The Greatest PC Sport Mods of 2012

Beyond control schemes and graphics, they're the best reason to play games on a PC. Mods are the laziest way to optimize a game so that its settings or functions behave more according to your wishes. In the most ambitious case, they can transform your entire experience and leave you with what feels like a brand new game.

This year has been a big year for PC mods. Two – DayZ and Black Mesa – competed with commercial products for public awareness and, perhaps more importantly, quality. But they weren't the only great mods released this year. In the gallery below, I'll highlight the best mods I've gotten my hands on over the past twelve months.

A note on the criteria: since mod development can be a nebulous thing, I'm forgiving, including not just mods that were definitely released in 2012, but that could have become prominent or released major milestone upgrades.

game of Thrones

Paradox's excellent Crusader Kings II becomes almost the perfect Game of Thrones video game with a full range of modifications – from the map to the characters to the game's very political structure.

DayZ

It's easy to forget that this is a mod in the first place, so prominently was the discussion of the zombie survival simulation DayZ this year, and so relatively dark is the game it is based on, BI's fantastic ArmA II. It's in the Indeed, it has become so successful that a proper stand-alone version of the game is due soon.

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Black mesa

Another project that it's easy to forget it's a mod. The changes to the source game are so extensive. Black Mesa was so good, in fact, we checked it out like it was a real game, probably the highest compliment a mod can get.

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Dark Souls: DS Fix

Dark Souls on PC was one of the worst ports ever. Fortunately, Durante's mod made things look a lot better.

Diaspora

Battlestar Galactica was severely under-sold due to the accompanying video games. So it was great to see fans step in where professional studios failed. The Diaspora is a fantastic achievement that brings the physics and atmosphere of the most iconic space combat of the last decade to your desktop PC for free.

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Election total war

Not the most extensive mod for a Total War game, or even the best-made, but this got big scores for how timely it was. And sometimes weird. Turning legions of Romney and Obama's into bloodthirsty warriors was one of the year's best comments on the partisan brutality of contemporary American politics.

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Deus Ex: New Vision

Although it was partially released last year, the final product wasn't available until this year. And what kind of product it was. The original Deus Ex is a masterpiece, but in 2012 it is slowly showing its age, which this "HD makeover" can alleviate.

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Great Skyrim brothers

Turns Skyrim into the biggest and strangest Mario game in the world. That's about all that needs to be said.

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Borderlands 2 split screen

Fans are doing what Gearbox really should have: add a local split-screen option for Borderlands 2 so that two buddies can shoot in the same room. Makes high fives a lot easier.

Just cause 2 multiplayer

JC2's multiplayer mod is still a work in progress and yet one of the most exciting projects in the entire gaming arena. I mean, they get well over 1000 people to play on a single card. That's crazy.

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Republished with permission. Luke Plunkett is an editor at Kotaku.

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