The Switch is arguably known for bridging the gaps between small-time indies and top of the range platformers, giving its user base a smooth balance of experiences on a much, much smaller scale. Though, that doesn't mean the bite-sized console is incapable of housing a powerful video game—especially a top-shelf open world one with a ludicrous amount of complexities. The simple fact is, Nintendo can employ anything, and that little Switch, whether we like to believe it or not, can give its console rivals a serious run for their money.
Unsurprisingly, the Switch still holds an enormous presence, made even more expansive through its wide selection of video game ports and standalone exclusives. The question many still ask, of course, is which of the many games it holds—open-world ones in particular—are worth playing in 2022? Well, from our perspective, here are the best open world games money can currently buy.
5. Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection
What better way to indulge in the wide open seas than to traverse it as a pirate assassin? Thanks to The Rebel Collection, Switch fans can enter not only the world of Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, but its significant other, Assassin's Creed Rogue, two full-length open-world games that capture the very heart of the franchise and all its glorious colors.
Take on the role of Edward Kenway, rogue captain of the pirate-infested West Indies, as he patrols the open seas in search of coin, fame, and the secrets behind a mystery surrounding the notorious Templar Order. With hundreds of explorable islands, sunken shipwrecks, fortresses, and villages in tow, Black Flag will have you swimming for months on end in search of new reasons to fall in love with the Ubisoft essential.
4. Subnautica + Below Zero Double Pack
Subnautica is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most immersive open-world games on the planet. And it's because of this, as well as its impressive size, that having a Switch port doesn't seem even remotely possible at first glance. Yet, it became a thing, and it looks enchantingly elegant in all its ocean blue watercolor textures. What's even greater is that, with the double pack for Switch, you even get the Below Zero sequel, meaning there isn't just the one watery playground to explore—but two.
Subnautica puts you in the flippers of a diver who crashes on an alien planet known as 4546B. After landing on its watery surface, players must explore the open seas in order to craft all the items needed to survive and venture deeper into the unknown. However, the deep blue hosts far more than coral and weeds, as you'll come to learn as you wade through its ultraviolet obstacles and uncover its inner nexus.
3. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a lot like Breath of the Wild, in the fact that there's an evil threat that drapes over an otherwise peaceful land, and that it's your job as the weary traveler to see it returned to its natural, and let's face it, more appealing condition. That's really all there is to it, and if you enjoyed tackling Hyrule once upon a time, then you'll definitely enjoy opening up a new chapter in Gemea.
After surviving a shipwreck near a cluster of islands known as Gemea, the player character soon discovers a sinister layer of fog, known locally as the Murk. In order to erase it, the hero must locate a certain number of sprites, which can then be used to rewrite the book and, in turn, revitalize the region and restore hope among its townsfolk. Think Hyrule—but with a devilish fog shrouding its borders.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Say what you will about Elder Scrolls, but let's not even consider badmouthing some of the worlds that the series strings together. Plus, the fact that Skyrim launched just over a decade ago speaks volumes for its designers, as it is, even to this day, one of the most visually appealing settings one can immerse with. And boy, does it look fantastic on something as petite as a Nintendo Switch.
Outside of the tale of the legendary Dragonborn, Skyrim opens its doors to thousands of original tales, all of which can leave the player exploring for years without ever succumbing to boredom. And, truth be told, one can quite easily spend a hundred hours wandering off the beaten path before even tackling the prologue. That's the beauty of Skyrim, and anyone who's been there will know of the million wonder that it presents like an open sleigh on Christmas morning.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda is known for producing some of the most captivating worlds of all time, which is why Breath of the Wild wasn't too much of a surprise when it hit the Switch as an exclusive back in 2017. That said, its handheld adaptation of Hyrule was one of the biggest and most immensely populated of all the console counterparts combined, which of course complimented the overwhelmingly high quantity of side quests and activities that it held close to its chest.
Like previous entries, players take on the role of Link, the celebrated hero of Hyrule, as he looks to dismantle a new threat posed by the villainous Ganon. However, before taking the fight to the doorway, players can explore a rich and vibrant land chock-full of interactive quests, collectibles, and encounters. And that's just the tutorial island. Hyrule, on the other hand, rests on a much, much grander scale. The idea is to not get overwhelmed by the amount there is to see and do before curtain call. Easier said than done, no doubt.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.