The Top 5 Most Moddable Games

Written by Brett Thomas

June 12, 2007 | 04:34

Tags: #doom #elder-scrolls #expansion #half-life #max-payne #modification #morrowind #neverwinter-nights #quake

Companies: #mod


So, that's it. There's your top 5 most moddable games of all time. It's a pretty great list, no? Max Payne, Neverwinter Nights, Quake and quality titles that have given us years of play. Each one of these is a great game in its own right, but it didn't stop there - community involvement has really added to replayability, ingenuity and enjoyment, turning what was a good game into an out and out legacy.

The developers of each of these games have done a lot to help this along, of course. Not just by making great games, no...they have made efforts to make their toolkits, development practices, even their source code available for the modding community. It just goes to show you how far a little love of the community can go.

Hmmm, I feel like I'm missing something...

Naaaaahh...Do you?
Oh, yeah...number one...


1: Half-Life

By Valve Software
Released: 1998
Engine: Quake and Quake 2 (heavily modified)

Valve Software should really have taken Monolith's name, because let's face it - that's what it is. Half-life apparently has a half-life of its own that is somewhere around a twinkie.

The original Half-Life is actually quite an odd creation. Valve's team assembled it from the disembodied engines of both Quake and Quake II, creating an almost Frankenstein engine. Whatever, it worked - and it worked well. Half-life embodied great gameplay, an inventive storyline (nobody had seen one of those since System Shock) and a lead character whose face would be a mascot for quality content for nearly a decade so far.

The Top 5 Most Moddable Games The top dog... The Top 5 Most Moddable Games The top dog...
Half-Life: Our #1 favourite moddable game.

Of course, who needs a great level or twenty when you can create your own? Valve released WorldCraft, the Half-life level builder that the company itself used, along with the software. Initially, this was to be released later as a separate retail product, but Valve instead chose the high road and offered to support its grass roots modders.

The Top 5 Most Moddable Games The top dog... The Top 5 Most Moddable Games The top dog...
Counter-strike: The world's most popular mod ever.

That choice paid off big with the first total conversion (TC) to hit the net - you'd know it as Counter-Strike. Then another as Day of Defeat followed, along with the popular Natural Selection. These mods made Half-life more popular than ever, helping it sell a ridiculous 8 million copies to date - the most popular shooter of all time. And Valve didn't just take a bow for the hard work of its community - it took some of the profits and began to offer sponsorship of the modders that helped make the game so great.

Along with all of the great third-party content came Team Fortress Classic, which was made by the same guys who did the original Quake mod. Valve snapped them up to develop TFC as an in-house production during its efforts to bolster the modding community. That merger will pay out again soon with the Team Fortress 2 release on the Source engine, coming out soon (by Valve terms, anyway).

Even the expansions were third-party work, with both Opposing Force (1999) and Blue Shift (2001) released by Gearbox Software.

The Top 5 Most Moddable Games The top dog... The Top 5 Most Moddable Games The top dog...
Team Fortress Classic was developed "in-house," but the official expansions like Blue Shift weren't.

And there you have it. Now, get into the forums and tell us your most moddable games, or your favourite mods for these greats!
Discuss this in the forums
Mod of the Month January 2021 in Association with Corsair

February 19 2021 | 17:15