If there is one highlight of PC gaming (aside from powerful gaming rigs outperforming consoles), it's the mods. Dedicated modders make the games we play more entertaining in a variety of different ways. Whether it's making a brand-new game out of an old one, adding some much needed humor or improving upon a game's original design, modders make PC gaming more than worth it.
It's no wonder consoles are looking to get in on the action. One of the biggest announcements revolving around Fallout 4 is that the game would bring mods to consoles. While Fallout 4 will be the first console game to support mods on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, rest assured it won't be the last.
Mods breathe new life into the games we play, letting fans create new content that keeps games relevant for far longer than developers could have ever dreamed. It's exactly for that reason we see developers like CD Projekt Red and Bethesda embracing their modding community: it's a win-win for everybody involved.
No doubt 2016 will be a huge year for the modding scene as it reaches an even bigger audience, but for now we would like to highlight some of our favorite mods we've stumbled upon this year. From bizarre to brilliant, here are our favorite video game mods of 2015.
Super Mario Generations by Daku Neko
Sonic Generations is one of the better Sonic games to have been released in recent years. Replace Sonic, Tales and Dr. Eggman with Mario, Luigi and Bowser and suddenly you have a fantastic Mario game as well, one that has Mario running at speeds never before seen. This mod features all new bosses, some killer animations, new music and much more, making this a must-play mod for Mario and Sonic fans alike.
Heart of Cards by DickDangerJustice
One of the best parts about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (besides being a fantastic game) is that it's also a fantastic card game. CD Projekt Red created a fun, quick-paced and strategy-filled card game called Gwent just for Witcher, and soon players were spending more time collecting cards than killing monsters. This mod replaces all of the game's combat with Gwent battles, and it's as great as it sounds.
Fallout 4 Full Dialogue Interface by Cirosan and shadwar
Fallout 4 is a great game, but it's not perfect. Many players found the game's new dialogue system left a lot to be desired, as Bethesda replaced the text-driven system seen in previous game's with a fully-voiced acted (but much more limiting) conversation system. Even more frustrating, players aren't told what exactly their character will say before selecting a response, with Bethesda instead opting for dialogue options like "Yes", "No" and "Sarcastic." This mod restores some of the former glory seen in Fallout 3 by spelling out what exactly your character will say upon selecting any given option. It makes one of Fallout 4's most disappointing aspects much improved. No doubt many a console player will be downloading this one when mods arrive on Xbox One and PS4 next year.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Z by D Mark-Z
Super Smash Bros. is one of the most popular fighting games around. Featuring simple to learn gameplay yet sporting some truly complex game mechanics, fans enjoy Nintendo's all-star brawler both casually and competitively. So what happens when you take Super Smash Bros. Brawl's engine and replace all the characters with those from popular anime series Dragon Ball Z? The best Dragon Ball Z game yet. Some of the animations don't look perfect and it's probably not balanced at all, but just the fact that this mod exists is enough to make any DBZ fan smile.
Mario Kart 8 In Grand Theft Auto V by MrVicho13 and Mr. Ray Koopa
Modders are having a blast with GTA V on PC. From adding Iron Man armor to the game to the ability to spawn massive whales onto a busy Los Santos highway, there are plenty of mods to choose from for Rockstar's latest. The fact that this mod that lets players race on Mario Kart 8 tracks is just too great to not include. It's Mario Kart 8, for crying out loud! It's one of Nintendo's best games, and now players can take its courses for a spin using GTA's more realistic cars and physics.
Toon Skyrim by UniqueUses
Skyrim may have released back in 2011, but it's still going strong thanks to a large and vibrant modding community. Bethesda's fantasy RPG was just the kind of sandbox modders had been waiting for, and one of the coolest creations we've seen this year comes in the form of a mod that makes Skyrim look as if it were a Pixar film.
Dark Souls Boss Arena Mod by DaTeHaCKs
Getting beat to death by massive, grotesque boss creatures in Dark Souls is half the fun of the game. That's precisely why this mod from DaTeHaCKs is so brilliant. Instead of playing a small, easily crushed human, players can instead play as one of the game's numerous bosses. To call it satisfying would be an understatement. Finally, the baddies that caused you hours of torment can get a taste of their own medicine.
GTA V 'Back To The Future' DeLorean Mod by Joshua Vanderzee and Madgaz
Back to the Future had a big year in 2015, as it was finally the year of Marty's arrival in the future. Even if we don't all have hoverboards, we did get this extremely cool DeLorean mod for GTA V. The mod lets players take the iconic automobile for a spin in Los Santos, but that's not all. Break 88 mph and the car will disappear, leaving only streaks of flame behind before appearing seconds later in a new time. Sure, it doesn't take players to the Wild West or 23rd century, but it's still super-satisfying to floor it and travel through space and time just like Marty McFly.
Batman: Arkham Knight - Be The Butler by Batman Arkham Videos
Has there ever been a more catastrophic PC game launch than Batman: Arkham Knight? That's certainly up for debate, but the game's abysmal performance on PC didn't stop one modder from enjoying what Batman: Arkham Knight had to offer when it released this summer. By fiddling with the game's files, Alfred became the playable character we always wanted. He may not be able to counter or perform ground take-downs, but watching Batman's butler kick serious butt like we always imagined he could makes for one great mod.