I LOVE open-world games! There’s just something about being able to roam and explore huge maps that gives me a sense of freedom, which only makes the game more fun. I don’t like being automatically dropped into a mission or having to be confined to an enclosed fight space with boundaries. I enjoy exploring an open-world and playing at my own pace. In fact, I’ve found that games like these actually last longer because you’re constantly traveling and coming across cool activities to take part in on your way to the next story mission. With so many things to do and places to see, you find yourself deviating from the story to do your own thing, which creates a longer/extended gameplay that goes beyond the story.
So, I thought it would be fun to create a listicle of my favorite open-world games and how they continue to keep me entertained, even years after they’re initial release. And as you’ll come to learn later in this post, I still have yet to explore every location on a few of these maps, which is pretty cool!
Let’s get it started!
My first GTA game(s) were GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City. My parents were...reluctant shall we say about buying a video game with so much violence and graphic content. I was 11-years-old at the time, but somehow I was able to persuade them to get it for me. Since then, I’ve been a huge fan of every game in the series. But my all-time favorite title has to be the most recent installment, GTA 5! First released back in 2013, Rockstar’s GTA 5 is an open-world game that follows three characters (Michael, Trevor and Franklin) as they live a life of crime in the city of Los Santos.
The game allows you to play as all three characters and take on individual missions spread throughout the city. GTA 5 also features online gameplay that enables you to create your own character and fight other players either by land, sea or air. You can even collaborate to take down heists and other jobs. Over the years, the game has gone through a host of updates that have introduced players to fresh, new content, but the map size has remained the same. GTA 5’s map is measured at 49 sq miles, which is an ample amount of space to fight, hide, fly, drive or even hike. Although, I have yet to walk across the entire map without breaking the law or getting wasted (in the game, of course. 😉).
GTA 5 is available on multiple platforms, including PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
This another prominent Rockstar title. I didn’t play the first Red Dead Redemption, but I heard nothing but good things over the years and figured I should give the sequel a try. After about 20 minutes of gameplay, I was more than impressed. You want to talk about freedom? There’s nothing like taking your horse for a trot across the massive map that RDR2 has to offer. Cast as Arthur Morgan, leader of the notorious Van der Lind Gang, you are thrust into an old west world of struggle and survival as you take on numerous missions and challenges spread across the rough, tough terrain.
Just like GTA 5, RDR2 has an addicting online multiplayer mode that allows you to create your own cowboy/cowgirl and develop a career as a bounty hunter, trader, collector, moonshiner or naturalist. The naturalist role is a part of the new update that just dropped in late July. RDR2’s map is wide and packed with a multitude of towns, farms, caves, steep mountains, deep rivers and dangerous game (animals) just waiting to be found. I’ve owned RDR2 since it first came out in 2018, and there are still locations across the map that I haven’t been to or discovered yet!
RDR2 is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Stadia.
Batman is my all-time favorite superhero and has been since I was a little kid. In fact, I couldn’t wait for Halloween every year, so I could have a good reason for dawning the epic cape and cowl. I suppose that I always loved Batman because he didn’t have any powers and was still able to somehow take on criminals and other heroes who did. The fact that any ordinary person could be Batman always intrigued me, which is why the character is still my favorite even to this day. So, when the Arkham series arrived on consoles back in 2009 (with Arkham Asylum) I was the first one in line!
Since then, the series has developed and progressed into a full-scale open-world adventure that takes players down the path of what it takes to battle crime in the streets of Arkham/Gotham City. Arkham Knight is the final chapter of the beloved Arkham series and gives players a host of cool gadgets and vehicles (even the batmobile) to take on the Scarecrow and the mysterious Arkham Knight, who seems to know Batman’s every move. Of course, you come across a few other familiar allies and criminals throughout the world as the story progresses, including Batman’s greatest danger: The Joker!
Arkham Knight is available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
I’ve been a fan of the Far Cry series for quite a while, and each new title seems to be better than the last. Far Cry 5 was released in 2018 and has made a solid addition to the series. As a Sheriff's deputy in Hope County (a fictional town in Montana), you are tasked to bring down the leaders and followers of a psychotic religious cult who have taken over the county and left a trail of chaos in their wake. With an entire arsenal of weapons and vehicles at your disposal, you are free to explore Hope County’s large, mountainous terrain. Just be prepared to meet some rather unfriendly fire and wildlife along the way
With a large map, great storyline, and a wealth of activities/missions to take on, this is more than the average first-person shooter game. Heck, you can even do some fishing if you so desire. All in all, Far Cry 5 takes this series to new heights and gives players an open-world adventure like no other. So, I highly recommend this one!
Far Cry 5 is available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
This game actually came with my Xbox One console. So, how could I not give it a chance, right? I can honestly say that I was rather impressed with the story and how the game allows you to freely explore the map. As the sole survivor of nuclear war,you find yourself in a world that has become a wasteland and is now inhabited by some menacing creatures.
Besides its large open-world map/setting, this game has it all. A great story, amazing combat, detailed customizations and so much stuff to do in between. The game’s old school theme adds a nice touch of culture to a world that is otherwise….disturbing. But I’ll leave it up to you to determine what Fallout 4’s wasteland setting is really all about!
So, what’s your favorite open-world game? If it’s on this list, give me a shout and maybe we can do some co-op missions (if you’re on Xbox). My Gamertag is Vinsanity124. If you don’t see your favorite game on my list, PLEASE reach out to me and let me know in the comments below. I’m always searching for new and exciting open-world games!
Until we meet again!
Vince the Prince