Best total conversion mods

I think mods are great. And if you’ve been following the best mods lists I’ve been compiling for RPS over the last several months, I dare say you feel somewhat the same. Be it superficial tweaks, or highly ambitious overhauls, the work of creative hobbyists is often wonderful – and anything which is capable of breathing new life into our most treasured games is surely worth celebrating.

Total conversion mods are arguably the most impressive of this remarkable bunch. Due to their often exceptional standard, pulling this list together was a daunting task. I’ve gathered my favourites below, including a number of honourable mentions after the core lineup, which cover a wide range of genres. Be it finely-tuned strategy or guns-blazing first-person shooting, and everything in between, you’re sure to find something that tickles your modification fancies here.

DayZ

Game – Arma 2

A child of Arma 2 and Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead, DayZ is a brutal post-apocalyptic zombie survival mod that’s as much about isolation and solitude as it is about fighting hordes of the undead. Sure, the infected want nothing more than to tear you limb from limb and feast on your festering insides, but a heavy drought, harsh famine, and an ever-dwindling amount of resources means cohabiting hostile human survivors present as much danger as the mindless monsters do. You’ll spend long spells of DayZ hiding away away in the wilderness, safer, and all the better for it. Arma 2’s DayZ mod proved so popular that it went standalone in 2013.

Multi-Theft Auto

Game – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Multi-Theft Auto began life as an online multiplayer component for 2001’s Grand Theft Auto 3, then named GTA 3: Alternative Multiplayer. While also supporting 2002’s GTA: Vice City, MTA’s popularity was cemented by its support for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – the game which Multi-Theft Auto is still based upon today.

As Richard Moss explored in detail last year, Multi-Theft Auto – rather strangely – appears to be getting more popular with each passing year, even against the acclaim of Grand Theft Auto 5’s far more sophisticated GTA: Online. A number of entertaining game modes, loyal player-base and cartoon-like aesthetic keep things fresh, though, all of which has helped MTA operate for more than a decade with little sign of slowing down.

Sven Co-op

Game – Half-Life

When Valve’s flagship sci-fi FPS Half-Life failed to ship with default cooperative support, Dan Fearon – otherwise known as Sven Viking – set about crafting his own co-op experience. In 1999 Sven Co-op shipped its first version 1.0 and while Fearon didn’t expect it to be played by anyone besides him and his mates, the Half-Life community celebrated its release. In 2016, 17 years since inception – with hundreds of updates, tweaks and tinkerings along the way – Sven Co-op finally landed on Steam and has since accrued over 1.5 million players.

Expect co-operative play where players band together against AI NPCs, and collectively solve puzzles as a team. Familiar Half-Life weapons, character and monsters star, however the difficulty has been ramped up to suit team play. Furthermore, a healthy modding scene has helped keep Sven Co-ops maps and missions fresh.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Chernobyl

Game – S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Billed as a “free-play sandbox mod” for Call of Pripyat, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Chernobyl mod features 32 maps, some reworked level design, improved AI and customisable weather. Players can expect a new level named Trucks Cemetery, as well as a new character creation suite – “including name, portrait and faction selection” – alongside a new achievement, and a ranking and reputation system. Those who enjoy cooperative play should know Call of Chernobyl also boasts a companion system, and a PDA stats system and leaderboard. Update 1.4 released in September 2016 bringing with it some sweeping changes – the sum of which can be found by clicking the link above.

A Game of Thrones

Game – Crusader Kings 2

Crusader Kings 2’s A Game of Thrones was launched in 2012 and does what you almost certainly expect: transports the sprawling world of Westeros into CK2. While interweaving George R.R. Martin’s fantasy drama narrative and lore into Paradox’s grand strategy wargame, AGoT reworks Crusader Kings 2’s base game mechanics so that the real is less likely to fragment into multiple kingdoms – a la the television/book series. The off-shoot of this is of course that players fight to control one singular throne – the Iron Throne. As it stands, players can choose to play from any start date in the 300 years before Aegon’s Conquest through to the beginning of the fourth book, The Feast of Crows.

Counter-Strike

Game – Half-Life

When Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe crafted Counter-Strike – a tactical shoot ’em up mod for the original Half-Life – the latter was still in school. After the selling the rights to Valve, Le moved to the developer’s Seattle headquarters to further develop the idea, while Cliffe spent two years wrapping up his studies before eventually joining his online partner. This was the first time the pair had ever met in person which somewhat surprising, given how popular Counter-Strike would go on to become. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has since eclipsed the original in popularity terms, but, given the fact the majority of its players started out in the 1999 classic, it’s sometimes easy to forget CS:GO began life as a Gordon Freeman knock-off.

Team Fortress

Game – Quake

Team Fortress hasn’t always boasted the cartoon-like visuals its hugely popular second series entry has today. Now over two decades old, the original TF was written and designed by Robin Walker, Ian Caughley and John Cook, however quickly welcomed the many hands of intuitive map makers and modders who crafted a host of new arenas and weapons into the original idea. As a class-based multiplayer, Team Fortress weighs heavily on team-work (it’s in the name) as players do battle to ascertain specific objectives with Capture the Flag a particular fan favourite. Three years after inception Valve bought the rights to Team Fortress and released a standalone variation for Half-Life. Team Fortress 2 landed in 2007 and is to this day one of Steam’s most played games.

Black Mesa

Game – Half-Life 2

Black Mesa is a fan-made remake of the original Half-Life that’s been in development since the launch of Half-Life 2 in 2004. Said to be unhappy with the difference in quality between the GoldSrc engine (which powered the original game) and the Source engine (which powered HL2), mod team Crowbar Collective set out to reimagine protagonist Gordon Freeman’s debut outing against more modern tech – a journey which is still incomplete today. Following eight years of development, work on the free iteration of Black Mesa wrapped up in September 2012, with a paid version now available on Steam’s Early Access platform. The latter promises to include the otherworldly Xen chapters of the original, as well as surplus multiplayer maps and game modes.

The Stanley Parable

Game – Half-Life 2

Another game born from the Source engine that went on to spawn its very own standalone version. The brilliant work of Davie Wreden and William Pugh, The Stanley Parable perfectly illustrates the gratuitous grind of the 9-5 rat race while simultaneously taking a swipe at the illusion of choice – both in life and in videogames. The result is nothing short of brilliant as the player goes against the narrator – voiced superbly by British actor Kevan Brighting – as little events unfold in direct relation to your actions. Videogames have a knack for reinventing themselves to the point where critics are often left questioning the definition of the medium. The Stanley Parable is a perfect example of a mod-cum-game that rewrites the rule book.

Garry’s Mod

Game – Half-Life 2

One of the most famous Half-Life 2 mods which creator Garry Newman has long admitted was a mistake. Born from experimentations with the Source engine, Garry’s Mod was one of the first ever games to land on Valve’s Steam distribution platform and offers players a free-roaming physics sandbox within which to build whatever they want. There’s no rules, no predetermined goals, and no directions – “we give you the tools and leave you to play,” so reads the game’s Steam blurb.

Having spent the last decade growing a dedicated community, Garry’s mod now has thousands of game modes – such as the popular murder mystery-inspired Trouble In Terrorist Town – and over 300,000 downloadable models, maps and assets all housed within its Steam Workshop page.

Defense of the Ancients

Game – Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne mod

DotA 2 is Valve’s free-to-play MOBA juggernaut which tops Steam’s Top Games By Current Player Count list on a daily basis with upwards of 600,000 (sometimes way upward) players. Yet Defense of the Ancients once belonged to rival developer Blizzard. Sort of.

The original DotA is a multiplayer online battle arena mod for the Blizzard-owned Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos and its expansion The Frozen Throne, you see. Similar to its acclaimed sequel, the name of the game is to attack and defend respective Ancient structures by way of high-powered heroes that can be buffed and levelled up along the way. Developed in Reign of Chaos’ World Editor suite, the idea has been reworked several times and, under the banner of DotA Allstars, has been maintained by renowned community designer IceFrog for over ten years. After acquiring the rights to the DotA name in 2009, Valve launched standalone sequel DotA 2 in mid-2013, however the original DotA is often cited as the game responsible for the MOBA genre.

Enderal: The Shards of Order

Game – The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Skyrim’s Special Edition gave players a good reason to revisit the now five-year old role-player when it launched towards the end of last year, however SureAI’s Enderal gave them a great one. Set within a beautifully realised world similar in size to its source material, with all new quests, characters and systems, Enderal is easily one of the best total conversion mods ever made. Its forerunner Nehrim, a total conversion mod for TES 4: Oblivion, set the bar high as far as reimaginings of Bethesda RPGs go, however Enderal is an even greater achievement. Assuming you own Skyrim, Enderal is free yet could easily justify a big budget game price tag.

Long War

Game – XCOM: Enemy Unknown

The XCOM series began with Julian Gollop’s wonderful 1994 turn-based strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown (otherwise known as Xcom: UFO Defense), however lost its way slightly after that. Hasbro Interactive’s acquisition of the development reins from Microprose and Mythos Games saw the series move into third-person shooter territory, before two proposed games were cancelled ahead of an 11-year hiatus. In 2012, Firaxis released XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the turn-based strategy game was returned to greatness.

Catering to the masses however meant some fans of the original found EU more forgiving than the mid-’90s classic – which it seems the creators of the Long War mod noticed too. By introducing over 700 changes to the base game and its expansion XCOM: Enemy Within, Long War offers a longer, more complex, and far more difficult slant on Enemy Unknown. With more strategic choices and customisation options, Long War gives players more tools to thwart the alien invasion, however expects more from them in a campaign which closer reflects the original Xcom. As such, it’s tough but fair and can easily swallow hundreds of hours of your time.

Honourable Mentions

Action Quake 2
Game – Quake 2

A fine twitch-shooting deathmatch Quake 2 mod that still has a distinct following today. Alice is a big fan.

The Dark Mod
Game – Doom 3

An open-source Doom 3 mod designed to reimagine the original stealth ’em up Thief. Complete with an editor, The Dark Mod has accrued over 80 fan-made missions and campaigns.

Fallout: Project Brazil
Game – Fallout: New Vegas

An unofficial prequel to Fallout: New Vegas – set in the Mojave and its surrounds and not South America.

Natural Selection
Game – Half-Life

A wonderful Half-Life mod which melds first-person shooting with real-time strategy. Has since been eclipsed by Natural Selection 2, however is still considered one of the best HL mods of all time.

New Horizons
Game – Stellaris

A work-in-progress mod whose most recent update is mighty impressive – offering players more than 50 pre-scripted races with canon starting positions and tonnes of ships and weapons. A great tribute to Star Trek that’s also an equally great Stellaris mod for those not interested in the Enterprise.

Long War 2
Game – XCOM 2

Resigned to this side list only because I feel the original Long War is marginally better. Like its forerunner, it could be argued this is as good as – if not better than – its source material.

Nehrim: At Fate’s Edge
Game – The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

Similar to Long War 2 above, Nehrim lives in the shadow of its counterpart which, in this instance, is Skyrim total conversion Enderal. Nevertheless, Nehrim is a fantastic achievement and a must have for any fan of the role-playing genre.

I guarantee you’ll find at least one or two total conversion mods above that’ll add hours of play onto on your favourite games – but with so many quality fan-made projects out there today, I’ve inevitably overlooked some worthy of note. Here’s the part where I turn this over to you guys: which of your own favourites have I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

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68 Comments

  1. Thathmew says:

    Fall From Heaven II for Civ IV and Dune Wars are criminally absent from this list. Civ 6 made me replay both of them recently and they remain some of best strategy games of all time on top of a great base.

    • dbemont says:

      Fall From Heaven II for Civ IV, for me, is not only the best mod ever created. It is the best game ever. This made Civ V look lame by comparison.

      • Guzzleguts says:

        FFH2 never gets the press it deserves. It makes me wonder if some feud has put it on a black list. Did they really get permission for all that art? Maybe that’s why.

    • Couchfighter says:

      Agreed, FFH2 not topping this list is a crime. Not many mods total conversion things more than FFH2, turning Civ IV BTS into a bonkers high fantasy strategy adventure game. It even spawned a series of Total Conversion Conversion mods and had lots of other little mods developed FOR the mod.

      It was and still is, glorious.

    • icarussc says:

      I still regard FFH2 as one of the greatest games, period, that I’ve ever played. A real FFH3 is my dream kickstarter project.

    • mouton says:

      I have never seen a 4X as varied and few are similarly atmospheric. Even decent attempts like Endless Legend are just a shade of the glorious craziness of FFH2.

      • malkav11 says:

        I was really hoping that Kael’s hiring to lead the Elemental team at Stardock would make that game a comparably excellent experience but although he does seem to have improved it a lot I think it still lacks the inspired flavor of FFH2.

        • icarussc says:

          ME TOO! To be honest, I suspect what made FfH2 so much better than FE and its group was that all Kael et al were doing was modding. They were building on (one of?) the best strategy game(s) ever, so their brilliant additions made it shine all the brighter. With FE etc they had to start from scratch, and, well, who can stand up to Firaxis in that regard?

          In terms of feel, only Endless Legend has come close, IMHO. But even then, it’s not the same … the spells, the units, the lore, the art … the religions, oglh my goodness, those religions!

      • riadsala says:

        Another +1 for FfH2. I can’t put my fingers on what it is, but that mod oozes atmosphere. The world feels large, alive, dangerous and mysterious in a way that Endless Legend never manages. Still easily my fav 4x game.

    • kerndaddy says:

      I created an account just to agree with you guys about FFH2. My Steam shows 1,337 hours on Civ 4 and almost all of it is Fall From Heaven 2. Probably my favorite game of all time, definitely my favorite mod of all time.

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      Drib says:

      FFH2 absolutely. Commenting just to agree. I spent hundreds of hours playing that mod, and just reading the stories in the civilopedia.

  2. Tomo says:

    Good list. Missing Urban Terror for Quake 3 imo. Absolutely amazing mod and still extremely playable today.

    • Couchfighter says:

      I also would have loved to see Urban Terror mentioned, but I guess I’m okay with Action Quake 2 being here in its place.

      Absurd how many hours I spent on Q3A UT, it was so very very good. And indeed, it was alive and playing darn well when I revisited it a little while back. <3

  3. Stellar Duck says:

    I discovered The Dark Mod shortly before the release of the disappointment that was Thi4fzorz and it’s still on my top 10 list of anything. I love it.

    I feel like Europa Barbarorum is missing from the list, but perhaps it’s too old to be considered. Though seeing as Team Fortress is on, I dunno.

    Also want to give a shout out to Desert Combat for 1942. God, so much time pissed away on that one.

    And I don’t know if I agree that The Long War is a total conversion mod, really. Mod like, a mod. That may be splitting hairs though, or born from my dislike of NuXcom.

    • Ushao says:

      Desert Combat definitely deserves to be on this list. I’ve always felt it was a big part of the birth of modern military shooters.

      • p2mc28 says:

        I clicked on this article thinking “Desert Combat should be here” – forgot which game I had been thinking about by the time I got to the bottom, and hoped I’d find whatever I was thinking about in the comments. And lo!

        I too am positive Desert Combat played a huge role in the development of modern games. After all, the team who built it (Trauma Studios) was bought by DICE who worked who Battlefield 2.

        Doing a little google-fu, though, it turns out the guys behind Desert Combat were also regrettably responsible for Homefront, which was certainly no help for the publisher THQ.

        So while Desert Combat changed military shooters, perhaps for the better? It seems the team was mostly lucky and should have stuck to modding xD

  4. lowenz says:

    About The Dark Mod, it’s in Greenlight in these days, on its route to Steam :D
    Please, give us the chance to STEAL the first position (voting for us) :p

    link to steamcommunity.com

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Hmm, DotA might have spawned a whole new genre but I never considered it a “total conversion”. The gameplay is still pretty standard Warcraft III, even if it’s deployed in a slightly different way, so it’s not totally converted on that front. Some custom artwork might have made it in over the years too, but it’s still heavily engaged with the standard assets too… To me a “total conversion” has to go much further, otherwise half the maps ever made could fall into that category. Not trying to argue quality or merits or anything, just terminology (which makes me tremendous fun at parties, I’m sure).

    Of course I am probably just being a killjoy because I’m mad jelly that my own total conversion project didn’t make the list. :<

    • welverin says:

      I was thinking the same thing about The Long War. Sure it adds a lot and changes a whole bunch of other things, but that doesn’t constitute a total conversion.

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      Jekadu says:

      DotA was important for its time as it was originally created in the late days of Reign of Chaos, before the editor supported custom skills. Very few map makers had the know-how required to edit the data files, so even just swapping out the icon or description for an ability was a breath of fresh air.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    Some of the most beautifull total conversions, for me, came forth from the Freespace 2 Source Code Project. It spawned:

    Diaspora, a nu-Battlestar Galactica inspired TC.
    Wings of Dawn, a very anime-inspired TC.
    The Babylon Project, as per Babylon 5 and
    Wing Commander Saga, which inspiration is contained within the title.

    And due to the nature of these mods, they can be downloaded for free as they build upon the released source code and the source code alone. If you have a passing interest in space related things, they are all well worth a try IMO.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Seems like if you’re going to include The Stanley Parable, Dear Esther is also worth including :)

  8. left1000 says:

    yeah. best mod ever. fall from heaven 2. no question about it. this list is rigged.
    the mod author was hired by stardock to lead design his own similar game. the manual for the mod is probably the best pdf manual ever written too. a high level of polish.

    • noodlecake says:

      Oh. You got there way before me! I should have read the comments before posting about this myself. :P

  9. Rymosrac says:

    Failing to mention Project Reality after the way it’s maintained a top spot on ModDB’s MOTY contest for most of a decade seems like a major oversight.

  10. muki0 says:

    Anyone play Urban Terror for Q3A? That was the bomb. For players who were attracted by the ideas and aesthetic of Counter Strike but preferred a more light-hearted, action-hero-y, almost slapstick style of gameplay that was UrT.

    I reinstalled it last year, only to find nearly every single server entirely populated by bots mascarading as players, just to get people to join. Shame.

    Strafe-bunny-hopping at 100km/h to the other side of the map to knife someone in the face was a real hoot!

    • Couchfighter says:

      Fellow Urban Terror oldschooler here, loved this TC so much. Good times.

  11. Retne says:

    Nice list, thank you Joe. Heads up that the Natural selection link is going to Action Quake.

  12. gabrielonuris says:

    Joe, the Dark Mod link leads to the Action Quake 2! Sneak in the right link, please…!

  13. Khazzor says:

    My favorite is still MechWarrior Living Legends, a Crysis Wars total conversion mod which won a bunch of awards in 2009. Brand new Community edition is out now and there is 2-3 full servers going around the clock.

  14. GernauMorat says:

    Might I add Blitzkrieg Mod for Company of Heroes? It’s extensive enough to count, I think, and makes an already brilliant game something I continue to play over ten years after the original game came out. And you can play it in single player.

  15. Jenuall says:

    Some cool mods listed here, but not sure the author is aware of what a total conversion actually is?

    This has reminded me that I’m yet to try out Enderal though, will need to rectify that situation!

    • headless97 says:

      I was also about to say that I don’t think the author really understands what a total conversion is. All new assets, every part of the game being changed to be fundamentally a new game built on top of a different one.

      Killing Floor and Red Orchestra were total conversion mods. The LOTR mod for Medieval 2: Total War is one. Counter Strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, and The Stanley Parable are all TCs. Not Day Z because it uses the same map, weapons, and other assets as Arma. Not Sven Coop, Garry’s Mod, or Multi-Theft Auto, because those just add new functionality to the base game.

  16. mont3core says:

    Great post, found some things-I-must-play-this-weekend, and some surprise feels from the past. Super comprehensive, my only addition might be the Just Cause 2 MP mod, that shit is hot fire.

  17. JonnyCigarettes says:

    The Third Age for Medieval Total War 2 is pretty amazing.

    link to moddb.com

    It’s getting on a bit now but I lost many, many hours to this.

    • Shushununu says:

      Seconded. I poured sooo many hours into The Third Age back in the day. It made Medieval II even better than it already was.

    • CptPlanet says:

      It has also many sub-mods that get updated even to this day. And even one or two that havent released yet. The total war modding community is amazing.

    • Cyrus says:

      I’m yet to have played this!
      Remember when it was pre-release, was a stunning creation already.
      I’ve so many other games that occupies my attention.

  18. dRaiser says:

    Can’t miss StarCraft: Mass Recall , excellent remake of first SC + Brood War on SC2 Engine!

    link to sc2mapster.com

  19. eightbitrobot says:

    Project Reality: BF2, the best large scale tactical FPS.

  20. Syrion says:

    This list just showed me again how many great mods there are, as I also thought of several I think are missing. But, as you’ve included mods from the last two decades, for a truly comprehensive list you’d need a Top 50 at the very least, I guess.
    Your inclusion of several more recent mods also shows that modding is still going strong, something I believe I wasn’t so sure of. So, nice article, and an expansion of it would be very cool :)

  21. dethtoll says:

    Missing Aliens TC for Ultimate Doom.

  22. The Yahwg says:

    Just a pick for those interested : Heroes III : Horn of the abyss. Mod for heroes 3 with a new faction, lots of new buildings, neutral creatures, fixes, balance… In the wake of gods was a kind of sandbox mod, but this is presented and feels like a whole new expansion. Plus it’s compatible with the heroes 3 hd mod.

  23. HigoChumbo says:

    Project Reality for Battlefield 2 remains to this day the most amazing multiplayer experience I’ve ever had in any game, and I’m not talking just of mods.

    It’s a game whose design not just allows, but naturally encourages (and almost forces) teamplay and attracks a mature audience. I’ve never had that kind of cooperation in a COMPETITIVE multiplayer game ever since, not even in its natural successors, like ArmA (which is incomprehensibly focused on coop multiplayer and has terrible, random, chaothic pvp modes) or the newer Battlefields (in which the squad mechanic is ignorable and ignored, or straight out left out of the game, like it was in 3). Haven’t got a chance to try Squad yet, which is made by the same developers which created PR.

    In a different context, I enjoyed other mods like Blitzkrieg Mod for Company of Heroes, and I feel like the old mods for Rome Total War (Roma Surrectum, Europa Barbarorum, Total Realism…) deserve a mention.

  24. Eddie Bax says:

    I quite liked Fallout 1.5, myself.

  25. Spertallica says:

    This list is seriously missing Star Trek Armada 3 for Sins of Solar Empire and Wing Commander: Standoff for Wing Commander Prophecy. Both are so highly polished you wouldn’t even know they were mods unless someone told you. Its a shame too… Paramount and EA could make some serious bank if they would license some of those guys to make a full on game with just a modest budget.

  26. horrorgasm says:

    Gunman Chronicles, bro!

  27. lesslucid says:

    X-Piratez belongs somewhere on this list.

    • Yglorba says:

      I was going to say, I was surprised that X-Piratez didn’t even get a mention, especially since RPS has written (deservedly) glowingly about it before. It does a lot of amazing stuff in terms of showing how deep the basic mechanics of X-Com can go.

    • Sin Vega says:

      Correct. But nobody listens to me.

      (reality note: It’s impossible for anyone to play everything, especially with big mods. And I’m just a freelancer, I don’t actually know anyone at RPS, so can’t force them to do my bidding. Although I did meet Kurlen Girlen at a party once, a feeble claim to fame given that his current mission is to meet everyone in the universe one party at a time to explain why their favourite music is bad)

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        I listened. I’ve put more time into x-piratez than I have into the majority of the commercial games I own. Was the original RPS article one of yours, sin? If so that’s ANOTHER game I’ve fallen for hopelessly because of you, although at least this time it was free, heh.

        • Sin Vega says:

          It was! I’m still playing it too, which is actually quite unusual. Typically writing about a game means playing it until you’re sick to death of it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      Seeing X-Piratez talked about recently on here made me look into it.

      I’ve had a ton of fun with that too, and it’s more of a total conversion than some of these mods that were listed.

  28. Cyrus says:

    Europa Barbarorum for Rome: Total War will always have a place in my heart. Yes, there are other good candidates but this one is my absolute favorite. Though not the music, but you can modify that.
    There too few tracks and they all sound the same..

  29. tonicer says:

    Project Brutality for DOOM and DOOM2.

    Basically Brutal Doom on steroids.

  30. Porkolt says:

    The Dark Mod link links incorrectly to Action Quake 2.

  31. Premium User Badge

    Captain Narol says:

    Criminally missing all the amazing Total Conversions for Mount&Blade Warband, do you have something against this great game ?

    Let’s fix that :

    Warsword Conquest (Warhammer Fantasy)

    The Last Days (Middle Earth)

    A Clash of Kings (Westeros)

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Came here to post something like this: the M&B Warband Total Conversions are really great!

  32. Esin12 says:

    Cool list. I never realized The Stanley Parable was a Half Life 2 mod.

    On a side note, was pumped to see Nehrim on here. I figured Enderal would be, but just started playing Nehrim a few days ago. It’s pretty awesome, especially considering how much disdain I have for Oblivion.

  33. noodlecake says:

    Kind of surprised that you didn’t include Fall From Heaven, the total conversion mod for Civ IV that got so big that it had multiple spin off total conversion modmods, and reached the mid to high hundreds of thousands of downloads.

    It’s a fantastic modpack that changes Civ IV into a fantasy game with tons of new mechanics including heroes with lots of levelling up options, a magic system, races that are wildly different from one another (more so than in any base civ game. Think of the differences in the races in Warhammer Total War and then multiply it by 2) while simultaneously feeling balanced.

    The modpack eventually led to the lead guy behind it getting hired by Stardock to come in and rescue the mess of a game that was “Elemental: War of Magic”.

    He did a fantastic job with it and two re-release/stand alone expansions later it ended up being one of the most interesting and creative 4x games I have ever played.

    He is now the vice president of Stardock, so that speaks volumes of the strength and quality of his work.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    Ultima V: Lazarus is a great Total Conversion; it’s basically an expanded Ultima V in the Dungeon Siege engine. It’s not perfect; DS has some notable limitations and annoyances. Nevertheless, it’s a great slice of RPG that’s well worth checking out. (There’s also a TC of Ultima VI, but that one I failed to get into for some reason.)

  35. Heimdall2061 says:

    I’ll chime in with The Nameless Mod for Deus Ex, a great total conversion.

  36. KindredPhantom says:

    You neglected to mention Dystopia, one of the first total conversation mods for Source/Half Life 2. Multiplayer only, a Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk setting.

  37. rednettle says:

    Did not know about the new vegas or skyrim mods. ty for the article.

  38. Eruanion says:

    I have a mild disagreement with “The long war” mod. It is a decent mod, but, they messed up on the pacing of the ships. If they were trying for the feel of the Original Xcom, they missed in that one area. After playing it for a while, it seems like you have too many incidents to begin with. There should be a gradual build up. I remember, in the original, that you could see 2 ships in a month, even if you placed your base in the exact right spot. In Long War, you sometimes got 2 a day in the first few months. Slow the pacing at the start, and you have a game more like the original.
    I have yet to try LW2 simply because of the brutal pacing of LW.

  39. dubhdara says:

    A full-conversion mod, as some have pointed out, is a modification that deeply converts nearly all game assets (music, audio, 2D art, models, textures, text, video, etc.) to a new theme and often and entirely new milieu.

    Those sort of mods take a lot of time, talent and dedication. They, sadly, are often never finished.

    A good example of a deeply converted mod is The Fourth Age: Total War which is the oldest completed Middle-earth mod for the Total War series. It began life in 2004 and its final version was released in 2016 (there are some enhancement packs added). That’s how long it can take. And that’s why there are so few.

    Some other good full-conversions, or attempts thereof, have already been mentioned by others in this thread.