This unique console example required you to physically lock cartridges together.
Extra material produced for an existing game, either by the game's original production company or by a third party. Expansion packs generally provide a new story line, more levels or maps and occasionally new items, equipment or units.
What makes an expansion different from a new game or a stand-alone game or even a sequel is that you need to have the original game installed to play it. The expansion contains more data for the game and does not have a game engine of its own, and it usually doesn't come with the original game. Although recently, a few companies have been releasing standalone
expansion packs, which do in fact come with the engine, and allow the gamer to play with the extra content by itself, but having the original game too may have benefits (such as an Old Save Bonus
allowing you to pick up with your endgame character, and avoid bag-spillage
There has been some recent controversy over the fact that additional purchasable content on some recent games actually consists of unlocking material which shipped with the original game. While this practice is not exactly fraudulent, and has been employed for productivity software for years (for a recent and commonplace example, Windows Vista's five or so versions are all included on every disc, and the license key determines which features will be enabled), some gamers have felt cheated by being compelled to pay extra for content they already physically possessed.
This is not a new phenomenon. It is said that back in the 1970s, IBM would sell a low-end version of its original 360 mainframe, that if the customer ordered a higher-end version (which cost several thousand dollars for the upgrade), IBM would send out a technician who simply used a clipper to sever one wire.
Nearly every RTS game ever made had at least one expansion pack. While the older games usually just added bonus missions that were more challenging than the original game, it has become custom to expand the different factions unit lineup as well as frequently adding new factions to the game altogether.
used to rely heavily on this model and the biggest titles with physical editions
still do, either as the sole method of distribution or as an option for those with poor internet connections. Free To Play
titles deliver most of their content updates online
but may occasionally bundle several patches together on a disc in an example of this trope.
Not to be confused with third party self-titled add-ons, which usually just contain maps made with the games map editor (and usually not very advanced either). Third-party add-ons are often (though not always) produced by a game's fan community, and can take the form of extended (or heavily-revised) storylines, additional missions, new weapons, or a 'Total Conversion', which is a time-intensive process that (as the name suggests) converts the game into something else entirely, and usually involves a graphical overhaul, a new soundtrack, and even (in the most extreme cases) new model design and programming extensions (some of which push the game's original engine far
beyond its design limitations).
Related to Downloadable Content
, which, depending on what and how much they add to their base games, are basically downloaded Expansion Packs. See Mission Pack Sequel
for when developers try to pass these off as entirely new games.
These aren't just for video games either; Board Games
, and Euro Games
in particular, are noted for having a lot of them. See also Source Book
open/close all folders
- URU, the MMO spin-off of Myst, received a gratis expansion due to its general failure as an MMO. To D'ni gave non-beta players offline access to previously online-only areas. Path of the Shell was sold later. They rendered an installation incompatible with any online play, which had been shut down, until the GameTap-funded revival in 2007.
- It Came From The Desert had the data disk Antheads: It Came from the Desert II.
- Magical Battle Arena has two. The first is a free, downloadable one that would add the characters Lina, Naga, and Kukuri, as well as the stages Golem Fight Grounds and Nekojima Valley. The second is Lyrical Pack, which adds Hayate, Vita, and StrikerS Nanoha, the Desert Planet and Virtual City Training Ground stages, Mission Mode, Survival Mode, and various character and gameplay tweaks.
- Touhou Gaiden Game Scarlet Weather Rhapsody has Hisoutensoku as an expansion of sorts. It can be played alone, but to get most of the characters you'll need SWR.
- Touhou fangame Touhou Pocket Wars Evolution has one in the form of Touhou Pocket Wars Evolution Plus. The expansion adds a follow-up story based around and playable versions of the cast of the 12th Touhou game.
- Tekken, in arcades. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, and Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion.
First Person Shooters
- Monolith Productions has a bit of history with both third-party and self-made expansions for their games, particularly first-person shooters:
- Blood first had the third-party "Cryptic Passage" which just added new levels. Shortly afterward came the Monolith-produced "Post Mortem", which included new weapons, enemies, and various changes and bugfixes.
- First Encounter Assault Recon had just third-party expansions, "Perseus Mandate" and "Extraction Point", which continued/complimented the base game's story, as well as adding new enemies and weapons in the case of "Perseus Mandate".
- And F.E.A.R. 2 had the 4-mission Reborn DLC campaign.
- Aliens vs. Predator 2 had the third-party expansion "Primal Hunt", a prequel to the base game.
- There were also a pair of third-party expansions for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division that never saw release.
- Blood II and TRON 2.0 each had a single first-party expansion: "The Nightmare Levels" and "Killer App", respectively.
- The one for Star Trek: Elite Force had the rather bluntly descriptive title of Star Trek Elite Force : The Expansion Pack.
- Final Doom provided two full level sets in one package, TNT: Evilution and The Plutonia Experiment, the first of which was originally intended to be a freeware Game Mod until id Software struck a publishing deal with its development team.
- Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil. The BFG Edition includes an additional mission pack titled The Lost Mission.
- Half-Life had a number of successful expansions, including Blue Shift and Opposing Force, and the sequel continues this tradition proudly with the Half-Life 2 Episodes series.
- What Valve is doing with Half-Life episodes is an original usage of expansion packs; preemptive piecemeal publishing of what'll essentially be Half-Life 3.
- Thanks to Steam, the Episodes also blur the definition between expansion pack and sequel: if Half-Life 2 was installed, the Episodes would re-use assets and engine components from that game, acting like expansions; but if it wasn't, they would add the necessary files themselves.
- Meanwhile, Blue Shift inverted the concept: It was packaged with its own copy of the engine and was in fact a full standalone install, but marketed as an expansion pack rather than a sequel due to its short length and unaltered gameplay.
- A third party, We Create Stuff released (before Portal came out) a flash-based 2D game based on the idea of Valve's 3d Puzzle game. We Create Stuff then released a complete replacement map pack for Portal that can best be (charitably) described as exceedingly Nintendo Hard.
- Crysis received Crysis Warhead.
- Unreal had the expansion pack Return to Na Pali.
- Quake had Dissolution of Eternity, by Rogue, and Scourge of Armagon by Hipnotic. Quake II had The Reckoning, by Xatrix, and Ground Zero by Rogue. And Quake III: Arena had Team Arena by Id themselves.
- Sin had the Wages of Sin expansion pack.
- Postal 2 had the Apocalypse Weekend expansion.
- Borderlands had four DLC campaigns which added new areas to explore as well as new weapons. Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot added a bank to store extra items in while The Secret Armory of General Knoxx added in a new vehicle and a Bonus Boss meant as a high level challenge. The sequel also had DLC campaigns that followed the same formula, with each one also adding at least one new Raid Boss.
Hack and Slash
- The Xtreme Legends releases for the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors games. As consoles are generally not expansion-friendly, they've traditionally also worked as stand-alone games, but there's really nothing worth playing if you do use them as such... and with the advent of DLC, Koei seems to be moving towards just making them straight expansions.
- The Sengoku Basara series has also had expansions (Battle Heroes for the second game and Utage for the third) which made certain NPC characters playable and added some new game modes.
- "Vergil's Downfall" for DmC: Devil May Cry.
Massively Multiplayer Online Games
- World of Warcraft.
- First, there's the Burning Crusade, which released Outland as the Expansion Pack World (seeing a connection already?) in addition to a lot of other stuff, including two new playable races.
- Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion set, opens up a new continent, Northrend, and introduces death knights as a playable class.
- Besides of adding new areas, the third one, Cataclysm, refactors all the initial zones to the game's current standards, introduces two more races, and adds high-level stuff amidst the old zones that have largely been ignored.
- The fourth one, Mists of Pandaria adds the continent of Pandaria, playable pandaren for both factions, and the monk class.
- The fifth one, Warlords of Draenor features the world of Draenor, an alternate universe past version of Outland, and updates player character models.
- Almost all MMORPGs that remain popular long enough will release numerous expansion packs. Ultima Online and Everquest both have over a dozen expansions apiece.
- Storm Legion—which promises to triple the size of Rift's game world—was announced in June of 2012.
- New Super Mario Bros. U has New Super Luigi U, which contains 82 levels that are more difficult than the standard game. Luigi U is also a standalone retail release, playing with the trope.
- Probably the ultimate expansion pack would be Sonic & Knuckles, a cartridge game that literally attached to the previous title, Sonic the Hedgehog 3! This was because they were originally meant to be one game, but it was split in half to meet the deadline and a lock-on system was devised to allow the games to be played on their own or combined into one game. The feature also allowed them to make it an expansion for Sonic 2 as well, allowing players to be Knuckles.
- The Pinball Arcade is a framework for playing digital reproductions of Physical Pinball Tables. Players buy packs of one or two tables to add games as desired. They can also try games for free, but play stops once the lowest high score is reached.
- Similarly, Zen Pinball and Pinball FX comes with Sorcerer's Lair for free, but additional tables (most of which have prominent licenses) require separate in-app purchases.
- Stern Pinball's Transformers table combines this with Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition; in addition to the regular game, it is available in three Limited Edition versions. Along with different artwork and color-coded metalwork, the LEs offer additional playfield elements that expand the game a bit, such as having to hit a target behind Starscream as he turns to block it, and a tilting mini-table for the Ironhide ramp.
- Zaccaria Pinball has Time Machine as a free table, but additional games must be paid for separately.
- Nine months after Metallica was released, Stern Pinball conducted a fan poll for two more songs to be added via a software update. The winners were "Ride the Lightning" and "Blackened".
- Oh No! More Lemmings was originally conceived as an Expansion Pack for Lemmings, though was released as a standalone game. It is abundantly evident in the learning curve, which is a lot steeper in Oh No! More Lemmings, where there's one category of stupidly easy levels that were clearly added in as an afterthought, followed by four categories of Nintendo Really Fucking Hard madness...
- Owners of Tetris: The Grand Master 2 - The Absolute got a free update kit called Tetris: The Grand Master 2 - The Absolute PLUS (commonly referred to as "TAP"), which added some new modes: TGM+ (garbage rises from the bottom if you're clearing lines too slowly), T.A. Death (pieces drop instantly and you must survive for 500 levels, or 999 if you clear the first 500 fast enough), and allowed players to play Doubles mode on one credit. In addition, the "Grand Master" rank in Master mode is more difficult to obtain, as if it wasn't already hard enough.
- Worms: Reinforcements was an expansion for the original Worms that added a single-player challenge mode, new sounds and custom levels, and many game balance adjustments. Added items were health crates and the Mole Bomb (which rarely appeared due to a bug).
Real Time Strategy
- Warcraft II had Beyond the Dark Portal, which took the fight, well, beyond the Dark Portal, to the orcs' homeworld of Draenor, adding several hero units and a new tileset in the process.
- Warcraft III had the Frozen Throne, which added lots of new heroes, units, buildings and maps in addition to a new campaign. One of the new places visited in the story was Outland, the ruined remains of Draenor.
- The Brood War expansion for StarCraft picked up the story and added several new unit types.
- StarCraft II has double expansions. The first game, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, serves as a base for both StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (released March 2013) and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (no release date given).
- Wings of Liberty is the terran (human) campaign, Heart of the Swarm is the zerg campaign, and Legacy of the Void will be the protoss campaign. Each section has 20+ missions on its own, more than the total of all three factions' in previous installments.
- Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds had Clone Campaigns as its Expansion Pack. This included two new campaigns, two new factions (Confederacy and Galactic Republic), as well as new techs and units.
- Massive Entertainment's first RTS Ground Control received an expansion pack, furthering the adventures of major Parker. A few faction tweaks and some additional options for units added a bit more depth.
- The Command & Conquer series considers them obligatory. The first few (The Covert Operations for the first game, and Counterstrike for Red Alert) just added new missions, but from The Aftermath for Red Alert, they always added new units as well.
- Tiberian Sun: Firestorm, while adding little to the core gameplay, had a new internet mode that allowed players to join either the GDI or Nod in an attempt to conquer the world.
- Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge added a third faction lead by the eponymous Soviet psychic, as well as adding new units to the existing factions (the Soviets in particular underwent significant changes, what with Yuri taking all their psychic tech with him).
- Kane's Wrath, in addition to bringing the "multiple branches per faction" idea from Red Alert 2 to the Tiberium games, also told the story of what exactly Kane was up to both between Firestorm and Tiberium Wars, and between TW and Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight.
- Red Alert 3: Uprising has the obligatory three "what happened after the war" campaigns, along with a fourth campaign telling the Origin Story of the Empire's special infantry unit, Yuriko Omega.
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War's first expansion pack, Winter Assault added the Imperial Guard as a playable faction, playable with its own story campaign, and "Risk"-Style Map campaign. Dark Crusade also introduced two additional races (The Tau and the Necron), which was a Standalone Expansion Pack.
- Dawn of War also got a third expansion pack, Soulstorm which added Dark Eldar and the Sisters of Battle.
- Dawn of War II had two standalone expansion packs: "Chaos Rising", which introduced Chaos, and "Retribution", which introduced the Imperial Guard.
- Total Annihilation had two expansion packs, The Core Contingency and Battle Tactics. The first was a full expansion complete with campaign and dozens of new units, the second a map and mission pack.
- Company of Heroes had two standalone expansion packs - Opposing Fronts added a British faction and the German Panzer Elite for multiplayer-use along with single-player campaigns for the factions. Tales Of Valor provided three single-player episodes, new units for the multiplayer factions which would replace current units while chosen, and three new multiplayer game modes (two strongly resembling a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena and another being a Hold the Line game mode).
- Age of Mythology: The Titans and Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots, as above, also introduced new races to play as (one for AoM, six for RoN).
Role Playing Games
- Ur Example: Epyx's Dunjonquest games Temple Of Apshai and Hellfire Warrior each had two expansions: Upper Reaches of Apshai and Curse of Ra for the former, and The Keys of Acheron and Danger in Drindisti for the latter.
- Xanadu Scenario II: The Resurrection of Dragon, an expansion to Dragon Slayer II Xanadu which included some of Yuzo Koshiro's earliest video game music.
- Sorcerian had three add-on scenario packs released in Japan by Falcom, the latter two shifting the setting to Sengoku Japan and Ancient Egypt. There were also two third-party scenario disks, not counting the five Selected Sorcerian disks of Official Fan-Submitted Content.
- Fallout 3. Mothership Zeta, The Pitt, Operation Anchorage, and Point Lookout all count, but the most important DLC is Broken Steel, which completely changes the ending of the vanilla game so as to allow you to play after beating it, as well as adding some new sidequests and increasing the level cap.
- Fallout: New Vegas does similar, with added bonuses: Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road, in addition to the obligatory new sidequests and items, increase the player's level cap by 5 per expansion (up to 50 with all four). There's also the Gun Runners' Arsenal, which as its name suggests adds a ton of new (highly-expensive) weapons for the player to use, and the Courier's Stash, which gives the player all four of the pre-order armor and weapon sets.
- In reality, the separate chapters of the Guild Wars saga aren't expansion packs, but entirely separate games. They may look like expansions, walk like expansions, but it's possible to independently own and play any of the three games separately. Naturally, there are benefits for combining the three products as a single game.
- Those would be Mission Pack Sequels.
- However, the Eye of the North is a true expansion, in that it needs at least one of Prophecies, Factions, or Nightfall to be attached to. Given its supposed intention to act as a bridge between the current Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, we could be looking at what may be the industry's first pre-expansion pack.
- Factions and Nightfall aren't Mission Pack Sequels as each game in the series does add many new features, graphical upgrades, etc., which aren't in the original (Prophecies). Some of the new features and upgrades did get passed down to the original, however, many more features didn't, and most new features introduced after that were added to all three games simultaneously.
- City of Villains is an expansion pack and Gaiden Game for City of Heroes. It is also an example of an expansion that is fully built into the core game, and has to be unlocked by paying the complete price of an additional game. Furthermore, as of the end of 2006 City of Heroes has at least two smaller "bonus" packages that add extra powers and costume options to the game which can only be activated via separate purchases from NCSoft. (As of 2008, the games are no longer separate and everyone who had only one can access the other for no extra cost. 2010's Praetorean story arcs will be another stand-alone gaiden game that can be an expansion pack for City of Heroes / Villains.)
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has two expansion packs, Tribunal and Bloodmoon, adding additional areas and quests, and possibilities (as the title hints, the character can become a lycanthrope). However, they also update the game .exe to include additional functions not present in patches for the original game, introducing unfortunate dependencies on the expansion packs for the vast majority of the enormous selection of Morrowind mods created by the community.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has had several small downloadable content packs, and one full sized expansion, Shivering Isles.
- Skyrim has two downloadable expansions so far, the first being Dawnguard. It adds small new areas to the ends of the world map, and new vampire and werewolf content with a quest line where you can choose to join the vampires or Dawnguard (vampire hunters). The second expansion, Dragonborn, adds Solstheim, the Nord-ruled island north of Morrowind from the Bloodmoon expansion, as well as side trips into the realm of Hermaeus Mora, the daedric prince of Things Man Was Not Meant to Know.
- Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening picks up the story where Origins left off, with you in charge of rebuilding the Grey Wardens in Ferelden. You have the option of importing an Origins character sans any DLC content save the "Return to Ostagar" stuff (since the other DLC content is incompatible for some reason), or starting fresh with a level 18 Orlesian Grey Warden Commander. There are enough new features to call it an expansion (new talents, higher level cap, new companions), but not enough to call it a sequel (it's still basically the same game).
- Originally designed as Baldur's Gate III, Baldur's Gate II's expansion Throne of Bhaal was the climax to the Bhaalspawn story. (The game that would later be developed as "Baldur's Gate 3", The Black Hound, had nothing to do with the BG series' Bhaalspawn saga. It was only named that due to Interplay lacking the rights to make D&D games that weren't called "Baldur's Gate", the same reason for Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. Throne Of Bhaal was more a "proper" expansion pack, as compared to Tales Of The Sword Coast, which added a few dungeons (though they were big ones!), spells, and items and raised the level cap without actually impacting the main story.
- Neverwinter Nights had two clear expansions, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark, each of which introduced a new campaign, several new spells, weapons, feats, and prestige classes. Hordes of the Underdark also increased the level cap, introducing an epic tier to the game. In a strange twist, canonically the PC of Hordes of the Underdark is the same as Shadows of Undrentide, but NOT the same as the one in the original campaign.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 ended up with two expansion packs too: Mask of the Betrayer, which is considered by many to be the Spiritual Successor to Planescape: Torment as well as Storm of Zehir which attempted to replicate the dungeon crawling style of the Icewind Dale games.
- Talking of Icewind Dale, the original game received an extremely short expansion pack, Heart of Winter.
- The game designers acknowledged the shortness of Heart of Winter and released a free downloadable second expansion pack called Trials of the Luremaster. You need your copy of Heart of Winter installed to play it however.
- NWN2 also had a smaller expansion titled Mysteries of Westgate that was distributed as DLC.
- One game with tons of expansion packs is Ultima VII: The Black Gate (commonly regarded as the best in the series), which didn't just get Forge of Virtue and Serpent Isle, the SI expansion pack even got its own expansion pack in the form of The Silver Seed. Due to clumsy marketing and a rushed release (ordered by corporate suits), The Silver Seed was shipped partially unfinished; while the expansion is in 'winnable', numerous unchecked plot holes, dangling story threads, and even one or two only partially-designed-but-abandoned-midway sidequests mar what is arguably one of Origin's finest works.
- Persona 3 proved so popular that an expansion game, Persona 3: FES was released. This contains the original game but with an extra difficulty level (Hard), new calendar events and additional Personae to summon. The real meat of the expansion comes in the form of an extra 20-30hr scenario which serves as a direct sequel to the events of the main game. All this plus the fact that it retails for less than the original means that there's little to no reason to purchase the original any more.
- Tribes of the East, the second and last add-on to Heroes of Might and Magic 5, is an example of a stand-alone expansion. Mostly so because the main game's flaws, which mostly were addressed in this expansion, caused mediocre sales. However, there is no real bonus to owning the main game and the expansion, since all features except the campaigns are contained in TotE.
- Diablo II had an expansion, Lord of Destruction, where you traveled to the Barbarians' homeland of Arreat and fought Diablo's older brother (It Makes Sense in Context).
- The original Diablo had an official expansion pack called Hellfire, but it was made by a third party and was pretty sloppy in quality.
- Diablo III has Reaper of Souls, which adds a new act, a new class and many more.
- Blue Dragon had a pack of special items released for download, then an entire new Bonus Dungeon, then a New Game+ mode that made the game super difficult.
- Divinity II: Flames of Vengeance continued the story of Divinity II: Ego Draconis so well, that they were henceforth only ever released bundled together (under the subtitle The Dragon Knight Saga).
- Subverted by Mount & Blade. Warband was formerly announced as a classic expansion pack, then became a standalone one and was later on finally confirmed as a greatly Updated Re-release (and minor Continuity Reboot).
- Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 for the Playstation actually required you to have the original GTA disc to boot it. That is, it wasn't standalone like a Mission Pack Sequel.
- Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, two downloadable expansion packs that were originally Xbox 360 exclusive, but were released for the Playstation 3 and PC a few months later.
- The X-Universe series' first game, X: Beyond The Frontier has the X:Tension extension pack, which expands the content and allows the player to purchase and fly other ships. X3: Terran Conflict is a standalone expansion pack for X3: Reunion, though it offers so much new content that it is typically referred to as a separate game. X3: Albion Prelude is an expansion pack of an expansion pack - it requires Terran Conflict to run, though it runs from a separate executable and the player does not carry over progress in from Terran Conflict.
- Assassin's Creed III has an expansion pack called The Tyranny of King Washington. Curiously enough, it ended up getting split into three DLCs instead of one whole set.
- The Porsche expansion pack in Forza Motorsport 4 re-introduces 23 of Forza 3's Porsches, adds 7 new ones that weren't in previous games, adds achievements, and adds more single player events.
- A Rally expansion pack was revealed for Horizon about a week before release.
- The original Operation Flashpoint : Cold War Crisis first received the Red Hammer expansion, which only added a new campaign for the Soviet forces and was made by the game's publisher (Codemasters). The second and more substantial expansion was Resistance, which was made by the main developers again and offered a lot of technical and gameplay improvements (RPG Elements, sidearms, better sounds, animations and graphics) in addition to a new setting and new guerilla warfare-themed campaign. Notably, the devs also offered various vehicle and weapon addons prior and after the release of Resistance in the form of free Downloadable Content - this was still a relatively new concept back in 2002-2004. All of the addons and most of the expansiosn were later included in the collector's edition of the game.
- Its successor, the ARMA series, upped the ante quite a bit. The first game, Armed Assault, only had a single standard expansion, Queen's Gambit (with an additional island and a new campaign). Then ARMA II came along and received some DLC. But the real expansion pack and DLC fever started with the release of ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead, itself a standalone expansion to the original II (with a brand new setting and lots of new features). So far, Arrowhead has received the British Armed Forces, Private Military Company, Reinforcements and the Army of the Czech Republic expansions. And lately, ARMA's helicopter sim cousin Take On Helicopters has also been receiving various small expansions, usually in the form of Downloadable Content.
- SWAT 4 had The Stetchkov Syndicate. It added a new single player campaign with seven missions related to the titular Bulgarian mafia clan, numerous AI, command interface and multiplayer improvements, and several new weapons, including a nifty tear gas grenade launcher, a special marksman rifle and a more modern taser pistol that could double as a melee weapon.
- Rainbow Six had a follow up in the form of ''Eagle Watch, a series of depressingly tough levels. It's sequel contained Urban Operations that included mod support (such as replacing Rainbow with SEAL Team Six and several 9/11 fan add ons), Covert Operations that includes a counterterror encyclopedia and officer test (in story one of the members of Rainbow was moving from an enlisted soldier to intel), and Black Thorn, which interestingly changed an airport level to a bus terminal after September 11, and the developers released the map for modders to play around with. The third game was followed up by Athena Sword and a Korean only expansion pack that is free to download. The XBOX and PS2 conversions were similar in having stand alone expansions to the main game, some deviating from the PC versions.
- Fasa's MechWarrior 2 received several: Ghost Bear's Legacy and a multiplayer expansion called the 8 player pack.
- Might be mistaken for an expansion: MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries was a standalone game.
- MechWarrior 3 got one as well, a bit harder to find though. Pirates Moon it was called.
- Pretty much all incarnations of MechWarrior 4 received an expansion:
- MechWarrior 4: Vengeance was followed up by MechWarrior 4: Black Knight, which continued the story from a different view point. Pretty much Darker and Edgier, as it picked up after the worst possible ending. Pretty much Battletechs/MechWarriors m.o.
- Another expansion for MechWarrior 4: the Clan 'Mech and Inner Sphere 'Mech packs. Adding additional Battlemechs and weapon system to the games. Only usable in Multiplay however.
- While not an expansion per se, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries plays around the same timeframe as Vengeance and Black Knight. Furthermore, the 'Mech pack expansions could be installed for Mercenaries as well.
- Same universe, different genre: the first Mech Commander game received a gold upgrade. Which included different difficulty settings (and boy did the vanilla game need one!) and a whole new multi-mission campaign!
- Starfleet Command series gained a massive one for the second incarnation, adding new factions like the Orion Syndicate. Full title: Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Orion Pirates
- Silent Hunter IV has the expansion U-Boat Missions, that allows you to command a German submarine with base on the Japanese-occupied South Eastern Asia.
- Wing Commander has expansion packs for both the first two "main line" games and for the spinoff Privateer. Once the series went to FMV, however, it became impractical. And, no, Wing Commander Secret Ops is not an Expansion Pack, no matter how much some fans wish to paint it as such.
- For context, Secret Ops was the sequel to Prophecy, which was released for free in a series of episodic releases. Instead of FMV, there was additional text-based content (in the form of emails, news articles, posted orders, etc.) that you would look up online between episodes. The game was eventually taken offline, and was only legally available afterwards as part of the "Prophecy Gold" package, a box that included Wing Commander Prophecy and Wing Commander Secret Ops. Without the online story content.
- The SNES version of Secret Missions, the first WC1 add-on, was a fully separate game that didn't need the original, but that was a function of cartridge-based games for which the method described in the Sonic & Knuckles example, above, was impractical on the basis of costs (WC at the time not being the cash cow that was the Sonic series).
- Descent II: The Vertigo Series and Descent 3: Mercenaries.
- The first generation IL-2 Sturmovik series released its new games as standalone expansions, with smaller addons (new planes, maps, missions and audio packs) usually released either as classic expansion packs or Downloadable Content.
- The Sims is worldwide known for being an Expansion Pack Cash Cow Franchise, the first one having seven expansion packs (all now conveniently packed with the original for the price of one game, spiting everyone who actually bought them separately) and the sequel having 8 expansion packs containing new game features and content, and 8 lower priced 'stuff packs' containing content only. Sims 3 has 8 expansion packs and 8 Stuff packs.
- RollerCoaster Tycoon. All three games have had two expansion packs each.
- The Movies had one expansion pack, Stunts & Effects.
- The first Zoo Tycoon game had two: Dinosaur Digs & Marine Mania. The second had four: Endangered Species, African Adventure, Marine Mania & Extinct Animals.
- How Commander Pavel Chekhov ever became a full fledged commander is beyond many. Apparently he lost a whole disc with missions for Interplay's Starfleet Academy. Luckily these were found and added in an expansion called... Chekhov's Lost Mission. It did not add much to the core game, aside from 5 new missions with brutal difficulty, tying up a few dropped story lines.
- Vietcong had Fist Alpha and Red Dawn, while Vietcong 2 had Fist Bravo.
- Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions was, in America and Japan, simply a (literal) mission pack spinoff to the original MGS. Unfortunately, for reasons known only to Konami, they added a disc-check onto the European versions, requiring players to own Metal Gear Solid for the game to boot. Doubly-unfortunately, the disc check doesn't work on certain PS2 models and most PS3 ones, rendering European copies of Special Missions unplayable on those consoles.
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops was followed by Portable Ops Plus, a stand-alone expansion that focused on adding more multiplayer modes and character types from other MGS games in addition to those featured in the original MPO.
Turn-based Strategy/ 4 X
- Civilization IV has 2 expansion packs - Warlords and Beyond the Sword
- Civilization V also has two expansion packs - Gods and Kings and Brave New World.
- Syndicate has a single expansion pack called American Revolt. It is notably quite difficult.
Non-video game examples
- Real Life version: At Disney Theme Parks, Toon Town was added to Disney World, with New Orleans Square, Bear County, and California Adventure to Disneyland.
- Every Collectible Card Game in existence. Magic: The Gathering averages one expansion every 4 months or so. Yu-Gi-Oh can top that with a new set every three months. As well as all the special packs.
- Also popular with board games. Settlers of Catan has several expansion packs as does Alhambra. Sometimes these are combined into one set as a 'big box' release.
- Dominion is an interesting case. There are 6 (Soon to be 7) expansions (4 big (300-card) and 3 small (150-card)), one base/expansion mix (Intrigue), and one non-playable base set. To play any game, you need a base set (Original or Intrigue) or the non-playable base set plus any expansion. To make this confusing mix even odder, while the non-playable base-set contains only cards that are in the base set and intrigue, they're an updated design. So some players may purchase this set even if they already have one of the two base sets. It provides no new cards, but they are nicer-looking versions of old cards you might have at least two full sets of already.