Top 3 Best Call of Duty Zombie Maps

Call of Duty Zombies

Call of Duty has grown into one of the most well known franchises in the gaming industry over the years.  Looking back over those years, I started to wonder what made Call of Duty so successful.  Was it because of how the storylines unfolded in campaign mode?  Did the multiplayer revolutionize how first person shooters should be?  Both of those do in fact play a role in the success of the game, but I believe that one particular aspect of Call of Duty has attracted thousands of players that otherwise wouldn’t have even thought about buying the game in the first place.  The part of Call of Duty that I’m talking about is the beloved Z ombie mode.  What was expected to be just a fun little mini game in World at War has turned into one of the most popular game modes in Call of Duty.  Many say that zombies is so good that it could even be a standalone game.  After coming to this realization, I started to wonder what people would consider to be the top three best zombie maps made thus far.  This slight interest transformed into a plan to ask numerous people to tell me their favorite zombie maps in order.  I then com

piled a list of the three best zombie maps based off of the maps that were most frequently picked.  So without further ado, let’s dive right into the top three best Call of Duty zombie maps of all time.


Mob of the Dead

Coming in at number three on the list is the relatively new zombie map, Mob of the Dead.  What initially caught everyone’s eye was the location of the map paired with the four new playable characters.  For those of you that don’t know, Mob of the Dead takes place on the historic Alcatraz island prison in San Francisco, California, which I just happen to be lucky to enough visit multiple times.  The layout of this map is absolutely spectacular, giving you the chance to not only explore the ins and outs of the multi-level prison but also the ability to build a plane and fly to the golden gate bridge.    The four new characters, or inmates, introduced in Mob of the Dead are Albert “The Weasel” Arlington, Billy Handsome, Michael “Finn” O’Leary and Salvatore “Sal” DeLuca.  All of these men were convicted of numerous crimes and were sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in the Alcatraz prison.

Now that I’ve briefly mentioned the characters and the basics of the map itself, I want to dive deep into the specifics of what makes Mob of the Dead one of the greatest maps to date.  First off, some of the weapons that you are able to build are actually worthwhile.  I’ve noticed that many of the buildable in previous zombie maps weren’t even worth the time it took to build it, such as the jet gun from Tranzit.  In Mob of the Dead you are able to build the acid gat kit, which allows you to upgrade the blundergat.  After getting the blundergat from the mystery box and building the kit, you are then given the ability to upgrade it to the acid gat.  The acid gat will shoot blobs of sticky acid, which will release a deadly explosion.  You are also able to use the Pack-a-Punch machine to turn the acid gat into the vitriolic withering, transforming the regular acid shots into zombie attracting ones.  This gun is one of the better buildable weapons to date, and can be an integral part to getting to high rounds.  A second weapon that I wanted to mention is the hell’s retriever.  Although it isn’t a buildable weapon, it does require the completion of three challenges in order to obtain it.  The hell’s retriever is basically a boomerang tomahawk; you throw it out, it hits up to six zombies and then returns to the user.  In addition to killing zombies, the hell’s retriever also picks up any power-ups in its path.  In order to upgrade it to the hell’s redeemer, you must complete another series of tasks.  Upon completion of these tasks, the tomahawk will become a much more powerful version of itself.  Another new featured introduced in Mob of the Dead is the afterlife mode.  When players get downed, they then enter into this afterlife mode where they can make their way to their body and revive themselves.  Keep in mind that this ability can only be used once per round, so don’t get too comfortable.  You can also zap and kill the zombies while you are in afterlife mode.  The combination of weapons, perks, and just the overall layout of the map all work in harmony, making Mob of the Dead the third best zombie map so far.


AscensionThe map that received the second highest number of votes is Ascension.  Ascension is located in an abandoned Soviet  0Cosmodrome, where players are forced to fight off hordes of zombies.  The four most beloved characters, Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, Takeo Masaki, and Edward Richtofen make an expected reappearance in this map.  Something that immediately stood out to me when I initially played Ascension was the balance of the map itself.  It has everything from tight corners and staircase filled buildings, to open spaces suitable for training zombies.  I distinctly remember one time where I started off round a in an open space, only to find myself getting flooded by zombies.  My lack of secondary planning forced me to scramble aimlessly up and down the buildings’ staircases, giving me one of the best zombie experiences that I’ve had yet.  There’s just something about winging it while zombies are chasing you that really gets your adrenaline pumping, especially when you have limited ways to escape.  One wrong turn up a staircase and you can bet that zombies will be feasting on your brain before you even have a chance to react.

Something else that makes Ascension even more interesting is the fact that it has lunar landers, which can be used from various locations scattered across the map to take players to the spawn room.  In most cases it is smart to have these ready as a last resort, just in case your zombie killing station gets taken over by hordes of flesh eaters.  Speaking of last resorts, a new weapon known as the Gersch Device was introduced in the mystery box on this map which has been proven useful for quick escapes and killing zombies.  This device is a tactical grenade that when thrown, creates somewhat of a black hole that slowly pulls zombies towards it, killing them upon impact.  In addition to the destruction of zombies, the Gersch Device will also teleport a player to a random location if they decide to dive or jump into it.  The device provides a risky but potentially necessary escape if you have no other way out.  Also new to the mystery box is another tactical grenade, the Matryoshka Doll.  These dolls act as little cluster bombs that explode four times consecutively in random directions.  They do a whole lot of damage to zombies, but in my personal opinion aren’t nearly as powerful as the Gersch Device.  Two new perks, PhD Flopper and Stamin-up, were first available on Ascension.  PhD Flopper will give the player the ability to drop a small nuke whenever they dive prone from a relatively high distance.  In order for it to work, the player must dive from a height that would normally injure them.  This nuke will kill all zombies within a small radius around the user.  Not only does it release a nuke, it also makes it so the splash damage from a Ray Gun’s shot or any other explosive damage will no longer hurt the player.  Stamina-up, on the other hand, increases the player’s sprint time and movement speed.  Your ability to quickly maneuver around this large map is a key component to get to higher rounds.  Finally, the last reason why Ascension is one of the most loved maps is simply because it is relatively easy.  Don’t get me wrong, killing zombies on Ascension is no walk in the park, but it’s easier to get to higher rounds on it compared to other maps.  Some might find this to be rather boring, but the vast majority clearly loves the fact that they can just hop into a zombie game and do well.  It isn’t too hard of a task to figure out an effective zombie killing strategy, allowing you to just have fun slaying zombies rather than worry about your next move.  All of the reasons mentioned above shows why Ascension lands the number two spot on the list of best zombie maps created.


Der RieseFinally, the reason why you’re all reading this has finally arrived; it’s time to discuss the zombie map that landed the number one spot on the list.  From the layout of the map to the introduction of game changing tools, Die Riese is an obvious choice to be named the greatest Call of Duty zombie map of all time.  Der Riese, German for “The Giant”, was released as the final zombies map in Call of Duty:  World at War.  Located in Germany, players find themselves trapped in a secret Nazi facility, whilst try to fight off the undead.  Along with many of the other maps, Der Riese includes Tank Dempsey, Edward Rictofen, Takeo Masaki and Nikolai Belinski.  One of the most important parts to this map was the debut of teleporters.  Having the ability to teleport to a different location makes players completely rethink their original approach to zombie mode.  Do you post up near the teleporter and take it once zombies start spawning?  Should you use it as a last resort when zombies overrun you?  The possibilities are pretty much endless.  These seemingly infinite options make the game much more enjoyable, increasing the replay value of this particular zombies map.

It’s rather difficult for me to believe that up until Der Riese, players were unable to upgrade any of their weapons.  Luckily, the Pack-a-Punch machine was finally introduced in Der Riese, turning upgraded weapons into a complete necessity if you plan on progressing to higher rounds.  In future Call of Duty zombie maps you can expect there to always be the Pack-a-Punch machine, making this the biggest game changing idea to come to zombies so far.  If these two game changers mentioned above weren’t enough, there’s also a third one that wasn’t expected to have as large of an impacted as it did.  The inclusion of monkey bombs in the mystery box is such a key component that could potentially make the difference between getting steamrolled by a mob of zombies, or moving on to the next round with ease.  For those of you that don’t know, although I’m sure all of you do, monkey bombs are windup toy monkeys that attract zombies when thrown.  Shortly after they’re thrown, the monkeys explode, injuring and potentially killing the surrounding zombies.  These bombs have been proven useful in stressful moments and can provide just long enough of a distraction to take charge of the situation.  Let’s say you’re on a relatively high round and one of your teammates goes down; how are you going to revive that person while simultaneously watching your own back?  The clear answer to this is to simply throw one of your monkey bombs so you can revive your teammate without the risk of going down yourself.  The duration that the bombs last is relatively short, but it gives your team just enough time to regroup and regain control.  Undeniably one of the most important maps to date, Der Riese not only introduced us to these many new components, but it also was the turning point for zombies as a whole.  Without the release of Der Riese, zombie mode would not have transformed and improved as much as it has these past years.  For all of these reasons, Der Riese is well deserving of the title of best Call of Duty zombie map created thus far.

When it comes to Call of Duty zombie mode, I always seem to have a relatively fun time.  Although this is true for most of the maps, there are three in particular that seem to be noticeably more enjoyable to play on.  Mob of the Dead, Ascension, and Der Riese are the three best zombie maps released so far and I’m pretty sure I’ve given you plenty of reasons explaining why.  All three have amazing map designs, new weapons/perks, and just an overall great feel to them.  I also want to give a special mention to the newest zombie map, Origins.  If it were strictly up to me, Origins would easily be in my top three because the map is so well made.  I know that many of you might disagree with the top three zombie maps in this article, so I want to know what all of you think! 

Leave a comment below with your top three favorite zombie maps.


  1. logan haesche November 19, 2013

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    2.der riese of the dead

  2. barambum November 19, 2013

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    1. Moon
    2. Origins
    3. Kino

  3. Gebby November 19, 2013

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    1. Der Reise
    2. Shi no Numa
    3. Ascenion

  4. Biyik November 20, 2013

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    1.Der Reise
    2.Mob Of the Dead

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