GamerSushi Top Six: Best DLC

Every generation of gaming seems defined by either new pieces of technology or something else that broadens our definition of what a game entails. One of the new advents that’s become more widespread in the last few years would be what is now known as DLC, a bit of an adaptation of the expansion pack from PC’s gaming glory days. It’s yet another example of the transition of gaming as it has moved from the desk to the couch, and it’s taken up its own shape as a result, both on the console and on PC.

Only in the last few years have developers started to show exceptional treatment in the handling of DLC, finding ways to extend the life of the games we love in a variety of ways. In no particular order, here are our top six games with great DLC:

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 Lair of the Shadow Broker

Since its release, Mass Effect 2’s DLC has received some criticism for the way it is sidelined into the story, belonging neither truly within it or after it has taken place. However, the Overlord pack received some positive recognition, and Lair of the Shadow Broker’s release this week might have just set the new standard for post-story DLC add-ons. What Bioware accomplished was to provide a brief story that serves as a nice bridge between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. On top of being a nice extension, it’s also just damn fun and masterfully pulled off. It tapped into everything I loved about the first two games, and hinted towards stories to come. One only wonders what your choices will mean for the inevitable third game, and the possibilities are certainly exciting when it comes to future bridging narratives.


Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Get used to seeing a Bethesda game on this list, because it’s going to happen again. Perhaps their long experience with PC development made the Maryland-based developer more malleable to the online DLC world, or maybe they got so much flak over the infamous horse armor that they stepped their game up. But no matter the reason, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion put its stamp on modern DLC early in this generation with the release of the Shivering Isles, and eventually, Knights of the Nine. Taking their cues from old school PC expansions, Bethesda increased the playability of this already hours-intensive game by adding new playable areas, new quests and even more gameplay. Elder Scrolls V, anyone?


Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

While we hope there’s not another ten year development gap between Team Fortress 2 and Team Fortress 3 (knock on wood), Valve certainly knows the right cure for what ails impatient gamers: awesome DLC, updates and community requested features. On top of numerous updates and weapons for each class in the game, Valve has also provided a slew of game modes and maps such as Gold Rush and Highlander. With the next update promising item trading, it’s hard not to be eager to see where Valve will go now that all of the classes have been rounded out.


Little Big Planet

Little Big Planet DLC

Is there any console game cuter and more imaginative in its content than Little Big Planet? On top of the user created levels and the amount of flexibility innate in its design, Media Molecule has supported the game longterm with ongoing DLC packs. These come as either themed levels or costume packs, and you can honestly take your pick from any number of fun options. Want to dress Sackboy like characters from Watchmen, Team Ico games or the Marvel universe? Go for it. Want to play levels from Pirates of the Caribbean or Metal Gear Solid 4? That’s available, too. With Little Big Planet 2 on its way in November with even more options than the first, Media Molecule has already set the bar fairly high. There is no reason to doubt they won’t surpass themselves.



Borderlands Secret Armory of General Knoxx

As a game, Borderlands is an addicting and huge Diablo-esque FPS that rewards its co-operative players with epic loot, frenetic battles and dozens of quests. It’s really the perfect kind of game to support with extensive DLC, and developer Gearbox isn’t slowing down. With only a handful of upgrades originally planned, the community has taken to the DLC packs such as the Secret Armory of General Knoxx and the Zombie Island of Dr. Ned with a surprising passion, and Gearbox has responded in kind, with renewed plans to support the game long term including balancing issues and bigger level caps. The new add-on releasing this month, Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution, promises even more zany action, and helps set Borderlands as the standard that other developers need to look at in terms of superb content at affordable prices, regularly released. Kudos, Gearbox.


Fallout 3

Fallout 3 Broken Steel

Bethesda strikes again with Fallout 3, the post-apocalyptic RPG shooter romp that takes you through the Wasteland and then beyond via the release of DLC. Not content just to leave players with an engrossing and enormous experience, Bethesda has provided huge updates to Fallout 3 that explore not only more of the game’s area, but taken players as far as Alaska or even the southern coastline with hillbillies. On top of that, they’ve opened up the level cap and extended the main tale of the game with Broken Steel, and given glimpses of a more sci-fi feel with Mothership Zeta. While some of these things have been hit and miss with players, the new weapons and added hours are enough incentive to keep on playing, and everyone will find something that they like.


There you are, six games that know how to do DLC just right. I’m going to be honest, I was mainly inspired to write this because of the rave reviews of the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, which just came out this week. I finished it tonight, and I have to say it hits just the right spot that got me back into the Mass Effect spirit. Excellent stuff.

There were some other honorable mentions, but enough of what we think – what about you guys? Do you have any others to add to the list? How do you feel about the DLC for these games? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

8 thoughts on “GamerSushi Top Six: Best DLC”

  1. I would add Halo 3 as well, because each map pack was quite phenomenal, and the free map on Bungie day was nice too.

  2. No doubt some of you have already guessed what I’m going to say – Mass Effect 2, love it. I feel like I bring this game up on every single comment I make. ME2 had a lot of firsts for me, first game I preordered, first game I collected day 1, and yes first game I’ve ever bought DLC for. TF2 doesn’t count because its all free. While i haven’t grabbed the weapon and armour pack, I have bought all the story packs and I’ve loved every single one. My favourites are Lair of the Shadow Broker and Kasumi – Stolen Memory. But LotSB got it right in that it fitted in well even if you played on a file that had already finished the suicide mission.

    As for some of the other games on the list, I never got into Fallout 3 and Oblivion enough to bother with the DLC. I might pick up Borderlands if/when they release a version with all the DLC included, I’ve played a bit at a friends place and it looks like a lot of fun, however that might also mean that there are less people still playing it to co-op with.

  3. OH! I’d like to argue that Portal could go on this list too.
    Sure, they don’t have the substancial HUGE updates, but that tiny patch added way back when stirred up some major Portal 2 rumors.

  4. Fantastic list, I can’t argue with anything on here. Well done.

    Fallout 3 was probably my favorite b/c each DLC was a different experience. One was combat heavy, another was more about quests and choices, etc…

  5. You forgot Modern Warfare 2. *trollface*

    Great list, but dear gosh, Supernovaforce, TF2 does count! It’s free! That’s awesome! That’s why it counts!

  6. @Cossack – I meant that TF2 didn’t count as the first DLC I’d paid for. It was the first DLC I’d used, but ME2 was the first that cost me money 🙂

  7. Nice list, man. I think you really hit the nail on the head. It’s a shame that I haven’t tried any of the Borderlands DLC, because it seems like it has really added to the main game, which was pretty samey in my opinion.

    Mass Effect 2 definitely got off to a rocky start with the DLC, but Overlord and Shadow Broker are fantastic. Too bad Overlord doesn’t carry over to ME3 (at least I don’t think it does) because I would really like to see the consequence of my choice there.

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