Black Ops 2 is the Call of Duty game you need to play right now

Let me start by saying that I play, and enjoy, the new Call of Duty games. I don't subscribe to the "OMG, jetpacks are so bad" mindset. I liked Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3, and now Infinite Warfare.

But there's one game a large number of Xbox One fans have been shouting for: Black Ops 2 on backward compatibility.

Now it's here, and you should be playing it. Here's why

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Aging well

Good games stay good games, and nothing can really change that (unless a developer outright breaks it). Black Ops 2 was adored by the Call of Duty community, and it still is to this day. Fans and professional players alike continue to remember the glory days of Black Ops 2. Many still call it the last great Call of Duty game. Opinions on that will differ but it doesn't change how well the game has aged. Graphics aside, it still feels fresh, fast and ultimately, fun.

And of course, if you played on Xbox back in the day, your stats will still be intact.

Boots on the ground

Black Ops 2 was still future-based, but it came before the boost jumping introduced in Advanced Warfare. I don't want to say Black Ops 2 is easier to play, because it's not easy at all. But it's certainly easier for new players to get the hang of.

I never played multiplayer when Black Ops 2 was new, but it's a completely different ball game compared to Infinite Warfare and even its direct successor.

The only remotely acrobatic move you have is launching yourself to the floor by mashing B. Otherwise, you run, jump (normally), climb ladders, throw grenades and shoot your opponents. Because there are no acrobatics to master, picking up Black Ops 2 as someone new to its multiplayer isn't as frustrating as the newer titles.

For better of worse, it still feels familiar to play. Activision hasn't made many big underlying changes to Call of Duty, so if you've played one you'll feel right at home.

Play for a long time

The campaign in Black Ops 2 is pretty good. It's not Modern Warfare good, but it follows on in the future of the original Black Ops story. It's definitely worth playing through if you never have before.

But it is multiplayer that folks have been so passionately asking Microsoft for to get this game on backward compatibility. And there's enough to play to keep you going for a long time. including the then-optional Nuketown 2025 map (later revived in Black Ops 3.)

It follows the same basic structure as other Call of Duty games. You level up, unlock new weapons, perks and attachments, create new classes and dominate your opponents.

There's also a whopping 2,000 Gamerscore in total available for achievement hunters.

Damn snipers

The only real drawback to Black Ops 2 right now, mostly for new players, is the amount of snipers and folks who leveled up a lot when the game was first around on the Xbox 360. It can feel a little one-sided at times.

And seriously, if you play as a sniper on Nuketown, you're a bad person. Terrible, even.

Of course, it's all part of the challenge. But it's also infuriating when every single kill cam is someone one-shotting you with a sniper rifle from five feet away.

There is a solid strategy element in Black Ops 2, that's for sure. Just try not to get put off by the sniping.

Go play it

If you're at all interested in playing Call of Duty on the Xbox One, go and play Black Ops 2. It's a blast and there are so many people playing right now, the community is buzzing once again.

It also seems a lot more stable than Infinite Warfare. The servers will still kick you off from time to time, but it's mostly steady as she goes.

Whether you think this is the last great Call of Duty game or not, give it a go. We'll see you on the battlefield.

See at Xbox

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at