Nowadays, a video games DLC is almost as important as the core game itself. With some franchises like Star Wars: Battlefront and Evolve carving up their main content to be sold separately, it feels like the line between what should be DLC and what shouldn’t is growing thinner.Though that doesn’t mean some companies have found said balance and produced some masterfully crafted additional content. It’s important to not lump them all of DLC together because, in reality, expansions are vital to extending the life of a game. At some point, you run out of content and the addition of more can help tide people over until the next entry.
When deciding what game had the best DLC we are not just looking for sheer quantity, but the quality of the product itself. Evolve had a plethora of additional content, but most of it wasn’t any good or just exceptionally superficial. If a game has only released 2 or 3 expansions, but those additions are the size of a normal game that is something to take into consideration. However, these are the 10 games that we will be playing well after their core content as run dry.
Dark Souls 2 is a difficult game, which only got more challenging with each installment of its three different expansions. Offering new enemies, areas, weapons, and PvP arenas these games not only advanced the story but gave us a reason to keep grinding out our levels. Not to mention the Crown of the Ivory King arguably as one of the best boss battles that the entire series has produced.
While Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep may be one of the best expansions ever released, the sheer volume of additions given from the other 3 content packs can’t be ignored. With end game bosses and extremely rare weapons, Borderlands 2 kept adding reasons to come back to their game. Plus their content never lost focus of what made Borderlands great and it stuck with the zany, amusing charm the series is known for. Also, it introduced us to Mr. Torgue and that should be reason enough.
Dying Light seemed like just another zombie game upon release, but developer Techland has certainly made it more than just that. With a slew of expansions and DLC, Dying Light has lived well past its expiration date. Not only do these expansions offer the typical assortment of content such as enemies, weapons, gear, but also a fully upgradable buggy. Released in The Following expansion, the buggy fundamentally changed how you traversed the open world and made killing the undead that much more entertaining.
While the Battlefield series has always released fantastic content and there is no denying that Battlefield Bad Company 2’s Vietnam expansion is the pinnacle of this. However, we are giving it to the fourth installment in this series, due to the sheer variety each of the map packs offers. Developer DICE released 5 different map packs, each of which contained 3-4 levels and a treasure trove of new weapons to play with. Not to mention that brought back fan favorites like Battlefield 2142’s Titan mode and awesome vehicles such as the hover-tank.
Mass Effect 2 has a staggering amount of additional content, of which a lot of it was free to the players. Along with weapons and armor, almost every single DLC related content added either a new mission, squadmate, location, or assignments to complete. This always kept the game fresh and offered the user base plenty of fun things to do once the credits roled. Mass Effect 2 is a fantastic example how DLC can be done correctly, despite the title being 6 years old.
While the constant flow of GTAV online updates are nice, it’s these fully fleshed out story missions that take the edge. Aiming for quality over sheer quantity, both of the expansions for Grand Theft Auto IV, give us great new campaigns to follow. The Ballad of Gay Tony stands out, as it was arguably the more fleshed out of the two and has some of the most memorable missions in the entire game. Plus, you got to ride around in a golden helicopter and what’s not to love about that?
Hyrule Warriors may be the best game Nintendo has ever supported in terms of sheer DLC numbers and quality. There are arguments to be made for Smash Brothers and Mario Kart, but the fact that this beat up game still isn’t done with releasing more content is astonishing. Not only have we gotten a plethora of new characters to play as like Minda and Tingle, but a variety of new maps, alternate costumes, and a Boss Challenge mode. If we are talking about the sheer volume of quality content, Hyrule Warriors should be the staple model for all other developers to build upon.
It was tough picking just one Fallout game that represents the best DLC content, as all of them have delivered some great expansions. However, Fallout 3’s had the best variety of locations and additions such as The Pitt and Mothership Zeta. We even got our level cap raised and the game decided to continue on with the main story so we weren’t forced to have our game end if we completed the campaign. Not to mention the expansion Point Lookout is still one of the most immersive and interesting levels Bethesda has ever made.
This is the best modern example of how you craft and maintain a video game once the audience has finished with the core game. Not only have we gotten two massive expansions, which could completely be games in their own right, but CD Projekt Red strung along a substantial amount of free content to keep us playing between their two major DLC releases. These weren’t just cosmetics either, as Projekt Red included new missions, bounties, Gwent Cards, and weapons for us to experiment with. Also the tw expansions they did eventually release can take someone anywhere from 15-20 hours just to see and do everything in the world. It’s the RPG that keeps on giving.
Could there be anyone else? The fact that WoW is 12 years old and continues to receive DLC is absolutely astonishing. With major expansions offering entire new worlds for players to discover, each one feels like a complete game in its own right. And while Blizzard has constantly flooded the game with new gear, mounts, and such for players to obtain, their major DLC releases have helped define this game. WoW, in theory, shouldn’t have nearly the number of players it does, but Blizzard’s masterful use of DLCs and finely crafted expansions make it the most lovingly supported game in terms of raw content.