It’s always a shame when it’s time to retire an old game. Either the community has moved on to a newer release or you’ve personally played it into the ground, physically running out of things to do. Luckily, there are a lot of people sharing that view. Mods can greatly extend the normal lifespan of a game, or create a totally new game; don’t forget some of the most popular games on PC started out in life as mods, such as DOTA, a mod of Warcraft III or DayZ which was originally a mod of Arma 2. However, please be careful when playing with mods and make sure you read any instructions the download may come with and always back up your save files.
Releasing into early access way back in 2013 and getting constant updates since then, Rimworld is not a game short on content. While it may seem very simple on its surface, with its basic top down graphics and simple premise, it in fact has hundreds of hours worth of gameplay to enjoy. Although I’m going to be focusing on the mod support here, we do also have a full review of Rimworld.
Rimworld has one of the most impressive modding communities around right now, with some seriously talented individuals redefining core gameplay mechanics themselves. Some mods are simple quality of life adjustments, such as the Increased Stack Mod, while some are total gameplay overhauls more like Save Our Ship 2 which hugely, and I mean hugely, expands the late game.
You have the option to mix and match various mods to turn Rimworld into any style game you want, from zombie defence to a full-on fantasy RPG themed colony builder! The possibilities are endless and building on top of its already fantastic core game creates hundreds of hours of extra content.
2. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a Harvest Moon inspired RPG that launched in 2016, enjoying additional content being brought in by updates since then. The base game is already jam packed full of things to do, from building up your inherited farm to becoming a pillar of the community; you can even get married! But of course, no game has an infinite amount of content and mods are there to save the day.
Some mods are extremely simple in use and are there just to improve quality of life in game, such as Tractor Mod which just makes it faster and easier to clear debris and work with crops. Some get even more simple, like Hats won’t mess up your hair which literally just does as it says, prevents the dreaded hat hair.
It’s not all simplicity with Stardew Valleys mods, however. The Stardew Valley Expanded mod adds hours upon hours of extra play time, and also expands upon the base game’s storyline. Over 100 new character events and a whole new village to explore, this should safely make Stardew Valley worth revisiting!
3. Kerbal Space Program
Kerbal Space Program is literal rocket science, meaning it has quite the learning curve and offers plenty of challenges in its base game. Featuring dozens of rocket, plane, satellite and even rover parts paired up with a whole bunch of planets and moons to explore freely, Kerbal Space Program truly puts you in control of a whole space agency. That said, there are two main directions you can go when it comes to modding the game.
Your first option is to say, “I don’t play video games to learn orbital mechanics”, and that’s perfectly fair, and there are mod creators who agree with you. Mechjeb is a mod created to make the game a little easier and a whole lot more accessible to more players. This will allow you to just design and build your spacecraft and let Mechjeb take over and function as an inter-planetary autopilot.
The other option you have is to demand even more of a challenge, like one of those guys you see online playing Dark Souls with a Guitar Hero controller, you want more! And something along to lines of Real Solar System will do just that. A whole lot more, in fact, because it adjusts the scale of the solar system in Kerbal Space Program to be 1:1 with our very own solar system. This means everything is much, much further away from each other and manoeuvres have to be a lot more efficient.
4. Mount& Blade Warband
Now, Warband is a decade old game at this point, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead yet. The modding community surrounding this game have gone completely wild; I don’t think I’ve seen a game that has been modded so far away from its base game before. Simple packs of different items or sounds, to total overhauls that embarrass most DLC releases of AAA titles today, there’s a bit of everything.
Starting simple with something that just makes Warband seem a little less dated, Native UI Enhancer is a nice little replacement for the vanilla UI that tidies things up a bit. A total refreshment mod would be Link to Native Redux 3.0 which adds heaps of items, reworked AI, even updated animations!
But what if you’re just completely tired of Warband? Well it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks after all, or at least you can mod new tricks. Total conversions, as the name suggest, completely alter the base game until it’s barely recognisable. A personal favourite of mine is Crusades and Jihads which adds a new map, new units, new items, new everything! You can definitely get several replays out of Warband with the help of a few mods.