Which Call of Duty had the best Nuketown map? Ranked - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Which Call of Duty had the best Nuketown map? Ranked

Published: 15/Jan/2020 18:20

by Andy Williams


Nuketown is the most iconic map from Treyarch’s Black Ops series and arguably the Call of Duty franchise as a whole, but which remake of the popular map was the best?

Black Ops is Treyarch’s flagship Call of Duty series. Following on from the events of World at War, the Black Ops series delves into conspiracy theories, espionage and political warfare. 

While Black Ops’ narrative has remained much the same throughout, Treyarch’s series has dipped into different timepoints along the way… The Cold War, futuristic warfare, more futuristic warfare and then somewhere in-between with Black Ops 4.

Yet one thing that has remained a trademark to the Black Ops experience, is Nuketown. Being one of the smallest maps in Call of Duty, Nuketown was originally based on a typical 1950s suburb. As the name suggests, the map was used as a testing facility to demonstrate the effects of nuclear weapons. 

Filled to the brim with mannequins and all of the trimmings which you’d expect a residential area to have, Nuketown soon became a big hit with fans, due to the hectic, close-quarters combat which it encourages. Given the map’s popularity, plenty have been having their say on which version of Nuketown they preferred. 

Being a symmetrical map, Nuketown has sported a variety of game types throughout its time in the Black Ops’ map pool. Players are also greeted with an animation of a nuclear bomb rising from beneath the estate during the post-match scoreboard sequence — a feature exclusive to Nuketown. 

Given the map’s iconic status in the Call of Duty franchise, we have ranked each iteration that Treyarch have provided over the years and listed them in descending order while listening to the voice that matters the most — yours!

4. Black Ops 4 Nuketown (2018)

Black Ops 4's Nuketown.

Nuketown’s fourth remake was met with a mixed bag of reviews. Set in a Russian nuclear missile testing site from the Cold War, the map brought an icy feel to what was previously noted to be a color-filled landscape. 

The RC-XD passageway from the original Nuketown still held its place in the map, but gave players an insight into what lies beneath. Maneuvering the killstreak through the underground alley, players could navigate past the subterranean missile silo where the warhead is situated.

The underground passage for the RC-XD was an easter egg in which fans lapped up, while the slight adjustments to the layout supported Black Ops 4’s contemporary in-game mechanics. It’s for this reason why some loved Treyarch fourth iteration of Nuketown.

Yet there always felt like there was something missing. The color scheme was a far cry from what fans had become accustomed to, plus some of the Specialist’s abilities felt foreign and out of place (such as Ruin’s Grapple Gun). Thus, plenty of fans hold conflicting views of the iconic map’s uprooting.

3. Nuk3town: Black Ops 3 (2015)

Black Ops 3's Nuk3town.

Set in a simulation some forty years after the events of Black Ops 2, the more aptly named ‘Nuk3town’ remained a part of Black Ops’ core multiplayer experience (regardless of the overhauled movement system). 

After devastation struck Nuketown 2025, the Coalescence Corporation’s simulation was designed to support a new way to traverse around the map. More colorful than ever before, Nuk3town’s fresh lick of paint appeared to hit the spot. 

Mannequins redesigned to look like AI robots, cars transformed into something Bruce Wayne would cruise around in, and buses with pixels rising from them — yep, Treyarch out-did themselves on the cosmetic front. 

Three easter eggs were embedded in Nuk3town, each of which revolved around shooting heads and limbs from the android-themed mannequins to prompt zombie-esque outbreak. Heck, Treyarch even included a shrewd reference to the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who with one of the hidden gems.

Given the developer’s efforts to spruce up the nuclear testing facility, there are some fans who rank Black Ops 3’s iteration above all others… A bold statement given the animosity which the game faced on the whole.

2. Nuketown: Black Ops (2010)

Black Ops 1's Nuketown.

Where it all began. Initially embarked upon as a side project by Adam Hoggatt, a prototype framework was put together in a mere two days. Little did Hoggatt know that he was laying the foundations for a map that would transcend throughout various console generations. 

Nuketown was inspired by a scene from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where Indy stumbled upon a replica 1950s suburb that acted as a nuclear testing facility — complete with the eerie, lifeless mannequins which would make their way onto Nuketown.

Nuketown soon proved a popular addition among Call of Duty fans, and Treyarch responded suitably by adding a ‘Nuketown 24/7’ playlist which supported both Team Tactical and Free-For-All gametypes. 

Sniper duels from house-to-house, chaotic mid-map engagements, spawn trapping enemies with a Chopper Gunner… Treyarch created memories that would resonate with players for years. Despite its flaws, Nuketown was loved by fans everywhere. Therefore, even a full decade on from its release, many still rank the original render of this map as their favorite.

1. Nuketown 2025: Black Ops 2 (2012)

Black Ops 2's Nuketown 2025

In a similar fashion to the ‘Best Call of Duty game of the decade,’ Treyarch out-did themselves with Nuketown 2025. Somehow, David Vonderhaar and co. topped their previous efforts. 

The original map received a complete aesthetic overhaul. From the outside looking in, it seemed almost as if someone from Treyarch plucked ‘the retro’ from the 1960s and the futuristic style of Black Ops 2, smashed them together and hey presto, Nuketown 2025 was the offspring. And obviously, they made the right call. 

Since Nuketown soared to the top as the most played map in Black Ops history, a remake of the now-trademark map was inevitable. Dubbed the “Model Home of the Future,” Nuketown’s remodel also fixed some key spawn issues that clouded the original.

Treyarch hit the nail on the head. Combining more balanced conflict with the contemporary vibe and players poured thousands of hours into Nuketown 2025. Will a map ever top Nuketown’s second iteration?

Both TheAngelol and Aero Panther have compiled a list that reflects our current rankings, and the majority of Twitter appeared to agree.

Of course, there have been multiple renditions of Nuketown outside of the main four listed above. Nuketown has appeared in Black Ops 4’s ‘Blackout’ battle royale, as well as featuring in Tencent Games’ Call of Duty: Mobile. Not to forget the Zombies version of the map, which plays on the aftermath of the multiplayer’s end-of-game sequence. 

One thing that fans everywhere will agree on, is that Nuketown embodies everything that is at the core of the Call of Duty multiplayer experience: fun, close-quarters combat that you could enjoy for hours on end.

Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War Nov 24 patch notes: Nuketown ’84 and camo fixes

Published: 24/Nov/2020 21:48 Updated: 24/Nov/2020 23:30

by Tanner Pierce


Black Ops Cold War has, once again, gotten a small update. This time around, we have the addition of a brand new map in Nuketown ’84, as well as some fixes for camo progression and Zombies. Here’s everything you need to know.

It seems like Treyarch isn’t slowing down with the updates for Black Ops Cold War. Just a day after their last one, the developer has once again released a brand new update for the first-person shooter, marking the fourth overall update since Friday.

Like the update November 23 update, this isn’t a full blown patch, meaning you won’t have to download anything on your system in order to take advantage of the new changes. Rather, the game settings will be automatically updated when you open the game.

While this update doesn’t change anything drastic about the game, aside from one aspect, it’s still a noteworthy update for a number of reasons. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Biggest changes in the Black Ops Cold War Nov 24 update

The biggest addition in the November 24 update is that of Nuketown ’84.

Easily the biggest addition to the game is that of Nuketown ’84. It is the first post-launch piece of content for the game so its inclusion is a big deal to say the least. The map itself seems almost identical to the original from 2010 in terms of layout. In fact, within the lore, it is a “Site B” to the original Nuketown, which explains why it looks identical.

It’s also worth noting that this map is also available in the PlayStation exclusive Onslaught mode, which pits two players against the undead in standard multiplayer maps.

In addition to Nuketown ’84, Double XP and Weapon XP is live within Black Ops Cold War. According to Treyarch, the bonus is set to remain live for around a week, until November 30. This should give fans a good chance to grind out their weapons and get all the attachments/camos they want.

Beyond that, a bunch of other glitches were also fixed. Mainly, two bugs associated with camos in the game have been resolved, including one that had to do with Knife camo progression not working if it was selected as a primary weapon.

As with every other update so far, Zombies also got a number of fixes as well. Almost all of them are minor and none of them seem to address the crashes associated with the mode but, nonetheless, they’re still noteworthy.

All in all, it’s good to see that Black Ops Cold War is getting frequent updates. Even if they’re small game updates, hopefully they continue in the future.

Treyarch’s official patch notes follow:


2XP + 2WXP

  • Double XP and Double Weapon XP enabled in Multiplayer and Zombies through 10AM PT Monday, November 30th.



  • Nuketown ‘84
    • Added Nuketown ’84 to 6v6 map rotation in Quick Play Core and Hardcore playlists.
    • Added Nuketown 24/7 featured playlist.
    • Added Nuketown ’84 to Custom Games map list.
  • Crossroads Strike
    • Addressed an issue in Crossroads Strike that allowed players to contest a Hardpoint and Control zone outside of the intended objective boundary.


  • Addressed an issue where incorrect images would show for Diamond & Gold weapon camo rewards in the After-Action Report.
  • Addressed an issue where Knife camos would not progress if in the primary weapon slot.


  • Fixed a rare crash that could occur in Domination.



  • Addressed an issue that could prevent zombies from attacking the player after teleporting from the Dark Aether.
  • Addressed an issue that allowed players to leave the gameplay space when teleporting back from the Dark Aether.
  • Addressed an issue that could cause a main quest item from timing out, causing a progression break.


  • Addressed an issue that could cause the player to sometimes lose functionality at the pause menu if the Gunsmith remained open after the intro cutscene.


  • Addressed an issue that sometimes caused an incorrect Pack-a-Punch camo to appear on weapons obtained from Trials.


  • Addressed an issue that sometimes caused incorrect Revive UI to appear at the end of a match.


  • Added various stability fixes.

Onslaught (PS4/PS5)

  • Added Nuketown ‘84 to the Onslaught map list.
  • Added a new Onslaught Challenge with a unique Weapon Blueprint reward.