We bring you the next list in an overview of our favorite Skyrim mods across many categories. This time, we spotlight visual mods that will make your game rival or sometimes even surpass the games of today.
10. Skyrim HD 2K Textures or 4K Parallax Skyrim
Probably the first thing you want to do when starting Skyrim is to replace all those old washed out textures of the vanilla version. So at number 10, we have two mods. Which one you choose is up to you, or more accurate – up to your machine specs. The 2K mod will bring your Skyrim experience closer to today's texture standards, but if you want to go above and beyond with ultra sharp textures, go with 4K Parallax Skyrim.
9. SkySight Skins for males & CBBE or UNP for females
After modifying your textures and environments, you'll most definitely want to upgrade the appearance of your character. Who wants to look at a generic low detailed character for their 100-hour playthrough? Give your characters an overhaul with these two mods and beautify your experience. Make males cleaner, more buff, and females more feminine and sexy.
8. Pure Waters or Realistic Water Two
Improve your water appearance and behavior with one of these two mods and go for a swim. Both of them will make your game much more beautiful when near bodies of water. Trust us, and the screenshots.
7. Skyrim Flora Overhaul
This mod comes in a few versions where light versions improve certain tree and grass textures. Meanwhile, the best version replaces all the trees with new, more detailed ones made from scratch, makes the forests denser, and much much more. Keep in mind that depending on the version of the mod, your frame rate will take some hits.
6. Climates of Tamriel + True Storms – Thunder and Rain Redone
500 new weather systems, lighting, the sun, sky, clouds, atmospherics, sounds. Climates of Tamriel adds, changes and improves all of that and much more. It adds an insane amount of atmosphere in the world of Skyrim and when coupled with True Storms – creates almost life like weather systems and conditions. No need for an umbrella when a thunderstorm looks that good. Find a vantage point and enjoy the view.
5. JK's Skyrim
JK's Skyrim is a huge lore friendly overhaul of many Skyrim cities and towns. The changes are too many to list but the cities feel more alive, denser with buildings and other objects. They feel like cities instead of half empty, 3 building villages of vanilla Skyrim. You will genuinely feel like you are visiting new cities which will throw you back to a time when you played the game for the first time.
4. RaceMenu + ApachiiSkyHair + The Eyes Of Beauty + Beards + Brows
Not satisfied with the amount of Skyrim character creator options? Have no fear as these mods will make the character creator more like a modern MMO and give you the power to really create your own character. Race menu enables a bunch of sliders and options to tweak your character to the most minute details while ApachiiSkyHair, Eyes Of Beauty, Beards and Brows adds an insane amount of high texture customization options for both males and females.
3. Ultimate HD Fire Effects
If you always felt that fire effects in Skyrim were a bit underwhelming and not impactful enough then Ultimate fire effects mod is for you. Make fire feel like fire and burn your enemies to a crisp. Not only are fire spells greatly improved but also the torch and candlelight as well as the burn effects with both smoke and sparks flying for that added bit of realism.
2. Wet and Cold + Get Snowy + High-Quality Snow
These mods add weather-dependent visual effects and NPC AI enhancements and improve the one thing you will be looking at for most of your playtime – snow. This combo both enhances visuals and immersion by making characters appear more in line with what is happening around them. Snow accumulates on characters, water drips from clothing, NPC's run home during a blizzard or equip hoods and other clothing when it's raining. They are also slowed down when the winds are strong and much much more.
1. ENB presets (Real Vision, Seasons of Skyrim, Vividian, Natural Lighting and Atmospherics, T.A.Z Visual Overhaul)
The one thing that impacts the visuals of Skyrim the most are the ENB presets. They will take the visuals to a whole new level. I personally used the ones written above in my playthroughs to great effect. Each preset can offer a range of "look and feel" options to modify your game. Things such as providing a cooler or warmer color palette, fantasy or "realistic" lighting environments, and/or either more vibrant or bleak saturation. Keep in mind that most of them greatly affect the frame-rate but most feature a performance version that will keep the game in a playable state even when you don't have a beast of a machine.
So, that's our list of top 10 graphics mods for TES V: Skyrim. Since Skyrim modding is still going strong and there are so many mods out there – this list could be updated in the future. What are your suggestions on mods we should include in the next list? Sound off in the comments below.