Modding, once relegated to the gaming underground, has become an essential cornerstone of practically any video game fandom. So much so that titanic industry forces like Bethesda now launch their flagship titles with mod support built in, and forward thinking companies like Valve have actively recruited modders to build entire games around their creations.
The original modding community formed following the release of Doom way back in 1993. Believe it or not, it's still thriving today, thanks largely to modern clients like Zandronum. 26 years is a long time for fans to tinker with code and really push it to the limit, so it should go without saying that the community has managed some truly incredible (and often ridiculous) feats on the humble and unassuming Doom engine. Keep reading to check out the ten wildest ones yet.
10 Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch
Forget any other entrant for crossover event of the millennium, because this is it right here. MM8BDM is a total conversion that redesigns the game as a competitive multiplayer Mega Man experience. There's a campaign as well, but the multiplayer is well celebrated.
The arenas are vibrant and fun, and the character roster is both surprisingly extensive and well balanced. Featuring everyone from Star Man and Cut Man to the titular Mega Man, just trying out their various powers and weapons can make for a considerable and entertaining time sink.
9 Doom Remake
While it doesn't pack much of anything in terms of gameplay differences, Doom Remake 4 (not to be confused with the Doom 4 mod) repaints the game with fully three-dimensional HD textures.
At first glance, the graphical overhaul is so drastic and seemingly impossible that players might think they're just looking at a Half Life or Quake modification, but nope. It's the same old engine that ran the 1993 classic, trying its very best to make modern graphics processors do some actual work.
8 Brutal DOOM
Brutal Doom turns every aspect of the core experience up to eleven and adds a vast array of new features, alongside a new and thoroughly detailed campaign.
The entire suite of ridiculously destructive new weapons and violent execution moves are just the tip of the iceberg. Brutal Doom is an outstandingly gory and adrenaline-fueled experience that is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the game, and a fine testament to what a dedicated modder can accomplish. Even with such a dated engine to work with.
7 All Out War 2
Command & Conquer: Renegade was a relatively unsuccessful attempt by Westwood Studios to bring its beloved Command & Conquer universe into the realm of first person shooters. It didn't go over very well, but what it did do was pull of an incredibly unique multiplayer component that didn't get enough credit.
All Out War is a semi-faithful recreation of that multiplayer in the Doom engine. Players are divided into teams and must harvest credits to purchase better character classes, and even vehicles, to destroy the opposing team's base. The vehicular combat in particular, while basic, is absolutely incredible to see pulled off within the constraints of Doom.
6 DOOM 64: Retribution
Doom 64 wasn't exactly a runaway success, and the Nintendo 64 is practically an ancient relic by today's standards. These two factors combined can make it rather difficult for players to go back and experience this long lost chapter of the Doom saga. Retribution provides a nice, neat solution to that issue.
There's not much else to note, as players are getting precisely what's advertised here. However, one key (and entirely welcome) difference is the ability to engage in multiplayer, which the original entirely lacked.
5 Who Dun It?
At the beginning of each round, a murderer is silently chosen from among the players and tasked with stealthily dispatching their compatriots while avoiding detection for as long as possible. Think Trouble in Terrorist Town, but Doom style.
This mod features a robust inventory system that allows innocents to hoard supplies like healing kits, while the murderer can implement traps and smoke bombs to spread chaos among them. It completely transforms Doom's multiplayer into a paranoia-fueled survival horror masterpiece, and as such, is an absolute must play.
4 ZDoom Wars
Because why not turn Doom into an RTS played from a first person perspective? Built around a concept from an earlier modification, ZDoom Wars allows players to summon monsters en masse to fight the monstrous hordes of other players. Resources must be managed carefully, as each monster costs mana, which regenerates slowly.
Alongside the expected Doom Guy, players can select a number of factions and their associated monsters. Standout mentions include Corvus from Heretic summoning undead knights, and the Chex Quest guy summoning... whatever he summons. It's a great deal of ridiculous fun when played against friends, and can get surprisingly tense in terms of tactics.
3 Doom 4
The degree of accuracy with which this mod actually manages to convert the 2016 reboot back into the engine of the original is spectacular. It's obviously not a total mirror by any means, but it certainly accomplishes what it sets out to do.
The gameplay tweaks actually help the pacing to more closely resemble that of the reboot in a big way. Perhaps most impressively, the weapons modification system actually made it over, albeit with some differences owing to the dated engine's limitations.
2 Mr. Friendly
If anyone's ever wondered what the demons get up to when the Doom Slayer isn't around to murder them, this one's for them. Mr. Friendly totally flips the script on the game and casts the player as a helpful Lost Soul that floats about, goes fishing, makes friends with other demons and helps them with their problems by doing simple quests.
It's a ridiculously charming adventure, with some hilarious, well-written dialogue and gags that are sure to please fans of the franchise. However, it may have the unfortunate side effect of causing players to feel just a smidgen of guilt the next time they grind a few imps into paste.
1 Ashes 2063
Ashes 2063 has to be the most ambitious mod featured on this list, taking the barebones, straightforward skeleton of Doom and somehow managing to build a sprawling post-apocalyptic adventure game around it.
Complete with friendly NPCs, towns, vendors, and even interactive dialogue, Ashes 2063 sheds almost all the trappings of a Doom game and emerges as something entirely different. If Fallout had gone with a 3D title in the 90's, it probably would've ended up looking something like this.