Post feature RSS 20th Anniversary - Total Conversion Titans

Total conversions are totally awesome - and with a rich history on ModDB, these twenty TC titans are all worth the investment!

Posted by on

Mod of the Year Awards


Total Conversions

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:


This article is all about the Total Conversion! These mods change the game more than any other - transforming their parent titles across story and even genre boundaries into entirely new experiences. It's one thing to build on a foundation, but these mods built their own foundation from the ground up. They're one of the best demonstrations of the raw power of modding!


Featuring in MOTY 2005 and 2010 respectively, these two mods prove Bethesda-IP total conversions have been pushing the envelope for years. They're not a dying breed either, with plenty more mods released and in development since like Enderal, Star Wars: Galactic Legacy, and SKYBLIVION.


Valve titles are an evergreen source of ambitious mod projects, with total conversions in particular having a special showing. Featuring in MOTY 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, and 2011 (for both The Stanley Parable and Underhell), Valve IP mods have long held a home on ModDB and continue to do so with ambitious creations like F-stop | Project Capture, Entropy : Zero 2, and Operation: Black Mesa. As is the case with some of the most successful mods out there, The Stanley Parable has since gone commercial with a recent re-release and Underhell transitioned to Unreal Engine 4 for a commercial follow-up.



Star Wars, as a cornerstone of gaming culture for decades, is unsurprisingly a focus for many modders, transforming their favourite titles into new adventures in the galaxy far far away. However, Empire at War has also become something of a platform of its own for space-and-ground-based RTS gameplay, with Star Trek, Stargate, Babylon 5, and other franchises featuring. Other total conversions like FOC Alliance - Star Trek TOS and Covenant at War also made their mark on the EAW modding scene. These three mods took the stage in MOTY 2007, 2009, and 2011.



Mount & Blade: Warband is a seminal third-person medieval strategy game, and its modding history reflects its monumental size. Taking positions in 2011, 2013, and 2018, these three mods are just a slice of the potential for this game - with total conversions that bring another take on fantasy and history like A World of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) or Brytenwalda, and original fantasy fiction like Perisno.


Though spread across four different games, these mods - taking 2013, 2016 (for both Hearts of Iron IV: The Great War and Medieval Kingdoms Total War (Attila Version) and 2021 for MOTY - demonstrate the sheer spread of quality strategy mods available on-site and the variety of games modders continue to bend to their will. The disproportionate consistency of strategy games having modding support is a strong reason for this, and in the modern industry, these titles are still some of the most reliably modded available.


In a league of their own

Cry of Fear | The Nameless Mod

Mods for Half-Life and Deus Ex that won the MOTY



This and the next mod in the category are sub-sections unto themselves, with Cry of Fear happily (or moodily, more fittingly!) taking Mod of the Year 2012. An instant classic that could well have released as a standalone commercial product, Cry of Fear's legacy lives on with its own small but dedicated modding scene that builds upon Team Psyskallar's foundation.


This mod might be nameless, but all classic Deus Ex fans know it well as the internet culture-focused total conversion mod that brings equal parts satire and serious commentary to the table. Placing back in 2009, it's not the oldest trophy-taker on this list but neither is it the youngest, giving it a comfortable middle ground and remaining an example of a total conversion that truly has come into its own.


Have your say in the comments.
Which takes the mantle for most impressive Total Conversion of all time?



Mod of the Year Awards


Comments
Guest
Guest - - 689,064 comments

Congrats Moddbh Team, past and present wow 20 yrs. Thank you for everything that you have done and are still doing. Look forward to see what the next 20 yrs will look like.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes
_xMAX_
_xMAX_ - - 308 comments

20 years: Greetings and thanks MODDB team, for (your) excellent site (for me, the best) and work! Technically perfect. No useless contents and fast, rational, functional configuration(s) and consultation.
[Without you all, I never published some my modding work. And that's true]
Other 100 years :)

Massimo/Max

Reply Good karma Bad karma+8 votes
Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

Thanks for the kind words!

Reply Good karma+6 votes
Marek33
Marek33 - - 3,890 comments

Generals Evolution is easily one of my favorites, since it's one of the best RTS modifications, which I have played in the last few years, and I'm very glad, that the mod was released last year, after such a long time.

Thou, I find it a bit disappointing, not seeing the legendary Desert Combat, which is one of the first proper total conversions.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

Desert Combat, unfortunately, has never placed in MOTY, but it did get a special mention by one of our editors back in 2017: Moddb.com

Reply Good karma+4 votes
Marek33
Marek33 - - 3,890 comments

I understand, and that's a pity, since quite a lot of Mods, would deserve to be mentioned, even if they weren't in the MOTY.

Also, can I vote in the previous poll (https://www.moddb.com/polls/best-classic-moty-winner-2002-2011-of-all-time), or only for the current one?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

All the polls will be open until the 8th of August!

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Marek33
Marek33 - - 3,890 comments

Thanks for the info, and that's great to hear!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Klon116
Klon116 - - 721 comments

Damn it's 20 years already?! We're honoured to be around this awesome community since ... (quickly checking his own join date) ... about 15 years!
Happy birthday from Stargate Empire at War! :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

We're thrilled to have you here! Thanks for the awesome memories :)

Reply Good karma+3 votes
Suphakitz
Suphakitz - - 58 comments

So hard to choose...

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
dreadlamp12
dreadlamp12 - - 83 comments

where is the choose everything button?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Lazarhead
Lazarhead - - 92 comments

Stanley FTW!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Daburubareru
Daburubareru - - 738 comments

20 years and I still looking forward the future of the modding scene! For the future I look forwarding being more productive toward my project and wishing the best to any news mods from the future!

I'm happy that EZ2 and any other mods are on the list they're awesome and I look forward about EZ2!

-Rayan "Dabu"

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Relifed
Relifed - - 1,112 comments

Just a quick correction, Generals Evolution is a mod for Red Alert 3, not for Generals Zero Hour. It is however a semi-port of ZH to RA3, so I can see where the confusion came from!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

Hey there, now fixed, thanks!

Reply Good karma+4 votes
sgor00
sgor00 - - 482 comments

Also in Related Mods bar you have a link to old archieved Generals Evolution page

Nice to see our mod in this list, we're really appreciated :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Thaiauxn - - 1,672 comments

Is Fallout: New California classified as a total conversion on the site?

Technically it is a TC, though it shares the same EXE and eventually bridges to the main game at the end. But it has an all new start from the main menu, a new story, new world spaces, and never touches New Vegas until porting your save at the end.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

Fallout: New California features in a different category of the awards yet to be revealed in full.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
NekoChan123
NekoChan123 - - 370 comments

Republic at War

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
R.Bell
R.Bell - - 48 comments

Cry of Fear is definitely the most impressive. So impressive that the devs decided to make it freeware on Steam, so you don't need Half-Life to run it anymore.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Serathis
Serathis - - 468 comments

Sadly, the Underhell project seems to be dead. The commercial release just withered off years ago, the Unreal Engine transition is a fan project, not made by the original devs :(

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Milanium
Milanium - - 453 comments

I can only read every second line with highlighting text: dark font on dark background.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

Hi, this is likely due to custom CSS on one of the mod pages - follow this link to see the default ModDB schema: Moddb.com

Reply Good karma+2 votes
The_Preacher
The_Preacher - - 820 comments

Congrats on 20 years of being a top modding place, moddb team !

As for total conversions, there are many many of them to count, from STALKER franchise, on HoI IV and Old World Blues, all the way to SOASE and its amazing ST mods like Armada and AOTF. But from the mentioned above ... it purely depends on which genre one prefers. Very relative to determine as "the best" total conversion.

I played a lot of Prophesy of Pendor back in 2015.-2016. and its truly amazing how many total conversion mods were made for Warband. Stanley Parable was absolutely unique idea firstly as HL2 mod, and later as its own game. Cry of Fear - outstanding horror experience.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
AyeBlin
AyeBlin - - 364 comments

20 yrs already!? time goes by very quickly also congratulation!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
☣GenezisO☢
☣GenezisO☢ - - 2,268 comments

This is an amazing community. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series brought me to Moddb when I discovered people are making mods for this game. I am here for 11 years now, met many great people and saw & played many great projects. Cheers.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
echuu
echuu - - 578 comments

I have been here for 16 years and I can only say congrats and thanks for all.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
7ty7
7ty7 - - 785 comments

Thanks for all the wonderful times all these years, both to modders and this site's staff. Like someone above said, an excellent site, functional and pretty, no useless content. One of the very few sites I check daily.

Best regards, and I wish you many more years of success

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.