With swordplay and sorcery, personal drama, political intrigue, and hundreds of characters, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is fantastic source material for strategy games and RPGs. HBO's Game of Thrones series is over, but we're still waiting for the final novels to arrive, so to pass the time why not create your own stories and conflicts?
Here are the best mods that bring Martin's world to PC games.
Crusader Kings 2—A Game of Thrones
It's hard to find a better match between game and mod than Crusader Kings 2 and the full-conversion A Game of Thrones mod. It transforms CK2's medieval Europe into the continent of Westeros. With random events and your own decisions quickly entangling the characters you know and love (or hate), your game will quickly veer from the story you remember into a kind of bizarro-world fan-fiction.
We've written a few times about our experiences using the mod, with Rich McCormick playing as Ned Stark in Surviving Westeros, and my diary about playing as Littlefinger's next-door neighbor, Game of Checkers.
Mount and Blade: Warband—A Clash of Kings
Rather than playing as one of the main characters, you can get a view of the drama in Westeros from ground level with the A Clash of Kings mod for Mount and Blade: Warband. The mod adds thousands of custom items, naval battles, and a huge map of Westeros, plus plenty of notable figures from the fiction.
I made an attempt to align myself with both the Lannisters and Baratheons and had a nasty encounter with Gregor Clegane in my write-up of the mod here.
Westeroscraft is a Minecraft server with its own custom launcher and mod suite. While it someday hopes to become an open world MMORPG, it's currently in build mode, creating Westeros (and someday Essos) in blocks. And it looks spectacular so far. Anyone can join and explore the world but if you want to help build it, you'll need to apply here (opens in new tab).
Civilization 5—A Mod of Ice and Fire
This is one of our favorite mods for Civ 5—it adds a sprawling map of Westeros and lets you play as a number of civs and leaders, like Robb Stark in The North, Stannis Baratheon in The Stormlands, Daenerys, of course, and even Mance Rayder of the Free Folk. Each civ has a unique trait plus special units and buildings.
Civilization 6—A Civ of Ice and Fire
Play Civ 6 as the Starks, Boltons, Greyjoys, Baratheons, Targaryens, and even The Night King representing the White Walkers. Maps cover both Westeros and Essos, and wonders include Casterly Rock, The Red Keep, the Titan of Braavos, and more. There's support for the Gathering Storm expansion as well (and it's required to play as the Night King).
Total War: Attila—Seven Kingdoms
This total conversion for Total War: Attila delivers over two dozen playable armies you can use to recreate the fiction's massive historical battles, plus it adds scores of recognizable characters from the HBO show.
Medieval 2: Total War: Kingdoms—Westeros: Age of Petty Kings
Rather than taking place amidst the current events of Game of Thrones, the Age of Petty Kings mod takes place a thousand years prior, though it's still based on George R.R. Martin's lore.
Ages of Empires 2: HD Edition—War of the Five Kings
This scenario for Age of Empires 2 recreates the devastating civil war in Westeros following the death of King Robert. Eight players can join the fray as the Greyjoys, Starks, Tyrells, both Baratheons, and the other major factions in the War of the Five Kings.
Skyrim—The Game of Thrones Adaptation
You can't play it yet—it's currently between versions, with the older version having been taken down ahead of the release of a new beta—but this is definitely one to bookmark. It's an overhaul that plans to transform Skyrim into Westeros, with dozens of locations and characters from the fiction and custom quests. Ambitious, to be sure, and there's no mention of a release date at the moment.
While you wait, you can check out a trailer below, which is already looking pretty great.