Best Games That Didn’t Need DLC

The opinion of DLC in games, much like everything else in the industry these days, is split between being cool with DLCs or not. Sometimes, it’s used for good, such as adding some hefty story bits or whole new modes to play, but even then it’s questionable, there are also those whose quality is iffy at best.

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On the other end of the gaming spectrum, many games outright don’t need DLC and feel like a complete experience in itself. However, the cases vary from player to player, so which of the games below are your favorite games that didn’t need DLC?

7 Mass Effect 2

The Best Of The Series With The Worst DLC

All the crewmembers looking up in Mass Effect 2.

Mass Effect 2 is highly regarded by fans as the best in the Trilogy due to its story and amazing characters, as you take command of Shepard and crew and are tasked with taking on the new enemies, the Collectors. The narrative flows seamlessly without feeling disjointed, making it an almost perfect masterclass on how to do a space opera that, to date, hasn’t been replicated.

The Firewalker DLC for example was only to add some extra missions for a vehicle that made you miss the Mako, and Arrival had some serious inconsistencies that made it, despite its great ending, not make as much sense once you laid out the details of how indoctrination was represented. When it comes down to the DLC offered, you didn’t get the same sense of quality in writing, and without these two DLCs, Mass Effect 2 would have been unparalleled.

6 Bioshock Infinite

A Controversial Game With A Confusing Epilogue

A statue of comstock in the middle of Columbia from Bioshock Infinite.

The third game in the Bioshock series was a polarizing addition. Set on the floating Island of Columbia, you play as Booker Dewitt, a man who supposedly has to settle a debt by kidnapping a girl named Elizabeth, and as with all Bioshock games though, nothing is as it seems.

While the main narrative was a little confusing, that comes with the territory of introducing alternate dimensions. The DLC Burial at Sea, however, muddies the waters of the main game and straight up retcons some significant character motivations, making their actions in the main game seem completely out of character.

5 Red Dead Redemption 2

A Perfect Swan Song For A Beautifully Flawed Character

Arthur riding his horse into the sunset in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redemption 2 and the Ballad of Arthur Morgan is a perfectly encapsulated saga of a group of outlaws coming to terms with the Second Industrial Revolution and what it means for them. Arthur finds himself contemplating the trajectory of his life as he comes to terms with his tuberculosis diagnosis.

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No matter which way you play his story, his death marks a hard end for a hard man with no chance for any narrative to add. You’ve got the epilogue sure, but that doesn’t give you the feeling that there’s more to his story, so it may not be a happy end to a happy story, but it’s perfectly finished.

4 Nier Replicant

A Nier Perfect Game As It Is

Nier, Weiss and Emil look down at Kaine in Nier Replicant.

Any Yoko Taro and company game you pick up to play is guaranteed to have tragedy, simply par for the course of exploring human emotions, and Nier Replicant is no different. You’re living in the aftermath of the end of the world right at the start of the game, after all.

The game plays like an opening of a flower, the petals of the story expose more the further you play. By the time you reach the end of the fifth playthrough, you have the complete story from the beginning to its beautifully tragic end, so anything added with DLC would simply diminish what’s already been laid out as complete.

3 Yakuza Series

There’s So Much To Do Already

The main cast of Yakuza: Like A Dragon looks directly at the camera.

Though the world of Yakuza is relatively small compared to other open-world games, you’ll never find yourself wanting more. It’s packed to the brim in both minigames and side quests, but their story is and always will be their main focus, so there is nothing in these games that could be considered underdeveloped.

Once you experience the world of Yakuza to its fullest, you’re guaranteed to walk away from the game feeling fully satisfied yet ready to start the wait for the next installment. The turn-based game doesn’t need DLC either and perfectly serves as an ideal introduction to new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga.

2 Undertale

The Creator Believes DLC Would Undermine Undertale

Toby fox's insert dog character in Undertale.

Toby Fox has always had a no DLC policy when it came to Undertale, and there’s been plenty of extra content added to other versions of the game, such as the switch version, but nothing that would significantly add or change the core narrative. This remains true for both this game and his as-yet-unfinished game Deltarune.

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So, what you see is what you get with Undertale: two wildly different endings and easter eggs that will make you smile when you find them, and nothing more. Just be sure you’re happy with your play-through before meeting Sans, he might be ready to throw hands.

1 Hades

Only His Father Would Ask For DLC

Zagreus standing against a picture of his father Hades.

Hades is such a perfect little package: A hard to master, yet very satisfying gameplay loop, a fantastic soundtrack, and a great story of healing a broken family and forming relationships with one of the sweetest casts in gaming. In Hades, Zagreus, the protagonist, is as lovable as he is defiant to his father, Hades himself.

Nothing in the game felt missing or rushed out the door, but that comes with all Supergiant Games IPs, as they aren’t the type of company to utilize DLC. Their launch title Bastion is the only game they’ve made to receive any, and it was free, so it’s more than likely they’re going to continue this trend when Hades 2 releases.

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