Mod DB is one of the best places to download fan-made add-ons, and every year, the community votes on their favourites. I expected this to include this year's biggest PC games — Fallout 4, The Witcher 3 — to dominate but, uh, nope. Instead, everyone voted on a mod for a 2006 Lord of the Rings strategy game. There's good reason for that, though. It's an ambitious mod, one that might as well be an unofficial sequel. (There's little chance EA will make another one.)
Edain Mod, released in March, helps make Battle For Middle-Earth II: Rise of the Witch King more like the original game and goes super deep on Tolkien lore:
"The Edain Mod aims to take you deeper into Middle-Earth than ever before and create a game worthy of Tolkien's books and Peter Jackson's movies. In our quest for lore accuracy, visual quality and deeper gameplay, we overhauled every aspect of the original game to craft a new, immersive Lord of the Rings experience. Discover the new factions of Lothlorien and Rohan, field new units and heroes for each of the existing factions, enjoy a visual style closer to the movies and unleash the power of the One Ring with individual Ring heroes for every factions. Light or Shadow, Defender or Conqueror... the choice is yours."
The full list of winners, including what games they modify, is below:
- Edain Mod (Battle for Middle-Earth II)
- Rise of the Reds (Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour)
- Mental Omega (Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge)
- Ultimate Apocalypse Mod (Dawn of War: Soulstorm)
- A Clash of Kings (Mount and Blade: Warband)
- Warsword Conquest (Mount and Blade: Warband)
- Thrawn's Revenge: Imperial Civil War (Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption)
- Fallout: Project Brazil (Fallout: New Vegas)
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Chernobyl (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)
- Portal Stories: Mel (Portal 2)
In 2014, a multiplayer add-on for Eurotruck Stimulator 2 took the crown. In 2013, it was a similar add-on for Just Cause 2. A little less multiplayer in 2015, I guess.
Most of these games were released a long time ago. Battle for Middle-Earth II? 2006. Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour? 2003? Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge? 2000! And yet, these communities are keeping the games alive in a way the developers and publishers could never imagine. For both Command & Conquer games, the mods have been available for years, but they're still adding, tweaking, and changing stuff; the communities are still around.
Modders are the best.