OK, here is my list. Hope it's useful, and apologies in advance for errors or any really stupid omissions. It's in very approximate order of my personal preference, but I think these are all well worth playing.
NB: Unless otherwise mentioned, these wads are for Doom2 and do not require a source port.
Equinox - limit-extending source port - 13 maps - by B.P.R.D.
Damn near perfect in every way IMO. Great theme, looks beautiful, tells a story, and presents a marvellous challenge.
Doom Resurrection - Zdoom - 5 maps - by Tommy "Fatal" Quick
Makes brilliant use of Zdoom's features (some Half-Life themes). Lots of little surprises, and things you've never seen before in Doom. A must-play unless you're allergic to Zdoom or something.
Murderous Intent - Boom-compatible port - 7 maps - by Jay Townsend
Extraordinarily violent and difficult maps. Highly skilled players should love it.
Slayer - 11 maps (not including deathmatch maps) - by Richard Wiles
Unrelentingly challenging - tight and tricky. Good fighting and thinking skills required.
Death Tormention II - Ultimate Doom - 9 maps - by Paul Corfiatis, Kristian Aro and Chris Harbin
Try this if you liked 2002 ADO, but found it too easy in places :) Not jam-packed with big monsters; the difficulty comes from well-planned ambushes and lack of room to manoeuvre. Try it with fast monsters if you dare - it is survivable.
Darkening - 11 maps (not including deathmatch maps) - by Jan Van der Veken, Travers Dunne, John Bye, Nick Baker, Ola Björling, Adam Windsor et al.
Top-quality. If you haven't already played it, get it now.
Darkening 2 - 12 maps (not including deathmatch maps) - by Jan Van der Veken, Nick Baker, Ola Björling, Ben Davies, Derek Mac Donald, Anthony Soto, Lee Szymanski, Richard Wiles, Adam Windsor et al.
Same as for "Darkening" but with brass knobs on. A must-play.
Enigma - 9 maps - by Jim Flynn
Large and difficult maps - some puzzles, but they're not annoying. Interesting use of fractal images to liven up the decor. Very highly recommended.
Kill! Zone 1 - 7 maps - by Don Howard
Large and difficult maps. Fun.
Kill! Zone 2 - limitless source port recommended - 7 maps - by Don Howard
Like Kill! Zone 1, but more so. Hardly a dull (or safe) moment.
Squadron 417 - 24 maps (but a few of them are not possible in single-player) - by Sam Lopresti, Jeff Cruser, Keith Hickman and Damon Thomas
A coop wad, but most of the maps are OK in single-player mode (see Jason Henry's demopack for details). Massive amounts of ammo and tons of big monsters - gameplay tends towards slaughter. Variety of styles, including some "realism".
One Bloody Night - 9 maps - by Erik Alm
Violent and difficult; the final few maps are especially tough.
Dark Covenant - 12 maps - by Keith Phipps
Big, challenging and atmospheric maps - see Erik Alm's demopack for descriptions.
Odyssey - 5 maps - by T. Elliott Cannon
Nicely themed maps intended to depict different time periods. Fun to play.
Ruinbros -limit-extending source port - 7 maps - by Kristian Aro
Beautiful maps with good gameplay. What more could you ask for?
Insertion - 11 maps - by David Shaw, Stephen Watson, Thomas Evans and Adam Williamson
Good maps with plenty of route options - see Andy Oliveira's demopack.
License to Spell Doom - Ultimate Doom; Zdoom - 9 maps - by Stephen Clark (Ultimate DooMer)
Highly innovative mission-based episode - see my /newstuff review.
Dark 7 - Zdoom - 7 maps - by Bryant Robinson
Very impressive episode (including excellent sounds and graphics), albeit marred by a slightly lame finish.
Captain Mancubus - 6-map Hub; Zdoom - by Epyo and Black Void
The emphasis is on fun, and there are plenty of little surprises too.
Iditarod - 10 maps - by T. Elliott Cannon
Big challenging maps, with a few switch/timing puzzles that you'll either love or hate.
Riverge - limitless source port required - 6 maps - by Markus Heikinpalo (DooMer 4ever)
I'm biased since I helped playtest this one, but the maps do present an excellent challenge. Nice music too.
Mancubus - 4 maps - by "turdburglar"
Fun and challenging maps with a pleasing appearance.
Scientist - 11 maps - by Scientist
Nicely themed maps, with a good variety of styles. Fair challenge, though not extreme.
Hell2Pay Limited Edition - 15 maps - by Wraith Corporation
Same deal as for the Perdition's Gate Limited Edition, but 15 maps this time, with a lot of interesting graphics and monster/weapon replacements. Map15 is just... wahooey.
Perdition's Gate Limited Edition - 11 maps - by Wraith Corporation
This is the 11-level freebie portion of a commercial megawad. Although they saved most of the best stuff for the later maps, this is still good quality work.
Doom2000 - Hub; Zdoom - by TeamTNT
Initial release of the first hub of the project soon(?) to be released as Daedalus. Many never-before-seen features.
Perdition's Gate - 6 maps - by Alex Mayberry
An "old-school" episode - straightforward and bloody.
Sinful Discharge - Heretic; jHeretic - 9 maps - by ICE
A traditional Heretic episode designed for jHeretic. Looks beautiful, plays like a dream.
Shadowcaster - Heretic; Zdoom or Heretic.exe - 9 maps - by Stephen Clark (Ultimate DooMer)
Makes full use of Heretic's unique features - several "tests" of agility, etc., but mostly good old fashioned violence.
Mordeth - 6 maps - by Gaston Lahaut (Mordeth)
Had to mention this... Highly innovative, especially taking into account its age.
Dystopia 3 - 11 maps - by Anthony Czerwonka and Iikka Keranen
Nice maps and decent challenge. A couple of maps duplicate ones in STRAIN, though with different monster deployment.
A Warm Place - Hub; Zdoom - by Richo Rosai
A good fight all the way through an impressive environment.
Trust - Hub; Zdoom - by Tommy "Fatal" Quick
Strongly Half-Life themed, with a good story-line and plenty of scripting.
Doomzaak/Phoenix - 4 maps - by R.L.L. Timmermans
Something a bit different - it's based on a real place, with lots of graphical replacements, many of them rather amusing. Not bad gameplay either.
1) Updated some of the links.
2) I'd add the following from the last two years:
Flashback: demo (fbdemo)
Deus Vult (dv)
Real World (rw)
Real World 2 (rw2)
Pacman Doom 2
Legions of Hell 2 (loh2)
Hordes of Chaos
Realm of Evil
Last edited by Grazza on Feb 26 2003 at 07:20