With the next-generation Doom reboot quickly approaching, more gamers than ever are going back to revisit the classic shooters that started it all.
Amazingly, and despite the fact that they lack traditional features like jumping or looking up and down, the original Doom games are still an absolute blast to play. They're a testament to game design - proof that it doesn't matter how old a game is if it's well-designed.
That being said, for a long time, playing the original games wasn't easy. Before the days of Steam and digital downloads, finding an operating system that the older games could actually run on was anything but simple - for many, emulators and illegal downloads were the only way to go.
Thankfully, that's no longer the case. Finding a copy of Doom and a system that can run it is easy - now, the challenge comes from knowing which version of the game to play. Over the past two decades, Doom and its sequel have hit just about every platform out there. So, that begs the question: what's the best way to play Doom?
With so many different options out there, we've narrowed it down to a few select choices - if you've never played Doom before, these are definitely the best places to start.
Doom Classic Complete
Available on: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
If you're looking for the purest Doom experience out there, this collection is your best bet. Whether you're buying it on Steam or one of the two major last-gen consoles, the Doom Classic Complete ports are easily the closest you'll get to the original 1993 versions.
So, what exactly do you get? First and foremost, the ports featured in Doom Classic Complete come with updated versions of both Doom and Doom II: Hell On Earth, complete with all expansions and extra levels. On top of that, id Software updated the controls to include more modern functions (such as mouse look and WASD movement), but the biggest change is multiplayer - Doom Classic Complete is even more fun when a friend joins in on the demon-killing action. Finally, these are the most easily-modded ports on this list - and there are plenty of fan-made downloads to choose from.
If you're looking to try out the whole franchise all at once, Doom 3: BFG Edition also features the updated ports of the two classic games, though you'll lose the multiplayer options in the process. Whichever collection you end up choosing, they shouldn't cost you all that much: Doom Classic Complete typically retails for around $15, while Doom 3: BFG Edition averages out at around $20 (and they're regular Steam Sale specials, if you're playing on PC).
The only downside to the Doom Classic Complete is that there's no official port to current-generation consoles. Xbox One owners can use the backward-compatible ports of Doom and Doom II, but unfortunately, PlayStation 4 owners are out of luck for the time being.
Doom: PSX Edition
Available on: PlayStation
Sure, Doom is known for being the game that helped kick-start the modern PC gaming industry, but that doesn't mean console players can't get in on the fun!
The only problem with picking up Doom on consoles is that, save for more recent collections, the ports have always been the worst way to play. The Super Nintendo version featured some of the blurriest graphics on the system, the Sega 32X version butchered the music and the Sega Saturn version was basically broken - so, is there actually a decent way to play Doom on older hardware?
Indeed there is: the original PlayStation port of Doom was the best console version of the game for a long time. Sure, it's not perfect - the graphics aren't exactly high-resolution, and it doesn't play nearly as smoothly as the PC version - but it was a far cry from the dozens of other garbage Doom ports available on consoles.
As an added bonus, finding a copy of Doom on PS1 isn't even that hard. Granted, you'll probably have to resort to auction websites like eBay, but most of the copies we were able to find only cost roughly $30-40.
Doom On DOSBox
Available on: Internet Browsers
Let's say that you're absolutely against paying for Doom, that you'll only play the game if it's 100 percent free of charge. Well, luckily for you, there's an option for that - though you'll have to make some sacrifices along the way.
It's easy to forget that Doom was originally made for MS-DOS, especially after it became the poster child for gaming on Windows. Before Microsoft's OS even existed, gamers were still required to program their computers just to get games up and running - and now, you can get the same experience in your Internet browser of choice. Not only that, but you can actually play old DOS games, Doom included!
Even when playing on an Internet browser, Doom can be a lot of fun, though your mileage when using the DOSBox browser emulator may vary. In our experience, there were times when the game would go from relatively playable, to downright ugly, to absolute garbage before crashing out entirely. Again, if you absolutely refuse to drop a few bucks on Doom, playing on DOSBox is a valid option - it's just not a very good one.
Doom On A Calculator
Available on: TI-Nspire Graphing Calculator
All right, this is just getting ridiculous:
As you can see, there are a ton of different ways to play through the classic Doom titles, but if you're willing to wait for a more modern take on the series, id Software's reboot isn't all that far off.
Bethesda's next-gen Doom reboot is set to launch on May 13.