All Battlefield Games in Order

The Battlefield series is one of gaming’s seminal FPS franchises, responsible for introducing or evolving many of the genre’s now-commonplace mechanics and gameplay styles. The concept of the “Battlefield moment,” a fantastical series of events impossible in any other game, is something other series have attempted — and almost unanimously failed — to replicate. Battlefield can boast some of the best shooters to ever grace any platform anywhere. And despite more recent attempts to chase trends or alter what made it great in the first place, the games listed here, the complete picture of the Battlefield franchise, is still home to all-time classics.

Battlefield 1942

Image via EA
  • Release Date: 2002
  • Platform: PC
  • Expansions: The Road to Rome (2003), Special Weapons of WWII (2003)

The game that started it all, BF 1942 came out a year before the original Call of Duty and set the standard for all Battlefield games to come. It was rough around the edges, with map design and weapon handling modern players would find archaic and clunky, but the vehicle gameplay was solid, its faction-specific equipment system novel, and, for the time, it offered what no other game could.

Battlefield Vietnam

  • Release Date: 2004
  • Platform: PC
  • Expansions: None

The first of two times Battlefield would visit the Vietnam theater, this original outing was an evolution of the franchise in every way that mattered. New weapons, vehicles, the same great map design, and, most importantly, the introduction of the class system. While not the seminal work that its successor would become, BF Vietnam nonetheless remains a beloved entry for series veterans.

Battlefield 2

  • Release Date: 2005
  • Platform: PC
  • Expansions: Special Forces (2005), Euro Force (2006), Armored Fury (2006)

The game that would define the series for years to come, Battlefield 2 was by far its biggest and best. The first game set in the modern day, BF2 expanded the class system to seven entries, each with unique roles. Its iconic maps would return in Battlefield 3, a testament to their quality and ability to stand the test of time. Gameplay was stellar as well, and Battlefield 2 still has a small but dedicated playerbase almost twenty years after its release. The main issue? You can’t buy it anywhere, and the official servers are long dead. You have to take alternate routes to play now.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

  • Release Date: 2006
  • Platform: Xbox, PS2, Xbox 360
  • Expansions: None

The first Battlefield game exclusive to consoles, Modern Combat wasn’t a sequel to BF2, but rather its own game altogether. Boasting five classes and 16 maps at launch, plus a single-player component, it might not have been the out-of-the-park hit that BF2 was, but that didn’t mean it was a fantastic entry in the franchise. That it had the chance to introduce the Battlefield series to a growing console user base was great as well.

Battlefield 2142

  • Release Date: 2006
  • Platform: PC
  • Expansions: Northern Strike (2007)

Battlefield’s first, and so far only, far-future entry, 2142 was a transformative moment for the franchise in the sense that it proved DICE could take on a more experimental version of the BF formula and succeed. In the more than fifteen years since its release, players everywhere have been clamoring for a sequel to 2142, and while the official servers have been offline since 2014, the community has come together to keep BF2142 alive.

Battlefield: Bad Company

Image via EA
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)
  • Expansions: None

Bad Company was another proof of concept for DICE, showing that while they were capable of making a more light-hearted variation on the otherwise gritty FPS genre of the time. Another game exclusive to consoles, BC was the first game to feature active destruction via the new and now (in)famous Frostbite engine. It wasn’t a slam dunk, but its new take on the old formula struck a chord with gamers.

Battlefield Heroes

  • Release Date: 2009
  • Platform: PC
  • Expansions: None

The first free-to-play Battlefield game, and one of the only third-person shooters in the franchise, BF Heroes contained some of the F2P mechanics we know today, but it also maintained much of what made Battlefield the game players loved. Classes, good maps, solid fundamentals, and vehicle gameplay were all present. And while the game lost official support in 2015, it’s still playable today thanks to community support.

Battlefield 1943

  • Release Date: 2002
  • Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)
  • Expansions: None

One of the smallest Battlefield games with only four playable maps, three classes, pared-down progression and gun mechanics, and many other sacrifices, BF1943 was somehow still a workable entry in what was not a decade-old franchise. Did it reach the heights of BF2 or was it as light-hearted as Bad Company? No, but it was still Battlefield, and for some, that was enough.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Image via EA
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)
  • Expansions: Bad Company 2 Vietnam

Perhaps the most important Battlefield game of its time, Bad Company 2 was many players’ introduction to the series. It also directly competed with Call of Duty: Black Ops, the game with the unenviable task of following the blockbuster Modern Warfare 2. Bad Company 2, like its predecessor, eschewed the grand battlefields of the mainline series for more infantry-focused combat and higher map design and one of the best class balances in the franchise.

Battlefield Play4Free

  • Release Date: 2011
  • Platform: PC
  • Expansions: None

The second free-to-play offering the Battlefield series ever provided, Play4Free was surprisingly, well, playable even with its F2P status. It had the four classes many players expected, some of the best maps and weapons from previous entries, and was generally pretty good. The problem was that its release was sandwiched between Bad Company 2, which was still going strong, and the next entry on our list.

Battlefield 3

Image via Steam
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)
  • Expansions: Back to Karkand, Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath, Endgame

At last, the community thought, a return to classic Battlefield like BF2. One problem: Bad Company 2 had inoculated a whole new population to the franchise, and not everyone was a fan. That didn’t stop Battlefield 3 from being a fantastic game in its own right, with the grand reappearance of jets and helicopters, tons of tanks, and large-scale conflict.

Battlefield 4

Image via Steam
  • Release Date: 2013
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4
  • Expansions: Second Assault (2013), China Rising (2014), Naval Strike (2014), Dragon’s Teeth (2014), Final Stand (2014)

Taking many of the lessons and mistakes of Battlefield 3 to heart, BF4 was bigger in every way that mattered, though not always better. There were more weapons, more vehicles, and more than enough maps at launch. It would go on to add more than twenty additional maps of varying qualities, as well as even more gear to unlock.

Battlefield Hardline

Image via Steam
  • Release Date: 2015
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4
  • Expansions: Criminal Activity (2015), Robbery (2015), Blackout (2015), Getaway (2016), Betrayal (2016)

The black sheep of modern Battlefield games, Hardline was a big swing for veterans. It lacked the massive battle spaces and grand vehicle combat for a much faster pace, smaller maps, and a bit more tongue-in-cheek gameplay design. It wasn’t what many Battlefield players expected or wanted, and though there remains a small and vocal community who loved the game, it’s all but impossible to play Hardline these days.

Battlefield 1

GTA V: Midnight Launch Incident Image 2
Image via Electronic Arts
  1. Release Date: 2016
  2. Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
  3. Expansions: They Shall Not Pass (2016), In the Name of the Tsar (2017), Turning Tides (2017-2018), Apocalypse (2018)

The “last good Battlefield game” in some minds, Battlefield 1 brought back much of what fans wanted out of their BF game: huge maps, tons of destruction, a longer time-to-kill, and movement away from gimmicks (mostly). There were also plenty of ways to get that instant-action gameplay more recent inductees were fond of, providing BF1 with a vast playerbase.

Battlefield V

Battlefield 6 leak hints at soft franchise reboot, true battle royale mode incoming
Image via Electronic Arts
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
  • Expansions: Overture (2019), Lightning Strikes (2019), Trial by Fire (2019), Defying the Odds (2019), Battlefest (2019), War in the Pacific (2020)

Battlefield 5 had some interesting new ideas, reworking many of the classes and mechanics players were familiar with. Unfortunately, neither the maps, the gunplay, nor the performance on any platform were up to standard, and while BFV received a full suite of DLC content, few players remember it fondly. The fact that the Battle Royale mode that came with the game seemed to have robbed the base version of the support it needed to shine didn’t help.

Battlefield 2042

image via EA
  • Release Date: 2021
  • Platform: PC
  • Expansions: Several maps and tons of map reworks through content seasons

Battlefield 2042 is a sad tale of bad timing, new developers being thrown into the fire, and chronic misdirection. One of many games caught being developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and built by a relatively new team lacking the support of franchise veterans, 2042 seemed doomed from the outset. To say it launched in a rough state is to do a disservice to the word, but DICE and EA have invested in the title, bringing it into a place where it’s at least enjoyable, even when it’s a shadow of what the series could be.

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