Top 100 Games of All-Time: #93


Release Date: May 13, 2016

Platform Played On: PS4

2018 Placement: #71 (-22)


What It Is:

Hell has come to Mars, and it’s Doomguy’s job to clean it up. Pull out your pistol, shotgun and BFG because it’s demon hunting time!! Sure there’s plot, but Doomguy doesn’t give two shits about it! He doesn’t care about puzzles, thought-provoking moral dilemmas, or anything really outside of kicking demon ass and chewing bubble gum. And he’s all out of gum.

Some games try to change up their style to keep things fresh, but Doom was a breath of fresh air in an FPS environment that was very much Call of Duty-ized over the last decade or so. It’s all about motion – there’s no ducking behind cover and waiting for your health to regenerate. You’ve got to be in the thick of things with your chainsaw to refill health and ammo and moving fast through each battle room to take on the demon surge. Shoot demons, shoot demons, and shoot demons – that’s what this game is about and it doesn’t ever stray from that.

Why It’s Important To Me:

I’ve never been much of a first-person shooter fan – I played the original Doom back in the 90s and dabbled with Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on consoles. But most FPS games that I really enjoyed had some sort of extra element to them: your Fallouts with the RPG elements and the VATS system or your Bioshocks with the Plasmids/Vigors. I never got into Call of Duty because I am hard against Activision and also military shooters never really appealed to me, and every time I’ve tried to play Far Cry I fall off the wagon a few hours in.

But Doom 2016 embodies all my strongest feelings for the straightforward FPS genre. It’s fast-paced, it’s frenetic, and you’re always switching between all your weapons on the go as you’re bombarded with attacks. It forces you to really get into the thick of the action through the mechanics – there’s no slow-paced gameplay to be found. It’s just plain fun, too. The design philosophy behind the game is “people like shooting things with awesome guns, so let’s let them do that a bunch” and they didn’t get bogged down with anything else. And that’s why this version of Doom just works.

My Strongest Memory:

Honestly I don’t really have one for this game – mostly because the entire game passed by me in one big, gory, demon-infested blur. The final boss was pretty memorable and I had a lot of fun fighting it – it was challenging so I felt accomplished beating it but it wasn’t hard enough that I yelled at my television.

And I think that’s probably my biggest takeaway. This game (on whatever difficulty I played it on – probably the “normal” setting) was enough of a challenge to be interesting but never too much that it got frustrating and I wanted to give up. It was a breath of fresh air in a sea of mediocre games chasing the trends. The more I thought back on it, the more I loved how refreshing the experience was compared to other games I’d been playing.

Why It’s #93:

Has a sequel ever made you think slightly less of a game? Even if it was unintentional? Doom Eternal kind of did that for me with this game. While Doom 2016 trimmed the fat and gave a lean, directed experience that was all killer no filler, Doom Eternal added back a bunch of bloat that was a little unnecessary. It doesn’t diminish the greatness of Doom, but unfortunately I still have a bit of leftover sadness that pushes this lower down the list than it’s 2018 placement. It’s lack of story also hurts it like other games I’ve listed before. Even though I don’t want a complex story with my run-and-gun gameplay, its only appreciation for mechanics and not an emotional connection that makes me love this game.