Game Mods That Became Their Own Game


There are many exceptionally fun ways to learn to code, from joining a coding camp and enrolling in a coding course, to learning the inner workings of your favourite game through the world of game modding.

Most games have some kind of modding scene, and Minecraft has become particularly popular because of how easy it is to both create and share mods that can do anything from changing the colour of a block to changing how the game functions entirely.

Some game mods, however, go a bit further than this and end up being so popular and impressive that they become their own games entirely.

Here are some of the most notable.


The story of one of the world’s most popular esports had rather more humble beginnings as a modification of the exceptionally popular game Half-Life and its GoldSrc engine.

The mod became so popular that by 2000, when the mod was still only in its fifth beta update, Valve offered to buy the intellectual property and hire its creators Minh Le and Jess Cliffe to keep working on the game.

The Long War

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a tactics game where squads of soldiers battle aliens whilst constantly being outnumbered and facing technology they had not seen before, with victory taking a long time and requiring research and careful management of soldiers to ensure they can survive.

It was very popular, and a team of developers who later went by the name Long War Studios (now Pavonis Interactive) expanded the game considerably from this original idea to massive acclaim from game journalists, players and original developer Firaxis themselves.

This led to the developer working with the modders to create Long War 2 for the game’s sequel as well as shaping the decision to add mod support to XCOM 2 and Civilisation VI.

Black Mesa

Speaking of Half-Life, the original game was ported to the newer Source engine by Valve themselves under the name Half-Life: Source, but players wanted a more robust remake.

This would ultimately lead to a Source engine mod known as Black Mesa, which became so popular even in its early stages that it was released as a complete standalone game to critical acclaim.