8 Ridiculously Great Expansion Packs

ffronw

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Oct 24, 2013
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8 Ridiculously Great Expansion Packs

Great games have been improved by awesome expansions for years, and these eight picked by our community are some of the best of all time.

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Rad Party God

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Feb 23, 2010
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Now this is a list I can get behind.

With Conquerors, I wanted to play it back in the day when I still played Age of Empires 2 on my Pentium 1 / Windows 98 laptop, but I just never got the chance to get it, now I have it on Steam, but haven't gotten around to play it, my backlog is pretty big :p

I agree with absolutely everything else. I think I'd add the Beyond The Sword expansion pack for Civilization IV, it added a TON of stuff that made the initial release of Civ V seem like a watered down experience (wich gladly was much improved with Gods & Kings [religion] and Brave New World).

On the more obscure side of things, Neverwinter Night's expansion Hordes of The Underdark (made by Obsidian) brings the game into Planescape Torment territory, it just changes the game that much.

As for Dark Crusade, I don't entirely think you're allowed to access everything on the expansion if you don't register the CD-Keys of DoW 1 and it's expansion, they're not required to have installed, but their CD-Keys are needed to unlock all the playable races.
 

Tiamat666

Level 80 Legendary Postlord
Dec 4, 2007
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The Shivering Isles really is one of the best expansions ever made. After two full blown Oblivion playthroughs, I don't really feel compelled to ever replay it again. But revisiting the Shivering Isles again would actually make it worth it. In many ways, it's much better than the base game.
 

09philj

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Mar 31, 2015
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For a moment I was worried you had left Shivering Isles out.
 

Darth Marsden

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Sep 12, 2008
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Nothing for First Person Shooters? Just RPGs and RTSs?

...huh. That... that actually says quite a bit.
 

Beetlebum

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Oct 14, 2011
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No Fallout: New Vegas expansions? Old World Blues was so much crazy fun. Cyberdog miniguns, Sound pistols, Roboscorpions and SCIENCE!
For shame, escapist.
 

Neverhoodian

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Apr 2, 2008
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Ah, that explains my latest badge. Cheers!

I suppose Soulstorm could be a contender as well, if only for the mods and meme fodder it produced.
 

Darth_Payn

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Darth Marsden said:
Nothing for First Person Shooters? Just RPGs and RTSs?

...huh. That... that actually says quite a bit.
What I can name off the top of my head for FPS XP's are Half-Life's Opposing Force and Blue Shift. Same setting, different characters, and some new weapons. Unless the DOOM games have a buttload I forgot about.

I would like to add Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's DLC add-on, Freedom Cry. Set after BF and starring Edward Kenway's quartermaster Adewale, set in the "new" city of Port-au-Prince, San Dominique, and featuring the new side activity of freeing slaves, which can upgrade you equipment and ship. They called it DLC, but it feels like an expansion pack.
 

EHKOS

Madness to my Methods
Feb 28, 2010
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I'm surprised Bloodmoon and Tribunal didn't get a tie.

"I killed Sotha Sil."

Every NPC:
"Fuckin' liar."
 

Aerosteam

Get out while you still can
Sep 22, 2011
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Beetlebum said:
No Fallout: New Vegas expansions? Old World Blues was so much crazy fun. Cyberdog miniguns, Sound pistols, Roboscorpions and SCIENCE!
For shame, escapist.
C'mon, we can't have Bethesda take over the list! (Though I go agree it's the best Fallout DLC.)

Old World Blues is no Shivering Isles, that's for sure. I can't compare it to Bloodmoon since I haven't played it.
 

Beetlebum

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Aerosteam said:
Beetlebum said:
No Fallout: New Vegas expansions? Old World Blues was so much crazy fun. Cyberdog miniguns, Sound pistols, Roboscorpions and SCIENCE!
For shame, escapist.
C'mon, we can't have Bethesda take over the list! (Though I go agree it's the best Fallout DLC.)

Old World Blues is no Shivering Isles, that's for sure. I can't compare it to Bloodmoon since I haven't played it.
Well, New Vegas is made by Obsidian, though I understand your point.
Still, Bethsoft is one of the few remaining devs that actually put effort in expansion packs and they deserve credit for that. (Now make a bug free game, you bastards!)
 

Zakarath

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Neverwinter Nights 2's expansion also deserves a mention, IMO. The base game was solid but not particularly special, but that expansion was just brilliant.
 

Imre Csete

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Jul 8, 2010
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No Throne of Bhaal and Mask of the Betrayer, okay. :(

While I think the The Elder Scrolls expanions are great, they don't really tweak/add to the gameplay, and that's the one reason I loved oldschool expansion packs so much, retroactively changing the original campaign too with gameplay additions (character classes, skills etc., not just items).
 

StatusNil

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Imre Csete said:
No Throne of Bhaal and Mask of the Betrayer, okay. :(
Hmmm. I'm kind of ambivalent on Mask of the Betrayer. On the one hand, I can see why people think it's great. On the other hand, I was going through a depressive phase at the time, compounded by seasonal considerations, and got so sick of what I recall as the relentless bleakness of it (all those eternal condemnations of fire and being melded into a wall, selling the souls of student mages to scheming devils, not much good news about the companions from the main game, and on and on) that I stayed up all night playing just to make it end, and then broke the disc and tossed it out when I was done. (Disappointing that they never really snap but bend, given how brittle they feel.) Never complained about it on the Internet, though... until now. And yeah, I am taking pills for that kind of thing.

I personally would have expected to see Hordes of the Underdark for NWN1 to be featured, it was such an improvement on the lackluster original campaign, though the Underdark as a setting gets old. Nice place to visit and all that. And I had to learn to do the console commands to stop friendly NPCs from attacking, 'twas a real "set_faction merchant" fest all the way through. Except when it was enemies not attacking. The joys of "no easy patching at home" days.

As for Throne of Bhaal, it was limited by the nature of what it needed to be, which was a suitably epic finale for BG. You can't really have all that much player freedom at that point, given how by that point the characters had developed immense superpowers, and that kind of detracts from it. But it did its job, and I salute that. I was happy with my Bioware ending in that one.

Oh, and obviously Brave New World for Civ 5 should be included. It's so great, even Kotaku and Ice-T approve.
 

sammor

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Jul 15, 2015
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Dragon Age: Awakening should be up there too.

Also: The Knife of Dunwall + The Brigmore Witches (if we pretend these two are a single expansion for the sake of argument).
 

Denamic

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Aug 19, 2009
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Not a bad list, though I'm not sure about the numbering. Also, I feel like people had forgotten about Neverwinter Nights. HotU was brilliant, and Shadows was pretty great too. Even NWN 2, though originally a worse game, has Mask of the Betrayer, which was also fantastic. And then there's Most of Fallout NV's expansions. Essentially all but Dead Money.
 

Alcom1

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MechWarrior 4: Black Knight comes to mind. More mechs (Ryoken!), more exotic mission scenarios, and Ultra AC/20's.
 

Darks63

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Darth_Payn said:
Darth Marsden said:
Nothing for First Person Shooters? Just RPGs and RTSs?

...huh. That... that actually says quite a bit.
What I can name off the top of my head for FPS XP's are Half-Life's Opposing Force and Blue Shift. Same setting, different characters, and some new weapons. Unless the DOOM games have a buttload I forgot about.
The Expansion for the First CoD was actually pretty good it added some really fierce battles to the Russian campaign.

OT:I never really liked The Dlcs for the Elder scrolls games they always just kinda fell flat for me.