How much does it cost to buy EVERYTHING for your favourite games?

More than a decade after console games started offering extra content downloadable from the internet, DLC is everywhere. You can buy new costumes for your characters, or new characters for which to buy new costumes… you can even buy DLC that means you don't have to play the game any more because it gives you all the rewards you would have got if you had actually played it. But did you ever add it all up to see how much it would cost to buy EVERYTHING for your favourite game?

While it's admittedly unlikely anyone would want to buy every single piece of DLC for any game, it could possibly happen. So we've taken 7 DLC-heavy games and gone through their entire catalogues to see how much it would cost to buy the game at recommended retail price and everything associated with them. You won't believe the results...

Above: Smile all you want, Sackboy. Have you totted up your DLC recently?

Ridge Racer (PS Vita)

Let's start with a controversial one. This racer caused a stir by launching with just three tracks and three cars. We still liked it at review, mind – it's a good racing game at heart, just a little light on content. Sure enough, three months later, there are five more tracks, plus vehicles and music to buy. There are also two confusing 'Pass' options, gold and silver, each offering a cheaper bundle deal for some of the content. You'd think the Silver Pass is less important than the Gold Pass, but actually they cover separate content, something which is only pointed out in the US PS Store. UK racers who bought Gold then the rest individually (like we did) get stung. But let's see what it all adds up to...

Above: This is just the top of a very long list. But you do want machine skins, right?

The game itself has a lower price than most because you're then expected to buy content to make the game you want to play. Still, £16.99/$24.99 is your base price. The Gold Pass is £5.49/$7.49 and the Silver Pass is $3.99/$6.99. Everybody(ish) wants to see the Daytona Hornet in their Ridge Racer, even though it handles like a dog (the back end seriously wants to be the front end during drifts), which will set you back £1.99/$2.99. Add in the SYNCi special Pac-Man car for £1.19/$1.49 and the Sega-powered 'Ridge Racer USA Mix' music and you've got yourself a party... for another £1.19/$1.99, of course.

Add it all together (and expect more in the future) and right now the whole lot will cost you...

In fairness, that's about the price of most full games on the PS Store. Although we are still missing a championship mode, which is kind of the main mode in a racing game. Hey ho…

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360 ver)

Horse Armor! So old and over-used in talks about DLC, but we can't not mention it when it's right there and still being sold for... 200 MS Points (£1.70/$2.50)! Crazy. Still, in terms of add-ons that actually deliver new gameplay experiences, there is a lot to say about Oblivion's offering – not least an entire expansion pack. Also, the game itself is only £19.99 which, while not quite as low as eBay prices for the same thing, at least acknowledges the fact that the game has been out for a while. Still, look at this little lot of downloadable content that has an effect on gameplay:

The Fighters' Stronghold
Mehrune's Razor
Spell Tomes
The Thieves' Den
The Vile Lair
Horse Armor
The Wizard's Tower (right)
The Orrery
Knights of the Nine
The Shivering Isles

Expanding your world with those updates will cost 4,480 Microsoft Points (about £38.08/$56.00). But wait – there's more! What about all the gamer picture packs? You want those too, don't you? Cos you obviously love Oblivion. There are six of these beauties, ranging from 80 to 100 MS points. Oh, plus a dashboard theme for 150 MS Points. That's another 630 MS Points (about £5.36/$7.88) on top of the original RRP of the £49.99/$59.99 game, making a grand total of…

These figures sound like a lot, sure, but even if you did buy all the ultimately pointless picture packs, we'd still argue that the number of hours of quality content you will get for your money means that this actually still represents decent value.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (PS Vita)

Wasn't the point of the Vita version going to be that it had all the DLC included? Either way, you get 47 characters for your £39.99/$39.99 (currently £29.99 in the UK, but we're going with RRP for the sake of consistency) which is great, even though £39.99 is a huge price for any handheld beat-em-up if you ask us. But then there's the small matter of the single-most importand thing for anyone who's got money that can be spent on things that don't exist. Virtual costumes.

Above: YES I WILL FIGHT YOU. But first I've got to go and buy some clothes...

You can buy individual costume packs that cover a few characters at a time. Or you can SAVE MONEY by spending a whopping £15.99/$19.99 on the 'Value Pack' that gives you the 47 costumes, only not with Jill Valentine or Shuma Gorath, which have to be bought separately. These fighters cost £3.99/$4.99 each.

Assuming you don't buy a few costumes then suffer the horrible sinking feeling that you want them all, but have already negated the savings offered by the 'Value Pack' (and if you have suffered that feeling, we are genuinely sorry for you), the magic number on the bottom line is:

For a handheld fighting game, two extra characters and some new threads. Wowser. Especially as the 'downloadable content' for those costumes is a 100kb file. Hmmmm.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360 ver)

We've chosen this entry in the series because it's been out long enough now that all of its DLC is almost certainly released now. Also, modern CoD games are leaning towards a single CoD Elite subscription price that gives you all the DLC as it comes. But the main reason is the selection of utterly pointless DLC once you get past the expansions.

Above: Surely everybody wants a Soldiers Picture Pack, don't they? Or Night Vision pics?

The Stimulus Package and Resurgence Pack each cost 1200 MS Points (£10.20/$15.00 each), while the game retailed at a ridiculous £54.99 in the UK ($59.99 in the US). That's £75.39/$89.99. But look… there's more.

A loooong list of Avatar tees, picture packs and premium themes potentially add 3,560 MS Points to the tally. That's £30.26/$44.50. For that price, you could buy at least two real T-shirts and have them printed up with real ink so you walk down an actual street wearing Modern Warfare 2 proudly on your actual chest, attracting members of the opposite sex who until now had only ever considered buying virtual T-sthirts for their Xbox Live avatars. They'll be impressed at your creativity, unless they work for Activision, in which case they'll sue you for breach of copyright and send you to Bobby Kotick for a bottom spanking.

But that wouldn't be buying everything to do with MW2 on Xbox Live, so we're not interested right now. No, if you want Modern Warfare 2 plus everything associated with it, you're looking at spending:

Seems like quite a big number, doesn't it? It's actually a teeny, tiny little number compared to what lies in wait on the next page. Seriously, you ain't seen nuffin yet...




  • Radimir - June 22, 2012 4:29 a.m.

    Should have included Team Fortress 2. Could see that breaking at least $1,000.
  • Contrendo - June 22, 2012 4:38 a.m.

    Why didn't you include Rock Band 3? That would have been over $4,000!
  • Turtman - June 22, 2012 5:39 a.m.

    He's right
  • jmcgrotty - June 22, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    It was the ONLY title I knew would be in this list. I was surprised as hell it wasn't included. Just for dramatic effect, if nothing else... absolutely no justification except laziness. Or just the probably correct assumption that Rock Band isn't anyones favorite game?
  • antideus - June 22, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    I strongly agree.
  • Gameguy151 - June 23, 2012 4:34 a.m.

    It's one of my favorites. But yeah, i've spent about $500 on Rock Band over the course of two years, and i've only got about a tenth of it's DLC. There's been a new track pack released every single tuesday since November of 2007.
  • taokaka - June 22, 2012 4:43 a.m.

    I was going to calculate how much it would cost us Australians to get all of littlebigplanet's dlc and laugh at your idea of expensive but once I loaded the list of dlc on psn I just gasped at how much there was, 314 pieces of dlc not including avatars, themes and the games themselves. I'm not going to bother with the rigorous calculations but I will applaud you for figuring out the cost.
  • Hobogonigal - June 22, 2012 5:50 a.m.

    By comparing gaming products in Aus to those in England, on average I have found that Australian products are 1.38 times more expensive. If we use this on Little Big Planet, the total comes to about $650 AU (with an exchange rate of $1.55 for every £1). Expensive huh?
  • TheLeagueOfNinjaSquirrels - June 22, 2012 5:12 a.m.

    This is why I hate what DLC. Why sell a full game when you can release the rest of it for double the price.
  • CrashmanX - June 22, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    Some cases sure, other cases (Like that of LBP) it's fine. Even with it's monsterous price tag, are you honestly going to buy ALL those costumes? I mean I know I've put at least an additional $40 into my LBP experience between 1 and 2 because of Costumes and levels, and I regret none of it.
  • potpan0 - June 22, 2012 5:12 a.m.

    It's funny how people rip into COD and Activision for releasing so much DLC for money, whereas games like Oblivion and LBP, which don't have this, cost a lot more.
  • CrashmanX - June 22, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    But neither of those require that you have a specific DLC to play online. Even LBP tells you that when you join a specific level that you don't have the DLC required and will need to purchase it in the store to get access to it for your own use.
  • ihopethisisnotantistasblood - June 22, 2012 8:18 a.m.

    neither does cod, you can play online without the dlc
  • jamie5lpm - June 22, 2012 5:45 a.m.

    1st comment on here but I had to say something about this, you should have tried to include Forza motorsport 4 which me and my friend say we have "invested" in rather than paid for. After buying the limited edition for around £70, plus the season pass (over 2000ms points), plus the porsche expansion, plus the 6 more dlc packs to come this game has reached nearly £160 or more! However it must be said it is a damn fine game and I love all my cars siiting there looking pretty. Also Justin if you have any contacts please please please tell Turn10 to forget adding more cars for now and give us more Rims and Bodykits for the cars! Much love GR you all rock.
  • robertpopovic - June 22, 2012 5:46 a.m.

    It's a pity that I forgot the name, but isn't there a train simulator that has extemely expensive DLC, eventually going into the thousands for the entire thing? Oh and of course the 100 dollar racing car for a Ridge Racer game I think it was :P
  • jamie5lpm - June 22, 2012 5:50 a.m.

    What about Peter Ms game he was talking up at e3 with the 10,000dollar pickaxe lol
  • Shadow Of Death - June 22, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    There is that Train Simulator game (Railworks 3). The base game + All the DLC works out to be about $2070. Don't forget about MMOs, especially F2P MMOs, who have $0 base price, but if you got all the microtransactions and expansions (if there are any), it'll be jacked up very high. Especially since at least some items would be re-purchaseable (EXP/Money/ETC boosts).
  • KA87 - June 22, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    DLC= The worst thing to happen to gaming ever (it can be debated, but it is still in the top 3). They use to sell entire games that were well made and now they sell partial games and release the rest of the game on DLC. Let’s start a movement to end DLC before it kills video games and forces us to go back to playing High Ho the Cheerio because we can’t afford the DLC to complete the game.
  • CrashmanX - June 22, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    For certain cases DLC is a problem, for others it's not. LBP and Oblivion are both examples of it not really being an issue. Granted Oblivion has ALL that DLC, but are you really going to use/buy every piece of it? Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine sure, but everything else? At that point why didn't you get the GOTY version? As far as LBP, are you REALLY going to use all those costumes if you bought all of them? Really?
  • KA87 - June 23, 2012 5:48 a.m.

    Dude, I did not say anything about Oblivion or LBP (and for your info, I did go the GOTY route). I was trying to point out that more and more of today’s games seem to come out and within like a month or two there is quite a bit of DLC for them (add-on missions, cloths, weapons, etc….). When it comes out that fast, it kind of makes you think that they intentionally kept content out of the game just to get you to pay more so that you can get the full experience out of the game. Think about it, you just shelled out $60 bucks for a game and now they want you to pay $15-20 on DLC that could have just come with the game. More and more companies will start doing this if they are allowed to get away with it because it vastly increases their profit margin. Trust me, if you could get away with gaining $20 more per unit by simply withholding some of the content, you would do it to. If the industry continues on this course, an games actual price tag will continue to rise in price until it gets to the point where people stop buying games and switch to a new medium of entertainment. At this point, the industry will either die or shift into producing low cost and low quality games and we will be back to playing checkers with our younger sister who cheats. This will likely happen within the next 15 to 20 years because most people don’t take the time to look away from their I-phones to see the entire picture and what is coming down the road. A great example of people missing the obvious is those self checkouts in Wally World (Wal-Mart). They are just the first step in process of eliminating cashiers from the workplace. Yes, lets eliminate jobs, there is no chance that will ever come back to haunt us. As unemployment continues to rise we will likely have a civil war or a revolution. Either way, a lot of people will die and we will become a 3rd world nation.

Showing 1-20 of 59 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000