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 openworld 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.
Timestamps 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