Yes you have to have a hacked cfw in order to mod games. Once the image is altered it must be re-signed with the new keys. There is no way to utilize this without the use of a hacked system unless you do your hacking via emulation on a pc.
PS3 CECH-2501A [CFW] & CECH-3001 [OFW]/ PS2 SCPH-3901 & SCPH-7501/ PS1 SCPH-5501
Mod Cobra 4.46 v7.00 w/ E3 Flasher [CFW] & Cobra ODE 4.50 [OFW]/ Mod HDD-OSD [Phat] & Modbo 4.0 [Slim]/ Mod MM3
HDD 1tb [CFW] & 640gb [OFW]/ HDD 640gb & OPL v0.92 w/ 1.5tb SMB