10 Best Open World Games That Let You Roam and Play Anywhere

For gamers who love to roam freely and explore as much as possible, open world games are like digital lucid dreaming. The fact that you can decide when to approach different objectives or quests instead of just following a linear structure is a trait that gives a sense of reality and immersion to open world type of games. Because they are a beloved and popular genre, a list of the best 10 titles is a great way to rediscover some of the most valuable gaming titles that let you roam pretty much anywhere you want.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Screenshot from Assassin's Creed Black Flag on PC at 4k resolution.
Screenshot from Assassin’s Creed Black Flag on PC at 4k resolution.

The fourth installment of the Assassin’s Creed franchise is a pioneer when it comes to the open world aspect. Being one of the best-selling games of 2013, it offers a lot in terms of side-quests, exploration, graphics and improved naval combat. It was a real treat for the fans of the franchise since it included more opportunities to go wherever you want, being subjected to fewer restrictions than in the previous Assassin’s Creed titles.

Mafia 2
mafia_2_screenshot_022Mafia 2 tells the story of Vito Scaletta, a gangster who tries to climb through the ranks of the Mafia from the fictional Empire Bay city. The game is played from a third person perspective and gives the opportunity to explore many scenarios while completing missions and fighting off the police. Upon its release, Mafia 2 was met with mainly positive reviews and was appreciated for its story and the way it presented organized crime.

Fallout 3
fallout 3In Fallout 3 the player is able to explore the post-apocalyptic open world of Washington DC and the Capital Wasteland. The flexible character-leveling system as well as the sandbox style of gameplay are just two of the traits that have been universally acclaimed, the art direction and the attention to detail being some other much appreciated characteristics of the game. The fact that you have plenty of options and tools to truly enjoy the gameplay and never get bored of it is yet another reason that Fallout 3 is a great open world title.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt
Based on the series of fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt tells the story of the monster hunter Geralt of Rivia who sets out on a journey to find his lover and his adopted daughter. It’s 30 times larger than the other Witcher titles and its open world can be explored by boat or on horseback. It’s actually 20% larger than Skyrim’s map too. All the actions a player makes affect the course of the gameplay and many of the quests have a number of options for completion and different outcomes. In terms of reception, The Witcher 3 is highly esteemed, receiving acclaim for its gameplay, visual design, and sound direction.

Originally created by Swedish game designer Markus “Notch” Persson and later fully developed and published by Mojang, Minecraft is probably the most popular sand box game in the world. Beloved both by 8 year olds and seasoned gamers, it soon became a sensation in the gaming market, being played by millions of people. It offers six gameplay modes: survival, hardcore, creative, adventure, spectator and multiplayer and it has inspired lots of other clones such as UCraft, Cube Life: Island Survival or Stone Shire. Minecraft managed to become a cultural phenomenon and because of this it deserves all of our respect.

Grand Theft Auto V

image: rockstar
image: rockstar

The open world of GTA V lets players explore the city of Los Santos, shoot up things, get into heists, run from the police and do pretty much any activity that would get you some serious prison time in real life. The opportunity to customize your character and to choose how you’ll play the story are indeed very generous so you can have a really different experience than somebody else. Because of its endless gameplay options and its extraordinary replay-ability value, GTA V has become an iconic title that every gamer knows about.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The ninth and final installment of the series directed, written and designed by Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain follows the story of Venom Snake in his quest of exacting revenge on the people who almost killed him during the climax of Ground Zeroes. Its gameplay has been critically acclaimed upon released, being praised for the variety of mechanics and interconnected systems that permitted a higher degree of player freedom when it comes to approaching objectives and completing quests.

Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is an open world action-adventure first person shooter that takes the player into the story of Jason Brody who has to save his friends from the pirates that kidnaped them and escape from the island they are stranded on. It has been especially appreciated for its open world gameplay and the length and quality of the missions available. The cast of characters and the unpredictability of the enemies encountered are yet other characteristics that stepped up the game for Far Cry 3 and made it such a popular and complete title.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim follows in the footsteps of its predecessors and allows the player to roam freely throughout the game and postpone the main storyline indefinitely. It has received acclaim from critics, its open world characteristics being highly appreciated. The fact that it’s quite difficult to walk in any random direction without finding an intriguing cave, a haunted fort or some strange stones that point you towards a new adventure is the best thing a gamer could ask for. The variety of the map and the endless possibilities to make your own story are just two of the qualities of Skyrim.

Red Dead Redemption

Image: Rockstar Games
Image: Rockstar Games

With the third installment of the Red Dead series just around the corner, Red Dead Redemption is one of the best open world western action-adventure games available on the market. Played from a third person perspective, it tells the story of John Marston a former outlaw who has to bring his other three gang members to justice in order to ransom his family from the Government. Read Dead Redemption was released to universal acclaim, being praised for its landscape, graphics, environment and mechanics as well as for its flexible open world gameplay and stunning sound design.

featured image is from Tropical Skyrim Mod