Do you consider a game to be good if you can only enjoy it with mods?

Was reading a user review for Outward that brought up a number of points about the game that I would absolutely hate, but I looked and there are mods to change each of those problems. So if you then modded, played and enjoyed the game, would you consider it a good game? Does the fact that you had to change multiple parts of it kind of ruin your opinion of it?
 
Nov 27, 2020
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Yes, but with a big but at the end (that sounds a bit weird doesn't it). For example, 6 of my all time favorite games: Mass Effect Trilogy, Skyrim, Fallout 4, & Fallout New Vegas. I wouldn't even think about playing those games now without modding them. The vast amount of mods for those games (especially Skyrim & FO4), allow me to improve those games radically, whether it be textures, weather effects, improved water, better AI, combat improvements, new areas, new quests, ect. If you want something, chances are there's a mod for it.

But, all those games are great just as they are, and the first time I played each of them, I played them without mods and loved them. But after having played them with mods, I could never go back to the "vanilla" version.
 
Does the fact that you had to change multiple parts of it kind of ruin your opinion of it?
Oh no, on the contrary. I applaud devs who make their games easy to mod, it's a big plus for me and a main reason I stick with PC gaming.

I'll often/usually play the vanilla game first, but if it hooks me then I go looking for mods—even if I don't 'need' them, it's always fun to see what the community has come up with. For replay, I'll usually want the 'good stuff' unlocked from the beginning—why play with sub-standard for most of the game?

Some games I love I couldn't play without mods—main 2 examples are Civ4 with the BUG/BAT/BULL QoL UI mod which reduced tedium considerably, and the Resistance mod for Far Cry 5 which eliminates the execrable 'capture' segments.

A game is like a PC or a house—a good base platform for me to customize to my liking.
 
Oh no, on the contrary. I applaud devs who make their games easy to mod, it's a big plus for me and a main reason I stick with PC gaming.

I'll often/usually play the vanilla game first, but if it hooks me then I go looking for mods—even if I don't 'need' them, it's always fun to see what the community has come up with. For replay, I'll usually want the 'good stuff' unlocked from the beginning—why play with sub-standard for most of the game?

Some games I love I couldn't play without mods—main 2 examples are Civ4 with the BUG/BAT/BULL QoL UI mod which reduced tedium considerably, and the Resistance mod for Far Cry 5 which eliminates the execrable 'capture' segments.

A game is like a PC or a house—a good base platform for me to customize to my liking.
Good points, but I'm only pointing out that I didn't say the devs made their game easy to mod. Most don't. Civ4 was made easy to mod, but nothing at all was done to make Far Cry 5 moddable. It could be argued that they attempted to keep it from being modded at all, but it was modded through the hard work of modders who essentially had to crack the game to be able to mod it. Never accidentally think that Ubisoft gives a damn.
 
Yes, but with a big but at the end (that sounds a bit weird doesn't it). For example, 6 of my all time favorite games: Mass Effect Trilogy, Skyrim, Fallout 4, & Fallout New Vegas. I wouldn't even think about playing those games now without modding them. The vast amount of mods for those games (especially Skyrim & FO4), allow me to improve those games radically, whether it be textures, weather effects, improved water, better AI, combat improvements, new areas, new quests, ect. If you want something, chances are there's a mod for it.

But, all those games are great just as they are, and the first time I played each of them, I played them without mods and loved them. But after having played them with mods, I could never go back to the "vanilla" version.
The thing is, those games are great games on their own, and they're greatly enhanced by mods. That's a lot different than a game that just absolutely sucks unless you mod it.
 
The two games that come to mind for me are Torchlight 2 and Sacred 2.
TL2 I played for years without mods but once I started using some I couldn't go back. Mainly one that extended size of shared stash. When you play same game a few times over a 10 year period, it can get a little boring without mods that add extra stuff to challenge you.
Sacred 2: the only mod I have used is the Community Patch. Its essentially an expansion pack, so its a mega mod. I wouldn't try to play game without it. But I have before.

but i didn't really hate them before the mods were applied. Some mods are just quality of life improvements you can't live without.
I generally don't play games I don't like, before the internet many purchases were not really used. At least I can save money now. Don't have to just go by box art.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Do I consider a GAME to be good.... yes. I go by my experience with the game when judging a game. If it takes mods to make it better, that's fine. Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines was an excellent game that wasn't intended to be modded, but it's downright unplayable without mods. NieR: Automata was a mess on PC without Special K to help it along. In those cases, it isn't just the developers' game anymore, and I try to be careful about saying what I'm reviewing if I post a Steam review.

It's rare now, but hardware can also make a game much better. 3D Vision improved Skyrim, Witcher 3, and especially the Tomb Raider games, even though the game devs may have done nothing to help the games use that system. VR is hopefully make some existing games better, too.
 
Nov 26, 2021
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No. Even without my reviewer-head on I still believe that I'd be enjoying the mod, not the game. Take Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, which is a decent enough game without mods. However, the community patch that's still being worked on today makes it measurably better in terms of graphical fidelity, sound quality, lines of dialogue added, missing quests being re-added, and much more. I cannot say that V:tM-B is a good game because of the mod; I can say V:tM-B is already good game that is better because of a good mod.

It's a pedantic, specific use of language that is basically a way of saying "yes, but the developer credit is only for laying down the foundations for others with less time and money to spend on the project."
 
I've only ever used graphical mods to enhance the graphics. None of the mods I've ever used changed the gameplay. So in my case, the gameplay must have already been good enough to play, and I just wanted to modernize the graphics.
 
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Sacred 2 was good without mods, Sacred 2: Gold (which includes the Ice & blood expansion) was also good by itself
But the company who made game went out of business, and the community of players got together to add to and complete the work.
it was nice, they added entire new areas and more quests. Still didn't do everything we would have got if company still existed.

It isn't a graphical upgrade, although those exist as well... I haven't looked at them.
I don't think I ever used a mod just to make game look better. Looks aren't what get me interested in games.
if its not fun to play I don't care what it looks like.
 
It isn't a graphical upgrade, although those exist as well... I haven't looked at them.
I don't think I ever used a mod just to make game look better. Looks aren't what get me interested in games.
if its not fun to play I don't care what it looks like.
I agree that if a game isn't fun, I don't care what it looks like. But I want my games to be fun and look good. But looking good doesn't necessarily mean realism. In fact, I think a game with an outdated realistic style looks worse than a stylistic game, like RiME or Breath of the Wild, or something. But I do like good realism, too.
 
Generally I'd say if a game has to have fundamental game mechanics changed via mods to make it enjoyable then its a bad game in the first place. Doesnt mean it can't be a good game after someone tweaked it, but its a mod at that point not the original game

Technical issues are different, if a game has performance issues or bugs then they're still good games underneath the problems. Basically the community is just adding polish, same with visual mods.
 
two of the mods I used in TL2 made it dangerous for me to play
I have a cannon that has such a high crit damage it can kill me if I use it... that and it has negative life leech making it suicidal to use if you don't have anything to counter it.

but its so fun..

and the other mod that makes it dangerous is a boss mod that can create random encounters which you don't expect. So I had to fight a dragon on a bridge as well as one in a tiny area designed to be just a link between stages. The game was trying to stop me using lvl 80 weapons at lvl 30, by throwing bosses at me in areas they shouldn't exist. Some of the bosses are downright scary.
 
Nov 26, 2021
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I would say that, with the right mod(s), it's a good game. Without it, it's just a game with some good ideas or good potential, not a good game.
I concur. I'd like to think I coined a phrase with "Roberts' Razor", being that potential is not good enough for a reviewer to praise something. I can only talk about what it is now, not what it could or shall be. To me it's as much malpractice as it is having the pre-order perks turned on; I have to assume that the version the reader may play will be its most basic one.

But again that's with a strictly ethical, coldly logical review head on, which I appreciate not everyone has.
:sweatsmile:
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
No. Even without my reviewer-head on I still believe that I'd be enjoying the mod, not the game.
Generally I'd say if a game has to have fundamental game mechanics changed via mods to make it enjoyable then its a bad game in the first place. Doesnt mean it can't be a good game after someone tweaked it, but its a mod at that point not the original game
Huh!? You can't have a mod without the game!

Oh wait, I think I get it. I'm thinking of something like Steam reviews, where I'm trying to help the readers decide if the game is going to be fun for them. You're scoring the game itself.

But that seems to make the whole question moot. If you mod the game, it no longer is just the game anymore, it's the game+mod. So the question becomes "do you consider a game good if you don't enjoy it" because modding the game makes it into another game.

Zed, can we get a ruling here??

Honestly, I have no idea what 3D Vision is/was. Never heard of it so far as I know.
I'll go on forever if I try to answer that, I'll start a new topic. (Unless I already made one.)
 
The thing is, those games are great games on their own, and they're greatly enhanced by mods. That's a lot different than a game that just absolutely sucks unless you mod it.
Good games that are greatly enhanced by mods would still fit the question though. There's definitely some games where the vanilla version is good, but mods make it so much better that you wouldn't ever want to play the vanilla version again. However, you would still recommend anyone playing for the first time to play without (most) mods.

Minecraft comes to mind as an example of a good game, but where the vanilla experience doesn't really do it for me any more. I much prefer playing with mods where I can unlock, discover and automate a whole bunch of new stuff.
 
Minecraft comes to mind as an example of a good game, but where the vanilla experience doesn't really do it for me any more. I much prefer playing with mods where I can unlock, discover and automate a whole bunch of new stuff.
thats different to being a bad game that is only fun after its modded. Thats more like the 2 I mentioned, good games that are still good by themselves but if you played them for a long time, you need mods to really enjoy or its just more of the same.

Games that have one bad aspect that can be fixed with a mod to make great. That is more the subject.
I can't think of any I have played. But then there aren't many games I have modded either. I may not play enough games.

note: remembers a year ago when saying Minecraft would have your post like bombed for about 400 (same as this post here). Its much quieter now :)
 
But that seems to make the whole question moot. If you mod the game, it no longer is just the game anymore, it's the game+mod. So the question becomes "do you consider a game good if you don't enjoy it" because modding the game makes it into another game.
Ok then my answer to op is a straight no, does that clear it up :)

Comes down to how you play in general and also maybe whether you're lucky enough to be able to buy games when you want to. I'll find fun in loads of different types of games so its easy to move on to something else, rather than go looking to mod something to make it work because I absolutely have to play a survival game right now, or whatever.
 
I would be opposite, I feel a game is bad if you have to use mods to enjoy it.
Because then you fixing the game for the makers who don't have to try to fix them... Bethesda comes to mind. Now, apart from Failboat 76 they haven't released a completely broken game, yet. Microsoft owning them might stop that happening. Too many games are rescued by modders who want the games to be better. Some times I wish they would let it fail as they aren't helping. In the long run... doing the work of AAA companies who are too busy making sure the shop is bullet proof and that they can try to squeeze an NFT into a game somewhere...
 
I feel similarly @Colif about mods in games. Generally speaking, I tend to be more a purist with games. If a game isn't good without mods, it isn't a good video game, and I'm not going to put in work to mod it.

I think older games are a bit of separate discussion, because there are all sorts of potential compatibility problems. Also, once enough time has passed, a game may simply be very outdated in its mechanics/controls/etc. (e.g., I can't play games with tank controls). I think you kinda have to evaluate a game in the context in which it was released. Thus, I have a different mindset with modding old games.
 

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