Every Battlefield game ranked from worst to best

A massive fan of the series ranks every Battlefield game from its forgettable skirmishes, to its biggest victories.

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13. Battlefield Play4Free (2011)

Starting with the worst, Battlefield Play4Free was a free-to-play-ified version of one of the greatest Battlefield games (spoilers), Battlefield 2. Not only was it a shoddy shadow of its former premium self, it introduced pay-to-win mechanics that all but killed the game. That might be why it died in 2015.

12. Battlefield Heroes (2009)

Battlefield Heroes came out not long before Play4Free, and it was an odd one. The formula: take a somewhat gritty military multiplayer shooter and turn it into a cutesy cartoony shooter. Oh, it was also free-to-play, and at a time when that was a dirty term. Translation: if you didn’t put in oodles of hours, you’d have to expect to cough up cash to find enjoyment.

11. Battlefield Hardline (2015)

Hardline wasn’t that bad. But in a series of strong entries, mediocre doesn’t cut it. Unfortunately, Hardline never rose above the feeling that it was a cops-and-robbers mod. The campaign was better than Battlefield 3 and 4’s efforts (which wasn’t hard), but the lack of destructibility and military options in multiplayer made it feel off from the get-go.

10. Battlefield 1943 (2009)

It’s sad Battlefield 1943, the Frostbite-powered redux of series-starter Battlefield 1942, never made it to PC. As beautiful as it was on console, it would have been a whole lot prettier on a high-end rig. Still, in terms of the nostalgic factor and what was ultimately a very playable tech demo, Battlefield 1943 is right up there (just not on this list, ahem), especially on Wake Island.

9. Battlefield 2142 (2006)

Battlefield 2142 shot the series into sci-fi battles. The long and short of it: some of it worked really well; other bits, not so much. It’s likely why DICE returned to the contemporary shooter setting for its next game in the series. Still, there’s a lot of love to this day for Battlefield 2142. You can still play it today on the Revive Network.

8. Battlefield 3 (2011)

The power of the Frostbite 2 engine was in full force in Battlefield 3. At a time when the last-gen consoles were showing their age, PC was lead platform on the first core Battlefield game in five years. The mix of Bad Company’s macro destructibility (albeit watered down) and the introduction of micro destructibility made battles feel intense and satisfying. BF3 also introduced vaulting which, except when it epic failed, maintained fantastic fluidity of movement, and reintroduced 64-player gameplay on PC.

7. Battlefield: Bad Company (2008)

How DICE got away with snubbing the PC audience for Bad Company is beyond me, but that still doesn’t change the fact this was a great game. Granted, as a last-gen console release, there were concessions, most notably in a restricted 24-player multiplayer count. Still, the introduction of destructibility was a godsend for the mayhem and made maps feel different every time you played them. Plus, the Kelly’s Heroes-like goofy campaign was a lot of fun.

6. Battlefield 4 (2013)

To say Battlefield 4 had some launch hiccups would be an understatement. The multiplayer was nigh unplayable and the campaign was somehow worse than Battlefield 3. Fast-forward a year or so, and the back-end changes made to the netcode converted Battlefield 4 into what it should have been at launch. Tweaked destructibility, a reintroduced commander role, and a bunch of free DLC means Battlefield 4 is more playable today than it was at launch.

5. Battlefield Vietnam (2004)

After the success of Battlefield 1942, DICE showed it wasn’t keen to linger in the same setting for too long when it time-warped from World War II to the Vietnam War. The setting dictated new tactics and gameplay possibilities, most notably with the use of helicopters for transporting troops and airlifting vehicles (while blaring Vietnam-era music). There was also a strong emphasis on asymmetrical warfare, which kept things fresh depending on which side you were fighting on.

4. Battlefield 1942 (2002)

The original and still one of the best, Battlefield 1942 redefined the concept of all-out war with 64-player battles that involved a mix of infantry and vehicular combat. The different classes implicitly reinforced the requirement to play as a team, while skilled pilots proved to be the scourge of online battles. Battlefield 1942 had some fantastic expansion packs, too, and also introduced the world to Desert Combat, which was, in many respects, a precursor to the stellar Battlefield 2.

3. Battlefield 1 (2016)

Prior to release, there was chatter from EA and DICE that Battlefield 1 was seen as a massive risk. Word has it, DICE had to fight for the setting. Turns out the step backwards in time was a breath of fresh air for the franchise. Tanks and planes are terrifying again. Destructibility is back in a bigger way. Classes with fixed weapons are forced to play to their role and gun ranges. Plus, the campaign is pretty great, too.

2. Battlefield 2 (2005)

The Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942 was great, but Battlefield 2 took contemporary warfare and the franchise to new levels. Squads let you play with buddies, and do sneaky things like switch leader roles while behind enemy lines so you could continuously spawn. The commander was a thankless task, but helped turn the tide of battle. Plus, epic battles over hotly contested points never got old. Battlefield Vietnam was great, but Battlefield 2 was amazing.

1. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010)

Bad Company 2 had a solid campaign, but it was really all about the multiplayer. Team work was rewarded, but lone-wolf plays were possible and utterly rewarding. Even though the player count was restricted to 32 (on PC; 24 on consoles), tight map design helped battles feel suitably epic. Plus, Bad Company 2 still has the best-in-series destructibility that offered an epic amount of player utility on top of its impressive (albeit occasionally overpowered) arsenal.