Battlefield 2042 is right around the corner, so it’s about time we took a look at where the series came from. It’s most certainly had its ups and downs over the years. While we’ve certainly had some excellent highs from the franchise, Battlefield hasn’t been without its low points, either.
Here are all of the Battlefield games ranked from worst to best, according to Metacritic.
13 – Battlefield Heroes – 69%
You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of this entry to the Battlefield series as it’s easily the most ‘off the wall’ entry. It was a free to play version of the all-out warfare shooter released exclusively on PC.
Taking on a cartoon aesthetic, this light-hearted comedy oriented entry to the series took a big leap from the gritty realism that the series is known for. The game was eventually shut down in 2015, though a dedicated community has since revived the game into a playable state.
12 – Battlefield Hardline – 71%
In my opinion, Hardline is criminally (ha) underrated. Another light-hearted spin-off, this time developed by the team at Visceral Games, clearly didn’t pan out for EA. It took the classic military formula and reskinned it with a cops and robbers theme.
While the new gamemode concepts were genuinely fun and interesting, it never managed to cultivate a healthy playerbase. Hardline was released soon after Battlefield 4, which led some players to feel that it was more of a full priced DLC than an actual new game. An outdated DLC expansion system also split the already small player base, resulting in extremely low populated servers.
You can still play Hardline today, and honestly? You should give it a second chance. The game embraced the goofy sandbox elements that make Battlefield games fun, and I think it should land much higher on this list.
11 – Battlefield V – 73%
One game that I do believe is correctly ranked on this list is Battlefield V. The most recent release certainly did little to capture the Battlefield audience. It’s a shame, because Battlefield V could have been something really interesting.
The initial trailer showed an alternate take on WW2 with prosthetic soldiers and experimental weaponry and gadgets. After some less than stellar feedback from fans, the tone was scaled back to something more in line with historical accuracy. The result is a game caught in a weird limbo that’s scared to try new things while not really delivering on anything it did well in the past.
The weapon progression system is dull and binary, and some of the maps are woefully designed. Here’s hoping that Battlefield 2042 learns from the shortcomings of this disappointing entry.
10 – Battlefield 2142 – 80%
Battlefield 2142 is an intriguing one to look back on now that the series is returning to a near future setting. This one was of course set in a more distant future where full on mechs and hovering aircraft carriers exist.
While less popular than the rest of the series, this game did have some good ideas to offer. Its best feature was the gamemode ‘Titan’, which went on to inspire the ‘Carrier Assault’ gamemode in Battlefield 4. This excellent mode saw teams capture missile silos around the map that would in turn damage an enemy’s hover carrier, known as a ‘Titan’. Once enough damage was dealt, teams could then infiltrate this titan and take it down from the inside.
It hosted a multi-tiered fight that was incredibly engaging to take part in. I’m secretly hoping that a mode like this is possible to recreate in the Battlefield Portal mode included in Battlefield 2042.
9 – Battlefield 4 – 81%
In the grand scheme of things, I can’t believe that Battlefield 4 is ranked so low on this list. Released in 2013, it took the modern combat ideas of Battlefield 3 and scaled them up in every direction. Levolution caused maps to feel properly dynamic in a way that hadn’t been seen in multiplayer shooters before.
A botched launch campaign likely salted the waters with Battlefield 4 slightly. However, after a stellar selection of DLC expansions and a smattering of other free updates along the way, Battlefield 4 is arguably still the best modern Battlefield experience. The servers are still highly populated in 2021, which is a testament to the longevity of this mammoth title.
8 – Battlefield: Bad Company – 83%
The Bad Company games took a much more human approach to the game’s story mode. It sees a squad of four soldiers dropped behind enemy lines as they strive to achieve a personal goal.
Only released on console platforms, this set the foundations for what would later become a fan favourite of the franchise. It’s just a shame the developer itself is unsure of what sparked such success with this spin-off. The team has never quite managed to recreate the charm that the Bad Company series had since.
7 – Battlefield 1943 – 83%
Another console only release, Battlefield 1943 was similar to Battlefield Heroes in a lot of ways. It’s a much more arcade-focused title that was only available via digital distribution. It used an early version of the Frostbite engine which is still being used for the series to date.
It featured several maps located throughout the Pacific theatre of war, with the classic Wake Island being a standout. You can actually still play this one via Xbox Backwards Compatibility, should you like.
6 – Battlefield: Vietnam – 84%
The second game ever released in the Battlefield series, this one took the successful mechanics of 1942 and reskinned them in a Vietnam setting. We don’t hear too much fuss about this game these days. That’s likely because it’s overshadowed by the expansion for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 of the same name,
Nevertheless, it’s part of Battlefield’s legacy. It’s success as a sequel led to EA and DICE having faith that the series had legs. Without it, we wouldn’t be looking at Battlefield 2042 releasing next month.
5 – Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – 87%
Perhaps the most loved Battlefield of all, Bad Company 2 is where much of the current veteran playerbase cut their teeth. Set in the modern day, this direct sequel to Bad Company follows on from the story in the original console game. The charismatic squad returns to pipe humour into the formula and is easily the best Campaign of any title.
The multiplayer was also an octane fuelled romp. It chiselled out iconic game modes like Rush that would soon become staples of the series. Fan favourite maps like Arica Harbour are so coveted that they’re now being remade for use in Battlefield 2042. It’s unlikely we’ll ever see a title like Bad Company 2 from DICE again. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing – it’s good to let the classics stand as they are once in a while.
4 – Battlefield 1 – 88%
Personally, I don’t get the hype behind Battlefield 1. With low-tech, slow firing weapons, an irritating Battle Pickup system, and a shooting model that involves random bullet deviation, it’s easily one of the most casual entries to the series.
Still, the World War 1 theme does a lot to satisfy the history nuts among the community. And the single player is a decent ride, too. Following several characters throughout their war story arcs, it offers a fun little history lesson amongst the lacklustre shooting formula. This was also one of the last Battlefield games to use a Premium Pass DLC model. However, EA later included this pack at a heavily discounted price in an updated product version.
3 – Battlefield 1942 – 89%
The one that started it all – Battlefield 1942. It’d be amiss if this title wasn’t somewhere near the top of the list. DICE completely changed the landscape of first person shooters when this was released in 2002. Even before the days of Call of Duty, Battlefield was offering wide open spaces that cater to all-out warfare.
It’s certainly quite dated to back and play in 2021. However, much of this game’s legacy will be remembered. Veteran fans will know that the classic map ‘Wake Island’ debuted in this game. It’s since appeared in several of the free to play spin-offs, as well as Battlefield 3 and Battlefield V.
2 – Battlefield 3 – 89%
While Battlefield 4 just edges out my personal favourite modern battlefield, Battlefield 3 is a very, very close second place. There’s so much nostalgia attached to this game, it’s not even fair. So many classic maps originated from this game, partly thanks to its stellar post launch DLC support. Each expansion took on a specific theme, so the game was constantly refreshed every few months or so.
Combine that with an excellent shooting model and a wicked arsenal of weaponry and vehicles, and there really wasn’t much to fault with Battlefield 3. So much so that four of the maps from this game ended up in their own DLC for Battlefield 4.
1- Battlefield 2 – 91%
Last up and topping out our list as the best reviewed Battlefield game is Battlefield 2. It took all of the concepts that 1942 introduced and elevated it as far as technology could at the time.
Set in the modern day, all of the classic Battlefield features are here. There’s huge maps, massive amounts of weapons and vehicles, and the series’ staple destruction mechanic made its debut here. It started out simple, mostly just bullet penetration and some minor physics, but it paved the way for the massive levolution that we see in the games today.
Which of the Battlefield games do you rate the highest, and where do you think Battlefield 2042 will fall on this list? Let us know across our social channels.
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[Featured Image Credit: EA/DICE]