6 video game DLCs that go beyond the base game

October 11, 2023 by No Comments

The main points of the story

  • Video game DLCs that take the base game to new heights are a real boon.
  • Expansions for Resident Evil 4 Remake, Cyberpunk 2077, Soulsborne games, Witcher 3, Dragon’s Dogma and Bioshock 2 are the perfect examples of refined DLCs.
  • These brilliant adventures are what DLCs should be, and they set a vigorous bar for all expansions to come.

Whenever we find a game that captures our hearts, it’s only natural to seek out more of that particular adventure. Looking for any continuation or extension, finding it happiness while its absence is despair. However, It’s not just black and white either. Let’s say there is a game you like that has a sequel. But what if that extra content is so poorly made that it ruins the whole experience? I know I would be afraid of that feeling.

However, there is another side to this as well. Now imagine that a certain expansion is so magnificently designed that it takes the game to unimaginable heights. Now that’s what I can stand behind, it was worth holding on to hope. And there are several examples in gaming history when this dream became a reality. Including the latest expansions for outstanding titles like A remake of Resident Evil 4 and Cyberpunk 2077Let’s take a look at some video game DLCs that really change the game.

1. Separate ways

I’ll start this list with a bang; Resident Evil 4 Remake Separate Ways DLC. Before we get into it, let me say this; The remake of Resident Evil 4 was already Capcom’s huge achievement. I spent countless hours on the original Resident Evil 4 and firmly believed it to be Capcom’s best work in the series, and This innovation will be an experience in itself. However, when I played the remake, I realized that Capcom had done the impossible.

Not only is the immersive title better than its original, but it also avoids replacing the original adventure brilliantly, as it should have. And with that feat as proof, there was no reason to doubt that the DLC featuring fan-favorite Ada Wong would be any different. Considering the huge popularity of the character, I think it would be no exaggeration to say that the demand for this DLC was even higher than the base game.

Waiting for this like of Ada DLC
Byu/gameovernate Bresidentevil

Again Capcom met all expectations and then some With this DLC. Not only does the expansion illustrate the other side of the story, it gives Ada a whole new gameplay, improves the overall presentation, and makes it even worse. From its story to its gameplay to the amount of content, this DLC is nothing short of perfection and has raised the bar for all video game DLC. I find it hard to believe that a full Resident Evil game worth of content was released with $10 DLC in modern times.

2. Phantom Liberty

Next is the second of the modern giants, and there is also a great deal of history here. In the case of Cyberpunk 2077, not knowing about it would be the weird thing. CD Projekt Red’s massive post-Witcher 3 undertaking has garnered an insane amount of hype and anticipation. I was looking forward to this sci-fi cyberpunk adventure, however, the end product was surprisingly and disappointingly a lackluster mess.

Riddled with bugs, glitches, unrefined gameplay, and an overall boring experience with its problematic mechanics, Cyberpunk 2077’s release has to be one of gaming’s most disappointing moments. But the real battle began here. Over time, CD Projekt Red took Cyberpunk out of this predicament and turned it into a giant of pure quality in what it would become Remember among the greatest redemption arcs.

The Phantom Liberty DLC is a key player in Cyberpunk 2077’s redemption and a true milestone in video game DLC. If you played the game upon release and were disappointed, I honestly urge you to try it now, it will blow your mind. An impactful story full of exciting moments, completely revamped shooting and driving mechanics, tons of extra content that breathes new life into the adventure, and a magnificent performance by iconic actors like Idris Elba, The Phantom Liberty DLC is the epitome of brilliance.

Idris Elba’s performance in Phantom Liberty is one of its many charms

3. The Old Hunters / The Ringed City

If you know how much of a Souls fan I am, you probably saw this coming. Any list featuring video game DLC above all else would be incomplete without FromSoftware’s masterpiece. Take out any Soulsborne DLC and it will throw most of the other contenders out the window. Here, let’s take a look at the giant’s two most recent works and probably the best overall example of video game DLCs that leave the base game in the dirt, Bloodborne’s The Old Hunters and Dark Souls 3’s Ringed City.

Ah, Bloodborne, the wretched masterpiece that Sony refuses to bring up again despite the relentless demands of fans. This beautiful Lovecraftian horror-inspired flick remains my favorite FromSoftware work, and that comes after playing through multiple runs of all the games. And despite this amazing quality, the DLC managed to surpass the base game in every way. Extensive and brilliant information, iconic locations, and especially the brutal satisfying boss encounters that should not be messed with.

Oh my god the old hunters DLC is one of the best expansions I’ve ever experienced
Byu/phambach Bin the blood

Next up is Dark Souls 3. From a weaker presentation of Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 3 was quite an impressive adventure. But I firmly believe it’s the ringed city where Dark Souls 3 peaked. The complete change in aesthetics when moving from the outskirts of the tier stack to the royal ringed city was a sight to behold. And above all the DLC includes one of the best boss fights of the franchise, the duel with Slave Knight Gael. And I wish nothing but the Elden Ring DLC ​​was even higher in quality and difficulty.

Slave Knight Gal is among the best boss fights of the series.
Slave Knight Gal is among the best boss fights of the series.

4. Blood And Wine / Hearts Of Stone

And here is another thing that is not obvious. The Witcher 3 is a pretty solid mainstay of RPG games and a game that has a name and worldwide popularity. For modern gamers, Witcher 3 is a glorious adventure but what they don’t know is that it was also a story of redemption. I played the Witcher 3 at launch and thus served until then The game was not like today. It was full of tons of visual and performance glitches and was pretty hard to play.

Although not a bad level of Cyberpunk, Witcher 3 was quite problematic and CDPR took this game to unimaginable heights. The base game is now nothing to scoff at either, but its DLCs are several steps up. For me, the game’s two DLCs are the best content The Witcher 3 has to offer. They are expansions so complete and game-changing that the base game pales in comparison. They set a huge standard for all video game DLCs.

Is it me or is Blood and Wine better than the main game?
Byu/Gonzito3420 Bwitch

Now the question is which is better? I believe it is entirely down to personal preference. I like both of these expansions equally and for different reasons. Hearts of Stone takes place in the same area and is more of a narrative and story-focused adventure with iconic and beloved characters. Trust me when I say this It is among the best stories you will experience. Next up is Blood and Wine, and this serves to expand the game with new side quests, locations, and a brilliant story with lots of twists. The quality of the side missions is to die for here.

5. Dragon pattern: Dark Arisen

Next is a very underrated RPG I feel more people should try. Capcom’s brilliant RPG was overlooked by many when it was released, and frankly, it’s such a waste. Although it was not without its drawbacks, Dragon’s Dogma was a great game And its mechanics like the revolutionary pawn system and complex magic are among the best game mechanics ever introduced by a title.

Combine this with a dark fantasy world and fascinating challenges scattered around and you’ll have an adventure you won’t regret diving into. Some of the game’s problems were with the open world design and the density of enemies and content, but it’s a pretty remarkable game underneath those problems. And when the Dark Arisen edition came out, it breathed new life into this exquisite gem and brought lots of unique additions.

Bitterblack Island is full of dangers and magical rewards
Bitterblack Island is full of dangers and magical rewards

The most important and adrenaline-filled addition was the increased difficulty. As you can guess from the name, This expansion paid homage to Dark Souls. I remember when I jumped into the DLC area, Bitterblack Isle for the first time, the complete change in enemy difficulty immediately put me off. In addition, the new area is overwhelmingly superior to the base game with tons of upgrades and enemies, very fun end-game dungeons, an immersive story, and overall a more rewarding area to explore.

6. Minerva’s lair

All the other examples I mentioned were of games that were already great experiences, and the DLCs took them to new heights. Now, let’s look at another example, Bioshock 2. Originating from the well-known original Bioshock, the sequel had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, Bioshock failed to live up to those particular expectations. It’s not a bad game by any means, it’s just that the original was too high a hurdle.

Because of this, the Minerva’s Den DLC was a pretty big deal. A game that could not challenge the original presented a work of art ie Probably the best Bioshock content out there And among the biggest video game DLCs. What makes this DLC so fantastic is how it embodies the concept of Bioshock perfectly; Roots you to the world and creates an extraordinary sense of immersion. As I played through the DLC, I realized how good a job it does of portraying that feeling.

The best feature of Minerva's Den has to be the brilliant environment.
The best feature of Minerva’s Den has to be the brilliant environment.

The DLC’s heartwarming story is its best strength. What began as a job to find the supercomputer, the Thinker, slowly evolved into uncovering the tragic story of its creator, CM Porter. Combine this with a vastly improved atmosphere, brilliant level design, and creative game mechanics, and you get a complete package that fully deserves to stand among the best video game DLCs in history.

Bioshock 2’s Minerva’s Den really set the standard for what I think is good DLC
Byu/hook Bgames


My point in discussing these wonderful extensions is to provide a template. This is how video game DLCs should be. If we’re spending extra money to get these expansions, they should be worth it. All of these examples show that even though the base game may set a huge bar, it’s possible to design expansions that manage to elevate that experience, and that’s all I want to see from here on out as well.

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