The Best DLCs In Video Games In 2023

DLCs are a great tool by developers for keeping players engaged with their games, often offering new story content and weapons, as well as expanding lore and areas within the game world. 2023 proved one of the most significant years for gaming in quite a while. With so many games launched in 2022 and especially 2023, there’d inevitably be some considerable DLC expansions.

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20 Best DLCs Of All Time

DLC can make a bad game good or make a great game incredible. From Mass Effect 3 and GTA IV to Bioshock 2, here are the best DLCs of all time.

While some of the DLC doesn’t capture the same feeling or scale of the original game, others knock it out of the park. Whether it’s horror games, sci-fi, Soulslike, or narrative-driven adventures, here is 2023’s best DLC you might want to jump straight into.

The completion times listed below for each DLC are based solely on the main story and not any additional side content. These times are also gathered from HowLongToBeat.

10 Atomic Heart: Annihilation Instinct

Atomic Heart DLC enemy, the BEA-D, as shown in a new teaser. It's a big orb with two legs and a smaller orb with a red visor.

Release Date

August 2, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4

Price

$9.99

Completion Time

4 Hours

Atomic Heart had many issues and changes that needed to be addressed, primarily the poor voice acting and unlikeable protagonist P-3. While P-3 does sound a little better in the Annihilation Instinct DLC, the gameplay and environments still feel more of the same, despite the game trying to infuse new chaotic, fast-paced enemy designs and boss battles in its aesthetics.

The narrative direction of the Annihilation Instinct DLC is also interesting and probably not where you thought it would go. Remember that flirty and overly sexualized refrigerator that acts as an upgrade station? Well, NORA still can’t help herself with P-3, and the entire basis of the DLC is structured around restoring her AI within the Mendeleev Complex.

9 The Callisto Protocol: Final Transmission

Jacob armed with the Kinetic Hammer from The Callisto Protocol Final Transmission DLC

Release Date

June 28, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4

Price

$14.99

Completion Time

3 Hours

The Callisto Protocol likewise was not on everyone’s favorite list, but the DLC was a step in the right direction. The Final Transmission concludes the story of Jacob’s harrowing journey through the Biophage-ravaged prison complex on Jupiter’s moon, Callisto, while showcasing some new mechanics.

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This DLC is essential to enhance your game play experience.

One of the coolest new features introduced in the Final Transmission DLC is the Kinetic Hammer weapon, helpful for taking on Biophage security robots and making you feel a bit like Thor while doing so. The ending also brings closure from the original cliffhanger, albeit with a divisive Dead Space-esque twist and a hilarious fourth-wall-breaking moment from Josh Duhamel.

8 Dead Island 2: Haus

The player holding and swinging a giant axe at a red latex covered zombie, with more running from behind in a red lit corridor.

Release Date

November 2, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4

Price

$12.99

Completion Time

3 Hours

Dead Island 2’s first DLC, Haus, takes things in quite an interesting direction for the Hell-A story. Upon reading an invitation to Haus, an exclusive and scenic Malibu house of horrors, you get teleported to the location. Inside, you’ll find a death cult called the ‘Kult,’ who’ve now mostly become zombies and are dressed in full-body latex bondage suits like the Rubber Man from American Horror Story.

The main story involves you exploring the location to find the Kult’s Rite of Passages and collect the disfigured and dismembered heads of Kult members. The new environments are some of the game’s most atmospheric yet, and you get new weapons, like the K-Rossbow and Hog Roaster melee blade, and eight additional skill cards.

7 High On Life: High On Knife

The player using Knifey as a chainsaw slicing through an enemy alien, with another alien shooting a purple ray at the player.

Release Date

October 2, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4

Price

$14.99

Completion Time

2.5 Hours

In High on Life, you were introduced to a raunchy, bloodthirsty knife with an Australian accent named Knifey, brilliantly portrayed by Michael Cusack. The High On Knife DLC gives this character more time to shine… and opportunities to curse at you.

Knifey also transforms into a chainsaw at a certain point in the DLC, and your bounty hunter character now becomes more akin to a Doom Slayer ripping and tearing away at aliens with Knifey’s new function. The chainsaw adds a new traversal mechanic as well. Ultimately, your goal is to help Knifey reunite with his species. Oh, and you also get two new talking Gatlian weapons.

6 Remnant 2: The Awakened King

A trio of players facing the towering club-wielding and disturbing One True King boss, weapons pointed at him in the Gothic chamber room.

Release Date

November 14, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5

Price

$9.99

Remnant 2’s The Awakened King DLC takes you back to Losomn, where The One True King must be defeated, or should he? He’s quite a gigantic final boss wielding a club that also has a health bar and can be destroyed. His character design is impeccable, with thorns protruding from his flesh and a conical head where a seam through the middle allows him to spew fire.

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The Awakened King brings both of Losomn’s previous campaigns together and expands the fan-favorite realm with some great new additions.

In fact, all the new bosses added in the DLC offer pretty intense battles, especially the Sunken Witch swinging her heavy hook in a claustrophobic arena. And on top of all these new bosses, weapons, and storylines the Awakened Kings adds, it also brings you the new Ritualist archetype.

5 TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge – Dimension Shellshock

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge Dimension Shellshock key art.

Release Date

August 31, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4

Price

$7.99

Completion Time

45 Minutes

2023 sparked new hype in the TMNT realm, propelled by the release of Paramount’s new Mutant Mayhem animated film. The 2D beat ’em up game Shredder’s Revenge also came with an unexpected video game crossover through its Dimension Shellshock DLC. While the original game features all the Ninja Turtle siblings, April, Casey, and Master Splinter, this DLC adds Miyamoto Usagi and Karai.

Miyamoto Usagi is a samurai rabbit who has a long history with the turtles, and he now joins forces as a playable character in Shredder’s Revenge helping them fight the titular villain’s minions. Karai, meanwhile, is an underrated and well-known character from the comics and animated series, returning with a new character design. Both fighters are also playable in the DLC’s new Survival Mode.

4 Dead By Daylight: Nicolas Cage, Alien, And Chucky Chapter Packs

Release Date

July 25, 2023 (Nicolas Cage), August 29, 2023 (Alien), November 28, 2023 (Chucky)

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4

Price

$9.99 (Nicolas Cage), $11.99 (Alien), $4.99 (Chucky)

Dead by Daylight delivered some spectacular fan service with its 2023 DLCs, bringing you Nicolas Cage as a playable survivor, an Alien chapter pack with the Xenomorph and Ripley, and even Chucky as a killer. Color Out of Space, Mandy, Renfield, The Wicker Man, and Willy’s Wonderland are Cage’s most iconic horror film roles, so why wouldn’t you want to experience his reactions to the gallery of Dead By Daylight killers?

The Alien Chapter Pack places you on a planet hosting Ripley’s wrecked Nostromo spacecraft (very similar to LV-426), and you can assume the role of the Xenomorph hunting down Ellen Ripley and the other survivors. With the Chucky pack, you’ll become the killer doll and receive the iconic Good Guys toy box as a charm.

3 Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores

Aloy and Seyka stand beneath an overgrown Hollywood sign

Release Date

April 18, 2023

Platforms

PS5

Price

$19.99

Completion Time

7 Hours

Just a little over a year after Horizon Forbidden West’s launch, the Burning Shores DLC arrived, and as a PS5 exclusive, much to the disappointment of many. It’s quite a lengthy DLC, almost at the runtime of the standalone Spider-Man: Miles Morales spin-off and the previous games’ Frozen Wilds expansion, so the price alone is definitely worth it.

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As a DLC of the popular open-world game, is Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores worth it?

Burning Shores expands the story of Forbidden West and sees Aloy venture into the volcanic overgrown lands of what was formerly Los Angeles, even allowing you to take a gander at the iconic Hollywood sign. The new area is as gorgeous as all the previous ones created in the Horizon series, and it brings new fearsome biome-based enemies like Bileguts, Waterwings, and Horus.

2 Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways

Split-image of a cutscene in the opening section with Ada shooting at Las Plagas monks, and Ada grappling to a part of the castle, an enemy awaiting.

Release Date

September 20, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PS4

Price

$9.99

Completion Time

5 Hours

Just as the original 2005 Resident Evil 4 featured Ada Wong as a playable protagonist in her own campaign called Separate Ways, Resident Evil 4 Remake has received a companion DLC featuring a reimagined design for Separate Ways. Among the most notable additions is Ada’s grappling gun mechanic for combat and traversal.

This is a fun new way of experiencing the familiar levels of Resident Evil 4, and you might find it even better than Leon’s adventure in the Las Plagas-infested regions. The DLC’s primary goal is to expand the narrative from Ada’s perspective and interweave storylines from the base game to bring you the complete picture of events.

1 Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Idris Elba as Solomon Reed in Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

Release Date

September 25, 2023

Platforms

PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5

Price

$29.99

Completion Time

13 Hours

This was truly the DLC of the year and one of 2023’s most highly anticipated. Phantom Liberty, packaged with the 2.0 Update for Cyberpunk 2077, is the ultimate redemption for one of the rockiest launches in gaming history. It also introduces Idris Elba’s character Solomon Reed, a Federal Intelligence Agency operative with a critical espionage task designated for V.

This story expansion doesn’t just come with new characters, weapons, vehicles, and questlines but a newly accessible hostile area of Night City called Dogtown. It’s the site where an aircraft carrying New United States of America President Myers crash-landed, and her fate in Phantom Liberty rests on the success of V and Johnny Silverhand’s daring rescue.

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DLC That Tried Something Very Different

There are some impressive DLC that changed the experience of the main game drastically. Here are some of them.

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