… In my opinion at least… But really, with Skyrim, there’s mods for nearly everything. You can make combat super hard, you can wear awesome armours, you can turn into different animals, improve nearly any aspect of gameplay or, even can turn the game into some sort of weird sex simulator if you so desire, you can do nearly anything with it. But there are some mods you simply cannot live without.
Rather than link every single mod I mention, I recommend going to Nexus Mods and choosing yourself. Modding is a personal quest, not something you should copy because some idiot with a blog suggested it.
But first, a clarification!
Because of the vast quantity of mods out there that do bug fixes, I’ve decided not to include things like the Unofficial Skyrim patches (e.g. USLEEP), or Skyrim Script Extender , or ENBoost or anything like that. These are mods that are intended to make the game playable. And in general to fix bugs and things. These are often required before you start adding anything else, it’s unfair to call them the best mods ever. They technically ARE the best mods ever, but they’re such a staple that it makes everything else pointless in comparison.
Also, saying that USLEEP is the best mod ever is boring. And hard to make an article of. Really, Bethesda should just hire the people behind USLEEP (and maybe even SKSE) and make everyone happy.
Anyway, back to the best mod ever.
Most of the time, people choose their favourite mods based on several categories: Overhauls, Immersion and Prettiness.
Overhauls are often the biggest and most dramatic. Things like Ordinator improve the perk system vastly, while Dragon Combat Overhaul, well, overhauls dragon combat. Anything by Apollodown is worth looking at overhaul-wise but you do need to get past his overly comedic descriptions which aren’t always helpful. There’s also always competing overhauls – the aforementioned Dragon Combat Overhaul, with Deadly Dragons, Ultimate Dragons and the hundred other make-dragons-harder mods out there.
Prettiness though does what it says on the tin. You can go for the gigantic texture and mesh packs that redo all the trees in Skyrim for ease. Alternatively, you can also install a billion different HD mods for all the little textures and stuff. It’s very much a mix and match scenario. Even here, there’s some complicated stuff, like DYNDOLOD, which improves LODs in the distance and certainly is not your normal drag and drop.
Immersion though can also be pretty dramatic and covers a huge amount of ground, from changing the UI to altering quests to allowing you to knock on doors. These have always been my favourite kind of mod, simply because they make you feel like you’re actually there. This is where my favourite mod comes in.
When you play any video game, what element dragged you out of your immersion the most? Loading screens, right? Well, in Skyrim, you get a lot of loading screens if you enter the main cities a lot. Considering that most of the quests you get are given inside of cities, this can make things tiring.
Luckily, Open Cities Skyrim fixes this. What this great mod does is take the major cities, which exist in their own world spaces, and move them into the Tamriel world space. This means that you can just walk into any city like nothing happened. No loading screens, just city gates being opened and a whole city ahead of you. And if you’re on a horse, there are NPCs around to open gates for you.
But what makes this mod even better is how guards work. Guards from inside and outside the city will help you while fighting vampires and dragons. It’s all just so much more immersive! Plus, it means less loading screens.
And that’s why Open Cities Skyrim is the best mod ever.