Activision first kicked off its video game ventures in 1979 as one of the business's earliest publishers and developers. It didn't take long for the renowned and successful company to create and own some of the most crucial video game series of all time, such as Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, various Spider-Man games, and more.
The best Activision games of all time pay homage to the storied history of this often controversial publisher. Check out the best Activision games of all time ranked below, from the annual releases of the largest FPS franchise in the world to some of the most vital licensed games in history.
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Developer Treyarch mastered the Call of Duty franchise with the best game in the series and overall from Activision. It stands above almost every other FPS game in history with its exceptional campaign, near-perfect multiplayer, and wild but welcome take on Zombies.
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Infinity Ward created one of the most impactful global gaming phenomenons with the fourth mainline game in the series. It brought the FPS series to the modern age with the most robust campaign in the series and revolutionary multiplayer, still inspiring games today.
3. Spider-Man 2
Treyarch did so much more than create Black Ops games. Before all of that, it made the best Spider-Man game of all time until Insomniac Games got its hands on the series. The switch to open-world worked so well, and still feels great to play even now.
4. Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland
American Wasteland offers the single best skateboarding video game in the history of the medium. The gorgeous Southern California location and whimsical nature of its zones feel so distinct. It also improves even further upon past games in the series for skateboarding gameplay that feels like a neat mix of arcade antics and realism.
5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Activision games only published this FromSoftware-developed video game, but the studio deserves credit for helping bring this near-masterpiece action RPG to life. Many Dark Souls and Bloodborne fans see this as the pinnacle of the challenging boss battle-centric genre with its swift gameplay, and for a good reason.
Battle Royale didn’t start with Warzone, but Call of Duty came close to perfecting it. The blend of the rich and unmatched FPS gameplay from this series mixed with massive maps and 150 players in a lobby resulted in an ongoing wave across the gaming industry–a major innovation from Activision games.
7. Guitar Hero 2
This musical guitar game kickstarted an entire revolution in gaming for many years. Everything from the way players play the guitar controllers to the unforgettable song selection makes this one of the best, if not the best, rhythm video games of all time.
8. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
This action RPG takes cues from the X-Men Legends games and expands it to the entire Marvel pantheon. This results in an even more refined experience, with each superhero having unique powers, offering something for everyone.
9. Crash Bandicoot 4
Developer Toys for Bob took the reins of this 3D platforming series and proved it deserved another chance many years later. In fact, this game features the most impressive and thrilling gameplay in the series. It somehow ranks as the best game in the franchise.
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
The jetpack era of Call of Duty feels a bit more loved these days, many years after the games came out. The golden child of that time period remains Black Ops 3, which followed up quite well after its masterpiece predecessor. The jetpack gameplay feels the strongest here, with each multiplayer map and mode matching it well.
11. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
This trilogy breathes new life into the little purple dragon Spyro. It brings together the first three titles, which offer even more expansive and intriguing gameplay than Crash. Players explore significant levels and worlds full of interesting characters and helpful upgrades alongside a gorgeous new coat of paint for the modern age.
12. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
It all started here with this monumental skateboarding title. It represents the best of the five core titles from Tony Hawk and Activision games, and it laid the foundation for every other skateboarding title in the future. It aged quite well, too, making it feel better to play than even most modern sports games.
13. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Few good Transformers video games exist, but this title and its predecessor from High Moon Studios nail the idea. Players take the role of various Transformers as they experience the end of their world through engaging action combat.
14. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2
This open-world sequel takes the wackiness of the skateboarding original and amps it up a notch with all of its brilliant content. The gameplay experienced a genuine improvement here, making later games much more distinct and thrilling to play.
15. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
This collection brings together the first three Crash games for modern systems. It has some nice graphical updates and quality-of-life features, which make some of the older 3D platforming adventures feel much more enjoyable to play.
16. Ultimate Spider-Man
Activision released quite a few Spider-Man games during its time in charge, but this game and its predecessor remain the only ones worthy of competing with Insomniac Games’ titles. The gorgeous comic book art style needs to come back at some point, while the ability to switch between Peter and Venom feels fantastic.
17. X-Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse
The original action RPG already impressed with its rendition of the Marvel mutants, but the sequel blows it up to a new level. More characters, a deeper storyline, and gameplay refinements make it one of the most underrated RPGs of the 21st century.
18. Crash Team Racing
Mario Kart, step aside because Crash Team Racing gives it a run for its money. The characters feel less impactful, but the driving gameplay and tracks remain impeccable. This feels like the best and closest clone to Nintendo’s own arcade racing series.
19. Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock
The third entry in the musical guitar game series expands everything to a whole new level. It may not have the utmost nostalgia and popularity of the previous title, but it contains some solid improvements and a song list that rivals its predecessor.
20. True Crime: Streets of LA
Many players considered this a Grand Theft Auto clone when it first released. That assessment feels pretty accurate, as it depicts an open-world recreation of Los Angeles with a surprising and rich storyline. Its gameplay doesn’t quite reach Rockstar Games-level heights, but it doesn’t need to.
21. Pitfall 2
This classic arcade series put Activision games on the map early in history. The second game represents the finest of the adventure games. Players embark on a journey through various levels, complete with challenging obstacles and traps to deal with. It feels like the original Indiana Jones-inspired game series.
22. Prototype 2
Activision stands out as one of the best gaming publishers for superhero games (at least in the past). Still, it once created its standalone superhero franchise with Prototype. The sequel improved the original open-world game with its content, powers, and enemies.
Copywriter, experienced editor, website creator, PR associate, consultant
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Experience: Cody Perez started his career as a journalist and creative writer in the tech and gaming spaces in 2011 while in the middle of high school. Since then, he has produced thousands of high-quality, researched articles for some of the largest entertainment websites in the world, including IGN, Destructoid, Siliconera, Digital Trends, DotEsports, and many more. He also was the lead editor at GameRevolution, growing the site to reach its consistent, historical peak of 8 million MUV the entire time he worked there. Cody also helped launch various successful sites, such as VGR (2 million MUV in a year), POKUniverse, and RPGInformer.
Cody brings together his passion for tech and gaming to his work life, so he can enjoy his hobbies nearly 24/7. He has now taken his expertise and experience with subjects like gaming and Pokémon to Wealth of Geeks, where he is often found creating new lists and reviews, or editing older content to bring it up to the company standard.