The Battlefield series has been on quite the journey. In preparation for Battlefield 2042, here’s every major entry in the series in order of release
Releasing on November 19, 2021, on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Battlefield 2042 returns in what is best described as post-modern warfare. But how did we get here? The Battlefield series has evolved significantly over the years. While some games have used major world conflicts like the First and Second World Wars, others have taken a more modern or futuristic approach.
Ahead of our visit to the near future, here’s every mainline Battlefield entry in order of release.
- Battlefield 1942
- Battlefield Vietnam
- Battlefield 2
- Battlefield 2 Modern Combat
- Battlefield 2142
- Battlefield Bad Company
- Battlefield 1943
- Battlefield Bad Company 2
- Battlefield 3
- Battlefield 4
- Battlefield Hardline
- Battlefield 1
- Battlefield V
Below, we’ve listed every major Battlefield release since the very beginning. However, we’ve omitted the various free-to-play games, as most of these just reused the assets from the major entries. We’ve also not included the many expansion packs, as if we had, you’d still be reading this list by the time Battlefield 7 arrives.
Battlefield 1942 arrived in 2002 and was the game that started it all. This World War Two-themed shooter emphasized multiplayer and opened a world of possibilities. Its popularity did not go unnoticed, as one year later, Activision released the original Call of Duty. This set the scene for a rivalry that is still ongoing nearly twenty years later – despite Call of Duty originally being intended as a “Medal of Honor” killer.
Releasing in 2004, Battlefield Vietnam was not a full sequel, but it was much more than a stand-alone expansion. Leaving World War Two for Vietnam, the game’s combat was more modern and faster-paced, despite being set during a conflict that ended decades ago. While the game doesn’t hold up brilliantly today, it still managed to show off some of the more harrowing aspects of the conflict.
Battlefield 2 is where the series started to refine itself and began morphing into the franchise we know today. Releasing in 2005 on PC, Battlefield 2 was set during a fictional conflict that pitted the United States and European powers against China and the Middle East.
Offering the same large-scale conflicts of its predecessors but transporting things to a contemporary setting, it added attack helicopters and more more to the franchise.
Also released in 2005 was Battlefield 2 Modern Combat, marking the series’ transition to consoles. While the game largely reused the assets from the PC version of Battlefield 2, it actually told a different story but was set within that same conflict. The best version of the game was released on Xbox 360 and paved the way for subsequent console entries.
Releasing in 2006, Battlefield 2142 was the series’ first foray into futuristic warfare. The game was set during a conflict between a militarized EU vs a Pan Asian Coalition, not unlike what was seen in Battlefield 2. Oh, and this all took place during an ice age after climate change plunged the world into chaos. Battlefield 2142 was the most ambitious game in the series so far, but sadly released at a time when only PCs could handle it.
Bad Company was the first-ever console-only Battlefield game and was very different from what had come before. Releasing in 2008 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the game told a much more personal story while it followed a group of misfit soldiers in their hunt for treasure.
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For the first time in the Battlefield series, the game offered a poignant, exciting, and often funny single-player campaign with memorable characters. However, Bad Company also brought the series’ celebrated multiplayer to consoles, offering a much more substantial experience than Battlefield 2 Modern Combat.
In 2009, DICE created a sequel to Battlefield 1942 but only released it on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game didn’t feature a single-player campaign, but it was nice to see a more modern version of Battlefield 1942 finally arrive on consoles. While Battlefield 1943 was a completely new game, it captured much of what made its predecessor so thrilling.
After the success of the original Bad Company, a sequel followed in 2010. This expanded on the original in every way, telling another thrilling single-player story and refining Battlefield’s multiplayer even further. The game was also released on PC as well as consoles, unlike the first entry.
Battlefield 3 was the first game to truly marry the series’ addictive multiplayer with a hard-hitting single-player campaign. It also represented a new beginning for the Battlefield franchise. In many ways, Battlefield 3 combined everything that worked well from the PC entries with the newer style offered by the Bad Company games.
Releasing in 2011, on PC and consoles, Battlefield 3 was also now competing against a well-established Call of Duty series. The game borrowed from its rival, telling a story of modern warfare. In doing so, Battlefield 3 found a formula that the series still uses today. It also showed what the Frostbite 2.0 engine could really do when it came to destructive environments.
Battlefield 4 took the baton from 3 and ran with it. The game was the first entry to arrive on PS4, Xbox One, and PC at the same time and in 2013, Battlefield had never looked so good – despite plenty of issues at launch.
While the Call of Duty series was branching into sci-fi entries, each zanier than the last, Battlefield 4 delivered a tight, gritty, realistic war sim set during modern day.
Many console players, fatigued with COD, discovered Battlefield for the first time with Battlefield 4, giving them an alternative. The game’s single-player mode was short and sweet, but its multiplayer mode arguably delivered the best online Battlefield experience yet.
In 2015, the Battlefield series entered uncharted territory with Battlefield Hardline. Developed by Visceral Games, Hardline swapped modern warfare for modern policing. The game’s emphasis was on making arrests and stealth rather than shooting anything that moved.
While the game offered a fun (but short) single-player campaign and a fresh take on multiplayer, it suffered from somewhat of an identity crisis. All too often, players engaged their trigger finger instead of some of the game’s more nuanced or tactical approaches.
While Hardline tried to do something original, its multiplayer battles between cops and robbers remain its defining trait.
Releasing in 2016, Battlefield 1 went back to the First World War, its opening moments showing a harrowing reimagining of trench warfare. After that, the game’s single-player was split up into independent ‘War Stories’ each showing a different perspective of the conflict.
The multiplayer was different from previous games, taking a slower, more methodical approach. Players could still pummel opponents with machine gun fire, but many online matches were focused on trench warfare with players taking pot-shots at the enemy from a distance.
Battlefield V expanded on Battlefield 1’s concepts but moved the setting back to World War Two. War Stories returned instead of a single-player campaign, this time showing the origin of the British SAS as well as a few other lesser-known sides of the conflict.
The multiplayer offered the grittiest and most realistic take on World War Two gameplay yet. Where Call of Duty WW2 took a more arcade-like approach with its gameplay, 2018’s Battlefield V offered a very different experience.
This brings us right up to 2021 and Battlefield 2042, here’s everything we know about that game before it releases on November 19,