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 you, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
In this DLC guide, we’re recommending 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)
Publisher: CD Projekt Red / Developer: CD Projekt Red
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 Booster Course Pass (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
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?
Available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass or as a separate purchase, when analysed individually, the six waves included in the Booster Course Pass have sometimes been a mixed bag, and it’s easy for thoughts to linger on the past tracks that weren’t revisited. However, the overall package is a generous and exciting one that’s absolutely worth the asking price — we have zero qualms in recommending the Booster Course expansion to fans and newcomers alike. It doubles the number of tracks already available in the base game and adds in some excellent new racers, making it a near-essential purchase for all who own Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Overcooked 2 (Switch)
Publisher: Team 17 / Developer: Ghost Town Games
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)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
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)
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
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)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
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)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo Software Technology
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)
Publisher: StudioMDHR / Developer: StudioMDHR
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)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Monolith Soft
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.
Pokémon Sword and Shield – The Isle Of Armor (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: The Pokémon Company
Pokémon Sword & Shield’s Expansion Pass brought us plenty more of the Galar region with two brand new maps to explore, a handful of new Pokémon, and a plethora of old pals. The Isle of Armor is, in our eyes, the best of the two halves, delivering a fantastic new setting with some fun challenges and an excellent legendary, while The Crown Tundra is still a lot of fun with the Dynamax Raids and the fun new designs for the legendary bird trio. It showed that Game Freak learned from its mistakes with the base game — whether Scarlet & Violet’s DLC matches up to this will be something to answer later down the line.
We wish The Teal Mask and The Indigo Disk, for Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, matched the previous gen’s DLC. However, if you love the base game, the Expansion Pass is still worth grabbing
Laura Adams is a tech enthusiast residing in the UK. Her articles cover the latest technological innovations, from AI to consumer gadgets, providing readers with a glimpse into the future of technology.