11 Best Open World RPGs You Should Be Playing In 2021

There are a ton of open-world games and in that barrage of titles that hit the marketplace every year, there are a few open-world RPGs that need to be picked up and enjoyed. If you’re going into 2021 with some extra time to sink hours into a big open-world RPG then we have a few titles worth looking into. In this list, we’re going to break it into some great already released and a bit more modern available open-world RPG titles you can play right now along with a few games we are personally interested in trying out when they launch hopefully before 2021 wraps. So whether you need something new to try out or something that will be coming out shortly, we have a good list of games to keep on your radar.

#11 The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds is the last big open-world RPG that Obsidian Entertainment was able to bring out into the marketplace before they were acquired by Microsoft. This means that this may very well be the last game to hit the market for platforms that are not directly under the Microsoft umbrella. In this game, we’re given a space drama of sorts that is quite a bit like Fallout New Vegas, their popular game installment for Bethesda’s Fallout franchise. While they didn’t get a chance to play with the Fallout IP once again, the studio did bring out some kind of a new thrilling adventure.

Players are essentially rescued by a mad scientist. From there you’re basically given two main pathways, either help the government in tracking this scientist down to bring in or help the scientist in overthrowing the government. Set in the distant future, players have a wide range of areas to explore across multiple planets. You’ll meet characters in need with their own set of problems or goals while also embarking on several tense battles. There are DLC expansions as well which gives more content for players to enjoy. However, since Obsidian Entertainment is now owned by Microsoft, chances are if there is a sequel to this IP then it won’t be available on platforms outside of PC and the line of Xbox consoles.

#10 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher received a stellar video game adaptation thanks to the developers over at CD Projekt Red. This studio was able to deliver some thrilling RPG installments with the trilogy coming to an end with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Players were given a large world to explore, interact with different townsfolk that required help and a slew of monsters to defeat. It’s a trilogy worth playing but most may be more interested with the latest installment. This is a third-person RPG with players likely going to continue finding interest in thanks to the hit adaptation series on Netflix.

While both the television series and the video games were adapted by a series of novels, they are different in certain aspects. If you’ve got The Witcher bug after catching the series on Netflix then it’s best to watch some recaps of the past two video game installments on YouTube to fully get a grasp of what’s going on with the third installment. Afterwards, clear your schedule because this is one game with expansions that will consume your free time.

#9 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game that won’t go away. Bethesda has put this game on every platform possible that it has started to become a running joke of what won’t play Skyrim at some point. However, it’s for good reason that this game comes out into the marketplace so often. It’s a thrilling game set around high fantasy lore and a civil war brewing across the country. There’s so much to do in this open-world RPG. From different quests to take on, collectibles to find, and monsters to face against, you’ll easily sink countless hours into this game without even scratching the surface of the main quests.

This title has been around for ages and players are interested in diving into the next installment, but we know that The Elder Scrolls 6 won’t be around anytime soon. While this game may be a bit older now, if you haven’t played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim then you are missing out. Pick up a copy today, craft up your protagonist and begin your journey.

#8 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda franchise is so beloved and it has been around for decades now. In this game, we’re following Link in a new open-world experience where Hyrule is in trouble with Ganon nearing his escape to once again wreak havoc. After awakening from a long slumber, Link begins his journey in clearing Hyrule out from evil monsters as he prepares for his battle against Ganon. Similar to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a thrilling open-world RPG that has several different locations to visit and quests to take on. The game doesn’t give any direction on where to go or what to do next.

You’ll slowly figure things out on your own when battling enemies, clearing out shrines, and completing a slew of puzzles. When you feel ready, then you’re able to attempt to take down Ganon himself, but chances are you’ll spend endless hours venturing around this open-world game exploring just what all it offers. Since this game launched, fans have quickly ranked Breath of the Wild as the best installment to The Legend of Zelda franchise and likewise, critics have praised this game with incredible reviews. It’s certainly one of the games that are a must-have if you own either a Nintendo Wii U or the latest console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch.

#7 Assassin Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed games as of late have been a bit different. They are far more open-world with plenty of exploration and action-RPG combat. Although being an Assassin’s Creed game there are still several stealth components throughout. The gameplay between Assassin’s Creed Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla is more or less the same, and it kind of comes down to preference in terms of what era you’d like to dabble within. I’m more partial to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, with the ancient Greek mythology.

The storyline was a ton of fun with twisted family history, religious motives, all while wrapped in revenge plot. Again, other open-world RPGs are modern for the Assassin’s Creed IP. Origins will take players to ancient Egypt while the latest installment to have been released in the marketplace, Valhalla will bring players into the Viking age. These are pretty hefty games to go through if you’re after the main game along with the extra DLC released, you’re essentially looking at 50+ hours.

#6 Fallout 4

Fallout in general is a massive IP and a beloved open-world RPG. Currently, the latest is Fallout 4 where players are once again thrown into the wasteland. However, interestingly enough this is a game that starts before the bombs drop, although it’s only moments before. With you and your family making it safely to the vaults, everyone is quickly placed in individual pods for a long slumber.

Suddenly you awaken to find that kidnappers are breaking into your spouse’s pod, killing them while stealing your newborn child. Unfortunately, you’re tossed right back into a slumber until you awaken once again to find that you’re the sole survivor of the vault. Now players embark on a quest to find their son and seek revenge on those that kidnapped him. Just as before with past Fallout titles, there is plenty of exploration, characters to meet, quests to take on, and gear to grab up for your character. While most would point to Fallout New Vegas as being one of the best installments for the franchise, if you’re wanting a more modern title to enjoy then you can’t go wrong with Fallout 4.

Upcoming Games

#5 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a sequel in the works that players will likely instantly pick up at launch thanks to the original title being such an acclaimed hit. Unfortunately, it’s a game we know very little about. There’s only been one teaser released so far which more or less confirmed that there is a sequel in the works. From what we have seen so far, it looks like this game does feature some kind of exploration within the depths below Hyrule, which is simply an assumption from what we’ve seen so far in that initial teaser.

We’re hopeful that this game comes out sometime in 2021, but at the same time, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to find out if the game was pushed back especially with the worldwide pandemic still going on. Whatever the case may be, perhaps that this game makes some kind of a big showcase next month during the E3 2021 schedule. There are plenty of live streams likely to pop up this coming June 2021 with Nintendo hopefully delivering one with The Breath of the Wild sequel news. It would be interesting to see what new changes are made, if any, to the big open-world map along with some premise as to what this sequel will be based around.

#4 Fable

Another game we’re hopeful to see in 2021 but may be a long shot is Fable. The Fable franchise is quite big and we’ve seen three mainline installments hit the marketplace before the IP became dormant. Then suddenly in 2020, we were given the news of Fable being developed by Playground Games who are known for the Forza Horizon franchise. Similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, we only have one trailer so far for the game. It was a cinematic teaser to confirm that a Fable reboot is in the works. Other than that, we don’t have any details as to what we can expect or what the game will entail. We’re hopeful for a thrilling high fantasy open-world RPG from Playground Studios who again were previously known just for developing racing games.

#3 Starfield

We really don’t know very much about Starfield at this point. When it was unveiled a few years ago we knew that this was a new IP being developed for next-generation console platforms which both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. Likewise, it was confirmed that this was a game being released into the marketplace before The Elder Scrolls 6. This new science fiction RPG is bound to have a thrilling narrative and it’s possible to be a bit like The Outer Worlds in the sense that perhaps we’ll get a chance to explore the different worlds while aiding those in need.

With that said, these are only assumptions as Bethesda is keeping things pretty quiet on their end when it comes to their new upcoming titles. Although, there may be a chance this game doesn’t release on the PlayStation 5 at all since Bethesda is now owned by Microsoft. For now, it’s purely a waiting game to see just what comes of this new IP Starfield.

#2 Dying Light 2

Dying Light was a big hit for Techland, who developed the open-world zombie title after their work with Dead Island. However, the sequel to Dying Light 2 seemed to be in a bit of trouble as it’s taking the developers a bit of time to get their project done. With that said, it looks like this game is nearing the end of its development cycle. This game will again feature a thrilling open-world to explore with plenty of parkour maneuvering around the environment to get away from danger such as enemy factions or zombie-like creatures.

We also know that this will feature a bigger open-world environment with plenty of factions and hostile creatures to deal with. Likewise, there are even several decisions that players will need to go through which will affect the different world environments you’ll encounter. Currently, the game is slated to hit the marketplace at some point this year but we’re still just left waiting for that official release date announcement.

#1 Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a game coming out by the development team FromSoftware who are known for delivering the Souls series. This is another game that will likely fall in line with those games as well although we only have one trailer so far with the game which doesn’t tell us very much of anything. With that said, being a FromSoftware title you can likely expect quite a dark and gloomy world to endure. Set to be an open-world experience, players will be venturing through the game as a custom protagonist character. Additionally, we’re also slated to have some kind of mounts to use as a traversing means so that should also tell you that this may be a pretty large game.

While we don’t have any gameplay footage or information regarding the narrative quite yet, we do know that George R.R. Martin, who is the author behind A Song of Ice and Fire which received an HBO adaptation called Game of Thrones, has been partnered up in this game. George R.R. Martin will be building up some of the lore that goes into this world, but again we’re left waiting for more information to come out to fully understand what’s going on. We’re all crossing our fingers that this game will make a debut into the marketplace before 2022.