason why Call of Duty is the most powerful videogame franchise of the modern era, and Modern Warfare 3 serves as a reminder -- it's just that damn good at what it does.
  16. 95
    Modern Warfare 3 really is the best multiplayer shooter on console right now. It's not changing the landscape of shooters - it's honing it to its sharpest point. It's a no-brainer purchase for console gamers.
  17. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is the elite of the elite shooters.
  18. Games Master UK
    Nov 20, 2011
    Big, brash, ballsy, bombastic, barmy and bloody. And of course, better than Black Ops. [Christmas 2011, p.55]
  19. Nov 8, 2011
    If you're looking for a lot of ways to kill and be killed, Modern Warfare 3 is exhaustive. With almost 20 modes available there's something for just about everyone.
  20. Nov 8, 2011
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a completely crazy tour-de-force that carries you through trenches all around the world, as well as giving a great refresh to the multiplayer mode that has all but defined Activision in the console market.
  21. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is what the fans expected - fast paced multiplayer action with some new twists and game modes that are a definitely a fresh breeze. But there are also a great campaign and the usual challenging Spec Ops.
  22. Nov 16, 2011
    The biggest problem with Modern Warfare 3 is that it doesn't surprise, aside from the fact that there's more for the solo player to do than you might expect. It feels very safe, which is understandable given the budget and its sales expectations-as well as the rabid fan base that doesn't necessarily want innovation.
  23. Nov 10, 2011
    What it does do so well is take a perfectly honed formula and make it even more flexible to gamers' grips, without disturbing the game's core experience. It's a balancing act, and I don't think any gaming developer in their right mind would attempt to make an entirely new package here.
  24. 91
    While the first two Modern Warfares proved to be the extraordinary work of a single, incredibly talented team, the third instalment in the series stands as a manifesto to what three great teams, working together as one passionate unit, can achieve. It's an improvement over its predecessor in pretty much every aspect and a return to former strength after the stagnation that was MW 2. Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward deliver a natural conclusion to an astounding trilogy - and the best Call of duty since the first Modern Warfare.
  25. Nov 8, 2011
    I'm glad to say the multiplayer remains addicting and is more balanced than ever.
  26. Nov 8, 2011
    Following in its predecessors footsteps, MW3 once again offers a great piece of entertainment. The campaign is short as usual, yet well-crafted, especially for the urban environments. Spec Ops, both Missions and Survivals, are a lot of fun, but the true heart of it all is in the competitive multiplayer. New modes and rebalanced perks and streaks add some teamwork-oriented action, and the overall experience is rich and entertaining as usual. It lacks in innovation, but it's still the best shooter on HD consoles.
  27. Nov 16, 2011
    A refinement of the series that further evidences why, year after year, Activision puts it on a pedestal. If you enjoy shooters, you owe it to yourself to at least give Modern Warfare a chance. If you've been on the fence because of the die-hards, this is the year to dip your toe in the water.
  28. Nov 16, 2011
    It delivers everything that you expect from a Call of Duty release, and it does that very well. The campaign strikes a perfect chord and there's not a single dull mission in the bunch, every minute filled with bravado and bravery as it steadily rises toward a thoroughly satisfying conclusion.
  29. Nov 14, 2011
    It's not often that a game franchise can be this good on such a consistent basis, but the Modern Warfare series continues to impress thanks in large part to its stellar story and highly-replayable multiplayer components.
  30. Nov 14, 2011
    Much like its predecessors in many ways, but bigger and more varied. The multiplayer mode got new kill streaks, new objectives and an extreme number of unlockable content. Add a solid (but almost to intensive) campaign, a survival mode and the spec ops missions and you got a seriously great game.
  31. Nov 12, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is the best package of it's kind on consoles and instead of going stale it continues to impress.
  32. Nov 12, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is a great FPS and a satisfying ending to Infinity's trilogy. With an adrenalinic and spectacular campaign and very entertaining multiplayer modes, fans of the series won't be disappointed – though we would have liked if the developers pushed it more on the technical side.
  33. Nov 12, 2011
    Much like its predecessors: a bombastic but brief single player campaign coupled with laser-focused multiplayer.
  34. Nov 11, 2011
    This is probably the best Modern Warfare ever published. The campaign is not as fresh as we hoped, but every new touch in the multiplayer is indisputable.
  35. Nov 9, 2011
    Despite feeling some fatigue with the reuse of this same formula repeatedly, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 still winds up being everything I expected, and it even includes a few extra additions and improvements I didn't expect.
  36. Nov 8, 2011
    Everything fans may expect. A frantic and incredibly fun multiplayer with tons of options, game modes and unlockables, and also very well polished, and an intense campaign that concludes a story which started with Modern Warfare four years ago. The formula is aging - although it works as well as ever, its visuals are stagnating, but this is still a must-have for those looking for direct action.
  37. 90
    In a single-player campaign that goes a bit over-the-top at times, it's a relief to see that the action is scaled-back with Soap and Price often enough to ensure that these characters receive the billing they deserve. Elsewhere in the multiplayer, Infinity Ward was always going to have a hard time replicating the impact of its package from two years ago but it's managed a rock-solid, if slightly conservative offering for this difficult third album in the Modern Warfare series.
  38. Nov 8, 2011
    If you're looking for a new kind of shooter, look elsewhere. Modern Warfare 3 succeeds by doing more – much, much, much more – of what's always worked spectacularly for the series. We still can't get enough.
  39. Nov 8, 2011
    Gameplay-wise, it's essentially the same game; that is, the best online FPS, an exciting and frantic experience. It offers several game modes, new weapons and balances the perks. Also, the competitive and the cooperative experience in Spec Ops and Survival has been greatly improved. And it has the best campaign yet in a Modern Warfare game. Another headshot from Infinity Ward.
  40. 90
    As substantial as they are the changes won't silence committed critics, but for accessible, content-rich action this is still the best first person shooter of the year.
  41. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 doesn't do anything new, but it also doesn't do anything wrong. For better or worse, this is a slick and well-metered trio of modes that make an entertaining package, but Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward are simply looking to augment previous games rather than expand the series into pastures new.
  42. 90
    Modern Warfare has always relied on smoke and mirrors. What surprises us is how ably the conjurers perform despite the much publicised Infinity Ward departures. After many months of doom-mongering it's great to find a game as confident and capable as those that preceded it.
  43. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is a solid FPS. If you didn't like the previous chapters, you won't change your mind, since the game doesn't change its formula. Scripted, spectacular and short, the single player campaign is just an appetizer, leading you to taste the savory multiplayer and the amazing Spec-Ops missions.
  44. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer is some of the series' strongest, and the co-op offerings have been expanded tenfold. But the campaign will leave you yearning, wishing that the characters were differentiated by more than thick accents, or that the gameplay tried something more than aim, shoot, take cover, reload, rinse and repeat.
  45. Without question a better game than the previous three CoD games and easily the most spectacular in the series.
  46. Nov 8, 2011
    The multiplayer is hands-down the best it has ever been, with more features, more modes and a ton of new levels and ways to interact via Call of Duty Elite. The singleplayer campaign and Spec Ops mode add value to the overall package, creating something that may not be perfect, but is too damn addicting to pass up.
  47. Nov 8, 2011
    An emphatic, feature-packed and sometimes stunning final act.
  48. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 meets expectations. The core elements of multiplayer and the campaign remain fundamentally unchanged, but the game serves as a great example of how many subtle tweaks can add up to an improved overall product.
  49. I never expected Modern Warfare 3 to go toe-to-toe with EA's juggernaut this year, but it came out of the gates with a tour de force campaign and co-op mode. It loses points with a perhaps too-familiar multiplayer that caters to the juvenile on Xbox Live; though don't be mistaken, Modern Warfare 3 is one hell of a shooter and a highlight for a series that just won't die – no matter how much we wish it bloody would, at times.
  50. Pelit (Finland)
    Nov 15, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is a solid entry into the series. The singleplayer campaign offers non-stop action to the point of excess, while the multiplayer offers the usual hooks and unlockables that will keep you busy for weeks to come. [Nov 2011]
  51. 88
    Largely feels like an iterative title...This isn't to say that Modern Warfare 3 is at all a bad game-it's an attractive and polished effort with tight controls, addictive multiplayer, and the sense that one is truly on a battlefield, rather than carrying on a miniature war behind the scenes.
  52. Nov 13, 2011
    In the end of it all Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 delivers the goods, though one wonders if even the ravenous fan base will be pleased for much longer unless we see a bit more revitalization in the franchise.
  53. Nov 9, 2011
    A great first person shooter, but at the same time a formula that starts to feel dated with this iteration. Modern Warfare 3 is an off-line spectacle and another splendid multiplayer game.
  54. Jan 11, 2012
    Ultimately, Modern Warfare 3 feels similar to it's brethren, but that doesn't mean it isn't a great game. The single player element is still exciting, and multiplayer has more options than ever – if you're a fan of Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3 is a no brainer.
  55. CD-Action
    Nov 29, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 deserves a 10/10 in a 'Call of Duty game' category, but we already know all its tricks, strengths and weaknesses. Some of the series' elements were successfully recreated in other titles but none has gathered them all on one disc yet – and this is why MW3 still wins. [December 2011, p.38]
  56. Nov 28, 2011
    Nothing new under the sun – that's spot-on. CoD: MW3 is a great game with no innovation. The graphics are outstanding, the sound effects amazing and the multiplayer as good as ever. The short campaign, the poor soundtrack, indestructible background objects and the shallow story, told in a confusing way, are disappointing though. Still, the game is very intense and well done. A must buy for all the fans.
  57. Nov 18, 2011
    The singleplayer of Modern Warfare 3 closes the trilogy on a high note, the Spec Ops-mode has been improved both quality- and quantity-wise and the multiplayer has been rebalanced. But there isn't any surprise to be found in the game. It's time that the series reinvents itself before its too late, but this is still an extremely solid conclusion.
  58. Nov 16, 2011
    This time the single player campaign has definitely taken a backseat as it doesn't manage to offer the thrills of the previous installments. On the other hand, its excellent multiplayer will undoubtedly maintain the interest of the fans until the next installment.
  59. Nov 15, 2011
    A well produced title that will give you another slice of entertainment, whether you choose to go it alone or head online to kick ass and take some names. It's nothing new though, and single-player feels especially lightweight this time around, so there is still room for improvement. More of the same next year then – which is both great news and a bit disappointing really.
  60. Nov 13, 2011
    This game plays well but there's a big lack of innovation. The multiplayer has shown some improvements but furthermore the game is exactly like you would expect.
  61. Nov 8, 2011
    This is an exciting and rewarding game, but the series' signature thrills have lost some of their luster. Modern Warfare 3 iterates rather than innovates, so the fun you have is familiar. Fortunately, it's also utterly engrossing and immensely satisfying, giving fans another reason to rejoice in this busy shooter season.
  62. Nov 7, 2011
    Infinity Ward and Slegdehammer Games have fashioned a fantastic product, not for its fresh or innovate approach, but for the sheer content and refinements made to the existing product. The solo campaign, though short in length and somewhat lacking in climax, exemplifies flawless shooter gameplay while delivering a satisfying end to the Modern Warfare trilogy.
  63. Dec 28, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3, while still an excellent thrill ride in its own right, feels far too similar to MW2 or even Black Ops for my taste.
  64. Dec 7, 2011
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a suitable end to the Modern Warfare series, assuming this is as far as Infinity Ward takes the storyline. Every piece of the formula that has been used in the past game is here and accounted for and has been refined to a "T". As long as you don't expect anything more than what you are used to, you should be more than happy with the game.
  65. Nov 15, 2011
    The focus is clearly on the multiplayer here, and I doubt you're going to get a better FPS multiplayer experience from any other game this year.
  66. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Dec 8, 2011
    This is easily the best Call of Duty campaign in quite some time. [Issue#79, p.68]
  67. Nov 21, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is a good game, and Call of Duty fans will be happy. Those who are getting tired of Call of Duty will even be able to appreciate the changes in level progression and unlocks. At the end of the day, Modern Warfare 3 sticks to the safe formula that has worked for years, it's just that it is starting to get old.
  68. Nov 18, 2011
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is exactly what we expected, and depending on your stance on the series that's either good or bad.
  69. Nov 15, 2011
    While it is abundantly clear that this game doesn't strive for innovation, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gives players an overall entertaining game and delivers exactly what fans of the series want..
  70. Nov 14, 2011
    Put that aside and enjoy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for what it is: a brutal and rewarding game that knows what players expect, and delivers it with well-earned confidence.
  71. Nov 10, 2011
    As a whole package Call of Duty is soundly, confidently and expertly put together.
  72. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 is a funny and entertaining game. If you liked the previous chapters of this huge franchise you'll love this new one. Infinity Ward has done a very good job offering a complete package with a honest single player, a great co-op and a quite different multiplayer from that of Black Ops. Unfortunately, the sensation of playing a "more of the same" game in quite intense.
  73. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3's campaign, while complacent in parts, builds upon the dizzy heights of spectacle set by previous entries and often exceeds them, while Spec Ops once again successfully delivers its own brand of tactical co-operative gameplay.
  74. Nov 8, 2011
    It will be yet another go-round on the same rollercoaster. And this time, to enjoy it fully, you won't have to measure up at a sign that says "you must be this obsessed with multiplayer to ride this ride."
  75. Nov 8, 2011
    It's a Call Of Duty that feels incredibly focused despite a period in its development of massive uncertainty. Its campaign still toes the line between being smart and being stupid, but for Saturday night, popcorn entertainment, Modern Warfare 3 has the competition beat.
  76. 80
    Sure, not much has happened in terms of gameplay, and if you've played any of the prequels you'll know exactly what to expect. But that doesn't stop Modern Warfare 3 from being a really entertaining piece of military action with excellent multiplayer to enjoy.
  77. Nov 8, 2011
    Still one of the best first-person shooters of the year...But the whole thing feels old at this point. The new tricks feel more like a distraction designed to make you forget how revolutionary Call of Duty 4 was. I will certainly buy and play a copy of Modern Warfare 3, but there's nothing here that makes me want to shut off the rest of the world and obsess over it anymore. It makes you wonder if the franchise's best days are truly behind it.
  78. Nov 8, 2011
    Feels like a complete package from the start; the three gameplay areas - solo, co-op and multiplayer - all feeling like parts of a cohesive whole, driven by a clear and honed declaration of intent.
  79. Nov 14, 2011
    Other than the Strike Packages, MW3 really is nothing we haven't already seen. This does not say you won't get your first-person shooter fix. As a standalone game, it's worth every penny and will undoubtedly keep players occupied until the next installment, but as a sequel, it's disappointing.
  80. Nov 9, 2011
    Effective, but it is a recipe that begins to show serious limitations.
  81. Nov 8, 2011
    Modern Warfare 3 doesn't reinvent gunpowder, but sticks to the recipe of the previous games in the series. With a decent story and good multiplayer it's a game worth playing, but the lack of willingness to add improvements in gameplay show a laziness often found in a complacent game series.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 8678 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 8, 2011
    I remember when a sequel to a game meant innovation. I remember when developers were judged based on innovation in addition to the quality ofI remember when a sequel to a game meant innovation. I remember when developers were judged based on innovation in addition to the quality of the game.

    Mw3 is a structurally solid game, and why shouldn't it be, it is the same formula since call of duty 4. So while the mechanics work well, they offer nothing new. It is the same game as black ops with a new coat of paint , and some new maps. There is nothing new here, If you are looking for a fresh experience then look somewhere else , maybe buy an indi game. If you are looking for the same familiar multiplayer you love from the series , than just save your money and go back to black ops. The game is simply a cash in , pure and simple.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2011
    I have played all the CoD video games. This is the most disappointing one after BO and MW2. Looks exactly as CoD 4, with barely any change inI have played all the CoD video games. This is the most disappointing one after BO and MW2. Looks exactly as CoD 4, with barely any change in mechanics and gameplay. The only good part is the story, but that is easily spoiled because it is so predictable. The graphics are the same as on CoD 4, which came out 4 years ago. Usually I do not care about graphics but this was just disappointing. I have played about 1h of multiplayer and I am totally sick of it! More campers than ever with a lot of 12 year old kids, way too easy to spawn kill, overpowered weapons etc. I could go on for a whole essay if I would have the energy to. There are a lot of glitches also, of course the game was just released but these are simple, easy glitches that should have been noticed instantly during the beta tests. The maps are all recycled with the same looks as earlier maps, nothing new. I am really disappointed mostly because I waited out in the cold rain for almost 12 hours with my friends and we really were expecting a good game. That this is not. Save your time, go play something else because this is not worth it. At least I can still sell this on eBay for 90% of the money. Full Review »
  3. Nov 10, 2011
    Honestly, I don't know how the critics hold this game in such high esteem. It should be sold at half the retail price as it is essentially anHonestly, I don't know how the critics hold this game in such high esteem. It should be sold at half the retail price as it is essentially an expansion to MW2. As a COD fan, I am disappointed that Infinity Ward didn't do more with this. It's almost like they know that we will buy their games and just ignore the fact that it's like we are buying a second copy of MW2. I'm sorry Infinity Ward but I think Dice weren't wrong when they said that Battlefield 3 was made to rival the COD franchise, as it certainly brings more to the table than MW3. Full Review »