Downloadable content has become a rather permanent fixture in this generation as every developer is trying their best to keep gamers interested in their title and make some cash along the way. There are many different ways to do this too, such as map packs, alternate costumes, to full-blown expansions.
Some have added a lot to the experience, but a lot of them end up being naked cash-grabs, and some make you scratch your head. That's what this list is all about, to highlight the morsels of DLC that run the gamut from good to bad, but all have one thing in common: they make you say to yourself "what were they thinking?"
It's worth mentioning that this list is in no particular order, they're all just rather wacky in their own particular way.
Mortal Kombat - Freddy Kreuger
The downloadable characters for the 2011 reboot of Mortal Kombat often made sense, since the bulk of them were made up of fan favorites from previous games. You had character such as Rain, Blind Kenshi, Scarlet, and then, dream-killer Freddy Kreuger from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.
What is the rationale behind that decision? Probably somebody that got into an argument over who would win in a fantasy fist-fight between Freddy and Scorpion, then decided to test that idea out.
Despite having no real hand-to-hand combat experience, Freddy manages to put up a pretty good fight against the other characters even though none of them are asleep. Maybe gamers can look forward to Jason Voorhees getting added to the list of fighters down the road in Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta
Say what you will about the expansions for Fallout 3, but they became better with each release and reached the peak of excellence with Point Lookout. It had everything a post-apocalyptic wanderer could ask for: a new location with tons of new quests and interesting stories to explore.
So it was a punch in the gut to see Bethesda crank out this "corridor shooter masquerading as an RPG" of an add-on that lasted about two hours, assuming players took the scenic route.
Gone were the dialogue options and myriad ways of accomplishing a quest. All this downloadable content consisted of was shooting at the goofy gray aliens, grabbing a few kooky sci-fi weapons, and calling it a day.
Borderlands - Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot
There are two things fans of Borderlands expect out of an add-on: that it raises to the level cap and there's sweet swag just waiting to be looted. Underdome Riot had neither of those things, and didn't even have the decency to make up for those deficiencies with a compelling line of quests.
All this expansion added to the Borderlands experience was a level of profound frustration as players slogged their way through hundreds of waves of enemies with no suitable rewards to provide and kind of motivation.
In short, this was a lame attempt at adding an arena mode to the game. Beyond the titular hostess' sizeable bust and grating, frequently repeated sexual innuendos, Underdome Riot was a classic case of the developers taking away everything players loved in the main game, and making them pay for the privilege.
Red Dead Redemption - Undead Nightmare
Rockstar's 2010 open-world epic Red Dead Redemption has so far been the definitive game based on the wild west, and there were many opportunities for an expansion to follow-up after the credits rolled.
Instead, Rockstar ditched that idea and decided to create a tongue-in-cheek riff on B-movie horror with Undead Nightmare, featuring a zombie outbreak and gunslinger John Marston's attempts to cure the undead plague while saving his family.
Surprisingly, it ended up being one of the best add-ons of the generation that took the framework of the original game and turned it on its head, transforming the landscape into a horror-themed Hell along the way.
BioShock 2 - Kill 'Em Kindly
Is a man not entitled to a good wang on the head with a nine iron? BioShock 2 bit off more than it could chew when it added online multiplayer and attempted to crowbar the shooter-RPG hybrid mechanics of the main game into a suite of competitive modes.
Fans of the series could easily rattle off things they'd liked to see changed or added to the multiplayer, but one of them probably wasn't the ability to chase after each other wielding golf clubs with murderous intent in an attempt to re-enact the shocking demise of Rapture's founder in the first game.
Soul Calibur IV - Darth Vader/Yoda
Namco kicked off the fad of having guest characters that don't belong in a fighting game way back in 2003 when Spawn, Link, and Heihachi joined the cast in Soul Calibur II, and things have only gotten more ridiculous ever since.
In 2008 they upped the ante with Star Wars alum Darth Vader (PlayStation 3) and Yoda (Xbox 360) as playable characters for some inexplicable reason, and they meshed about as well as one could expect in a roster made up almost entirely of medieval masters-at-arms.
After a while, Namco decided to make the previously console-exclusive guest characters available through download to meet a demand for something nobody asked for in the first place.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Horse Armor
No need for a fancy description of what this DLC is about. It's armor for your horse, plain and simple. Oblivion's horse armor add-on has been a hallmark of 'worst DLCs' list since it first came out, and it's easy to see why"”it's the epitome of the needless content that serves no purpose other than to wring a few more dollars out of a gamer's pocket.
The need to buy armor for your horse is shaky at best, especially considering how easy it so to just get another. Still, it's difficult to stay angry at Bethesda when there are so many people out there that see it advertised on the virtual store front and think 'yep, I definitely need to get that.'
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 - Carnage
Ultimate Alliance 2 came out during a pretty strange time, right in the middle of when Disney was in the process of acquiring Marvel and all the kinds of legal red tape that kind of thing requires.
The first baffling part is why a character like Carnage would even be optioned as a downloadable character. It's hard to imagine either side of the Civil War story arc wanting an unstable mass-murderer like Cletus Kassidy to bat for their team.
The second issue was when the DLC for the game was unceremoniously yanked from the PSN and Xbox marketplaces, leaving gamers that bought the content angry.
Metal Gear Solid 4 - MGS4 Database
The only thing more ludicrous than having a database as an add-on is just how necessary one is to understand just what the heck is going on in this series.
Overcomplicated doesn't even begin to encompass the sheer depth of plot overkill the MGS games regularly indulge in. Keeping up with hours upon hours of cutscenes is a lot to ask for out of a gamer, and a handy guide to follow along with isn't necessarily a bad idea.
That is until you consider the fact that a cursory internet search will yield plenty of online resources that render this piece of DLC utterly pointless.
Mass Effect 3 - Extended Cut
It's impossible to talk about 2012 in gaming and not mention the controversy over the original ending to Mass Effect 3. After spending so many hours with Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, waiting years for this finale to an epic trilogy, they were essentially told that all their precious choices (good, bad, and morally-ambiguous alike) had zero effect on the final outcome.
Retaliation was swift and brutal - Mass Effect fans were pissed, and felt like all those promises from BioWare were nothing but lies.
Things went so far as complaints reaching up to the Better Business Bureau, and it was time for something to be done: enter the Extended Cut DLC. You can practically hear the music from Clue and a disclaimer reading 'that's what could have happened...' followed by 'here's what really happened!'
The extended narrative was enough to please fans, but the Extended Cut add-on for Mass Effect 3 sets precedent as the first time a developer had to literally rewrite the ending to make series fans happy.