With the release of Beyond Light, I’d say it’s a perfect time to rank every single Destiny expansion from The Dark Below through Beyond Light!
9. Curse of Osiris (2017)
I don’t think I’ll get any arguments that Curse of Osiris is the worst Destiny expansion ever. With the smallest planet in existence (well…not anymore as of Beyond Light), Mercury, Curse of Osiris included 8 story missions, which is actually more than most of the other expansions. It also included 3 Adventures (The Up and Up, The Runner, and Bug in the System) as well as 2 brand new Strikes (Tree of Probabilities and A Garden World) a new Raid Lair (Leviathan, Eater of Worlds) and 3 new Crucible maps (Pacifica, Radiant Cliffs, and Wormhaven). While it seems like a lot of content on paper, this expansion was widely regarded as a complete meme (never forget 2 tokens and a blue) and quite honestly pissed players off with the lack of rewards as well as the inability to obtain random rolls on weapons, this Destiny expansion almost caused the game to crash and burn. The best thing about this expansion was the introduction of Osiris who has turned out to play a pivotal part in the past, present, and future of Destiny 2.
8. Warmind (2018)
The second expansion released for Destiny 2, Warmind reintroduced the planet Mars (though it was a different part of Mars) and introduced a quite popular character, Ana Bray. Since her introduction, players have loved her and now with the death of Cayde-6 in Forsaken, many players want her to become the new Hunter vanguard (though this would go against the Vanguard Dare, so I’m not too sure how they would explain that). Warmind included an incredibly disappointing 3 story missions as well as 2 Strikes (Strange Terrain and Will of The Thousands) there was also a 3rd strike added (The Insight Terminus) though it was a PS4 exclusive for some time. As far as the story missions go, technically there were 5, but 2 of them were the Strikes that were introduced into the game. Warmind also introduced 4 new Adventures (Deathly Tremors, Hephaestus, Incursion, and Psionic Potential), a new Raid Lair (Leviathan, Spire of Stars), and 2 new Crucible maps (Meltdown and Solitude). Warmind also increased the maximum Power level with a soft cap of 340 and a hard cap of 380 and also added a brand new PvE activity “Escalation Protocol.” Not many people actually enjoyed Escalation Protocol as it was incredibly time consuming and you had to rely heavily on either joining a random event in progress or hoping someone joins your instance quickly in order to properly finish the event.
7. The Dark Below (2014)
The very first expansion to the Destiny universe, The Dark Below introduced another fan favorite character, Eris “Space Mom” Morn. Eris, a former guardian and sole survivor of a raid on the Moon, has returned from the Moon and warns us that Crota, a Hive prince, has returned. The Dark Below contains 4 story missions, 2 new Strikes (The Will of Crota and The Undying Mind) as well as Destiny’s 2nd Raid (Crota’s End) though this honestly might as well be a longer strike, and also took players to the Moon for the first time. This expansion also added the first additional Crucible maps (Pantheon, Skyshock, and The Cauldron). This was a good first expansion for Destiny.
6. House of Wolves (2015)
The first Fallen-based expansion, House of Wolves, saw The Reef opened up to players as Queen Mara Sov ordered it to be opened to Guardians. The Reef was the first new social space besides the Tower and was the coolest place to hang out in Destiny 1. House of Wolves saw players recruited by Mara Sov to assist the Awoken in hunting down and capturing the Fallen “Kell of Kells” Skolas, the leader of the Fallen House of Wolves, a group of Fallen that had once served the Queen, but betrayed the Awoken and followed Skolas instead. This expansion brought with it 6 new story missions, 1 new Strike (The Shadow Thief), a brand new activity known as “Prison of Elders” which was an Arena wave-based activity that is beloved by many. While no new raid was introduced, there were 4 new Crucible maps (Black Shield, The Timekeeper, Thieves’ Den, and Widow’s Court) as well as a brand new competitive timed PvP mode….Trials of Osiris. Trials would become a staple of Destiny’s history for both good and bad.
5. Shadowkeep (2019)
The 2nd major expansion for Destiny 2, Shadowkeep was revolutionary for the game. This expansion saw players return to the Moon to search for Eris Morn who has since been lost since Destiny 1. In doing so, players encounter Crota, Ghaul, and Fikrul, all previous enemies from past expansions and games. Shadowkeep includes 7 story missions, 2 Strikes (The Scarlet Keep and The Festering Core (PS4 exclusive on launch)), a brand new Raid (Garden of Salvation), and 2 new non-seasonal PvE activities (Nightmare Hunts and Altar of Sorrow). Shadowkeep also introduced the idea of timed, seasonal activities in which players would have until the end of the season to participate and then the event will be removed when the next season is introduced. The Shadowkeep season (Season of the Undying) introduced the Vex Offensive seasonal activity as well as a brand new season pass (a battle pass).
4. Beyond Light (2020)
The latest addition to the Destiny universe (as of writing this article), Beyond Light is the first expansion that allows players to go, as the name suggests, beyond the light and wield the Darkness. This expansion is also the first to fully embrace the “drip” style of content release as the initial launch does not include quite a large portion of content that will be released at a later date (so depending on that content, the position of this expansion may change). So far, Beyond Light includes a 34-step story quest (not 34 missions) taking players to the icy planet of Europa and also returning back to the Cosmodrome. It also includes a single *new* Strike (The Glassway) as well as a re-imagined version of The Will of Crota (Omnigul) Strike from Destiny 1 titled “The Disgraced.” A brand new Raid (Deep Stone Crypt) is also set to release on November 21 as well as the return of the beloved Vault of Glass Raid sometime in early 2021. In terms of initial content, there’s still plenty to do, but the power grind is still the same stale grind that we’ve had since Forsaken and it’s just monotonous and repetitive.
3. Rise of Iron (2016)
Rise of Iron gave us our first good look at Lord Saladin and the Iron Lords. Saladin, who had previously just been the Iron Banner vendor became a big player in-game with this expansion and many players still want more content to include him. This was also the first expansion for Destiny that was unavailable on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as Bungie turned their backs on that generation of consoles to look ahead to the future generations. Rise of Iron gave players access to another new social space known as the Iron Temple, and 2 new explorable locations the Plaguelands and The Wall. I would still love the Plaguelands as well as the Devil Splicers to return in some fashion to Destiny 2. Rise of Iron contained a whopping 8 story missions. The expansion also included 3 new strikes (Sepiks Perfected, The Abomination Heist, and The Wretched Eye), a new Raid (Wrath of the Machine), 4 new Crucible maps (Floating Gardens, Icarus (PS4 exclusive at launch), Last Exit, Skyline), as well as a new Crucible Playlist (Supremacy). I loved Rise of Iron, with an abundance of content to play, it was quite some time before the inevitable content drought came forth, not to mention the new areas were the most unique that Destiny had seen and my second favorite Raid of all time.
2. Forsaken (2018)
Forsaken is perhaps the biggest Destiny expansion ever. So much content was added and so much about the fundamental Destiny 2 experience was changed with this expansion. Players were now able to place any type of weapon (Primary/Kinetic, Special/Energy, Heavy/Power) in any slot (meaning no more heavy shotguns or snipers), random roll weapons, Bows were added as a brand new weapon type, 9 new super abilities for each Subclass, a new Fallen enemy faction (The Scorn), new PvE/PvP hybrid mode Gambit, new Crucible mode Breakthrough, 4 new Strikes (Warden of Nothing, Broodhold (PS4 exclusive at launch), The Hollowed Lair, The Corrupted), and one of the best Raids in Destiny (Last Wish). This expansion also showed players that the game can have stakes as Bungie killed off Cayde-6, the former Hunter Vanguard and best friends with Guardian (sorry Ghost). This was a fantastic expansion and many would put it at #1, but….
1. The Taken King (2015)
….I can’t put anything else at #1 except The Taken King (TTK). This was the expansion where I really got into Destiny. I had played a couple weeks before TTK released, so I still say I was a Year 1 player, but I truly became a Guardian with TTK. The Taken King introduced players to Phobos as well as the most iconic Destiny location of all time, The Dreadnaught. Home of Oryx, The Taken King, The Dreadnaught is a massive Hive ship and semi-location of Oryx’s Ascendant Realm. This expansion was super dark (literally) and had the best story of any Destiny expansion yet with 8 story missions (including Regicide, the coolest mission in Destiny). TTK also included 4 new Strikes (Fallen S.A.B.E.R., Shield Brothers, The Sunless Cell, and Echo Chamber (PS Exclusive)), and my favorite Raid…King’s Fall. Some people may disagree with me and say Wrath of the Machine or Last Wish is the best Raid, but this was the first Raid that I was introduced to in Destiny, the first Raid that I completed on Hard Mode (at 2am after 3 hours of Oryx bugging out and wiping us), and my best friend and I got so much closer because of this Raid. So it holds a special place in my heart. (Mechanic-wise though, yeah, Last Wish is objectively the best). This was also the expansion in which Peter Dinklage was replaced by Nolan North as the voice of Ghost (RIP Dinklebot). The Taken King also introduced a whopping 9 new Crucible maps (Memento, Vertigo, Bannerfall, Crossroads, Cathedral of Dusk, Frontier, The Drifter, The Dungeons, and Sector 618 (PS Exclusive) as well as Crucible Playlists Mayhem, Rift, and Zone Control. This was also the first expansion to give each Guardian class a brand new Subclass (Nightstalker (Void Hunter), Stormcaller (aka Emperor Palpatine, Arc Warlock), and Sunbreaker (Solar Titan)). In my opinion, The Taken King is, and will always be, the best Destiny expansion of all time.
Well there you have it folks, my ranking of every Destiny expansion as of November 2020, though Bungie has already announced the next 2 expansions, The Witch Queen (2021) and Lightfall (2022), so I’ll have to update this when those roll around. Until then…eyes up, Guardians.