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MW3 made a big mistake not remastering these Call of Duty maps instead

From Bootleg to Black Box, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 made a heartbreaking mistake by not remastering the bizarrely forgotten maps from its namesake.

Call of Duty MW3 map remakes: A diagonally split image with a crashed Air Force One from the Black Box map on the left, and a close-up of Captain Price on the right.

Outside of its revamped movement system, the biggest selling point of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is its suite of remastered MW2 (2009) maps. These iconic arenas were brought back looking better than ever – though they weren’t originally designed for MW3’s more advanced movement options. Don’t get me wrong, I love these maps even now, though I can’t help but feel that it was a mistake not to remaster the maps of its namesake instead.

With the biggest arsenal in Call of Duty history and an ever-growing selection of MW3 maps to play on, there’s no denying that MW3 (2023) is one of the best FPS games on PS5 and Xbox. However, with all 16 original MW2 maps dominating the map pool – even after new arrivals in post-launch updates, I’ve had enough MW2 over the years.

I have fond memories of these classic arenas, sure, but this isn’t the first time we’ve had them held up on a pedestal and fed back to us. Highrise, for example, has featured in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare as Skyrise. Likewise, Rust also reared its head in Modern Warfare (2019). Don’t even get me started on Terminal. Many of these remastered maps from the original MW2 have already been brought back in some shape or form at least once, and they’ve dominated community discussions for years.

Hiding in plain sight is the original MW3 (2011), which has seemingly been left to slowly fade from memory. With 16 great launch maps and 18 incredible DLC maps to choose from, the vast majority of which have never been seen since, there’s a gold mine of opportunity.

MW3 map remakes: A screenshot of the Seatown map, with a large white truck in the bottom left and various buildings.

Do you remember Seatown? Set in a small coastal town, Seatown was one of my favorite maps of yesteryear. Its tight alleyways and the handful of elevated areas made for some really intense shootouts and let my favorite gun, the MP7, truly shine. Since its debut in 2011, however, it’s only ever reappeared in Call of Duty Online. What’s Call of Duty Online? It’s the now-discontinued free-to-play CoD game that launched exclusively in China in 2015.

How about Arkaden, a medium-sized map set inside a German shopping center? If you were there for MW3 back in the day, then there’s a good chance you have fond memories of playing Infected and hiding out in the fast food restaurant – I know I do. Arkaden has yet to return in any game since.

MW3 map remakes: An image of the Black Box map, showing the wreckage of the Air Force One plane with buildings and trees in the background.

The mountain of DLC maps were just as good. Take Black Box from the creatively named Content Pack 3. Set around the downed skeleton of Air Force One, you’d battle it out amongst the wreckage and the nearby homes.

Bootleg, Underground, Village, Liberation, Piazza, Sanctuary, Erosion, Gulch, and many more, are all great maps that have yet to see the light of day in the 13 years since MW3. No doubt you have your own favorites too.

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Given the namesake and the clear focus on nostalgia, it’s a shame that these maps have been shunned once again in favor of the original MW2 maps. In fact, I find it rather baffling. Once the MW2 remasters were in our hands, many quickly realized that these maps really were massive. Even with the improved movement on 2023’s MW3, there’s lots of dead, open space and running around, which has caused debate over whether these maps are the right fit for a modern, high-mobility Call of Duty. On the other hand, these maps from the original MW3 are much smaller overall compared to its predecessor and would make better use of the new movement options.

With the live service nature of Call of Duty today, it’s not too late to see these long-lost 2011 maps make a return in MW3. Post-launch content is focused primarily on adding brand-new content to one of the best multiplayer games, however, so it’s unfortunately unlikely. Thankfully, with new Call of Duty games coming to Game Pass on day one, there’s hope that the 2011 banger will make a return, even if it’s not with a fresh coat of paint.

Looking ahead, there are plenty more new PS5 games and new Xbox games to dig into until the new CoD, rumored to be Black Ops Gulf War, is finally revealed.