Since the games first became available to the players, the more resourceful ones of the bunch started tinkering with them. They introduced changes big and small, impacting both the gameplay and the presentation of given titles. With time, these mods started to become commonplace in the gamer community.

As far as the games are concerned, there are two types – the ones that are moddable from the get-go, either through their intrinsic features or backdoors purposefully left unclosed, and those which require a little bit more intervention into the code. Either way, player-created mods exist and influence the game in various ways – improving the graphics, changing the gameplay features, adding and removing characters, or replacing them with different ones. The variety of mods is only restricted by the modder’s imagination.

Our list will present ten of the best games, that are particularly fun to tinker with. These games include both indie titles and triple-A releases, hammering in the point that no game is safe from a modder’s intervention.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Release year2011
Developer/PublisherBethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks

First on our list – the ever-beloved Skyrim. The adventures of the Dragonborn in the northern reaches of Tamriel have become a huge critical and commercial success.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - gameplay

That doesn’t mean the game had nothing to be improved or tinkered with. Thanks to the Creation Kit included with the game, modders could tamper with nearly every piece of data, from textures to interfaces and more, creating fantastic modification to an otherwise excellent game.

Key modding features
  • Creation Kit allows the player to toy with almost all the game data, making Skyrim one of the easiest PC games to mod
  • Create new textures and skins, improve lighting and sounds, add new effects and many more

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release year2015
Developer/PublisherCD Projekt Red, CD Projekt

Wild Hunt was the culmination of the ambitious endeavor to bring the fantastical world of Andrzej Sapkowski’s series to the virtual world. And what a massive success it turned out to be.

winter is coming got mod witcher3
Winter is coming (source: Nexus Mods)

Stellar reviews and awards made this title one of the best games of the last decade. It goes without saying that modders didn’t leave Geralt’s world untouched. The most popular mods allow giving the player a chance to try out new looks for the monster-slaying protagonist, improve the graphics and rendering of the character faces, as well as faithfully recreate the bloodfest that was the original novel series with Ultra Gore modifications.

Key modding features
  • Improved visuals and rendering
  • Minor tweaks that should satisfy nitpickers
  • Increased gore for those who demand true Witcher experience

Minecraft

Release year2011
Developer/PublisherMojang

Minecraft took the world by storm with its gameplay mechanics, allowing the player to create expensive constructions in a sandbox environment. Such a creatively rich setting is a natural habitat of modders who quickly began to add new features, such as new biomes and items, inventory upgrades, performance enhancers, etc.

Lots of Mobs Mod
LotsofMobs Mod
source: https://www.minecraftmods.com/lotsomobs/

The mods also include a variety of changes to the gameplay mechanics, player interface, and more. With so many modifications available, the player will have a great time expanding their Minecraft experience even further. Minecraft is easily one the best moddable games of all time because of that that.

Key modding features
  • Additional items and areas
  • Better visuals and user interface
  • Expanded inventories

Mount & Blade: Warband

Release year2010
Developer/PublisherTaleWorlds Entertainment, Paradox Interactive

Warband – a standalone expansion to a popular action-RPG series Mount & Blade – allows the player to experience the life in a land based on Medieval Europe, torn by conflicts between various nations.

Mount & Blade: Warband - gameplay

To make the day-to-day knightly activities a little more interesting – because how many times can you attend a feast organized by the same ruler – the modder community came up with a variety of improvements.

The mods add new scenarios, introduce new characters and units as well as completely overhaul the gameplay mechanics. Thanks to them, the player can experience the game in new ways – as a Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones RP, a Dragon Ball game and many more.

Key modding features
  • Complete gameplay overhauls, changing the core mechanics of the title
  • Enjoy playing as a variety of new characters and units, including those based on the fantasy worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, George Martin…and Akira Toriyama
  • Experience the world of the game reaching far beyond its original setting

Civilization V

Release year2010
Developer/PublisherFiraxis Games, 2K Games

Civilization V gives the player a chance to lead a budding nation from ancient times to modernity, developing such aspects as politics, economy, and relations with other nations. Of course, looking after an entire civilization might be an arduous task, which is why modders have come up with several solutions to make things easier.

Sid Meier's Civilization V gameplay

There’s no shame in cheating a little when the fate of your nation is at stake. Thanks to mods, you will be able to expand their diplomatic strengths, make aerial combat faster, follow the information about the in-game situation easier and more. Considering that it takes a while to finish the game, it might be wise to make the task a little bit less confusing.

Key modding features
  • Enhanced mechanics, focusing on a different aspect of the gameplay
  • Time-saving features
  • More organized user interface

XCOM 2

Release year2016
Developer/PublisherFiraxis Games, 2K Games

XCOM 2 tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth. The player controls the commander of human resistance who dispatches units of human soldiers into battle with alien occupants. The mods add a few neat enhancers, making the game a little more interesting. For example, Stop Wasting My Time mod cuts down all unnecessary slows in the gameplay, making it more streamlined.

All Soldiers Gain XP does exactly what the title suggests. The player can no longer worry about losing experienced units and being left with weak grunts – now every soldier under the player’s command will gain XP no matter if they are used in battle. These and many more modifications make for an even better XCOM 2 experience, turning XCOM 2 into one of the best moddable games on Steam.

Key modding features
  • Expanded perks and weaponry
  • XP gained by all soldiers, even those in the barracks
  • Various time-sensitive mission are no longer time-sensitivee

Garry’s Mod

Release year2006
Developer/PublisherFacepunch Studios, Valve

A game that has the word “mod” in its title has to offer some unique tinkering experience, right? Based on Valve’s Source engine, the favorite tool of modders, Garry’s Mod allows the player to create their sandbox world, filled with NPCs and props and lets them do as they please with it.

garry's mod

Various scripts using different programming languages can be added to make the game more interactive, as well as creating machinimas – animations based on the game’s engine. All in all, Garry’s Mod is a true modding wonderland of limitless possibilities.

Key modding features
  • Endless creative possibilities
  • Use the game’s Source engine and programming language of your choice to create scripts
  • Build game’s, chatrooms and machinimas to your heart’s content

Fallout 4

Release year2015
Developer/PublisherBethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks

War never changes – and neither does the modders affinity for the Fallout series. The fourth title of the main line is once again set in a post-apocalyptic, nuclear wasteland, where the key phrase is “survival of the fittest”.

Fallout 4 DLC - zombie

Luckily for you, there are plenty of mods that will help the player endure in the harsh environment. Aside from usual texture modifications, graphics enhancements, etc., the Fallout IV mods provide the player with additional weapons and armor, craftable ammo and settlement upgrades. With these, no wasteland bandit will be a threat anymore.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Release year2002
Developer/PublisherBethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks

Another member of The Elder Scrolls family on our list. The third installment of the series introduced a new region – the titular Morrowind. The open-world environment of the game invited the player with its beauty, but after almost 20 years since its release, the game could use some lifting.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY - spider

That’s where the modders come in, introducing graphics enhancers and UI alterations to polish the venerable action-RPG game to modern standards…or at least somewhere around them. Other mods include better attack accuracy, visible gore and additional elements of the environment. While it still might not be enough to match more contemporary installments, it is more than enough to submerge the player in nostalgia without having them grimace at ugly textures and poor animations.

Key modding features
  • Graphical improvements
  • UI enhancements making the game more similar to modern installments of the series
  • Various other tweaks for a better experience

Half-Life

Release year1998
Developer/PublisherValve, Sierra Studios

Last but most definitely not the least, the title which has forever changed the modding scene. Half-Life, released in 1998, was a revolution not only due to its innovative gameplay mechanics.

CS 1.6

Thanks to the Worldcraft level-design tool many homegrown developers could try their hand at creating well-polished video games. Two of such developers were Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe, the pair behind the title that would change the world of online gaming forever – Counter-Strike.

Key modding features
  • Worldcraft tool allows designing intricate levels
  • Software development kits that served as a base for many mods and derivative titles