Top 10 Maps We Want to Return in CoD MW3

With Modern Warfare 3 reprising some of the best Call of Duty maps, here are the ones we definitely like to see return.

A soldier shooting an LMG in Scrapyard in MW3
Image via Activision
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Almost all of the maps that were released in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are legendary in their own right because they came from Modern Warfare 2 (2009). However, there’s a laundry list of maps from Modern Warfare‘s past that we’d love to see return.

10 Maps We’d Love to See in Modern Warfare 3

Between their release selection and their DLC, there are dozens of other maps from previous Modern Warfare titles that could be fantastic in MW3. You’ll see that almost all the maps I went with come from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, as the choices there are by far the best, but there are a few from MW2 (2009) and MW3 (2011) sprinkled in there as well. Many of the classic maps have made it into the Modern Warfare reboots in one way or another, so I’ve picked those that either haven’t been around in a while or have been waiting for a long time.

Backlot

The Backlot map in Call of Duty 4
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Backlot wasn’t a professional CoD4 map for no reason. It’s small but not too small, follows the classic three-lane design but feels more circular, and plays fast and chaotic in 6v6. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing map in the roster, but I would rather have fun on a good map that flows well over one that’s a feast for my eyes.

Bailout

The Bailout map in Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
Screenshot by GameSkinny

This might be a hot take, but I actually really like Bailout. Its main problem is that the middle lane is basically a giant deathtrap that spans the entire map, and the two other lanes are basically just straight-line buildings. It’s a three-lane map where half the lanes can go completely unused. But I’m a shotgun stan and an idiot, so rushing straight up the middle to surprise either of the outer lanes was one of my favorite ways to play the map, and I think it would offer some interesting gameplay in MW3. For a day, anyhow.

Bog

The Bog map in Call of Duty 4
Screenshot by GameSkinny

There’s almost nothing to Bog. It’s a big field with a hill in the middle and a pair of buildings on one side. Add in some buses and barrels for cover, and somehow, by the grace of CoD4, you have an amazing map. The M16 from that game could put on an absolute clinic, and with the aim today’s gamers are capable of, especially with the new killstreaks available, I can’t imagine what’s possible.

Chinatown

The Chinatown map in Call of Duty 4
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Chinatown is actually the Call of Duty 2 map Carentan reimagined, and I don’t think it would need much work to get it to play great in MW3. One of the best parts of Chinatown was how it was made up of distinct sectors that all felt like tiny maps. It was also always clear where the power positions were, generally clear on how to get to them and deal with them, and flanking on the map was easy and satisfying. It wouldn’t play nice with many of the killstreaks in MW3, but a more gun-focused gameplay style is never a bad thing.

District

The District map in Call of Duty 4
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Like Backlot, District was a three-lane map that played more circular than it did linear. The center of the map, covered as it was with awnings, was a close-quarters haven while more precision weapons fought on the upper platforms and streets surrounding the lower, central market. I can’t count the number of placement spawn ‘nades and snipes I’ve seen or pulled off on District, and MW3‘s ‘nades have enough distance to them that I’m sure there would be 1,001 new spots to raid death from.

Hardhat

The Hardhat map in Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Last seen in the original Modern Warfare (2019) reboot and first seen in MW3 (2011), Hardhat has always been the best map from that earlier game. It’s got relatively good flow, clear power positions, and lots of short-medium sightlines for any weapon to succeed. There wasn’t much about MW3 (2011) I liked, but if I could play Hardhat 24/7, I at least know I would be playing on a map that felt more like a Call of Duty space than something cobbled together by someone who wasn’t sure what they were doing.

Overgrown

The Overgrown map in Call of Duty 4
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Another Call of Duty 4 classic, Overgrown is a sniper’s paradise. Thanks to the ravine that halves the map, SMGs and Shotguns have a safer way around. I would hope they address the massive spawn trap issue at the gas station as well as put in a bit more cover in and around the bridges at either end, but not do too much more. You could play almost any way you pleased on Overgrown and succeed. Some playstyles just took a bit more doing.

Seatown

The Seatown map in Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Seatown is the second outlier in the map pool from MW3 (2011). While not as good as Hardhat, it still has that close-range, fast-paced feel I’m looking for from a smaller Call of Duty map. You’ll almost always know where players are likely to be and have counterpositions and plays you can make to deal with them or at least escape. The house in the back was kind of an odd choice, as hardly anyone ever went there, but the broken tower and central market were both quite well-designed, and they’d likely play well in the new MW3.

Trailer Park

The Trailer Park map in MW2 (2009)
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Back in the day, you bought Call of Duty DLC maps in packs of four, and of the two packs in MW2 (2009), only two of the new maps were any good. Trailer Park was by far the best DLC map from the classic title, a play area custom-built for any playstyle and weapon type. SMGs, Shotguns, Snipers, ARs — you name it, they had a place in Trailer Park. The map was of a much more traditional three-lane style with lots of little outbuildings breaking up the environment. There weren’t many power positions, focusing instead on funneling player movement in predictable ways at specific times. I loved it.

Vacant

The Vacant map in Call of Duty 4
Screenshot by GameSkinny

They’ve brought Vacant back almost half a dozen times now, and it improves almost every game it’s in. Vacant, like Chinatown, is like multiple maps smashed together. You have the outside with the cargo containers and fuel tank that allow for tons of long-range fights. There are the inner hallways and offices that are great for SMGs and shotguns, and finally, there’s the back room and warehouse that act like a keystone. Like most good CoD4 maps, these disparate pieces flow together nicely, and if you know the map, it’s almost always possible to intuit where the next threat will come from.

And those are our picks for the ten maps that need to come back in today’s Modern Warfare 3. There are dozens of other possible options, but with Crossfire and Countdown being the basis for the War mode, I don’t see why any of these other maps couldn’t return. We’ll just have to see what the future holds. In the meantime, check out our other Modern Warfare 3 content, including the best AMR9 loadout, the best guns, and more in our MW3 guides hub.

About the author

John Schutt

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.