The best open-world games are the ones that force you to play the game not once but multiple times. They tend to give players a bit more than just a nicely crafted storyline. The non-linear approach that an open-world game follows is what makes them stand out from other genres.
Moreover, the way its environment is built, the characters, the NPC, and the player’s interaction with the world a game is set is are usually the driving forces of a nicely made open-world game. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list packed with our picks for the best open-world games you shouldn’t miss out on.
List of the Best Open World Games of 2021
|1||Ghost of Tsushima||PS4, PS5|
|2||Red Dead Redemption 2||PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, PC|
|3||Days Gone||PS4, PC|
|4||Watch Dogs 2||PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, PC|
|5||GTA 5||PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC|
|6||Forza Horizon 4||Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC|
|7||The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild||Nintendo Switch, Wii U|
|8||The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt||PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch, PC|
|9||Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla||PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia, PC|
|10||Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain||PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC|
1. Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima is an action-adventure game that falls into the open-world game genre. This is probably one of the most beautiful games on this list; exploring the excellent artwork-filled environment of Ghost of Tsushima is a treat. You play as ‘Jin Sakai’, a samurai, on a mission to free feudal Japan from the invading Mongol forces.
More precisely, the Tsushima island from the first invasion of the Mongols. However, Ghost of Tsushima recently got an expansion pack DLC – Iki Island, which expanded the game’s storyline and introduced new characters. If you own a PS and don’t play Ghost of Tsushima, you’re wasting away the console.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the third game in the Red Dead series and a prequel to Red Dead Redemption. This game is a masterpiece when it comes to open-world games. Moreover, RDR 2 nails the game mechanics; how NPCs react to the environment and the player is almost unique to RDR 2.
Hunting, heists, shootouts, and horse riding are a few examples; RDR 2 offers many interactive actions that players can perform, with a particular emphasis on realism. Moreover, RDR 2’s development lasted eight long years, making it one of the most expensive games ever made, additionally making RDR 2 one of the best-selling video games to date. Of course, all this has contributed to RDR 2 being the recipient of numerous game awards since its launch in 2018.
3. Days Gone
Days Gone is an action-adventure and one of the best open-world games to be published in recent years. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, players explore the open-world element of Days Gone, playing the character Deacon St. John on a quest to find his wife after discovering the possibility of her being alive.
Days Gone integrates a mix of various weapons, including improvised ones and stealth elements against zombie hordes in the game; oh, and Days Gone has near-realistic zombie encounters you might ever see in an open-world game.
4. Watch Dogs 2 (Best Open World Games)
The second and arguably best installment in the open-world Watch Dogs Series. Watch Dogs 2’s storyline takes place in an imaginative version of San Francisco, where players control Marcus Holloway, a hacker. The protagonist works with a hacker organization named DedSec to take down the city’s advanced surveillance system called ctOS.
This game features competitive multiplayer wherein players can go against one another in this open-world game. Moreover, Watch Dogs 2 gameplay relies heavily on stealth, giving players access to hack traffic lights and get information on NPCs by hacking their cell phones, to name a few.
5. GTA 5 – Best Open World Game
A list of the best open-world games would be incomplete without GTA 5 in it. Grand Theft Auto 5 is undoubtedly one of the best open-world games made yet, probably the best open-world game if you ask GTA fanboys. Rockstar Games’ action-adventure GTA 5 is the seventh title in the GTA series and was launched way back in 2013, making the game almost a decade old. However, that doesn’t make the game any less popular; in fact, GTA 5 is one of the most popular games in the series.
Of course, as an open-world game, GTA 5 is frequently updated with new content, making the game feel fresh with every update. GTA 5 is a perfect blend of stealth missions, heists, and chaotic missions. The gameplay is exhilarating, with a number of fast cars and good-looking muscle cars to drive from. However, if you get bored from the regular story mode, which we highly doubt, you have the option from hundreds of mods to add to the game to make things interesting.
6. Forza Horizon 4
For those who do not know, Forza Horizon 4 is an open-world racing game; and one of the best games in the Xbox Game Pass. The game gives players the option to customize racing routes from the maps, called route creators. In Forza Horizon 4, players can explore the open world in which the game is set, based on a fictionalized version of Britain.
However, the most interesting element of Forza Horizon 4 as an open-world game is the changing seasons. Forza Horizon 4, being the eleventh title in the series, is the first to introduce changing seasons in the game. Furthermore, parts of the map depicting the winter season would be covered in snow, giving the players the experience to drive on snow-laden routes.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Anyone who’s a fan of open-world games has to love The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game was developed by Nintendo for the Switch and Wii consoles. Breath of the wild is highly considered by many to be the best open-world game ever created, with Nintendo overcoming every possible mistake other open-game developers have made over the years.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set towards the end of the Zelda timeline. Moreover, players can finish the main story in a non-linear way. As an open-world game, Breath of the Wild is free to explore with multiple puzzles and side quests to complete in the visually stunning world of Zelda.
8. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Based on the fantasy novels by Polish Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place in the fantasy world of The Witcher called ‘The Continent.’ You should probably know about the world of The Witcher, thanks to the popular Netflix series. Started as a short story, The Witcher has been converted into films, TV Series, and video games; however, video games are the most popular out of the lot.
You play as Geralt of Rivia in the open-world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. A magically enhanced being has superhuman capabilities, whose only aim is to hunt monsters belonging to a race called ‘Witchers.’ Witcher 3: Wild Hunt nails the storyline and the open-world element; the combat and the environment design of this open-world title is also very engaging.
9. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the series’ twelfth installment and is set in late 800 AD. AC Valhalla tells the story of the Viking’s expansion to England with a massive and beautifully designed open-world game. Players control Eivor Varinsdottir, a Viking raider; the game also gives players the liberty to choose between a male or a female character. In addition, players can also customize the characters’ clothing, hair, tattoos, among other elements.
Apart from the breathtaking open-world of AC Valhalla, the game has role-playing game elements too. Furthermore, the game is filled with multiple side missions, called world events. While AC Valhalla builds on the already established open-world RPG foundations of previous AC titles, Valhall is undoubtedly the best AC game so far.
10. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
An amazing open-world game by the famous video game designer and director Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is a near masterpiece in the open-world video game genre. The game relies heavily on stealth mechanics. Written, designed, and directed by Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 5 is the final installment in the series.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain nails gameplay mechanics and the story’s narrative. If you haven’t played any of the Metal Gear Solid games, you’re missing quite a lot.
Best open-world games: Conclusion
So here goes the list of the ten best open-world games. Since we wanted to keep the list short, it only mentions the ten best games of a genre with many great titles. However, if you’re interested in knowing more great open-world games, here’s what we think. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, horizon Zero Dawn, Fallout 4, AC Odyssey, Death Stranding, Cyberpunk 2077, Subnautica, Far Cry 5, Valheim are some good open-world games, to name a few.