Perfect Ten: The single best expansion from 10 MMOs


Holy crud, do I not know that I’m setting myself up for some major pushback today. Oh, I feel that to my core, friends! After all, people have Opinions about MMO expansions, especially for franchises that they’ve been playing for years, and for some internet yahoo to come along and blithely single out one pack from the bunch as the single greatest… well, I expect there to be civil disagreements. Possibly with tar and feathering.

Yet I also thought this might be a pretty fun exercise to see if it was possible to identify the best expansion from any given MMORPG. To do this, I utilized review scores, informal polling among the MOP staff, and my own weird perspective. Agree? Disagree? Give me your own list in the comments!

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

I think there are a few very strong contenders in WoW’s stable for this title, including Burning Crusade, Pandaria, and Legion. But elevating any of those above Wrath of the Lich King would feel plain wrong. This is, after all, Peak World of Warcraft in terms of subscribers, excitement, and content output.

Wrath enhanced the whole WoW experience from the top-down with an improved talent tree, the Death Knight hero class, the dungeon finder, an amazing story (and villain), and fantastic art and music. Fans lived, breathed, and gamed Northrend like crazy for a couple years there — and then again when WoW Classic revisited this expansion.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan

Before SWTOR went askew with the Eternal Throne expansions, it was at top form with the MMO’s second major addition: Shadow of Revan. Not only was this a welcome connection to the original Knights of the Old Republic, but this expansion offered excellent storytelling, memorable side characters, and the eye candy that was Rishi and Yavin 4. It was only five levels, but it felt truly epic for that short stretch.

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria

I’ve always been more partial to Riders of Rohan for the sheer scope and feel of a LOTRO expansion, but it’s so hard to deny that Mines of Moria was a watershed moment for the game. Taking players into this iconic locale for the first expansion was a masterstroke, as was filling out this underground realm to be something truly jaw-dropping. Toss on top of that legendary weapons and two new classes, and LOTRO finally felt feature-complete for the first time.

Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

Stepping back to look over all of the expansions that ESO has put out on a near-yearly basis for a while now, I see several great picks and a few forgettable adventures. But one certainly stands out as generating the most interest and excitement, and that was Morrowind. Yes, ZeniMax was nostalgia-baiting like crazy with this expansion — but who cares? We got to return to this fan-favorite island with all its wonky mushrooms and giant bugs, and we got to do it as the Warden, the first new class for the game with a penchant for bears.


Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons

While Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have as many proper named expansions as other titles on this list, it can be forgiven in light of the fact that it’s been doing the Living World stuff on the side for a while now. In any case, out of the four x-packs that have been released to date, it’s not even close: End of Dragons wins top chicken.

Ticking off a finger count of all the great moves this expansion made: a much-anticipated return to Cantha, new elite specs, a well-received story, turtle mounts, skiff boats and fishing, little bot helpers, and gorgeous zones packed with some of the best storytelling ArenaNet has done to date.

Star Trek Online: Victory is Life

This was a surprisingly hard call to make, and I’m not even sure I made the right one. Out of Star Trek Online’s four official expansions, there’s only one weaker one (Delta Rising). But I’m going to give Victory is Life the nod here for its fantastic story arc, the return of a bulk of the Deep Space Nine cast, the Jem’Hadar faction, and playable Cardassians. If you were a DS9 fan, this was an amazing gift to receive.

EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark

In surveying the EverQuest II community, I discovered that there’s a general consensus that three packs stand above the rest — and that all were released close together. Echoes of Faydwer and Kingdom of Sky have big fans, but Rise of Kunark seems to be the critical favorite. Players cited the vast and striking open world zones, strong solo content, a ton of stuff to do, and the popularity of mythicals.

(Want a second opinion? MJ sorted through the expansions in 2018 and listed Destiny of Velious as her favorite.)

Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed

Whew! I needed an easy call at this point, and SWG came through for me. Jump to Lightspeed is a no-brainer because it added the “second half” of the MMO that should’ve shipped at launch: space flight and combat. Finally, the fantasy of jumping into the cockpit of a TIE fighter, X-Wing, or cargo runner came to players’ screens and stayed there through the game’s amazing run.

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Mists of Ravenloft

Being able to jump around to various Dungeons & Dragons settings has given DDO wide flexibility for its expansion offerings. Above outings that took players to steampunk and high fantasy worlds, Mists of Ravenloft perches like a glorious gothic gargoyle. The dreary Transylvania-inspired zone is overrun by all manner of foul beasts, and it’s here that players have to uncover dark conspiracies and face off against a terrifying vampiric threat.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

In discussing this pick with our resident FFXIV expert Eliot, I got the feeling was that while both Shadowbringers and Endwalker were wonderfully received expansions, the former may be the better of the two. Even if you disagree, it’s hard to ignore the impact that this 2019 expansion had with its unique setting, the Trust dungeon system, the Gunbreaker and Dancer jobs, the overhaul to the old Realm Reborn storyline, and the Viera and Hrothgar races.

Agree with all of this? Of course you don’t! Let us know in the comments how you’d adjust this list and why!

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at or with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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