Few gaming franchises have captured war’s grit, emotion, and chaos like Call Of Duty has. Other titles like Battlefield and Medal Of Honor have tried to overtake them for popularity, but few if any have ever succeeded. Call of Duty started off in 2004 with Call Of Duty: Finest Hour, and since that release has exploded into the juggernaut franchise that players have come to love and hate.


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One thing that has remained constant throughout the years; however, is the way the campaigns can drop a bomb and kill off anyone. Whether it be the villain or the hero, sadness is usually just one bullet away and there have definitely been some gut-wrenching moments throughout the series.

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8/8 Joseph Turner – Call Of Duty World War 2

Despite WW2 being a relatively underwhelming entry into the Call Of Duty franchise, its campaign did have some pretty hard-hitting moments. None shows this more than the sacrifice of Joseph Turner. Pinned down by the enemy with no escape in sight, an already injured Turner showcases his tenacity and leadership by forcing you to withdraw as he holds the enemy off.

In a gut-wrenching scene, made even worse by the brutality of it, he’s gunned down without a thought by the advancing Germans. Compounding his death as one of the saddest in the franchise is the fact he’s replaced as commander by the biggest jerk in the game; Pierson.

7/8 Sandman, Grinch, And Truck – Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3

Despite Sandman being the obvious stand-out in the Delta force squad, not grouping these three heroes together would be a terrible injustice to the sacrifice they made at the end of Modern Warfare 3.

A scenario with little to no survival odds, their final stand in the finale of MW3 is the reason Price and Yuri were able to escape. The common theme in this list is sacrifice and there is no one better to use as an example than these three. A death which whilst sad to witness as a player was beneficial to the narrative and propelled the characters to win the war. Overall this was a death that meant something.

6/8 Dimitri Petrenko – Call Of Duty Black Ops

A patriotic and loyal Russian soldier, Petrenko was the playable character throughout the majority of Call Of Duty: World At War. By the time Black Ops rolled around a few years later, players and fans were unsure of the fate of this fan favorite. This speculation was put to bed in unsettling fashion, when during one of the flashback missions in Black Ops, Reznov told you exactly what happened on the mission to recover Steiner.

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With the German and his Russian allies Kravchenko and Dragovich wanting to test the effects on Nova 6, they betrayed their Russian comrades, locked them up, and used them as nothing more than lab rats. His murder at the hand of his commanders is one of the most brutal and heartbreaking deaths of the series. To see a favorite character so abruptly murdered struck a chord with many players and really drilled into the minds of everyone that you cannot trust anyone in this series.

5/8 Yuri – Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 is an entry into this franchise that isn’t scared to kill anyone and everyone. Being the final entry into the original modern warfare trilogy, MW3 was bound to kill off a lot of fan favorites, but to kill off the new protagonist was something not many players expected.

In the final mission, Price and Yuri manage to stop Makarov’s helicopter just in time but not without its consequences. The subsequent crash causes all three men to fall and before Yuri can even get up he is coldly shot in the head by the villainous Makarov.

Despite Yuri being new to the series and playing a part in a fan favorite’s death, he was a character that had endeared himself to the majority of players, so it was still harrowing to see him go.

4/8 Josefina Menendez – Call Of Duty Black Ops 2

Straying from the conventional hard-hitting deaths of protagonists throughout Call Of Duty, Josefina Menendez’s death in BO2 is not only sad in the way it happens but is the catalyst for the harrowing event that follows and takes place throughout the game. A precursor to the carnage that follows in BO2, her death plays out within one detailed and drawn-out mission that highlights the innocent causalities that sit hand in hand with war.

Her death was an accident. An accident caused by the protagonist’s Woods and Mason. Despite this, this is the moment that fuels Raul Menendez to seek revenge on the Americans, and ultimately is what causes the deaths of many characters throughout the game.

A character players barely knew, her death sits among the most direful deaths within the franchise, and is one that ultimately could have been avoided.

3/8 Alex Mason – Call Of Duty Black Ops 2

A death that is a direct result of Josefina Mendezes dying, Mason’s death is one of the most devastating moments for any Call Of Duty fan and is one that luckily can be avoided. There is nothing worse than losing a loved one, but what makes this moment even worse for the character of Woods, is he is tricked into killing his best friend without even knowing otherwise.

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The moment Woods runs up to the body of Mason and realizes who it is has become a moment engraved into all Call Of Duty fans’ minds and is one that to this day can be hard to play through still. The beloved main character of the original Black Ops, Mason is a character no one wanted to see go. Players can be thankful this is optional, and he can be saved, but nonetheless, it is a heart-stopping moment.

2/8 Simon ‘Ghost’ Riley And Gary ‘Roach’ Sanderson – Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2

One of the most memorable moments in Call Of Duty history and one of the saddest. The deaths of Ghost and Roach towards the end of Modern Warfare 2 is one of the most infamous betrayals in gaming history. A man hellbent on becoming a war hero, not caring who he kills along the way, this is the scene that truly introduced players to Shepherd, and shaped the finale of this fan-favorite title.

This death for most fans will go down as the saddest death in gaming history, not only for the way it happens but for the complete shock factor of it all. After coming out of a mission with near-impossible odds, no player could even comprehend that this would be the last time they saw Ghost and Roach. Two all-time favorite characters, these deaths will go down as one of the saddest and most shocking moments in Call Of Duty history

1/8 John ‘Soap’ Mactavish – Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3

Another death in Modern Warfare 3 and another death that truly shook players to the core, the death of Soap will forever go down as a devastating moment for all Call Of Duty players. Having been introduced to Soap in the phenomenal Call Of Duty 4, players had come to love Soap throughout the series, and he had shaped many people’s experiences and love for the games. Price’s right-hand man and best friend, it’s his reaction to witnessing his friend die which breaks many players’ hearts.

Never had anyone heard such emotion come from the hardened captain. A death that will be remembered for years to come as not only The saddest moment in Call Of Duty but one of gaming’s saddest, Soap will forever be synonymous with the franchise and is one of the reasons for Modern Warfare’s soaring popularity.

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