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The Best DLCs In The Fallout Franchise, Ranked

Highlights

  • DLCs in the Fallout franchise offer unique storylines and locations, adding depth to the main game experience.
  • Lonesome Road provides a gripping narrative and moral complexity, making it a must-play for New Vegas fans.
  • Far Harbor stands out in Fallout 4 with its rich environment, complex factions, and moral dilemmas for players to navigate.



The Fallout franchise has been known for its DLC content that adds new gameplay and lore with smaller, more isolated storylines. While the Fallout games alone create a large stir in the conversations of RPG fans, the DLCs have their place in the hearts of the fans and create just as much discussion.

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With these DLCs, fans can see unique places the main games have not mentioned. From the locations to the characters and storylines, there has been so much seen and experienced by players in DLC gameplay. But which of the Fallout DLCs are the best?

Updated May 16, 2024 by Matthew Weideman: Thanks to the Amazon show, the Fallout franchise has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Many players are returning to their favorite parts of the wasteland or playing entries to the franchise that they had never gotten around to before, so this list was updated to include all ten of the highest-rated DLCs from across the Fallout games.



10 Lonesome Road (New Vegas)

Metascore: 63

The Courier in Fallout: New Vegas DLC Lonesome Road

Fallout: New Vegas

Released
October 19, 2010

Lonesome Road takes players on a thrilling journey through the remnants of the Divide, a treacherous and war-ravaged territory. This DLC confronts players with the consequences of their actions, as choices made throughout the game come back to haunt them. The intense atmosphere, gripping storytelling, and morally complex decisions make Lonesome Road an engrossing experience. Additionally, this DLC provides valuable insights into the history of the Mojave Wasteland and the Courier’s past, tying together various narrative threads.


The addition of the antagonist Ulysses makes the players grapple with their past decisions and have philosophical debates about why the players sided with a particular faction in the main story. Lonesome Road also introduces many new weapons and armor types, giving the players a larger arsenal for both the DLCs and the main game. Overall, Lonesome Road provides a gripping storyline with morally complex decisions and leaves the players with some thought-provoking ideas about the Mojave and the Divide, making it a must-play for any Fallout: New Vegas enthusiast.

9 Honest Hearts (New Vegas)

Metascore: 64

fallout honest hearts dlc

Honest Hearts has become famous in the Fallout community for its interesting characters, deep ideological conflicts, and the interesting environment of Zion Canyon. Characters such as Joshua Graham have become legendary to the fanbase and this DLC adds layers to his story.


Combat and exploration are also improved with new enemies and interesting locations with deep lore, such as Randall Clarke’s journals. This combination makes Honest Hearts enjoyable for players who like side missions and thoroughly exploring new areas for loot. Overall, Honest Hearts adds a compelling narrative to the Courier’s journey as it delves deeper into the world surrounding the Mojave and adds a beautiful landscape that is full of rich history.

8 Nuka World (Fallout 4)

Metascore: 64

fallout-4-nuka-world-starfield-detail


Fallout 4

Released
November 10, 2015

Nuka World was the last DLC expansion for Fallout 4. The Nuka Cola theme park consists of six separate zones — Nuka-Town USA, Dry Rock Gulch, Kiddie Kingdom, World of Refreshment, the Galactic Zone, and Safari Adventure — which have been taken over by groups of raiders. Exploring the park gives players a unique look into the world of Fallout, and anyone who enjoys theme parks will be sure to love the theme.

The DLC also adds some interesting choices for players who aren’t afraid to make morally bad decisions, since the raider gangs dominate the story in it. Players can end up working with at least some of the raiders, and even become their leader. While Fallout games have always allowed players to be morally gray or even downright evil, joining a raider gang is a unique chance offered by Nuka World.

7 Mothership Zeta (Fallout 3)

Metascore: 65

Mothership Zeta in Fallout 3


Fallout 3

Released
October 28, 2008

Mothership Zeta leans into the sci-fi aspect of the Fallout franchise. While other DLCs introduce different areas in the wasteland ranging from Zion National Park to Anchorage, Alaska, this is the only one that allows players to travel into space. The player character, The Lone Wanderer, ends up being abducted by aliens and has to take over their mothership with the help of fellow abductees, some of whom have been in cryostasis since before the War.

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6 Automatron (Fallout 4)

Metascore: 69

Fallout 4 Automatron DLC companion Ada speaking to the Sole Survivor


Fallout 4 added base-building and defense mechanics to the series for the first time. Some players felt that these mechanics were not fully fleshed out on launch, and so were happy that the Automatron DLC added depth to them. Players start the DLC by finding a caravan destroyed by a robot leader called The Mechanist, and end up being enlisted to stop him by a robot named Ada. The robot enemies, including the Mechanist himself, fit wonderfully into Fallout’s retrofuturistic design.

Players gain access to a Robot Workbench, where they can craft their own robots that can serve as companions or be sent to live in various settlements. Ada can also be modified at this new workbench, allowing players to customize a group of robots under their command.

5 Dead Money (New Vegas)

Metascore: 70

New Vegas Dead Money


Dead Money takes players to a casino that was on the cusp of its grand opening when the War happened in 2077. Instead, many people were trapped and killed by the casino’s state-of-the-art security system when it went off. Toxins then eventually began to spread from the casino’s air conditioning ducts to the surrounding city, killing anyone who breathed it in.

Over the years, the casino and neighboring town faded into legend, with rumors of so-called “ghost people” who roam the area in hazmat suits and kidnap travelers. The Courier ends up going to this mysterious place in search of a Brotherhood of Steel’s Father Elijah, where they will have to crack the centuries-old mystery or die trying.

4 Far Harbor (Fallout 4)

Metascore: 75

Far Harbor game poster.


Far Harbor is a standout DLC in Fallout 4, offering players a new area to explore with a richly detailed environment. Set on a fog-covered island off the coast of Maine, this expansion introduces a complex web of factions and moral dilemmas. The gloomy atmosphere and Lovecraftian undertones enhance the sense of mystery and suspense, creating a unique atmosphere not found in the base game. Far Harbor puts players in the role of a detective alongside long-time companion Nick Valentine as they solve the case of a runaway girl, Kasumi Nakano.

As the case deepens the player is pulled into more of the island’s mysteries and the faction disputes between the people of Far Harbor, the cult called the Children of Atom, and the synth refuge, Acadia. All three factions live in a fragile peace but as the player’s investigation continues it quickly becomes apparent that all three are vying for control over the island.


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Fallout 4’s Far Harbor DLC offers 15 hours of content that improves on the core game’s storytelling, but introduces a new puzzle mechanic that may scare away the purists.

This DLC also goes deeper into the story and lore of the synths, giving the players a larger understanding of the moral questions that surround artificial intelligence. The players are also challenged to make difficult decisions that change the outcome of the island’s inhabitants and this moral complexity makes it a rich and fulfilling story that is a must-play.

3 The Pitt (Fallout 3)

Metascore: 76

The Pitt, one of the most highly anticipated Fallout 76 expansions

Like most DLCs in the franchise, The Pitt offers players the chance to explore the ruins of a once-proud city in the USA. Players go to Pittsburgh, now known as “The Pitt,” where they find themselves caught up in a storyline between raiders and their revolting slaves. Players start the DLC by encountering a runaway slave who is seeking to find a cure for the mutation plague that Ishmael Asher, the self-proclaimed Lord of the Pitt, has released upon the town.


It is full of morally ambiguous choices and has many interesting things to explore. There is an arena where players must defeat their enemies while surviving radiation, as well as multiple segments of Pittsburgh where the raider-based society lives. Exploring this region is a must for fans of Fallout 3.

2 Broken Steel (Fallout 3)

Metascore: 82

Close-up image of a member of the Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout 3.

Broken Steel is often considered one of the best DLCs in the Fallout series. It extended the main storyline of Fallout 3, allowing players to continue their journey after the game’s climactic ending. This DLC raised the level cap, introduced new perks, and altered the game’s ending by allowing the players to see what happens to the Capital Wasteland after the main quest line is finished.


It also features a host of challenging quests and enemies, giving players a reason to explore the Capital Wasteland even further. Broken Steel successfully addressed some of the criticisms surrounding the original game’s ending and offered an opportunity for players to shape the post-apocalyptic world in significant ways.

1 Old World Blues (New Vegas)

Metascore: 83

Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues Think Tank

Old World Blues is widely regarded as one of, if not the most, entertaining and humorous DLCs in the Fallout series. It takes players to the Big MT research facility, where a group of pre-war scientists have been locked away for centuries, left to do nothing but run wacky experiments while they slowly go insane. This DLC combines clever writing with unique characters and dialogue, creating a lighthearted yet captivating experience.


The storyline is filled with quirky quests and memorable moments as players interact with the surreal landscape of Big Mountain. While the tone of the DLC is humorous at the outset it quickly falls into a creepy and mysterious atmosphere as the players begin to unravel the secrets of Big Mountain. Old World Blues adds to the more bizarre elements of the Fallout Universe in the best way possible by making it fun but also intriguing.

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The Fallout franchise has many titles under its belt, each with a distinct gaming experience, but some are arguably better than others.

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