GOTY 2014 - Best Add-On

This year, we're rolling out a new set of awards that recognize achievements (and some dubious honors) in specific areas of game development. There are ten awards in all, with two new ones being awarded every day this week. Keep checking back for more winners! Don't miss out on any of our Game of the Year coverage. Check out our full schedule here, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for instant updates.

Best Add-On - Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Blizzard | March 25, 2014 | OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Some add-ons simply provide more content for players to enjoy, while others provide changes to the mechanics and alter the way you play a game. But our winner in this category manages the difficult task of tackling both of these challenges. Not only does Diablo III: Reaper of Souls add a now-traditional fifth act and new character class to the game, it also includes a massive number of changes to the way Diablo III is played. Included in this package are sweeping changes to the loot system (highlighted by the removal of the controversial Auction House), the post-level-cap system, and the difficulty system in the game.

But the most amazing thing is that all the majority of these additions were given away to every Diablo III player, with only the fifth act and new character class locked behind the Reaper of Souls gate. But when you consider the quality on offer (and the fact that your friends will probably upgrade), it’s easy to get swept up and buy it too. Moreover, Reaper of Souls was a $40 purchase new for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gamers.

I previously bought Diablo III on the computer, but hardly touched it; meanwhile, after several in our crew lauded Reaper of Souls, I decided to get it myself and have not looked back. This is the game I wanted Diablo III to be: fast and furious action paired with streamlined inventory and upgrade management. Reaper of Souls makes a great game excellent. If I had my way, it would be in our Top 10 of the year, but as it is, it takes this category easily.

Runners-up: The Last of Us: Left BehindMario Kart 8 DLC

Our runners-up are both noteworthy pieces of downloadable content in their own regard. The added vignette for The Last of Us, Left Behind expanded on Ellie’s character and filled in some of the storyline gaps of the main game. It’s been hailed for its story, and we think if you enjoyed The Last of Us then it’s a no-brainer. Our other runner-up may be a bit of a surprise. Nintendo isn’t known for downloadable content, but the additions to Mario Kart 8 have proven to be positive additions to one of this year’s best-selling games. Sure, the Mercedes-Benz sponsored DLC may rub some the wrong way, but the first of two announced packs of new characters, tracks and vehicles has proved to be a hit. Eight new tracks (forming two new Cups), four new karts, and three new characters provides quite a lot for the price. The fact that the first pack includes Link (making his Mario Kart debut) and a Hyrule-themed track surely makes the deal even sweeter. – Doug Bonham