Best Open World Games
Note: This list was updated in June of 2019.
Original article follows:
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.
#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.
#29 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
There’s rarely a dull moment in the Kingdoms of Amalur. It’s a world filled to the brim with magic, mystery, and adventure. It even changes as you leave your mark upon the world.
Thanks to the game’s open world nature, you can go about saving the world at your own pace and opt instead to pursue numerous sidequests provided by townsfolk and magical creatures throughout the land. You can even collect scattered bits of lore.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is Fable done right.
#28 STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
The atmosphere of STALKER is so thick you could cut it with a knife. And atmosphere is what defines STALKER.
It’s a first person, survival-horror game set within the radioactive wasteland of Chernobyl, where men known as Stalkers eke out a dangerous living by retrieving strange, reality-defying artifacts. They aren’t alone in the wasteland, which is haunted by mutant horrors and an assortment of nightmarish creatures.
This open-ended setting allows for players to perform a myriad of objectives for the wasteland’s human inhabitants while unraveling the mystery of Chernobyl.
#27 Watch Dogs 2
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.
#26 Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
For those familiar with the Yakuza series, the seventh main installment of the series, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life which will pick back up the narrative storyline players have been following over the years.
The game has already released in Japan where it has received a positive reception. Gamers can still expect a brawler type gameplay set in an open world environment. Much like previous installments, players will have the ability to level up various skills and abilities to use against other yakuza thugs in battle.
As for 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. The game does feature an open world city for players to explore and as you progress you’ll gather exp to use towards making upgrades such as agility or strength along with unlocking new skills.