Open world games, often called sandbox games, are the games that allow you to move anywhere you through a virtual world. Unlike other video games where you find linear gameplay, open world games will enable you to make your varied choices.
This means you get to choose, when and how to access a particular object to complete your gameplay or to reach your goal and win the game
Open World Games has achieved massive popularity due to its liberty that lets the player roam free in an open environment.
We have mentioned the platforms on which the games are available so that you don’t need to look for each platform individually. The list contains the best open-world PC games, open-world survival games, open-world ps4 games, open-world games for Xbox, and other free open-world games.
Best Open World Games
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best open world games developed by CD Projekt RED and published by CD Projekt.
The Story: The game is played in an open world, and you get to control the Geralt of Rivia, who is a monster hunter and searching for his adopted daughter. It has multiple endings depending upon the choice Geralt makes during the game.
Firstly, Geralt can run, walk, roll, dodge, jump, climb, and swim. Secondly, he has weapons like bombs, a crossbow, a steel sword, and a silver sword.
To keep the swords working well, you need to repair them regularly. The game has a Dialogue Wheel which allows players to respond to the non-player characters the way they want.
Unlike other game engines, REDengine 3 has a practical design of a virtual world with a complex storyline at the same time.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.
2. Mount & Blade: Warband
Mount & Blade: Warband is standalone expansion pack game which was developed by Taleworlds Entertainment and was published by Paradox Interactive on March 30, 2010.
On January 31, 2014, Paradox Interactive gave back the publishing to the developer. Warband is an expansion of the original game adding a sixth faction (The Sarranid Sultanate) in it.
The game now supports the multiplayer mode with increased political options. Moreover, the players can now start their faction.
Story: The game is horse-mounted combat. You have to move through an Overworld map that includes medieval places where you can move into the battle with your army. Besides, you can either battle on foot or horseback.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Android, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an open-world game developed and published by Nintendo.
The game is one of the top-rated and best open world games that is loved and appreciated a lot for its gameplay and beautiful graphics.
The Story: It keeps you engaged in its green world with all the natural beauty that ends up landing you in a different world. This is a part of The Legend of Zelda series.
First of all, the game has a protagonist named Link who awakens from a hundred-year light sleep. He is then guided by a deep, unknown voice, to defeat Calamity Ganon who is trying to destroy the kingdom of Hyrule.
You have to control Link throughout the game. This is where you can freely explore Hyrule and can run, climb, swim, and glide with a paraglider.
Furthermore, the game is set entirely as a beautiful and exciting adventure with an open world environment, a detailed physics engine, and high-definition visuals.
Available on Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Wii U.
4. Minecraft – A Popular Open World Game
This game was created and designed by Markus “Notch” Persson and later developed and published by Mojang. The game allows you to build creative construction with textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world.
The concept of Procedural Generation allows you to create data algorithmically as opposed to manually. The Procedure Generation is used in video games to include small size files, great content, and unpredictable gameplay.
The Story: Minecraft is one of the excellent open-world survival games. This is where you have to survive through multiple challenges and build your world at the same.
The game has various modes like a survival mode where the player has to acquire resources to make the world and keep healthy too.
It has a creative mode where the player has unlimited resources to use. In addition, an adventure mode where he can play on custom maps created by other players.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux.
5. Red Dead Redemption – Wild West Open World Game
Red Dead Redemption is an action-adventure game developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games.
The Story: You play the game from the third-person perspective in an open world environment where you can communicate with the game world during your leisure time. The virtual world of the game resembles the Western United States and Mexico.
This is where you explore and travel the world with horseback or foot. You control John Marston and complete the missions to progress in the story.
The Horse is the primary mode of travel. You get to choose from the different breeds of horses, and each one has different attributes. You can also use trains for traveling.
Besides, you can do this violently too by threatening and killing the passengers and driver. Red Dead Redemption is an exciting combat where Gunfights are the vital gameplay.
Available on Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
6. Far Cry 4
Far Cry car is an action-adventure game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft.
The Story: The player controls the main character, Ajay Ghale. Ajay Ghale is a young Kyrati-American who is caught in a civil war that involves Kyrat Royal army. The gameplay is combat where the player battles enemies using weapons.
Accordingly, Ajay Ghale is on a journey to spread his dead mother’s ashes in the fictional country of Kyrat. The player can run, leap, crouch throughout the game and use the weapons like shotguns, crossbows, sniper rifles, and mines.
The game features a free environment that explores forests, rivers, and mountains. The player can utilize vehicles like buggies or trucks to speed up travel in his game.
In addition, it also has a co-operative multiplayer mode that can support two players.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Skyrim is an action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.
The Story: The game is set in an open world environment and is the fifth version of The Elder Scroll series. It is set two hundred years after the events of Oblivion (a prequel of the game).
The main character is on a quest to defeat Alduin who eats up entire worlds and is a dragon trying to destroy the world. You, as a player, have to complete the quests and enhance your skills.
In addition, the game can be played either in the first or third-person perspective. You can roam throughout the open world that includes wilderness expanses, dungeons, cities, towns, villages, and fortresses.
Besides, to move quickly, you can ride a horse. Skyrim is the first in The Elder Scrolls to have dragons in the game.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
8. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is an action-roleplaying game developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
The Story: You play the character of Aloy, who is a hunter and archer. She lives in a world ruled by robots.
Aloy is on a quest to discover the dangers that always kept her threaten. She can kill enemies in multiple ways like by setting traps for them or directly shooting them with arrows.
For this purpose, she can use ranged weapons, a spear, and stealth tactics to fight with the mechanized creatures. Their remains can be further used as resources.
A skill tree is there to provide the player with new abilities and powers. The game is beautifully set in an open world environment. This is where Aloy can explore the tribes that have mini-quests to undertake.
Available on Platforms: PlayStation 4
9. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain is an action-adventure game developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami.
The Story: You control mercenary leader Punished “Venom” Snake and quest throughout Afghanistan and Angola-Zaire border. He is on revenge with the people who vanished his forces and tried to kill him.
In the meanwhile, the player can travel on jeeps, tanks, by foot or on horseback. The game encourages the player to progress through the game without killing enemies. Thus merely taking control over them by using tranquilizer darts.
The game features beautiful weather with a day-night cycle that runs in real-time. Players who have played its previous part Ground Zeroes can import the ‘Save Data’ option into the Phantom pain and gain perks.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
10. Grand Theft Auto 5 – One of the Best Open World Games
Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. You can play the game either with a first or third-person perspective.
It is a beautiful open world where you can navigate on foot or by vehicle. You get to control three players in the game, and you can switch between them throughout the game.
Furthermore, there are specific scenarios with set objectives where you have to complete the missions to progress in the game. You can use melee attacks, firearms, and explosives to defeat enemies.
You can run, jump, swim throughout the game. Each character in the game has a set of eight skills with unique abilities like shooting and driving.
Although Skills improve as you progress in the game, each character owns a skill with expertise by default.
Available on Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.
11. Saints Row 4
Set in an open world environment, Saints Row IV is an action-adventure game developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver.
The game is the fourth in the Saints Row series. The player can explore the game land at their leisure time, play the story, and complete the missions. It is primarily about shooting and racing throughout the game.
Moreover, as the leader of Saints, the player gets elected President of the United States and gains superpowers. As you progress in the game as a player, you receive elemental powers and superpowers that help you.
These powers increase the height of your jumps and running speed. This results in hopping over buildings and overtaking the vehicles.
Besides, if you become aggressive and loud in the game, you will have to face the alien race’s police.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux
12. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age – Inquisition is all about leading an army and be the boss.
The Story: The game is an action role-playing developed by BioWare Edmonton and published by Electronic Arts. You play as the character named Inquisitor who is on a journey to settle the civil unrest in Thedas.
Besides, you can choose to fight your enemies with swords and magic.
To progress in the story, you have to complete various quests where you can interact with non-playing characters. You control your protagonist in the third person view.
In addition, one can customize the Inquisitor appearance and gender. Your choices and decisions affect the game and its world state.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One.
13. Mad Max
Mad Max is an action-adventure game developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Warner Bros.
The Story: The game is set in an open wasteland consisting of canyons, caves, and deserts. You get to control Max Rockatansky who ventures through the wasteland. His aim is to take revenge on a gang of raiders who robbed him.
It is primarily a vehicular-combat. Whereas on foot you have to wrestle attacks and boxing techniques. In addition, you have at your disposal, various weapons like the iconic shotgun and explosive Thunderstick.
There are multiple small fighting action objectives that include races, time trials, and invading enemies fortresses throughout the game. Finally, overall, the game is useful to explore if you are an action game lover.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
14. Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas is another top-rated open-world survival game where the player is dropped into a strange and unconventional open-world wasteland.
The Story: You have to survive throughout the game by fighting and talking and doing weird side quests. You play as Courier in the game. Once, he gets shot in the head and is left for dead. This happens while he is transporting a package across the strange Mojave Desert to New Vegas.
But he is a survivor and starts his journey to find his killer. This time around, he wants to try and kill his so-called killer and take back the package back that he lost in the attack.
The player (Courier) makes friends and enemies throughout the game. In addition, you have to maintain your food, water, and sleep. This is important as they are your essentials to survive, and all these parameters, keep the game real.
Available Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.
15. Try Just Cause 2 As An Option – Open World Games
If you bored and looking for excitement, Just Cause 2 is just that. It is an action-adventure developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Eidos Interactive.
The Story: You as a player, control Rico Rodriguez where you can explore the open-world Panau. The game consists of three types of missions; Agency missions, Faction missions, and Stronghold missions.
Nevertheless, you can move around in the open world in leisure time. You get to see deserts, mountains, jungles. You can use a variety of weapons like two-handled pistols, rocket launchers.
The game has everything land, water, air, and underwater to explore with endless gameplay.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
16. Assassin’s Creed Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is an action-adventure game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game resembles the real-world events that include a struggle between the Assassins and Templars.
The Story: Assassin believes in peace with free will, and the Templars are the believers of peace through control. It is a stealth game that is set in an open world environment. Besides, the game has three cities to explore, namely Havana, Kingston, and Nassau.
Moreover, it has various local places, including islands, sunken ships, and forts. You, as a player, encounter jungles, forts, ruins, and small villages while accomplishing the missions and progressing.
Edward Kenway is the main character here who is a privateer-turned-pirate and eventually becomes a member of the Assassin Order.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
17. The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Set in an open world, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is an action-roleplaying game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. To play this game, you have to install the original game as it uses Bethesda game data files and supports third-party mods.
The Story: Morrowind takes you to the world of Victorian Streets where it is all brown and feels like you have landed in a historical place where everything is antique.
Furthermore, the player’s skill is increased by practice, training, and study. The game takes place on Vvardenfell, an island.
A mod is a change that affects few aspects of a game that may be about how it looks or behaves.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox.
18. Elite: Dangerous
In this open-world game, one can fly your spaceship through the Milky Way. Elite: Dangerous is totally a space-adventure and is developed and published by Frontier Developments.
The Story: As a player, you fly your spaceship and explore through 1:1 scale open world galaxy. First of all, the game is open-ended and features online massive multiplayer gameplay where the actions of players affect the storyline.
Initially, you start with a spaceship and a little amount of money where you have to create your own way in an open galaxy. You can explore the game’s galaxy of 400 billion star systems.
Finally, the planets and the moons rotate and orbit in real-time that ultimately results in dynamic day and night cycles.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
19. Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 is a racing game full of challenges, races, stunts and beautiful cars to drive as you progress.
The Story: The game is developed by Playground Games and published by Microsoft Studios. The game has cross-platform play. The world is super large and includes multiple forms of races, time trials, drifting, and bucket list challenges.
Interestingly, the bucket list challenges include a specific car and task for the player. For, e.g., the player has to reach a particular top speed with a specific named car in a specific time.
In addition, the player can customize the style and ethnicity of the characters. The game concentrates on racing with lots of challenges and cars.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows 10, Xbox One
20. Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is among the best open-world survival games developed by GSC Game World and published by THQ.
The Story: In this game, the open-world may attempt to harm you. You have to be careful with each step and location that you are going to pass through.
Moreover, you may encounter enemies and terrifying creatures in any of the buildings in the wasteland. The game takes place in an area called “The Zone” that is based on the real-life Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Besides, the player plays as an amnesiac “Stalker” who is an illegal explorer in “The Zone.”
The “Stalker” and “The Zone” are picked from the science fiction novella Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky and film Stalker.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows
21. Dark Souls III
Dark Souls III is an open world action-roleplaying game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The gameplay design is similar to its previous version Dark Soul II.
The Story: Players play in a third-person perspective with a variety of weapons to defeat enemies. The gun includes bows, throwable projectiles, and swords. There are shields protecting you from the enemies attacks.
Unlike other open world games, you can roam around in this game as your monstrous enemies will try to create hindrances for you. Moreover, they will stop your progress to the other areas.
You encounter a number of enemies, all with different behaviors and abilities to harm you. Dark Soul II is an exciting combat game that promises to interest you.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
22. Lego Worlds
Lego Worlds is one of the top-rated and best open world sandbox games developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Warner Bros.
The Story: The game is beautiful and straightforward, where you have to build a world made up of Lego Bricks. You will be rewarded for collecting objects. Moreover, you can use the items you find during gameplay.
One can make your own world by using predefined Lego structures or brick-by-brick editor tool. Landscaping tools are there to modify Terrain and environment. In conclusion, overall, the game is fun with multiplayer option too.
Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Infamous is an action-adventure developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
The Story: The game is set in an open world environment and played in the third-person perspective. You, as a layer, control Cole where get to interact with the world of Empire City.
You have electricity-based powers used to move, attack, and protect yourself. One can also have the ability to recharge Cole by draining electricity from various sources and living beings.
In addition, the game features seventeen electrical powers from simple bolts to wide-field lightning storms. The game is set in Empire City that is a fictional place resembling New York City.
Available on Platforms: PlayStation 3
24. Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2 open-world game is filled with action and adventure set in a fictionalized version of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft.
The Story: The game is a sequel to Watch Dogs. The player controls Marcus Holloway, who is a hacker and works with DedSec who is again a hacking group.
The main aim of the group is to take down the surveillance system of the city known as ctOS. Besides, it has a cooperative multiplayer mode that allows one-on-one combat.
The Bay Area of the game has four unique areas that include San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, and Silicon Valley.
Furthermore, each area will be having different characteristics and behavior. You can play the game either online or offline.
Available on Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.
25. Burnout Paradise
Last but not least, a beautiful racing game, Burnout Paradise. The game is developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts.
The Story: It is set in the fictional Paradise City where players compete with each other through various types of races. This can be done even online that has additional modes.
The players progress with their pace and level. Moreover, the “Showtime” mode of the game lets you bounce the vehicle around until you find a possibility to gain points.
While racing, the players can take any route to reach the destination. In addition, you can customize race settings like traffic, race routes.
Available on Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
So now that you have seen the list of the best open world games, we do hope you have no time to get bored. Pick one you like and get ready to have some fun on the run.
Further Reading: Looking for Games like Skyrim? Here are 25 Similar Games of 2019