Note: This article was updated in May of 2019.
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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#34 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.
#33 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.
#32 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.
#31 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.