With the release of Diablo 4 and Diablo 2: Resurrected on the horizon, fans of Blizzard’s most demonic franchise are going back in time to experience the 2D isometric sequel all over again. While the original Diablo is certainly a classic in its own right, Diablo 2 is considered to be the superior of the first two entries in the series, and thus more deserving of a remaster.
One thing players new to the classic game will quickly realize is how different Diablo 2 is from Diablo 3, which came out more than a decade later. It’s harder, less forgiving, and incredibly complex with little to no guides in-game on how to accomplish certain tasks. One thing that has remained constant, though, is the incredible community modding scene keeping the classics alive.
10 You Gotta Be Kidding Me
You Gotta Be Kidding Me is a joke mod that totally overhauls Diablo 2 into something else entirely. The mod has no shortage of pop culture references, like characters and stages based upon The Matrix, Star Wars, and Mortal Kombat.
It’s not a serious mod by any means – and likely one that players won’t stick with for any meaningful amount of time – but it’s worth the download for the hodge-podge memey menu screen alone.
9 Pandora’s Trials
Pandora’s Trials is one of the most recent Diablo 2 mods finding popularity even in 2021. It’s a mod that changes a lot about the base game, including the addition of a passive bonus system, an immersive approach to faster leveling, and an alchemy system.
The namesake of the mod comes from the Pandora’s Box feature. Pandora’s Box is an item that, once acquired, lets the player access new locations and new enemies. Be warned, it won’t be a walk in the park.
8 Genesis 2.0
This mod was only converted to English recently but was a popular Polish mod for many years. Genesis 2.0 is an expansion-sized mod, featuring new maps, layouts, items, recipes, and runewords. It is a fantastic mod for those reaching the end-game who want a little something more from the experience.
Genesis 2.0 also improves some PvP elements of Diablo 2 and adds new in-game events that pose new (and often extremely difficult) challenges for the player to overcome.
7 The Puppeteer
The Puppeteer is a unique mod in that its focus is on the narrative, not gameplay adjustments. The new story can be played on an existing character or a new one, and the mod also comes with a variety of improvements and fresh additions to Diablo 2.
Many Diablo 2 mods include an easier leveling system to reduce the grind of the original game. The Puppeteer is no exception, but it counteracts the faster leveling with new bosses and new skills for old enemies.
6 Dark Alliance
This mod particularly stands out for its all-encompassing features. Dark Alliance revamps the skill system, introduces new enemies to the game (some from Diablo 1), and adds not one but two new full-fledged campaigns to complete after the original game’s story.
It also features a subquest system, adds recipes and items, and even comes with a “Book of Story” which recaps important events and current quest story.
5 Reaper of Souls
No, it’s not the Diablo 3 expansion, it’s a mod for Diablo 2! Diablo 2: Reaper of Souls is another total overhaul of the original game. What sets this one apart is the dedication of the modding team, who to this day post updates and patch notes for this extensive addon.
It features a heightened level cap, new recipes, primal ancient weapon and armor sets, new bosses and story chapters, and even a new augmentation system. It is a lightweight install compared to some other mods, despite being full of new features.
It’s another meme mod, but this time with a little bit of substance. While You Gotta Be Kidding Me is 100% focused on making the player laugh, E=MC2 changes the game subtly so that the original experience is still preserved as best as it can be.
The mod reworks maps across the game, revamps music, adds items and recipes, and takes a new approach at monsters and skills. In addition to all of this, though, the mod completely changes Act 3, adds easter eggs across the entire game, and changes textures throughout the world.
3 Path of Diablo
Path of Exile was a smash hit upon release, praised for its similarities to Diablo 2 at the same time that Diablo 3 was criticized for deviating from the classics too much. Path of Diablo does something similar, in making the original Diablo 2 experience more modernized without sacrificing gameplay.
The mod offers new skills to foster new builds and comes with some much-needed quality of life improvements. It turns Diablo 2 into something of an MMO too by enabling global chat and multiplayer elements.
2 Hell Unleashed
Hell Unleashed is one of few team-based mods available, perfect for a night of classic gaming with friends near and far. The mod does not hold back punches, and even the normal difficulty setting will test the might of the most seasoned Diablo 2 veterans.
The mod’s dedicated realm is run on servers around the world, making for a seamless experience with one of the largest communities in the game.
1 Eastern Sun
Eastern Sun is one of the most popular mods ever released for Diablo 2. It features new story elements, new item sets, and unique monsters, revamps the skill system, and changes the layout of the world to completely overhaul the vanilla experience.
In addition, it is one of few mods that offers graphical improvements, and even has a setting to enhance in-game darkness (those dark corners are going to feel much darker). The mod also hosts its own realm for online play.