It’s hard to believe, but Call of Duty Black Ops 3’s Zombies Chronicles DLC is now 7 years old. Several of the maps in Chronicles are now older than the originals were when they were remastered. And yet, this super-sized collection of remastered Zombies maps is still considered the best moment in franchise history for Call of Duty Zombies fans. Here’s every map in Zombies Chronicles, ranked worst to best.

Shi No Numa

Shi No Numa Map Pack 2 Art

Originally introduced in Call of Duty: World at War, the OG version of Shi No Numa was quite buggy. While Zombies Chronicles addresses those issues, it loses much of the map’s original charm. World at War’s Shi No Numa was limited by old hardware, and would only spawn 24 Zombies per round in Solo matches. The maps wonder-weapon, the Wunderwaffe DG-2, is capable of killing that many with one shot. As such, players were able to reach insanely high rounds on this map, with the current record being round 11,843. Again, insane numbers, as this took over 300 hours of playtime to complete. This isn’t possible in Black Ops 3’s version of Shi No Numa.

While it is no longer the place to go for world records, Shi No Numa in Zombies Chronicles is still a decent inclusion. As the DLC’s name suggests, this collection is all about presenting the story of COD Zombies’ main characters in one complete package. Since this is the first map where the Ultimis crew was originally introduced, it is still essential. However, Shi No Numa’s lack of pack-a-punch and slow early-to-mid rounds make it one that I don’t often seek to replay. Not to mention, hindsight hasn’t been kind to this remaster, as Vanguard’s reimagined version of the map is far superior. To me, this is one of the only maps in Chronicles that is made worse by the version here. That’s why Shi No Numa is at our Number 8 spot.

Origins

Put the pitch forks down, and remember we’re talking about the Zombies Chronicles version specifically here. There is no denying Origins’ impact. The map served as a sort of reboot to the Zombies storyline, as the last map to release for Black Ops 2 back in 2013. This fictionalized version of a diesel-punk inspired World War I battlefield has incredible atmosphere, lore, and set the stage for the storyline to follow in Black Ops 3 and 4 with its mind-blowing cliffhanger.

Like Shi No Numa, I believe Origins is lessened in this remaster, and it mainly comes down to the weapon selection. In Black Ops 2, Origins introduced several weapons to the wall and Mystery Box that were totally unique to this map. In Black Ops 3, much of the unique inclusions are missing. Plus, there are several other maps since that follow Origins’ quest-heavy style, with four elemental Wonder Weapons. While it was highly original at its release, Origins doesn’t stand out as much in a game filled with maps like Shadows of Evil and Der Eisendrache. In my opinion, both make massive leaps in the formula started here. That being said, it is still a good map, and a worthy inclusion to Zombies Chronicles for its lore and story alone. Plus, the mythical Staffs are so satisfying to use with the improved sound and graphics in Black Ops 3.

Shangri-La

Shangri-La is one of the most improved maps in Zombies Chronicles. The updated lighting gives a massive bump to Shangri-La’s atmosphere, and the improved foliage truly makes this map feel like a lush jungle. There’s no denying the otherworldly beauty of this map. Speaking of which, did we ever figure out whether or not this map is on Mars?

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Anyway, it wasn’t just the visuals that got improved when Shangri-La was remastered for Black Ops 3. The gameplay of this map gets a big boost in this new version. Shangri-La has always been regarded as one of, if not the, hardest maps in the mode’s history. From its cramped, close-quarters temples, to the new types of Zombies that attack the player, this map is filled with unique challenges. That being said, the weapons of Black Ops 3 are far more powerful than the arsenal on offer in the original Black Ops where the map debuted. Combine this with the Double Tap 2.0 perk, which doubles bullet damage, and players really have a fighting chance. For its atmosphere and unique gameplay, the Zombies Chronicles version of Shangri-La takes what was once my least favorite Zombies map, and turns it into a sleeper hit that keeps growing on me over time.

Verrückt

Verrückt is another map that plays far better in Zombies Chronicles than it did in World at War and Black Ops 1. This is another cramped, super challenging map. And arguably, Zombies’ scariest. The cramped halls, blood spattered walls and electro-shock therapy set up around the map is so eerie. Not to mention, playing this map with headphones on, its almost like you can hear the ghosts from what went on here.

Pair all that with extremely fast, close-quarters gameplay, and you get a Zombies map with a true survival-horror aura. One of the things that made Verrückt such a challenge was its lack of a decent Wonder Weapon. In Black Ops 1, the map had the Ray Gun, and the terrible Winter’s Howl Wonder Weapon. In this iteration, Treyarch lets players get their hands on the DG-2 in the mystery box. It is an excellent inclusion that fits in well with the tone of this terrifying map, and gives players more of a fighting chance in higher rounds. Still, with its crazy-fast pace, this is a great map to play when you want a quick burst of Call Of Duty Zombies’ signature survival action.

Ascension

Starting the top half of our rankings, Ascension is a great map for casual Zombies matches. Ascension has always been a highly replayable map. It is fun, fast, but relatively accessible. The map has lots of open areas for players to use the training strategy, and a great arsenal of weapons to take on the hordes with.

Ascension gets several great additions in Zombies Chronicles that make it more fun than ever. Immediately noticeable is the red, muted color pallet that filters the screen before players turn on the power. Ascension’s most iconic weapons return, with players able to use the Gersh Device, Matryoshka Doll grenades, Sickle, and the iconic Thundergun. Black Ops 3 also adds Double Tap 2.0 and Deadshot Daquiri into the mix.

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Ascension is one of Zombies easiest maps, due to its open layout and overpowered arsenal. Still, it is a blast to play, especially with friends. The Soviet Cosmodrome setting provides a perfect atmosphere for the original Black Ops’ space-race setting. It also means there are devious little astronaut monkeys who will come to steal your perks on certain rounds. They pose a unique threat, but are never annoying as they will reward you with a free perk if you defend against them successfully. Even if you’re already at the standard limit of four.

Kino Der Toten

It’s hard to say anything new about Kino Der Toten. It’s an absolute classic, and has been since it released as the launch map for Black Ops in 2010. If you were to ask anyone to name a Call Of Duty Zombies map, or recall their favorite, there’s a good chance they’re gonna go for this iconic theater.

Kino Der Toten has always been incredible. The map has excellent atmosphere, and features a massive theater with close-quarters dressing rooms, a lobby which serves as a perfect spawn, and the famous stage. The stage area is one of the most monumental locations in all of Call Of Duty Zombies. It was here, in combination with the excellent Thundergun Wonder-Weapon, that the training strategy was truly born. Kino Der Toten was and still is an excellent map, whether you’re looking for an intro to the series, or trying to master high rounds.

Back when Zombies Chronicles launched in 2017, I vividly remember getting up early to play before school, and loading up Kino first. My mind was just absolutely blown at how much the map had improved visually in this remaster. Compared to Black Ops 1, this version of Kino has incredible lighting and ornate decor, that make for a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.

Nacht Der Untoten

Now I’m entering my hot takes. The community is very mixed on the Zombies Chronicles version of Nacht Der Untoten. As the very original Call Of Duty Zombies map back in World at War, Nacht is the most barebones Zombies map ever. This map tasks players with surviving against hordes of Zombies in a war-torn bunker building. All they have to use to survive is the weapons on the wall and the mystery box. That is, until the Black Ops 3 version released in Zombies Chronicles.

This version of Nacht adds the Der Wonderfizz Machine. This is essentially a Mystery Box for the mode’s perks. This means, for the first time ever, players are able to get perks like Juggernog, Speed Cola, and Double Tap 2.0. It completely changes the game. Combine those with the Thundergun, and Rare Gobblegums that allow you to Pack-a-Punch weapons, Zombies Chronicles reinvents Nacht Der Untoten.

Personally, I love it. While you can still play the map barebones as it was in World at War and Black Ops, the new tools at your disposable allow you to play this map like never before. With a full squad, each with their own perks and weapon upgrades, Nacht der Untoten in Zombies Chronicles is one of the most chaotic experiences in the over 15 year history of the mode.

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Moon

By more than just process of elimination, my favorite map in all of Zombies Chronicles is Moon. Since its introduction in the explosive finale of the original Black Ops Zombies, Moon has been a standout. There truly is no other map like it. The setting, first of all, is bordering on the absurd, and I love it. Set in and around a Nazi Moon Base, this map plays off of whacky conspiracy theories to deliver the ultimate space-age setting.

Moon plays like no other map before it or since. Players start in Area 51, where they must survive in a no mans land with infinitely spawning aggressive Zombies. Here, they can access the pack-a-punch machine, and either Juggernog or Speed Cola will spawn. For skilled players who can survive in this area for some time, this totally changes progression. Players who master No Man’s Land can get some of Zombies most powerful upgrades before Round 1.

Then, when they teleport to the Moon base, the real fun begins. Players need to have a space suit to be able to breathe outside the base, and inside before power is turned on. This space suit provides a unique atmosphere for Zombies. Sound becomes muffled and muted, and the loudest noise you can hear is your character’s mechanical breathing. Not to mention, players will have to deal with Low Gravity in these spaces. Players and Zombies alike move different than any other map in these areas, and bounce around somewhat uncontrollably at times. It adds an extra layer to gameplay, and can cause some really great laughs.

All that’s not even to mention how beautiful this map is. Moon is the most improved map visually by far. In this remaster, Black Ops 1’s greys are replaced with fantastic lighting and a vast sky box. Then, once you make into the Bio-Dome on the map, Black Ops 3’s looks really start to shine. The green foliage looks great even nearly a decade later, and serves in contrast so well with the vast nothingness of the exteriors. For its cosmic horror, unique gameplay, and pure camp, Moon is my favorite map in all of Zombies Chronicles. You fight Nazi Zombies on the moon, and blow up the Earth in the main quest. How could you possibly top that?

Those are our rankings for the best maps in Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Zombies Chronicles.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: Zombies Chronicles Edition is available now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and PS5 and Xbox Series X|S through Backward Compatibility.

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