This is a post that I have been writing up for a while now. It is a post that I have been preparing to write for years, but here it is. This is my own ranking of every Treyarch zombies map. I have written several posts on this blog talking about how much of a fan I am of Call of Duty zombies. Everyone ahs their own personal list and this is mine.
First I want to explain what this list is based off of. This list is my own personal preference and it mostly reflects the maps that I enjoy playing or maps where the story stands out strong to me. I don’t look at these maps with rose tinted glasses. If there is a map that I have a lot of nostalgia for, then it will not be gaining ranks because that’s unfair to the newest maps. Instead I will rank these by the maps that I like to play and find myself enjoying the most.
Side note: I will not be including remasters, except for The Giant because I would argue that it is more of a remake.
The order of this list will be from worst to best, so let’s start with the worst Treyarch Zombies map. Prepare to be triggered! (It’s my list, you can have your own opinion and that is awesome. This is just mine)
32. Die Rise
So, why is Die Rise the worst map in my opinion? Most of my issues with the map come to the flow of the map. I don’t think that it is connected very well, and much like its predecessor there is a lot of running around to get somewhere that you were just at. Although I like the idea of the location, I feel like they could have done so much more with oriental or traditional colors to lighten up the map instead of just making it literal smog. Overall, I don’t have much fun playing this map and many of the issues I have with it could be fixed with a remake.
31. Voyage of Despair
I love the setting of this map. The Titanic is such a cool location to set a zombies map and it does not suffer from bad atmosphere at all. It opens up with the ship hitting the iceberg! My issues with the map are purely with the flow of the map and the enemy variety. It takes forever to get across the map and there are so many little corridors leading off to new sections and I don’t think it works well in the Black ops 4 system. And then there are the enemies. There are SEVEN special infected in this map that are all poorly tested. They are not balanced and make it too difficult to enjoy this tight map.
What can be said about Tranzit that hasn’t been said before? It is not well pathed. The pack a punch quest is horrible. The fog makes it so that you can’t see a thing while you are playing the map. There are denezins in the fog that will scrape your face up and slow you down if you run in the fog without the bus. Right, the bus which seems to always leave you behind at some point forcing you to go back into that dreaded fog. And a “Power Weapon” that even I can’t tell you how to use correctly!
It is bad, but the potential of the map is so much better than the ones listed prior. This map deserves some love and a remake.
29. Alpha Omega
I am not quite sure what to say about Alpha Omega. Nuketown zombies was pretty bland in general, but the choice to remake it into Alpha Omega was odd. I think that it feels quite bland and its colors aren’t as eye catching as the original. The only saving grace for this map is the dialogue between the characters. It was really cool to hear the two teams coming together and talking to each other through the map.
28. Shi No Numa
Honestly, I wanted to rank Shi No Numa higher. I think that the map was really fun in the past and I love seeing players go for insane high round attempts. The highest round for this map is 10,751! That is crazy! As for why this map is low, I just think that because it was one of the first maps making it smaller and having little story means that it couldn’t get very high compared to other maps for me.
Verruckt was and still is the scariest zombies map. The horrific asylum setting is creepy as Hell and makes for a really cool zombies map. Again it suffers from the same weaknesses of Shi No Numa and the tight corridors. However I like the corridors on this map because it adds to the fear factor of the map itself.
26. Kino der Toten
“What did you say about my favorite Call of Duty Zombies map?!”
I know that this placement is going to trigger some people…
but Kino was a great map and holds a lot of nostalgia for some people including myself. Objectively though, Kino didn’t bring anything new to the zombies mode and has no story. I still like playing it and that is why it is above the other maps. In fact, this is the turning point in the list where we are talking about maps that I genuinely enjoy playing.
However Kino is sort of bland. No Easter egg, no big story reveals or improvements, no big gameplay introduction. Even the Thundergun was supposed to be on Five, so Kino wasn’t even original for that. It is a fun map and although I like it, the only thing that it did was introduce people to zombies.
25. Nacht Der Untoten
Now, why is Nacht above Kino?
I placed it above Kino because Nacht was where everything really started. There was nothing before this map. The entirety of zombies and this list started from this map. And it is also a fun map. You know, once you get past the slowest zombies EVER!
24. Dead of the Night
Unpopular opinion, but besides the terrible special infected variety that plagued all of Black Ops 4, I think that this map was really good. It wasn’t a DE, but it is really cool. A fancy dinner part gone wrong with a terrible mystery at the heart of it all. That is so cool!
And the aesthetic of the Rhodes Manor is wonderful and shows off Alistair’s love of mythologies. This was also the guest star cast map, and although I didn’t really care for them, I liked the use of them to set up the entire Chaos story.
Brian Blessed, Helena Bonham Carter, Charles Dance, and Kiefer Sutherland are probably my least favorite guest star cast, but I like that we got to see more actors come into zombies.
Five is a good map. I love the cast of Kennedy, Nixon, Castor, and McNamara. Their quotes are legendary and the map helps us see how the US government is handling the zombie outbreak.
However, the map suffers from some annoying planning. There isn’t enough ways to get to lower levels of the map and the teleporters don’t help enough because they are random and could send you anywhere including right into the back of your zombie horde.
The Winter’s Howl is also not a great wonder weapon past round 20.
Now, Classified is right above Five because it is a remake and solves every issue with Five. More teleporters that are not random. The Winter’s howl is a little better but suffers from the Black Ops 4 system where every weapon is a peashooter at round 30.
Sadly, the presidents aren’t in this map. However, their presence is not missed because the original zombies crew returns in this map for the first time since Moon!
21. Nuketown Zombies
I am not big on Nuketown zombies because it is a multiplayer map turned into a zombies map, but I do really like the insanity of this map. It clearly was not made for four players and that makes a unique challenge that is welcoming nowadays. I also love that Richtofen takes over after a certain amount of round because this map is taking place at the same time as Moon.
My issues for this map is the randomly dropping perk machines which result in you waiting until round 25 for Juggernog and make it impossible to survive. I also hate how impossible the Ray gun mark 2 is to get from the box on this map. Seriously, has anyone gotten it?
Ascension was the first Easter egg inside of zombies and because of this I think that it deserves a lot of credit. Even though you are not given a great reward, the events of ascension lead us to the amazing Easter eggs that we have today. On top of this, Ascension is a fun map to play. It is big! And if not for the introduction of Stamin-Up that would have been an issue. Instead it was revolutionary for the large scale maps we have today.
Ascension was a large stepping stone for story during the Easter egg and multiple radios throughout the map and it started the crazy Easter eggs that we know. I have a ton of fun playing this map even though the monkeys that come to take your perks are really annoying, they pose a necessary roadblock for players.
19. Tag Der Toten
Tag, the end of zombies…
Well, until Cold War came out. The story of this map is really disappointing. We end the great war and the endless cycle by playing as the Tranzit crew years and miles from the Great war that has been teased for many maps before. It is just upsetting to see that.
However, it is a remake of Call of the Dead and it is a really pretty remake. I love the additions and the colors of the map. It is sad and nostalgic and probably the best the team could do at the end of Black Ops 4 and I appreciate that. I also like the ending of the map. Sending the two innocent children to the new world and damning the evil to the Dark Aether.
The gameplay is pretty fun and I can say that Tag is a pretty middle of the road map.
18. Shangri La
So there are Shang lovers, and Shang haters…
I don’t know exactly where I stand. On one hand, Shang is a gorgeous map. (Although I would disagree with people saying that it is the most beautiful map). On the other hand, I don’t like the boss zombies. They are really strong and although they aren’t Black Ops 4 bad, they can one shot you with Jug if you are in a bad situation.
However, there is also the story of the map and the story of Brock and Gary. Wow, this map took story to a whole new level and would lead into the grand scheme of Moon. The radios and story of this map is really good and that can be seen in the Easter egg. Each step coincides with the story and was something that actually made sense. in a way this was an improvement that Shang gave us.
Overall, I do love Shang and its colors and map design. I love its story, but I don’t find myself going out of the way to play it.
17. Firebase Z
Firebase Z is a new map and at the time of writing this list, the most recent zombies map with Mauer der Toten announced as the next map. I put Firebase Z at the middle of the list because I feel like it should be. It is a good map and works really well in Cold War’s systems. I don’t mind the special infected of the map like most people and I like the openness of the map.
My biggest issue with the map is the mandatory base defense steps. I don’t like having to go out of my way to change my gameplay for these missions. I like the Orda boss fight, but its tiresome to change gameplay to defend sections of the map.
Another issue that i have with this map, which is more of a Cold War issue, is the lack of story. I know that there are loads of radios and the cutscenes are good, but I hate not having definitive characters with lines feeding players the story. Die Maschine will suffer this same penalty.
16. Ancient Evil
Alright, here we are the middle of the list sort of. you see if this was a tier system, I would say we are actually in the low A or high B territory of maps because I love so many of the maps and I do love Ancient Evil.
I love the location of the map in a buried Greek city filled with the undead. I love the use of Greek mythology through out the map including the Perseus boss fight at the end and the betrayal of the Oracle, (who turned out to be Medusa). The story is great with a hidden third cutscene of Bruno murdering Shaw secretly and bringing him over to the dark side.
The four gauntlets is not a new concept but they are fun to play and I like that they have little trials to teach the player how to use them before giving the player the gauntlets.
My only issue and reason I am not playing this map more is because it is Black Ops 4 with bad enemy balance and difficult systems.
15. Zetsubou No Shima
Zetsubou is a great map!
I am tired of saying it isn’t. Zet’s only annoyance is the thrashers. You are not required to play Farmville with the plants even though it often bugs players. The map is plenty fun no matter what and the wonder weapon is decent. Although not the best, it is a unique weapon set on this Japanese island.
And damn is the story awesome. I love the map and the story surrounding it. Also it has the best ending cutscene is zombies!
My only issue with the map is all the high priced doors. You are really starved for points on this map. Overall, I like playing on Zetsubou occasionally.
14. Der Riese
This is the map where things changed. The game wasn’t just about survival. A story was in the map and the characters. This was the map where Treyarch patented their three branches strategy and most importantly. This was the birthplace of Pack-A-Punch a game changer to the game. now any gun can be made stronger with a purchase of 5000 points and this meant that players could live longer and survive longer. This was the first start of putting goals into zombies. There was purpose finally.
I don’t have many issues with this map besides that the original Der Riese is glitchy and can result in unfair deaths. However, this is a fun map that I would gladly hop on any day of the week.
Revelations is not the best map, but I have it up here because I really like the atmosphere of the map and what Treyarch was attempting to do with the map. In fact, the gameplay isn’t horrible. I have fun going to the different areas and revisiting pieces of old maps. I love the idea that this is the collapsing of universes and different maps that we have gone to for the final battle between the Shadowman and Dr. Monty.
This map is filled with nostalgia and I really like what Treyarch were going for with the last map of Black Ops 3 Zombies.
The issue with the map is that ends with more answers than questions. But that is just the map doing its job. It is a revelation that the crew have been in a cycle this whole time serving Monty’s needs.
Overall, I do think that this map in underrated and takes flak for stupid reasons like saying that it is an unoriginal map. Okay, how many maps do you know have colliding universes and giant worms floating in space whilst two godlike entities battle for free will?
I thought so.
Now that we have talked about the craziness of Revelations, why is Buried better?
Buried is an incredible map. Its gameplay simple, but filled with eloquent advances and innovations such as the inclusion of Leroy, chalk drawings, the time bomb, and so much more.
It is also such a cool map set in a western ghost town that was time displaced into a chasm in Angola. This is the best map of the Tranzit crew and features something that we haven’t seen since. It features a super Easter egg that has two different end games. Either you can help Richtofen or Maxis, both with a unique ending.
Story wise, this ending makes for both a mess canonically and also a huge improvement over the previous Tranzit crew maps. The only thing holding this map back is the fact that it is easy. It is the easy zombies map ever made. With the bank system being added, Buried showed us just how broken a system like this could be as you can literally pack-a-punch and be set up on round one.
But it is still a great and fun casual map and deserves this place because I really like playing it.
11. Gorod Krovi
The City of Blood, Stalingrad.
This is the map where I would say that zombies started to get more sci-fi fantasy. Dragons and large soviet robots? Some people would say that is too strange.
I think that it is fucking bad ass and is a perfect choice for “Nikolai’s map”. It is super fun because it resonates with the original Der Riese three branch strategy and also with a wonder weapon in the box. The Ray Gun mark 3 is super fun and fits the wild sci-fi fantasy world that we are flung into. This is a map that I really enjoy playing for its challenge and for the atmosphere of the war torn city filled with the undead.
Also, both cutscenes for this map are really good and powerful in different ways. This is also the map where Dr. Monty was introduced and the Black Ops 3 story started to gain some traction with large entities controlling several things in the background.
You really felt like a pawn in a much larger war in this map and I like that. Overall, this is one of the greatest zombies maps, yet it is not in my top ten…
10. Blood of the Dead
This is probably the most controversial placement on the list. Kino was rough, but true.
Blood of the Dead is a top ten map…
Even though it feels a little clunky and the dogs are tough as Hell. The tight corners and Black Ops 4 systems make it one of the most difficult maps on the game. And that should not be excused and would place this map much lower, if it weren’t for it being one of my favorite cinematic maps ever.
I love the first time you open up to Alcatraz and you are taunted by Brutus and attacked by a wave of dogs. Then there are the incredible cutscenes that set this up to be a hard map. I love the feeling of being stuck in a purgatory and that we are trying to crawl our way out of the cycle with no way of knowing if it would work.
And the death of Richtofen, although ruined by the other Aether maps of Black Ops 4, was an emotional ending to the map.
And although it isn’t my first ideal map to play, it has a story that I will never forget and deserves number ten for me because of that.
9. Call of the Dead
Call of the Dead is a great map.
It was the first open world zombies map. Ascension thought big, but Call of the Dead improved on that by giving up the outside world. It has one really cool wonder weapon and an all star cast that isn’t super special but really fun to play. Danny Trejo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Michael Rooker, and the special enemy of the map…
George A. Romero himself, the creator of zombies!
This map has a gameplay loop that is super fun and there isn’t really any other map quite like it. George offers an interesting challenge and forces players to move differently. I love this. Oh, and we get some really neat story behind the scenes of our characters and the tortures that happened to them. This is exactly what I think a star cast map should do. It should be an innovative map that changes up the core gameplay in an intriguing world, but it should also work with the continuing narrative in a way that prepares us for what is coming.
My only issue with this map besides the fact that both wonder weapons suck in higher rounds, is the fog. A fifth of the time the map is really pretty in a way that a snowed out map can and the rest of the time it is just fog.
Zombies on the Moon…
This map is a top ten map because it was so different. You start out on a completely different map on Area 51 and then teleport to the moon base where the main gameplay starts. The isolated world is a different horror vibe that zombies has only done this once and it works really well, especially on solo.
And you can’t talk about Moon without talking about the Easter egg. Moon’s Easter egg, Richtofen’s Grand Scheme, has the players work to complete Richtofen’s plan and place the crazy Nazi in charge of the zombies and it works. A playable character switches bodies with Samantha and watch their teammate become the new enemy. That isn’t even the end as Maxis convinces the team to blow up the earth afterwards.
Yes, the map ends with you blowing up the Earth. It might be the best ending in a zombies map ever. And this is why I love Moon. It is bold and fun to play on the Moon.
7. Die Maschine
Okay, so this map may change places depending on how time treats it. Die Maschine was the introduction map for Black Ops: Cold War, the most recent entry as of this post. I have put in a ton of hours playing this map. Set in Poland, Die Maschine is a remake of Nacht the original zombies map.
This is to signify the new rebooted story as a starting point for new fans. However, ti barely feels like Nacht and instead an entirely different map of an abandoned Nazi laboratory testing Aether energy.
This map is just cozy. Seriously, I can just chill and play this map for hours and relax. It is a great casual map complimented by the new Cold War systems. And I think that it is easily a top tier map. If there was one map I would go to and play right now, it would be Die Maschine.
IX is a great map. It was one of the first Chaos maps and had us follow this new crew of heroes as the transport themselves to Ancient Rome to collect an ancient artifact. It was really refreshing and well laid out. It had more of a four branch system, but it has a nice simple to remember layout that helped fans during the rough changes of Black Ops 4.
In fact, I would boldly say that this map is probably the only map that fits the Black ops 4 systems. Although the large amount of special infected are a problem again, it is fixed by the open map and starting room.
This was the only map that I had fun on in Black Ops 4 and although the story is a little hard to understand, I think that this map is just really fun to grind for rounds on.
I hope I don’t get attacked for putting Origins here…
It is number five which is nothing to scoff at. I love the introduction of the new versions of our characters and how it is literally the origins of their meeting and the start of the cycle. The thousand foot robots are awesome as well as the WWI atmosphere.
It is a darker and grittier version of the story before, but the map is incredible because of that. It almost feels like a comic book fantasy. I love the lore given and the power of the staffs.
“The elemental fire is yours to command. Finish what has begun, free me from Agartha.” -Samantha Maxis
My only big issues with Origins is the mud, Samantha talking every second, and that the staff glitch isn’t on Black Ops 3. These issues and the gameplay loop usually push me away from playing. However, I like the challenge this map presents and that is why it is number five.
Overall though, there is no doubt that this is one of the best zombies maps ever.
4. The Giant
I’m not sure how many other people would put the Giant so high up. It doesn’t have an Easter egg besides the Flytrap Easter egg, but this is just a perfect remake. It is still original Der Riese, down to its core, but it takes away those glitches and adds modern gameplay to it with modern graphics.
The Giant also adds our new characters to the map, which may not make sense until you watch the intro cutscene.
I lost my mind when Richtofen killed his alternate self for the first time. And that isn’t the only interesting story nugget delivered in this map. We also learn about what our heroes have been doing since Origins and what their plans are for the future. I think that The Giant did a great job setting up for Black Ops 3 zombies and was needed.
Plus, it has the awesome gameplay loop of Der Riese. It is a clear remake of the original, but doesn’t loose its way unlike other remakes I have talked about below.
Overall, this is a map that I can go to all the time and just enjoy the gameplay and the atmosphere.
3. Der Eisendrache
It wouldn’t be a top five zombies maps without Der Eisendrache. This was the rallying point of the zombies community and just a solid map. I can’t quite say what Der Eisendrache does right, because it does everything very good. Not perfect, but just very good.
The story is solid and calls back to Moon’s events with a plot twist reverse of events and blowing up of the moon at the end. The gameplay is super fun and enjoyable much like the giant with a great start up. The bows are amazing wonder weapons and may even compete with the staffs in power and in design.
Overall, I don’t have anything bad to say about this map. It is one of the most solid and clean zombies maps to date and that is why it secures number three. Not because it is perfect like many people might say, but becuase it does everything right without issue.
2. Mob of the Dead
So, how does Mob of the Dead beat that?
It does that not in gameplay, but with a cinematic masterpiece for a call of duty zombies map. It has an all star cast, which may be my favorite, of Joe Pantoliano, Ray Liotta, Michael Madsen, and Chazz Palminteri. This group of gangsters are so vastly different form the group of soldiers that we are used to. they think for themselves and it is shown in the dialogue and the satyr of the map.
On top of that, Alcatraz is the perfect location for a zombies map. It is literally purgatory and terrifying. This map shows fans what good writing and good voice acting could do for this side mode and inspired the drastic changes of Origins. Overall, this map is like watching a movie and no other map has done that. It isn’t perfectly laid out and can’t be number one because of this, but it has a compelling story that no other zombies map could compete.
1. Shadows of Evil
Shadows is my favorite map of all time. It is also filled with a large cast of stars including Jeff Goldblum, Heather Graham, Neal McDonough, and Ron Perlman. The map is Treyarch’s most stunning to date of a whole city during the 1920’s. It is filled with Lovecraftian lore and themes with large tentacle monsters to fight along with the zombies.
I love the vibe of the map and the easy layout that is perfect for zombies players. It has so many different quests that you can complete and a main Easter egg that is both challenging and fun. It is the perfect mixture of all of Treyarch’s best features into one story of a map.
Overall, this map is my favorite and the map that I can’t say no to playing. It is Treyarch’s gem.
Now that I have spent hours writing and planning this list, let me know what you think. What are you favorite maps?