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September 7, 2021

Open-world games have only grown more popular with time, with many series even shifting away from linear design to give players more freedom and bigger areas to explore. Not every open-world game is created equal, however, with classics such as Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild standing out against alternatives that rely too much on "stuff to do" and ever-bigger worlds than making the open world suit the experience. That can make it difficult to find the best open-world games, especially on newer consoles that have so many to choose from. We rounded up some of the very best ones, accounting for the world itself being a big reason for their inclusion-games with tremendous stories that happen to have open worlds, such as Nier: Automata, were left off for this reason. We've also geared this mostly toward newer games that are easily accessible today. 

For more games to check out on the current consoles, check out the best PS5 games, best PS4 games, best Xbox Series X|S games, best Xbox One games, and the best Nintendo Switch games. You can also check out the best PC games if you want to game with a mouse and keyboard.

0:00 Introduction
0:18 Red Dead Redemption 2
0:49 GTA 5
01:31 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
02:09 No Man's Sky
02:47 Batman: Arkham City
03:22 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
04:07 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
04:43 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
05:29 Minecraft
05:55 Forza Horizon 4
06:35 Microsoft Flight Simulator
07:14 Far Cry 3
07:43 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
08:26 Yakuza: Like A Dragon
09:05 Horizon: Zero Dawn
09:50 Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
10:32 Marvel's Spider-Man
11:13 Ghost of Tsushima
11:42 Sunset Overdrive
12:20 Death Stranding