The Mass Effect trilogy holds a special place in some gamers’ hearts. Whether that’s due to the enthralling story, unique characters, or memorable missions, I think most of us can agree the Mass Effect games are one of the more influential, and remarkable, games of our time. We’ve compiled a list of the most interesting, and meaningful, missions spanning the entire trilogy. If only we could list all of them.
10. UNC: Rogue VI – Mass Effect
The first Mass Effect often had side quests that felt tedious or irrelevant to the epic journey of Shepard. Sure, there are a few fetch quests and mere murder missions, but quite a few missions had a larger, and unique, impact on the following games. As some of you might recall, UNC Rogue VI was a mission that took place on an Alliance base on Luna, Earth’s own moon. The VI at that training base had “gone rouge” and killed the Alliance soldiers that had attempted to shut it down. Shepard does Hackett a solid and ventures to Luna in order to take down the out-of-control VI. While to some players this mission gets lost in their memory as they continue on their path to saving Earth, those same players will be shocked to hear that the rogue VI turns out to be our friend EDI. Turns out Cerberus acquired that VI and fitted it with reaper tech, thus creating the EDI we know and love today. While the mission did seem a bit tedious at the time (what with the shooting of generators over and over again,) this little gem is something to take note of in the Mass Effect universe. The world is so intricately woven, that even the smallest of missions has an impact on the future.
9. Leviathan DLC – Mass Effect 3
The entirety of the Mass Effect trilogy centers around the seemingly omnipotent Reapers. These massive machines come forth from the depths of dark space and harvest the ruling species of the Milky Way Galaxy every 50,000 years. All we knew about the Reapers boiled down to them being our only “salvation” (and hey, to be fair, that was the only thing they knew about themselves too.) I was always curious as to where the Reapers had come from. Being mechanical, they obviously had to be built by something. But what sentient race would create robots that would eventually kill them all? (Besides the Quarians, of course.) At long last our questions about the mysteries Reapers had been answered. Many eons ago a race called the Leviathans created and “Intelligence,” and what is now known as the Reapers. Their intent was to keep the enslaved races of their time under their control, but the plan had backfired and the Reapers began to harvest not only emerging sentient and powerful races, but their very own creators. The story behind the Reapers is interesting enough to warrant getting this DLC, but the various missions, including meeting the Leviathan race, make the DLC really worth it.
8. UNC: Hostile Takeover – Mass Effect
One of the most dynamic and lengthy side missions in the first Mass Effect, Hostile Takeover has players mass relaying around the galaxy hunting down a pair of crime lords for a woman named Helena Blake. Taking down the crime lords is fun in and of itself, with each gang packing plenty of firepower. A quick trigger finger will see you through the shootouts, leading you to your reward on yet another distant planet. Upon meeting up again with Ms. Blake, you learn that you were just taking down her competition, and now she’s free to pursue her own criminal ventures. Either you can take a bribe and walk away, or shut it down for good through force; alternatively, you can use your Paragon/Renegade points to persuade her if you have enough. All in all, it’s a great side mission that showcases the game’s grand, interstellar scope, along with its narrative versatility and how it can impact the gameplay.
7. Priority: Earth – Mass Effect 3
This is it, people. The trilogy culminates at with an all-out attack on the Reaper forces nowhere else but Earth. While some may argue the ending is not exactly what they were expecting, and disappointing, it can’t be said that the last moments on Earth are not intense. You fight wave after wave after more wave of enemies until you reach the base below the Citadel. Your whole career lead up to this point and you’re ready to save the galaxy. Unfortunately, the little ghost-boy waiting for you up on the Citadel isn’t quite as threatening as the husks of different species trying to kill you on the ground. Mass Effect 3 did have its problems with their three possible endings, but the mission leading up to it is one of the most emotionally charge and challenging missions in the game. And we can thank Marauder Shields for trying to protect us in the end, but we’re just too stubborn to not see the end.
6. Citadel DLC – Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 takes a more serious tone than the other two games. The Reapers have arrived at Earth (and Palaven, and Thessia, and Tuchanka, and all the rest of the galaxy) and it’s up to Shepard and her crew to plunge the final sword into them. But why not catch up on a little R&R before heading off to save Earth? the Citadel DLC takes everything we loved about Mass Effect and its characters and creates a heart-warming, riveting, and all-around good-feeling mission. Shepard and her crew are caught off guard by a group of elite soldiers, Cat6, and must take back the Normandy from Shepard herself. Well, sort of Shepard. Turns out Cerberus had created a Shepard clone just in case the body regeneration thing didn’t return results. Clone-Shep is super salty that original Shepard has the life she was created for. So, she steals her specter identity and attempts to fly off with her ship. Luckily Shepard, with the help of her squad new and old, stop her just before they are able to escape from the Citadel. The Citadel DLC is a love-letter to fans and it certainly shows with its many jokes, references, and enjoyable moments. The DLC doesn’t just end at the defeat of the clone, but continues after, allowing Shepard to roam the entertainment district of the citadel playing games, fighting in a combat simulator, and gambling away all that Alliance money. The DLC ends with a party thrown for all of Shepard’s closest friends. Shepard does remark that this may be the very last time they would get to do something like that. Which *sniff* isn’t entirely untrue.