15 Best Open World Games for PC You Can Play

Of all the genres of games I am in love with, open world games will always be my first crush. From simulated galaxies to post-apocalyptic wastelands, there are multitudes of experiences begging to be explored. 2024, in particular, is a great year for those looking to dip their toes in the universe of open world games. Well, we’ve spent an excessive amount of time playing a ton of open world games and decided you to bring a list of the best ones to try out.

1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 Steam Sales open world
Image Courtesy: Rockstar Games/Red Dead Redemption 2

Some might consider Red Dead Redemption 2 the gold standard for open world games. And you know what? I agree with them. The game focuses on Arthur Morgan, a gunslinger surviving the Wild West sometime in 1899. Being part of the Van Der Linde gang, you and your other members escape “Blackwater” after a heist goes wrong. What follows is a story of epic proportions which takes countless hours to finish.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the liveliest worlds Rockstar Games have made, breathing life into a setting I endear – the Wild West. The game is widely known for its expansive map, which is chock-full of details and interactions. If you love open world titles, you’ll feel right at home. If you ever wanted to experience a game where you can chill and take it all in, this is probably it.

2. Minecraft

If not ‘the most’ then at least one of the most famous games ever, Minecraft is a game everyone has heard of. Showcasing a simple graphic style, Minecraft is an open world packing multiple worlds in itself. The game unleashes the creativity of one’s mind like no other experience out there. What sets this game apart from the crowd is how simple yet addictive it turns out to be.

The best part about Minecraft is that there’s no set objective. As a player spawning into the world, you can build whatever you want whenever you want. However, do note that there be dragons (literally) and other enemies that you must fend off. The game is so open-world that some players ask the pressing question, “Do you even need to beat Minecraft?

3. The Witcher 3

Image Courtesy: CD Projekt Red/The Witcher 3

Possibly one of the most regarded open-world RPGs of the last generation was Witcher 3, a game that has transcended and even reached the pop-culture sphere. The adaptation of the world written by novelist Andrej Sapkowski, any and every gamer has at least played this once. Its open world might not be as interactive, but it sure is a pretty and grimy experience at once.

Witcher 3 takes place after the events of the previous iteration, at a time when two countries are at war with each other. Players assume control of Geralt of Rivia. This time, your mission ensues saving your pupil Ciri and stopping the Wild Hunt from causing catastrophic devastation to your world.

4. Grand Theft Auto V

Image Courtesy: Rockstar Games/GTA 5

Rockstar Games’ crown jewel, the entire Grand Theft Auto series, has been widely accredited for its superb storyline and interactive open-world gameplay. GTA V has been their best product ever, driving through not just one but three different players and their cross-over storyline.

You can spend hours and hours playing the game without even doing any mission and enjoy the level of interactiveness the open world has put on this game. Add to that the massive online multiplayer gameplay, and you’ll never want to leave this game. While GTA 6 is still a year away, why not revisit the story at Los Santos until then?

5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Image Courtesy: Bethesda/Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls series has been at the top of the RPG scene for a long time, and rightly so, with the game providing a perfect balance between narration, story, and gameplay. Compared to the legacy Elder Scrolls, in Skyrim, there’s no more moon-hopping between hilltops with a maxed-out Acrobatics skill or Athletics.

While Skyrim hasn’t got the best narrative, visuals, or gameplay, it has one of the richest and immersive worlds you will see. The open world environment of this game is truly something to be experienced firsthand.

You can perform a quest, kill a dragon, snatch torch bugs from the air, or simply wander while listening to one of the best game soundtracks. The sheer scale is admirable.

6. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Image Courtesy: Konami/Metal Gear Solid 5

The tale of Kojima Productions and Konami is infamous. It not only affected the overall future for both parties, but it also affected Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. One of the last stealth action games by Hideo Kojima, it wraps up the saga that started in the MSX era. Well, if we ignore the incomplete story that happened because of studio interference.

I don’t want to delve into its story because it’s a lot to pack into a small space. I do want to point out that this is the only open world game in the series. And somehow, while the story is incomplete, the gameplay isn’t. The gameplay is the strongest suit of this game, which is fun thanks to the open world, sandbox levels.

If you enjoy solving problems your way, then you’ll enjoy Phantom Pain a lot.

7. Forza Horizon 5

Image Courtesy: Microsoft/Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 4 was already a great open-world racing game. However, Forza Horizon 5 is an even better title as it takes everything good about Forza Horizon 4 and makes it better. The latest entry takes us to the state of Mexico.

Forza Horizon 5 is about racing with friends and enjoying the open road. As a player, you can buy in-game houses, which unlock new items, cars, and game-play perks.  The game also features a dynamic weather system and a vibrant map with various locations.

8. Batman: Arkham Knight

Image Courtesy: Rocksteady/Batman Arkham Knight

The Batman: Arkham series has raised my expectations from superhero games, which, unfortunately, Suicide Squad couldn’t (review). But we are not here to talk about that game. Rather, we are here to talk about just how beautiful and oppressive the open world of Gotham in Arkham Knight looks.

In the final entry in the Batman Arkham series, players face off against Scarecrow, Arkham Knight, and various other members from Rogue’s Gallery. The game spans over one night and aims to stop Scarecrow for good and save Gotham. While the map is comparatively smaller, the overall gameplay and storyline make up for it. Oh and you get to drive that Batmobile which is always nice.

9. Watch Dogs 2

Image Courtesy: Ubisoft/Watch Dogs 2

The first Watch Dogs might not have met everyone’s expectations. However, Watch Dogs 2 tries to correct its predecessor’s mistakes by making an overall fun experience. It expands upon the fundamentals of the first game and introduces likable characters and the vibrant city of San Francisco.

You play as Marcus, a member of the San Francisco chapter of DeadSec, a hacker-activist group waging war against data theft and trying to uphold privacy. If you ever get bored of the missions, the open world allows free roam and handy gadgets to keep you entertained for hours.

10. Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Image Courtesy: Monolith/Middle Earth: Shadow of War

The sequel to the highly popular Middle Earth: Shadow of War fumbled hard during its launch. While to this date, players haven’t forgotten the useless addition of microtransactions to the game; it doesn’t discredit the fact that Shadow of War has one of the most fun open worlds out there.

The game continues right where it left off, this time working with Shelob, the Spider, to take out the forces of Sauron. It features improved gameplay, a bigger open world, and an improved Nemesis system. And, as of today, the publisher has removed the microtransaction for good. So, it is worth checking both games out.

11. Fallout: New Vegas

Image Courtesy: Bethesda/Fallout New Vegas

Ah yes, New Vegas, my beloved. It is a game that has always made me revisit it at least twice a year. Maybe it’s the writing. Maybe it’s the setting. Whatever it may be, the game contains an open world that Bethesda games is known for—filled with unique places to discover while exploring.

The central story makes you follow the trail of the man who shot you, taking you across the barren desert of post-apocalyptic Mojave and Vegas. There’s almost an overwhelming amount of places to find. I won’t lie; I’ve spent numerous hours exploring the map, barely caring about the main story. Give it a try if you wish to be lost in an amazing world.

12. Dragon’s Dogma 2

One of the newer entries in this list is Dragon’s Dogma 2, which we’ve lauded for its brilliant gameplay (review). While Dragon’s Dogma 2 is more like the first game but improved, we cannot help but get engrossed in its open world.

Arguably, it is one of the most reactive and randomized open worlds out there, and you’ll encounter some adventure or another while journeying the world of the game. Furthermore, the map is full of explorable places, which sometimes you’ll discover accidentally. This further makes the game a solid experience that you should give some time to. Trust me, you’ll enjoy the game.

13. Elden Ring

I think everyone has talked a lot about From Software’s latest entry, Elden Ring. But, I think we should talk about the game’s open world and how perfect it is in terms of exploration. Elden Ring takes you through a journey in Lands Between, a place where darkness has befell its denizens. Your goal is to claim the Elden Ring and sit on the throne of the King.

Elden Ring’s open world can be ruthless. However, it is hidden with so many items and content that will perplex you. There are three sections of the map underground, which you don’t know until you start exploring or progress the main bosses. Seriously, the best way to enjoy the world of Elden Ring is by going in blind. And, if you can look past its difficulty, you’ll get an amazing experience.

14. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

Image Courtesy: GSC Game World/Stalker: SoTC

The oldest game on this list, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, still manages to give strong competition to most of the open world games of this generation. The idea of fusing first-person shooter mechanics with an open world is compelling, and it is something this manages to pull off in great fashion.

The game is set in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a place walled off from the rest of Russia. You play as a Stalker who unknowingly and unintentionally gets stuck in the zone. After getting embroiled between two warring factions, you try to gather your wits and survive various perils of the Zone. Atmospheric and rife with environmental storytelling, you’ll love your stay in this game.

15. Death Stranding

Image Courtesy: Kojima Productions

Say what you want, but Death Stranding is one game that I will defend until the end of the day. Part of that reason is the amazing open world where players are free to roam and deliver packages through a post-apocalyptic setting. You play as Sam Porter Bridges, whose mission is to connect the entire breadth of North America to the Chiral Network.

In the game, you spend most of your time walking and delivering cargo on the open plains and hills. It feels like a brilliant open-world hiking simulator, and I loved every moment of it.

We hope you now know which open world adventure to pick next. Have any other recommendations for us? Drop them in the comments below and we just might add them!

Comments 1
  • Vhayul says:

    Great article

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