Oblivion Mod Recs
This is a list of mods that I have personally used and recommend. I particularly want to focus on mods not covered by any of the big mod lists floating around. It is not meant to be a comprehensive load order, and there may be conflicts/patches necessary for some of the mods here. Some mods will also need to be cleaned with TESEdit: see this tutorial for instructions.
See my List of Modlists for even more recommendations from various modders!
Better Bell Sounds -- You probably never even heard the chapel bells before installing this mod. A nice bit of city ambiance.
Silent Tracks Expanded -- Adds some silent tracks of varying lengths to the music folder, to let the soundtrack breathe a bit in between songs. Has a surprisingly big impact!
ImpeREAL City - Unique Districts -- Adds more detail and clutter to the Imperial City. You can either install the whole package or pick-and-choose which districts you want based on your load order.
More Magical Mages Guild Halls -- Renovates the Mages Guild branches; they now better reflect their unique specializations.
MSF Cheydinhal - Dunmer -- Additions to the city of Cheydinhal, with a more Dunmeri feeling to the decor. New NPCs and a new shop, as well. Note that it conflicts with Unique Landscapes - Cheydinhal Falls, if you use that mod.
MTC Thieves Grotto -- Adds communities of thieves and low-lifes to the cities of Cyrodiil. Also includes quests and a whole new town.
New City Anvil -- Overhauls the city of Anvil, including the harbor, with new NPCs, shops, decor and more. Also check out the rest of the NewCity mods.
Soups -Souphouse and Cooking- -- Charming mod that adds a soup house restaurant to Bruma, with optional quest and cooking system. Note that the mod is machine-translated. Minor conflicts with MTC Thieves Grotto, with rocks partially covering one of the entrances to the Bruma Thieves' Den.
Street Vendors of Cyrodiil -- New vendors and decor for several cities, adds a bit of life to the streets.
Universitas Arcanarum -- Makes the Arcane University much more impressive. New public-and-member-facing services, new NPCs, new decor for the interiors. Does not conflict with Midas Magic, if you use that mod, and only has minor conflicts with ImpeREAL Cities (you might have to disable a couple bushes.)
Better Rainbows -- Adds beautiful rainbows to the sky after it rains.
More Butterflies -- Adds hundreds of retextured butterflies to Cyrodiil. They can't be interacted with like in Skyrim, but they do make the world a little livelier.
Luna's Lorefriendly Elegance -- Some nice retextured clothing that won't clash with the game's style. Also check out lunasprite13's other mods for lovely clothing, resources and more.
Rogue Battlemage Armor -- A really cool lorefriendly armor.
Fundament Enchanting Addons -- Adds an Enchanting skill and lots of ways to make use of it!
Real Time Lockpicking -- Gets rid of the lockpicking minigame, and makes Security a more useful skill.
Locations & Landscapes
MTC Expanded Villages -- Does what it says, and even adds a whole new village. Most settlements now have at least one service/shop as well.
Old Farm At Faregyl Inn -- Pairs nicely with MTC Expanded Villages to make Faregyl into a small settlement.
Town of Charming -- A picturesque new village for the Red Ring Road.
Models & Textures
Little Baron Flower Pot Makeover Patched and Adjusted -- A huge improvement over the sad flower arrangements of vanilla.
Monkey Grass -- Gorgeous grass and groundcover.
WAC - Integration -- WAC is an overhaul that, among other things, adds hundreds of cool armors, weapons and creatures to the game. Unfortunately, it also suffers from being in a rather unfinished and unstable state. This mod seeks to integrate as many WAC assets as possible in a balanced, compatible way.
AranMathi - Ayleid Fortress and Worldspace -- Large home (and worldspace, after a quest). Lots of room for companions. Does have a lot of free and valuable items, just to be aware.
Millstone Farm -- Beautifully detailed farm, with a quest for ownership. Very interactive with lots to do. Also check out the rest of Korana's wonderful homes.
Traveler's Tent -- The perfect portable home, upgradable and customizable.
Ayleid Arcane Archery -- Defeat an ancient guardian to obtain cool new powers that complement a magic+bow playstyle!
Thievery In the Imperial City -- Some fun heists, independent of the Guild. The end hints to a sequel that was never to be, but it's still a nice ride.
The Well Diver -- Just some good, well-made dungeons, without a lot of quest or overarching story.
Complete Gardening -- Grow your own gardens. Can be immersive or cheaty as you wish.
Redecoration -- Position items, lock them in place. Even copy/paste statics and furniture!
Refscope -- Want to know what mod adds an item? Want to see which containers are safe for storage? This is what you need.