For those who don’t know what “modding” is, it’s the act of altering a game’s code to add or subtract elements from the base, “vanilla” (or retail) version.
Some games are moddable. Some aren’t.
Some developers encourage modding to extend the longevity of their game. And some don’t.
One of the developers who does is Creative Assembly, and their Total War series of games have been heavily modded for years, resulting in many excellent variants.
Of particular interest (for Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones fans like me!) is Westeros: Total War, a mod of Medieval 2: Total War (released in 2006).
The game engine itself may be somewhat aged at this point, but it’s amply suited to the setting they’re trying to depict: the campaign map has been modified to resemble the continent of Westeros, with all the factions and characters you would expect to see available to play.
Another mod that’s piqued my interest is Crusader Kings 2: Game of Thrones.
I haven’t had much experience with the original game, but from what I hear (and the internet is always right!) it’s more of a dynasty simulator than a strategy game, which adds an especially appropriate element considering the intricacies of George R.R. Martin’s epic vis-à-vis dynastic/familial struggles.
If you own either of the original games, I recommend checking out the mods – or any mods available – since they’re made for others to enjoy, and it’s obvious a lot of love and work has gone into their creation.
And besides, who doesn’t want to be King in the North?