In the last 20 years, non-linear games that let players play in a huge open-world playground where they can explore as much as they want or just blow things up at every street corner have helped the video game industry grow. This type of open-world game first became popular with games like GTA III, which gave players access to a 3D open world full of lifelike NPCs and tons of material.
Over the years, the open-world genre has changed a lot. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gave players a lot more choice and control over what they did. In the year 2022, there will be a wide range of open-world games, from the past to the present, that let players try out different game mechanics, visit historical sites, and get involved in all kinds of story material.
Here, we look at some of the best open-world games you can get right now and what makes them so great.
Best Open-World Games You Can Play in 2024
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Saints Row The Third: Remastered
- Horizon Zero Dawn/Horizon Forbidden West
- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Watch Dogs 2
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, developed by Kojima Productions, serves as Hideo Kojima’s farewell to a series he launched in the late ’80s. The Phantom Pain is a huge step in a new direction for the franchise, with an expansive, open environment that can be intimidating at first.
Metal Gear Solid V eventually becomes the most expansive stealth-action experience imaginable once the player grasps the fundamental concepts of the game and how they combine with the open environment. Big Boss is a legendary military and nearly mythical person in this game, and players assume his position as he tries to form his own army and exact revenge on those who harmed him.
The game’s story may be lacking in comparison to its forerunners, but it makes up for it in spades in terms of gameplay. Players are given complete freedom to explore and experiment in this game. You can either sneak into an area and take out targets with a silenced pistol, or you can call in the cavalry with air support and annihilate your opponents in a spectacular blaze of fire and brimstone.
The potential is limitless, and before you know it, you’ll be facing up against vast armies with nothing but your faithful canine sidekick.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Arkham Knight, the penultimate installment in Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham series, is the ultimate Batman open-world adventure that fans have been waiting for. While Gotham City had been featured in previous games, in Arkham Knight, the entire city and two of the game’s three islands are at the player’s disposal for the first time.
Arkham Knight is stuffed to the gills with material, including not only a thrilling Batman story but also a wide variety of optional objectives and experiences. As the player investigates grisly murders, breaks up gang fights, and solves the deepest mysteries at the city’s core, they’ll find something very cool to do around every corner of Gotham City.
The combat mechanics in Arkham Knight are the finest they’ve ever been, and they’ve always been the coolest aspect of the Arkham Games. The fighting is more intense than in previous games, but it’s still as smooth as ever, and the game introduces one of Batman’s finest technological tools: the Batmobile.
In this new game, players can battle drone tanks, helicopters, and more as they race through the streets of Gotham in the scary new Batmobile. One of the best open-world games currently on the market, Arkham Knight continues to wow two years after its initial release.
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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Valhalla, the newest game in the Assassin’s Creed series, is arguably the most ambitious game in the series in terms of gameplay and scale. The open environment of the previous game, Odyssey, was large, allowing players to traverse nearly all of Greece.
Valhalla takes a similar tack, having players establish settlements across England by forming alliances as Norse Vikings. Since the game’s story unfolds over the course of several years, finishing it will take you at least 40 hours.
As befits a game in which the player assumes the role of a Viking, the expansive environment of the game is matched by its savage combat mechanisms. Use two large axes at once or shields to bash heads; the option is yours. Although stealth is an option, the game takes a relentless approach to fighting, and who can resist a good Viking raid?
Fans of open-world games will be pleased to learn that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla features a wealth of engaging content, including multiple adventures in Asgard where they assume the role of Odin, the All-Father. The sheer volume of material in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla may be overwhelming, but fans of open-world action RPGs need look no farther.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
With its non-linear, action-packed open environment, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor gave gamers a new perspective on the Middle-Earth mythos. But that wasn’t all it had going for it; the Nemesis system, which is expanded upon in Shadow of War, is easily one of the coolest game mechanics I’ve ever seen.
The Nemesis system, in essence, keeps tabs on the fights you’ve had with your foes, with each skirmish having a major impact on the enemy force. If, for example, a weaker Orc succeeds in defeating you, they will gain experience and rise in the ranks. They will remember the last fight and summon you the next time they see you. This makes the game’s world feel much more vibrant and gives the player’s actions greater significance.
Due to the Nemesis system, the player can easily spend more than 50 hours in Shadow of War destroying the Orc army. This is despite the fact that the game is a rich and artistic representation of Middle-earth. An exciting new story follows the adventures of Gondor ranger Talion and Celebrimbor, lord of the elves, throughout the game.
Cyberpunk 2077 had a very rough start, but it has matured into one of the best open-world games out there in just two years. Set in a dystopian 2077, players assume control of V, a mercenary in Night City who must fight for his life in an ever more hostile environment.
When compared to other games, Night City stands out as a technological marvel because it finally gives players the open-world city reminiscent of Blade Runner that they’ve been craving ever since the 1990s. Decades of corporate greed have turned the city’s underdeveloped neighborhoods into crime-ridden slums, while the wealthy live in luxurious suburbs distant from the city’s core.
Cyberpunk 2077’s world may be devoid of any hope for mankind, yet it still contains oases of beauty and charm that make playing the game a delight. With the help of skill points and a variety of physical augmentations, players can try out different strategies and playthroughs. As one of the best open-world action role-playing games of 2022, Cyberpunk 2077 is deserving of a second shot.
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The inclusion of a FromSoftware title here may come as a surprise, but in reality, all of their games have been non-linear in nature, allowing players to approach the game’s final objective in any way they see fit. In Elden Ring, however, the non-linearity is taken to a whole new level, as players are given access to a huge, open universe.
The sheer size of Elden Ring’s open world cannot be understated; just when you think you’ve seen everything, the game continues to surprise you with something new. The game’s bosses and adversaries may seem overwhelming at first, but you can take them on whenever you’re ready.
If the player encounters a boss they aren’t prepared to take on, they can spend some time grinding in easier zones and return to the fight when they’re stronger. Despite the lack of level counters to indicate a monster’s difficulty, players will quickly learn when they have amassed enough power to defeat it.
Elden Ring is an enormous undertaking, and it’s undeniably great. The game is challenging, but it has features that make it more accessible to beginning players.
Marvel’s Spider-Man and Miles Morales
The gaming community was ecstatic when it was announced that Insomniac Games would be given the Spider-Man intellectual property due to the developer’s history of producing high-quality games. Fans and critics alike were blown away by Marvel’s Spider-Man’s high degree of refinement and responsive gameplay when it was released in 2018.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the most fascinating and exciting open-world games available today, and it takes place in various boroughs of New York City. The sequel to the 2018 game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, chronicles the teenage hero’s struggles to accept his newfound abilities and assume the mantle of Spider-Man.
Both games are excellent Spider-Man experiences that succeed in recapturing the spirit of the originals, like Spider-Man 2. You need to jump from the Avengers Tower and swing off midway, just inches above the ground, to really appreciate the brilliance of Marvel’s Spider-Man and Miles Morales.
The PC versions of the games are scheduled for release on August 12, 2022, after their release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Ghost of Tsushima
When it comes to the best games currently available, it’s hard to look past Ghost of Tsushima, developed by PlayStation Studios’ SuckerPunch. The historical Mongol invasion of Tsushima is shown in the game.
The player assumes the position of Jin Sakai, a samurai lord who has been forced to give up his honor in order to become the dishonorable force of destruction known as Ghost, who wreaks havoc on the Mongol army via the use of stealth and deception. You can fight your adversaries head-on as a samurai, or you can sneak up on them and use some of the game’s unique weaponry, such as poison darts and arrows.
Players won’t grow weary of exploring Tsushima Island any time soon since it boasts some of the most stunning scenery ever created for a video game. Ghost of Tsushima is a visually stunning and really enjoyable game.
Players will keep coming back for more since the game’s fighting and stealth systems are so much fun. The game is playable on both the PS4 and PS5, and the Director’s Cut features a brand-new setting and plot.
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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Even though it was released in 2013, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continues to dominate the action role-playing genre. Geralt tries to save his adopted daughter Cirila from the ruthless Wild Hunt in the last installment of the Witcher trilogy.
Simply stating that The Witcher 3 has a lot of stuff to do doesn’t do the game justice; there’s far more to see and do in the game than that. The Witcher 3 simply never ceases to amaze the player, from the lucrative monster-hunting Witcher Contracts to the fascinating stories revealed in the game’s optional adventures.
Both the “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine” downloadable content packs add another 30+ hours of playtime to the game. The Witcher 3 is one of the largest open-world games available, and it can be purchased for a low price on PC or console.
Red Dead Redemption II
Since the early 2000s, Rockstar Games has continued a streak of outstanding open-world games, with our pick for the best game of all time being Red Dead Redemption II. Set before the events of Red Dead Redemption (2010), this prequel shows Dutch and his gang fending for themselves as the world becomes increasingly hostile to the criminal lifestyle.
You play as Arthur Morgan, Dutch’s trusted associate, and must now try to stay alive while being pursued by the authorities and other gangs. The game takes place across a wide map in the American South, featuring both beautiful wilderness and lively cities to explore.
There’s a ton to do in this realm, from main quests to side quests to hunting and bounties. The game’s open environment is so well designed that it will haunt the player long after the credits have rolled. The PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 S, and Xbox One can all purchase the game.