When you think about Open World Games there are a few things that comes to mind, a big map to explore, an interesting story line, the quests or missions you can complete, looting and crafting systems.
Whether the game is based on history, fiction or fantasy, open world games are extremely popular and we all have played one at least once.
The main reason why we like to play open world games is that you can explore the world like you want, do missions in a non-linear way most of the time and enjoy side missions for hours at a time. It also gives you a sense of freedom with so much things to do, place to explore and features to experience about the game.
The story line or background story for each open world game is unique with its own twists and outcomes, which gives the player the choice of how to play the game and complete the story. The best open world games usually have a number of outcomes, giving it a much higher replay value for players to experience the same game in many different ways.
Looting and crafting are also really awesome as most of the games you’ll play will be different which offers a totally unique experience. We tend to spend hours of time on looting and crafting interesting objects, collecting unique items and going on treasure hunts to get rich!
You can be making medieval weapons, craft magical weapons or modify your loadout with modern day items like assault rifles, grenades and even bazookas.
Today there are a wide range of different open world titles from various game developers to give you their best open world gaming experience to keep you busy for many hours.
So I went and made a list of the 20 best open world games you can play today!
Most of these games are the latest in their series and the list is in no particular order.
I hope you enjoy the list and don’t forget to leave a comment telling us what your favourite open world game is.
20 Best Open World Games
1. GTA V
The GTA series is probably the most well known and popular game of all time, even if you you haven’t played it you will most likely know it.
From the first game in the series, GTA were setting the stage for open world games with it’s 2D graphics and entertaining missions.
Over the years it transformed into a full fledged game with 3D graphics as we know it today. GTA III (Liberty City – New York) were the first version with third person dynamics, followed by a series of great games like GTA Vice City (Miami), GTA San Andreas (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas and GTA IV (Again in New York).
Today GTA V (Los Angeles) is the ultimate game to play, offline and online, with 100’s of things to do, explore and experience. The story is one of the best out there with interesting characters as always and intense missions from blowing up cargo ships to robbing banks.
By driving super fast cars to buying luxury apartments with your hard earned money, you can almost do anything you like. If you haven’t already played GTA, you should definitely try it out to have the ultimate modern day open world gaming experience.
Or if you missed some of the older versions in the series like Vice City or San Andreas, be sure to catch up on those as they were super awesome, especially San Andreas!
2. Assassin’s Creed Origins
When I think of Assassin’s Creed games, the first things that springs to mind is the awesome historical settings, climbing and jumping from building to building while taking out the bad guys with your hidden blade.
The Assassin’s Creed Series is definitely one of the best in the open world genre and shouldn’t be missed at all. It has great stories with a lot of real history buried within the fictional plots and events happening to you as a player.
You are part of a brotherhood (Assassins) fighting to protect the free will of the people while being in constant battle with a fierce enemy (Templars) that is trying to rule the world in a way that limits free will and control the whole of humanity.
The Assassin’s Creed Series started back in 2007 where you play as Altaïr, a senior assassin, which took place in the times during the Third Crusade (1189–1192).
The second era of the series you’ll experience places like Florence, Venice and Rome Italy during the 1500’s Renaissance period in Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood and Revelations. Also fight your way through which would ultimately earn America its independence from Britain in the 1700’s in Assassin’s Creed III and set sail for the scattered island of the Caribbean in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Rogue.
Assassin’s Creed Unity is set in Paris France, where you can experience the French Revolution which took place through the 1780’s and after that the series takes you to London, Great Britain where the industrial revolution is in full swing and the most of the city controlled by the Templars.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is the latest addition in the series and has already made a big impression on the gaming industry by going back to the basics and bring you some straight up awesome gameplay experiences.
It is set in Egypt with its massive deserts, along with its vast rivers and the architectural masterpieces, the pyramids. Playing any Assassin’s Creed game takes you through a unique part of history, with cities at their pinnacle and interesting characters that helped shape the world.
3. Fallout 4
It is the year 2077 and the world is about to end as we knew it!
Nuclear war has broken out and the bombs have been dropped, but somehow you made to Vault 111.
After 210 years, set in 2287, you are the sole survivor of the vault and have no clue what happened and what is about to take place over the next few days.
This is Fallout 4!
The Fallout Series has been very unique in terms of delivering an experience closest to what a nuclear war might look like.
Yes, it’s all fiction and made up, but coupled with the story line, the wastelands, the characters and animals you encounter it is the closest you want to get to a real nuclear war.
The Series takes you to several places or metro areas in USA to experience each in a different way. Fallout 1(1997) and Fallout 2 (1998) was set in Southern California in the year 2161 and 2241 respectively where you need to save the people in the main village.
Fallout was only moderately successful in the early days and it was only in 2008 that Bathesda Softworks bought the franchise that transformed the game into one of the best you can play today. Fallout 3 was set in Washington taking place 30 years after the event of Fallout 2. Raised in Vault 101 by your father, you will have to make some important decisions during the game that will have several endings to play out.
Four years after the events of Fallout 3, you will take on the role of a courier travelling the wasteland around the New Vegas area (Las Vegas). The latest in the Series is Fallout 4 set in Boston ten years after the events of Fallout 3. The Fallout Series will keep you busy for hours and hours with things like looting, crafting, surviving and choosing which factions to support.
The post-apocalyptic world makes it a super unique open world game and definitely not one to miss.
4. The Elder Scrolls Online
If you are crazy about high fantasy, fictional cultural history and a storyline with a touch of magic, The Elder Scrolls Series is definitely a must! It is set in a totally fictional world with several different races to choose from.
You can create and customize your own character with the finest detail and go on interesting quests in the vast open worlds of Tamriel. There are several titles in the series, but the open world really only took effect when Morrowwind was released where the previous games, Arena and Daggerfell were mostly unsuccessful with being too buggy and the lack technology to support such games at the time.
Today however, The Elder Scrolls have become one of the best fantasy/fiction open world games with massive success.
Oblivion, which came out in 2006, was maybe the best of them all, given the technology and graphics at the time. Skyrim is still very popular today, especially with it’s special edition and VR releases not too long ago, which gave people basically a second chance to experience this epic open world game.
All of the games in the series up until Skyrim, the sixth game, were exclusively single player where the latest game today is Elder Scrolls which is mainly focused on multiplayer and online gameplay.
The Elder Scrolls Online gives you the chance to enjoy everything you did in the normal series, but this time with your friends and even strangers from around the world. The Elder Scrolls Series is one of it’s kind and you will have many hours of fun with whatever game in the series you choose to play first.
5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher games also has fantasy and fiction balanced with a rich story, but unlike The Elder Scrolls, you don’t have choices regarding races, cultures or character customization.
That is what makes this series stand out and be brilliant in a whole other way, where it was compared to The Elder Scrolls a lot.
You play as Geralt Of Rivia, a monster slayer, where you will go on a lot of quests and interesting journeys. The first 2 Witcher games were aiming to create an open world feeling, but was better in other areas like gameplay and giving the player a great story.
The Witcher 3 has taken open world games to the next level and came out in 2015, with amazing graphics and a virtual world that will take your breath away. Today still, it is one of the most demanding games to play and will be for long in the future.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the latest and last in the series where you play as the well known monster hunter to find and protect Ciri, your adopted daughter, from forces that looms in another parallel universe.
While all of that is going on the world is in the middle of civil war and the monsters are running rampant across the continent. You will find yourself on many different monster hunt and each type is another experience, which makes the game super interesting and not repetitive.
This is most certainly an open world game you must play to really enjoy a really amazing open world, a intriguing story and creative monsters you will have to fight on your journey.
6. Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 has only been recently released and has also achieved great success so far, just like all the previous Far Cry titles. The games takes place in modern day America, Montana, Hope County which is controlled by a Doomsday Cult.
The residents of Hope County have witnessed their friends and families captured or killed, but is determined to put a stop to everything.
You play as junior deputy sheriff which finds you right in the middle of the conflict. In order to liberate the county, you will help the resistance take out each family member of the cult, one at a time.
The Far Cry Series is known for it’s awesome stories, breathtaking graphics and interesting characters, where you will take the role of a someone who finds themselves in a region of turmoil and chaos.
Through any Far Cry game you’ll fight to restore peace and balance for the regions and people, usually the rebels. The series only implemented open world dynamics from Far Cry 2 as this was easier due to the improvement of technology in the gaming industry.
Far Cry 2 puts you in Africa where your main goal is to take down a arms dealer and weapon smuggler, “The Jackal”. Far Cry 3 were another game changer for the series as it achieved great success and is still a great open world game to play. You find yourself on vacation with friends on a tropical island when all of you got captured by the local pirates.
Most of your friends will die and you must do everything in your power to survive in order to save your remaining friend and find a way of the island.
Far Cry 4 on the other hand let’s you play with someone who has a history with the region, the place you grew up, which can make the story feel more realistic than the previous games. It takes place in the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas and when you arrive back after a few years, you find a country infested with war between the rebels and mercenaries. Take back piece by piece as you root out all the bad things to live a peaceful life, or would you?
Far Cry 4, in the end, has given you a choice and will ultimately decide how the future looks, so choose wisely. Between Far Cry 4 and 5 came Far Cry Primal, which takes you all the way back to the stone age, with everything a normal Far Cry game would feel like, but only with primitive features.
Your main purpose is to rise up and become the leader of your tribe, by going through a series of event during the game. Far Cry games is perfect for people looking for a fun and easy to master game with rich stories, beautiful graphics and modern day weapons.
I would suggest you start at Far Cry 3 and work your way up to number 5, but that is all up to you.
7. Ghost Recon Wildlands
Ghost Recon Wildlands is the latest and 11th installment into the Ghost Recon Series, but the first that is a full open world game.
As a first in the series you would think that it would not be that good, but it’s actually amazing if you go into detail.
Ghost Recon is a military tactical shooter that puts you in charge of a small special forces team to go on missions no normal soldier will survive.
Wildlands is depicted in modern day Bolivia with a lot of real issues worked into the fictional world. You are tasked to take down the Cartel which have taken over the country and ruling it through drug production, weapon smuggling and corruption.
So what makes this open world game so great you ask?
Well, firstly it’s absolutely massive, highly detailed and dynamic with a day-night cycle, unpredictable weather and a wide variety of terrains to deal with. It really is the only game with so many different biomes (terrain types) where one second you’re in the dense jungles and another you can be in hot desert areas.
It is really something to see! This is by all means not a 100% perfect game in all aspects, but when you take in all the little things into account and appreciate a good tactical shooter you will have hours of fun playing either alone or with your friends.
Ghost Recon Wildlands is just a beautiful and fun game to play and not one to miss if you are someone who loves everything an open world game has to offer.
8. The Division
The Division is an online action role playing game set in modern day Manhattan New York during a virus outbreak of smallpox.
It all started on Black Friday when the virus named “Green Poison” were transmitted through bank notes. The whole city has fallen into chaos and you, part of the “Joint Task Force”, will go on missions to establish and rebuild a base of operations.
The player will go on rescue missions to save important figures, take out criminal groups and gangs that are rising up as a result of the crisis. The whole world is basically destructive, with a day night cycle and dynamic weather.
You can choose to play alone, but you will ultimately always be online and can run into real players at the area called “The Dark Zone”. The Dark Zone is where it is all about player-vs-player. You can collaborate or fight against other players, the decision is yours.
High quality items, like weapons can be found in the Dark Zone if you kill other players, but you also need to get out alive! Furthermore does The Division has a leveling and points based system that lets you upgrade your character as you play through missions.
It is a harsh world out there with all the looting and surviving, but if you are a dedicated online gamer who enjoys a challenge, you might just find that The Division is the perfect open world game for you.
9. Just Cause 3
10. Watch dogs 2
11. Batman Arkham Knight
12. Mass Effect Andromeda
13. Borderlands 2
14. Final Fantasy Series
15. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
16. Mad Max
17. Dying Light
18. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
19. Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition
20. Middle Earth Shadow of War and Shadow of Mordor
That was the best Open World Games you should definitely check out if you are a fan exploring large maps, loot for items and lose yourself in immersive stories to give you hours of gaming fun.
What’s your favorite open world game? Is it on the list?
Let me know in the comments and please share with your friends if you found this post helpful or interesting.