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Highlight Reel: The Best PC Game Mods of 2012

They are, beyond control schemes and visuals, the single best reason to play games on a PC. Mods can, at their laziest, tweak a game so its settings or features behave more to your liking. At their most ambitious, they can transform your entire experience, leaving you with something that feels like an all-new game.

This year was a big one for PC mods, with two - DayZ and Black Mesa - rivalling commercial products for public awareness and, perhaps more importantly, quality. But they weren't the only great mods released this year, here's a shortlist of the best mods released during 2012.

Skyrim gets co-op mod, is the fastest-selling Steam game

Skyrim gets co-op mod, is the fastest-selling Steam game

Tired of exploring Skyrim's rolling mountainscapes all by your lonesome? One enterprising modder hopes to alter the experience by allowing you to link up with your friends. "Skyrim Online" adds many of the trimmings you'd expect to find in a conventional online multiplayer roleplaying game...

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Tested, Benchmarked

Although its popularity is undoubtedly aided by the cult-like status of the Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim isn't just a clone of its predecessors (we're looking at you MW3). Bethesda has made many gameplay refinements, especially to the graphics and animations -- our area of interest.

While it may not bring your PC to its knees, Skyrim promises to be the best-looking Elder Scrolls title to date with its newly developed game engine, called the "Creation Engine." As usual we have put a wide range of hardware to the test, 17 graphics cards and CPU performance comparisons await inside.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Game) Review

The tantalizingly brief Skyrim teaser trailer debuted by Bethesda Softworks late last year filled my mind with visions of titanic battles between man and beast; of shining steel bathed in ancient flames; of a champion rising from humble origins, prepared to sacrifice everything for the fate of the world.

After 60+ hours with the game those visions have been fully realized — and rendered largely inconsequential.It's the sort of tale that fuels ancient epics and trashy fantasy novel trilogies alike. This is not your average role-playing game. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this titanic tale is merely a framing device for a much larger story. My story.

Holiday Guide: This Season's Hottest PC Games

Twenty-eleven is coming to a rapid conclusion and game makers are preparing to cash in on the holiday season by unleashing some of the year's finest titles. Although some of our most anticipated games wound up being duds on some level, there's still hope for the tailgunners of 2011.

In keeping with tradition, we've assembled a list of 16 PC games that should be on your radar for the frigid months ahead. Titles are ordered by their North American PC release date -- no earlier than September 15 and no later than December 31.

Skyrim reviews are in: you might never leave home again

Skyrim reviews are in: you might never leave home again

The official release of Skyrim is only a few hours away, and being one of the year's most anticipated titles, it's no surprise that the wire is buzzing with launch info. There's so much news, in fact, that we'd be doing you an injustice by focusing on any given topic...