Best World of Warcraft expansions, ranked

World of Warcraft is, without a doubt, the world’s most renowned MMORPG. It has transcended the medium over the years and the universe its players have been able to explore has only gotten bigger.

Blizzard has given us some memorable moments and gorgeous lands to explore over the years. So, we’re going to rank over some of the best WoW expansions below.

World of Warcraft Top 5 Expansions Ranked

WoW is nearing its 20th anniversary, and with the upcoming World Soul saga announced during Blizzcon 2023, there is no better time to look into the rearview and think about some of the best times within the game.

From vanilla World of Warcraft to diving into The Maw and experiencing all that Shadowlands had to offer, players have been through it all within Warcraft, good and bad.

However, these expansions are among the best the series has produced due to numerous factors such as end-game pillars, story, and the overall world. We’re sorry in advance for leaving out some of the expansions players loved over the years. These five are usually debated at the top of the WoW universe.

Related: All Upcoming World of Warcraft (WoW) Worldsoul Chapters

5. Dragonflight – 2022

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

The latest DLC to join the ranks is Dragonflight, and with the DLC now being over a year old, it’s safe to say that while the expansions haven’t revolutionized the franchise, it’s made the game exponentially more stable compared to Shadowlands and BFA. Sticking to safe tactics throughout the DLC, especially when it comes to the bland story-telling, players have appreciated the quality of life changes made throughout the game.

The main focus here has been the ease of gearing up characters and the four primary zones introduced during Dragonflight. These have all been fantastic additions to the game, alongside a step in the right direction when it comes to the three raids we’ve got to experience. Our main gripe with Dragonflight has been the weak storytelling and the notion that everyone is best friends all of a sudden, and this appears to be changing with The War Within, as Chris Metzen has returned to take over the reins of the franchise.

However, our time with Dragonflight has been enjoyable, and it does feel like a soft reset of the franchise and a step in the right direction that Blizzard will be able to take advantage of going forward.

4. The Burning Crusade – 2007

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The first mainstream DLC released for World of Warcraft was The Burning Crusade, and players during this time got to head into the Outlands and experience what many will say is the peak of WoW. Illidan Stormrage was amongst the main antagonists during this DLC, and he quickly became one of the most beloved characters within the franchise.

Burning Crusade also introduced the Blood Elfs and Draenei as playable races in the game, and the former took over as the most popular race within the game, which didn’t surprise anyone. While we got to dive back into Burning Crusade during the Classic iteration of it a few years ago, this was Blizzard’s first real showcase of how DLCs were going to look going forward, and it left a good, lasting impression amongst players.

Related: Where to tame a Ghost Cat in WoW Classic Season of Discovery (SoD)

3. Legion – 2016

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Image: Blizzard Entertainment

If you couldn’t tell already, yes, I’m a big fan of Illidan Storage, and it’s not to love the character. He received his long-awaited redemption arc during Legion, as we headed to The Broken Isles to stop the burning legion throughout the DLC.

This DLC’s biggest addition was players being able to use Artifact weapons for their respective class. Being able to use Ashbringer, among other notable weapons, was the highlight of this DLC, but the fun doesn’t stop here. The new ally races were a big hit, such as the Highmountain Tauren’s and the Nightborne are still heavily played races for new characters, and they offer incredible storylines as well.

The end-game pillars we got to experience during Legion rank high on many players’ lists for their favorite raids of all time. The Nighthold and Tomb of Sargeras are the standouts here, and some memorable bosses, such as Fallen Avatar, hold deep memories for players.

Overall, Legion, like any DLC, had its ups and downs, but the DLC also introduced content that players are still checking out today in the form of Mythic+, so it’s hard to ignore the significance of this DLC.

2. Mists of Pandaria – 2012

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Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Moving into the top two of our list, Mists of Pandaria, or MoP, has been referenced as the best time in the game for some players, and it’s easy to see why. While Pandaren’s relevance within Warcraft is one that Blizzard is seemingly trying to figure out, the world that was introduced during this DLC was marvelous.

With a fun, free-flowing questline, this was a time when tanking was at an all-time peak. As it was the last time tanks did the same amount of damage as some of the top echelons of DPS, there was more incentive to play the role than today’s version of WoW.

We’ve talked about end-game pillars for all expansions thus far, so I can’t talk about MoP without mentioning the Siege of Orgrimmar raid and Throne of Thunder. These two are among the highest-rated instances of all time, and players still go into these raids and farm out cosmetic items.

Related: How to get to Darkshore from Stormwind in WoW Classic

1. Wrath of The Lich King – 2008

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Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Rounding off my list is World of Warcraft at its peak — Wrath of the Lich King. The final DLC in the true Classic era of Warcraft, and one that saw the ultimate clash between the players and The Lich King atop Icecrown Citadel.

Lore fanatics knew this was coming back in 2008 and were still blown away by the scale of Blizzard’s delivery of some of the zones within Northrend. The DLC also introduced the beloved Death Knight class, which was a treat for players, and the three specs are still highly loved to this day.

While ranking the best WoW expansions is subjective and, of course, will have a debate, Wrath is often among every player’s final three DLCs, and there’s a good reason for this. We hope the next era of Warcraft is one that we can rank among the best, and we’re optimistic about where Chris Metzen and the team are going to take the series into the future.

No matter which version of WoW you play and no matter which expansion you dive into, you’re gonna want to know if the servers are down or if it’s just a you-problem. So be sure to read our guide on how to check if WoW’s servers are up and running.