33 BEST Open World Games Of The Last 5 Years

Note: This article was updated in November of 2018.

Open world video games continue to be popular with each console generation. New and exciting titles hit the market allowing gamers to explore new worlds. Within this list we have compiled the thirty best open world video games to have released in the last five years.

In this list we have a compilation of great installments to past beloved franchises to brand new IPs. While you wait for that next big open world title to release, we suggest giving these video games a try.


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#33 Ghost Recon: Wildlands

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is the tenth installment in the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise. This time around, the game is set in Bolivia, where the rising power of drug cartels has become a concern to the United States Government.

To deal with this concern, the Government has sent in an elite special operations unit called “the Ghosts” to destroy the cartels in question. Unlike previous installments within the franchise, players will be set in an open world environment to explore along with more freedom in how they accomplish their goals.

#32 Dead Rising 4

  • Developer: Capcom Vancouver
  • Publisher: Capcom

Capcom sure loves their zombie titles as the studio not only has their staple Resident Evil franchise but the Dead Rising series as well. Gamers may see Resident Evil as a more serious approach to an undead zombie pandemic narrative campaign, but Capcom also offers gamers who want more of an action-adventure experience with Dead Rising.

Dead Rising 4 is known as a survival horror beat ‘em up video game that is a more or less open world. Players in Dead Rising 4 takes on the role of a protagonist named Frank West who first came into the scene in the very first Dead Rising video game.

In the narrative, Dead Rising 4 takes place in 2022 where Frank West acts as a college professor who is convinced to follow a student towards a rural area of Colorado. In their journey, the duo discovers a military compound is using the base as zombie research. Frank is then considered and marked as a fugitive who once again gets swept into saving the day after a zombie outbreak strikes.

As mentioned, the Dead Rising series is more focused as a beat ‘em up where players can melee attack hordes of zombies with a wide variety of weapons. In fact, the game series does offer the ability to make custom weapons out of random parts discovered about.

#31 Just Cause 3

  • Developer: Avalanche Studios
  • Publisher: Square Enix

Just Cause 3 is the third game in the long-running Just Cause series of third-person action games. Offering a vast, open world setting on a fictional Mediterranean island known as Medici, series protagonist Rico Rodriguez returns, this time to oust a dictator named General Di Ravello from power.

The game’s map size has been confirmed to be similar to that of Just Cause 2, offering 400 square miles of content–but with increased verticality. The game is the biggest and baddest entry in the series to date.

#30 Dying Light

  • Developer: Techland
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Dying Light was created under Techland, who was also the developers behind Dead Island and as such, there are some clear similarities between the two. However, between the two video game titles, Dying Light certainly carries a more mature tone and bleak world.

The video game follows an agent named Kyle Crane who is tasked with infiltrating a quarantine zone city of Harran which has become infested with a virus turning civilians into ruthless zombies. Interestingly enough, there’s a twist on the day and night cycle in Dying Light. During the day, the zombies are more lethargic and easier to deal with, though once the sun set’s they become more aggressive and harder to escape.

Developers have also tossed in some parkour elements within the game allowing players to easily traverse the city and its obstacles when fleeing the undead hordes. Combat as well has been changed from the melee focus from what we seen within Dead Island to gunplay, giving players an action-adventure experience.

#29 Far Cry Primal

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Far Cry Primal, will take players back into the past, more specifically, 10,000 BCE during the Mesolithic period. Players take the role of Takkar, one of the last remaining members of the Wenja tribe, a group of peaceful people that is often made an easy target from other tribes within the world. Takkar decides to take his remaining people and lead them from extinction which will be a tough task facing against the other more powerful tribes and the diverse wildlife.

Speaking of the wildlife, animals will play a major role in Far Cry Primal where players can tame and use them to their advantage. Some of the animals present in the game are saber-toothed cats, wooly mammoths, cave bears, dire wolfs, jaguars, snow leopards, among others. Each of these animals will have a particular skill level to use against enemies, for example, the cave bear is great for defense and can be led in to take out a number of enemies without a problem.

Weapons are primitive with players having to seek out resources to craft most of their arsenal. For the most part, players will be using bows, spears, blades, and clubs to fight against enemies though as we pointed out earlier, wildlife can be used to your advantage as well. One aspect that is amiss from the previous Far Cry 4 release is multiplayer. Far Cry Primal is a single-player title as Ubisoft felt multiplayer would take away from the story and gameplay experience.

#28 Yakuza Kiwami

  • Developer: Sega
  • Publisher: Sega

We have a few installments to the Yakuza franchise in this list and if you’ve never got into the series before then Yakuza Kiwami may help. Developed by Sega, Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the first Yakuza game within the series. Players will learn about the various crime families and their connections with each other. As you fight against other Yakuza clans, players can explore the open world, gather collectibles and aid in other side quests.

#27 Middle-earth: Shadow of War

  • Developer: Monolith Productions
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Following after the events of Shadow of Mordor, Middle-earth: Shadow of War will continue to follow our main protagonist Talion as he forged a new Ring of Power. However, conflict may arise between Talion and his infused spirit of elf lord Celebrimbor when it comes to their end goals.

Outside of the narrative, most of the gameplay mechanics you’ve become acquainted with in the first installment will likely make a return as you take down orcs and travel across the lands completing quests.

#26 Tom Clancy’s The Division

  • Developer: Massive Entertainment
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Ubisoft’s The Division takes place in the United States after a smallpox pandemic causes the government and its cities to collapse. Now only chaos remains where one force may be the last line of defense when it comes to bringing back the stability and peace throughout the nation. This last line of defense is called the Division, a classified stay-behind force with self-supported tactical agents.

Taking place in New York City, players traverse the city as they team up with other Division agents to clear out the infected and protect the innocent, however, throughout the game, the Division agents find themselves in a worldwide conspiracy leading them to a group responsible for unleashing the deadly virus.

#25 Far Cry 5

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

The fifth main title within the franchise, Far Cry 5, takes place within the United States of America in a fictional Montana place known as Hope County.

Within the narrative, Far Cry 5 pins players against Joseph Seed, a leader of a cult who has forced his way into controlling Hope County. As more innocent civilians become trapped and forced into submission under Joseph Seed’s rule, only a handful of resistance stands between Seed and his reign.

Just as before, players can expect the title to deliver as a first-person shooter in an open world environment which can be explored either on foot or through vehicles. However, the campaign can be experienced both as singleplayer experience or through cooperative multiplayer.

Likewise, Far Cry 5 will include a map editor where players will be able to build maps with objectives to complete for when gamers finish the main campaign.

#24 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

  • Developers: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is set in 431 BCE where players will have the choice of being a mercenary that fights for Athens and the Delian League or the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Either way, players will be a descendant of Spartan King Leonidas I during the Peloponnesian War.

Much like the previous Assassin’s Creed installments, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will feature a modern day protagonist as well. Ubisoft will be reintroducing players to Layla Hassan who was present during Assassin’s Creed Origins.

There is also an emphasis on a RPG progression system where players can adjust their character skills and attributes. Likewise, with a branching dialogue system, your narrative journey may offer a unique ending thus giving players an incentive in going back and replaying the game. However, you may find yourself roaming the world of ancient Greece taking in the sights, people and breathtaking monuments that was crafted up from actual historic landmarks.

#23 Final Fantasy XV

  • Developer: Square Enix Business Division 2
  • Publisher: Square Enix

Final Fantasy XV is an action role-playing video game and the fifteenth main installment to the Final Fantasy franchise. Overall the story of Final Fantasy XV will center between two empires that have declared war, Lucis and Nifheim, though after Nifheim successfully captures the kingdom’s crystal of Lucis, a group of friend’s sets out to regain it. Players take control of Noctis, prince of Lucis, who teams up with his fellow friends in a grand journey against a massive empire force. The game is also set in an open world environment with available quests and collectibles to gather.

#22 Prey

  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

The 2017 release of Prey from developers Arkane Studios is stated to be an FPS with survival horror elements. This is a futuristic title where players are set on a space station that has been tainted by a hostile alien species. During this exploration journey, gamers will be stepping into the shoes of Morgan Yu who must find a means to get rid of the alien species and escape the station.

You may recall the Prey franchise from when it first launched back in 2006 and it’s worth mentioning that this is not a reboot or remaster. Instead, the developers identify Prey as a reimagining of the IP with a new narrative.

#21 Watch Dogs 2

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

After the success Ubisoft had with their new IP Watch Dogs, a sequel was released back in 2016. This time around, players are taken to the San Francisco Bay Area to explore and cause havoc by hacking various terminals connecting to city functions or personal smartphones. Much of the same gameplay mechanics are present, though the developers did make a few overhauls such as driving. Luckily, for gamers who are looking to get a break from the narrative journey then the game allows freedom to roam around the city.

#20 Watch Dogs

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Watch Dogs is a great third person shooter and a game with a criminal element to its story. It’s also a fantastic open world game with a wide swath of things to do. These range from gang hideouts that are populated by bad people who are in dire need of a beating by our hero Aiden Pierce, to various non-player characters whose stories will be revealed through the magic of hacking into their personal lives. There’s just so much to do in open world Ubisoft titles, and Watch Dogs is no exception.

#19 Yakuza: The Song of Life

  • Developer: Sega
  • Publisher: Sega

For those familiar with the Yakuza series, the latest main installment of the series, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, will pick back up the narrative storyline players have been following over the years. Just like previous installments to the franchise, gamers can expect a brawler fighting title with a slightly open world environment to explore.

As players go through the game, they can level up and unlock useful skills to use against other Yakuza thugs. When it comes to the narrative, players will step into the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu once again who is on a mission to learn what has happened to Haruka after being locked away for three years.

#18 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the fifth game in Bethesda’s ever popular series of role-playing games. Like its predecessors, Skyrim takes place in an open environment which is full of exploration, wonder and a whole slew of quests. You can easily spend countless hours within this fantasy world and we’d honestly be surprised to find a gamer who has yet to experience this journey. If you have yet to do so, pick up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and begin to weave your own tale.

#17 Assassin’s Creed: Origins

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed: Origins is the latest installment within the Assassin’s Creed series. Players are taken to the end of the Ptolemaic period in Egypt as they witness the origins of the long driven conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order. Being an Assassin’s Creed game, you can expect a heavy emphasis on stealth with Origins being more opened world to explore during your game progression.

#16 Fallout 4

  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

If you’re a fan of the Fallout franchise then it’s likely you’ve already picked up the latest release. However, if you’re completely new to the series, Fallout 4 still marks as a great first entry. Set during the events of a nuclear war, players manage to escape into a vault, only to awaken hundreds of years into the future. What’s left of your world is nothing more than decay and outsiders trying to make it by in this new world.

Each installment to the Fallout franchise manages to bring out an incredible wasteland to explore and Fallout 4 is no exception to that trend. You’ll come across old ruins, new structures, and a fleshed out cast of characters to meet along your journey.

#15 Batman: Arkham Knight

  • Developer: Rocksteady Studios
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

If you’re coming from Batman: Arkham City and looking to get a bit more of the caped crusader then Batman: Arkham Knight is one title not to miss out on. The video game acts as a sequel to the Arkham City release where the game picks up one year following the Arkham City events.

Within the game, Scarecrow had unleashed an attack on Gotham City causing a massive evacuation. Teamed up with a mysterious enemy known as the Arkham Knight, Batman is left within a barren city filled with his greatest foes.

Much like Batman: Arkham City, Arkham Knight allows players to freely transverse through the world map and take on additional side missions. Likewise, developers, Rocksteady Studios introduced a new element to the franchise, the Batmobile.

Batman’s famous vehicle is not only used to help our hero to travel throughout the city, but also a means to solve puzzles along with acting as another combat tool.

#14 Far Cry 4

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

In Far Cry 4, players take on the role of Ajay Ghale, a young Kyrati-American who travels back to his home country of Kyrat, a fictional Himalayan country.

During his travel, Ajay finds that this home country has been caught in a civil war that is controlled by a tyrant king, Pagan Min. A large portion of the game allows players to freely explore the Himalayan country and the wildlife that dwells within it. Furthermore, because the game has a few different storyline branches, gamers will likely replay the title a few times, offering a chance to explore a bit more of the world than before.

#13 Spider-Man

  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Spider-Man was crafted up by developers Insomniac Games who are previously known for their Ratchet & Clank and Resistance video game franchises. Their latest title will breathed some new life into the Spider-Man story as this video game title will not be linked to any past comic books or cinematic movies.

Furthermore, we’re not going through some origin story of Spider-Man, instead, the video game will be focused around Peter Parker, eight years after he has established the role of being the famed hero. From what we know so far, this is an open-world title where the narrative will follow Peter Parker graduating college while keeping up as protector of New York City. If you enjoyed Spider-Man 2 back on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox days then you will find this to pay some great homage to the world and web slinging mechanics when exploring the city.

#12 Nier: Automata

  • Developer: PlatinumGames
  • Publisher: Square Enix

If you’ve been following this video game then you’ll know that this is a sequel to the 2010 video game release known as Nier, a spin-off title from the Drakengard series. Overall, the story is set within a proxy war between machines developed by alien invaders and the last surviving members of humanity. Still not persuaded on picking up Nier: Automata? Take a look of our detailed breakdown of the game within with our Before You Buy series upload right up above.

#11 Horizon Zero Dawn

  • Developer: Guerrilla Games
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Horizon Zero Dawn is the first IP developed by Guerrilla Games since their release of Killzone in 2004. This is an action role-playing video game title that is set a thousand years into the future.

Mankind has mysteriously fallen, with cities only a shell of a once thriving society. Now only small tribal groups remain where giant mechanical beasts roam the world freely in charge. The plot revolves around a female hunter named Aloy who sets out on a journey to explore the open world, meet with other tribes, find out who her mother was, and potentially learn of the reason mankind fell.

#10 Dragon Age: Inquisition

  • Developer: BioWare Edmonton
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts

The third major installment to the Dragon Age franchise, Dragon Age: Inquisition is an action role-playing video game where players take on the role of an Inquisitor who is on a grand journey to deal with the civil unrest within the continent of Thedas.

While developers have set the game to be on the same continent of the past two installments, exploration for Dragon Age: Inquisition is rather massive in comparison. For instance, it’s been noted that the game features a map that is already five times larger than the setting of the first installment of the series. With all that said, you’ll want to set aside some time to really dive into the video game.

#9 Monster Hunter World

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom

The Monster Hunter franchise is consistently growing and with each new installment a number of new gamers explore the monster filled worlds development studio Capcom has crafted. Monster Hunter: World is fifth main installment to the franchise and as you can expect, there will be a number of notable updates.

For instance, Capcom has placed larger maps, a more seamless experience between zones and what’s a Monster Hunter video game without the ability to hunt with friends? Outside of the offline campaign, the game will allow a four-player online co-op opportunity.

#8 Forza Horizon 3

  • Developer: Playground Games
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Released in 2016, Forza Horizon 3 continues to be a fantastic title within the Forza franchise. This particular installment follows player racing through several locations within Australia with over 300 different cars. Gamers will find that there are plenty of drift zones, jumps, and events to attempt during their races. Additionally, the game has a number of great DLC packs and expansions that are well worth investing in.

#7 Shadow of the Colossus

  • Developer: SCE JAPAN
  • Publisher: SCEE

Shadow of the Colossus is an iconic title, one of which that originally released back in 2005 for the PlayStation 2. Overall, players take on the role of a young man named Wander who has entered into a forbidden land. Your overall goal in the video game is rather straightforward, players must track down and fight these massive creatures known as Colossi in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono.

The video game as mentioned was introduced and released for the PlayStation 2, however, it was later re-released with enhanced graphics in 2011 for the PlayStation 3. During Sony’s E3 2017 press conference, we were once again taken back to the classic title as Sony unveiled their intentions to remake the video game for the PlayStation 4 console which you can pick up today!

#6 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Publisher: CD Projekt Red

Fans of western RPGs will no doubt have played at least one of the Witcher games. This series of Polish games based on the works of Andrzej Sapkowski has gained a lot of fans over the years, mainly thanks to its complex world and stories, incredible graphics and deep gameplay systems.

The third and final installment in the series sees a much older Geralt of Rivia – one of the titular Witchers – as he deals with the invasion of the Northern Kingdom by the Nilfgaard Empire and the otherworldy threat of the Wild Hunt. Offering a massive open world, hours upon hours of story content and sidequests, tons of NPCS to interact with and monsters to hunt, a living economy that adapts to different locations and events and improved gameplay.

#5 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

  • Developer: Konami
  • Publisher: Konami

Taking place after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, players can enjoy the last installment of the beloved franchise in which was directed under Hideo Kojima. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain follows Snake as he goes through a new mission that takes him to a Soviet-occupied Afghanistan territory.

During the journey, Snake seeks his revenge on those who destroyed his forces during the ending of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, however, to do so, Snake will be exploring an open world environment. For fans of the franchise, this latest installment is seen to be a bit different in terms of the gameplay with this time around, developers allow the players a little more freedom when it comes to completing objectives.

#4 Super Mario Odyssey

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo

Super Mario Odyssey was unveiled during E3 2016 where players were shown off a brand new free roam world similar to the Super Mario 64 video game release. Mario will be exploring brand new worlds with a new ability thanks to a specialized hat companion. With this hat, players can control just about anything giving a wide range of ways to complete the level. Speaking of levels, there is a wide range of worlds to go through that may be drastically different than before such as the realistic city setting.

#3 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

  • Developer: Nintendo EPD
  • Publisher: Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild marks as the nineteenth main installment to The Legend of Zelda franchise. This time around, players will be placed in a large open-world environment with the ability to play through the game’s dungeons in any order.

Within The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, players will take on the role of Link after he awakens from a deep slumber that lasted a hundred years. A mysterious voice alerts link to reach a ruined Kingdom known as Hyrule where he will learn of Calamity Ganon, the antagonist who had previously destroyed Hyrule, though, during the process, he had trapped himself within the Kingdom. Ultimately, Link will have to train and prepare for a battle against Calamity Ganon before he escapes and destroys the world.

#2 Grand Theft Auto V

  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto V is by and large one of the biggest open world titles ever developed and it really fleshes out the city of Los Santos. Players take control of three protagonists this time around with narratives dealing with old kept secrets and new beginnings. Outside of the cast of characters featured within the main campaign, Los Santos acts as the setting for the online component known as Grand Theft Auto Online.

Online, gamers can face against each other in a wide variety of game modes, join together and complete missions or even decide to wreak havoc while fleeing the police. Years after its initial release, Grand Theft Auto V continues to be a popular video game to play.

#1 Red Dead Redemption 2

  • Developer: Rockstar Studios
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games has crafted up a number of incredible pieces of work. Their beloved long-running series Grand Theft Auto, the single IP release of Bully, and of course their old western series, Red Dead Redemption just to name a few. Red Dead Redemption has a massive following and gamers all over the world have been waiting for a new installment.

Within Red Dead Redemption 2 players take the role of Arthur Morgan who finds himself on the run from the law with his fellow members of the Van der Linde gang. Outside of being another western adventure full of gun battles and forming your protagonist as a law abiding citizen or morally corrupt outlaw, the game also sets players on a massive open world. This open world environment will also feature a variety of landscapes, wildlife and interesting characters.