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10 Literally Game-Changing Mods That Breathed Life Into Old Games


10 Literally Game-Changing Mods That Breathed Life Into Old Games

Templar GFX’s ACM Overhaul – Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines isn’t a great game. The trailer promised fast and ferocious Xenomorphs, colorful protagonists with memorable personalities, and the mother truckin’ Power Loader, but what we got was a below-average shooter. Aliens: Colonial Marines is just not worth playing, unless you download a particular mod, that is.

TemplarGFX’s ACM Overhaul is a special case where a mod turned a pretty terrible game, into one that isn’t too shabby! The mod transforms the Xenomorphs, which are limp and lifeless in the unmodified game, into the fast Giger abominations we all know and love/fear. The mod also improves partner AI, lighting, and just about everything else in the game. The difference is night and day, and if you’ve avoided Aliens: Colonial Marines (or bought it and were disappointed), try playing the game with TemplarGFX’s mod for a much more terrifying experience.


DOTA – Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne

You all know about the MOBA genre. It might be losing some ground to Battle Royale games, but MOBAs are still insanely popular, thanks in no small part to the DOTA series. This mod, which completely reworks Warcraft III from a real-time strategy game into the team-based esports classic we’re all familiar with, is the blueprint most other MOBAs have copied. Even though the market is full of other MOBAs, such as Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends, gamers still play the original DOTA mod to this day.

Star Wars: Galactic Warfare – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

As much as some gamers like to harp on the Call of Duty franchise, many agree that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a standout game. So, how do you make it even better? By replacing the multiplayer mode’s characters, weapons, sounds, and levels with Star Wars themed ones. That’s all the Star Wars: Galactic Warfare mod does, but that’s all it has to do. This winning combination of Call of Duty 4’s multiplayer and fan-sculpted Star Wars goodness is a match made in nerd heaven.

Hyrule: Total War – Medieval II: Total War

The beautiful thing about mods is they let gamers go crazy and put anything in a game, be it Shovel Knight in Dark Souls, Goku in Super Smash Bros., or John Cena in GTA 5. You name it, there’s probably a mod for it, and one of the more unusual and superior mods has to be Hyrule: Total War for Medieval II: Total War. As the name suggests, Hyrule: Total War allows players to pit armies of various Legend of Zelda races against one another, including Hylians, Gorons, Twili, Yiga, Stalfos, and Moblins. Plus, the mod includes a robust story mode. While Hyrule: Total War is no longer being updated, its successor, Hyrule Conquest, is currently in development. Hyrule: Total War is freely available and provides a unique experience that should please any Zelda fan.

Black Mesa – Half-Life 2

Not all mods need to add new game modes. Sometimes, all a mod has to do is give an old game a graphical spit and polish. That’s all Black Mesa sets out to do: recreate Half-Life in Half-Life 2 with the help of new and updated textures, models, and lighting. While the mod has yet to be completed, it is worth trying just to see what the original Half-Life game would look like with modern graphics.

Brutal Doom – Doom

When the original Doom hit personal computers back in 1993, many thought it was one of the most violent video games ever produced. If only they knew how Brutal Doom would up the ante and increase the gore and violence to ludicrous levels. The mod, which has been constantly updated for several years, introduces brand new weapons, environments, animations, and features that change Doom into a whole new beast. Moreover, Brutal Doom significantly increases the game’s difficulty, because what is a “brutal” mod without a brutal challenge? If you ever wanted to paint the walls red with demon blood, Brutal Doom is the mod for you.

Just Cause 2 Multiplayer – Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is one of those power fantasies where players can run amok in a digital landscape and blow everything and everyone up. It’s a good game on its own that doesn’t need a multiplayer mode, but a few modders came along and gave it one anyway. The vanilla version of Just Cause 2 is a solid sandbox experience, but multiplayer adds in an extra level of chaos with additional players who use and abuse the sandbox nature to cause more destruction than should be possible. The multiplayer mod lets players make their own fun with friends, from races to demolition derbies and whatever else they can imagine. Not even the sky is the limit in the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod.

Eastern Front – Company of Heroes

Back when World War 2 was a popular setting for a video game, Relic Entertainment developed the real-time strategy game Company of Heroes, which was fairly well-received. Most video games about World War 2, including Company of Heroes, focus on the battles between the Nazis and either American or British forces, but the Eastern Front mod switches that focus to the fights between the Nazis and Russians on the titular Eastern Front. The mod provides new missions and units and feels more like an old-fashioned expansion pack than a mod, which speaks volumes about its quality.

Long War – XCOM

XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the more recent XCOM 2 are standout games that carry on the legacy of the franchise, and the Long War and Long War 2 mods turn these games into must-plays for gamers who want to challenge their long-term planning skills. While the mods provide several new classes, weapons, skills, and upgrades, the real reason to play the Long War mods is to participate in the titular Long Wars that add countless new missions. Don’t go into these mods expecting a quick walk in the park, they are only for gamers who want a grueling challenge.

Antitribu -Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is an infamous example of a great game gone wrong. The game was released in an unfinished and glitchy state that requires a fan-made patch to be played, but beneath all the issues is a gripping story and a world that is positively alive (quite ironic given the playable character is a vampire). And Antitribu makes the game even better. The mod features all-new playable vampire clans, skills, maps, quests, weapons, and NPCs. It also revamps various in-game systems, including combat. Antitribu completely overhauls Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines into a new and overall better experience.

About the author

Aaron Greenbaum

Aaron was a freelance writer between June 2018 and October 2022. All you have to do to get his attention is talk about video games, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters. Aaron largely specialized in writing news for Twinfinite during his four years at the site.
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