Three Mods That Outgrew Their Original Game


When most people decide to start a mod, whether by taking a Minecraft modding course or playing about with textures and files in Doom or Skyrim, tend to start by taking a game they like a lot and changing small aspects to either remove annoyances, fix issues or add unique challenges.

However, some mods take on a life of their own and outgrow the original game they are based on, in some cases becoming more popular than the game they were based on.

These are some of our favourite examples of mods that became more popular than their original game.


Battle Royale Games – ARMA 2

The realistic military shooter series ARMA is probably more famous for the huge number of popular games that were created on its back.

Whilst ARMA also led to the creation of the highly popular zombie survival game DayZ, probably its most lasting legacy is the work of Brendan Green, better known as PlayerUnknown.

He created a series of mods for both ARMA 2 and ARMA 3 that would evolve into what we know now as the highly popular Battle Royale genre, finally culminating with the standalone game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Many of the quirks of that game, such as its huge maps and realistic aesthetic come from ARMA’s dedication to realism, only transplanted into a more outlandish and fast-paced gameplay system.


Counter-Strike – Half-Life

The original Half-Life and its revolutionary sequel spawned several major game mods that became fundamentally different games, such as Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Garry’s Mod, The Stanley Parable and countless other games.

This was helped by Valve openly encouraging modders and often buying their games, as happened with one of their earliest hits.

Counter-Strike modded the original Half-Life and changed the sci-fi horror FPS into a tactical game that pitted teams against each other, who had to play carefully and tactically to avoid dying immediately.

Interestingly enough, when Half-Life’s original GoldSrc engine was retired, the first game to be released on their new Source engine was in fact a Counter-Strike game.


Defence Of The Ancients – Warcraft III: Reign Of Chaos

Better known simply as DOTA, the first-ever multiplayer online battle arena transformed a fairly excellent real-time strategy game into an exciting, intense team game featuring progression and a range of strategies.

The original DOTA (Later known as DOTA: All-Stars) would be one of the most popular competitive games of its era, and would only be beaten by the rise of successors such as League of Legends and DOTA 2.