Top 30+ Best Open World Games of All Time

Best Open World Games

What is an “open world” game? Wikipedia defines it as a type of videogame level design where the player can freely roam through the world and is given considerable freedom to interact with objectives and the like.

I decided against including the likes of Deus Ex and the Thief series, which despite the freedom they offer to the player, are strictly linear titles—at least in terms of exploration.

Rather, the showcase you see before you is a collection of the best open world experiences in which you, the player, can explore freely and to your heart’s content while engaging in a myriad of activities unrelated to the “main story”, if there is one.

You may want to make note that these games are not necessarily ranked in any particular order. You will find a wide range of titles available both current releases to classic titles launched for previous generation of consoles.

#36 The Division 2

The Division 2 takes place just a few months shy from a full year after the first title where there is a new primal enemy focus. As The United States of America begins to get back on their feet from the viral outbreak that plagued the first installment, the government has started to unleash harsh laws.

Innocent civilians are being slaughtered leaving daily life to be a difficult struggle. Players will be taking on the role of an agent within The Division as they start a new civil war. This installment mainly focuses around Washington D.C. as you attempt to get the area back under control from the rebel groups attempting to overthrow the government completely. However, the game did bring out expansions as well with the first bringing players back to New York. Just as before, The Division 2 is really set up to be enjoyed with multiple players rather than a single player experience, but you can still get away with doing missions solo.

#35 The Outer Worlds

Obsidian Entertainment is a well-known and beloved video game development studio after they have released countless iconic RPG titles. For instance, the developers were responsible for Fallout: New Vegas and during The Game Awards 2018 came the announcement of The Outer Worlds. This is a brand new experience which resembles a bit like their past Fallout: New Vegas work. Within the game players will be embarking on an adventure set in the distant future where mankind has colonized space.

Just like with past RPG titles developed under Obsidian Entertainment, the gameplay narrative will present players with multiple answers and options. Depending on the options selected may result in various branching storylines. In this game, players take the role of a crew member from a ship that was essentially abandoned years ago. Stuck in an endless frozen slumber, you are only awoken when a scientist that’s deemed mad rescues you in hopes you will help free civilians from the tyrannical reign by the current day government. From there, you’re given the freedom to explore different planets, take on quests from various NPCs and choose just how the story will end.

#34 Death Stranding

After Hideo Kojima and Konami parted ways the legendary video game developer opted to make his own video game development studio called Kojima Productions. It took a little while but Kojima started to alert fans about his debut title. In a true Kojima fashion, his first game was going to be cryptic with plenty of teasers leaving players guessing as to what this next project would be about. 

We, of course, now have this debut title which is Death Stranding. It’s a game that follows a man that has to deliver goods to different parts of the world. However, because of the supernatural event that left most of humanity spread across massive terrains, players are mainly preparing for large treks. This means making sure your packages are secure and finding an appropriate pathway to lead you around dangerous obstacles and enemies. There’s also a bit of content scattered across this game world which prompts players to take a bit of time and explore their surroundings. You may find some really incredible landscapes, places, and cargo that will make it all the more rewarding spending a bit more time wandering about rather than heading to your next destination. 

#33 Day’s Gone

Days Gone is a game that takes place after a virus outbreak turning most of humanity into mindless zombie-like creatures. Players step into the role of a biker named Deacon St. John, who is surviving the harsh world doing odd jobs for various factions with his best friend Boozer. This title is set in an open world environment allowing players to freely explore and take on various missions at any given time. However, because this world is filled with zombies, it can be difficult to visit certain places, especially if you find yourself being blocked off by a horde.

It’s a survival game set in the open world where Deacon is taking on various tasks while seeking resources to keep himself healthy along with his motorcycle functioning. Of course, there’s a campaign story to keep you pulling along where Deacon is still holding out hope that despite all odds, somehow his wife is still alive somewhere out there.

#32 Spider-Man

In this particular Spider-Man title the game is focused around Peter Parker, eight years after he has established the role of being the famed hero. Players are forced into fighting against a new enemy, Mister Negative along with a few other iconic nefarious foes you may recall from the comic book series.

It wouldn’t be a Spider-Man game if you couldn’t freely explore New York City. Players can swing around the busy city, stop by to interact with citizens and take out some random criminal thugs that start trouble. If you haven’t tried this game out yet and own a PlayStation 4 then you’re really missing out.

#31 Dead Island

Set on a resort island overcome by a viral outbreak that turns everyone into zombies, you take on the role of one of four main characters who find themselves among the lucky (or unlucky) survivors.

Equipped with little more than a boat paddle, you must make your way through the hordes of the formerly living and bring the rest of the survivors to safety before finding out what caused the outbreak in the first place.

Dead Island may be a little rough around the edges, but its ambitiousness can’t be denied. The game is without rival in terms of being an open world, zombie-killing action RPG.

#30 Far Cry 5

The fifth main title within the franchise, Far Cry 5, takes place within the United States of America in a fictional Montana area 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 in his way.

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 a single player narrative or through cooperative multiplayer.