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The main article can be found at Minecraft Wiki: Minecraft.
Minecraft (sometimes referred to as Vanilla Minecraft or Vanilla) refers to the unaltered, unmodded, original Minecraft game, on which all mods and modpacks are based. It provides hundreds of blocks and items, dozens of Mobs and Biomes, and 3 dimensions on its own, which mods then expand on.
In order to use mods or modpacks, one must own either a Minecraft or Mojang account and have purchased the full version of Minecraft. The game can be purchased in the official Minecraft online store.
Minecraft is currently being actively developed and new versions of the game are constantly released. Currently the most recent Minecraft version is 1.11 however most stable modpacks are still based on older versions. This is due to the fact that mods need to be updated to the new version, which is often a time consuming process. Currently the latest widely used Minecraft version is 1.7.10. Few mods are currently compatible with version 1.8.9.