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Incredible Mods That Turned Into Standalone Video Games


Mods can oftentimes be plentiful online after a new big PC video game release. Some developers even go as far as supplying the player with the proper tools to create modifications for their own video games. These mods often help increase the longevity of a video game title after it releases into the market, but few become so popular that it sparks interest for the mod to be turned into its own standalone game.


#9 Black Mesa

Valve may never officially wrap up the trilogy of Half-Life but that doesn’t mean we can experience some new games based in the Half-Life universe. In fact, Valve threw out their own new installment with Half-Life: Alyx, a game that was set prior to the events of Half-Life 2 but features a VR element. However, some fans go a bit beyond and deliver some content based on Half-Life that’s not officially from Valve in this instance, a mod called Black Mesa that was crafted for the first installment to the series. Black Mesa is a third-party remake of the original Half-Life that was made possible by just a team of forty people, all volunteering their time to bring an updated look of a beloved video game classic.

It started out as a mod to give players more of a fresh look for the franchise before turning the game into a standalone release thanks to Valve’s permission. There are not too many developers out there that would allow fans to dive into the IP and work on a passion project so we have to give props for Valve allowing this team to take their mod and turn it into a standalone title launch that you can even pick up right now through the Steam digital marketplace. If you haven’t played Half-Life yet then we would recommend checking out Black Mesa first.


#8 The Forgotten City

While the game is not officially available quite yet, The Forgotten City got its start from the beloved RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Skyrim was home for countless mods and fan games, though The Forgotten City was one of the more popular fan creations that not only became a popular download online but also won several awards. This has allows the developers to continue on work by bringing out a standalone installment using Unreal Engine 4.

Overall, if you’re not familiar with the game, The Forgotten City is a murder mystery where players find themselves in an ancient Rome city. Knowing that the city would eventually find its downfall, our protagonist is tasked with going around the city, interacting with the locals and finding out what will cause the city destruction. If you enjoy a narrative-driven game, The Forgotten City features a branching storyline along with four unique endings, and its all dependent on your actions taken throughout the game. Currently, The Forgotten City is slated for a standalone release towards the end of this year.


#7 Counter-Strike

The Counter-Strike series has been around since 2000 from Valve. While the series has its share of highs and lows it all started with the original Counter-Strike mod. There are several game modes to face off against in Counter-Strike with various goals as such placing and defusing bombs. As mentioned, the game came out in 2000 but it first got started with a mod for Half-Life in 1999 thanks to Minh Le and Jess Cliffe. The two started work on their project while in college and upon its release the game mod quickly skyrocketed in popularity. Ultimately, due to the popularity of players downloading the mod, Valve took notice and purchased the IP rights and hired both Minh Le and Jess Cliffe.


#6 Garry’s Mod

Half-Life spawned a few popular games either through modifications or inspiration. One of the wackier video games to be introduced to the world thanks to Half-Life 2 is Garry’s Mod. This was a video game created by Garry Newman which acts as a home for player creativity. At its core, Garry’s Mod is a sandbox-style title where there are no objectives but tools and assets available for players to create their own unique worlds or scenarios.

Likewise, these tools allowed players to craft up a series of different video game modes such as hide-and-seek, obstacle courses to even online role-playing servers. As a result, Garry’s Mod took off and managed to become a standalone video game release in 2006 for the PC platform.


#5 Killing Floor Series

Killing Floor was a mod that was crafted up by Tripwire Interactive thanks to the release of Unreal Tournament 2004. The video game plays rather straight forward, players go through a series of rounds fighting off waves of hostile creatures along with enduring boss fights. Essentially, the game plays similar to the zombie’s mode from the Call of Duty franchise. However, the popularity of the mod allowed Tripwire Interactive to make a full standalone release in 2009 followed by a sequel in 2016. Likewise, the popularity of the series has even sparked a VR title known as Killing Floor: Incursion.




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