Updated with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass (Future Redeemed). Enjoy!
There was a time, long ago, when games were done when they hit retail shelves. But we're in the 21st century now, and more often than not, additional post-launch content is released months after a developer's main game is complete, enriching the experience.
There are tons of games that get DLC, Expansions, and Season Passes nowadays. These can range from cosmetic changes and updates to a whole new roster of characters to an entirely new story campaign. The Switch's library of games, and the eShop, are certainly no strangers to these extensions. Sometimes, they come years after the game has been released and take us by complete surprise — looking at your Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
So, since the Wave 1 of the Booster Course Pass (and the pass as a whole) launched just over a year ago today, we wanted to look back and recommend the very best DLC and expansions that money can buy on Nintendo Switch. And that's the key here — money. We've only considered paid updates for this list — Hollow Knight has some excellent free DLC, for example, but if we looked at all free updates and DLC, well, this list might go on forever.
Well, no more holding back — get your eShop wallet ready and take a look at the best of the best on Switch. And we'll continue to update this as more great DLC is released.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition (Switch)
The Witcher 3 is maybe the gold standard when it comes to DLC — Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine bring a combined minimum of 25 hours to an already mammoth RPG, and that's only if you ignore every single detail in these huge expansions. The Complete Edition of the game comes bundled with both expansions, and each adds new characters, new story, and brand new mechanics. Hearts of Stone brought in Runewords that Geralt could use to enhance weapons, while Blood and Wine has armour imbuements and also gives us a brand new map.
Essentially, both parts of The Witcher 3's DLC is a no-brainer if you've poured your life into the base game.
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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
The very reason we kicked off this list, who thought we'd get 48 brand new tracks for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe over five years since its release on Switch? Up until the end of 2023, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's course count will double, and we'll also be getting six returning characters to sweeten up the deal. Sure, not every course will be a winner (Tokyo Blur), but it's really hard to argue with what you're getting here — Maple Treeway, Ninja Hideaway, Rainbow Road 3DS, and the fabulous, brand new Yoshi's Island? The Booster Course Pass is a dream come true, and Mario Kart 9 seems like a distant prospect with how brilliant this expansion pass is. Plus, it's available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass.
Overcooked 2 (Switch)
If you need more co-op chaos in your life, then look no further than Overcooked 2's delightful season pass. Three extra portions come on this platter, which is all available in the Gourmet Edition. Campfire Cook Off introduced us to four more chefs and 15 brand new levels set in the woods — so there are plenty of s'mores to go around. Night of the Hangry Horde features the Unbread (this still makes us snigger) with nine new kitchens and three secret hidden levels and another four chefs. And lastly, the Carnival of Chaos brings even more levels and characters while giving us combo meals to content with. It's pure magic in a game that thrives on its gameplay and mechanics and keeps us coming back to the buffet table for more.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure (Switch eShop)
Less daunting than the main game, but just as beautiful and hilarious as Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC brings a fresh angle to the game's already outstanding gameplay and campaign. Some truly powerful characters often make short work of the slightly-lessened enemy onslaught, and the lack of character options is perhaps the only downer here, taking away some of the deeper strategy involved in the full game, but we still loved every moment of our time with DK and friends. If you’re craving more Rabbids mayhem, give this one a whirl.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak (Switch eShop)
A huge expansion to Monster Hunter Rise, Sunbreak is a success in multiple ways. There's enough that's new or different to make it a must-have for fans of the base game and with multiple free updates being added over time, you'll continue to keep coming back for more. New mechanics and content are enjoyable, the challenge is turned up, and it's still an audiovisual treat. It's a welcome reminder that there's nothing else quite like Capcom's monster-slaying franchise, and even in moments where it's 'just more of the same but harder', that's still more than enough.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Champions' Ballad + Expansion Pass (Switch eShop)
Many consider The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to be the greatest video game of all time, and The Champions' Ballad just gives us more reason to play around in this glorious version of Hyrule. It doesn't fulfil our breathlessly wild fantasies, but it is fun and full of smart design and charm — not to mention some notably tricky areas. Plus, you get a motorcycle — what else do you want? Overall, then, it's mission accomplished. We feel pretty confident in saying that Breath of the Wild plus the Expansion Pass is utterly glorious and unmissable gaming, giving us a lot of a good thing, one that you can never have too much of. Tears of the Kingdom and its inevitable DLC have a lot to live up to.
Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion (Switch eShop)
Splatoon 2’s Octo Expansion was a huge surprise, and it's a masterclass in how to do DLC right. It fits in perfectly with the standalone game, provides a heap of tailor-made content and furthers the story of the Inklings’ and Octolings’ world effortlessly and beautifully. As a single-player experience it outmatches the standard Octo Canyon mode significantly, and even though it does allow players to acquire exclusive items, it manages to avoid affecting any of the mechanics of online play, so non-purchasers will never be at a disadvantage. If you’re a fan of Splatoon in any capacity and you want more to sink your beak into, Octo Expansion is an unwavering must-have.
Cuphead - The Delicious Last Course (Switch eShop)
The long-awaited DLC to the fantastic Cuphead was well worth the wait. Cuphead - The Delicious Last Course is a great little expansion that adds new life to one of the Switch's most entertaining games. It may be a tad on the short side but what's here is absolutely fantastic and it's reasonably priced to take its length into account. If you have the original, this is essential. If you don't, they both are. It's stupidly-addictive, tough-as-nails cartoon run-and-gunning at its very finest, and this whole package makes for one of the finest indie titles out there.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country (Switch)
Acting as a prequel to the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, few expansions are as vast in their size and content as Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country. Whether you’re a season pass holder looking to revisit a series you love from a new perspective, or you’re fresh to the franchise and want a standalone adventure, this hefty slice of JRPG action will grab you right from the moment you start switching between Blade and Driver. There's over 30 hours of game here, and the DLC brings with it some welcome adjustments to combat and combos. Torna is a fine addition to an already brilliant game on Switch.
BOTW DLC more shrines please
And MK8 extra tracks DLC
The only Switch dlc I have ever purchased and well worth the money for me.
Double hands down, the best dlc is either Smash Ultimate or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, because of the sheer amount of content in each alone! Sakurai said once upon a time “don’t expect too many new fighters since every fighter ever is being brought back” and then he adds 11 dlc characters, tons of music and Mii fighter outfits, and 11 stages to boot. What a legend. And I’m pretty sure we all know the MK8 Deluxe story. 48 new tracks. That is the same amount of tracks in the base Deluxe game! And now 6 additional characters will be added too. Both games have phenomenal dlc.
Hello, it's your friendly neighborhood pedant here, in the bit for the fighters pass DLC you accidentally said Jin instead of Kazuya.
Delicious Last Course... DLC... get it?
Mario kart dlc has shown how it should be done it genuinely improves and completes the game when I first heard it was being done in waves I was sceptical but has proved me wrong I still need to purchase BOTW dlc even tho I’ve had the game along with my switch since day 1 😂
Not gonna lie, after this whole 3DS and Wii U eShop situation, I'm not going to wait until the last year to make sure I have all the DLC. I'm going to start checking out all the Switch DLC now. I'll start with Dragon Ball FighterZ because I'm in the mood to revisit that game.
The Luigi's Mansion 3 DLC is lame.
I love the Marvel Ultimate alliance 3 Dlc. I've spent over 300 hours on this game and have loved every minute. The Mario Kart Dlc and Smash Bros is incredible too.
I didn't know that Captain Toad had more content on Switch, maybe I need to find it on sale.
For Smash Ultimate, there are actually 12 DLC characters, including Plant, since FP2 has 6. (You could even count Pyra/Mythra as two for 13).
Just figured I'd be that guy.
Best Nintendo Switch DLC is Mario kart 8 Deluxe DLC for me. I love this game so much!!! I do not know all DLC games here.
I love the MK8DX dlc. Well-worth the purchase.
Smash Ultimate, I also thought was well done. I knew ahead of time it was unwise to just purchase the fighter passes, without knowing who the characters were. The only exception would have been if I simply wanted a "complete" game.
At 999 moons, I am not sure if Nintendo would make some for Super Mario Odyssey. Oh, I also enjoy the Super Rush dlc.
Torna managed to do in 20 hours what Xenoblade 2 couldn't in 200; that being make me remotely care about Mythra and Jin.
The smash ultimate dlc is awesome, but also really expensive. It
Would be great if it was added to the expansion pack.
The BotW DLC is rubbish.
@TeaCatherine You saw nothing. 👀
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. It's DLCs in Season Pass are quite good, in overall. 1st DLC adds Shinobu Jacobs as playable character, new skills, and Badman Strikes Again chapters, if I don't confuse. 2nd DLC adds Badgirl as playable character, new skills, and new (cool and hard) level with cool and memorable music(especially final boss' theme song - On your mark, get set, go...).
On a side note... Ooh, Cadence of Hyrule looks so nice! I've wanted to buy physical copy of the game, but for now, that's quite hard and expansive to do.
@dartmonkey Always happy to help.
It's too early to say for sure, but I'm loving the Engage DLC so far. The meat of it will probably be the upcoming "Fell Xenologue" DLC, but the Emblems added by the current DLC are already very fun additions to the already broad array of strategies available in the base game. Each one has got me considering their implications and possible uses in a way that previous FE DLC simply never did.
Hopefully it ends as strongly as it's started.
the Donkey Kong expansion to Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was so good I can't wait for the Rayman DLC for Sparks of Hope
Let me tell you young 'uns a tale as old as time... I remember playing the old games on the SNES and Mega Drive, wishing I could continue playing them after the game was finished. Like, imagine sending back the cartridge and you'll get extra levels added. In my young impressionable mind, that seemed reasonable. Today, we have the ability of adding content to an otherwise complete game without even leaving the home. It's incredible when you think about it. The sad reality is that most of the time they really are money-making grab-athons with 0 respect for the consumer. I'm glad that when Nintendo does it, they generally give real value for money, and adds genuine longevity to the games.
@Ade117 that's the biggest thing that's making me contemplate buying the MK8D Booster Pack when I have the NSO Expansion Pass. Hopefully, they just keep the same eShop for whatever comes next.
I enjoyed Splatoon 2 well enough when it came out, but Octo Expansion was truly fantastic DLC that made a game that was pretty much Splatoon 1.5 come into its own. As an octopus lover, I’ve played as an Octoling ever since. Veemo and oomi all the way!
Personally, I really think the DLC for FE Three Houses belongs on this list. It added a fourth House to the game, new characters and fleshed out story. Made for even better replay value to an already very replayable game
The DK Expansion for Mario+Rabbids was better than the main game.
Cuphead DLC is glorious and has some of he best encounter in the game with the Saltbaker and Mortimer Freeze.
I bought it all digitally on Xbox on release but just got the Switch physical edition that comes with the full game and dlc all on the cart.
Octo expansion was good. Also captain toads DLC was cheap and cheerful
I agree with most of them, except for Botw DLC. Botw is probably my favorite game ever, but the dlc wasn’t good; it was expensive and gave us little in return. It’s absolutely the worst Nintendo paid DLC of the last 20 years.
The only two DLCs that I have purchased out of this entire list were the Captain Toad DLC, and the BOTW DLC. I enjoyed both of those, though I don't think I have an informed opinion on the subject. I just simply don't buy a whole bunch of DLC. I typically get my fill of each game I play without any needed DLC and don't need any further conclusion. even if the content mentioned is story based. I haven't truly enjoyed any downloadable content since the Xbox 360 era when I was buying Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion expansions.
Mario Kart, i mean. Its not even fair to the other ones
Good list overall.
My top picks would be Smash, BotW, Donkey Kong Adventure, Torna and Octo Expansion.
Not counting MK8 BC or FE Engage yet because those DLCs aren't done, but I've enjoyed those so far. I expect the XB3 story DLC to be great too.
Nintendo DLCs are… sort of just ok, if I’m gonna be totally honest about it. But that’s what happens when your games are fully fleshed out endeavors ahead of time. I honestly think Animal Crossing and Mario Kart 8’s DLCs are the first time they’ve felt like essential additions.
For me, the Cuphead and Dead Cells DLCs though are so absolutely flawless. They add to fully complete games in a nice way by giving us more solid gameplay and more creative designs.
No horse armor for BOTW
I don't normally buy DLC because usually I just feel done with the game before the DLC comes out and I would prefer a new game to DLC. Even though I put many hundreds of hours into e.g. animal crossing, I was mentally finished with the game so I didn't buy the DLC.
Switch ports which come with previous DLC built-in (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) are a sort-of exception because I have that DLC from the beginning so it just seems like part of the game. Dead Cells is one case where I do play the DLC because the DLC (both free and paid) came so often that I never quite fell off the bandwagon.
The game I would have liked most to have paid DLC is Mario Maker 2, but unfortunately we weren't so blessed.
p.s. I like this new series of 'best of' articles for things like DLC and demos, they've been neat.
Zelda BOTW is probably my favourite game of all Time and I'm old enough for the NES to have been my first console. The Champions Ballad dlc however was utterly non-essential. I did enjoy the Master Trials though (or whatever they are called).
My favourite Switch DLC is the Donkey Kong Rabbids add-on. Marvellous stuff. I am enjoying the Mario Kart tracks too at the moment. Yoshi's Island all the way.
New Pokemon Snap DLC was really good, and free.
Animal Crossing New Horizon's DLC was great, both for what it brought to the game, and also adding Happy Home Designer on.
I think the DLC for Comduct Together deserves to be on this list. Conduct Together is a great time, and more of it is a VERY good thing.
The MK8DX DLC is fantastic value for money.
I also enjoyed the Pokemon SwSh DLC and bought it twice to get all DLC Pokemon.
Smash Ultimate had the height of DLC in my opinion. You can't go wrong with Banjo-Kazooie, Joker, and my personal favorite, Sephiroth.
Next best DLC has got to be Mario + Rabbids DK DLC. Really hoping that Sparks of Hope's Rayman DLC can live up to the high standard they set
Well, there were five fighters in expansion pass one, and another six in pass two, so if you counted Piranha Plant, which was separate, there would actually be another twelve fighters, and thirteen if we count Pyra and Mythra as separate fighters, which I don't. Also, still haven't got the Treasure Tracker DLC for some reason
I've never bought dlc before and am so on the fence about the Animal Crossing dlc. I STILL play it almost daily & am so happy with the game. Do I go the extra mile & buy the dlc, which could disappoint, or just keep playing the original content, which makes my day. Decisions decisions...
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC
2. Horizon Chase - Ayrton Senna DLC
3. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle - Donkey Kong DLC
4. Binding of Isaac - Repentance DLC
5. Into the Breach - free and perfect DLC
The Dead Cells DLC is so much more than Return to Castlevania. All of the DLC (5 addons I think?) add a ton of new biomes and weapons.
Still working down MUA:3 DLC. Certainly got my money’s worth.
Great list! Among the games I've played nothing beats Smash Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 (not to mention Deluxe includes what used to be DLC in the original), but shoutout to Donkey Kong Adventure for Mario + Rabbid which I finally played right before Sparks of Hope came out and it was fantastic!
I'd say Octo expansion was a pretty groundbreaking DLC in terms of storytelling. It had more story and dialogues than most of the recent Nintendo games combined and I would love to see more Nintendo 1st party story heavy games
Breath of the Wild DLC is the most disappointing DLC I've ever bought but I'm not really surprised to see it tagged as "Best Nintendo Switch DLC".
If we are counting Sunbreak as a dlc, that's obviously the best one.
Why hasn’t Tears of the Kingdom been added to this list yet? Seeing as how it’s jUsT sEvEnTy DoLlAr DlC!!!!!!!
Happy to say i never bought a dlc: i was against them 10 years ago and i'm against them now. Thank God Nintendo games offer (almost) always a good amount of content, or are supported with free updates
Torna and Future Redeemed are just in their own category. There isn't anything even close. And that's both figuratively and literally. Torna is a stand-alone game, that was sold without Xenoblades 2. You just got it "for free" as part of the DLC pass.
It's almost not really accurate to say it's a good "DLC". It's a good half price game.
Happy Home Paradise should be on this list. While not for everyone gameplay wise, it was a DRASTIC improvement from Happy Home Designer with more content and features. So just like Torna, it was basically a complete new game as an add on.
Given that I often buy complete editions on deep sales, I'm not always aware of what is DLC.
But I do know the Mario & Rabbids DLC was amazing, the tiny cop-car-kart in Wreckfest adds a lot of fun, and more Sniper Elite 4 and Zombie Army 4 is always welcome, although the DLC is overpriced and never on sale apparently. I wish I could speak for the Starfox expansion for the other Ubisoft X Nintendo IP, but even though I bought the game at a very low price, I never got into it because it was marketed in such a way I always associate it with an expensive complicated mess to get into, when I was already burnt out on the whole toys collecting aspect.
@Rimsey I've played it for over 200 hours for sure. It is still missing costumes though isn't it? Never got fixed I think
Torna is the answer. Easily.
Oh man they left off a banger: A Hat In Time’s Nyakuza Metro DLC. No joke one of the best 3D platforming levels I have ever experienced
Nothing from Fire Emblem made the cut? Dang. I feel like I got hours of extra play time from the content added to 3H and Engage. The extra stories are really good too.
@Waluigi451 Yeah, Fire Emblem Engage & Three Houses should of been added to the list especially with how much content the DLC had for those two games.
OK just a couple of minor things on the Mario Kart DLC write up...
1. You need to look up the definition of "brand new" BUT there are a few tracks we hadn't seen before so it's still a good point. There's not 48 of them...!
2. Actually, a lot of people did predict and expect this. It was becoming increasingly obvious that a new Mario Kart would not release until a new Hardware arrived, MK8D was continuing (and still is) selling decent numbers, the likelihood of DLC was actually increasing each year rather than decreasing. I agree that's not normal... but Mario Kart is not a normal game. It behaves in a unique way.
@Uncle_Franklin what a disappointment and missed opportunity that was for luigi
@Aventurier I haven't played it in awhile but I think the Fantastic Four didn't get the same amount of outfits as the rest of the heroes.
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