Top 25 PlayStation 4 Exploration Games Of The Last Five Years

Note: This article was updated in March of 2019.

Some video game developers really spend their time crafting the game world. There are so many titles out there in the market that is filled with extra visual goodies to discover as you explore. From open-world titles that toss the players into an oddity location along with the classic adventure style games, exploring your surroundings just comes naturally.

In this video game list, we’re going to showcase some of our favorite titles that left us spending plenty of time looking around the in-game world rather than pushing to progress the narrative along. To establish some guidelines, this list will only contain titles that are readily available today on the PlayStation 4. Likewise, we’re only focusing on video game titles that have been released in the last five years.

With all that said, take a look below at some great video games filled with spectacular exploration elements. Furthermore, let us know what video game you spent the longest exploring within the world rather than progressing the campaign by leaving a comment!


#25 Fallout 76

Fallout 76 is the latest installment to the Fallout franchise though it’s quite a bit different in comparison to past main video game releases. Bethesda has developed Fallout 76 to be an online multiplayer title that takes place before previous Fallout games.

Within the game, players take on a member from Vault 76 where their goal is to help rebuild the wasteland when the vault opens twenty-five years after the nuclear war. While this is still an action RPG, the gameplay is centered on building up and maintaining settlements.

For instance, when players have managed to build up a base, they will have to defend it from the mutated monsters both old and new along with other hostile players. Now this game does come with some pretty unfavorable reviews but this is still an early online video game release and being Bethesda we imagine that this game would be tweaked quite a bit. Because the game doesn’t have a standard campaign to go through, players will have to make sense of the world simply by exploring. You’ll be forced to hunt down resources, items and gear. Likewise, the Wasteland as you know from previous installments is not always safe which means fighting back against a slew of monsters and enemy npcs, not to mention the occasional player you’ll come across during your escapades.

#24 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 is similar to that of Just Cause 2, offering 400 square miles of content–but with increased verticality. This game installment also marks as not only the biggest but most over-the-top entry to date.

#23 Firewatch
  • Developer: Campo Santo
  • Publisher: Panic, Campo Santo

Firewatch is the debut title for development studio’s Campo Santo. Within the game, players take on the role of a forest fire lookout named Henry. Set back in 1989, Henry’s only form of communication is through a walkie-talkie to another nearby forest fire lookout named Delilah.

Overall, Henry is tasked with maintaining the safety of the forest and preventing forest fires if possible. However, there seems to be something more going out in the woods leading to potential sabotage. During this narrative adventure title players will discover the reason behind Henry taking a job that essentially secludes him from the outside world.

#22 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.

#21 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 showcase 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 makes a return as you take down orcs and travel across the open lands completing quests and slaying orcs.