Post feature RSS 20th Anniversary - Modern Masterpieces

Modern masterpieces are sometimes hard to come by, but not on ModDB - as these twenty mods take user generated content into a new era!

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Mod of the Year Awards


Modern Hits

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 are mods that placed in Mod of the Year within the last ten years (2012-2021) that, despite their recent placement, have made a serious impact on modding culture and will one day be the legends themselves.


These two mods also could have happily fit into the Multiplayer category, naturally - but given both placed at first place in MOTY 2013 and 2014 respectively, they've earned their spot in competing against other modern hits on ModDB. Both bringing friendly co-operation or competition to two games that went without, they inspired the developers behind both titles to give players what they wanted and later titles included native multiplayer support - another case of genius modders setting the trend before the rest!


Going Commercial

Black Mesa | DayZ

Mods for Half-Life 2 and ARMA 2: Combined Operations


Black Mesa 1.0 Dayz - Dec


Many mods achieve widespread popularity as free releases - a fantastic portfolio piece that becomes a stepping stone to industry success later on. For some modders, however, that door opens much earlier due to attaining almost unmatched support. Taking 2004 and 2012, Black Mesa and DayZ both became commercial hits that helped kickstart the careers of many passionate hobbyists - and we can't wait to see what they do next.


Sometimes the top mods take a while to get recognition, and these two took many years to finally win a place in Mod of the Year. With Rise of the Reds taking 2012 after seven years, and Mental Omega taking 2015 after eleven years, they both kept slugging it out, making regular improvements, updates, and engagement with their community, until their hard work finally paid off.

Both the mods on this list get their namesake from other RTS games - the first as a fan-made sequel, the second as a sequel to a gigantic mod. Though the originals are still fondly loved, all modding eventually hits a barrier, and these two projects rolled with the punches to keep their progress relevant in the modern day. Their similarities don't end there, as both took placements in 2014's MOTY.


Battle for Middle-Earth II gave players the reins in determining the fate of the Lord of the Rings world and seldom has the franchise revisited the strategy genre since. Thus, modders kept this alive themselves with a healthy spread of remarkable mods for the games in the series. Opening up new stories, these two mods have been chipping away at their own vision of a definitive LOTR experience, and took 2014 and 2017 for satisfying the vision of the fans, too.


All of the mods above come from games that are already solid experiences for their respective fans - offering plenty of depth and enjoyment. However, even the most diehard fan wants something new after a while, and each of these mods delivers - building upon the foundation of the original game to deliver more of what we all want. Their respect to the original title paid off with wins in 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2021.


Some of the biggest worlds in gaming, after all these years, have finally begun to lose their magic. Once every corner and secret has been mapped out and explored, a door closes for many people. However, another door opens for creators - the potential to make a new world to explore. So was the case with these two mods, which built entirely new worlds and narratives out of already formidable foundations and gave players more to explore - whose gratitude won these mods placements in 2013 and 2016.


In a scene full of modern or futuristic experiences, there's also a fair few that take you back into history - in this case, fabricated history - to experience society on a different technological level. Sometimes with magic, sometimes with monsters, and always with sword, shield, and spear - these two mods let you wage gigantic medieval battles like the history books talk of, with a little added spice. Players are happy to take this opportunity - as proven by their wins in 2014 and 2016.


Mods of Mods?!

Here's one to satisfy the old modders among you - those who remember Black Mesa's fledgling beginnings and who stuck with it for its fifteen year journey. The developers behind that runaway success recognised the value in providing tools to continue their own legacy, and that gambit paid off with Black Mesa: Blue Shift in MOTY 2021. Many other projects - like Black Mesa: Azure Sheep, Black Mesa: Candidate Twelve, and Black-mesa Alpha Zero - all build upon this basis too, and for us, it's a great joy to see the cycle of modding continue into a new age.


Have your say in the comments.
Which takes the mantle for the best Modern mod in recent memory?



Mod of the Year Awards


Comments
travis-san
travis-san - - 6 comments

oh wow time flies I still remember the time when I first tried this mod I got hooked on immediately since I love warhammer and LOTR in general

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Jeffman12
Jeffman12 - - 1,475 comments

I will have fun deducing which specific mod this comment is about in roughly 4 days from time of posting this as there seem to be 4 of these in my inbox.

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deadrawkstar
deadrawkstar - - 396 comments

It's been a loooonnnnng time sir! I remember playing Half Life mods together online when we were kids! Your username jogged something in my memory and when i clicked on your profile sure enough I saw we were already friends. Time flies! Good to see your still around.

Cheers!

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Jeffman12
Jeffman12 - - 1,475 comments

Hey, likewise, using the same name on steam too.

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umad41
umad41 - - 392 comments

Very cool, definitely not gonna remember that this is here in a month though???

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CanadaMan7
CanadaMan7 - - 2,586 comments

In the classical spirit of the modding community, looks like they're delaying it every time they get close to the ETA.

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

I'm not even sure how people are already commenting on this but patience is key, it'll be worth the wait ;)

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CanadaMan7
CanadaMan7 - - 2,586 comments

Hey, no rush man. I just found humor in it after doing the same thing throughout my modding career.

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Maxen1416
Maxen1416 - - 5,558 comments

I have just logged into here for the first time since 2017, going around and revisiting old members, especially the ones that are still active have been quite surreal, I'm glad Moddb is still around, and I hope that it continues to do so into the distant future!

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foo_jam2002
foo_jam2002 - - 857 comments

what?

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laVashik
laVashik - - 78 comments

Another postponement of the release?)

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deadrawkstar
deadrawkstar - - 396 comments

I installed my first Half Life 2 mod in YEARS last night. Lots of core memories coming back about the good ol' days. Super excited to see whats in store for ModDB. Miss ya'll!! <3

-Deadrawkstar (Modinformer)

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Marek33
Marek33 - - 3,890 comments

There are a lot of amazing Mods like the Black Mesa, Rise of the Reds, Mental Omega, Brutal Doom, Call of Chernobyl, Ultimate Apocalypse and so on, however, there could be only one winner.

My favorite is definitely the long awaited The Chronicles of Myrtana. That mod does everything, what us the Gothic fans could ever want. Completely new story with new characters with its own goals and desires, quests with multiple ways to finish them, items, locations, random events, gameplay options, new models/textures, amazingly made orchestral music, overhauled crafting system, rebalanced economy, and even it has a professional voice acting, even if it's in Polish since it's a Polish project it makes sense.

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Guest
Guest - - 689,179 comments

I'd never expect so much love and dedication from Gothic community! While the Chronicles of Myrtana is without any doubt a masterpiece and dream come true for any Gothic fan, I am surprised by much smaller attension for other excellent mods, like Black Mesa, Enderal or others.

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Guest
Guest - - 689,179 comments

You underestimated the dedication of Polish playerbase. And beside that there ain't a lot of votes. If more people were aware of this poll, the results could (and most probably would) have been different

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Guest
Guest - - 689,179 comments

The Chronicles of Myrtana definitely

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Thaiauxn - - 1,672 comments

Wow, the chronicles of myrtana really showed up!

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INtense! Staff
INtense! - - 4,100 comments

They've done an insane job rallying their 30k+ fans: Facebook.com

I mean everything here is a masterpiece

Reply Good karma+3 votes
Jashin
Jashin - - 169 comments

Chronicles of Myrtana is at a level of quality the original developer can no longer produce. In that sense S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Chernobyl, and by extension, Anomaly, may prove to be very similar. But that's yet to be proven true (we shall see about S2).

But the amount of original content of CoM easily exceeds CoC/Anomaly, which are gameplay mods. It's by every right a commercial game given away for free, to fans who no longer hold any hope of another Gothic-2-quality title from Piranha Bytes.

It's a bona fide modern masterpiece.

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Synthoras
Synthoras - - 185 comments

(buried)

Thats an insult to the original gothic games. CoM is buggy mess with terrible writting.

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Lazarhead
Lazarhead - - 92 comments

Black Mesa, what a masterpiece. Bringing the first Half-Life to Half-Life 2 standards and beyond.

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Guest
Guest - - 689,179 comments

Rise of the Reds mod ~ the ultimate mod for C&C Generals: Zero Hour !!!
Can't wait for upcoming Rise of the Reds features ❤️

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Synthoras
Synthoras - - 185 comments

Oh how fun polish bot votes.

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

Hi - no botting has taken place as far as we're aware, as we've got numerous security measures in place and have been monitoring the polls to ensure no foul play. Chronicles of Myrtana really is just that popular!

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thelivingone
thelivingone - - 22 comments

Exactly, it's an absolutely amazing mod. There are definitely some strong contenders, but CoM takes the cake.

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Woozle
Woozle - - 2,617 comments

5x the people have voted on CoM than have actually downloaded the mod on this website, something fishy is happening here.

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thelivingone
thelivingone - - 22 comments

Store.steampowered.com

CoM is on Steam, in a click-to-install format, but the only voting option is here.

It has almost 10000 reviews there man.

Nothing is fishy here, it really is a very popular mod.

Edit: there's also over 50000 downloads of files on the mods page.
It's hard to say if downloads of full versions are unique, because some people might simply go with the patching route, but it's still a decent number.
Edit 2: And the mod is also on GOG.

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Guest
Guest - - 689,179 comments

Chronicles of Myrtana was a dream come true for me as a Gothic fan.

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Guest
Guest - - 689,179 comments

I'm an old dude, thanks to chronicles of myrtana I was able to feel young for a few weeks again. Thanks.

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Ztritsval
Ztritsval - - 106 comments

Rise of the Reds in my heart forever!

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Tamerlan93PL
Tamerlan93PL - - 5 comments

Vote for Chronicles of Myrtana. I receive something for which I waited 13years. I could again play my Gothic. Damnit modders make better job than producers.

Its strange for me that comparing to legends like Dayz Chronicles of Myrtana have so many votes. Looks like only Chronicles of Myrtana ask their fanbase to make votes.

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Machine-Reaper
Machine-Reaper - - 2,214 comments

one mod racks up more votes then all others combined.

this is just a one sided show now.

also not saying any hate on Chronicles of Myrtana just its a stupid way to vote singularly on mods of different categories.

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Alex626
Alex626 - - 639 comments

Well done with the anniversary contest! Unfortunately, there's no Crysis mods in here - and there's a reason for it. Crytek willingly destroyed a very promising and powerful modding community, hundreds of mods and maps have been destroyed when they took down the filebase (contained 2600 files), forums with tens of thousands of users have been removed (contained CryEngine knowledge since 2005), the community-driven wiki with hundreds of great articles had been removed. And though we are trying to bring some of it back by the means of community, it will never be that great again.

It is horrifying to realize what's happened. I would like to have an article about the demise of Crysis modding, if that is possible, to expose Crytek's actions.

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Guest
Guest - - 689,179 comments

Mental Omega

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