Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star
Star Wars Battlefront has had consistent content releases since the base game was released last year, including expansions like Bespin, Outer Rim, and Scarif, but it was September's Death Star DLC that really impressed us. This saw you take the fight into, where else, the Death Star, introducing new maps, new heroes, and, more impressively, an exciting new game mode.
This game mode, Battle Station, is a dream for those who love Episode IV (who doesn't?) as you go from fighting inside the Death Star to a space battle on its surface, replicating the heroics of Luke Skywalker taking on the Empire. There is a truly grand feel about the entire thing, as you fly around alongside TIE Fighters, lasers darting past, all in the blackness of space rather than the surface of a planet like on other maps.
Everyone's favourite Wookiee, Chewbacca, also enters Star Wars Battlefront as a playable hero in this DLC, as does bounty hunter Bossk. This isn't all, as we were also treated to a new blaster, a new vehicle, more star cards, and obviously more maps - five of them, in fact, all revolving around the Death Star.
As we wrote in our review, Death Star helped re-energise a game that had been out for some time, introducing an iconic location as well as a grand new game mode that felt truly epic, producing space battles and close quarter scuffles aplenty. We loved getting the chance to visit the Death Star, and that's why it's number three on our list.
World of Warcraft: Legion
It's not without reason that World of Warcraft has managed to stay relevant for more than a decade. Maybe the numbers aren't at peak anymore, but Legion gave players a great reason to return as Blizzard continues to expand and perfect their evergreen MMORPG.
Legion addressed and tweaked some of the things that simply didn't pan out well with Warlords of Draenor, including Garrison. And the new Order Halls, not only helps with Garrisons, but they also set the foundations for more class specific things. In fact, Legion is certainly aware of the needs of alt-players who want to level up several characters in different classes, and this time there will be more variation as you go through class specific content as well as the main content.
While the existing classes have gotten tweaks, some of them rather major, the big new feature here is the addition of the Demon Hunter class. Tightly tied into the story where Gul'dan and Illidan bring back the Burning Legion, this new class is a great deal of fun to play.
Blizzard is certainly putting its stamp on our Game of the Year lists, and this year they've once again served up an expansion worthy of its high finish. Their continuous support of their titles for years and years is admirable, and what's even more admirable is that is never a case of going through the motions. World of Warcraft always comes alive with a new expansion, but Warlords of Draenor left us wondering whether perhaps things were about to wind down, with Legion it feels like the game has caught a second wind and there's no end in sight.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
Blood and Wine had so much content that it puts many full-priced games to shame, and CD Projekt Red could have easily made it standalone, called it The Witcher 4, and charged us full price had they wanted to. But they didn't, and so it stands proud as our expansion of the year, instead of sitting pretty somewhere near the top of our overall GOTY.
This vampire-themed adventure includes a whole new environment to explore, and as per usual it's a nuanced world full of new beasts to slay, and new characters to meet (and maybe even seduce). The France-inspired world of Toussaint is full of vineyards and new quests, with plenty of memorable moments waiting to be discovered by the player. The main questline is very strong, and brings with it the moral ambiguity that the series is known for, as well as some exciting and challenging battles.
Throw in some new gameplay systems, including an estate gifted to Geralt that he can decorate and upgrade as he goes before retiring therein, and you've got a fitting ending to our Game of Last Year. There's so much to do in this new setting, whether you want to work on your new pad, or visit the local noticeboards for quests more befitting your skills as a slayer of monsters; there's plenty of content to chew through and you definitely get your money's worth here.
CD Projekt Red has said that they've got no plans to revisit The Witcher series, at least not any time soon. Thus Blood and Wine is the final destination on a role-playing journey that has enthralled players the world over, in the process establishing its creators as one the most capable studios around. We can't wait to see what they do next, and Blood and Wine could well be considered their crowning achievement to date. A stunning expansion in every sense of the word; if you've not played it yet and you enjoy RPGs, make this your next port of call. You won't regret it for a second.