The Battlefield games ranked

Battlefield Guy

Which Battlefield is the best field for battle? As always, I take the act of ranking things very seriously. We must know which games are better than which other games, because if we don't rigorously classify and sort everything in our world, we invite chaos. To that end, I created a survey to determine which game in the Battlefield series is the best, and which is the worst.

I left out some games. You won't find any Battlefields that didn't release on PC here, which includes Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, Battlefield: Bad Company, and Battlefield 1943. I also left out free-to-play iterations to simplify things, so no Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Online, or Battlefield Play4Free—just the 'main series,' if you want to call it that. A little over 18% of respondents were upset that I excluded these games, but they're probably over it by now.

Which Battlefield game is the best?

the results

Best battlefield game

The best Battlefield game, according to 231 of over 800 respondents is Battlefield: Bad Company 2. As I've explained in previous surveys, when you poll people you create a fact. Congratulations! We have produced an shining, unassailable fact that cannot be disputed ever. Please get Wikipedia on the line.

Seriously though, you guys like Bad Company 2 a lot. Only 22 people said it was the worst Battlefield. It's the simplicity and map design that does it for Connorwarman. "In more recent Battlefield titles there has been 30 different unlocks for every weapon, class, vehicle, etc. It takes a while to unlock the best gear. BC2 didn't have any of that nonsense," wrote Connor the Warman. He went on to say that BF3 and BF4's maps "just... suck IMO."

Bad Company 2

The map design and destructability came up a lot, and for a few people it was their first Battlefield game. My first Battlefield game was the Battlefield 1942 demo, and I think that's the best one. Oh well.

"Bad Company 2 was the single best in the Battlefield series for several reasons," wrote respondent Smakfact0r. "BC2 was originally known for its revolutionary 'levolution' implemented into the the game where building destruction became commonplace in the game. In addition to the 'levolution' introduced into the game you also had great hit detection, well balanced maps for rush, a server browser not reliant on a web browser, and no Origin launcher used to load the game. The game just worked and I played over a thousand hours of Bad Company 2 as a result."

Here's a fun fact, by creating the word 'levolution,' Electronic Arts is guilty of sixteen crimes. When will the government stop them?

Which Battlefield game is the worst?

the results

Worst battlefield game

The worst Battlefield game, according to respondents, is Battlefield: Hardline. When I ranked the Call of Duty games, Ghosts and Advanced Warfare sat at the bottom, suggesting that newer games don't fare well. Maybe they're just fresher in our minds, viewed through regular, clear glasses with no fond memories of our introduction to the series. Or maybe new things are just bad.

Well, you guys don't like Hardline, for sure. 55.7% said it was the worst Battlefield. I thought some of the modes were pretty fun—Hotwire, mainly—but the modern day cops and robbers deal just didn't do it for my loyal survey-takers. I thought it was weird, too.

It'll be OK, buddy.

It'll be OK, buddy.

Quite a few people said that Hardline was actually fine, but still the worst of the series. "So much potential wasted," wrote Peterowsky. "By all means, it's a good shooter with awesome gameplay. However, it feels too military to consider the theme viable. I love it, I love interrogations, tasers, money grabbing... but whenever I jump off of a building and use a parachute, or hit a heli with a stinger, I think 'Doesn't feel like law enforcement'"

Others were less charitable, with many saying something along the lines of "it's just not Battlefield" or accusing it of being DLC for BF4.

"WOOP, WOOP! IT'S THE SOUND OF TH- of me hitting Alt+F4 and booting up 2142," wrote Dan Edwards. That's not how that song goes, Dan, and you know it.

What about the other Battlefield games?

Here's how my simplistic algorithm sorted the games:

  1. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  2. Battlefield 2
  3. Battlefield 3
  4. Battlefield 1942
  5. Battlefield Vietnam
  6. Battlefield 2142
  7. Battlefield 4
  8. Battlefield: Hardline

Battlefield 2, as expected, was very popular. There was appreciation for its mod support, maps and classes. "The purest form of the series' design that actually works as the devs intended," wrote protato about BF2, citing teamwork rewards and "the lack of microgamed unlocks."

"The mix of squad-based combat, diverse classes and command/grunt roles was super solid," wrote Chris Orris, "and they tuned the maps to be juuust the right size to make battles action-packed but still realistic. (That is, movements felt like real troop movements instead of waves of ridiculous respawns.)"


Battlefield 2142, I thought, got surprisingly little love. I wasn't a big fan of it, but I could've sworn that every time I mentioned Battlefield someone shouted "2142" at me. The original, Battlefield 1942, saw a little more affection. It's still my favorite. I mean... Battleships. Destroyers. Come on. Submarines. Standing on airplane wings. World War II. It's the best.

Other results

Even though Battlefield 1942 didn't win big in the poll, 27.6% of respondents still want to go back to World War II. Present day and near future settings, however, are the most popular, with 48% saying that's their favorite time to do battle. Predictably, being a modern day police officer was the least popular. Vietnam managed 13.3% of the vote, and the distant future earned 9.5% of the love.

The most popular vehicles to drive are tanks, attack helicopters, basic transport vehicles (like Jeeps), and APCs. Personally, I prefer the transport helicopters. Think of me like an Uber you get to shoot guns out of.

Favorite Vehicles

The favorite class is Assault, followed by Engineer and Medic (the pre-Battlefield 3 class which was rolled into Assault). The Scout/Recon/Sniper classes are the third most popular, followed by Support/Anti-Tank classes, and the Battlefield 2 Special Forces class.

What do you want from the next Battlefield game?

campaign or no campaign?


Is it important to you that Battlefield games have campaigns? I thought this question would be a landslide of "no"s, but not so: 38.3% said they want campaigns. I also asked respondents to further explain what they want from the next Battlefield game, assuming the technical stuff like netcode is all aced. Several said "good netcode" anyway.

The setting was the most common concern, though. Some said it shouldn't be futuristic, some said it should, and others said it should be a WWII game. At least one person said Vietnam. So, we can't decide.

"1942 redone in the Frostbite engine, complete with battleships, subs and aircraft carriers," wrote Nom4d3. "No heat seekers, no auto lock-on, just skill, fun and the banter when you're ramming-speed the battleship into the aircraft carrier taking out the spawns and winning the match."

Battlefield 1943 was coming to PC at one point.

Battlefield 1943 was coming to PC at one point.

Other responses were about teamwork and unlocks. "Proper squad cohesion, Squad Leader mechanics (ordering, map markers, etc). Commander, and in-game commander assets that need to be protected," wrote Spush. "A more simple and straight to the point game, with less useless gadgets and gimmicks to the gameplay," said HylianGaming. "The feeling that everyone has a job in the match. People flying jets/planes, the commander ordering the troops, the foot soldiers carrying out the tasks, and the tanks crew for the support," wrote Boxcar Steve.

Modding, of course, was also on your minds. "If you truly want to bring the community into the mix, bring back modding," wrote Kyle (aka Bucky). "Extend the life of your game and stick with continued development of your game instead of moving onto your next project. The community wants to play a great game for years instead of losing the majority of your fan base to the next game in series (i.e Battlefield 4 to Battlefield Hardline)."

By the way, do you want to try to capture and hold a point?

Capture A Point V3

I've played enough Battlefield to know that only 6.2% of people told the truth here.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.