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Been replaying most of the old Id fps games recently. Here is my view of what I consider to be the top 10 best and worst Id software fps games ranked from best to worst:
1. Doom 2
Doom may be considered the greatest Id game by many but while the vanilla campaign of Doom may be better than Doom 2's, it's Doom 2's modding community that has kept the series alive all these years. Timeless gameplay and countless gameplay mods make this the greatest of all Id software fps games.
Before there was Doom 2, there was Doom. While the gameplay remains the same as in Doom, it has a stronger SP campaign. This game would be at the top of the list if it wasn't for Doom 2.
3. Doom 2016
If it wasn't for the original Doom/Doom 2 this would be the best Id software game. Awesome gameplay makes this not just the best fps of 2016 but one of the best fps games period. It is merely held back by it's average multiplayer and snapmap could have been better.
4. Doom 3
Yes, I think Doom 3 is better than all the other Id games (not counting Doom/Doom 2016). You mad? Doom 3 does not deserve the hate it gets. It's not as fast paced as the originals but it's still very much a Doom game. With amazing visuals and lightning that still hold up even today, Doom 3 has a special place in my heart. Even today after all these years since it's release I still don't think anybody has been able to create anything like Doom 3. The Dead Space series comes close at times, but even it doesn't compare.
5. Doom 64
In case you haven't noticed yet all the best Id software games on this list are Doom games. That is just to be expected since the Doom francise has always been the flagship franchise of Id software. Doom 64 took the timeless gameplay of the originals and merged it with scarier visuals and improved lightning, resulting in a game that that feels like a blend of the original Doom and Doom 3. The only reason it's above Doom 3 is because I feel the later half of the game was considerably weaker than the first half. It also lacked some of the enemies from Doom 2 which was a shame (though Brutal Doom 64 fixes this thankfully. By the way you should play it already if you haven't).
Quake was made during a strange time where full 3D games were just becoming a thing and yet the general design of fps games was still the same as in the 2.5D era of Doom clones. The result was basically 3D Doom with lovecraftian visuals. Quake was a fine game, but I don't think it's anywhere near as good as Doom. It's low poly 3D graphics and brownish art design looks fucking ugly compared to Doom's colorful visuals and entertaining graphics design. Even on a gameplay level it isn't as fun as Doom, thanks to some fairly annoying enemies (grenade spamming ogres, I am looking at you...). Still, Quake is a good game that is worthy of being played, even if for no other reason than to experience what early classic 3D fps games were like in case you haven't played it already.
7. Quake 3
I was never a huge fan of Quake 3 to be honest. I was an Unreal Tournament guy at the time and felt Quake 3 just wasn't that fun compared to it. Still, it's a decent MP arena shooter that has countless fans and I can see why; it's fast paced and gory, with satanic visuals to boot. What's not to love?
8. Quake 2
I know this will make some people rage but I just never thought Quake 2 was that good of a game. It's visuals have arguably aged even worse than Quake's, thanks to choppy and stale looking animations. The weapons feel and look like crap. Enemies aren't very fun to kill. And worst of all, it possibly takes the honor (or dishonor) of being the first "modern shooter". Quake 2 does not play like Quake or Doom. Instead of exploring a maze looking for keys, Quake 2 is a mostly linear game with mission objectives. In a way you could say that Quake 2 was the proto version of all the boring linear sci-fi/military fps games that would later become the norm. For all of these reasons I am putting Quake 2 pretty low on the list. The game did have some awesome music though.
9. Final Doom
Well technically this wasn't really made by Id, but Id published it so I consider it an Id game. Final Doom was an expansion for Doom 2 which consisted of 2 level packs: Plutonia and TNT. Both contained 32 new levels but no new enemies or weapons. There was some new music and a few new textures though. Final Doom isn't terrible, it's just rather meh. Unlike the next entry...
10. Doom 2: The master levels
I don't know what Id was thinking allowing this crap to be released. The master levels are basically a bunch of levels made by fans put unto a CD and sold as an actual retail product. It's like Id looked at all of the shovelware wad CD's that were being made at the time and thought "hey, we can make one like that!". And thus the master levels for Doom 2 was born. The levels aren't even a part of the same campaign. You actually have to load them individually. How lazy is that? The quality of the levels are also not very good compared to the original game. There are a few decent ones but most are fairly crap. This is one of the only Id games that I Consider to be just plain bad.
And there you have it. The top 10 best and worst Id Software fps games. What would YOUR list look like?
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To me, Wolfenstein 3D holds up far better than Goldeneye does. I have a lot of nostalgia for Goldeneye, but it's aged atrociously. I only got around to playing through Wolfenstein 3D maybe 4 years ago, and it would easily be one of my top 10 favourite first person shooters.