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Open World Games: Your Favorites?

Jan 13, 2018
I.... dislike open world games, I can't remember any game that incorporates an open world which I enjoyed or enjoyed that aspect of it in particular.

Except for one.

Sleeping Dogs which is a favorite of mine.

I think I loved it on the merit that it has a serviceable combat which for some reason open world games don't prioritize.

The game's other facets are also fun of course.
Oct 28, 2017
People thought watch dogs 2 was a big step up on the more standard open world formula.

You could also try one of my favourite games, Subnautica, which has a large expansion leaving early access in the next year I think.
Oct 25, 2017
Red Dead Redemption 2
New Vegas
Breath of The Wild
The Witcher 3
Metal Gear Solid V
Dragon's Dogma
GTA 3/Vice City/San Andreas
Shadow of The Colossus
Kingdom Come Deliverance
AC Odyssey

I tend to value a combination of immersion, strong environmental storytelling & exploration, some level(s) of player freedom, room for role playing and/or making my own fun, worlds with interesting systems that commingle in thoughtful, even surprising ways.
Jun 9, 2018
So to me there are 3 kinds of openworld games

Saints row 2 and 3/just cause 3: emphasizes fun

AC odyssey/skyrim/BOTw/gothic games: the game gives you tools and then you decide how to have fun in a world designed in spite of you, not FOR you.

Red dead redemption 2: simulation and immersion

Red dead is in a league of its own. Haven’t seen a game achieve what it has achieved. The most fun i’ve had in an open world is probably red dead 2... hunting and bounty hunting.
Jan 13, 2018
I'll limit it to this generation. First of all, the three Forza Horizon games. They are good racers as well, but the open-world aspect is something that they nail incredibly well.

Then there's Sunset Overdrive, and slightly below it, Crackdown 3. I've always enjoyed the combination of platforming and action in an open-world environment, and these two have kept me entertained for many hours. Here I'd also like to mention ReCore, but it's not really open-world in the strict sense, since its (pretty large and open, apart from the dungeons) environments are segmented off, so it's more like a 3D metroidvania.

And finally, there's Sea of Thieves, a very unique game with a completely open (and shared) world that's just a joy to inhabit.
Nov 6, 2017
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is probably the greatest videogame I haver ever played. That said, when discussing about open worlds specifically, IMHO Assassin´s Creed Origins stands out. Its semi-realistic depiction of Ancient Egypt blew my mind.
Oct 25, 2017
Sleeping Dogs: If you have even a passing interest in Hong Kong action cinema, you owe it to yourself to play this. In some ways it's very clearly a foundation for a series we'll unfortunately never see flourish, but even still this is a solid open world game that outworks its typical GTA structure with a handsomely rendered Hong Kong setting and Donnie Yen/John Woo inspired action mechanics and set-pieces.

Watch_Dogs 2: Even after RDR2 I still feel like Watch_Dogs 2 was the game that showed the biggest improvement in world systems this gen. What Rockstar did was absurd and impressive, of course, but WD2 is a more realistic preview of the kind of systemic, self correcting randomness I think will become commonplace in the best open world games of the future. Truly a game where you can just stand around and watch NPCs bounce off of you and each other, the underlying faction system constantly on the brink of some kind of humorous petty crime scenario, or erupting into a full scale gang shootout. With the hacking abilities now leaning even more on social mischief and manipulation, I spent dozen and dozens of hours being the conductor and audience to some of the funniest open world moments since the PS2 GTA games. Hugely underrated.

Saints Row 2: THE best open world co-op campaign. Ridiculous character customization options, a TON of secrets, the best narrative and suite of content in the series, best map in the series, great voice acting from the main character and cast, etc. etc. I'm sure it feels creaky in 2019, but I maintain this is the best Saints Row game in nearly every way.

Bully: Like Sleeping Dogs, this takes the traditional GTA format and wraps a skin around it that's so committed to delivering the "open world game" from its perspective that the result is something unique and memorable. Bully has fantastic atmosphere, and some of Rockstar's best upgrade and collection progression

Shenmue II: If you can make it past the controls and idiosyncratic feel of everything here (and make it through the first game if you're completely new), Shenmue II is still a great game, with an incredible sense of place, an entertaining story, and design choices that are still utterly bizarre and subversive even in 2019. Only appeals to a niche group, but I think it's worth mentioning.

Red Dead Redemption 2: It's RDR2. I can't add anything that hasn't been said. Money, animation, scripting, and hand crafted moments everywhere. You won't play anything like this until Rockstar's next game. There are dozen of reasons you might not like it, but you should still play it at least up through Chapter 2 when you're set free and allowed to roam.

Yakuza series: Feel free to start with the greatness that is Yakuza 0 and experience one of the more engrossing, likeable, ridiculous games you'll ever play. Like any long running series there are highs and lows, but these are games that aim to please.
Oct 27, 2017
Since it's basically my favourite tyoe of game, it's difficult to make a short list... But I really like all of those (in no particular order) :

- Arkham Knight
- Spider-man PS4
- Ghost Recon Wildlands
- Mad Max
- Xenoblade Chronicles X
- Assassin's Creed series (most of them)
- Yakuza series (0 and 6 the most)

Each one has either a world that is very compelling to explore, or a fun gameplay that makes for great traversal. Or both of those.

What I like most about open world games is the ability to take my time visiting them and soaking in their worlds, playing at my own rhythm, and not feeling like the game is always pushing me forward and closing doors behind me. I don't only purchase a story to experience, but a whole fictional world to lose myself into and go back to whenever I want.
Oct 30, 2017
In loose order of personal enjoyment

Yakuza, the series.
Horizon Zero Dawn
GTA (San Andreas specifically)
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Saint's Row 2
Jak II
Assassin's Creed (Ezio trilogy and Odyssey foremost)
The Witcher 3
Red Dead Redemption 2
Far Cry 3
Dead Rising series
Just Cause 2 and 4
Batman Arkham Series
Rage 2
Sleeping Dogs
Elder Scrolls IV Shivering Isles
Spiderman 2 / Spider-Man
Red Faction: Guerrilla
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Driver 76
Mafia III
Crackdown / Crackdown 3
Infamous 1 and 2
Elder Scrolls 5

Then pretty much everything else.
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
I played through the first two Borderlands games twice, those were great.
I played through multiple Assassin's Creed games, with 2 being my favourite.
Forza Horizon 3 and 4 are the GOAT open world racing games, with Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2005) not too far.
GTA games are great: Vice City, San Andreas and V (single player) in particular.
Saints Row 3 and 4 are so ridiculous over the top that I can not avoid loving them.
Kingdoms Of Amalur is one of my all-time favourite RPGs, and it follows an open world structure, so it fits.ù
Really like Far Cry games too, though the only ones I got around to finishing before getting a bit of fatigue were 3 and Blood Dragon.
The Crackdown games are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me: I don't always love their gameplay and design, but traversal is so damn good.
Somewhat similar discoure for Sunset Overdrive, but there it's the core gameplay that rules along with the traversal, though it did get a bit repetivie after a while.
Oct 27, 2017
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Deadly Premonition

These are probably the ones I'd put above the rest. BOTW is on a whole other level for me. It really cares about world design and level design in ways that the vast majority of open-world games simply do not. It's the first game of that scale where I could simply turn off the map and know where I was and where I was going at all times.

MGSV is less about the open-world itself (which isn't especially great), and more about how amazing its sandbox gameplay and design is. But like most open-world games, it didn't need to be open-world to achieve what it did, and as such it doesn't take full advantage of that design philosophy like BOTW does. Still, it's probably my most-played game of the generation due to how fun and addicting the gameplay was.

Deadly Premonition succeeds for me where so many open-world games have failed. Bigger and more bloated just isn't for me. DP's Greenvale actually felt like a real place that I was a part of during my time playing it. I always knew where I was and where everything else was relative to me. Where open-world games often feel very impersonal with checklists to tick boxes off of, this game offered the exact opposite experience (and in my eyes, a more preferable one). I wish more games took the "small town" approach, with memorable NPCs and densely packed with unique content.
Oct 27, 2017
Breath Of the Wild
Red Dead Redemption 2

Both made me believe in the world i was playing in, and when i think about it, it’s like i’ve truly been there, almost like real memories.
Oct 25, 2017
Zelda BotW so far the most favorite

I just got lost in the world and fully explored it before I even bothered doing any of the story (and yes even before getting any armor - was rocking the default clothes and depending on potions for cold and heat resistance 😂)

Can’t wait to do it again on the Switch version

Other open world games I enjoyed

GTA San Andreas and Vice City
Sleeping Dogs
Saints Row The Third

Haven’t played that many though
Oct 25, 2017
Sleeping Dogs
Watch Dogs 2
GTA(all of them)
Assassin's Creed 2
Saints Row 2
The Godfather
Scarface: The World Is Yours
Witcher 3
Fallout: New Vegas

I still love open world games. I just don't think most devs are good at making them.
Oct 27, 2017
I read a lot of the suggestions here and realized I’ve played about 99% of the recommendations or high praised ones .

Red Dead 2 for example wasn’t fun to me and while I am aware of all it does well the full package never came together for me. Same for GTA5. Or new AC titles. New fallout titles are a nope.

I would say after AC black flag the fatigue set in.

I did pick up Spider-Man the other day and was about to flush it but last night I got to the E3 set piece event and wowwowow!!!
Oct 25, 2017
  • Fallout New Vegas - unlike the other 3D Fallouts you get to see civilization somewhat rebuilding itself. Resulting in you getting to explore different towns and the factions within them that are figuring out how to make do in the post apocalypse.
  • Breath of the Wild - while a lot of the world in BotW is grass filled plains and hills, the art style more than makes up for it and there is so much to find. In addition you truely have an open sandbox that gives you freedom in a way that few games do.
  • Metal Gear Solid V - MGSV also gives you an incredible amount of freedom to accomplish your missions like BotW does but taken to an even greater level, but has even less interesting places to go.
  • Hollow Knight - don't know if this counts since much of the world is locked off to you until you get certain upgrades, but many of the environments are incredible to see. Some are very calming, some are somber, some are terrifying, and one in particular fills you with existential dread. The City of Tears in particular is a beautiful place to see. All the while you encounter enemies and NPCs that perfectly complement the respective areas helping to make you feel like you really are in a different place than before.
Apr 7, 2019
I’ll be honest ResetEra: I’m beyond fatigued by open world games.

Younger me loved them and loved spending the hundred minimum hours to beat games like Fallout 3, AC2, Skyrim, etc.

As of late I’ve tried and failed to get into:
Witcher 3(multiple times)
AC games after black flag
Fallout 4 & 76
Zelda Breath of the Wild

I did oddly enough complete mgs V to almost 100% and Horizon Zero Dawn but not close to 100% completion .

What, if any games, are a must in the open world genre ? If even Zelda didn’t grab me would something like Spider-Man do it ?
Honestly i say days gone the freakers all have patterns and actually live like a existing creature. It has a very believable world it is slow burn but it is one of the best as of recent for me.
Oct 27, 2017
Honestly i say days gone the freakers all have patterns and actually live like a existing creature. It has a very believable world it is slow burn but it is one of the best as of recent for me.
I think for me it has to be a total package kind of thing . Hard to want to pick this one up with so many negatives pointed out here and across many reviews .
Oct 25, 2017
My favourite Open World is The Forbidden Land in Shadow of the Colossus - it's vast, beautiful and immensely peaceful as you travel cross country on your trusty steed. There is nothing to do, other than marvel at the scenery, as you travel to defeat your foes in a deal struck with a mysterious entity in the sky. It's so goddamn peaceful that it makes the appearance of the Colossi even more jarring and intimidating. You've had eagles fly past your head, lizards scurry away from you and fruit drop from trees as you make your way to your fate. It's glorious. It's an outlier in modern open world games which is what makes it so good.

The Witcher 3 is probably my fav modern one. GTA San Andreas is my fav vehicle-based one I think. Was awestruck when I played it back in the day. Far Cry 2 is maybe my fav first person one. I still like Open World games, Horizon was awesome but not all games need to be Open World. I thoroughly enjoyed Naughty Dog's wide linear parts in Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy - felt really open but always funnelled you to where you needed to go. Was very impressed with those.
Apr 7, 2019
I think for me it has to be a total package kind of thing . Hard to want to pick this one up with so many negatives pointed out here and across many reviews .
The performance has been fixed by the patches and its a case of the reviews are wrong and user impressions are far more positive. Honestly it starts out a 7 but ends on a hard 9 imo
Aug 10, 2018
In the action-adventure category:
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: If I'm being honest, a lot of the critics of this game's world are right. It is too big! I spend a lot of my time on my phone during fast-travel loading screens or riding my horse to a destination. But the gameplay loop has me hooked to a far greater extent than any other open-world game I've tried. It also deserves credit for being very pretty and letting me take a lot of cool photos.

Honorable mentions to
Watch Dogs 2, for its systems and the platforming puzzles I didn't expect to find
MGSV, which I just haven't sunk enough time into yet but can tell I'm going to love.

Racing games:
Forza Horizon 3&4 - 4 is the better world, with more challenging roads and some nice variety offered by the change of seasons. But I list 3 alongside it because the blueprint bucket lists let you use that world to create fun little challenges that I sunk entirely too much time making.

Honorable mention to
The Crew 2 - The racing is bad, but the world is so goddamn big. I can zone out and drive to wherever seems cool, and lose an hour to that.

Steep - Wanted to give a shoutout to this game, which is another one that is satisfying and relaxing to explore. The replay and photo modes give me reason to space out in search of cool runs and scenic areas.
Oct 27, 2017
Does the evil within 2 count? I really feel the open world fatigue altho I have never been that found of them. Lately I have really been enjoying Spider-Man and horizon zero dawn. I guess that witcher 3 was one of the games that I felt didn't compromise storytelling so I liked that one.

Read dead redemption (both games) and assassin's creed O are games that I like, the open world are good but I kind of wish they where shorter and more linear. It's a bit to much to ask that I decidet 100 h to one single game. It takes me months to beat it.