Top World War Shooting Games Ever (inc PC, Mac, Playstation and Xbox)

Please note:  As with any all-time list of great games we feel it’s not good enough to just give you the best of the bunch without wherever possible pointing you to places where you can still download or order a copy of the game to play.

Therefore we provide all visitors with global platforms to download some of the games through and for UK and US visitors with places to order a hard copy from.

We’ve also given a compatibility guide of such games concerning various gaming consoles and machines, whether that’s PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo. Happy reading!

1. Battlefield 1943

Battlefield 1943 Game

Available for: Xbox Arcade, Playstation Network on PS3 and PS4

Where is Battlefield 1943 for PC Windows? Unfortunately the game developers in charge of porting Battlefield 1943 to PC decide to cancel the port and move on to developing Battlefield 3 leaving the game only available on the Xbox Arcade Live and Playstation Network.

Released: 10.09.2002

Rating: 4.65/5

This spinoff to the Battlefield series focuses entirely on its’ online multiplayer mode –taking away all the single-player components of the other games in the series. 1943 sports quite a massive upgrade in terms of visuals and gameplay mechanics compared to the original as it was released a good seven years after the launch of BF1942.

As an online only game, Battlefield 1943 was pretty popular among FPS fans on the consoles and has gained a very strong and active playing community. Those who have played the original Battlefield games will also appreciate the references to  1942 (most particularly with the stages that are made available. The gameplay has been streamlined; classes have been reduced to only three options (infantry, rifleman, scout), and there is a much larger emphasis on the use of vehicles in combat.

Download at Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox Consoles. To order and download on Playstation 3 and 4 access the Online Store through your PS Console.

Compatibility:

For Xbox: Compatible with Xbox 360 but not later.

For Playstation: Compatible with PS3 but not later.

2. Battlefield 1942

Battlefield 1942 Game

Available for: No longer available.

The main multiplayer mode that made the game truly a great war shooting game has now been closed by EA leaving only the single player mode possible which is far inferior.

Released: 10.09.2002

Rating: 4.65/5

The iconic battlefield series started here, with the first iteration Battlefield 1942 (or as most of the players used to call it, BF1942). This first person shooter was a massive breakthrough of its time as it showed the notion of war from a very different perspective: that everyone is pretty much disposable. Much like other FPS games, players had health and armor and could use a variety of tactics in order to stay alive. But for the most part, players die and they instantly respawn as a completely new character.

While many would admit that there was a certain disconnect over the fact that you could not play as the same person from the start of the game until its’ end, it also showcased a new perspective that many other games often neglect: that many people actually die in a war, no matter how skilled they are.

Aside from its’ unique psychological and sociological perspective on war, Battlefields’ die-spawn-repeat style of gaming also allowed players to adapt new strategies for playing. And with the game no focused less on gaining kills and more on capturing waypoints, the approach to combat has become quite different as well –less focus on individual kills and more about doing actions that have more long-term effects (such as weakening the defensive strength of an enemy outpost instead of just randomly killing targets).

Players also got to choose (with each respawn) a player class that would determine what their character’s initial skills and capabilities are. These choices not only made for a very exciting game, but also helped reshape the way players approached combat. Some “lives” would be sacrificed to scout out enemy locations or for performing class-specific tasks before moving on to another class for another purpose –all while balancing the amount of units the current side has. This unique game mode has made Battlefield 1942 quite a success, spawning several sequels that would go beyond the military theme (such as the Star Wars Battlefront series, to Battlefield Hardline which is more about battles between law enforcement and criminal groups).

3. Call of Duty and the United Offensive Expansion Pack

Call of Duty Game

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X

Released: 29.11.2003

Rating: 4.5/5

Call of Duty places players in the shoes of three different protagonists as they deliver a converging narrative about the war. The game presents the American, British, and Russian fronts as players experience World War 2 from critical and dynamic focal points. This gave the game a strong storytelling approach aside from its’ impressive gameplay mechanics.

This FPs game revolutionized the industry by setting new standards on gameplay. For one, the weapon loadout has been greatly limited, forcing players to carry only a maximum of three firearms (two guns and a sidearm); this would later be limited even further to just two guns in later CoD titles. Grenades are also limited in quantity as well. This limitation on weapons forced players to rely more on skill and accuracy over using overwhelming firepower in order to win against enemy emplacements. To help make things better, Call of Duty also introduced the use of sights in order to provide players with a more efficient and accurate way to fire. Manually aiming sacrificed mobility and spatial awareness for an incredible increase in accuracy.

While the game’s single player mode is impressive, the already good multiplayer experience was further enhanced with the United Offensive expansion pack. This provided players with plenty of new multiplayer content and game mechanics which included new combat modes, vehicles, and a ranking system. United Offensive also added to the story mode by introducing all new characters complete with their own storylines.

Order Deluxe Edition in US for Windows

Order Deluxe Edition in UK for Windows

(Deluxe Edition is both the original COD and expansion)

Download Call of Duty World War 2 Bundle Pack for Windows at Steam including: Call of Duty, Call of Duty United Offensive, Call of Duty World at War and Call of Duty 2.

Or Download Call of Duty and United Offensive Expansion Pack for Windows at Steam individually.

Download Game for Mac at iTunes.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 98/ME/2000/XP. Not guaranteed to work on Vista, 7 and 8 but could, check latest Steam user reviews.

For Mac: Compatible with OS X 10.6.6 or later.

4. Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Game

Available for: Xbox Live, Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 2

Released: 01.05.2005

Rating: 4.5/5

Gearbox has a ton of great titles under its’ belt, but if you want to see how they truly deliver a story, the best example we can think of is Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30. Sure, this is a mouthful of a title and a game that’s well over half a decade old. But it is easy to get past the simplistic 3D models, and bare-bones game mechanics when you slowly get immersed in the game’s involving storyline.

In this game, players find themselves as part of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, an advanced squad of soldiers sent behind enemy lines in preparation for a full scale invasion. However, things start going off track as soon as the mission starts. As a misdrop pushes the while squad well outside their estimated starting point, the player must find a way to recuperate the amount of lost time and still fulfill their original mission objectives.

The premise of Road to Hill 30 puts players at a distinct disadvantage. Weapons and ammunition are initially very limited (and for the rest of the game, availability of these are reliant on what you can grab from the enemies). And there is a lot more emphasis on playing smart than shooting skillfully. The title takes its’ name on the mission’s final focus point: Hill 30, where players have approximately seven days to reach from the start of the game (fortunately, time in-game progresses with the story events, not actual time spent playing).

Download Game for Windows at Steam.

Order Game in US for Xbox, Playstation 2.

Order Game in UK for Xbox.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 98/ME/2000/XP. Not guaranteed to work on Vista, 7 and 8 but could, check latest Steam user reviews.

For Mac: Compatible with OS X 10.6.6 or later.

For Xbox: Compatible with first Xbox console but not later.

For Playstation: Compatible with PS2 but not later.

5. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

Available for: Microsoft Windows

Released: 22.01.2002

Rating: 4.5/5

The Medal of Honor game series is pretty well known among FPS and war-themed gaming fans. But for those who also love movies, Allied Assault is also known for one other aspect: that it mirrors the film Saving Private Ryan quite a lot. Much of the game’s missions places the player character in battles that were in the film –the only difference is that the game does not have you searching for a specific character at all. Of course, considering how iconic the film is to world war aficionados, it is not surprising at all that the developers of Allied Assault would be heavily inspired by it.

The music for the game is quite outstanding, and this is mostly in part to the fact that Michael Giacchino wrote the game’s incredibly moving score. Normally, an FPS game would have a player so caught up in the action that it would be hard to notice the music. Medal of Honor, on the other hand, had a score that seemed to move so organically with the delivery of the story that one cannot help but notice it.

The game makes use of the Quake III Arena engine, giving the gameplay dynamics a very solid foundation (and a pretty good multiplayer mode too). The game would later be expanded upon with two expansion packs and later re-released in several compilations over the years since it was released.

Luckily GOG have released Medal of Honor Allied Assault on their site and stated that it is compatible with Windows Vista, 7 and 8.

Download the Game for PC Windows at Gog.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with XP/Vista/7/8.

6. Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Available for: Microsoft Windows

Released: 19.11.2001

Rating: 4.4/5

This 2001 remake of the classic first person shooter Wolfenstein 3D was received by many old school gamers with much acclaim. After all, it was a testament as to how much the original game shaped the successful FPS genre that it is today. Of course, Return has its’ own share of innovations and (relatively speaking) modern upgrades. Actual 3D visuals no replaced the sprite-mapped walls and real time lighting, shadow, and particle effects brought new life to the game.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a much darker game than the original. The original game’s brightly colored sprites has its’ dark and shady parts, but these still looked quite cartoonish and artificial. This reboot on the other hand, uses a very dark palette and a much darker lighting technique. The story for both games is generally the same: you are an allied solider who has been captured by some bizarre division of Nazi soldiers who are doings some very occult-y things to achieve some supernatural goals. Your mission is to break out of captivity and to kill them all. For an FPS title, that kind of plot is as iconic as one can get, and the game delivers it quite nicely.

The game mechanics have also been improved vastly. Taking into account the many innovations that other games have introduced to the genre; one of our favorites is the various classes available in the game’s multiplayer mode. By having players play different roles in the team, the chances of winning a matched was based more on how well players can work together as a team as opposed to individual strengths.

Download the Game for PC Windows at Steam.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 2000/XP. Not guaranteed to work on Vista, 7 and 8 but could, check latest Steam user reviews.

7. Call of Duty 2

Call of Duty 2

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X

Released: 25.10.2005

Rating: 4.3/5

Innovation was the big change that Infinity Ward brought with the first Call of Duty game. The sequel, Call of Duty 2, is all about polishing the cool new things they brought. The weapon load out, player health, enemy AI, and many other aspects of this FPS game showcases many of what is currently considered as benchmarks or staples of the genre. And in that regard, it goes to show how much of an impact the first two Call of Duty games had on the industry. As a sequel, CoD2 mirrors much of the original game’s overall mechanics while adding a definitive polish that sets the pace for all the games that would later be added to the series.

Story wise, the game takes players on a multi-faceted narrative that places them in three very different fronts: the Soviet, British, and American campaigns. From Stalingrad, to Tunisia, to Bergstein, and more, players get to engage the Axis forces on multiple fronts, and is able to experience various skirmishes and battles of World War 2 from a first person perspective.

Improving the gameplay are further tweaks to the use of iron sights, which was introduced in the first game. Binoculars are also made important in many parts of the game where long range combat required players to scout out targets for tank artillery. The weapon loadout has been further streamlined to just one main firearm and one sidearm (and a few grenades).

The multiplayer side of CoD2 has seen a great number of improvements over the original. But most specifically with the introduction of the Radiant map editor; this add-on may be pretty complicated, but it allowed players to create and modify both single and multiplayer maps, further enhancing the gaming experience by being able to fully customize the gameplay experience.

Download the Game for PC Windows and Mac at Steam

Download the Game for Xbox 360 at Xbox Arcade Live

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 2000/XP. Not guaranteed to work on Vista, 7 and 8 but could, check latest Steam user reviews.

For Mac: This game is compatible with OS X 10.7.5 or later.

8. Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45

Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Released: 25.10.2005

Rating: 4.25/5

Realism in gaming is one of the hardest things to balance, and with the use of HUDs, crosshairs/reticules, and an assortment of other in-game only aids, virtual battles are more streamlined and a lot less difficult. Then there’s Red Orchestra, this Unreal engine based game takes out all the digital conveniences and niceties and forces players to go about battlefields with the exact same limitations as real life soldiers –with the massive disadvantage of having only a monitor for sight, speakers for sounds, and the keyboard and mouse for controls.

Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 requires players to pay close attention to the game. You can aim more accurately by supporting/deploying your machinegun on the stage environment. Movement incorporates complex actions such as lying down, crawling, crouching, sprinting, and other similar feats. Best of all, the gunplay mechanics have taken away all the little doodads of other FPS titles. Aiming is done strictly with a firearm’s actual sights, and the game calculates for the player’s (digital) breathing, the air speed and direction, and for really long shots, ballistic trajectory that accounts for bullet drop.

This game is about as real as it gets to handling actual guns in a firefight. Ammunition count must be done manually, in your head as you shoot. There are no onscreen prompts telling you how many clips you have left. The same goes for health and armor (though there is an onscreen visual indicating which parts of your body have been hit –which makes sense since there is no way for that to be depicted realistically). Even the game’s vehicle combat mode takes into account the physical armor, and the shot’s penetration and deflection properties.

Ostfront 41-45 is actually the multiplayer heavy part of the game (with the single player mode mostly focused in Red Orchestra: Combined Arms), so it makes for a very thrilling experience to play this game as the tougher play mechanics makes for some very edge-of-your seat matches.

Download the Game for PC Windows, Mac and Linux at Steam.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with XP. Not guaranteed to work on Vista, 7 and 8 but could, check latest Steam user reviews.

For Mac: This game is compatible with OS X 10.6.6 or later.

For Linux: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or above.

9. Brothers in Arms 2: Earned in Blood

Brothers in Arms 2: Earned in Blood

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Mac OS X, Playstation 2

Released: 06.10.2005

Rating: 4.2/5

Earned in Blood is a sequel in name only –while the game was indeed released after the first one and has a few improvements, this is actually an extension of the original game. Players get to take on the role of an all new character whose storyline runs parallel to the events of Road to Hill 30, which means that those who have played the first game will be familiar with some of the settings, events, and yes, even enjoy the fact that they get to run into the original protagonist later in the story.

Visually, the game sports much of the same environments and textures as the original game, and most of its’ improvements are not all that exceptionally notable (and retroactively speaking, they really do not look that far apart). But while the lack of improvement is seen by many critics as a bad thing, Gearbox made a pretty clever move here. The Brothers in Arms series is all about the narrative delivery, and providing players with a consistent world actually helps in the immersive quality of it. Speaking of narrative, the game’s cutscenes and dialogues are downright exceptional, providing players with a good grasp of the identities and personalities of each character in the game.

Gameplay wise, the game goes back to its’ original formula of small-scale tactical skirmishes. The game’s bird’s eye view mode still proves as important as it is in the original, requiring players to carefully scout enemy locations and employ various strategies such as flanking and ambushing. Carefully planning attacks may be a little slow paced for some, but the feel of actually pulling off maneuvers as you order commands to your team feels quite satisfying when you complete the mission objectives.

Download the Game for Windows at Steam.

Download the Game for Mac at the iTunes.

Order Game in the US for Xbox and Playstation 2.

Order Game in the UK for Playstation 2.

Order the Game in UK for Xbox.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 2000/XP. Not guaranteed to work on Vista, 7 and 8 but could.

For Mac: This game is compatible with OS X 10.6.6 or later.

10. Day of Defeat: Source

Day of Defeat: Source

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Released: 26.09.2005

Rating: 4.2/5

This updated version of Day of Defeat makes use of the Source engine (hence the title), and is one of the technically difficult FPS titles of its’ time. The only way to play this game is online and in teams –with players being part of the Allied American forces or being part of the German Wehrmacht. Most of the maps in the game reflect scenarios of actual battles while a few are completely made-up skirmishes.

Day of Defeat takes a cue from Red Orchestra with its’ emphasis on realistic usage of weapons. It is extremely easy to die in this game, as each bullet wound is considered to be as devastating as they would be in real life. Also, most of the weapons here have limitations that reflect their actual usage (rocket launchers practically render users immobile when being aimed, machine guns have ridiculously low accuracy and are burdensome to deploy and reload) which makes combat a matter of both strategy and skill.

Download the Game for Windows, Mac OS X & Linux at Steam.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Site lists minimum compatibility of Windows XP. Therefore this game is likely to work on Windows Vista, 7 and 8. However Steam or developer makes no assertion that other Windows versions will work, please check latest Steam user comments.

For Mac: This game is compatible with OS X 10.6.3 or later.

For Linux: Ubuntu 12.04 or later.

11. Call of Duty World at War

Call of Duty World at War

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows Mobile, Xbox 360

Released: 11.11.2008

Rating: 4.15/5

Released all the way back in 2008, Treyarch’s return to the World War 2 era of genre FPS gaming made quite a splash for the playing community. While the game was pretty much full of impressive graphical details and gameplay innovations, the thing that truly stood out was the special zombie stages that allowed players to cooperative play and try to survive against endless waves of the undead. This zombie mode became so well loved that it would later appear in Black Ops and Black Ops II (as well spawning a ton of other games –the browser-based flash gaming hit series of SAS Zombie Assault traces its roots here as well).

Of course, World at War was hit regardless of the Nazi Zombie mode; despite having a familiar setting, the developers made the clever choice to select battles that were not usually focused on by other WWII games (none of that all too familiar Normandy/D-Day battles this time). One thing of particular note was the way the enemy AI was designed. Fighting against the Japanese feels quite different from being in the Russian front. The Japanese soldiers were designed to be masters at ambushing, made use of clever traps, and would charge ferociously towards the player using their bayonets. This was a stark contrast compared to the more trigger-happy (yet emotionally heavy) approach of the stages set in eastern Europe.

Download Game for PC Windows at Steam.

Order Game in the US or Order in the UK for Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii and PS2.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with XP/Vista/7. Not guaranteed to work on Windows 8 but could.

For Xbox: Compatible with Xbox 360 but not Xbox One.

For Playstation: Compatible with PS3 but not PS4.

12. Hidden and Dangerous 2

Hidden and Dangerous 2

Available for: Microsoft Windows

Released: 21.10.2003

Rating: 4.15/5

Going back into the stealth based combat mechanics of the original, Hidden and Dangerous 2 decides to make things a little more in-depth by introducing character stats for players. This means that as you progress in the game, you get to build your skills and capabilities. While this is interesting, the builds available tend to be pretty non-dynamic, and most of the time, players will just want to chunk a ton of points on the shooting skill over anything else (and never the lockpicking skill since it hardly ever gets used).

Also, you also decide what weapons and equipment the loadout will have so it is not always necessary to be armed to the teeth with guns. Having other provisions will also prove useful (such as the compass, which, despite not being a default item, should always be part of your gear). The combat itself is easy enough to negotiate, and with a high enough skill level on shooting, you can pretty much equip any gun regardless of your character class.

Order Game in the US or Order in the UK for PC Windows.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with XP. Not guaranteed to work on Windows Vista, 7 or 8 but could.

13. Deadly Dozen: Pacific Theater

Deadly Dozen: Pacific Theater

Available for: Microsoft Windows

Released: 31.10.2002

Rating: 4.05/5

One of the early problems of games from the older generations of gaming was that they had access to very limited hardware resources. This means that despite having a full crew of twelve people, the Deadly Dozen can only afford you a squad of four people at any given time. But there’s more to this game than just a semantic technicality. It is a pretty wide-ranged view on the Pacific War that takes players on multiple locations fulfilling your all-too expected military type objectives. Story-wise, there is not much of an over plot outside of what is already known in history books (which is sad, since the game has such a great narrative potential).

Order Game in the US for PC Windows.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 98, Me, 2000 and XP. Not guaranteed to work on Windows Vista, 7 or 8 but could.

14. Medal of Honor: Airborne

Medal of Honor: Airborne

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Playstation 3

Released: 04.09.2007

Rating: 4.0/5

This installment of the Medal of Honor series is undoubtedly one of our favorites. And most of it comes from the way the game starts: you jump out of the plane and actually determine where you land in the battlefield. Landing in good locations means that you can get pretty good vantage points (and if the game did not respawn enemies, this would have been a very cheap way of clearing out obstacles ahead of time). Anyway, the missions are structured in a non-linear way, allowing players to carefully decide on how they plan to play the game. Also, this mechanic makes starting over from the beginning a little more enticing. Of course, the game does have its’ flaws. Most of the missions feel unstructured and messy –since level design is hampered by the drop-in mechanic. Still, the game still delivers that solid gameplay and combat mechanics that the series is known for. And that makes this is one of the most fun Medal of Honor titles.

Download Game for PC Windows at Steam.

Order Game in the US or Order Game in UK for Xbox 360 and PS3.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with XP and Vista 32 bit. Not guaranteed to work on Windows Vista 64 bit, 7 or 8 but could.

For Xbox: Compatible with Xbox 360 but not Xbox One.

For Playstation: Compatible with PS3 but not PS4.

15. Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault

Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault

Available for: Microsoft Windows

Released: 11.04.2004

Rating: 4.0/5

EA’s Medal of Honor series takes on the less taken path in terms of World War era gaming: the pacific theater of operations. Pacific Assault lives up to its name as players are put into the shoes of American marine Pvt. Thomas Conlin. The missions are mostly your standards FPS fare: get to a waypoint, kill enemies along the way. The game is nicely paced, though the obligatory tutorial section is a little too slow, everything else moves along quite nicely. Despite being an FPS, this game is mostly narrative driven. As such, most of the actual combat action tends to feel a lot technical and methodological (you do get to spend one stage flying a plane though). The combat is nice, but hardly satisfying –consider this a game for World War aficionados looking for something to fully round up a collective gaming experience of the era.

Order Game in the US or Order Game in UK for PC Windows.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 98/ME/2000/XP. Not guaranteed to work on Windows Vista, 7 or 8 but could.

16. Hidden and Dangerous

Hidden and Dangerous

Available for: Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast, Playstation

Released: 29.07.1999

Rating: 4.0/5

Hidden and Dangerous provides players with a unique way of playing a WWII-themed action game: instead of shooting up everything you see, you have to carefully, hide, plan, and ambush your overwhelmingly large volume enemies into defeat. Stealth plays a key role in this game as well as careful and tactical use of squad commands.

While the game is indeed dated, it is plenty of fun to play as its mechanics is nothing short of clever. Despite the limited number of commands you can give, the team does well to follow and support your character (or whatever it is you ordered them to do), and this makes executing surgical strikes quite satisfying to behold.

Order Game in the US or Order Game in UK for PC Windows.

Compatibility:

For Windows: Compatible with 95/98. Not guaranteed to work on Windows 2000,XP,Vista, 7 or 8 but could.