Best DOOM Games, Ranked

Rip & Tear!

DOOM is one of the most iconic and long-running first-person shooter franchises of all time. The brainchild of iconic FPS developer id Software, DOOM took the essence of id’s previous franchise, Wolfenstein, and pushed it even further, serving as one of the most important titles in gaming history. Not only did this lead to a massive, lucrative franchise, but the series has continued to grow and enthrall audiences with successive titles.

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Incredibly, the franchise is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary this December. It’s amazing to see it’s lasted this long and, through all the ups and downs, remained one of gaming’s most venerable shooter franchises. Let’s take a look at DOOM’s biggest titles and rank them from worst to best.


DOOM VFR Gameplay
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

Oh, DOOM VFR. You could’ve been good. Quite frankly, a VR DOOM title sounds like it could be truly incredible, especially one such as this that bases its aesthetics and overall style around 2016’s DOOM reboot. What could go wrong? Well, unfortunately, very little seemed to go right with DOOM VFR.

The attempts to add new lore with a new protagonist fell flat on their face, bugs and glitches abounded, and the game always felt finicky to control. What’s worse, DOOM VFR exposes a problem that, in hindsight, might have doomed (no pun intended) the game from the start; this franchise is a little TOO hectic and energetic for VR.

On paper, the idea of going on fast-paced, demon-slaying bouts through the world of DOOM in virtual reality is novel. In practice, though, even the most experienced VR players may struggle to find their land legs with this one. This writer in particular was only able to (barely) enjoy the game when taking the VR headset off, placing it on his legs, and moving them around as a makeshift camera control. DOOM VFR could’ve been so much more than what it was, but you know a VR game misses the mark when the only way to have fun with it is to take the VR headset off.

6. DOOM 64

Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

Don’t get it twisted; classic DOOM is rip-roaring fun. The original titles still offer fast-paced gameplay with some fittingly creepy atmosphere. 1997’s DOOM 64 was another example, and it stretched the limits of the Nintendo 64 to make one of the most graphically impressive entries in the franchise up to that point. That said, the problem with classic DOOM is that, if you played one of the titles, you generally played all of them. DOOM 64 falls squarely into that trap.

Other than the introduction of the Unmaker (and perhaps the slightly more challenging level design), DOOM 64 largely offers nothing new to the DOOM series. This was especially noticeable back when the game first came out, as the original DOOM had been ported to a wide variety of systems up to that point, meaning players had probably already seen everything DOOM 64 had offered before even playing it. It’s still a fine game in its own right, but it often felt like little more than another port of a game that you could probably play on a refrigerator at this point


DOOM 2 Gameplay
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

Much of that “if you’ve played one, you’ve played them all” vibe can also apply to DOOM II, a game that deliberately didn’t bring much new to the table and focused on creating larger, more detailed levels. Otherwise, the addition of the Super Shotgun and a few new bosses and enemies are the only major differences between DOOM and DOOM II. Thus, if your hopes and dreams of a new DOOM game at the time were simply “DOOM: More,” this one had you covered.

There’s still a solid amount to like about DOOM II as a whole, especially with some of the early examples of complex level design and gimmicks that it offered. Sadly, some of these cool ideas are trapped in a largely samey package that mostly pulls from the same bag of tricks as its predecessor. Thankfully, it’s available for pretty cheap on modern storefronts (as is DOOM 64), so you could certainly do worse than giving it a try.

4. DOOM 3

DOOM 3 Gameplay
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

Perhaps the most polarizing of all the DOOM games, DOOM 3 drastically moves away from what the original titles did in favor of a more slow-paced, survival horror-focused title. This kind of change was always bound to draw the ire of some fans, especially those who have been playing the series since its earliest days. Taken for what it is, though, DOOM 3 is a pretty well-made shooter that served as a unique experiment for a franchise that was starting to feel a bit repetitive.

Beyond its at-the-time cutting-edge graphics, DOOM 3 succeeded at bringing new life to the franchise as a decently scary game with the same emphasis on the intense atmosphere that always made the series so enjoyable. It’s certainly got its issues, but it was a valiant switch-up at the time, and it feels a bit easier to appreciate now as a single experiment than it would be if it radically changed the direction of the franchise. It may not rank as high as the other entries, but it’s worth a second look.

3. DOOM (1993)

DOOM 1993 Gameplay
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

The one that started it all. The granddaddy of the first-person shooter. Perhaps one of the most important games in history, the original DOOM set the world on fire and served as a revolution for the first-person shooter, and pushed the PC as a dominant platform for action games. So much so, in fact, that developers began making their own FPS games, thus coining the phrase “DOOM clone” to describe such titles.

These days, some elements of the game can feel a bit dated, and newer players may not understand what made it so special, but the classic still lives on as a worthwhile title. The gameplay remains compelling and the action is still just as much rip-roaring fun as before. Much like the other classic entries, it’s also available for a cheap price across modern platforms, making it easily accessible if you’re looking to experience a piece of gaming history.

2. DOOM (2016)

DOOM 2016 Gameplay
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

Sometimes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. 2016’s DOOM brought the franchise back after over a decade, as id Software transformed what was originally DOOM 4 into a proper reboot of the series. Arriving with some caution — especially amidst cries that the game seemed like it was trying to copy Call of Duty — the rumors of an identity crisis were greatly exaggerated. Instead, what we got was a phenomenal title with some of the finest FPS gameplay of the last decade that immediately stood out in a crowded genre.

In a modern era of gaming so greatly focused on multiplayer (especially in the first-person shooter realm), DOOM stuck to its roots to deliver one of the most memorable single-player FPS campaigns in recent memory. Between its phenomenal level design, tight controls, and slick, fast-paced gunplay loaded with style, this reboot is a must-play. DOOM 2016 shows that, if it’s truly impossible to beat the classics, just make new ones.

1. DOOM Eternal

doom eternal
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

To that point, id Software seems to love making new classics. DOOM Eternal came along four years after 2016’s reboot and somehow managed to be even better. id Software could’ve absolutely done what it did before by making DOOM Eternal just feel like “DOOM: More,” but they added loads of new content and features to make this feel even more fresh and inventive than DOOM 2016.

The level design is even tighter and more varied than before, the gameplay feels faster than ever, weapon upgrades add new layers to the combat, and there are plenty of new tools to aid the gunplay and the newfound emphasis on platforming. All of it meshes together brilliantly to make what is the best overall experience in the entire DOOM series. It’s amazing to see this franchise continue to grow several decades later, and DOOM Eternal shows that id Software still knows how to enthrall and entertain as well as anyone in the game.

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Matt Anderson
Matt has been a freelance writer at Twinfinite for a year, and he's been in the games media industry for three years. He typically covers topics related to console news and industry trends for the site, and he has a major interest in first-party console games. Matt also has a Bachelor’s in Screenwriting from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is an avid content creator on YouTube and TikTok, and legend has it he once asked Super Smash Bros. Melee to be his Prom date.