2012: Diablo 3 releases
2014: Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, which includes the Reaper of Souls expansion

2014: Destiny
2015: Destiny: Legendary Edition, which includes all expansions, but most notably The Taken King, which released at the same time as the “2.0” patch

Two MAJOR video games that many enjoyed at launch (myself included), but many people also criticized both games for their gameplay, design decisions, and much more. And in both cases, these games are still going stronger than ever, and according to the gaming community, they’ve become even better years following their initial release. 

With expansions and patches, games can have a second life and another chance to get things right. What other games have taken advantage of this chance?

Wednesday, 8:27 am – Gavin 

I’ve heard wonderful things about all the work they’ve done on Destiny.  I fear that it’s a little late in its life for me to jump on it (also, I can only pick it up for the 360, and I’m hesitant to buy more games for a previous-generation console, and I haven’t decided on buying anything from the current generation), but from a game that went from insane hype to casually above-average reception, it’s nice to see the improvements.

Most of the games that I play, I don’t usually jump on many expansion packs and I’m not huge on DLC.  The two big ones over the past few years would be Deus Ex: Human Revolution, The Missing Link and Mario Kart 8, both of which were no-brainers to me, but that’s more because I really liked the base game.  However, to more appropriately answer the question, while DE:HR was my favourite game of 2011 bar none, I do acknowledge that some of the criticism was correct, the boss battles being the biggest among them.  The story of the DE:HR boss battles is well-publicized now, but for those who need a refresher, Eidos had to outsource the boss battles to a third-party developer, and the developers created arena-type boss fights with “must-kill” finishes, contrary to the spirit of the original, which allowed you to escape from the fight, or at least win by way of nonviolence.  With that in mind, in the original, you could specialize in all stealth and not be punished for it.  However, in DE:HR, you absolutely had to engage in violence against the bosses, and that created issues for people who didn’t know that they couldn’t just focus all of their attention on stealth.

The DE:HR Director’s Cut, a fabulous reissue, effectively corrected this by inserting things like traps and turrets into the boss battles.  If you’d spent your time focusing on stealth, or if you stocked up on automatic unlocking devices, you now had a chance to use them to fire up some bots or some turrets to take on the boss.  Now, this method wasn’t flawless – I unleashed two bots against the second-last boss, and he destroyed them both before they could kill him.  So, to build on that, they also included environmental tools (exploding barrels) and had significant caches of weapons around the arena.  It wasn’t a perfect fix, but it was an acknowledgement that mistakes were made.  To that end, Eidos has announced that in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, you’ll be able to use stealth to get past bosses.  I don’t know if “get past” means “kill” or just “evade”, but it’s nice to see them build on that.

There’s also other game-changers in the Director’s Cut.  The commentary in a game as fabulously-designed as this is wonderful, and New Game+ is designed for people like me – those who want the experience, but don’t want to spend 45 hours to regain that experience and would rather just explore at their leisure.  Plus, it encourages the player to experiment with higher difficulty levels – I’m thoroughly a casual.

Finally, Mario Kart 8, which I hadn’t really stopped playing, released its DLC packs in November 2014 and May 2015.  For $13, you got the two packs, which expanded the amount of content in the game by 50%.  That’s insane for a game that still costs $60!  With games like Mario Kart, you certainly find your favourite tracks and play the heck out of them.  I did that with 8, just as I did with 7 and Wii.  By giving us new experiences, we got new favourites.  So long as equal care is given to the creation of the content, in a game like Mario Kart 8, more content is always better.  Always!

Monday, 10:47 am – Ricky

I really need to get back to Diablo 3. Reaper of Souls was incredible – I really enjoyed the new story missions, and the Adventure mode was perfect. Frankly, the adventure mode should have been there at launch in place of the auction house, but I’m happy it’s there now. It sounds like Destiny is getting equally good “reviews” for how Bungie has reinvented the game. I’m happy to hear they’ve nailed it on the second go around – it’s a franchise I’ll keep paying attention to.