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The Best Open-World Games Ever

The 15 Best Open-World Games Ever!

Exploring a fresh open world? Discover our expert picks.

Open world games offer the epitome of gaming escapism. When you yearn for a grand adventure, nothing beats the thrill of traversing vast landscapes, exploring sprawling cityscapes, or even embarking on interstellar odysseys. In today’s gaming landscape, the options for exceptional open-world experiences are abundant, particularly on PC. If you’re seeking a game that immerses you completely, we invite you to begin your journey with the outstanding titles featured below.

15. Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy, released on February 10, 2023, and developed by Avalanche Software, offers an enchanting experience across various platforms, including PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 (from April 4, 2023), Xbox One (from April 4, 2023), and Nintendo Switch (from July 25, 2023).

This immersive game transports players into the captivating universe of Harry Potter, but with a unique twist. Instead of retracing the steps of the famous wizard, Hogwarts Legacy is set a century before Harry’s adventures. In this magical journey, players step into the shoes of a novice student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Upon your arrival, you’re sorted into one of the four legendary houses and given the freedom to carve your path. The game opens the doors to the iconic Hogwarts grounds and other familiar locations from the beloved books and films.

Hogwarts Legacy combines a compelling main storyline with the freedom to explore and make your own choices. The open-world design ensures that you can fully immerse yourself in the enchanting universe, offering a dream-come-true experience for dedicated fans of the franchise who’ve always yearned to experience life as a wizard or witch.

14. Dying Light

Dying Light

Dying Light, developed by Techland and released in 2015, is an open-world first-person survival horror game that seamlessly blends parkour, combat, and an immersive zombie apocalypse narrative. Set in the city of Harran, a fictional Turkish city struck by a mysterious virus, the game invites players into a world teeming with infected creatures and hostile survivors.

As the protagonist, Kyle Crane, you’re an undercover operative sent into Harran to retrieve a crucial file. However, upon your arrival, you become trapped and must navigate the dangerous urban landscape. The city is divided into zones controlled by various factions, and your choices and actions will shape the narrative.

What sets Dying Light apart is its unique day-night cycle. During the day, you can explore the city, gather supplies, and help other survivors. The real challenge arises at night when the more powerful and agile infected, known as Volatiles, emerge. This creates an intense shift in gameplay, as you must rely on parkour skills to avoid the deadly creatures.

Parkour is a central element of the game, allowing players to traverse the city’s rooftops and move fluidly through the environment. As you progress, you’ll gain access to a variety of weapons and tools, including melee weapons, firearms, and gadgets, to fend off threats.

Dying Light’s open world is filled with side quests, collectibles, and dynamic events that make exploration engaging and rewarding. The game also supports cooperative multiplayer, allowing you to team up with friends to face the challenges of the city together. With its immersive atmosphere, thrilling gameplay, and dynamic day-night cycle, Dying Light offers a captivating open-world experience for fans of survival horror and intense action.

13. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of Pripyat

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, developed by GSC Game World and released in 2009, is a gripping open-world first-person shooter that immerses players in a hauntingly atmospheric post-apocalyptic landscape. It is the third installment in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, known for its unique blend of survival horror, role-playing, and FPS elements.

The game is set in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where players assume the role of Alexander Degtyarev, a government agent tasked with investigating mysterious phenomena in the area. The game’s open world is a desolate, irradiated wasteland filled with anomalies, dangerous mutants, and rival stalkers.

What makes Call of Pripyat stand out is its eerie and immersive atmosphere. The abandoned buildings, dilapidated industrial sites, and radioactive swamps create a sense of dread and unease. Survival is paramount, as players must manage resources, navigate hazardous terrain, and confront deadly threats. The game’s day-night cycle adds another layer of tension, as darkness brings out more dangerous foes.

As you explore the open world, you’ll interact with various factions, each with its own agenda, and your choices will influence the game’s outcome. Whether you’re scavenging for supplies, uncovering the Zone’s secrets, or engaging in intense firefights, Call of Pripyat offers an unforgettable open-world experience for fans of challenging and atmospheric shooters.

12. Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2, developed by Ubisoft and released in 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, is an electrifying addition to the open-world action-adventure genre. Set in the San Francisco Bay Area, this game provides an expansive, vibrant, and highly detailed open world for players to explore.

You step into the shoes of Marcus Holloway, a talented young hacker, and your mission is to dismantle the corrupt corporate power structures that govern the city. What sets Watch Dogs 2 apart is its emphasis on hacking as a primary gameplay mechanic. You can manipulate various electronic systems, control vehicles, and even change traffic lights to create chaos in the city. The game’s open world feels alive, offering diverse neighborhoods, iconic landmarks, and plenty of opportunities for interactive mayhem.

Watch Dogs 2 embraces a sense of freedom and creativity as you complete objectives using hacking skills, gadgets, and even parkour. Whether you’re infiltrating high-security facilities or engaging in thrilling car chases, the game’s open world is your playground. The ability to connect with other players seamlessly and engage in cooperative missions adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the experience. Overall, Watch Dogs 2 delivers an engaging open-world adventure with a modern and technologically driven twist.

11. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, released in 2017 as a Nintendo Switch launch title and also available on the Wii U, stands as a monumental achievement in the world of open-world gaming. This highly acclaimed action-adventure game takes players to the kingdom of Hyrule, a vast and breathtaking open world filled with rolling hills, dense forests, towering mountains, and various ecosystems.

What sets Breath of the Wild apart is its unparalleled sense of freedom and interactivity. Players can explore the entire map from the outset, climb almost any surface, and tackle the game’s challenges in their preferred order. The world is a true sandbox, allowing for creative problem-solving, which is emblematic of the franchise. You can cook meals, solve intricate puzzles in ancient shrines, and engage in thrilling battles with the sinister Calamity Ganon. The game offers countless surprises, hidden secrets, and memorable characters, making it a genuine masterpiece and an outstanding example of open-world design.

10. Marvel’s Spider-Man

 Marvel's Spider-Man

Marvel’s Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games and first released in 2018, swings into action as one of the most beloved open-world superhero games. Available on the PlayStation 4 and later enhanced for the PlayStation 5, this game allows players to step into the iconic suit of Spider-Man and traverse the bustling streets and towering skyscrapers of New York City.

Set in an open-world rendition of Manhattan, the game combines thrilling web-swinging traversal with heart-pounding combat sequences, making you feel like the friendly neighborhood superhero. As Spider-Man, you’ll face off against classic foes like Doctor Octopus, Rhino, and the Green Goblin, as well as new threats.

The game’s open world is teeming with activities and collectibles, from stopping petty crimes to taking breathtaking photos of the city’s landmarks. With its engaging story, fluid gameplay, and stunning visuals, Marvel’s Spider-Man swings high as a prime example of an open-world game that captures the essence of a beloved comic book hero.

9. Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2

Released in 2022 and developed by Techland, Dying Light 2 offers a distinctive blend of zombie survival and first-person parkour in a post-apocalyptic setting. The game’s vast cityscape presents a unique playground, divided between survivors and marauding bandits, all while the undead continue to lurk. Your character’s agility evolves as you progress, granting you a range of parkour skills, including wall-running, grappling, zip-lining, and gliding, providing a thrilling sense of freedom in your exploration.

As night descends upon the open world, the stakes are raised. The swiftest and most terrifying undead adversaries emerge, creating intense and heart-pounding rooftop chases if you’re caught outside of a safe haven. The day-night cycle adds a dynamic dimension to the city, making Dying Light 2’s open world exceptionally immersive and wonderfully distinct. Available on platforms like Steam, the game delivers an exhilarating and fear-inducing experience that sets it apart in the world of open-world gaming.

8. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

In a realm brimming with mythical creatures, political intrigue, and epic quests, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt stands as a defining masterpiece. Developed by CD Projekt Red and initially released in 2015, this open-world RPG continues to captivate players. Its sprawling, meticulously crafted world offers an unparalleled gaming experience.

As Geralt of Rivia, a skilled monster hunter known as a Witcher, players embark on a journey across a realm ravaged by war and teeming with danger. The game’s expansive landscapes, from the bustling city of Novigrad to the war-ravaged swamps of Velen, are brought to life with stunning detail. Players can explore every nook and cranny, uncovering hidden treasures and engaging with a rich cast of characters.

The Witcher 3’s gripping narrative, enhanced by morally complex choices and consequences, makes every decision feel weighty. Additionally, the game’s two expansion packs, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, introduce even more content, taking players on remarkable adventures through the land of Temeria.

Whether you’re facing deadly creatures, uncovering the secrets of the Wild Hunt, or simply savoring the beauty of the in-game world, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a timeless masterpiece that immerses players in a world of unparalleled depth and storytelling. With availability on various platforms, including PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, and PC, it’s a must-play for any fan of open-world gaming.

7. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition

 The Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim Special Edition

Released in 2022 and developed by Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition continues to hold its place as the ultimate open-world RPG. More than a decade after its initial launch, Skyrim’s vast and wintry landscape remains one of the most frequently explored settings in video game history, and its enduring popularity is well-justified. The game offers an adventure of breathtaking proportions and diversity. Players have the freedom not only to traverse an expansive map at their leisure but also to define their own path, ranging from a lowly thief to the esteemed leader of a wizard’s guild.

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X

Today, an ever-expanding collection of user-generated mods empowers players to customize their experience precisely to their preferences, further enhancing the already expansive open world. Whether you wish to transform Skyrim into a lifelike survival simulator, an outlandish super-powered playground, or even engage in a battle against the formidable Thomas the Tank Engine, the choice is yours. Skyrim Special Edition’s modding capabilities place the reins of power in your hands, ensuring your adventure is uniquely tailored to your desires.

6. Death Stranding

Death Stranding

Death Stranding, available on PlayStation 4, PC, and PS5, is a unique open-world video game developed by Kojima Productions. Released in 2019, it’s a game that defies traditional genre boundaries and has garnered considerable attention for its intriguing narrative, stunning visuals, and innovative gameplay mechanics.

In Death Stranding, players step into the shoes of Sam Porter Bridges, portrayed by Norman Reedus. Sam is a courier in a post-apocalyptic world, tasked with reconnecting isolated cities and people. The game’s open world is a desolate yet captivating landscape, and as Sam, you navigate it while striving to make deliveries, overcome challenging terrain, and confront spectral entities that threaten your mission. What sets Death Stranding apart is its emphasis on connectivity. Players can leave supplies, structures, and even words of encouragement for others, creating a collaborative multiplayer element in a typically solitary experience. The game’s combination of stunning visuals, a complex narrative, and the innovation of the “strand” genre makes Death Stranding a standout addition to the open-world gaming landscape.

5. Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 is a breathtaking open-world racing game that’s sure to rev your engines. Available on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, this game takes players to the vibrant and visually stunning landscapes of Mexico. Developed by Playground Games and released in 2021, it offers a thrilling open-world experience unlike any other in the racing genre.

Set against the backdrop of Mexico’s diverse landscapes, including deserts, jungles, coastal areas, and bustling cities, Forza Horizon 5 provides players with a dynamic open world that’s both incredibly vast and visually stunning. The game’s story mode is seamlessly integrated into this world, connecting players to various races, challenges, and events. With an extensive roster of cars to choose from, players can explore every corner of this virtual Mexico, participating in races, taking on daring stunts, and showcasing their driving skills in a playground of endless possibilities. Forza Horizon 5 stands as a prime example of how open-world gaming can be thrilling, immersive, and exquisitely detailed. Get ready to hit the open road and experience the beauty of Mexico in a way only this game can offer.

4. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a remarkable open-world gaming experience, available on various platforms such as PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Developed by Ubisoft, this installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise takes players on a thrilling journey to the Viking Age. Released in 2020, it offers an expansive open world filled with breathtaking landscapes, historical richness, and epic adventures.

The game’s open world is set in the lush and rugged landscapes of Norway and the sprawling kingdoms of England. Players assume the role of Eivor, a Viking warrior, and have the freedom to explore a vast, historically accurate environment. This environment is deeply intertwined with the game’s story mode, providing players with a seamless and immersive experience. Whether raiding monasteries, building settlements, or engaging in epic battles, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla offers a dynamic and captivating open world. With its rich narrative, stunning visuals, and opportunities for exploration, it exemplifies the grandeur of open-world gaming.

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2, a defining masterpiece in the world of open-world gaming, is available on various platforms, including PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Developed by Rockstar Games, this title takes players on a journey through the American Wild West, offering a breathtaking and highly detailed open world. Released in 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 continues to captivate gamers with its remarkable storytelling, immersive gameplay, and unparalleled attention to detail.

Set in 1899, the game features a vast, open landscape that encompasses prairies, mountains, forests, and bustling towns. Players step into the boots of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang. The game’s story mode is an epic adventure that seamlessly connects to the open world, allowing players to explore and interact with the richly crafted environment while making crucial choices that impact the narrative. With stunning visuals, an engrossing narrative, and a myriad of activities and challenges, Red Dead Redemption 2 stands as a testament to the capabilities of open-world gaming, inviting players to immerse themselves in the rugged and captivating Wild West.

2. Elden Ring

Elden Ring

Elden Ring, a highly anticipated open-world action RPG, is poised to make a monumental impact in the realm of gaming. Developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, this game is set to release on multiple platforms, including PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2022. Elden Ring promises an expansive, interconnected open world that will redefine the genre. With the collaboration of famed game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and renowned author George R.R. Martin, this game fuses the best of both gaming and literary worlds.

As a spiritual successor to FromSoftware’s Souls series, Elden Ring inherits the legacy of challenging gameplay while introducing a vast, dynamic world filled with lore, mysteries, and epic battles. The game is designed to captivate players with its intricate storytelling, relentless combat, and rich environments. With its cross-platform availability and the combined talents of its creators, Elden Ring is set to offer a groundbreaking open-world experience, cementing its place as a monumental achievement in the realm of gaming.

1. Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) stands as a paragon of open-world gaming, and its enduring popularity attests to its excellence. Initially released in 2013 for PS3 and Xbox 360 and later on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, this game has undergone several iterations, ensuring that it remains accessible on current-generation consoles, including PS5 and Xbox Series X. Developed by Rockstar North, it offers an unparalleled open-world experience. The game’s story mode seamlessly connects with its expansive open world, comprising the sprawling city of Los Santos and the picturesque Blaine County. Players assume the roles of three distinctive protagonists, each with their own enthralling narrative arcs. The game’s exceptional depth and detail manifest in its intricate storytelling, realistic environments, and the freedom to undertake an array of activities, from high-octane heists to leisurely sports and exploration.

With its gripping narrative and impeccable world-building, GTA 5 captivates players with an extensive array of diversions, immersing them in a virtual playground. The game’s longevity and continued adaptability across different platforms underscore its iconic status in the realm of open-world gaming. Whether you’re indulging in epic missions or merely savoring the game’s meticulous design, GTA 5 offers an all-encompassing open-world adventure, making it a timeless masterpiece in the genre.

In conclusion, the realm of open-world gaming offers unparalleled adventures and limitless exploration. These captivating titles redefine the boundaries of imagination and deliver an unrivaled gaming experience. Whether you seek epic tales, breathtaking landscapes, or boundless freedom, these open-world games are your gateway to gaming escapism at its finest. Embark on your journey, for the vast digital worlds await your exploration.

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