• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Opinion Trailer GameSpot: 20 Best Open World Games To Play Right Now

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
30,483
37,209
1,415
ibiza

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.


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
 

odhiex

Member
Dec 15, 2008
1,690
441
1,130
Jakarta, Indonesia
twitter.com
I love open-world games, mostly because:

1. Sense of exploration;
2. Complex world-building and variety of NPCs;
3. Hidden easter eggs and secrets;
4. Flexible ways to play (especially for me as a gamer dad, I could fit a couple of minutes of my time to finish one mission); and
5. Hours (even endless) of gameplay.

I have also found that the open-world games tend to have longer legs in the market and relatively more active communities, compared to the non-open-world Single Player games. Don't get me wrong, I also love the scripted, linear and cinematic Single Player games. They served different purposes for me.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Hawking Radiation

AmuroChan

Member
Nov 23, 2013
4,476
1,746
855
Love Yakuza, but that's not an open world game. You're confined to two towns which aren't connected, and the size of each town is tiny compared to the other games on the list. You can basically run from one end to the other in a matter of minutes.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Nov 13, 2013
8,048
16,958
1,415
Is Shadow of War the first or second entry I always get them confused? If it’s the second, I hated that game. I tried 5 times to get into it and each time I failed. It was just so repetitive and awful. Having mobs of enemies chasing you around and having to fight them All off over and over and over and having to block and counter and dodge over and over and over until they all finally die. And then do it all again in the raids. And with nothing of real interest to find in the world. it was just an awful experience. I dropped it for good.

I still havent played Death Stranding. I will try it at some point,but I have a hunch I’m going to hate it.

Couldn’t get into No Man’s Sky. It’s not my kind of game. I don’t like resource farming games.

Really want to try the Forza Horizon games.
 

bender

Candy Corn Aficionado
Apr 12, 2010
12,413
22,145
1,480
I love open-world games, mostly because:

1. Sense of exploration;

It's why I used to love the genre but with most developers converging on Ubisoft's paint-by-the-numbers open world design, I've grown tired of the genre. Most games these days are afraid to let players miss out on content and it just robs that feeling of discovery. Breath of the Wild is probably the last open world game I truly loved and I think I played it "wrong" as I skipped doing the divine beast and did every shrine first. That made traversal way more rewarding and just finding some of the shrines had some of the best puzzle elements in the game. The world also felt hand crafted.

Ghosts of Tsushima is probably my most recent open world game and it just bums me out. They cam up with this novel GPS system with the wind mechanic and the landscapes were beautiful enough that smoke or other environmental clues could point the way, but they still had to have a map littered with icons.

The irony is that these games are so massive and chock full of content that most players aren't going to do everything so there is no reason to lead players by the nose.
 

TheCockatrice

Member
Jun 16, 2019
3,563
7,423
650
And Days Gone sits firmly above that but is suspiciously missing.
Utter bullshit.

Watch Dogs Legion should be in that fucking list.

wtf are these replies? Days Gone is great but as an open world it's fucking boring, besides visuals, and you're telling me its above RDR2? Lmfao. Also, Legion? Fucking rofl. Even WD2 is better than Legion.

As for the list, it's, eh, generic, just like any other of these lists. Death Stranding being there is fucking hilarious tho.
 

bitbydeath

Member
Nov 25, 2015
16,473
28,531
1,285
wtf are these replies? Days Gone is great but as an open world it's fucking boring, besides visuals, and you're telling me its above RDR2? Lmfao. Also, Legion? Fucking rofl. Even WD2 is better than Legion.

As for the list, it's, eh, generic, just like any other of these lists. Death Stranding being there is fucking hilarious tho.
DG has more weapons (over 70 vs over 50), more enemy variety, better AI, more enemies on screen (500 in DG!), better gunplay, faster ride, more detailed weather system (it really snows), more dynamic/random events, better graphics.

Everything is just better and more fun to play.
 
Last edited:

TheCockatrice

Member
Jun 16, 2019
3,563
7,423
650
DG has more weapons, more enemy variety, better AI, more on enemies on screen, better gunplay, faster ride, more detailed weather system, more dynamic/random events, better graphics.

Everything is just better and more fun to play.

Compared to RDR2? You have not played RDR2 then, that is clear. I'll give you that it has better gunplay but the rest is absolutely fucking wrong. There is no open world better than RDR2 and it's random events. The only things happening in DG are the traps set up by some bandits and they are always the same. Theres at least 100 unique random events in the entire RDR2 map.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: RedDead

bitbydeath

Member
Nov 25, 2015
16,473
28,531
1,285
Compared to RDR2? You have not played RDR2 then, that is clear. I'll give you that it has better gunplay but the rest is absolutely fucking wrong. There is no open world better than RDR2 and it's random events. The only things happening in DG are the traps set up by some bandits and they are always the same. Theres at least 100 unique random events in the entire RDR2 map.
Yes, compared to RDR2.
I’ve updated with some comparisons and Days Gone has a ton more dynamic events than RDR2. They had a team dedicated to creating just that for the life of the project. Have you played it?

Have a read of this for some examples.

RDR2 has a lot of empty land where as Days Gone is brimming with life whenever you go for a ride.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Clear

TheCockatrice

Member
Jun 16, 2019
3,563
7,423
650
Yes, compared to RDR2.
I’ve updated with some comparisons and Days Gone has a ton more dynamic events than RDR2. They had a team dedicated to creating just that for the life of the project. Have you played it?

It doesnt. I played both. You clearly havent, stop lying.



Most of the "random" stuff in Days Gone is just enemies randomly attacking you. In RDR2 on the other hand the world around you can change based on some shit you do, besides the fact that every interaction is unique and not some random stupid fight encounter and that's not even all of it in that video. Theres so many more. Good luck finding anything remotely as good as RDR2 in DG. I'll expect your counter-proof. If not, you can fo.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: MightySquirrel

bitbydeath

Member
Nov 25, 2015
16,473
28,531
1,285
It doesnt. I played both. You clearly havent, stop lying.



Most of the "random" stuff in Days Gone is just enemies randomly attacking you. In RDR2 on the other hand the world around you can change based on some shit you do, besides the fact that every interaction is unique and not some random stupid fight encounter and that's not even all of it in that video. Theres so many more. Good luck finding anything remotely as good as RDR2 in DG. I'll expect your counter-proof. If not, you can fo.
Provided above.
 

Hydroxy

Member
May 1, 2020
425
367
320
Honorable mentions
Far Cry 5
Cyberpunk 2077
Days Gone
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Lego City Undercover
 

Marty-McFly

Banned
Jul 2, 2021
1,712
4,241
465
Pretty decent list.

I think Far Cry 4 is probably better choice than 3 from a gameplay perspective though.
 

TheCockatrice

Member
Jun 16, 2019
3,563
7,423
650
Provided above.

Thats...uhm..wow...Fanboys on these forums, holy shit. Ignorance is a bliss I guess. You be you buddy, ok? :)

simon cowell facepalm GIF
 

Gameplaylover

Member
Jul 26, 2021
1,176
2,172
365
Don't know why Death Stranding or Horizon: Zero Dawn are doing in that list. Far Cry 5, Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout 4, Sleeping Dogs, Days Gone or AC Odyssey/Valhallah, WD Legions and others have better open worlds in my opinion.
 

Marty-McFly

Banned
Jul 2, 2021
1,712
4,241
465
Don't know why Death Stranding or Horizon: Zero Dawn are doing in that list. Far Cry 5, Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout 4, Sleeping Dogs, Days Gone or AC Odyssey/Valhallah, WD Legions and others have better open worlds in my opinion.
Sleeping Dogs for sure. That was one hell of a game.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
30,483
37,209
1,415
ibiza

Even with multiple titles released over the years, from brand-new entries to sequels galore, the open world genre is still going strong.

There have been some failures but for the most part, it's played host to some of the best games ever created. Let's take a look at 30 of the best open world games of all time till date.
 

Bryank75

Member
Jan 12, 2018
11,238
27,191
995
Ireland
Death Stranding.
Best open world.

lol Ok

Yeah, it's actually pretty awesome..... it gives you some very cool tools and the world is yours to play around with them.

some of the weapons are hilarious too.

People didn't have patience for the slow way Kojima tells his stories and they didn't give the gameplay a chance in many cases.
 

GametimeUK

Member
Jul 2, 2015
1,968
1,639
620
As much as I dislike Ubisoft games these days, I decided to go into Watch Dogs 2 with an open mind... and OMG it was fantastic. Definitely deserves a spot on this list in my opinion. The game was just fun and that's all I need to say about it.
 

Clear

Member
Feb 2, 2009
13,477
9,378
1,365
Death Stranding is just amazing. Deep in my second full playthrough (this time on PS5) and I'm coming to the conclusion that its probably the best thing Kojima has ever made. I think its overall oddness is kinda distracting from appreciating how good its gameplay actually is, so once you get past the conceptual "hump" and are no longer constantly WTF'ing about the story its such a pleasure.

Regarding Days Gone, my feeling is that its basically last gen's equivalent of Dragon's Dogma. Despite it being overshadowed by certain other big-name titles with superficial similarities, where it shines is in how much fun it is to play. And in both instances these are games that are straight-up more fun than their more lauded contemporaries.
 

Certinty

Member
Oct 28, 2012
6,955
1,132
840
London
That's honestly a really good list. I've played almost all of them and can't really disagree with more than a few.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Mar 31, 2011
6,681
5,104
1,130
Shit.
I need to get a frikken life.
Ive finished(gone through) 18/20 of those Open World games.

No Mans Sky and Death Stranding still pending.
Got the PC version of DS but I just dont have time to actually complete the game.
 

martino

Member
Apr 25, 2013
6,901
4,897
810
France
when i see the list i'm not that much an open world guy
i've really like and deeply played 7 of them (i 've played and not finished or liked 7 others)
 
Last edited:

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,828
2,200
465
It's why I used to love the genre but with most developers converging on Ubisoft's paint-by-the-numbers open world design, I've grown tired of the genre. Most games these days are afraid to let players miss out on content and it just robs that feeling of discovery. Breath of the Wild is probably the last open world game I truly loved and I think I played it "wrong" as I skipped doing the divine beast and did every shrine first. That made traversal way more rewarding and just finding some of the shrines had some of the best puzzle elements in the game. The world also felt hand crafted.

Ghosts of Tsushima is probably my most recent open world game and it just bums me out. They cam up with this novel GPS system with the wind mechanic and the landscapes were beautiful enough that smoke or other environmental clues could point the way, but they still had to have a map littered with icons.

The irony is that these games are so massive and chock full of content that most players aren't going to do everything so there is no reason to lead players by the nose.
You should try Subnautica. One of best exploration open world games on market. Sequel is great too.
 
Jun 15, 2021
186
386
240
I've played 16 of the games on that list, some I've plat'd (Witcher 3, GoT, Horizon). Overall a solid list, nobody is going to agree with these lists 100%. Would have liked to see Days Gone on there and AC Origins. Immortals: Fenyx Rising too, was surprised at how much I loved that game, so much so that I got the plat. RDR2 not only has the best open world but for me is the overall best game of the entire last generation, all things being subjective of course.

Both Kojima creations are in my top 5 open-worlds of last gen, MGSV has the best feeling moment to moment gameplay of ALL the games on that list, Death Stranding is an open-world unlike any other. No Man's Sky didn't do anything for me (and this was after all the patches that made it into the game is was meant to be), different strokes. Yakuza: Like A Dragon is my 2nd fave Yakuza after 0, the changes worked beautifully.
 

Dr.D00p

Member
May 23, 2019
1,137
2,584
395
I'd like to play RDR2 but I simply refuse to give any more money to Take 2 & Rockstar on the grounds that they are greedy litigious cunts, always beating up on modders.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
30,483
37,209
1,415
ibiza

Looking for an open world (or sometimes semi-open world) game to play on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S/One, or Nintendo Switch this year? We’ve got you covered with these.

10 Riders Republic

Platform : PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S Stadia Luna

Release Date : October 28, 2021



9 Valheim

Platform : PC Linux

Release Date : 2 February 2021 (early access)



8 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition

Platform : PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S Switch

Release Date : 11 November 2021



7 Scarlet Nexus

Platform : PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S

Release Date : June 25, 2021



6 Lost Judgment

Platform : PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S

Release Date : September 24, 2021



5 Subnautica Below Zero

Platform : PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S Switch

Release Date : May 14, 2021



4 Monster Hunter Rise

Platform : Switch

Release Date : March 26, 2021



3 Far Cry 6

Platform : PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S Stadia

Release Date : October 7, 2021



2 The Ascent

Platform : PC Xbox One XSX|S

Release Date : 29 July 2021



1 Forza Horizon 5

Platform : PC Xbox One XSX|S

Release Date : 9 November 2021



BONUS

Biomutant

Platform : PC PS4 Xbox One

Release Date : May 25, 2021



Gas Station Simulator

Platform : PC PS4 Xbox One

Release Date : September 15, 2021