Post feature RSS 20th Anniversary - Classy Classics

The classics, the oldies, the goodies, the nostalgia trips - these twenty mods defined a generation and are proof modding perseveres!

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Mod of the Year Awards


Classics

In June 2002 ModDB began, and every year since we've celebrated the best mods in an annual player voted event. To mark our 20th Anniversary, we've decided to take a walk down memory lane, and look back on all of the mods that finished in the top 5, across five separate categories:


These Classics are mods that placed in Mod of the Year within the first ten years of ModDB's operation (2002 - 2011), remembered for their impact even decades later, and many of their developers have become industry professionals in their own right.


It's no secret and perhaps even obvious that the early days of ModDB were all but dominated by Half-Life mods - and even to this day, they form a substantial part of the site's core repertoire. With all five of these mods taking scoring positions in the very first Mod of the Year awards back in 2002, their age and pedigree speaks for itself - and two of the five have since graduated into being standalone commercial titles. Other brilliant mods of the era for Half-Life include They Hunger, Poke646, and, of course, Counter-Strike.


In a time when GTA Online was not the monolith it now is, many teens dreamed of tearing up the streets with friends. Multi Theft Auto gave them that chance - and teens equally interested in causing havoc with Half-Life 2 found Garry's Mod to scratch that itch. Taking 2006 and 2010 by storm on-site, both legacies live on with Garry's Mod now the most famous mod-to-commercial-product of all time with a cutting-edge spiritual successor on the way, and friends can wreak havoc together via official means in the newest GTA entry.

Just as there was no shortage of multiplayer total conversions for Half-Life, Half-Life 2 has also seen many quality ways to build friendships and challenge one another - but other games also got to take a piece of the modding cake. Taking positions in 2004, 2006, and 2007 these mods have all had illustrious careers with fanbases to this day, and opening up commercial doors for some.


Battlefield 2 is when modding the series really took off - being the most malleable of the games in the franchise, with the most staying power. All three shared pole positions in MOTY 2006 - proving how much Battlefield 2 took the modding scene by storm - and meanwhile, Project Reality and Forgotten Hope 2 are both going strong to this day. Newer projects like Heat of Battle: RUSH and Battleground 44 continue Battlefield 2's legacy.


ModAdventures in CryEngine 2

JP Mod | MechWarrior: Living Legends

Mods for Crysis Wars


Old Visitors Center Rotunda (2008) MechWarrior: Living Legends 0.5.0 Release

When Crysis Wars came out, it provided a new platform for modders - the at-the-time impressive looking CryEngine 2. Though for some it didn't quite reach expectations, there's still no shortage of projects that made the engine sing for them and these two certainly did, with wins in MOTY 2007 and 2010. JP Mod has been rebooted in recent years whilst Living Legends has been handed over to a team of passionate community members that have kept it going for years with improvements and feature additions.


Valve's games have always been more than just mindless shooting. "Think" was part of the Run, Think, Shoot, Live quartet back on Half-Life's box and every game since has tested player's wits and brains, not just their reaction speed. Naturally, then, modders have handily leveraged this to create puzzle-focused experiences like the mods above, which held players' attention in MOTY 2008 and 2009.


Iconic Horror

Nightmare House 2

Mod for Half-Life 2


July update


Taking a win in Mod of the Year 2010, Nightmare House 2 was great spooky fun back then and remains as such today. Moreover, it set a standard for Source engine horror that would be challenged for years, with many hoping to earn as iconic a name for themselves. It also inspired creators in the new era of Garry's Mod map makers, whose regular output of horror maps often take direct inspiration from this scary classic.

Warband total conversions have a strong showing in MOTY history, and many focus on the Lord of the Rings mythology in particular. One of the first to properly execute this concept was The Last Days, whose hard-earned win in MOTY 2011 made a strong impression on Warband fans. Updated fairly often over the years, it may've been the first, but thanks to its example, won't be the last.


Have your say in the comments.
Which takes the mantle for the best Classic mod of all time?



Mod of the Year Awards


Comments
Lord_Mordja
Lord_Mordja - - 460 comments

It's not gonna win, and it might be one of the less influential mods up here, but gotta show love for Dystopia! Even if I could never figure out the hacking gameplay...

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

I remember watching my dad play Dystopia years ago. I've always wanted to revisit it!

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Daburubareru
Daburubareru - - 738 comments

lots of amazing and magic memory, I remember playing a lot of awesome total-conversion mods back in the days! <3

-Rayan ''Dabu''

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bishibosh
bishibosh - - 137 comments

nice article, very cool to look back on all these classics (:

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

Stay tuned to the event - four more categories are coming soon!

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Guest
Guest - - 698,608 comments

I remember seeing a Lets play Nightmare house.
Back then it was pretty scary...
Now not so much, defifinitely lost its charm

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Hey-Pi-Ron
Hey-Pi-Ron - - 471 comments

No Underhell for HL2? Boooo!

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

Underhell did not place high enough in 2011's MOTY awards to feature as part of this category, but it is featured in another category coming up as part of the 20th Anniversary celebration ;)

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Hey-Pi-Ron
Hey-Pi-Ron - - 471 comments

This is nice to know )

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Tabajara77
Tabajara77 - - 315 comments

I'm so glad to see Zombie Panic! Source in the list! It was my first free MP game when I joined Steam back in 2009. Still playing til this day and working as a team lead dev for it! :)

Nightmare House was the **** back then! Congratz to other titles!

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

I’ve played ZPS recently with friends - the kind of gameplay that, if you’ve got some mates, never gets old.

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ReformedJoe
ReformedJoe - - 200 comments

I have an immense amount of nostalgia for those early days of HL1 modding. So many talented people making so many cool things.

My internet was garbage even by the standards of the time, so I relied a lot on CDs from gaming mags. I found They Hunger (and USS Darkstar) on a PCGamer disk. They blew my mind and I thought: "I want to make cool **** like this one day".

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

Early total conversion mods often stole the spotlight from the games they were made for! Good times.

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Nemanja_
Nemanja_ - - 180 comments

I can't believe I'm seeing Point of Existence: 2 getting mentioned in the year 2022. That's one of the best BF2 mods out there that got forgotten rather quickly .

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

Battlefield 2 has had a great history on site and a lot of the old but gold BF2 mods are still supported to this day.

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Nemanja_
Nemanja_ - - 180 comments

I think I've played POE2 for the first time maybe ten years ago, but I think that it's development ceased really long time ago, I've never seen it updated since the day I found out about it. Yeah, servers were active, but no one was talking about this mod really, it was either AIX or PR.

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Ruslan40
Ruslan40 - - 63 comments

support is not official this year in the addons tab, a person added support for bots to the official mappack (Crimea map, Yalta port, Melitopol depot and other excellent maps), maps from battlefield 2 also appeared and a fix was added so that the mod would not crash.

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Zeragrin
Zeragrin - - 4 comments

Can I get some love for Firearms and Wizard Wars or what?! ;p

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MarcosniGP1
MarcosniGP1 - - 42 comments

Nice

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Catie
Catie - - 370 comments

God i still remember playing some Sven Coop back in 2010 and having the most fun out of it, so many hours.

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deadrawkstar
deadrawkstar - - 396 comments

I don't know how I feel about Garry's Mod. While I can't argue how influential it was for modding, not many people think of it as a mod when it's being sold on Steam.

Miss the glory days of Natural Selection, Marines vs Marines servers with Gun upgrades <3

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FlippedOutKyrii
FlippedOutKyrii - - 3,551 comments

Tons of classics here, and it makes me feel mighty old a ton of these are now considered classics! ;)

Research and Development is a stroke of pure comic genius we haven't seen the likes of since. It dropped without warning too, no hype either and man it made an impression.

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Alex626
Alex626 - - 642 comments

Black Mesa Source.

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

Black Mesa is featured in another category as part of the event, so stay tuned!

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Maxen1416
Maxen1416 - - 5,557 comments

Man I feel old.

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neophus
neophus - - 589 comments

For me it's Svencoop so far ! playing for around 20 years ! but I don't forget Day of defeat, the specialists and the battlegrounds neither ! they have a special part on my childhood too !

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Marek33
Marek33 - - 3,892 comments

I can't say that I have a favorite mod, since there are just too many amazing mods to choose. Plus, surprisingly, I haven't played most of the Mods on this list, since they are multiplayer only, or for games, which I haven't played that much.

From what I played, my favorite ones, are Red Orchestra, Point of Existence 2, Project Reality and Forgotten Hope 2. Thou, I really should play the Nightmare House 2 and especially the Research and Development, since that one is right up my alley.

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Musie_(MyCbEH)
Musie_(MyCbEH) - - 234 comments

A high dose of nostalgia, it was a great time.

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SVBOY
SVBOY - - 18 comments

why does sven coop links to the battle grounds instead of sven co-op

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 836 comments

Fixed!

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Mongolranger
Mongolranger - - 227 comments

People still play Day of Defeat. Join us!

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Mongolranger
Mongolranger - - 227 comments

I am really glad to see The Last Days on this list. I've always considered it a masterpiece.

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highblood89
highblood89 - - 304 comments

Garry's Mod is such a classic in that it totally changed the gameplay from HL2 to something entirely different - a sandbox.

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PMDLEADERSHINX
PMDLEADERSHINX - - 544 comments

So, Moddb is now 20 years old? That makes me feel really old. I began using it as a offline guest around 2008 to find Half-Life mods and Doom addons later in 2013, I made my account to see and comment on mods and upload older cd-roms that were freeware along with addons for games that could've been lost.

I'd like to see the next twenty years of this site as well. Regarding the classics, I always will hold Sven Co-Op to my heart, played the old pre-steam release to death, It and They Hunger were among the first Half-Life mods I ever played, and they are special to me.

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LithTechGuru
LithTechGuru - - 443 comments

No mention of The Nameless Mod? Easily the most ambitious fully completed mod I've ever played.

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INtense! Staff
INtense! - - 4,102 comments

It's in another category ;)

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Theo_13
Theo_13 - - 51 comments

Check the TC section.

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foo_jam2002
foo_jam2002 - - 872 comments

Nice reading material.

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CptBocquier
CptBocquier - - 71 comments

I'm biased 100%, but Forgotten Hope 2 for sure ! For years i've said i would stop play this game, and for years i went back to it... that's the only game were me and the lads feel confortable, enjoying both the gameplay and the scenery.

I'm lucky to be one of the active dev now, but before that i've spent 10 years playing it for the fun !

Oh, and now, there's the french !

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Guest
Guest - - 698,608 comments

Same feeling here mon ami.
AlanKIng

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Guest
Guest - - 698,608 comments

Forgotten Hope 2 is where its at!

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sputnikfighter
sputnikfighter - - 1 comments

FH2 for sure ! This mod helped me to dive into the world of mods. This total conversion is for me more than a game about ww2. It shows with well documented rechearches and uncommon senarios how extented and complex this conflict was to compare to some game about this period. For this, FH2 deserve a victory for the gigantic work done year after year. I a bit biased for sure but that prospective is so unique on videogames landscape.

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euge_e
euge_e - - 14 comments

Zombie panic source! As soon as I saw it, I immediately voted. So many unforgettable feelings in 2008 when playing this mod. Thank you!

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skullkan6
skullkan6 - - 334 comments

I do wish we had more for horror than just Nightmare house 2. There are more great horror mods.

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Guest
Guest - - 698,608 comments

Forgotten Hope 2 . Long-lived, highly supported and played. AL

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Guest
Guest - - 698,608 comments

Desert Combat

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Ruslan40
Ruslan40 - - 63 comments

A truly magnificent point of existence 2 mod !!!, which is unfairly forgotten, when you ask someone what the coolest battlefield 2 mods you know, everyone says the same project reality and forgotten hope 2 about poe 2 no one says, but this is not fair, because it is one of the first high-quality modifications, poe 2 is cooler than the original bf2, after poe 2 you don’t want to play the original bf 2, perfectly recreated German and Ukrainian army and their weapons and equipment, excellent maps, where truly epic battles take place , arcade bf3, bf4 nervously smoke on the sidelines, it’s a pity that they didn’t add the Russian army, otherwise it’s a great game 12 out of 10 witcher from the world of battlefields =)

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