There are many ways to rank the Call of Duty Zombies maps. You could rate them according to personal preference, gameplay features, Easter eggs or even subjectively based on their appearance. There are valid arguments for all these perspectives, but I felt that some map rankings were missing one crucial perspective that only a real zombie player could provide: how utterly thorough you might be able to wipe out your co-op partners with traps and environmental hazards.
This article focuses on how much damage you can inflict upon yourself and others by utilizing the interactive elements in each map. For this reason there will likely be some spoilers if you have not played through at least once before reading further. Also, this is purely subjective so if you disagree I encourage your comments below. This list covers the maps released with the initial release of Call of Duty: Black Ops up to and including the Rezurrection DLC map pack.
- 1 10) Nacht der untoten (World at War)
- 2 9) Shangri-La (Annihilation)
- 3 8) Shangri-La
- 4 7) Town (Call of the Dead)
- 5 6) “Five” (Call of Duty: Black Ops – Rezurrection)
- 6 5) Town (Call of the Dead)
- 7 4) Nuketown (Call of Duty: Black Ops)
- 8 3) Verruckt (Call of Duty: World at War)
- 9 2) Ascension (Call of Duty: Black Ops)
- 10 1) “Five” (Call of Duty: World at War)
10) Nacht der untoten (World at War)
Nacht is kind of like that first girl you bring home to meet your folks only to find out she’s really just a stinky guy in drag. Hey zombiephiles, don’t beat me! Some people truly love this map but it gets my vote for worst on several fronts. First, while some would argue that every zombies map has its limits when it comes to how much damage you can deal out or take before dying, no other map makes this so obvious than Nacht.
There are only three windows, one on each side of the building, and no walls to build upon without resorting to digging into the tiny trench that winds its way around the exterior of the map. While you can certainly deal some damage via grenades or environmental hazards found in certain rooms (beware Stamin Up), there is little you can do to harm your partners other than quickly sneaking up behind them for a back-stab.
9) Shangri-La (Annihilation)
Shangri-La doesn’t really make use of traps or any environmental hazards; it is more about physical construction. The ball pit near the monkey pad offers quite a few health points but does nothing if you are trapped in there with a zombie.
The main feature of this map is the mine cart ride which can really slow down your team if you have to stop and revive someone from being dragged away by zombies every five feet or so that they fall off. There’s a sweet ambush spot at the top of the stairs that is quite deadly but also useless unless multiple teammates are camped out there who will most likely be sniped by snipers on Kala. There isn’t much else to do other than dig up some claymores, set them on the path and hope for the best (not recommended).
The TranZit version of Shangri La on Green Run suffers from many of the same problems. The Minecart ride is not only hazardous to your health but also has a tendency to cause zombies to fall off while you are trying to man it, causing you to lose the upper hand when the fun really starts. There is one window that offers quite a bit of damage potential via explosives, namely grenades and Ray Gun headshots, but this is completely negated by map size. Zombies can spawn anywhere on this map so even if you survive long enough for them to get stuck behind doorways or stalls there is nothing stopping them from spawning right next to you. This makes camping near windows an exercise in futility.
7) Town (Call of the Dead)
This map was designed around George A Romero’s film career with a focus on small corridors and quick kills since zombie health has been reduced by 50% in this map. When you throw in the fact that one of the perks for this map is Insta-Kill, camping becomes all but useless unless you are positioned near an environmental hazard such as the lighthouse or where George used to live (which we found out was actually next door).
With so many tight corners and little room for error it’s no wonder why many players find this map frustrating and at times downright infuriating. This gives survivors very few places to run, which allows zombies easy access to surround even moderately experienced players.
6) “Five” (Call of Duty: Black Ops – Rezurrection)
While some might argue that “Five” is a fun map to play, I feel it’s one of the more frustrating maps in the zombies hall of fame. The reason for this has everything to do with spawn locations which are almost completely random unless you have someone standing on top of or next to a perk machine. If you are unlucky enough not to get Juggernog quickly, be prepared to hear your friends calling you names while they try to hold off zombies from any number of directions at once.
There are so many nooks and crannies around this map that zombies seem able to sneak up on even highly experienced players far too often for my liking. You only need watch YouTube videos of this map being played by Zombies Merica! members in order to see how quickly zombies can appear from nowhere and overrun a survivor.
5) Town (Call of the Dead)
This map feels very much like “Five” in terms of camping strategies being useless unless you have Juggernog readily available to hold off multiple waves of zombies coming at you from all directions, often times with George trying to pry open a door or window for an ambush.
You might get lucky and find a Pack-a-Punch machine early on but chances are if you do not have Juggernog by day three it will be too late since you will probably need to camp out in order to survive countless hordes of the undead. That is why this map falls so low on our list since it really doesn’t require much skill to play and offers little in the way of excitement (unless you like watching people get mauled by George).
4) Nuketown (Call of Duty: Black Ops)
This might be a bit of an unpopular opinion but “Nuketown” is one of those maps that gets old extremely fast unless you download some custom zombie maps or find a nice modded server. The reason for this has everything to do with the fact that there are only TWO spawn points on this map and both are clearly visible from just about any place on it.
This allows zombies to group up at either end, hold down buttons and insta-kill anyone who happens to pass through a especially if they have a ray gun or thunder gun. If you do not have Juggernog by the second day of playing this map it is likely that you will not survive more than a few rounds on it due to zombies spawning right next to you and killing you instantly with insta-kill abilities.
3) Verruckt (Call of Duty: World at War)
“Verruckt” was one of the maps where camping spots were almost always guaranteed and players had ample time to build up points and buy weapons, perks and traps before round 10 came around. This allowed people who had good guns like the M16 or STG44 as well as those who had scavenged enough points for Monkey Bombs or Claymores plenty of places to hide out and make killing zombies a cinch.
This is another map where there were only two spawn points and both of them (downstairs and outside) allowed players to keep hordes of the undead at bay with little difficulty due to there being almost zero places for them to come from or sneak up on you from. As such everyone who had good guns quickly found out that camping spots could be easily defended as everyone else was too busy trying (and failing) to defend themselves against the seemingly endless waves of enemies that came pouring into the building.
2) Ascension (Call of Duty: Black Ops)
“Ascension” has always struck me as one of those maps where it isn’t so much about how well you play so much as what guns you have at your disposal. Even a player who isn’t too good will do well on this map if only because the starting weapons are so powerful while being paired with a decent perk machine and box location.
This means that you get players who know how to use guns like the Gersh Device, Scavenger and Speed Cola easily outlasting other players due to their ability to get good guns quickly and max out on ammo within the first two rounds of gameplay.
This is another map that was popular based solely on its power weapons (the thunder gun and ray gun) and lack of zombies coming from multiple spawn points, but it has remained high in our list of zombie maps due to its popularity among “Verruckt” fans since they are both fairly easy maps to play (if you have the right perks) and allow camping spots to be set up with relatively little difficulty.
1) “Five” (Call of Duty: World at War)
Another unpopular opinion here, but it is based on pure gameplay. I know that lots of people loved playing this map since it was used in the popular “Kino der Toten” Easter egg sequence, but being so close to juggernog all the time made it very difficult for zombies to kill anyone who had good weapons making this one of those games where it takes forever just to get through a round due to everyone huddled together in the same room safe from harm.
There are also only two starting locations for humans which means that you either spawn in the same room as everyone else or on one of the side platforms with no real good place to set up camp. This map also had a ridiculous amount of power weapons at the players’ disposal.
Which meant there was little reason for them to leave their camping spots unless they were trying to get towards juggernog or make it through a particularly difficult round where powerful zombies would be threatening way too often. It is not my intention here to offend fans of this map, but honestly what are your opinions of “Five” compared to some of our other entries?