What would DOOM be without music? A quieter experience, sure, but the franchise would likely also lose one of its key iconic elements - one of the ineffable parts that make the sum so much greater…and so much more memorable.
The musical history of the series is varied and memorable, so picking just five of the best tunes of the last 25 years of DOOM isn’t exactly an easy task. If you think we missed something, let us know your favorite tracks in the comments!
4. DOOM 64 Main Theme
The music of DOOM 64 is perhaps most notable for the fact that it’s so dramatically different from its predecessors. Where the original PC versions of DOOM (1993) and DOOM II featured driving, metal-influenced tracks, the Nintendo 64 version (and its console brethren on PlayStation and Saturn) sported an entirely new score drawing much more heavily on ambient sounds and film score techniques.
Many of the tracks in this version of the game are almost purely atmospheric, punctuating ethereal, synthesized strings with unsettling, discordant interjections of noise that make it feel like you’re truly among the denizens of Hell.
The Main Theme stands out as an impressive blend of this approach with that of the original soundtracks. The stirring, martial theme is memorable on its own but when combined with the eerie background melody, it calls to mind the frantic music of the earlier games and sets the scene for the horrors ahead.
Seven years later, DOOM 3 would take a similar approach with the main game consisting of atmospheric tracks bookended by more memorable opening and closing themes. Though noteworthy tracks, DOOM 64 deserves credit for taking the risk with its sound, proving that DOOM as a franchise will mix things up when the situation calls for it.