The top three Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III maps, according to PlayStation players

In just over a week since the global release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, the multiplayer experience has showcased an immersive gameplay environment distinguished by its signature fast and responsive movement mechanics, along with tactical enhancements and a refined TTK, urging PlayStation players to navigate fluid and strategic combat scenarios. 

Sledgehammer Games has comprehensively revamped the movement, but that’s not the only highlight this year. In addition to several other new and returning features, Map Voting makes a return in Modern Warfare III. Based on the results of map voting during this first week of play, we get some insight into PlayStation players’ map preferences so far – – Rust secures the top spot, Terminal as the runner up, and Scrapyard in third place. The popularity of these maps is evident, and whether players are familiar with them or encountering them for the first time we have some insider details and tips below to help you master these top-voted maps. 


The iconic desert arena situated in the oilfields of the Urzikstan desert, makes a triumphant return in Modern Warfare III. This small, square map is characterized by its dominating central Tower, allowing PlayStation players to engage in fast-paced 1v1 battles and strategic skirmishes on the ground. 

We caught up with Matt Abbott, art director at Sledgehammer Games who gave us some insight into the strategy of modernizing Rust for Modern Warfare III:

“The idea of modernizing the look of a map like Rust, at first, seems like a bit of an oxymoron.  How does an abandoned rusty industrial setting look when it’s modernized?  With that in mind, we sought to find some convincing modern locations that provided the answers we needed to evolve Rust with the goal of balancing the aesthetic enhancements of our engine with the modern traversal of MWIII. 

“We chose a larger modern shape language and a simpler palette harmony in the materials.  Because of this, we were able to clean up some of the complex visual frequencies of the original map. By modernizing the style, it gave us some levers to pull to reduce the contrast of materials, edit visual clutter, and highlight traversal messaging that wasn’t available in the original.  We are huge fans of Rust and the legacy it has as a stage to prove who the best of the best is.  Because of that, we wanted this version of Rust to “shine” in ways that would be noticed by newcomers and hardcore competitive players alike.”

Winning Tip: A good tip for Rust would be to always keep an eye on the Tower in the middle of the map. With its various access points, it becomes a focal point for conflict and a good grenade can be a game-changer, helping take down enemies nested in the Tower. Estimate your opponent’s location, deploy your grenade strategically and be prepared for a potential clean-up if your enemy survives the blast. 


Terminal welcomes you to Zakhaev International Airport. This classic medium-sized map in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare universe offers diverse opportunities for gameplay, allowing PlayStation players to choose between the Terminal and the Apron, accommodating various playstyles and strategies. 

Our conversation with Matt Abbott also provided valuable insights into the approach taken to modernize Terminal for Modern Warfare III:

“Making Terminal feel like a modern functioning international airport was the goal behind how we could evolve the looks of this fan-favorite map.  It started with the architecture of the outside.  We wanted to introduce curved shapes into the roofline while maintaining the killstreak windows from the original.  The choices became clearer from there when it came to how this airport would look on the inside.  We wanted the map to be colorful yet constrained for player messaging.  The art, furniture, paint color, and surfaces were all chosen for the same purpose; to give the map a modern facelift and help the player know where they were at first glance.  

“There were a lot of opportunities in this map to introduce materials that would highlight our newest rendering features such as glass, chrome trim, LED emissive lighting, and reflective tiles.  All of these things contribute to a clean modern aesthetic that balances that realistic look with competitive gameplay.”

Winning Tip: We also had the pleasure to hear from Greg Reisdorf, Multiplayer Director for Modern Warfare III to give us a good tip for players when they drop into Terminal:

“The Guardian Killstreak works great on Terminal Domination or Hardpoint. Use it near the bookstore hallway to lock down the lane and control the flow of the map.” 


This battlefield is set in an aircraft boneyard surrounded by buildings, creating an intense environment where players can strategically navigate through intense CQC in the fuselages and engage in sniper battles between two main warehouses. 

To round out the convo on these top three maps, Matt Abbott sheds some light on the strategic decisions involved in bringing Scrapyard into the modern era for Modern Warfare III. 

“The original Scrapyard gave us a fantastic jumping-off point for highlighting some of our newest rendering techniques that we felt would show off how far the tech has come.  A low sun, colorful sky, and reflected light shadows are usually challenging for player visibility in Multiplayer maps.  For Scrapyard, we leaned heavily into real-world physical lighting to provide enough bounce to make the map look dramatic and at the same time emphasize player visibility.  Usually, those two things do not go hand in hand, but we were able to find that harmony thanks to our constantly evolving rendering tech.  

“A late change we did to the map which harmonizes well with these goals is that we made the material on the fuselage highly reflective.  This acted as a mirror to the skybox which brought a lot of the color and drama in the sky into the natural tones of the abandoned scrapyard.  Is it realistic that the abandoned plane fuselages would be this shiny?  Maybe not.  Does it look really cool?  We thought so.” 

Winning Tip: Gathering insights from Greg Reisdorf, multiplayer director for Modern Warfare III, we sought out a useful tip for players in Scrapyard:

“For Scrapyard, I’m all about the Climbing Boots to get onto to tops of the planes. Mantle onto the delivery truck near Domination Point B, then jump over to the plane roof to catch a few players off guard before jumping down into safety.”

With the positivity from the Call of Duty community for Modern Warfare III Multiplayer since its launch on November 10, the resurgence of beloved maps such as Rust, Terminal, and Scrapyard has been a huge reason for that. Be sure to jump into MWIII today to play these three maps, plus the other thirteen core 6v6 maps Sledgehammer Games has completely modernized from Modern Warfare 2 (2009). Those maps plus new maps arriving in Season 1 promise to provide hours upon hours of intense and fun MP action.

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