I remember when I bought the original Half-Life. The game came as part of a compilation pack called Half-Life Generation that also included expansion Half-Life Opposing Force and competitive shooter Counter-Strike. But while the compilation already included three games, I knew that I was going to get so much more than that. After all, the original Half-Life was one of the most modded titles of all time, so I could download dozens of modifications. Interestingly, mods are still incredibly popular, but it’s still hard to find mods that are worth the hassle, so I decided to compile a list with some of the best mods available.
Black Mesa is a modification for Half-Life 2 that lets you play the classic science fiction first-person shooter Half-Life with the Source Engine. Unlike most modifications, Black Mesa feels like a complete package. After all, you’re playing the original Half-Life with improved visuals, physics, characters models and more. Black Mesa was one of the first titles to be approved on Steam Greenlight, so when the mod comes out officially, you’ll be able to download it on Steam.
Game: Half-Life 2 (or any game with Source Sdk Base 2007)
Link: Black Mesa
Defense of the Ancients
The mod that started a new genre and revolutionized the medium. If it wasn’t for Defense of the Ancients (DotA for short,) League of Legends, Dota 2 and dozens of other multiplayer online battle arenas wouldn’t exist. It sounds weird that the game that started the genre was a mod for WarCraft III, but the active community keeps creating new content, such as heroes, maps, items and more.
Game: WarCraft III
Link: Play DotA
DayZ is one of those cases where the mod became so popular that encouraged the developers of the game it’s based on to acquire the rights and start working on a full release. Still, the mod (which is available in Alpha state) is very popular and it’s remarkable how playing the mod is a completely different experience than playing ARMA.
Game: ARMA 2
Just Cause 2: Multiplayer
Just Cause 2 Multiplayer is absolutely ridiculous and that’s what makes it so refreshingly unique. Do you want to play with thousands of players at the same time and cause mayhem? Check. Do you want to shoot everything that moves? Check. Do you want to attach a whale to a plane? Check. Wait, what? As you can see on the video embedded below, this is a game that doesn’t take itself seriously and that’s a blessing.
Game: Just Cause 2
At this point, most people have moved on to the full release available on Steam or to newer versions such as Condition Zero, Source or Global Offensive, but if you don’t want to spend a cent on Counter-Strike that’s still an option. In other words, Counter-Strike is still one of the best competitive shooters available regardless of the version you decide to play.
Link: Mod DB
The Nameless Mod
Released in 2009 as a third party conversion mod for the original Deus Ex, The Nameless Mod spent 7 years in development and is considered one of the most anticipated mods in history. Why? The mod has two 15-hour long storylines, thousands of lines of dialogue, improved visuals and five endings.
Game: Deus Ex
Link: The Nameless Mod
How do you make Doom more violent? You make sounds louder, enemies bigger and you make everything faster. Oh, there’s also blood, blood and more blood.
San Andreas Multiplayer
For the longest time, GTA fans demanded an online experience and developer Rockstar Games refused the idea of GTA Online. At least, until they realized that they could make a lot of money if they released exactly that. After experimenting with some multiplayer modes on the PSP, GTA V finally featured an online component. But fans had been playing San Andreas online for a few years. In this mod, you can assume the role of a criminal or a police officer, but there’s always room for mayhem and that’s what GTA is all about for a lot of people.
Game: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Star Wars: Galactic Warfare
As its name suggests, Star Wars: Galactic Warfare transforms Call of Duty 4 into a Star Wars multiplayer experience and that’s an impressive achievement. But taking into account that DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront will take a lot of time to come out, Galactic Warfare is an amazing option.
Game: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
What if I told you that there’s a free mod that allows you to play Half-Life 2 series cooperatively with friends. Such mod exists and it’s called Synergy. The mod is available for free on Steam and the only thing you need to run the game is Half-Life 2 or another Source-based game.
Game: Half-Life 2