This year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is set to refresh and re-release all 16 of the maps from 2009’s Modern Warfare 2. A handful of the maps from Infinity Ward’s second smash hit remain some of the best the series has ever seen. Afghan, Scrapyard, Favela, Terminal (for some). These are maps that inspired generations of CoD fans and remain absolute classics today. There are, however, some stinkers in the bunch, as well. In this list, we’ll be looking at the 10 best Modern Warfare 2 maps returning in Modern Warfare 3.
10 Best MW2 Maps Returning in MW3
Wasteland isn’t the most dynamic MW2 map, and it quickly became a haven for snipers thanks to infinite long sightlines. But it’s also one of the best maps for killstreaks. It was almost always easy to find your enemies, as they were either across the map from your spawn or in the bunker in the middle of the map. What Wasteland lacked in flow, it made up for in predictability.
Rust is no Shipment, but there was no better map in the game for a salty 1v1. As the smallest map in Modern Warfare 2, it was also the most chaotic, with spawns that could easily infuriate. Players in power positions were impossible to dislodge thanks to One Man Army. As far as I know, Modern Warfare 3 won’t have an OMA equivalent, so hopefully, Rust can be a bit more dynamic. Better spawns would also be nice.
No map has been brought back in more Call of Duty sequels than Terminal. It’s not the best map in MW2 by a long shot, but it had serviceable flow, a great aesthetic, and catered to almost any playstyle imaginable. It’s played fine in every game where it’s appeared, and hopefully, the updates made in Modern Warfare 3 will make it even better.
Karachi is a flanker’s dream, with so many different nooks and crannies and different elevations where you can surprise your opponents. With the new mantling system in Modern Warfare 3, I’ll be very interested to see how this map plays. In MW2, if you were running around with Marathon Pro, which gave faster mantling and infinite sprint, there were few maps that were more fun and frustrating in equal measure.
Invasion is a more open, more straightforward version of Karachi, and between the two, I prefer the slightly slower pace of Invasion. It’s also a more traditional three-lane design, making it more predictable. You’ll always have a good idea when players will get to a specific position off spawn and which positions to watch out for as you move about the map. It’s also brighter, and I’m a sucker for nicely-colored levels.
Highrise is a classic MW2 map. It offers a little bit of everything: flanking, sniping, mid-range fights, room for streaks to work, and a good flow. In its original game, spawn trapping was rampant on this map because it was easy to hold an entire team at bay with just a few players. There’s nothing that makes it truly stand out design-wise, but nothing about it is bad or even average. Everything Highrise wants to do, it does well.
Expect Skidrow to get plenty of repeats when map voting returns in Modern Warfare 3. Where Highrise is good in every way but great in none, Skidrow has the dynamism required to be the first true standout map to be refreshed in Modern Warfare 3. Its few camper-friendly positions knock it down a bit, but only so much, as all MW2 maps had that issue.
Like Skidrow, Scrapyard is one of the most dynamic maps returning to MW3, but unlike the former, it doesn’t need much verticality to accomplish it. Its smaller size and more chaotic flow make it a poster child for classic Call of Duty map design. It’s also one of the best maps in the game for streaks, as it’s always relatively easy to know where your enemies will be coming from.
Favela, to me, is the best parts of Scrapyard and Skidrow put together, then turned on its head. It offers more verticality than either of them without losing the game’s speed and flow. While not the best for streaks, if controlled chaos that allows for dozens of different gameplay styles is your thing, Favela always delivers.
If there’s one map in Modern Warfare 3 I don’t want to receive any changes, it’s Afghan. The map doesn’t need much tending. The only changes made since MW2 that would make updates necessary would be everyone having infinite sprint and the new mantling system.
I’m not sure how those gameplay differences would affect how Afghan plays. It would be almost impossible to say how improved mobility and player speed would affect how a map plays when it was never designed with those factors in mind. That said, Afghan remains one of the kings of classic Call of Duty maps, and I’ll not be told otherwise.
The six other maps not listed here — Derail, Estate, Rundown, Quarry, Sub-base, and Underpass — are all no more than just passable for a number of reasons. Lack of flow, too big, too slow, you name it. That they’re returning in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gives me hope that they’ll get some much-needed love.
But that’s our list of the 10 best Modern Warfare 2 maps returning in Modern Warfare 3. Stay tuned for more coverage as we get closer to the release of MW3 on November 10 for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms.