Quaddicted's Top Maps and Mods of All Time

Hey, folks.

I’ve recently started playing through the whole “list” featured in Tronyn’s Quake Talk by chronological order, trying to approach an experience of Quake history that can compare to Doomworld’s list of Top 100 WADs of All Time, which was a semi-official voting process and comprehensive review collection that preceded the annual Cacowards.

I know that there’s no such “official” thing in Quake, due to a plethora of reasons, but I was wondering if there are some good suggestions, or even general interest to make such a list, for Quake, adding to Tronyn’s great essay.

And that’s all. Hope this gets some discussion on lesser known classics going.

For a start:
AD Arcane Dimensions (individual maps)
Dwell (episodic)
PUN Punishment Due (episodic)
Alkaline (individual maps)
UDOB Underdark Overbright (episodic)
Honey (mini episode)
Rubicon 2 and Rubicon Rumble pack (both individual maps)

also definetly individual maps by Heresy “Oxyblack Fortress” and “Imhotep’s Legacy”

If you want harder then it’s definetly gonna be “Smej” and “Smej2”

PS. Honey and UDOB are released as official Add-Ons in rerelease. Both are tweaked & updated

Morning, the first thing I would recommend is the stunning IKSPQ series by Iikka “Fingers” Keränen. It’s a nocturnal, Arabian-themed episodic map which is visually beautiful. It does get hard, but it’s incredible to look at.

I would also go with Adamantine Cruelty. This was the only map I reviewed here [highly] before completing it because I was so impressed with it.

Also Backsteingotik by sock. sock’s work is always amazing. This is a medieval brick/wind tunnel map which is stunning to play.

Hey, Quakers.

Alex and Lysander have already given a plethora of good suggestions, indeed. I mostly play old, dusty, stuff, but it seems to me that many of the great modern maps, and magnum opuses, are usually part of, or integrated into, the grandiose, limit pushing, mods, such as ad, alk, etc., which isn’t a bad thing at all, it’s just the natural progression of the community.

That being said, I’d love to see an updated, “official”, list that continued Tronyn’s great essay where it left off, but I don’t really know if such a thing would be that probable to happen for now.

Anyway, as for maps themselves, I can mention Grendel’s Blade (which requires ad), The Dark Portal (for a source port with raised limits, at least) as well as many of the community mapping jams, which are true petri dishes of talent.

Hope these are helpful as well, and I’m curious to see more suggestions pop up.

‘Grendels Blade’ is a very fine looking map; part of ‘Arcane Dimensions’ default set - quite a lot of maps being part of the official ‘Arcane Dimensions’ pack, actually tend to be good looking.

I understand you mean that instead of opting for the ready mods, the mappers and developers should rather aim to create their own, unique assets? Is it not too difficult and time consuming, though?

I didn’t mean that, exactly, I don’t think there’s any shortage of creativity or talent around, and ad’s and alkaline’s resources really have to be taken advantage off.

I just meant that it’s rarer for grandiose maps to be stand-alone deals, nowadays. You know, like shadow or bbelief.

I thought that mods like ‘Arcane Dimensions’ expand upon the original contents of ‘Quake’, rather than impose limits on it?

Wait, now I get it; “limit pushing” does not mean “limit enforcing” but “expanding”.

Yup. That’s what I meant, agent.

Still, it’d be nice to get such a list.

I got into Quake community maps in late 2019 and I’ve been keeping a list with little screenshot previews of my favorites since then.

https://iili.io/0yeFoP.png [WARNING: ~42 MB image file]

A few notes concerning the list:

-The ranking is entirely just my own preference and I don’t claim to be any kind of authority on what makes a good Quake map.
-The maps are ranked going off of a full playthrough on skill 2/hard, shotgun start and all secrets found.
-I swear to god the fact that there are currently 69 maps on the list is not deliberate.
-I am thankful to any and all mappers and modders keeping this amazing game alive today.

Maybe this will be useful for someone looking to play community content and not knowing where to start, or even for veteran players who might have overlooked a map on this list.

Really nice screenshots. Did you take them yourself? It’s a cool idea to have such a nice visual representation of your favourite maps. If I had so many good screenshots already organised I’d set my desktop background to scroll between them. I’ve had mine set to Eternal Return by Bal from Xmas Jam 2020 for a while - I’m surprised I didn’t see that one on there to be honest.

Anyway, I’ve been keeping a list of my own, without much deliberation as to the order:


  • Tears of the False God by Bal (ad)
  • A Saint Nobody Has Heard Of by Lunaran (udob)
  • Pit of the Living Dead by Lunaran (udob)
  • Fading Embers by czg (mg1)
  • Eternal Return by Bal (xmasjam2020)
  • Ceremonial Circles by czg
  • Derelict Freighter by plaw (alkjam)
  • The Purifier by Zothique
  • Prescience Overload by Mazu (dwell e1)
  • Vestigial by JCR (dwell e1)
  • The Forgotten Sepulcher by Giftmacher & Sock (ad)
  • The Dismal Omlette by Juzley (ctsj)
  • Terrorcotta by Markie (eoe)
  • Dead but Dreaming by Fairweather
  • Knavel Orange by Fairweather & Greenwood (eoe)
  • Into The Dark by Sergey Rupasov
  • The Dark Portal by than
  • Burgertown by Markie (jokejam)
  • Bedtime Story with Snakeman by Nolcoz (jokejam)


  • Underdark Overbright by Lunaran & Scampie
  • The Punishment Due by Juzley & Fairweather
  • Dwell Episode 1 by Dwell team
  • Torrent of Impurities by SMEJ Crew
  • Realm of the Lost by SMEJ Crew
  • Arcane Dimensions by AD team
  • Honey by czg
  • Rubicon 2 by metlslime & czg
  • Rubicon Rumble Pack by Hrimfaxi, ijed, & mfx
  • Alkaline by Alkaline team
  • Alkaline Jam by various

P.S. - Happy to see my map on there. Glad you enjoyed it.

There are so many maps here I don’t know. I am quite behind, but this is a good thing. Tears of the False God keeps coming up, I should get onto that one soon.

I took all the screenshots myself, yes. Not 100% satisfied with all of them, but it’s the best I can do for now. I’d offer to upload them somewhere, but I didn’t actually save the full resolution shots after cropping out the sections that were needed for the list.

I’m going to be honest: as much as I think Bal is one of the best mappers to ever touch Quake, Eternal Return just confused me even after multiple playthroughs. The visuals were great, but the gameplay was not my cup of tea.

It’s delightfully dark and gloomy and the ammo balance on shotgun start makes for some close calls without ever feeling unfair. Awesome map, thank you for making it!

AwakeOnPhobos and h4724, those are great lists indeed. Really comprehensive and detailed list of great maps.
Good stuff.

Absolutely awe-inspiring pictures, @‘AwakeOnPhobos’.

For the topic premise, I can understand “the best looking” maps or “the most elaborate” maps or “the most difficult” maps - if someone was searching for that - but what actually does “the best” mean; because to myself, “the best” can differ to “the best” of someone else?

Thank you! I never actually intended to post it anywhere until I came across this topic, but I’m glad people seem to like it.

Of course everybody is going to have their own definition of what “the best” means. For me (and this is reflected in my list), it’s a combination of great visuals, well-paced gameplay and a strong sense of progression throughout the map. Others might not care about the eye-candy at all and focus purely on gameplay or prefer wave-based arena encounters that take place all in one room as opposed to working their way through a large map.

That’s why I put that little disclaimer with my list that it’s entirely just my own opinion and not meant to be authoritative in any way.

That’s a good call, bud.

I think that, if such a list were to be made now, it’d have to be by selecting eac entry with a community vote, simlar as to how Doomworld handled it’s list back in the day, and holds it’s annual Cacowards today.

Is ‘Rubicon 2’ not a collection of maps? If I remember correctly, the individual map names, are: ‘The Hydroexploitation Plant’, ‘Subterranean Spookworks’, ‘A Thousand Years Into The Past’.

Speaking of the ‘Rubicon’ legacy, the ‘Rubicon Rumble Pack’ did not really appeal to me all that much, but the https://www.quaddicted.com/reviews/sm82.html - which I also like to call ‘Rubicondome’ - much more. The map, is a seamless amalgamation of smaller pieces by different authors and the gameplay flow, is fluent, with nice difficulty balance.

EDIT: it is important to note that the ‘Rubicondome’, bases on original ‘Rubicon’, rather than the ‘Rubicon 2’ - the latter, was released six years after; which I apparently missed the first time I played the map.

For the ‘Rubicon Rumble Pack’, there is one map in it - I believe it is called ‘Telefragged’ - in which the player starts from altered perspective standpoint, sort of - as far as ‘Quake’ goes. The brief time I played that map, I associated it with ‘Aliens versus Predator 2’ - the ‘Alien’ campaign, where the protagonist goes through morph cycles of an ‘Alien’ creature; starting with a ‘Facehugger’, then ‘Chestburster’ and so on. Some people up to this day call ‘Aliens versus Predator 2’ the most relevant ‘Aliens’-themed game. The game, unfortunately, remains in a legal hiatus between companies arguing over rights to it, so it cannot be purchased otherwise than second-hand market.

The cacowards are not from public votes but from a jury.

There was a similar thing for Quake in 2018 but the site is dead already sadly: https://www.quaddicted.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=587

The cacowards are not from public votes but from a jury.

There was a similar thing for Quake in 2018 but the site is dead already sadly: https://www.quaddicted.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=587[/quote]
You’re absolutely right, Spirit.
Also, that’s a shame about the Quakeawards having been a one time deal.


  • Tears of the False God by Bal (ad)

    [/quote]No Subterranian Library by Than? Oh no! Also no map by Skacky? Oh nooo!!!

Anyway my list by maps not full mods/eps will be

  • Leptis Magna by Ionous & Pulsar (Arcane Dimensions)
  • Roba El Ehaliyeh by Ionous (Xmas 2019 Jam)
  • Tears of the False God by Bal (Arcane Dimensions)
  • Entering the City of Pale by Bal (Xmas 2018 Jam)
  • A Sip of Alkahest by Bal (SpeedMapping Jam 193)
  • Horde of Zendar by Sock (Arcane Dimensions)
  • Grendel’s Blade by Sock (Arcane Dimensions)
  • Forgotten Sepulcher by Giftmatcher & Sock (Arcane Dimensions)
  • Foggy Bogbottom by MFX (Arcane Dimensions)
  • Realm of Enceladus by MFX (Arcane Dimensions)
  • Dolor not Color by MFX (Func Jam 3 Zerstorer)
  • Ceci Nest Pas une Pipe by MFX (Rubicon Rumble Pack)
  • Absolutego by Skacky (DM4 Jam)
  • Red is Dead by Heresy (January Jump Jam 2020)
  • Oxyblack Fortress by Heresy
  • Imhotep’s Legacy by Heresy
  • Derelict Freighter by Plaw (Alkaline)
  • Waldsterben by Plaw
  • Biome by Pritchard
  • Tellus Terminus by Zigi (Alkaline)
  • Abbeytoir by Strideh (Halloween Jam 3)
  • Magmapolis by Daz (FM Jam 6 Fire and Brimstone)
  • Illusions Outnumber Changes in Fortune by Ericw & Tronyn (FM Jam 6 Fire and Brimstone)
  • Mountains of Insanity by bmFbr
  • Greymoor by JPal
  • Subterranian Library by Than
  • Day of the Lords by GlassMan
  • Marcher Fortress by Kinn
  • Moldy Tower by Necros
  • Ceremonial Circles by CZG
  • Sheer Hellish Miasma by CZG (Honey ep.)
  • A Thousand Years Into The Past (Rubicon 2)
  • Pit of the Living Dead by Lunaran (Underdark Overbright ep.)
  • With Fiends Like These by Juzley (Punishment Due ep.)
  • Ylä-Tornio by uKKo (Smej1 ep.)
  • Frostbitten Peak by NewHouse & VuRkka (Smej2 ep.)
  • That Which Can Eternal Lie by Henry Ambrose (Dwell ep.)
  • Within the Flayed Kingdom by Markie (Dwell ep.)
  • Terracota by Markie (Epochs of Enmity ep.)
  • Prescience Overload by Mazu (Dwell ep.)
  • Toxicity Point by Mazu (January Jump Jam 2 2021)

Plus eps/mods in general
~ AD
~ Alkaline
~ Dwell
~ Rubicon 2 & Rubicon Rumble Pack
~ Underdark Overbright (UDOB)
~ Punishment Due (PUN)
~ Spiritworld
~ Smej 1 & 2 (Finnish hardcore episodes)
~ Epochs of Enmity (vanilla style episode)
~ Squire of Time (also more or less vanilla style episode)
~ Empire of Disorder (also more or less vanilla style episode)
~ Altar of Storms (giant 2 maps, feels like episode)
~ Contract Revoked (2002 episode that invented so called Knave theme)
~ Travail (2007 2 episodes pack; most ppl consider 2nd episode a masterpiece, while don’t like 1st one)
~ Rapture (episode not without flaws but still cool)

Xmas jams, all cool
Halloween jams, all cool
Func Jam 9 & 8 specifically (for a start)
DM4 jam & DM4 jam DLC