90. Transduction - Stupidbunny, Kyka, Megamur, and dobu gabu maru (2017)
TNT: Revilution Map12
Contrast is a force to be reckoned with. After eleven action-packed maps, this spooky collaboration comes out of nowhere and greets the player with dead silence. There's just something about this dark facility, seemingly devoid of monsters, that sends a chill up the spine, and the wad's obligatory Wormhole tribute just oozes creepiness (on top of being just plain cool). Though the map alone is good enough to potentially earn its place on this list, it's the sudden mood shift from the preceding maps that really gives it the edge. Try it and see for yourself... just don't look behind you.
89. Miasma - tourniquet (2016)
Miasma, tourniquet's magnum opus map, pits players against a breathtaking green behemoth, loaded with all manner of spiteful DNA. Whether in the early tech themed areas, the rocky outdoors, or the deepest caverns, this map is primed to test your mettle. It has just the right amount of detailing to look beautiful while staying visually crisp. Encounter design follows the very same standard: Every fight feels very pronounced and nicely tuned; even the incidental combat has sophisticated touches. It's one of the maps to die for, or in.
88. Dark Dome - Anders Johnsen (2001)
Alien Vendetta Map26
Heir to the legacy of Hell Revealed's most blistering map, the formidable "Post Mortem" (HR m24), Anders Johnsen's "Dark Dome" expands on the delightfully overwhelming opening clusterfuck which characterizes that older map while making the overall environment more navigable. The result is one of the finest and most nuanced examples of the classical "zone of influence" slaughter style, pitting the player against seemingly intractable entrenchments of opposition which can be methodically dismantled through creative/tactical thinking. As with AV writ large, it makes an excellent introduction to a more demanding strata of gameplay without sacrificing form to function.
87. Impossible: A New Reality - JK (2006)
Initially unassuming, Impossible is one of the cleverest designs of its generation. Tellingly, there's more of subtlety than immediate flash in its utilization of advanced port features, but its ingenious planning, staging and pacing make for an unforgettable trip through a strange world that easily outshines any number of fancy lightshows or scriptbombs in lasting impact. To say much more in detail about this one really would be to spoil it for you, but suffice to say it's best to mind the tagline--"don't trust your instincts, don't trust your sense of reality"--before embarking.
86. Run Buddy by Michael Krause (1998)
The work of Michael Krause, a German mapper of the late 90s/early Boom era, is characterized by nothing so much as a striking sense of scale, and 1998's RUN BUDDY epitomizes this liberating spaciousness in a way that dwarfs even his many other wide-open romps. With even its "minor" areas being the size of football fields or parking garages, the map's comparatively light dusting of monsters makes it seem a quaint safari in comparison to today's megalithic massacres. Still, its chunky, grandiose macrotecture helped to establish a framework for later visionaries to build from, and as a study in the joy of pure freedom of movement in Doom it's evergreen even now.
85. Songs of the Damned - Iori (2006)
Songs of the Damned is a large single map set in a half-flooded valley speckled with the crumbling monuments of some long-forgotten kingdom, wanly illuminated by the feeble rays of a failing sun just barely managing to pierce through the reams of thick grey cloud cover blanketing the landscape like a burial shroud. A singularly affecting sojourn through both pitched gunfights and a general fog of sad bastardry alike, "Songs" is a beautiful example of a PWAD embracing the unique look and feel of Doom/idtech1 as a core experience, one of several significant releases heralding the rise to prominence of vanilla/Boom mastercraft in the coming era.
84. Crumbling Necropolis - an_mutt (2015)
Nova II Map15
The second in an ongoing series of WADs intended to provide a showcase for self-described 'amateur' mappers, NOVA II: New Dawn saw breakout releases by several of today's most talented mappers. Of these, an_mutt's "Crumbling Necropolis" is a highlight among highlights, seemingly effortlessly realizing a nigh perfect fusion of engrossing sandbox layout, exhilarating parkour play, satisfying incidental skirmishing and white-knuckle setpiece battles, all set against the enchanting backdrop of a long-fallen industrial hub already half-reclaimed by nature. A pleasure to fight in and a pleasure to explore, this is a prime example of a map that offers something to appreciate for players of all stripes, a moonlit sonata to everything that's fun about Doom.
83. Invasion 2: The Upper Decks - Andy Chen and Claude Martins (1994)
Who’d have thought a map from 1994 could look this good? Invasion 2 was one of the first maps to put serious thought into custom textures and setting, and one of the first that tried to be something more than just another id clone. With cool effects like smoke and animated monitors, it offered a sense of adventure and realism that remained unparalleled until the days of big team projects like Eternal Doom and S.T.R.A.I.N.
82. The Beginning and the End - Tormentor667 (2007)
The Ultimate Torment & Torture Map04
An all-out frontal assault up a spiraling mountain path, a gantlet that tests your endurance against scores of powerful custom enemies, the starry void careening past at breakneck speed, a final showdown with a giant satanic pillar of light and its hulking bodyguards…say what you will about controversial mapping styles, but if that isn’t badass, I don’t know what is.
81. Magnus - Ribbiks (2013)
Stardate 20X6 Map07
This map is one of the most powerful early examples of Ribbiks’s signature visual style, a huge, grim void fortress shot through with glowing bands of color and watched over by elaborately detailed towers, a place that makes you feel like a rat in the walls of the Creator’s mind. It’s also remembered for that one fight at the end, where a single wrong move can see you vaporized in a split second – perhaps one of the most vicious battles ever made by a mapper known for being vicious.