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Game of The Year Edition

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It's the Game of the Year! Guest-starring Batman.

"After a game has run its course and all the downloadable content and updates are out for it, sometimes a 'Game of the Year Edition' is released with everything all on one disc. You see that's all fine and good, but a lot of games that were never awarded Game of the Year still called the rerelease the 'Game of the Year Edition'. For example: Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition...Really?"

When a game publisher wants to make some more cash on a title that critics have been raving about, how do they do it? By bundling the game with its DLC and slapping a Game of the Year Edition sticker on it, of course!

This trope refers to the increasingly common practice of bundling a critically acclaimed title with extra content, at a reduced price compared to buying all the pieces separately (much to the chagrin of those who did so). Theoretically, it's a win-win situation: gamers who didn't purchase the game initially can jump right in more cheaply, while publishers can make a quick buck on a title which requires less publicity to market (comapred to a brand-new title).

Unfortunately, these bundles are usually released within weeks of the last round of DLC hitting the market, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of many gamers. Furthermore, some have begun to avoid purchasing DLC packs until they are released as part of the inevitable GOTY edition or packaged together at a reduced price online through the likes of Steam (even if such a package isn't actually planned, gamers will often assume it is). Developers, in turn, lose potential sales due to consumers being reluctant to pick up the base game if it will be inevitably be going for a better deal with the DLC down the road. To counter this, many developers now sell packages of "the game and future DLCs", often referred to as a "Season Pass" and sometimes even included as a preorder option.

This trend most likely started with Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which was added to with the Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansion packs, and later had these coupled with the main game in a cheaper re-release. However, earlier examples of "Game of the Year Editions" were titled various things ("Deluxe", "Complete", "Gold", "Battle Chest") and similarly bundled (main game plus the expansions).

Also, despite the name, many games which have been released in "game of the year edition" did not actually receive any "game of the year" award. Not that it really matters since a dev could just start their own sockpuppet website to give such an award.

Not to be confused with a Belgian-Australian musician that you used to know. For the fanfic trope where this is applied to a universe, please see Sudden Game Interface.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Batman: Arkham Asylum, which comes with new challenge maps, 3D display support, and for the PlayStation 3 version, the ability to play as the Joker in challenge maps.
    • Batman: Arkham City. As you can see above, the box isn't exactly subtle about it. It gives you all of the challenge maps, alternative skins, lets you play as Catwoman, and adds the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight received a "Premium Edition" on PC, bundling the game and every DLC offered from the Season Pass, however it does not have the PlayStation 4 version-exclusive DLCs (i.e. the Adam West Batman costume).
  • Assassin's Creed III: The Washington Edition, which adds the The "Hidden Secrets" pack: Three new missions including the Mayan Ruins content, two new outfits, and two multiplayer characters,the "Battle Hardened" pack: three new multiplayer characters, new maps and "The Tyranny of King Washington", which, aside from the mission itself, adds the three additional alternate reality pieces of single-player content that sees you transforming into a bear, eagle, and wolf. And also summoning invisible wolves. Because hey, when you're playing in an alternate world with a Native American player character, you are allowed to go all out with all of this stuff.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: Jackdaw Edition
  • Dead Island, which, considering its lackluster reception, turned out to be the borderline for what a company could call a Game of the Year, without opening itself to massive mockery from the blogosphere.
  • Dead Rising 3 has the Apocalypse Edition, which includes the four DLC story campaign but not the "Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha" mode.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which goes by the Director's Cut and has all the DLC weapons and the standalone Missing Link campaign ( poorly) integrated into the main game.
  • Dishonored. Also re-released for the PS4 and Xbox One as the Definitive Edition.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV & Episodes from Liberty City: The Complete Edition. The latter superseded the Windows version of Episodes From Liberty City, as those who previously bought the base game alone would get the expansions for free.
  • L.A. Noire
  • Mafia II was re-released under the subtitle Special Extended Edition by 1C Softclub in Russia; it was later sold in Western markets as the Director's Cut in 2011. The game along with Mafia III would later be remastered as the Definitive Edition in 2020, with updated graphics and all expansions included.
  • Red Dead Redemption. Includes new Hardcore single-player difficulty option, plus the wildly popular Undead Nightmare single and multiplayer offerings, as well as all the additional downloadable content, including all the DLC originally released as pre-order content as well as the Solomonís Folly single player gang hideout and challenges (available for the first time on Xbox 360).
  • Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package
  • Saints Row IV takes it one step further by including a "Game of the Century" edition. It also has the Re-Elected editions for PS4 and Xbox One, which includes all the original game's DLC on disk and a digital download voucher for the Gat Out of Hell standalone campaign.
  • Tomb Raider: Game of the Year Edition on PS3/Xbox 360. Definitive Editon on PS4/Xbox One.

  • This has become something of a tradition for NetherRealm Studios:
    • Mortal Kombat 9 Komplete Edition: Featured 4 DLC characters (Kenshi, Skarlet, Rain and Freddy Krueger) as well as retro costumes for all the ninjas.
    • Injustice: Gods Among Us: Ultimate Edition: Includes Lobo, Batgirl, Scorpion, Zod, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna, plus extra costumes and STAR Lab Missions.
    • Mortal Kombat X|L bundled together the base game and all its DLC fighters: Goro, Tanya, Tremor, Bo Rai Cho, Triborg, and the guest fighters of Xenomorph, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, and Predator.
    • Injustice 2 Ultimate Edition'': Includes Atom, Black Manta, Darkseid, Enchantress, Hellboy, Raiden, Red Hood, Starfire, Sub-Zero, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, plus all the premier skins.
    • Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate: It includes the base game, the Kombat Pack 1 (which has Shang Tsung, the Joker, Sindel, Nightwolf, Spawn, the Terminator T-800, 6 Skin Packs and 7 exclusive Skins), the Aftermath Expansion (which has a new story, Sheeva, Fujin, RoboCop, and 3 Skin Packs), and the Kombat Pack 2 (which has Mileena, Rain, Rambo, and 1 Skin Pack).

    First Person Shooter 
  • Battlefield games starting with Battlefield 3 have the Premium edition, which includes the base game and the Premium season pass, which grants access to every DLC that releases for the games.
  • Borderlands
  • Borderlands 2, but it does not include the Upgrade Pack 2 and Headhunter Packs. It was also released with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! on PS4 and Xbox One as The Handsome Collection.
  • Call of Duty 2 up until Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
  • Destiny has done this twice: originally with The Taken King Legendary Edition, which bundled vanilla Destiny and all the expansions to date; and Destiny: The Collection, which is the previous collected edition plus the new expansion, Rise of Iron. One would suspect they would do it with the next expansion if it weren't for the fact that Destiny 2 is in the works.
  • Deus Ex. It includes the multiplayer mode, which is also a free update for owners of the original.
  • Gears of War 2
  • Halo 4
  • Homefront
  • Left 4 Dead. An odd case, given that the Steam version has no paid DLC to bundle with it. For 360 users, the GOTY Edition comes with the free Survival Mode DLC on disc, but Crash Course and The Sacrifice are not included.
  • No One Lives Forever had a Game of the Year Edition before Morrowind, but it had no DLC to include. Instead, the GOTY Edition includes one bonus level, which is set after the game, and has some minor technical updates. (Most notably, an installer that's compatible with 64-bit systems.)
  • PAYDAY 2 used to have the Ultimate Edition, which bundled in all but one DLC pack into one bundle. Due to financial issues, Overkill have reinstated the DLC's for single purchase, and renamed the "Ultimate Edition" to the "Legacy Edition."
  • SWAT 3 had the Tactical Game of the Year Edition, which bundled in extra missions released through patches and a second "Advanced Tactics" CD with videos of real-life SWAT teams undergoing training.
  • Unreal Tournament. Also included three of the four free "Bonus Packs" and two popular user Game Mods packed into the installer.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004. As the Editor's Choice Edition, which packed in all the post-release content up to that point (which was also free for existing owners to download) alongside a separate disc filled with tons of mods.

    Platform Game 
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, received an Ultimate Edition for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC (through Steam and for the first time on that bundles the game with all of its DLCs, including bonus content previously exclusive to Kickstarter backers.
  • Parodied with Yo! Noid 2: Enter the Void, which has a remake subtitled as "Game of a year edition".

  • Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
    • Despite its name, this does not include all the DLC, only adding in the free patches and the Party Mode content. (Which, to be fair, was all the DLC that existed at the time of its release). Over the next year, multiple car packs, game modes, and even a new area were made available. (Unless you were on PC, which only got the Ultimate Box edition in the first place.)
  • Dirt 3: Complete Edition
    • Notably, the PC release of this package was also used to move the game's multiplayer system from Games for Windows - Live to Steam. Because of this, the developers gave it free to any previous owners, even those who hadn't purchased any DLC.
  • Gran Turismo 5: XL Editon
  • Midnight Club: Los Angeles: Complete Edition is notable because it's easier than the original release.
  • Need for Speed Rivals: Complete Edition was just an excuse for EA to make up for the lack of a new series entry in 2014.note 
  • Formula One 2013 has the Classic Edition, which included four extra former F1 tracks and some extra cars. However, this came out alongside the release of the main game, but seeing as no further DLC was planned or made, it's a complete edition by default.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is actually a justified version, because the Deluxe edition was released on a different platform than the original (Original on the Wii U, Deluxe on the Switch).

  • Fable II comes with both DLC packs on disc.
  • Fallout 3 GOTY Edition was released with all five of its expansions, Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta, retailing for $80, the original price of Fallout 3 at release.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY Edition came out with its two expansions, Bloodmoon and Tribunal, plus all patches and DLC (which, at the time, were free downloads from the Bethesda website).
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition came out with only two of its numerous expansions, The Shivering Isles ($30 on Xbox Live), and Knights of the Nine ($10 on Xbox Live), for $30, making a massive price differential.
      • Steam and GOG have the GOTY Edition Deluxe, which includes all of the game's expansions, both major and minor.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released its "Legendary Edition" on June 4, 2013 - speculation is that Dead Island's release of a "Game of the Year" edition is the cause of the rebrand (or the fact that it was released a year and a half after the initial release).
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance had a Gold Edition featuring all the DLC characters from both the Hero Pack (Hawkeye, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and The Hulk) and the Villain Pack (Magneto, Sabertooth, Doctor Doom and Venom). This is now the only way to get these DLC packs since Activision lost its Marvel license.
  • Two Worlds is similar to the Dead Island example, as no reviewer actually gave it a GOTY award.
    • Bloodborne may be even more guilty in this regard: while beloved by critics, the GOTY edition was announced before 2015 (the year it was released) even ended.
  • Wasteland 2 has a port for the PS4 and Xbox One that's titled the Game of the Year Edition, which also upgrades the PC version to Unity 5. Similar to Left 4 Dead, Wasteland 2 has no DLC period.
  • Dark Souls has had one for each entry;
    • For Dark Souls it was the Prepare to Die Edition, bundled with the Artorias Of The Abyss DLC
    • For Dark Souls II it was the Scholar of the First Sin Edition, which featured the Lost Crowns Trilogy of DLC, the free SotFS update, and updated item descriptions and lore for all skews. The PC, PS4, and Xbox One skews also featured revised enemy placements to make them work better with the game's lore and environments as well as better driver support.
    • For Dark Souls III there will be the Fires Fade Edition, featuring the game's two DLC packs, Ashes of Ariandel and The Ringed City

    Simulation Games 
  • The Sims:
    • The Sims with The Sims Complete Collection, which not only includes all seven expansion packs, but also includes the bonus content from the previously released The Sims Deluxe Edition and The Sims Double Deluxe and several free DLC packs previously released through the game's website.
      • The European and Australian versions had The Sims Full House, which included The Sims Triple Deluxe and the remaining expansions on separate install discs.
    • The Sims 2:
      • The original Windows version had the digital-only The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection, which included all of the previously released expansion and stuff packs, through previously released compilations in fact (it is literally the Double Deluxe, University Life, Best of Business, and Fun With Pets compilations combined, with the remaining packs tacked on).
      • The Mac version had The Sims 2 Super Collection which combines this with Updated Re Release. It contains all the packs that were ported to mac, along with some under-the-hood updates to better support newer versions of the Mac OS.