Box art - Doom Eternal

Should I play the other Doom games before Doom Eternal?

You wouldn’t think that Doom is a series that requires a lot of knowledge of the ongoing story. After all, isn’t it just about shooting demons a bunch? Well, Doom Eternal expands the lore behind the Doom Slayer and his eternal crusade against the forces of Hell. So, should you play the other games before you play Doom Eternal?

We’ll let you know which Doom games you need to play before Doom Eternal. We’ll also let you know (in the least spoilery way possible), what you’re missing if you start the series with the most recent game.

Warning: Light spoilers for the Doom series below.

Is Doom Eternal the sequel to Doom (2016)?

The whole Doom series is fantastic, and the original was truly groundbreaking when it was released in 1993. However, you don’t need to have intricate knowledge of the franchise to enjoy Doom Eternal.

Doom Eternal is an almost direct sequel to Doom (2016). So, if you start playing Eternal, you’ll be a bit lost if you haven’t played Doom (2016). Eternal throws you into the action a few months after the events of the previous game, and you’ll encounter characters and situations that were first touched on in Doom (2016).

In particular, you’ll be a bit clueless about characters like Dr. Samuel Hayden, VEGA, and the playable character, the Doom Slayer, who all play significant parts in Doom Eternal. However, you could start with Eternal and get caught up pretty quickly. The Codex entries you find in the game do an excellent job of filling you in on what you’d miss if you haven’t played Doom (2016).

Do I need to play the other Doom games before Doom Eternal?

I would recommend playing Doom (2016) before you pick up the latest game. However, you can skip the rest of the series without missing out on much. Fans have debated on where Doom (2016) and Doom Eternal fit into the series lore, so there’s an argument that the two most recent games are a reboot set in a completely separate universe than those that came before.

However, there’s also a theory that the Doom Slayer is the Doom Marine that we played as in the original Doom. I’ll go into further detail with this in our Doom timeline article. Having played all the Doom games, I can confidently say that you can play Doom (2016) and Doom Eternal and not miss out on any lore. Doom, Doom 2, and Doom 64 were very story light, and Doom 3 has a deeper plot, but it’s probably in its own continuity.