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The top five Call of Duty Zombies maps in history

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World at War to Black Ops 4, these are the five best Call of Duty Zombies Maps.

From Nacht der Untoten to Zombies in Spaceland, over the past ten years players have been introduced to new features, new locales, and new characters. With the newest Zombies map, Dead of the Night, dropping this month for Black Ops 4 players, I thought it’d be appropriate to take a look at the past.

With more than 40 Zombies maps over eight games and three studios, there are a handful that stand the test of time and are regarded as the best. A couple of things go into consideration when coming up with these top maps, however the most important factors are replayability and fun.

A great map isn’t just great the first time you play it. A great map continues to be great the 100th, 300th, and 500th time you play it. In the same vein, a great map has to be fun to play. There are many maps that have amazing environments, exotic Wonder Weapons, and unique ideas, but if the map isn’t fun, those things are meaningless.

While fun is of course extremely subjective, I base the fun of a map on its ability to balance complexity and simplicity. Getting set up on a great map shouldn’t feel tedious, rather you should feel like you’re accomplishing something with each door-buy and buildable you craft.

That said, here are my top five Call of Duty Zombies maps (in no order):

Der Riese (The Giant)

(via callofduty.wikia.com)

The final DLC map in 2008’s Call of Duty World at War, Der Riese is the first map to fully embrace the Nazi Zombies vibe. Nacht der Untoten could’ve been a bunker anywhere and while Verruckt definitely had a spooky Nazi atmosphere, Der Riese leaned heavily into the sci-fi nature of the mode.

This map introduced players to both teleporters and the Pack-a-Punch machine, which would go on to become core features of every future map. Without teleporters (or some equivalent form of travel) large Zombies maps wouldn’t exist. And with no machine to upgrade your guns, high rounds would go by at half speed.

Der Riese has seen many iterations, its original form in World at War, an updated version in Black Ops 1 with different Mystery Box guns and Mule Kick, and most recently appearing as The Giant in Black Ops 3. However, since all three retain the same core layout, I bundled them into this spot on the list.

Kino der Toten

(via callofduty.wikia.com)

Kino der Toten is easily the best Call of Duty Zombies map to launch on-disc. The maps beauty lies in its simplicity. With only eight doors and a power switch, Kino manages to remain fun and engaging every time you jump in. Easy enough for new players to survive for a while with no prior knowledge, yet deep enough for hardcore fans to maximize their strategies for high rounds.

Whether you were rocking the new Thundergun or the classic Ray Gun, Kino der Toten served as the test bed for Black Ops 1’s new armory. Classics like the Galil and RPK sat alongside unique special weapons like the upgraded Ballistic Knife and Crossbow.

This is also the first map that doesn’t require any unlocking or DLC to play, which makes it sort of an introduction to the mode for most modern Zombies players.

Der Eisendrache

(via callofduty.wikia.com)

Der Eisendrache takes some of the best concepts and ideas from the maps before it and refines them to perfection. Right off the bat, you’re greeted with familiar animal heads, in this case dragons, that you need to feed. While in Mob of the Dead, feeding three wolf heads grants you the Hell’s Retriever, feeding the dragon heads in Der Eisendrache is just step one to crafting some of the greatest weapons in Zombies history – the Bows.

Although the base level bow, Wrath of the Ancients, is easy to get and not half bad, only when upgraded does this map truly start to shine. Following in Origins footsteps, Der Eisendrache has four unique, powerful, elemental Wonder Weapons that require some work to craft, but well worth the effort.

Colloquially known as the Storm, Ice, Void, and Fire bows, every player has their favorite, and even close friends often get into fights over who called which bow first. But it’s not only the weapons that make this map great.

The layout is gives enough breathing room for four players to comfortably form their own hordes of zombies, which still keeping everything relatively close in case someone goes down. This means that teams don’t get over run too early on, and that mistakes mid-game can be easily corrected and the match can continue. 

Ascension

(via callofduty.wikia.com)

With Black Ops 3 and Black Ops 4 sticking with the same perks they’ve had since launch, a DLC map bringing two new perks with it seems unimaginable. Yet that’s exactly what Ascension did. While Stamina-Up is still with us today and is a go-to for many players, fans had to say goodbye to PHD Flopper after Black Ops 1.

What makes PHD Flopper so special in relation to Ascension, is that it’s a perk perfectly fit for the map. With all the high staircases and tall ledges, players were encouraged to dolphin dive off everything they could creating huge explosions. But that’s not all! PHD Flopper grants immunity to explosive damage therefore turning the Ray Gun into a fun get out of jail free card.

Getting to the map itself, a Soviet Cosmodrome provided a very fresh take on Zombies, with Space Monkeys, rocket ships, and lunar landers creating a coherent atmosphere. Camping spots are plentiful and weapon selection is superb.

Ascension is also the first map to include an easter egg main quest, setting the community on a rigorous hunt every time a new map is released.

Origins

(via callofduty.wikia.com)

Origins took us back. Way back. Not only did this map bring together the original crew for the first time in Black Ops 2, we were also introduced to a new, younger version of the gang. Seeing a spry Tank, Nikolai, Takeo, and Richtofen for the first time in the opening cutscene would’ve been enough, but then the Giant Robots showed up.

I still can’t think of a map that has a grander scale than Origins. Yes, there are maps that are bigger, but no other maps include three towering Giant Robots strolling across the map. Between that and the dig site that just keeps going down, this map is LARGE yet still accessible. Thanks to the portals underground and the Mark IV Tank, smart players can zip around this map pretty fast.

Giant Robots, Tanks, and a young crew doesn’t even scratch the amount of things Origins has to offer. Between the Maxis Drone, G-Strike grenades, Elemental Fists, and shield, this map set a precedent for future maps when it comes to buildables and secret weapons.

Lastly, there are the four Elemental Staffs and their upgrades. Tranzit and Die Rise both had their own buildable Wonder Weapons that couldn’t simply be found in the box, but these Staffs are so much more than buildables. They’re part of the map and its environment. Digging up parts, shooting things out of the sky, placing them in medieval statues of yourself, even collecting them from inside Giant Robots, all helped give the feeling that you were playing a part in the map rather than simply playing on the map itself.

Some notable maps that didn’t make the list include Mob of the Dead, Gorod Krovi, IX, and Die Rise, yet those are still fantastic maps and worthy of praise.

Do you agree with this list? What are your personal top five maps from any Call of Duty Zombies game? Let us know in the comments down below!

FIFA 22

FIFA 22 worst ratings: 5 players who need an upgrade in FIFA 23

In preparation for FIFA 23, we’re looking back at the five worst FIFA 22 ratings to highlight who is most deserving of an upgrade.

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Saint-Maximin FIFA 22 Newcastle

These five players are most deserving of a major rating upgrade in FIFA 23 after receiving some of the worst ratings in FIFA 22.

FIFA 22’s cycle is slowly coming to an end with players setting their sights on FIFA 23. As the release window for the new game approaches, fans are eagerly anticipating the reveal of player ratings.

Each year, player ratings generate a ton of buzz as fans of the franchise discuss which ratings EA perfected, and which ratings fell short of the mark. Of course, player ratings impact all of FIFA 23’s modes, but they usually have the biggest impact on the incredibly popular Ultimate Team mode.

Using FIFA 22 ratings, here are five players who are most deserving of an upgrade in FIFA 23.

Aaron Ramsdale

FIFA 22 Ramsdale rating

While Ramsdale is certainly deserving of an upgrade following his successful season at Arsenal, it’s easy to understand why EA Sports opted for a rating of 74 in FIFA 22. Not only was Ramsdale unproven in the competitive Premier League, but with Bernd Leno as Arsenal’s first-choice keeper, Ramsdale was viewed as a goalkeeper for the future.

Of course, all that changed as Ramsdale earned the number one spot and tallied 34 Premier League appearances and 12 clean sheets for Arsenal in his debut season for the club, which makes him deserving of a much-improved rating in FIFA 23.

Bremer

FIFA 22 Bremer rating

Torino was expected to have a truly disappointing 2021/2022 season, but an extremely positive campaign awaited the club instead. The Italian side managed a tenth-place finish in Serie A and this was mostly thanks to the stellar displays from defender Bremer.

Bremer began FIFA 22 as a 76-rated player and has since earned a Serie A defender of the year award, as well as a high-profile move to Juventus. There isn’t a center-back who is more deserving of a FIFA 23 upgrade than Bremer.

Jonathan Clauss

Clauss FIFA 22 rating

Jonathan Clauss may be a defender in FIFA 22, but his style of play as an attacking fullback earned him a few TOTW items and a well-deserved spot on the Ligue 1 TOTS. Much like Bremer, Claus was the reason his Lens side overachieved in 2021/2022 with a seventh-place finish.

Clauss has since moved to Marseille where the RWB will look to improve on his five goals and eleven assists totaled in the previous campaign.

Allan Saint-Maximin

Saint-maximin FIFA 22 rating

One glance at a Newcastle match and it’s clear to see why Saint-Maximin is deserving of breaking into the 80s in FIFA 23. The winger is a magician with the ball at his feet and is simply a nightmare for opposing defenders to handle.

His pace and dribbling are breathtaking to watch and even with major investment coming into the club and attracting world-class players, Newcastle stated that Saint-Maximin is not for sale.

His goals and assists tally may have been low, but we must remember that he played on a Newcastle side that narrowly avoided relegation last season. With a rejuvenated squad, expect Saint-Maximin to shine as he continues to prove that a rating of 79 would be too low in FIFA 23.

Florian Wirtz

Florian Wirtz FIFA 22 rating

Before succumbing to a cruciate ligament injury that ended his season in March 2022, Florian Wirtz looked like one of the best players in the Bundesliga. Granted the midfielder is only 19 years old and a rating of 78 is quite impressive, but given his impact at Leverkusen, Wirtz is worthy of a FIFA 23 upgrade.

Wirtz accumulated 17 direct goal contributions in 24 Bundesliga games for Leverkusen. If his development continues on this trajectory, expect Wirtz to validate an improved FIFA 23 rating.


For more FIFA, check out our guides on how to score penalties and free kicks in FIFA 23.

Image Credits: EA Sports

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Call of Duty: Warzone

Verdansk back in Warzone Season 5? Be careful what you wish for

Warzone players are desperate for Verdansk to return before Warzone 2 arrives, but players should be careful what they wish for.

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Verdansk Downtown with Nakatomi Plaza

Warzone players and content creators alike have been calling for Verdansk to return in Season 5 so they can play it one last time before Warzone 2. However, there are some things to consider before demanding Verdansk’s return.

The idea of Verdansk brings back fond memories for many Warzone players. Having a ton of friends online, dropping into this sprawling landscape, and fighting to be the last team standing is how many spent 2020.

However, fatigue eventually set in, and players were desperate for a new map. Caldera finally arrived in December 2021, but many were disappointed with the new offering and called for Verdansk to return.

Warzone 2.0 arrives later in 2022, and social media has been flooded with players demanding Verdansk’s return in Season 5 as a final send-off before Warzone 2 arrives.

Regardless of your thoughts on Caldera, there are some things to consider before demanding that Raven Software bring back the OG map.

Take off the rose-tinted glasses

There’s no denying that Verdansk is a huge reason for Warzone’s success, and almost every player has fond memories of dropping Superstore while stuck inside. While Caldera isn’t everything that players wanted, it fixed a ton of Verdansk’s issues.

On top of its muted color palette that players often complained about, stairways, tall buildings, and wide-open spaces with little-to-no cover infested Verdansk. Downtown had a team on the roof of almost every building, making the area a deathtrap for anyone passing through.

Caldera, on the other hand, has fewer opportunities for players to camp inside buildings. There are no skyscrapers with 30-odd floors to climb, nor are there buildings like the ATC with only an elevator to reach the top.

This wasn’t as much of an issue when Modern Warfare weapons were the meta, but Vanguard guns are a different story. Long-range beamers like the NZ-41 would be a nightmare on Verdansk, as players could effortlessly beam enemies across the map. This would force players inside, and a ton of fights would be a stalemate as rooftop campers would have every option covered.

Verdansk Airport ATC tower

Redeploy Balloons could be the saving grace here though. Players could fly across the map to avoid rooftop campers raining hell from above, and if the balloons could fling players high enough to reach the top of the skyscrapers, then this might help to alleviate the camping problem.

Think of the bugs

Warzone’s developers have already admitted that the game is “bloated,” which makes it difficult for them to find bugs and patch them quickly. While Fortune’s Keep had a relatively smooth launch, there’s no guarantee that Verdansk would return without issue.

Considering that there’s rumored to be no Season 6, this would only give the developers one season to fix any problems. And if it does take a season to get Verdansk to a place where players are happy, then they’ll most likely have moved onto Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 by the time it arrives.

Nobody wants the last few weeks of Warzone to be frustrating due to a ton of bugs and under-the-map glitches, and replacing Caldera with Verdansk could open up a Pandora’s Box-worth of issues.

Your hard drive would suffer

Warzone’s Creative Lead Josh Bridges explained that they want to add map rotation between Verdansk and Caldera, but “there’s a technical problem.”

“The install and reinstall sizes are f***ing crazy. It’s insane,” Bridges explained. “If we pulled out Caldera and said, ‘okay, we’re gonna drop in Verdansk,’ this could be essentially like redownloading the size of Warzone.”

They explained that every time they dropped a large update, they actually lost players. He explained that players would be like “I don’t wanna redownload this — uninstall.”

Of course, many players have said that loads of their friends who had quit would return for Verdansk. However, many players would see a 100 GB update and avoid it entirely.

While some might not mind a “f***ing crazy” download, this would be a serious issue for players with limited hard drive space.


It’s entirely possible that players want to recapture the feeling of playing Verdansk, rather than Verdansk itself. While I’m sure plenty of OG players will be delighted to see the map return, if you’re one of the players hounding Raven Software to bring the original map back, it’s worth having a think about what this could mean for the game.

You shouldn’t have to wait long before there’s a new map to play in any case, as Warzone 2’s leaked map is set to feature plenty of POIs from the original Modern Warfare 2.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Warzone

Warzone’s new Vargo-S could finally dethrone NZ-41 as meta AR in Season 4 Reloaded

The Vargo-S Assault Rifle arrives with Warzone Pacific Season 4 Reloaded, and here’s why it’s set to replace the NZ-41 as the meta pick.

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Vargo-S Assault Rifle in Warzone

Warzone’s Vargo-S Assault Rifle arrives with the Season 4 Reloaded update, and it’s set to be a powerful choice. So powerful that it may finally dethrone the NZ-41 as the meta weapon.

Warzone Pacific Season 4 Reloaded arrives on July 27, bringing the Rebirth of the Dead game mode, Terminators, and the brand-new Vargo-S Assault Rifle.

New Warzone weapons almost always become the meta when they first arrive, and everything about the Vargo-S points towards this happening once again. Here’s why Season 4 Reloaded’s Vargo-S could finally dethrone the NZ-41 as the meta Assault Rifle.

Vargo-S Assault Rifle in Warzone and Vanguard

Vargo-S has every ingredient to be Warzone meta

The way CoD’s devs have described Warzone’s Vargo-S means it has everything it needs to become the meta choice in Season 4 Reloaded. The Vargo-S is described as “trading firepower for improved accuracy and fire rate,” where it “excels in medium and long-range engagements.”

Almost every meta Assault Rifle in Warzone’s history has a fast fire and extremely low recoil, making a quick TTK extremely easy to achieve. Combining this extremely low recoil with the meta SVT-40 3-6x optic makes Vanguard Assault Rifles particularly devastating, meaning the Vargo-S should be top of the pack.

A Vanguard Vargo-52 sounds unstoppable in Warzone

Also, the Vargo-S is an early prototype of Cold War’s powerful Vargo 52. Even in Warzone’s Vanguard Assault Rifle meta, the Vargo 52 is a solid choice.

Taking Cold War’s Vargo and applying Vanguard’s 6x Scope and ten attachment slots sounds like an unstoppable combination.

Vargo 52 in Warzone

The NZ-41 should get nerfed in Season 4 Reloaded

Of course, the NZ-41 would probably need to be nerfed for the Vargo-S to become the Warzone meta, and it has more than outstayed its welcome.

Raven Software have dropped three individual nerfs for the NZ-41, and it’s still the most popular weapon in the game by far. If the NZ-41 gets nerfed again in the Season 4 Reloaded update, then it should be the final nail in the coffin.


The Vargo-S Assault Rifle has every ingredient to be the meta pick, we’ll just need to wait until Season 4 Reloaded to try it out ourselves and see.

For more on Warzone Pacific Season 4 Reloaded, be sure to check out how the new Portable Redeploy Balloon will work.

Image Credit: Activision

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