Mass Effect Legendary Edition introduces some nice improvements to the original game along with a few minor changes to its two sequels. But perhaps even more importantly, especially if you haven’t played the trilogy before, is the fact that the remaster includes all the DLC packs. Well, except one – Pinnacle Station. But even without Pinnacle Station, you’re still looking at around 40 pieces of DLC that you don’t have to purchase separately. Buying Mass Effect DLC used to be a needlessly complicated process involving BioWare Points, platform-exclusive items, pre-order bonuses, weird promotions, and more. Getting access to everything for one simple price is certainly a lot more convenient.
If you’re new to the series or haven’t played the trilogy in a while you may find the number of DLC included with Mass Effect Legendary Edition a bit overwhelming. The good news is that a lot of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition DLC consists of weapons, armor, skins, and various other items. You don’t really have to worry about those. Things do get a bit tricky when it comes to the content-related DLC packs, though. You’ll have to plan your playthrough around some of them while others can easily be ignored. Playing the DLC in a less than ideal order can lead to some confusing moments you’ll probably want to avoid. But don’t worry because we’ve put together a guide/ranked list to help you figure out which pieces of content are worth prioritizing, and when would be the best time to play through them.
Before we get started it’s worth noting that all the DLC have pushed the download size of Mass Effect Legendary Edition to well over 80 GB. You may want to clear some space and do a quick internet Speedcheck before you start downloading.
13. Extended Cut (ME3)
It’s debatable if the Extended Cut should be on this list since it’s just a regular part of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, but we wanted to give it a quick shoutout anyway. Bioware released the Extended Cut to try and appease the fans who weren’t too happy with how Mass Effect 3 originally ended. The DLC introduces a number of new cutscenes and dialogue options along with a fourth ending. The DLC is integrated into the main game in LE so you can’t play without it even if you wanted to.
12. Firewalker Pack (ME2)
The Firewalker Pack is a pretty lackluster DLC that adds a bunch of new missions and locations to explore. Unfortunately, they’re all quite boring. The M-44 Hammerhead is fun to ride around in for a while but the hover vehicle quickly outstays its welcome. It doesn’t help that pretty much everything you do in this DLC revolves around the Hammerhead. Firewalker Pack is inconsequential to the rest of Mass Effect 2 so feel free to do the missions whenever you want. You won’t be missing out on anything if you skip them entirely. The only interesting reward is a small Prothean relic that can be interacted with in your cabin.
11. Normandy Crash Site (ME2)
Normandy Crash Site is one of the shortest Mass Effect Legendary Edition DLC packs. It involves exploring the area around the crash site of the SSV Normandy. While there, you can collect the dog tags of your former crewmates and place a monument at the crash site. The DLC is meant to bring Shepard some closure following the destruction of the original Normandy. It makes the most sense to visit the crash site while the memory of ME2’s opening sequence is still fresh in your mind. We recommend doing this mission shortly after unlocking access to the galaxy map in Mass Effect 2.
10. Zaeed – The Price of Revenge (ME2)
One of the founders of the Blue Suns mercenary group, Zaeed Massani is an infamous bounty hunter when you meet him near the start of Mass Effect 2. While he may seem a bit generic at first, you do eventually grow fond of him if you spend enough time listening to his war stories. He’s also quite useful in a fight, especially after you unlock his last ability. Zaeed is interesting enough as a character to have made it on our list of most memorable Mass Effect companion characters, but what drags this DLC down is his loyalty mission, which is extremely forgettable. We recommend doing the mission as soon as possible just to get it out of the way. And because unlocking access to his Inferno Grenades comes in handy early on.
9. Arrival (ME2)
Arrival is a pretty decent DLC you unlock pretty early on in Mass Effect 2. However, you’ll want to hold off actually playing it until much later. The story is all about delaying the impending Reaper invasion and is one of the only missions where you don’t get to take your companions with you. Though you will be joined by a temporary companion at certain points. The events of Arrival are considered canon and happen even if you don’t actually play through the DLC. But we do recommend playing it because it gives important context for everything that’s happening at the start of Mass Effect 3. Considering that Arrival’s primary goal is to set up ME3, the DLC is best experienced at the very end of your Mass Effect 2 playthrough.
8. From Ashes (ME3)
Bioware and EA received a lot of flak for releasing From Ashes as a day one DLC given how integral the content is to the overall story. Luckily, the DLC doesn’t need to be purchased separately anymore thanks to Mass Effect Legendary Edition. The mission leading up to the recruitment of Javik isn’t anything to write home about but the character does have his moments. There’s a lot of funny dialogue involving Javik and he’s also a great exposition machine so make sure to bring him along with you as often as you can. From Ashes becomes available after the Mars mission and should be completed before or immediately after going to Palaven in our opinion. That way, you gain access to a powerful ally early on and get to enjoy everybody’s reaction to seeing you walk around with a living Prothean by your side.
7. Kasumi – Stolen Memory (ME2)
Kasumi Goto isn’t exactly one of the best-developed characters in the series but her loyalty mission is easily among the most memorable ones. The bit where you attend the party as space warlord Solomon Gunn is already pretty entertaining but things get even more interesting once you descend into Hock’s vault. To top it all off, you’ll also have to deal with some of the most difficult fights of any loyalty mission. You won’t be able to rely on a third party member during these fights so make sure you’re well prepared before starting Kasumi’s loyalty mission. The main drawback of the DLC is that Kasumi has very little dialogue on the Normandy. The few lines she does have are substantially less interesting than those of Zaaed.
6. Bring Down the Sky (ME1)
The original Mass Effect only received two pieces of DLC, one of which, Pinnacle Station, didn’t make it into the Legendary Edition. That only leaves us with Bring Down the Sky, a DLC that revolves around stopping an asteroid from crashing into the colony of Terra Nova. Bring Down the Sky introduces the Batarians, a race you’ll come across often during ME2 and ME3. Despite being the oldest DLC in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Bring Down the Sky still holds up pretty well. The events of Bring Down the Sky aren’t connected to the rest of the story so you don’t have to plan your playthrough around it.
5. Omega (ME3)
Omega is a very divisive piece of DLC that not everybody will enjoy. The DLC switches things up by preventing you from teaming up with your usual companions during its duration. Instead, you’ll join forces with Aria T’Loak and Nyreen Kandros, a new character who happens to be the first female Turian to appear in Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Your enjoyment of the DLC will greatly depend on how much you like these characters and Omega as a location. The DLC is action-packed and not particularly long, making it ideal to play when you need a change of pace. The best time to begin Omega is shortly after completing the quests you get from Aria on the Citadel.
4. Overlord (ME2)
Overlord is easily one of the creepiest DLCs in the trilogy. Things start off pretty standard – a remote research base went silent and it’s your job to investigate. The DLC starts to get interesting once you discover the true purpose of the base and the entity that’s been causing all the havoc. A portion of the DLC involves planet exploration, which has never been a strong suit of the trilogy, but at least some of the new locations are pretty to look at. You’ll spend most of your remaining time fighting Geth and learning about the disturbing experiments conducted by Cerberus. The DLC is best completed early on as it gives you some interesting information regarding the people you’re working for and might influence some of your decisions further down the line.
3. Leviathan (ME3)
Leviathan is probably the most important Mass Effect Legendary Edition DLC as far as the story is concerned. While From Ashes gives us a lot of important backstory for the Protheans, Leviathan takes things a step further and explains how the Reapers came to be. The DLC introduces us to the mysterious race that created the Reapers and reveals the reason behind their mission to wipe out all organic life in the galaxy. In stark contrast to Omega, Leviathan focuses on exploration and investigation rather than action. We recommend doing Leviathan immediately after Omega if you want to switch things up but you can leave it for later if you’re looking to complete some of the main story missions first.
2. Lair of the Shadow Broker (ME2)
Lair of the Shadow Broker is a fantastic DLC in a game that’s already filled to the brim with amazing character-driven content. The DLC tasks you with helping your old friend Liara as she attempts to take down the mysterious Shadow Broker. Things start off slowly but quickly ramp up as you engage in a car chase, fight against an Asari Spectre, and ultimately infiltrate the Shadow Broker’s base of operations. Unfortunately, Liara doesn’t join your team once the DLC is complete but she does provide help by giving you access to the Shadow Broker’s resources, which include among other things surveillance footage and dossiers on most of the main characters in ME2. We feel it works best to complete Lair of the Shadow Broker either shortly before or after assaulting the Collector base.
1. Citadel (ME3)
Last but not least we have Citadel, arguably the best Mass Effect Legendary Edition DLC. If we’re being honest, a DLC that centers so much around comedy can feel a bit awkward considering the grim tone of Mass Effect 3 but that certainly shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it. Citadel is Bioware’s love letter to fans of the trilogy and does a fantastic job at bringing together everyone for one last adventure before your final confrontation with the Reapers. If you want to leave Citadel for last, which we recommend, make sure to do it right before assaulting the Cerberus headquarters. You won’t be able to go back afterward. That said, you can access the content a bit earlier if you want to avoid the tone shift that comes with hosting a lighthearted party immediately before launching a mission that decides the fate of the galaxy.
If you enjoyed this article make sure to also check out our piece about the science behind Mass Effect’s mechs.
As a little PSA, until July 31st you can visit the Mass Effect Legendary Edition official website to grab some free bonus content in the form of art books, comics, and soundtracks.
I’m a classic jack-of-all-trades author who loves to write about most topics, though gaming has always been my strong suit. That said, I definitely won’t turn down the chance to cover some juicy news involving superhero movies, Stephen King novels or space travel. Or robots. Or space-traveling superhero robots disguised as Stephen King.