Infected Templar Knight in Origins zombie map
Image via Activision

Top 10 All-time Call of Duty Zombie Maps

Call of Duty is one of the most storied franchises in the world but one particular game in 2008 decided that the series needed some extra oomph. World at War spawned the Zombies mode and since that fateful day, nearly every entry in the franchise has featured the game mode and many maps. So we're here to rank the top 10 Zombie maps of all time!

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Top 10 Zombie maps in Call of Duty

Picking 10 of the best Zombie maps of all time from across 15 years of history is no easy feat. Looking to others is no help either as someone's favorite map largely depends on their childhood/most-played Call of Duty. With so many maps and only ten spots on our list, I'm bound to step on some toes. However, though I definitely appreciate the OGs in World at War, MW2, Infinite Warfare, and MW2019, my list tries to keep biases to a minimum.

10. Nacht Der Untoten (World at War)

Zombie wondering in the fields on Nacht Der Untoten.
Image via Activision

It feels somewhat wrong to place Nacht Der Untoten so high on our list since it is the map that started it all. Every Call of Duty game is slammed for not including a Zombie map and that's all thanks to this map. The reason I have to put it so high despite my love for its design is due to its simplicity.

Nacht Der Untoten is the beginning so it hasn't had the time to stretch its legs and understand itself. Don't get me wrong; I've played countless hours of this map alone and with friends and it's always ridiculous chaos come round 22. With its enclosed space, limited wall-buy options, and zero shortcuts, it can be one of the most brutal Zombie maps in the franchise. Nacht Der Untoten will always have a special place in my heart regardless of how many years pass.

9. Zombies in Space Land (Infinite Warfare)

Groovy zombie wandering in Zombies in Space Land
Image via Activision

This one will surprise some and cause others to rejoice. Zombies in Space Land was Infinity Ward's first impressive take on the Zombies experience; they had tried many times before, but each map was fairly forgettable or featured unfun mechanics. Zombies in Space Land doesn't take itself seriously and throws ridiculous challenges at the players while still keeping the core zombie experience at its heart. The map is comprised of different sections of a theme park that hold plenty of surprises and places to explore while holding off the horde.

ZSL was crazy fun with a full group of friends all running trains in separate areas of the theme park. My friends and I would claim territories around the map; I took the Journey into Space section thanks to its open area. We'd barter Perks and wall-weapons, collaborate when needed, and add an extra hilarious challenge if one of us was downed. All in all Zombies in Space Land wasn't a traditional experience, but its flair made up for that fact and that's why it comes in at our ninth spot.

8. Call of the Dead (Black Ops 1)

Robert Englund in Call of the Dead zombie map
Image via Activision

Call of the Dead was the first zombie map to introduce an all-star cast to tackle the horde of flesh-eating monsters. The idea here is that the celebs are filming a zombie-themed movie just as the real zombies crawl onto the set. George A. Romero plays the main villain—the director who becomes infected and constantly pursues the players throughout the map. Our protagonists attempting to survive the horde are Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Danny Trejo, and Michael Rooker.

Call of the Dead featured another complex Easter Egg that I have to sadly report I never managed to finish back in the day. Our group of friends was far too busy annoying George Romero and using the zipline to cross the map. I had great fun on Call of the Dead with plenty of memories to look back on, so I give it our eighth spot.

7. TranZit (Black Ops 2)

The bus stopping at the diner portion of the TranZit zombie map
Image via Activision

TranZit was one of those maps that you either loved and remembered fondly or hated and never played. In my group half of us adore this amalgamation of zombie maps while the others never want to hear its name again.

TranZit is designed in a way that connects four different zombie maps in a gigantic radius by a single bus. The zombie transport would drive around the entire map, pausing shortly at every stop before traveling to the next. If you decided to jump on the bus you'd have to defend against the horde slowly overrunning the interior (and make sure to thank the bus driver as you leave). The bus wasn't the only way to get to the other maps; you could simply walk to them. However, doing so presented a great risk as you'd be quickly swarmed by small scuttling monsters threatening to eat your brains.

There's plenty to find in TranZit—even a rendition of Nacht Der Untoten hiding deep behind a cornfield along the bus route.

6. Ascension (Black Ops 1)

Russian Cosmodrone with a rocket in Ascension
Image via Activision

Ascension was set in a Soviet Union Cosmodrome but introduces two new perks Stamin-Up and PhD Flopper (the absolute best perk ever designed). Ascension often finds itself ranked high on the list of zombie maps by the community which is even more impressive since the line-up in BO1 was a powerhouse.

Playing Ascension with a group of friends was always chaotic fun. We'd play chicken with the zero-g training arm betting on who could cross the room before it turned our character to red paste; surviving the Space Monkey round and protecting all perk locations to get a free perk was a little goofy but no less fun. And Belly flopping down the stairs into a pile of zombies was one of the most fun and rewarding parts of Ascension, and while it eventually lost its power on high rounds, it was still a highlight of this map.

Ascension was the first Zombie map to contain a true Easter Egg that required four players and multiple complex steps to complete (although the reward of 90-second Death Machines was a little lackluster).

5. Shadows Of Evil (Black Ops 3)

1940s Noir Theme boardwalk in Shadows of Evil
Image via Activision

I am not usually a fan of the Black Ops 3 zombie mechanics, but Shadows of Evil was an immaculately design map. The theme of a 1940s noir film is the chef's kiss and wholeheartedly carries the map through the Gobblegum fiasco and surprisingly difficult access to Pack-a-Punch.

For those unaware, Gobblegum was a weird loadout mechanic for extra perks that you set before a game. You'd be able to buy gum and choose which ones you wanted to use to give you more strength; you'd even be able to create a loadout for each weapon in the game, and if you ever bought that gun from the wall, it would have all its attachments. Some may find this aspect fun or engaging but I find it more annoying than enduring.

Shadows of Evil features the buildable mechanic that was introduced in Black Ops 2, allowing players to craft specific items like the Zombie Shield or Wonder Weapons. It added an extra layer of depth for those looking to entertain themselves by searching for items and progressing Easter Eggs.

4. Verrückt (World at War)

Soldier holding off the zombie horde in Verrúckt
Image via Activision

The second-ever Zombies map was an incredible step up from the first as it took everything that made Nacht Der Untoten amazing and dialed it up to ten. Immediately off the rip, you and your friends are separated by a locked door that requires power to be opened, leaving the two groups to make a choice: hold out until the others turned on the power or push through the horde to open all doors.

Verrückt's tense atmosphere in the asylum was truly peak; I remember fondly being spooked by the zombies tunneling out of the walls, jumping down from the roof, and crawling under fences. Verrückt sadly didn't introduce the Pack-a-Punch or random perk locations, but what it lacked in crazy additions it made up for it with heart.

I had to give respect to this amazing map for its improvement to the formula without going too overboard. It's clear that Treyarch had a vision for the World at War maps and implemented it perfectly.

3. Origins (Black Ops 2)

Giant robot looming over soldiers in Origins
Image via Activision

Origins is a return to form for Black Ops 2 introducing the original cast of characters Tank Dempsey, Edward Richtofen, Takeo Masaki, and Nikolai Belinski for one more bizarre adventure through a horde of zombies. The map this time around is in the trenches of World War 1 where you'll encounter three giant mechanized robots stomping across the battlefield; if you're not careful you'll be flattened and sent back to round 1.

A new challenger entered the ring in Origins: the Panzer Soldat. This zombie suited in a full mech suit had the ability to bring the pain and end your run if you're not careful. There are plenty of new additions, secrets, and a long Easter Egg for players to unravel too, which is why it ranks so highly on our list. Origins is a quintessential zombie experience that offers new players a good place to start and veterans enough change to keep them interested.

2. Kino Der Toten (Black Ops 1)

Soldier shooting zombies in Kino Der Toten
Image via Activision

Kino Der Toten in second place was the hardest thing I've had to do this year, but once you know the top spot on our list you will understand. Kino Der Toten or Theatre of the Dead is one of those unbelievably perfect maps that is akin to a unicorn or the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. There's so much in this map to do and to see, and so many little strategies to utilize that there's no wonder it's ranked so high.

Over the years Kino Der Toten and Black Ops 1 have become my most played game in the franchise. The countless memories of running a train on the stage make the nostalgia hit even harder (which is not to say I'm looking at the design with rose-tinted glasses). The theater aesthetic was atmospheric in the ways that Verrückt and Nacht Der Untoten were; the ability to Pack-a-Punch was simple and accessible, too. There's plenty of room for running trains and pushing yourself to obtain high 50-round clears.

1. Der Riese (World at War)

The Waffenfabrik factory in Der Riese zombie map
Image via Activision

It was an incredibly hard choice to make between Der Riese and Kino Der Toten; both are masterpieces in their own right but I have to give the edge to the former. It was the pinnacle of Treyarch's design for the zombie mode and the culmination of everything they wanted to achieve with their first four maps. They started with Nacht Der Untoten, improved it with Verrückt and Shi No Numa (one of my personal favorites), and then went Super Saiyan with Der Riese.

Everything you loved from Nacht Der Untoten, Verrückt, and Shi No Numa is here and better than ever. The innovation of the WaW zombies maps is unmatched and clear to see for anyone revisiting that stage in history. Der Riese in short was peak zombies and I'm not entirely certain we will ever see such incredible design again. It introduced the Pack-a-Punch machine, teleporters, and a small Easter Egg so players had plenty to dive into when they played it for the first time. But most of all it was just fun. The inevitable group up on the catwalk with dozens of bouncing betties, to the death of one or two players which caused a frenzy panic to the teleports (after which it was just a matter of time before players were running back to the STG wall-gun for ammo and finishing the round to do it all over again).

Der Riese was a true diamond. If you have never played this map, then do yourself a favor and give it a try.

That's our list of the top 10 all-time zombie maps in Call of Duty. If you're looking for similar content check out Top 5 all-time best Call of Duty maps, according to Reddit, How to get Specialist Perk Package in CoD Warzone and more on Pro Game Guides.


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Author
Tyler Towers
Tyler is a skilled Freelance Writer for ProGameGuides, specializing in the most popular FPS games like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and Valorant. He is also keenly interested in MOBAs and JRPGs, no matter how obscure they may be. With his Game Design degree from Sheffield Hallam University, Tyler has the expertise and knowledge to provide in-depth gaming industry coverage. When he is not knee-deep in ELO hell, he devotes his time to taking care of his beloved ragdoll cat, Ace.

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Top 10 All-time Call of Duty Zombie Maps

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