The modest mod best captures the endless possibilities of PC gaming. There’s a good probability that a game may just vanish into obscurity when a developer finally goes on to other digital projects or when a release falls short of fan expectations.
But when one or more skilled users enter the scene, the magic starts to come into its own. Games that have been fully redesigned into something new; games that have been completed or rectified any issues with the initial version. Games that were formerly lost have been renewed.
1. DayZ (ARMA 2)
Without the mod that helped popularize a whole genre, which still rules headlines and streaming services today, no ranking of the most significant mods in history would be complete.
Dean “Rocket” Hall, the game’s creator, wanted to create a survival simulation where a player would spawn on a large map without any resources or weapons. He built the game using the engine and basic components of the military simulation ARMA 2 (and one of its expansion packs, ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead).
The objective was to collect equipment while avoiding or killing AI-controlled zombies and other players. DayZ was an instant success in 2012 thanks to its realistic damage models, which allowed players to break bones.
2. Galactic Warfare in Star Wars (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
PC gamers yearned for a true first-person multiplayer shooter set in the expansive landscapes of a galaxy far, far away for years before EA and DICE relaunched the Battlefront franchise with two extremely entertaining editions in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Star Wars: Galactic Warfare, which debuted in 2009 and was based on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, boasts a thorough redesign of everything from weapon models to sound effects.
It remains one of the most outstanding fan-made creations even now, some ten years after its debut. It’s one of the most immersive mods on our list, featuring an enormous amount of maps based on famous places from the first three films.
3. Black Mesa (Half-Life)
Modifications come in two varieties: good mods and bad mods. These are the fan-made products that are so well-done in terms of quality, information, and execution that you’d think they were produced by a respectable studio and came with a price tag.
That is how Black Mesa is played. The mod, which took eight years to create and offers and uses the more powerful Source engine, is a full replica of the original Half-Life (well, more advanced than the now antiquated GoldSrc one used for the original).
It’s a remarkable accomplishment that even earned the covert approval of Valve, who approved its inclusion on Steam as part of the Early Access program.
4. Protecting the Ancients (Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos)
Dota was one of the forerunners of the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genre, much like DayZ and its crucial role in popularizing battle royale games.
DotA APK Mod app started as a mod for Blizzard’s RTS classic, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and blended the top-down tactical features of an RTS with the leveling and character advancement of a typical RPG. It is similar to the aforementioned zombie survival sim.
It was created using the Warcraft III World Editor program, allowing players to exchange custom maps and scenarios online. It quickly established itself as a mainstay on the competitive scene.
5. NeoTokyo (Half-Life 2)
Beginning as a mod for Half-Life 2, NeoTokyo took the fundamental components of Valve’s landmark shooter and created one of the most refined and demanding multiplayer shooters available for PC gaming.
This fan-made project, which was started in 2004 and was initially launched in 2009 (and uploaded to Steam Greenlight in 2012), was inspired by vintage futuristic anime like Akira and Ghost in the Shell for its design.
NeoTokyo, a single-life, round-based first-person shooter (FPS) (comparable to Counter-Strike), is renowned for both the complexity of its rules and the level of detail in its visuals. It has the speed of a contemporary shooter, but it plays and feels more like a military simulation.
6. The Elder Scrolls Renewal Project
Every game in the venerable action-RPG series is being remastered as part of a massive, multi-person project that has grown and developed significantly in 2018.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which was released in 2002, is being remastered using The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s engine, and Skywind is by far the most well-known of all the builds. Over 70,000 lines of re-recorded speech were among the over 70,000 new models, textures, quests, and gameplay elements that were created by over 70 volunteers for the mod.
7. Counter-Strike (Half-Life)
Three Half-Life-based mods may seem like excessive, but that only serves to highlight how influential and malleable Valve’s shooter genre has been for inexperienced programmers.
As if we were going to discuss mods without mentioning one of the biggest and most well-known: Counter-Strike.
Although it is still a crowd favorite in the esports scene today, it first appeared in 1999 as a mod run by the two-person volunteer team Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe.
With a straightforward plot involving two teams of terrorists and counterterrorists trying to kill one another, it quickly gained international acclaim and pleased Valve to the point where the two were hired to remake Counter-Strike as a stand-alone title.
8. Restoring the Sith Lords (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II)
While many of the mods on this list improve the experience from the start, some are there to “complete” a game that many people believed was launched with unfinished features.
One such game was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, whose original campaign ended so suddenly that a group of committed players labored assiduously to recover the objectives, locales, and characters that creator Obsidian had to eliminate because of time constraints. The Sith Lords Restored was the outcome.
Longer questlines, different endings, extra dialogue, and other things are added by the supplemental content patches. Even a few issues that plagued the first edition were solved.
Most modders weren’t interested in completely redesigning the game, but rather improving it with additional material and higher stakes because the original XCOM proved among the best turn-based tactical sims ever created.
Eight-man squad sizes were added, customization was multiplied, and the option to reclaim nations by attacking numerous alien bases was included.
29 modders, 20 voice actors, and even some employees of game maker Firaxis helped with its four main members. Firaxis established a new company and hired the primary modders as a result of how well-liked the first game was.
9. The Dark Mod (Doom 3)
There’s a decent possibility you’ve played one or more Thief games throughout the years if you enjoy your games with a strong dose of stealth.
Despite not holding up graphically well by today’s standards, the original trilogy of games continues to be some of the greatest in the genre. However, the absence of a fourth sequel eventually led to the creation of a group of devoted followers.
This project, which used the Doom 3 engine as its foundation, evolved into The Dark Mod, which added a redesigned (and ultimately superior) lockpicking system, completely new areas to explore, and a variety of inhabitants from whom to loot and steal. It was first made available in 2009, then in 2013 a standalone version was made available.