Open-world games have come a long way over the years, offering more freedom to explore and how we achieve objectives, but what are open-world titles all about? Best open world, great challenges, great story, great characters?
1. Just Cause 3
Medici is not an island that has ever been known to be at peace, which is really for the best, if you consider how much chaos you can create as Rico Rodriguez. The entire province is at your feet, and judging by the arsenal of weapons that you will build over the course of your game, I can’t help but pity its citizens a little.
Destroy your enemies in this open world with anything from a rocket launcher or take advantage of the element of surprise with your parachute and grappling hooks.
Because horizontal traversal is for chumps. Don’t expect too much from Just Cause 3’s missions or NPCs, as they are the best. Despite this, there’s really nothing quite like parachuting towards an approaching field and then letting loose with a shotgun RPG.
2. Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
Thanks to PlayStation Now and Xbox One backwards compatibility, Bethesda’s gem still makes it to this list. Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion stands the test of time, as it’s heavy with enough quests and memorable NPCs (I’m looking at you, Glather) to make you seriously consider hibernating with it for long enough, Happy with the thieves’ guild or trying to get back someone’s jumbo potatoes while you try to climb the ranks.
As soon as you’re out of your cell, you can go wherever you want, and ignore the whole world-saving thing until you feel ready for it. If only real life worked that way. Come on
3. THE ELDER SCROLLS: SKYRIM
Skyrim is one of those games to which we return again and again and the magic remains forever. Its replayability comes through in this open-world RPG in hundreds of different ways of play, from distinctive character builds like the thief and warrior, to the entire game being a vegetarian or a role-playing form of game lore.
Tries to play as the character. Skyrim’s open world is full of characters and animals going about their daily business without you, and you’ll often see a giant wolf kicking into orbit or escorting a captured Nord to a couple of Thalamors.
4. GRAND THEFT AUTO 5
While Grand Theft Auto 3 originally pioneered 3D open-world games, GTA 5 is the culmination of everything Rockstar wanted to achieve with that innovative experience.
The ridiculously large arena of San Andreas is your playground, which also includes the L.A.-inspired city of Los Santos, and is one of the most expansive open world areas you’ll see before or after a game. There are easter eggs, stores, games and countless side missions where you can finally take over.
If that’s not enough, there’s also GTA Online, which is what makes the sandbox game great and adds dozens of other players – introducing them to races, heists, battle royales, biker gangs, and more.
There are even GTA 5 mods, which allow you to do it all as Superman or Magneto, create weapons that set cows on fire, or simply drop random whales from the sky. Who needs a Red Dead Redemption 2 PC release date?
5. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Although the Assassin’s Creed series has been accused of being “the same old thing” every time it’s released, it’s hard to argue against the world that the developers create with each subsequent adventure. Regardless of gameplay elements or story, the open world is usually breathtaking, filled with beautiful real-world architecture and full of life.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla continues the tradition of historically “accurate” locations, breathing life into the European countryside of Viking lore. Even if players stand about the status of Assassin’s Creed as a whole, it’s hard not to appreciate the open-world beauty of Valhalla.