Featured image credit: Wallpaper Abyss
Battlefield series is one of the most successful and the most popular first-person shooter video games ever made. Making its debut in 2002 with Battlefield 1942, the series has delivered an impressive lineup of blockbuster games which granted it a worldwide success. Featuring more than 10 different games, the series has covered different types of military warfare – from World War II and the Vietnam War, to modern combat and even future warfare.
Given how varied its history is, we’ve decided to put some order to this mess, and list all of the games in Battlefield series in chronological order. This means we won’t list the games in their order of release, but in order which corresponds to the historical events which the games covered. If you are also a Battlefield fan and have a need to share something with us, feel free to post a comment below.
11. Battlefield 1
Setting: World War I (1914-1918) | Platform(s): PC, PS4, XBONE | Release Date: October 21, 2016
Set in the period of World War I, Battlefield 1 takes place in Europe and the Middle East. However, Battlefield 1 isn’t actually the first game in the series as its name might suggest. The “1” in its name only refers to the game’s setting, which sees the series leave modern combat in favor of a WWI themed game.
Featuring addictive multiplayer, top-notch storytelling, and smooth gameplay, Battlefield 1 is one of the most beloved games in the series. The game is also quite historically accurate. Players are allowed to revisit and experience great battles set in the Middle East (Suez Canal, Sinai Desert), France (city of Amiens, Verdun, Fort de Vaux), Belgium (Argonne Forrest, Passchendaele), Italy (Monte Grappa, river Somme), as well as tsarist Russia (Volga river, Galicia). Core gameplay experience also includes wielding legendary historical weapons, such as Mauser Geweher 98 or M1917 Enfield, as well as piloting first generation of military planes and tanks.
10. Battlefield 1942
Setting: World War II (1942) | Platform(s): PC, Mac | Release Date: September 10, 2002
Battlefield 1942 is the first game in the Battlefield series, and also one of the best the franchise has ever released. When it was released in 2002, Battlefield 1942 shook the gaming world with its incredible single-player mode featuring AI combatants, as well as advanced multiplayer mode that allowed players to compete against each other via Internet, or local area network. Even today, almost 20 years later, Battlefield 1942 offers fantastic gameplay, although it’s graphics haven’t aged pretty well.
Speaking of its setting, the game features battles that take place on several maps scattered across all of the major theaters of World War II: the Pacific, European, North African, and Asian. The most iconic ones are probably the Wake Island map, the El-Alamein map, and the Battle of the Bulge map. Battlefield 1942 also enabled players to navigate capital ships, aircraft carriers and submarines, fly various WW2 fighter planes and bombers, as well as drive tanks, jeeps, and APCs.
9. Battlefield 1943
Setting: World War II (1943) | Platform(s): PS3, X360 | Release Date: July 8, 2009
Battlefield 1943 was a console-exclusive Battlefield game that was set in the period of World War 2, and was released in July 2009. The game wasn’t a huge commercial success, partly due to the fact that it was a digital-only release (which was quite unusual for the time), and partly because it featured only four multiplayer maps: Wake Island, Iwo Jima, Coral Sea, and Guadalcanal. Despite its flaws, Battlefield 1943 was an immensely fun game to play because it featured destructible environments, and it introduced Air Superiority mode to the series.
8. Battlefield V
Setting: World War II (1940-1945) | Platform(s): PC, PS4, XBONE | Release Date: November 20, 2018
Battlefield V is the most recent installment in the Battlefield series, and one of the least historically accurate games in the series (as far as historical accuracy goes). This is one of the main reasons why the game was hated so much among series’ fans, and why it wasn’t a huge commercial success from the beginning. Despite being set in the period of World War 2, and featuring historically accurate maps, weapons, and vehicles, Battlefield V featured inaccurate amount of female soldiers fighting on the battlefield, as well as an unusual amount of African American soldiers fighting for the Third Reich. These inaccuracies sparked a lot of controversies, which condemned game’s developers for promoting historical revisionism in the name of political correctness.
But despite being historically inaccurate, the game was plagued with technical problems and bugs at launch, which further enraged players. After receiving numerous patches, the games is now finally in a playable state, however, developer officially ended support for it.
7. Battlefield Vietnam
Setting: Vietnam War (1955-1975) | Platform(s): PC | Release Date: March 14, 2004
Battlefield Vietnam was a quite strange games in Battlefield series. Compared to its predecessor, Battlefield 1942, game featured asymmetrical warfare between different military forces, as well as a wide variety of wacky vehicles, such as military scooters. The game took place during the Vietnam War, and featured plenty of maps based on historical settings, such as the Fall of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh Trail, Ia Drang Valley, and Battle of Hue. Many players also had the chance to experience listening to 1960s music while driving tanks or jeeps across the battlefields. Overall, Battlefield Vietnam delivered a unique gaming experience, but it wasn’t as successful as its iconic predecessor.
6. Battlefield 2
Setting: World War III (2007) | Platform(s): PC | Release Date: June 21, 2005
Considered by many to be one of the best online first-person shooters ever made, Battlefield 2 takes place during a fictional World War III set in 2007. United States aided by the European Union and United Kingdom are at war against Russia, while China and the fictional Middle Eastern Coalition (MEC) are also involved in a power struggle for world domination. Featuring contemporary assault rifles, various main battle tanks, APCs, helicopters, and jets, Battlefield 2 offered a wide variety of transportation methods, as well as modern weaponry. The game also introduced squads to the series, as well as the Commander mode, which allowed certain players to take command over their teams.
When it was released in 2005, Battlefield 2 was an industry-disruptive game, as it delivered VoIP communication to the masses, and was the first online game to feature maps with 64 players. The game also had the option to download a single-player AI mod, which allowed players without internet connection to play matches with bots. Despite being more than 15 years old, and its official servers being shut down by EA, a modified version of Battlefield 2 is still being played by thousands of players thanks to the group known as “Revive Network” which is upkeeping its own network of Battlefield 2 servers.
5. Battlefield 3
Setting: The War of 2014 | Platform(s): PC, PS3, X360 | Release Date: October 25, 2011
With more than 15 million copies sold, Battlefield 3 is considered to be the best-selling Battlefield game so far. Just like its spiritual predecessor, Battlefield 2, the new Battlefield 3 introduced a wide variety of gameplay mechanics which influenced numerous first-person shooters for years to come. Powered by the Frostbite engine, Battlefield 3 brought destructible environments to the online arenas, and also delivered amazing graphics to both console and PC players.
Set in 2014, Battlefield 3’s campaign tells a story about a war between multiple world’s superpowers – United States, Russia, and China – as well as terrorist groups trying to disrupt world peace. The game takes place across multiple locations, including Paris, Tehran, New York City, Wake Island, Gulf of Oman, Caucasus, Caspian Sea, as well as other parts of Persian Gulf. Its multiplayers maps also offered a wide variety of settings – from deserts and mountains, to large open fields, and densely built cities.
4. Battlefield Hardline
Setting: 2012-2015 | Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBONE | Release Date: March 17, 2015
Battlefield Hardline is a Battlefield game which nobody wished for, but was nevertheless released. Telling a story about cops and robbers, Battlefield Hardline tried to apply the well-known Battlefield formula to a non-military setting. This, however, proved to be a bad decision, since the game was a commercial failure. The game featured some impressive-looking depictions of contemporary American cities, such as Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but it never gained too much attention by hardcore fans of the series who wished for a military first-person shooter.
Battlefield Hardline is also the only game in the series which wasn’t developed by DICE, but by Visceral Games, which is now defunct. Compared to other Battlefield games, this one featured very clunky gameplay, as well as poorly designed multiplayer maps, and uninteresting game modes which couldn’t keep up with the quality of other installments in the series.
3. Battlefield 4
Setting: The War of 2020 | Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBONE | Release Date: October 29, 2013
Building upon the winning formula that Battlefield 3 invented first, Battlefield 4 was more of the same, but with certain minor upgrades. Set in 2020, Battlefield 4 tells a story of a large-scale war between People’s Republic of China and the United States. Compared to Battlefield 3, this installment introduced a wide variety of Chinese military vehicles, as well as attack and stealth jets which had different usages. Many of its multiplayer maps were set in real-world locations, such as the City of Shanghai, the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, Kharkiv, Dawodang depression, and the Kunlun mountains.
The game also introduced improved Levelution events, such as collapsible dams and skyscrapers. Unfortunately, the game was incredibly buggy at launch, and it took years for DICE to fix it up. Nowadays, Battlefield 4 still has a strong player base, and is one of the most popular Battlefield titles to date.
2. Battlefield 2042
Setting: Mid-21st century | Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, XBONE, XSX | Release Date: November 19, 2021
Battlefield 2042 is an upcoming Battlefield game planning to be released on November 19th, 2021. Although we still don’t know much about Battlefield 2042, according to some leaks, the game will be set in the year 2042 during a refugee crisis caused by a series of natural disasters. In the world of Battlefield 2042, national states are falling apart, numerous political tensions rise, and there is an ongoing global conflict between the United States and the Russian Federation.
Judging by the trailers we’ve seen so far, the game’s multiplayer maps will be set in countries such as Qatar, India, Singapore, South Korea, French Guiana, and Egypt. There will also be plenty of new weapons, gadgets, and equipment, as well as new vehicles such as hovercrafts, APCs, and VTOLs. Overall, we’re very excited about the new Battlefield game, and we hope it won’t fail meeting our expectations.
1. Battlefield 2142
Setting: 22nd century | Platform(s): PC, Mac | Release Date: October 17, 2006
And finally we have Battlefield 2142, which is the last entry on our list. Battlefield 2142 is the most futuristic installment in Battlefield series, and besides being set in the not-too-distant future, this game was also ahead of its time in terms of gameplay even by today’s standards. Set in an “ice age” period of the Earth in the 22nd century, Battlefield 2142 is all about a large-scale conflict between fictional Pan-Asian Coalition (PAC) and European Union (EU) forces which are fighting for the remaining pieces of land in North Africa and the Middle East.
Compared to other Battlefield games, this one featured lots of futuristic weapons and vehicles, such as advanced assault rifles, hover tanks, fighting mechs, and flying battleships called Titans. Despite its unique setting, and well-polished multiplayer experience, the game wasn’t very popular among series’ fans because its sci-fi elements were just too much at the time for people’s tastes.
Honorable mention – Battlefield: Bad Company 1 & 2
Setting: Beginning of 21st century | Platform(s): Multiple platforms | Release Date: June 23, 2008 (BF:BC) & March 2, 2010 (BF: BC2)
Both Battlefield: Bad Company and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 are considered to be fantastic first-person shooters, with latter being one of the most beloved Battlefield games on PC platform. The reason why we didn’t include these two games in our main list of Battlefield games in is the fact that these two games are set in an alternate universe where World War III never happened (see Battlefield 2 for more details).
Both Bad Company and Bad Company 2 take place in early 2000s and 2010s, but none of their lore ever mentions events from other Battlefield games. These two games also have the most humoristic tone of all Battlefield games, which indicates that they were never meant to reflect any serious geopolitical events and wars. Nevertheless, both of these games featured fantastic gameplay, top-notch graphics, and they both introduced dynamically destructible environments to the series, which remained one of the core features of all Battlefield games that came later.