80. Starport - z86 (2013)
Hellbound is best known for its huge, highly detailed city maps, and Starport, the last map of the city set, is the grandest and most Hellboundy of them all. This former interplanetary travel hub and its surrounding landing fields are absolutely oozing with sense of place, and the sandboxy nature offers plenty of appeal for exploration-oriented players.
79. The Mouth of Madness - mouldy (2014)
Going Down Map20
Going Down is an impressive work of engine ingenuity and variations on a theme, and it has some great ideas and memorable maps, but MAP20 has an edge. Is it because it's a tight slaughtermap? Is it because it's a stark break from the rest of Going Down's elevator theme? Or is it the giant, foetid, bloody, pin-toothed maw vomiting up a nearly endless wave of monsters and you desperately trying to stem the tide of baddies and search for weapons and health while you look for ways to shoot the mouth's eyes out so that you can achieve the ultimate goal of getting swallowed whole by it?
Yeah, probably that last one.
78. Mission Imp.ossible (part 1) - Scuba Steve et al (2004)
Action Doom Map02
Action Doom is chock-full of cool moments, and while the opening plane-jump sequence immediately stands out, the sheer concentration of coolness in MAP02 gives it the edge. From the opening forest crawl to the impressive car/boat chase sequence (depending on which route you took), this one stays in the brain for a long while -- even if only because you crashed your boat into the rocks for the seventeenth time.
77. Town of the Dead - Iikka Keranen (1997)
It’s hard to think of Requiem without thinking of Iikka Keranen’s city maps. The pseudo-3D tricks and midtexture wizardry that made Keranen the greatest mapper of the pre-source-port era are at their best here, and though the cramped building-to-building combat may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the claustrophobia is fitting for the intricate urban setting – not to mention that odd little cemetery ending, which is a pretty cool twist.
76. Ticket to Eternity - Gusta and Pipicz (2008)
Plutonia 2 Map29
The stunning finale of the glorious and transformative PL2 is a humongous city warped by demons and flooded by blood. A homage to Plutonia's Odyssey of Noises, Gusta and pipicz's magnum opus outdoes the original in every aspect imaginable. Complex and detailed architecture that only barely fits within vanilla Doom's engine limits, challenging gameplay several times harder and longer and an easter-egg hunt to kill all the hidden Commander Keens that reveals the super-secret credit room... Boundaries may have been pushed 10 years later, but Ticket to Eternity remains one of the most impressive (and reddest) vanilla maps in history!
75. Spooky Sunken Ship - Batandy (2018)
Golden Souls 2 W3M4
Golden Souls 2 has plenty of cool tricks up its sleeve, and the spooky ghost houses and drifty underwater segments are some of its most memorable highlights. Add the two together and throw in a boss fight, and you’ve got Spooky Sunken Ship. Set in a half-flooded ghost pirate ship that’s infested by some kind of whale-kraken from Hell, it’s one of the most distinctive entries in a megawad full of unique ideas.
74. Sheer Poison - Yakfak (2015)
A riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vaguely 'E2' getup, Sheer Poison by Zan-zan-zawa-veia is, independent of what its intentions might be, a noble scion of the gleefully abstract 3D puzzle style exemplified by such notable names as Jim Flynn and Bob Evans--a complex, bewildering environment that grants the player not so much as an inch of guidance to unraveling its dizzying web of secrets and rabbithole of final-final endings. As to those intentions, well...per the author's own admission this is something of a contrarian display, intended to embody and enshrine level design tropes popularly labeled as "wrong", but in spite of (and on some level, likely because of) its flagrant disregard of conventional affordances it's supremely rewarding to dig deep into, a perspective-changing outing in the esoteric joys of unconventional progression.
Technically a pair of maps, Didy's Monster Hunter Ltd. is treated with here as a single entry precisely because each is incomplete in impact without the other. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic or at least "bad timeline" world (presumably demon-related), MHL sees the titular protagonist embark on a nocturnal job to clear out an infestation in a dour riverside neighborhood (and perhaps score some posh art-swag on the side), before dealing with the inevitable retribution in the form of an assault on their swank loft apartment the next morning. As a mapper Didy has always excelled in immersive, realistic environments - very Doomcute 'noir', we might say - but MHL is on a whole new level, beautiful in its grime and intoxicating in its detail (both visual and narrative) while consistently entertaining as, well....a monster hunt!
72. For We Are Many - Matt Tropiano (2007)
Community Chest 3 Map29
Matt Tropiano isn't a household name inside the slaughter enthusiast circles, yet he provided one of the important stepping stones to the genre's current day status. This massive airy stone temple overgrown with vines is filled to the brink by endless hordes of hellspawn that need to be cleaned up by the heaviest of Doom's arsenal. Perhaps a bit raw and corridor-heavy from today's refined gameplay perspective, this epic adventure nevertheless provided a challenging bookend to the ambitious Community Chest 3 and forced many a normie to learn how not to let go of the fire button.
71. Arcanum - James Paddock and Xaser (2018)
The Adventures of Square: Episode 2 A10
A giant underground death cult fortress serves as the stage for the grand finale of Square’s adventures on the moon, and this deadly gantlet is brimming with lakes of scalding liquids, bottomless pits, wicked traps, and creepy wizard ghosts. The boss battle is one for the ages, combining projectile hells, environmental hazards, and minion spawns for a challenge that feels ludicrous but plays fair.