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.
Call of Duty 4. "Game Over." Cornered, surrounded, outnumbered, pinned on the bridge with an exploding gas tanker at your back. Enemy helicopters flying overhead, taunting you. Watching your squadmates killed one by one, executed by the Big Bad himself, and then rolling over, seeing Captain Price sliding his sidearm out to you, giving you one last chance to kill the man he couldn't. And when the dust settles, the Loyalists arrive, and Kamarov is standing over you, frantically calling for aid and telling you "You are going to be alright, my friend!" So freaking badass.
Game Over was a crowning moment for the game as a whole. It's what set it apart from the other modern warfare games where everything has to end happily or narrowly. When's the last time you saw a disaster of this proportion happen?
Sergeant Paul Jackson's death in the middle of the nuclear wasteland.
The exchange a little before that is rather inspiring:
Command: Copy, Two-Five. Be advised, you will not be at a safe distance in the event that nuke goes off. Do you understand? Outlaw Two-Five: Roger that. We know what we're getting into.
They really didn't...
Vasquez also gets an awesome line here:
"We got ninety seconds, Jackson! Get the pilot! No one gets left behind!"
Gaz gets his as early as the second mission, where, fed up with Sergeant Kamarov's refusal to tell them where the informant they need to find is located, proceeds to grab Kamarov and dangle him over a ledge.
Gaz: "Enough bloody sniping! Where is the informant?"
Kamarov: "The house! The house at the northeast end of the village!"
Gaz: "That wasn't so hard, now was it? Now go sit in the corner." (knocks Kamarov out)
'Crew Expendable' maybe the easiest mission bar the AC-130, but it's amazing - the setting on the horrible Bering Sea is brilliantly done, picking off the unaware and drunken crew, and that desperate escape from the sinking ship is pretty intense. Also sets up Price as the Bad Ass of the series, saving Soap twice in the space of two minutes.
MacMillan's a legend. The two Chernobyl missions are some of the most enjoyable in the game, and the escape after sniping Zakhaev and carrying MacMillan is one of the most tense and climactic levels ever.
And he's a character who runs at a Russian convoy of more than two dozen men to dive under a truck and not get noticed. Yes, that's right: MacMillan runs at a convoy of trucks surrounded by two dozen armed soldiers so that he can sneak under the vehicles, and does not get discovered. Solid Snake would be proud.
It helps that the good Captain is not useless as in a stereotypical Escort Mission; you can only walk if you're carrying him, but if you put him down he becomes a stationary turret, and once reaching the Pripyat Ferris Wheel will no longer have to be carried, until your backup finally arrives, by which time the opposing gunmen should have been almost entirely neutralized.
Also, while he may fire slowly the good Captain never misses: any shot he takes, kills. Getting rescued from a sticky situation with an empty magazine by a flawless headshot to a sprinting target across the full length of the LZ square tends to leave a favorable impression, or at least it did for me.
As icing on the cake, that mission strongly implies that MacMillan's legs have been fucked up permanently... until Modern Warfare 3 reveals that not only did he recover, he is now the Colonel Badass commanding the SAS, and he sends Price gear and intel to hunt Makarov.
Price: "You still owe me for Pripyat. I'm calling it in."
MacMillan: "Tell me what you need, son."
War Pig. Everything about it is amazing. Especially when it starts shooting.
"Gunner, two-story building at 1 o'clock, ground floor!" "Target acquired!" "FIRE!" *kaboom*
IW's tradition of having a bonus scene playing in the background as the credits roll. In COD1 you get a mostly-2D version of levels 2-3, in COD2 you get a rather amusing video where they attempt to make a map using every single animation they have (and they still make it good!) and in COD4 they have an AC130 scene in which the devs demonstrate their awesome cheating skillz (semi-auto 40mm, follwed by a rap song from S Sgt. Griggs.
MW2 has something similar, showing the game as a museum, with museum patrons wandering around, backdrops of the places you fought through, etc.
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."
Which makes it all the more meaningful in Black Ops, when Dimitri is killed at the hands of his superior Russian officers, Dragovich and Kravchenko. Add on top of that the manner in whichhe dies,well...you get the picture...
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!"
Modern Warfare 2
Ice axe. Snowmobile. Clothesline. 'Nuff said.
Speaking of Soap, he gets another Moment of Awesome much earlier while chasing down Rojas, and NPC team mate Ghost calls out "He's getting away!" To which Soap calmly replies, "No he's not." And then, from above the player, Soap tackles Rojas through a window and onto the roof of a car, promptly getting to one knee with his pistol drawn. This man has taken about twenty levels in badass since his last appearance.
While General Shepherd is unmistakably the Big Bad, the fact that he actually manages to execute his entire plan flawlessly except for not surviving to see the results despite Price throwing an honest-to-god Spanner in the Works is still damned impressive, even though we're not rooting for him. It is not possible to listen to him at the very end when he, in simple, honest words, finally explains his motivation and still feel like you can judge him based on Black and White Morality.
"Five years ago, I lost thirty-thousand men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fuckin' watched. But, tomorrow, there will be no shortage of patriots, no shortage of volunteers. I know you understand."
Okay, Private James Ramirez may not be as badass as Price or Soap, but he deserves some props for all the crap that went down in D.C. Saving "Raptor," protecting evacuees, taking out enemy anti-armor troops and even enemy armor, gunning down Russian troops while trapped inside a crashed helicopter, awesome. Then in Whiskey Hotel, you manage to retake the White House without electronic supports (not even powered small arms optics), but have to ignite and frantically wave green flares atop the roof to (narrowly) prevent friendly air power from bombing your position. Anyways, as your squad gathers up on the roof and talks about payback (granted, they're all pawns in Shepherd's plan, but really awesome pawns at that) you look over the devastated city, and start to see green smoke rising over other famous D.C. landmarks; looks like Ivan may be in trouble, eh?
Made even more awesome when a random NPC delivers the following simple line at the resolution of the above-mentioned Moment of Awesome: "So when we goin' to Moscow?" Corporal Dunn, who, up until this point, had been your obligatory Deadpan Snarker and apparent Expy of Hudson from Aliens, responds to that line with this one: "Not soon enough, man. But I know we're gonna burn it down when we get there." It's also a meta-Crowning Moment of Funny for anyone who recognizes that Dunn's voice actor is Barry Pepper, whose last notable videogame role was someone who could single-handedly accomplish this in bloody fashion.
In terms of melee badassery, Sgt. Foley in the same game takes the cake. He doesn't bother with fancy hip tosses or gun butts, he just kicks the other guy over and executes him. Do not mess with Foley.
In "Cliffhanger", after meeting up with Captain Mactavish behind the hanger you sneak in. Suddenly Mactavish starts sprinting down the hall and body-checks a guard into the lockers at the far end, knocking him to the ground where the good Captain proceeds to knife him.
"PRICE, DO YOU COPY? THE SILO DOORS ARE OPEN, I REPEAT, THE SILO DOORS ARE OPEN!"
Price: Contact. Enemy patrol 30 meters to our front. Five men, automatic rifles, frag grenades. One German Shepherd.
Soap: Dogs... I hate dogs.
Price: These Russian dogs are like pussycats compared to the ones in Pripyat.
Soap: It's good to have you back, old man.
Price: Roger that.
Makarov. Just...fucking Makarov. Say what you will about him, his speech in the Infamy trailer was epic.
Soap's riot shield takedown: He runs up to the opposing baddie, smacks him down on the ground with the riot shield, and while the man on the ground is trying to recover, Soap takes out Price's Colt. 45 from the last game and shoots him with it, looking very calm.
Price gets an indirect one in "Just Like Old Times"
Shadow Company HQ: "Disciple Nine, you rear guard just flatlined!"
Disciple 9: "Not possible. We just cleared that area. Nobody's that goo-"
Shepherd: "It's Price." The implication? Captain Price is that good.
There's also the moment earlier in the prison mission where you find Captain Price alive. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
Price: [after knocking Roach down] Soap?
Soap [handing Price a pistol]: This belongs to you sir.
Worm: Who's Soap?
What makes this moment even better is that, as you will notice, that pistol is the 1911 that Price passed to Soap so he could kill Zakhaev at the end of MW1.
Where did Captain Price get his chain from? He was shackled with it.After his prison is invaded, he takes the opportunity to choke his solitary guard, then when the breach occurs, moves him in front of the bullets without missing a beat if the player chooses to fire, then knocks the PC down and takes his gun. The subtitles going "Captain Price" is icing on the cake.
His very appearance was a Moment of Awesome. First you get knocked on your ass and when you come to you're staring up at what looks like a crusty old sea captain. A moment later you find out that he isn't just a crusty old captain, he's a crusty old captain who was last seen being revived by a Russian guy (which was assumed to have failed).
Along the same lines as the venerable Reznov, Sgt. Foley puts the Bad Ass into Authority Equals Asskicking and then some. To start he's voiced by KeithFucking David. Then he's got a slew of awesome lines from "Get a grip, Corporal! Our weapons still work, which means we can still kick some ass!" when the EMP starts dropping helicopters down around them like hail and they're still outnumbered by the opposing Russians to "Take us up! If we're going down, we're taking those SAM sites with us!" when the chopper your squad is riding in is critically damaged, instead of trying to limp away. But the most awesome aspect of this truly awesome individual is how he takes his soldiers through one nightmare scenario after another and somehow manages to keep his men together and motivated throughout, and continually puts himself and his squad Ramirez on the line to defend others. When a squad of Russians are bearing down on the weapons cache he's taken, and Command is telling him to get the hell out of Dodge, what does he say? "Forget saving ourselves, we're going to stay here and provide support for the fleeing civilians for as long as possible!" If Shepherd wanted to inspire the American people to stand up and fight, he should have just cloned a bunch of Sgt. Foleys and put them in command of every front-line unit; almost every moment in his presence is a Moment of Awesome.
Worth noting is the intro to "Exodus." Shepherd asks Foley to perform a critical mission to stop the Russians, and Foley's response? "Point it out on a map, sir. They won't take it." The way he says it is the kicker, here; it isn't a promise. It's simply a statement. It's a fact, as simple as the sky is blue. They will hold the line.
Doubles as a bit of a heartwarming moment when you realize how much faith the man has in his men.
"Squad, we still got 2000 civvies in Arcadia. If you've got a family there, it's your lucky day - we're gonna go save their lives!"
The speech given by Captain Price in the opening cutscene of "Just Like Old Times", in response to General Shepherd's betrayal, is positively dripping with poetic awesome:
"The healthy human mind doesn't wake up in the morning thinking this is its last day on Earth. But I think that's a luxury. Not a curse. To know you're close to the end is a kind of freedom. Good time to take...inventory. Outgunned. Outnumbered. Out of our minds. On a suicide mission. But the sand and the rocks here, stained with thousands of years of warfare...They will remember us. For this. Because out of all our vast array of nightmares, this is the one we choose for ourselves. We go forward like a breath exhaled from the Earth. With vigor in our hearts and one goal in sight: We. Will. Kill him."
Driving a vehicle one-handed onto the ramp of a moving plane, with the original driver having just been shot. Holy crap.
Possible CMOA goes to the original driver as well, Rook. Even though he's only driving a jeep against Shadow Company technicals, the fact that he can force vehicles so much heavier then the jeep without causing much damage to the jeep itself deserves praise.
Price's intro to Endgame
This is for the record.
History is written by the victor.
History is filled with liars.
If he lives, and we die, his truth becomes written - and ours is lost.
Shepherd will be a hero. 'cause all you need to change the world is one good lie and a river of blood.
He's about to complete the greatest trick a liar ever played on history.
His truth will be the truth.
But only if he lives, and we die.
The climax. Captain "Soap" MacTavish has been utterly fucked around with for the past few hours, and at long last, while speedboating on a river, his partner Captain Price brings the traitorous General Shepherd's helicopter down with a few well placed sniper rounds... only for the two to be unable to reverse their boat's momentum, causing them to go over a waterfall. Coughing up lungs when awakening, Soap draws his knife and proceeds to stalk and stumble his way over to the burning helicopter, passing by the pilot, who vainly tries to hold him off with a Glock pistol that clicks empty, then Soap (optionally) proceeds to kill him. He then stalks the surviving, fleeing "foot-mobile" Shepherd towards a car. However, when he tries to stab Shepherd, Shepherd hooks his arm, bounces his head off of the car, proceeds to kneel down over the dazed Soap, draw his own knife, and bury it in Soap's chest. Shepherd pulls out his revolver, and proceeds to point it at Soap's head, pausing only to deliver his Motive Rant while loading it, but Price dives to save Soap just in time, knocking away the gun right as it's fired. Soap crawls over to the gun while Shepherd and Price fight, smoothly ignoring the knife buried in his chest, and nearly gets to it... only for the knocked down Price to land behind the weapon, and Shepherd's foot kicking it away. Soap is kicked onto his back, wheezing and definitely dying, and Shepherd proceeds to curb-stomp Soap right in the face to near-unconsciousness. Shepherd then goes over to beat the barely-conscious Price into pulp on the sand while Soap merely watches, fading in and out of brief moments of consciousness. Soap then looks over to the knife buried in his chest, and then realises that he has a knife in arms reach. Shepherd, meanwhile, is busy beating Price's face in when Soap pulls Shepherd's own knife very agonizingly out of his chest, calmly spins it on his finger like it was not just embedded in his torso, and grips the blade for a throw. Right as you pull the trigger to throw the thing (and, if you wait long enough before doing so, you might hear Soap softly whispering Sheperd's name), Shepherd looks up, and you throw the knife right into his eye socket, killing him. Let's review. Soap pulls a knife out of his own chest and throws it into his would-be killer's eye. Holy shit.
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, 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.
Not that it's any less awesome, but Woods tells when the bullet is in the chamber by saying, "Do it now," after he survives his roulette shot. This is possible because he would have been able to see where the bullet is in the rotation before he shot and as the gun laid on the table in front of him, seeing as the gun is a revolver. Unless of course empty shell casings had been placed in the extra holes, making it impossible to tell the difference between the blanks and the lethal shot.
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.
Yuri and Soap are stealthing through the Russian-infested streets of the city, dodging and weaving their way through patrols. Then, they encounter one 'impassible' patrol, which Soap decides to go through rather than around. As he prepares to take on the odds, the shadows in the rooftop above shift. One lone figure stands; Price. And he brought company as a dozen resistance fighters wail down on the Russians below.
In the E3 video of the MW 3 level "Hunter Killer", Sandman basically kicks a charging Russian sailor to death.
During the mission where you play as a Russian FSO agent, you get into a zero gravity shoot-out with hijackers.Holy shit that is awesome.
Is it Andrei Harkov in the Special Ops mission "Hostage Taker"? If so, then doubly impressive, seeing as he was just shot twice by Vladimir Makarov.
Price, after figuring out Yuri worked for Makarov from the now deceased Soap, tells Yuri to open the door, spins Yuri around, and PUNCHES HIM DOWN THE ENTIRE STAIRCASE.
Oh, Price doesn't just punch him down the stairs. He walks down the stairs after him cocking a pistol, then holds it to Yuri's head, saying the following:
" Soap trusted you! I thought I could too! So why, in the bloody hell, does Makarov know you?!"
In Down The Rabbit Hole: Team Metal's last stand. As a wounded Yuri fires at the hostiles, Grinch rolls over to dodge an RPG. Grinch drops his empty M14 and pulls out dual pistols and fires them at different directions. An RPG round nearly hits Sandman as he continues to fire. One hostile runs towards Truck, but Truck throws him over his shoulder and kills him. Another hostile runs towards Sandman, who takes out his knife and stabs him, and then throws it at another incoming hostile. He is wounded on his right arm, so he just e draws out his pistol with his free left hand and resumes firing. The fact that they all die really sucks, but they went out like total badasses.
How the battle of New York ends. America pushes the Russians back into the harbor, and sends Team Metal to board the Russian command sub. Sandman and Frost board the sub and kill everyone on board, and then launch the subs missiles at the rest of the Soviet fleet. Even better, you get to race through the harbor as their fleet explodes around you. This pretty much ends the Russian invasion of the US.
The battle for Paris is pretty awesome, as you get to call in a AC-130 at will. In Iron Lady you even get to switch back and forth between Frost and the AC-130. The ending is great also in seeing the Russian line by bombed, and knowing that Paris and most of France in under allied control.
Yuri gets a lot of disrespect, but he gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome right before and during the "NoRussian" flashback. He is being held by two Russian insurgents before Makarov pulls a gun on him. Yuri had tried to tell as many authorities as possible what was going to happen at the airport, but Makarov found out and shoots him right before the airport massacre began. The CMOA comes in when Yuri, with a .50 caliber bullet in his upper torso, gets thehellup and limps after Makarov as fast as he can, with the mission objective being simply "Stop The Massacre." He is unsuccessful, but damn if he didn't try.
The final mission of Modern Warfare 3. Yuri and Price storm the hotel where Makarov is hiding while wearing Juggernaut armor. They reach the top, but a helicopter assault renders Yuri immobile, forcing Price to go after Makarov by himself. He reaches the helicopter and jumps on board, throws one pilot out, knifes the other, and then crashes the helicopter. Makarov and Price stumble out, and go for a pistol. Makarov reaches it, but then Yuri manages to reach the helipad and shoots Makarov up. Makarov guns Yuri down, but Price jumps on him, forces him down, beats the shit out of him, wraps a cable around Makarov's throat, and smashes the glass they're laying on. End result: Makarov hanging like the criminal he is, and a dazed and battered Price staring at his corpse, before pulling out his lighter, lighting up a cigar, and having a good, long smoke. Pure awesome.
Even the load screen for that final mission is awesome. In every other MW3 mission using the Task Force 141 survivors (even the one where Price is fighting alongside Sandman, instead of Sandman executing the "kill/capture" order still out on Price), the word "Disavowed" is superimposed over the old TF141 emblem in the load screen, acknowledging their status as wanted men. In the last level, the TF141 logo is shown unblemished; Price has finally won. He's cleared their names. If only Soap could have lived to see it.
And the best part? When the name fades in and you're playing as Price. For the first time in two and a half games, you get to kick so much ass.
The awesomeness starts right from the start of the mission.
At the beginning of the mission: Objective: Kill Makarov. At the end, you've fought your way through hordes of Russians, lost Yuri to an armed Little Bird, duked it out with Makarov amid the wreckage of a helicopter, and now you're lying in the shattered hotel. The camera pans up, reveals Makarov's hanging corpse, the player gets a moment or two to hold their breath, and then...