The first 2 Russian missions of the original Call of Duty may very well be the most epic levels ever. The first one consists of running straight into enemy fire with no weapons except a clip of ammo. The first half of the second? A massive charge straight towards an enemy trench while screaming and firing a rifle. Oh, and if you even so much as hesitate, let alone fall back or (god forbid) retreat, in either level, about five Russian officers open fire on you with machine guns. This may be the single manliest level ever in the history of gaming.
Going back to the very first game, Sgt. Moody's rescuing of a injured ally under heavy German fire after verbally chewing out a cowardly medic was pretty awesome. And he gave up his Made of Iron ability while doing this.
The Noiville mission in UO, after a long siege of the mansion you are in it seems like all hope is lost as three German tanks and a shitload of infantry when P-47s just come out of nowhere and start bombing the everliving hell out of the Germans.
The American campaign opens with you manning the machine gun on a jeep escaping from a massive German charge. The awesomeness must be seen to be believed.
The Berlin level in the first game. Once that damned tank is destroyed, it's a massive steamroll as a handful of Germans get hit with an infinitely long Russian charge. At the end there's the aforementioned flag raising, which is almost always followed by the player jumping off the roof of the Riechstag and/or throwing a grenade at the flag bearers right before the game ends.
In Callof Duty, the first one, you meet the original Captain Foley, who seems pretty chill (he's voiced by Steve Blum who voiced Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop). He has his fair share of awesome speeches. However, his Crowning Moment Of Awesome is in the Expansion pack, United Offensive. The early American missions take place at the Battle of the Bulge, and the constant waves of German troops are so infuriating (they are literally endless until you cross a certain point) that even Foley begins to scream orders at you and your company. The simple fact that it's Steve Blum angrily growling orders at you is badass.
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 2 shows Captain Price being held prisoner by the Germans. He spits on a guard, is then broken out by American soldiers, and has to carry two of his rescuers to safety after their transport explodes.
Call of Duty 2 also has one halfway through the level "Demolition." A German army charges the Soviets' position, and just as you see them off, your Lieutenant shouts "They're falling back! Comrades! For the Motherland, CHARGE!" Followed by your comrades letting out a massive, triumphant unified shout, a sudden surge of inspirational Russian orchestra, and an all-out rush straight at the fleeing German army.
And from that same level, when you bring down the Nazi field HQ with high explosives. "THAT is how you negotiate with fascists, comrades!"
"Hill 400" starts off with your squad of American Rangers stuck in a ditch waiting for their lieutenant to give them some orders. Just as the mortars begin to hit, some random private yells out "LET'S GO GET THE BASTARDS!" and leads the ENTIRE platoon in a massive charge that rivals anything that the Russian campaigns could throw out, all while the lieutenant looks on stupefied.
Call of Duty 2. Pointe-du-Hoc, making sure Utah and Omaha were safe by taking out the coastal guns.
COD 3 might be one of the weaker Call Of Duty games, but it has its moments. One example is the level Hostage, where you are about to storm a German held village to rescue you superior officer, and the French Resistance has refused to help you. So only you and your Scottish friend are going in. You'll most likely be killed before you can even get near your superior officer, but then what happens? As you ride in your jeep towards the village, the French Resistance pulls up alongside you, agree to help, and you crash into the village and shoot the ever-loving shit out of the Germans.
Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: World At War has one in the very beginning, when the first cinematic plays and you realize that Kiefer Sutherland is giving the voice-over. Which means you'll be spending the American-oriented segments of the campaign commanded by Jack Motherfucking Bauer.
And in terms of actual story events, the greatest moment is probably at the end of the game; as in the first Call of Duty, you get to plant the Soviet banner atop the Reichstag... however, there's a twist this time. Just as Dmitri (you) walks up to the flagpole, a lone Nazi comes out of hiding and shoots him, badly injuring him. It seems hopeless, but Sgt. Reznov suddenly swoops in with his cleaver, brutally chopping the guy up in 300-esque slow-motion and tossing him from the roof as the Hymn of the Soviet Union (!) plays in the background. He then cuts down the Nazi flag and helps Dmitri up, allowing him to plant the flag with his last reserves of strength.
Although anything with Sgt. Reznov is pretty good, like "Then perhaps our friend will help them to bleed faster..." or "The bloodied heart of the fascist empire shall soon beat for the last time!"
Reznov's last lines at the end of the game, as he drags a wounded Dimitri towards the flag post. "You can make it, my friend... You always survive... As long as you live, the heart of this army can never be broken."
The PBY Catalina mission. Owning the IJN, getting engines and bits of your plane blown off and still managing to rescue sailors whilst fighting off Zeroes.
Whenever in World at War you hear a massive roar of "URA!" from Red Army soldiers.
The "Black Cats" mission in World At War is amazing, if only for the fact that the crew of the Catalina you're on has only one response to learning the fleet is being attacked: they dive into the warzone to pick up survivors and try to protect the fleet, landing on the ocean in the middle of the hellish firestorm and rain of kamikaze pilots to pluck sailors out of the water, knowing any second a kamikaze could take them out. It takes an amazing amount of guts and daring to pull off a job like that, and for the Catalina operators in real life, that was routine.
"We're on our own... Okay people, the fleet still needs our help. Anyone want to back out? (silence) Didn't think so."
Commissar Markhov's speech at the end of "Ring of Steel":
"Citizens of Berlin! A ring of steel surrounds your rotten city! We will crush all who dare to resist the will of the Red Army! Abandon your posts! Abandon your homes!Abandon all hope! URA!"
Call of Duty: Black Ops
The escape from Vorkuta in Black Ops. Just the escape from Vorkuta. Plus, it's only the second mission!
Particularly the part where Sergei impales a guard from behind with a pickaxe.
Don't forget to mention about the "Steps".
Reznov: Every journey begins with a single step...
Reznov: This - is step one!
Crowd: Secure the keys!
Reznov: Now, we take - Vorkuta!
Reznov: What is step two!?
Crowd: Ascend from darkness!
Crowd: Rain fire!
Crowd: Unleash the horde!
Crowd: Skewer the winged beast!
Crowd: Wield the fist of iron!
Crowd: Raise hell!
After picking up the Death Machine, the new objective is simply "Raise Hell".
The two times you use a soldier as a shield and gun other soldiers down with the shield's rifle in Black Ops.
Walking to the SR 71 in your bulky space suit with everyone saluting you and then taking off into the edge of space. Too bad it didn't last longer.
The whole first portion of the Crash Site level, while "Sympathy For The Devil" blares.
And oh what the heck, "Fortunate Son" playing at the start AND ending of SOG is pretty awesome too.
A salvo of rockets would probably be a bitchin' way to introduce yourself as a man of wealth and taste.
The Russian Roulette scene in Black Ops. Mason and Woods got their asses captured by the Vietcong and forced to play a game of Russian Roulette while the VC bookie continuously flips his shit by yelling and slapping our heroes, let alone threaten them with a big-ass cleaver. Woods pulled the trigger and was luckily to avoid having his brains blown off. So when it's Mason's turn, he pulled the bookie towards him and fired the revolver right in his neck, and then proceeds to use him as a human shield. Now it might not sound all that awesome, but if you have learned probability, you'll know why. So let's do a calculation. Before Woods pulled the trigger there was a 1/6 chance that he would bust his brains out (and no, he couldn't see where the bullet was, as empty shell casings had been placed in the extra holes, making it impossible to tell the difference between the blanks and the lethal shot). After Woods pulled the trigger and was lucky that there was no bullet in the chamber, means that there would be 5 chambers left. So Mason had a 1/5 chance on that part. Now take the entire problem and put them together. 5/6 X 1/5 = 5/30 = 1/6. Simply put, Mason had a 16.66% CHANCE OF ESCAPING THE RUSSIAN ROULETTE! AND HE DID! Thus, mathematically, this is a crowning moment.
On a side note there is another CMOA in the same level when you kill the cowardly Russian soldier that clubbed Bowman in the back of the head. "For Bowman!!!" ("For Ice Cube!!!")
Woods then tops that with a Big Damn HeroesANDHeroic Sacrifice by shanking Kravchenko with combat knife & then tackling that son-of-a-bitch out a window to save you after he pulls the pins on all the grenades he has on his belt. And as revealed in Black Ops II, he still lives!!
The best part: Black Ops 2 implies that after Woods was transferred to Da Nang from the Hanoi Hilton, he broke himself out of prison.
In Call of Duty: Black Ops on SOG, an enemy jumps on you, so what do you do? Pull the pin from one of his grenades and literally blow him in half.
Something of a Call Back to a similar scene in Call of Duty 3.
The "Executive Order" mission on Black Ops. Saving Weaver by ziplining across the base and breaking in from a window with guns blazing is just awesome. Not to mention stopping the Soyuz 2 launch by blowing it up using a guided missile. Holy shit indeed!
Close to the end of Project Nova:
Reznov: Keep moving! This is not our War! Nevski: Then who do we fight?! Reznov: EVERYONE! WE STAND ALONE!
Mask Walk. Woefully absent from the official soundtrack, as it's easily one of the most spine-chillingly awesome tracks in the whole series. Shame it plays during what is That One Level for a lot of people, especially on harder difficulties (or going for the "no deaths" achievement).
"Victory cannot be achieved without sacrifices, Mason. We Russians know this better than anyone."
Through the course of the game, Mason is tortured, three of his best friends are killed, and he's forced to answer questions about a numbers station he knows nothing about. When Hudson finally unties Mason out of his chair, Mason decides he's had enough bullshit and punches him in the face.
The best part is that there's actually a guy in-game who at least tries to approach being that cool: one of the soldiers just before the control room in "Executive Order" who, while everyone else is using shotguns and AK's, ambushes you with a pair of pistols, jumping and rolling around to dodge your bullets.
Doubled with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Not one, but two women are included in the group of players (a black businesswoman and a younger female doctor with glasses and a ponytail). In this day and age when many gamers still have the mentality that women can't or shouldn't play or make games, it's awesome to see Call of Duty, of all games, make them feel acknowledged.
The sheer levels of preparedness that Dr. Clarke reaches. Have to escape by running over rooftops? He has mattresses laid out. Running low on ammo? He's got weapon caches. Russians trying to steal his research? He blows them up with explosives he planted in his own lab.
The start of the Black Ops zombie mode, where John F. Kennedy is remarkably nonchalant and calm about the fact that the Pentagon has just been invaded by fucking zombies.