As 2016 comes to an end, Steam is hosting their annual Winter Sale from now until January 2nd at 10AM PST. Steam’s annual Autumn Sale ran this year from November 23rd to 29th, so if you missed out on that, this is probably the last chance to get some savings for the year. Then again, Steam does sales routinely -- careful use of the wishlist means you’ll get notifications as items go up for sale throughout the year.

For today, we have a list of some of our best PC games of 2016 as well as some titles from 2015 that are discounted significantly. As these Steam sales come to a close, we will just be arriving in Las Vegas for the year’s Consumer Electronics Show, so do follow closely for that! News will ramp-up significantly post-Xmas.

Here is the shortlist:

E3 has produced a huge amount of news, and we're starting some of our recap coverage with Bethesda. Bethesda's major news items included a remastered version of Skyrim – a “Special Edition” or “Remastered Edition,” as it were – and the existence of Elder Scrolls 6, with a brief hint of two unnamed, large projects.

Skyrim Remastered will ship to PlayStation, Xbox, and PC owners and primarily deliver updated visuals and a new, integrated mod system. Bethesda is fully refreshing Skyrim – something the company hasn't done with previous TES games – and may be doing so as its “The Elder Scrolls VI” title is still some ways out.

Morrowind strongly stands as one of the best role-playing games ever made, leveraging its uniquely crafted environment to draw players ever inward toward the spirit of a truly fantastical landscape. The game's undertone is severe, its thunderous symphony of beautifully orchestrated music guiding players through blight-stricken Vvardenfell. And yet, Morrowind is also one of the loosest, kooky games we've ever played – something with which Creative Lead Ken Rolston agreed in our 2014 interview.

It was 2002 that Morrowind first hit store shelves – quite literally, as digital downloads didn't much exist – and shortly thereafter that expansions Tribunal and Bloodmoon accompanied the RPG. Countless attempts have been made to reimagine Morrowind on various engines of newer descent. Lately, we've been paying attention to the Skyrim engine's Skywind, Morrowind engine's Morrowind Rebirth, and ground-up engine and remake OpenMW.

The above video walks-through the three major Morrowind remakes, explaining each of their goals and levels of completion. The full script for this video can be found below, should a quick read-through be more appealing than video format.

So, you've decided to play Skyrim again. Or perhaps this is the first time. Either way, you've installed the game, played a few minutes, and realized something: wow, this is pretty ugly.

Skyrim isn't exactly a game that has visually aged well. It's more than three years old, was already a bit dated when it came out (Bethesda's four-year development cycle shows), and with gorgeous games like The Witcher 3 having been released this year, Skyrim doesn't really have much to offer on the visual front.

It is, however, a gun that runs on Creation Engine, and it has a development kit with an active community. We have the technology. We can rebuild it.

On April 25, Valve revealed to the public a collaborative effort with Bethesda and a handful of selected modders, aiming to bring monetized mods for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to the Steam Workshop. The concept was received with brutally negative feedback from the community and, less than a week after the release of the system, Valve and Bethesda decided to shut it all down.

When the issue was still hot and the outcome unclear, I made two albums regarding the quality of these mods. You can check them out on imgur here and here. We have rehosted just a few of the dozens of images.

It’s easy to see where Valve is coming from with the original concept: The company solely exists with thanks to mods. The GoldSrc engine was not the first to provide modding capabilities, but it stands as a significant milestone in the existence of this intensive and appreciated gaming niche. It was on GoldSrc that we saw the first cases of free community mods transcending their amateur roots and evolving into full-fledged, professional games. The list is long, but some of the best-known PC games are rooted in this background: Counter-Strike was a Half-Life mod, Team Fortress Classic was a Quake mod remade in the GoldSrc Engine (itself a Quake engine mod) then in Source, Dota was a Warcraft 3 map, Killing Floor was an Unreal Tournament mutator, and the list goes on. With the recent explosion of free-to-play titles with monetized User Generated Content, like Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and – to some extent – CS:GO, it’s no wonder Valve decided to give Skyrim a shot of the same business model.

A new mod by user oliver1706, creator of an alcohol brewing mod and others, brings new shields to Skyrim. The shields have Supreme PC Overlord Gabe "GabeN" Newell's glorious face plastered across the front, presumably deploying the Valve-leader's discerning look to discourage enemies from even taking a swing to begin with.

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It's been a while since our most recent Complete Skyrim Overhaul article, which rounded-up the best graphics mods and quest mods for Skyrim, and now we're back! With Christmas creeping just days away, Skyrim's modding community has kicked into the spirit of bringing Rudolph-like mounts, trees, Falmer workshops, gifts, and candy cane weaponry (useful for subduing other shoppers) to the game.

skyrim-xmas-2

This quick Skyrim mod round-up helps you bring the holidays (or Saturalia) to Skyrim. Let's jump to it!

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