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Top 5 Essential WADs

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Just wondering what people's "must play" WADs are. There's so many out there and I know when I first started it was hard to know what to play. I looked at various best of lists etc and played through a whole bunch in the last 12 months or so (yes I'm a noob, sorry for being late to the party! I first completed Doom and Doom 2 as a kid back in the late 90s so I have some credentials I guess!). Anyway, here's my top 5 list, what's yours:



Ancient Aliens

Community Chest 2


Dimension of the Boomed



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Vanilla : Kama Sutra

Limit-Removing : Hellbound

Boom : Eviternity

Gzdoom : Dark Encounters

One-map wad : Disturbia (Boom)



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Just five? I'll give it a shot.

  • Valiant, as mentioned above
  • Base Ganymede: Complete
  • Ultimate Needs More Detail (or is this named Needs More Detail Ultimate?)
  • Back to Saturn X (all episodes)
  • UnAligned

For various reasons; Valiant is just GOAT, and things like NMDU.wad and BGCOMP.wad are great for mixing up that allegedly 'stale' Doom 1 bestiary. None more so than UnAligned though, but then I'm a big fan personally of concept maps; your mileage may vary.

Also Back to Saturn X is just a masterclass in mapping with vanilla restraints. Even if the map design ain't your cup of tea, it is awesome to behold all the same.

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Going Down


Hmmm...No End in Sight or Lunar Catastrophe? Can't decide....:( Woukd definitely rank those in front of NMD and DTWID, though.

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Hellbound - Using only vanilla textures and still manage to look authentic. This feels like Doom 2 would/should have been.

                 (Map 29 is amazing looking, but felt exhausted and bored after some time and I was playing with High noon drifter.

                 And no map should feel boring or exhausting with HND.)


Valiant - Great use of custom textures, lot of different places and themes to explore. Some of the map too slaughter-esk

             for my personal liking. Overall really cool to play.


Struggle: Antaresian legacy - Great use of custom textures, personaly love the blue hell (?) theme maps, good variety of map types.

                                          The custom weapons doesn´t look great, but feel great to use. Monster behaviour dehacks is also a nice touch.

                                          Pacing was a little bit off IMO. Got little bit tired of more slaughter-esk maps in a row.

                                          Final boss can go &@#$ itself though.

                                          (I am really in hate/love relationship with this one. But in the end it has a lot of great stuff to offer.)


UAC Invasion: The Supply Depot - Great single map with ton of detail, nice custom texture use, highly authentic

                                                  with interesting progression and map design.


Strange Aeons - Manages to feel like doom even with a lot of custom stuff (textures/monsters). Has a great variety of places and themes

                        to explore. Has good variety

                        of map styles. Never goes the endgame slauther map route.

                        However some of the custom monsters are quite annoying like the shield monsters and the revenant variant, also, all

                        the spiders can go and burn in hell for eternity.

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I have two wads that I consider the all-time best, being the magnum opuses of @mouldy and @Pinchy respectively:


Going Down: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/megawads/gd

The Alfonzone: https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/98003-the-alfonzone/


After that though, these three are pretty good too.... (although I have quite a few I'd consider in a top 5 after Going Down and The Alfonzone)


Hellbound: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/megawads/hellbnd

Double Impact: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom/Ports/d-f/dbimpact

Golden Souls: https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/69813-doom-the-golden-souls-even-more-definitive-edition-released/


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Alien Vendetta

Memento Mori



Going Down


I would've put Hell Revealed on the list, but it's limited to 5, and also HR hasn't aged well at all. Just my opinion.

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1 hour ago, zzzornbringer said:

god, i needed that in my life. beautiful. a dream for a purist and minimalist.


Tormentor667 made a tribute map for Simplicity called Austerity, it's pretty true to the original but it's much harder.

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Oh lordy tough picks for me. I will say...

Golden Souls

Golden Souls 2

Simon's Destiny


ZDoom Community Map Project 2


Feeling kind enough to do runners ups


Knee Deep In ZDoom

Ultimate Torment and Torture

Zen Dynamics 

Community Chest 4

Whispers Of Satan

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Without any specific order:


Slaugtherfest 2011: not the most loved megawad out there, but I really like most of the maps. Mixed Nuts is a masterpiece in my opinion and MAP31 is the first huge open map that I've ever seen.


Going down: I think that this was the first really well detailed wad that I've played. Its small maps, with its nice storytelling are quite awsome in my opinion. Necropolis is another map that I will never stop to love.


Scythe: not the greatest wad in term of detail but I simply like it. It was fun to play it and I think that it is quite better than his sequel. It doesn't have incredibly hard moments like scythe 2 and Fire and Ice is maybe my favourite final map of all time, with its awsome music and its atmosphere.


Ultimate simplicity: I like how this wad can surprise the player with its scripts and how you can simply enjoy this wad without paying attention to his difficulty level


Community chest 4: this one his here mainly to fill the 5th place, but I like the fact that you can learn a lot about mapmaking simply by looking at this maps

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Suspended In Dusk really opened my eyes as to what a content creator can do with DOOM.  Classical DOOM has always been rather visually forward with the player, but Espi crafted something truly visceral. From the beginning moments with a rock texture and a stock sky, the architectural perfection can be immediately recognized from a rock.  And then the narrative is explicit without a single mention of text as you follow a Cyber-Demon into a techbase that will make you say "check those corners" and other quotes from ALIENS.


The combat gets criticized a fair bit, but with the second half of Back 2 Basics the unique gameplay elements are suitably canonized.  For the most part its all tight quarters and humanoid enemies- not exactly unique; but the placements often convey a visceral fight.  So for example, you walk through a doorway and a shotgunguy becomes alert- but you circles strafe around him into the next door.  Its a basic room that keeps the action punchy and flowing. A trap with Archviles has them approach you from a long hallway, which isnt surprising but foreboding as you see these demons come at you like something out of World War Z.  A Baron of Hell stands atop a switch in a jagged hallway, begging the player to use close range attacks as Pinkies reach out to touch you from the walls behind you.


Punching Pinky Demons and Cacodemons is part of what makes DOOM so cool.  Its visceral.


The boss fight of Back 2 Basics is a lot better than in SiD.  The paths are as narrow as any you have ever seen, and you have to dance around hissing Imps and smiling Cacodemons.  Then a Cyberdemon stalks you across a tight arena but happily clears up swarms of demons for your ammo strapped character.  Its as tight of a fight as the end fight in ALIENS.  Wayward paths grant you the BFG and plenty of ammo to humble the big horned guy. SiD is far less amazing in the boss department with the Cyberdemon being a whack-the-mole fight.  It has a lot of great moments, though- from the first Archvile rushing you down in a hallway to the vast underground substructure that of missile silos and teleportation strings.  Even though you feel as if you are hunting something much larger, the Archvile presents himself as your nemesis by periodically showing up to duel or swarm you - the reanimation powers never getting much use at all.


The gameplay definitely go against the grain but accomplish so much with such subtlety.

Edited by Mk7_Centipede

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