Every Left 4 Dead Campaign Ranked from Best to Worst

by - Thursday, January 31, 2019


One of my favorite games of all time is Left 4 Dead 2, and luckily they ported over all the campaigns from the original Left 4 Dead series. I decided to rank all of them from best to worst based on my own personal experience.

Left 4 Dead 2: 


1. The Passing
The Passing is my favorite campaign in Left 4 Dead 2, not only because both groups of survivors get to meet (the ones from Left 4 Dead and the new ones from Left 4 Dead 2), the graffiti in this game is pretty funny, and my favorite part is when you have to kill the Witch Bride and listen to that sweet new song from the Midnight Riders. This campaign is also the shortest in Left 4 Dead 2, having only three parts (The Riverbank, in which you have to cross through the Witch wedding, The Underground, in which you have to go through the sewer, and The Port, which is very similar to The Sacrifice, but instead of turning on generators, you have to fill up a generator with gas). The Fallen Survivor is the uncommon infected in this campaign, and when killed, they will drop random items such as pills, pipe bombs, health kits, or molotovs.

2. Dark Carnival
I like this campaign because of the character dialogue (when they get to Kiddie Land and the Tunnel of Love). This campaign also has two Crescendo events (the Coaster and the Barns), and the Concert is my favorite part because if you play as Ellis or Coach they will sing directly into the mic that's on stage after you've turned on the stage lighting. This campaign is kind of long, comprising of five parts (The Highway, The Fairgrounds, The Coaster, The Barns, and The Concert). The Coaster part can be slightly frustrating if you're new to L4D because you have to turn on the coaster and chase after it to turn it off, but even though the coaster will kill some infecteds for you, most of them come out from the sides of the track and it's a great spot for Smokers to hang out. There are Clown uncommon infected in this campaign, whose shoes tend to attract hordes as they squeak, but there is an achievement where you can honk the nose of ten clowns, and to honk the nose of a clown, all you need to do is shove it. For this finale, there are three methods, but the two I most frequently use are the Bleachers and The Stage. For the Bleachers, it sounds exactly like it sounds like: you hold up in the Bleachers. I sometimes use this method if the ammo dump changed location to here, but I usually use the Stage method because the fireworks provide some additional coverage as they set infected who pass through on fire. I usually do the Stage Method first, and then move up to the Bleachers as it makes it easier to reach the chopper.

3. Dead Center
This campaign places third because it's when all four Survivors are getting to know each other, and you have a slim chance of running into the famed Jimmy Gibbs Jr. This campaign has four parts (The Hotel, The Streets, The Mall, and The Atrium), and much like The Passing, you have to fill something up with gas to escape. The great part about this is that you have a chance to see an infected Jimmy Gibbs Jr. Jimmy Gibbs Jr is unfortunately impervious to everything except for melee attacks and being shot, and when he hits you, he'll leave a little motor oil splatter on your screen like the Mudmen from Swamp Fever. This is also what sets Left 4 Dead 2 apart from the first game, as the Survivors get introduced to each other in this level.  The uncommon infected in this game is the CEDA worker, who are zombies wearing hazmat suits, and they sometimes drop bile bombs when killed. For the finale of this game, you make your own rescue, much like Crash Course from the first game, and some people like to juggle two gas cans at once, but I find that there's a greater chance of accidentally shooting a gas can and lighting it on fire that way, so I take one at a time, plus you can use the gas can as melee weapons.

4. Hard Rain
This campaign is a little bit difficult because of the storm part, and also there are so many Witches in this level. This campaign has four parts (The Mill Town, The Mill, Escape From the Mill, Return to Town, and Town Escape). In this campaign, you help Virgil, who rescues you from Swamp Fever, get gas, but you have to go through a mill town, through an abandoned sugar mill which is teeming with Witches, get the gas, go back through the Mill, go back to the town, and use the Burger Tank sign to flag down Virgil. This is my fourth favorite because I don't like campaigns where there's a lot of water as it slows you down, and you have to be very careful around the Witches. The uncommon infected in this level are construction workers, who have earmuffs on so they are impervious to pipe bombs. There are three strategies to the finale of this map: The Rooftop method, which has all survivors holding out on the roof, the Indoor method, which has all survivors holding out inside the Burger Tank, and the Back of the Map method, which has all survivors holding out in the back of the map. I personally use the Rooftop Method because the hole on the roof allows a funneling point for commons to get in, and it gives a better fighting chance against the Tank if he has to climb up, plus you can quickly drop down through the hole if you need ammo or a health kit and climb back up using the truck parked in front.

5. The Parish
This is the last chronological campaign in Left 4 Dead 2 before the Survivors are able to get to the military, and I find it okay, but it's not really interesting. The most interesting part in this campaign is its finale, where you have to run to the other side of the bridge to get to the chopper. This is my fifth favorite because I feel like it's a bit too ordinary, and every time I play it, I manage to get lost. However, I do love the Bridge part as there's an achievement for making it to the other side and into the chopper in less than 3 minutes, so it really makes you hurry. There is also a Riot uncommon infected in this level, which can only be killed if you shoot them in the back. For the Bridge Finale, there's also a Tank that spawns in the same spot every time, and you can either stay to fight him or use an adrenaline shot to bypass him, but risk a larger horde when you get near the helicopter.

Cold Stream
Cold Stream is the "forgotten" campaign of Left 4 Dead 2 since rarely anyone plays it. This is not a canon campaign, but it is fun because it basically is running through the woods and trying to find rescue, so it kind of reminds me of Blood Harvest except it's set during the daytime. This is my second to last favorite because it has no new character dialogue and focuses more on the gameplay of the campaign, which I can appreciate but it's quite awkward when nobody says anything.

6. Swamp Fever
Swamp Fever is my least favorite campaign because the majority of it requires you to cross over water, and water makes you slow, and also the Plantation part is tricky, especially since if you're on Normal difficulty or higher, you have to fight two Tanks at once, and if you're not careful, they could wipe your entire team. I also get very lost in this campaign as well trying to leave the Shantytown. The uncommon infected in this game is the mudmen, who leave little splatters of mud on your screen if you get hit by one. This campaign has four parts (Plank County, The Swamp, The Shantytown, and The Plantation). The finale of this game changes per game: Sometimes it'll give you what's called "The Glory Hole" method, where the ammo dump is near a hole on the second floor of the plantation, The Gate Method, where it puts the ammo dump near the gate, and the Wing Method, which places the ammo dump on the second floor balcony.

Left 4 Dead: 
1. Death Toll
Death Toll is my favorite, because of the endless Gauntlet Crescendo trying to get to the safe room in The Town part, and it's quite fun to guess what Special Infected Church Guy will turn into (Boomer, Smoker, or Hunter). I also tend to get a little lost during this level, but not so much as the other levels. This campaign is made out of five parts (The Turnpike, The Drains, The Church, The Town, and Boathouse Finale), and the Boathouse Finale is not my favorite as you can easily be killed if you're not paying attention via a stray Charger or Jockey. Death Toll takes place at night, which amps up the fright factor of Left 4 Dead.

2. Dead Air
Dead Air is my second favorite, mostly because in the ported Left 4 Dead 2 version, you can no longer skip the metal detector, so you kinda have to go through that entire Crescendo event, plus it has a Michael Bay level explosion when the plane crashes. This campaign has five parts as well (The Greenhouse, The Crane, The Construction Site, The Terminal, and Runway Finale), and this campaign is a little different since your rescue vehicle is already there, it just needs to be fueled. My strategy for the finale is usually to climb on top of the fuel truck as it's close to the ammo dump. Dead Air possibly takes place at dawn, after the Slaters abandon the survivors and take their weapons and health kits.

3. Blood Harvest
Blood Harvest has that creepy feeling to it as you make your way to a farm, and that's what makes this the third on my list. Imagine being trapped in the middle of a forest with nothing but zombies surrounding you. It'd be creepy too. This campaign has five parts (The Woods, The Tunnel, The Bridge, The Train Station, and Farmhouse Finale). This is interesting because the finale takes place in a farmhouse, so that means there are plenty of opportunities for you to funnel the infected in if you're holding out in the house, which is my usual strategy. Blood Harvest is the scariest campaign in the Left 4 Dead game to me, because it's just like Hard Rain, where you have to cross through a sugar cane, but without the Witches.

4. No Mercy
No Mercy takes fourth place but really tied with Blood Harvest. This is the first campaign and you have to make your way through the apartments that you land at in the intro video, and make your way to the rooftop of the hospital. I don't particularly like the Sewers part (because it's easy to get lost and it's especially terrifying when you hear the Tank music), and you have to be very careful on the Rooftops because just one smack from a Tank or being charged can lead to your death, and there are patient zombies where you can see their butts (which I affectionally call the naked butt zombie).

5. Crash Course
Crash Course is the shortest campaign in Left 4 Dead having two parts (The Alleys and the Truck Depot), and it's really nothing special. The best part about this campaign is firing off the big gun to destroy the barricade at the bridge, and of course the actual holding out part of the finale. However, one bit of dialogue I like is Zoey's pun about the pilot after she shoots him because he turned into a zombie and Francis constantly berating Zoey for shooting the pilot. This is also a campaign where I find myself getting lost constantly because it's dark in almost all the areas.

6. The Sacrifice
I put this in last place because it's incredibly difficult to play single player when you're trying to make the sacrifice to restart the generator because when the bridge fails halfway up, that's when you get the three tanks that pop up. I failed four times before I was finally able to get it, and canonically, Bill is the one who sacrifices himself for the greater good which is pretty sad when you see his body in The Passing in the generator room (he can't be revived with defibs).

How would you rate the Left 4 Dead campaigns?

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