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5 Best Open World Games of All Time

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A rider on horseback observes a majestic castle in an open-world game

Open-world games are special because they let players explore and play however they want. Unlike regular games with set paths and stories, these games offer big worlds full of adventures and secrets. Players can choose what to do, where to go, and how to interact with the game's world. And as this genre has grown, some games have stood out more than others. They are famous for their exciting gameplay, great stories, and big, detailed worlds. To celebrate these amazing games, we've put together a list of the five best open-world games of all time. These are the games that have really made a mark and won over gamers everywhere.

5. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2: Official Trailer #2

Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games is a stunning open-world adventure that takes player back to the late 19th-century American frontier. The game’s world is a masterpiece of detail. Ride through snowy mountains, roam vast plains, or wander bustling towns—each place feels alive and packed with stories. The dynamic weather and day-night cycles make every moment in the game feel fresh and unpredictable.

As Arthur Morgan, players are a part of this vast world. Every choice they make matters, affecting how others see and interact with them. Additionally, players can talk to anyone they meet, from important characters to strangers on the street. These interactions range from friendly chats to making tough choices, pulling players deeper into the game’s world. The game also ups the ante with realistic gameplay. Gunfights are intense, requiring skill and strategy. There’s even a touch of survival gameplay, where taking care of the character’s basic needs adds to the game’s realism.

4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Official Trailer

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim stands out in the realm of open-world gaming with its unparalleled freedom and exploration. From the outset, players are immersed in a world where they can craft their own unique journey. Following the main questline, engaging in a myriad of side quests, or wandering through diverse landscapes, the game continually offers new and captivating experiences. The diversity of content is impressive, ranging from exploring ancient dungeons and scaling mountains to interacting with unique NPCs, each with their own stories to tell.

Skyrim's gameplay blends traditional RPG elements with innovative mechanics. Character customization allows players to shape their playstyle, be it mastering swordplay, honing magical abilities, or perfecting stealth. The skill system evolves based on usage, so the more a skill is used, the stronger it becomes. Additionally, the rich crafting system, where players can forge weapons, brew potions, and enchant gear, adds depth to the gameplay. The world brims with lore and history, inviting exploration and discovery.

3. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V: The Official Trailer

How can we forget about Grand Theft Auto V when discussing the pantheon of great open-world games? This title shines with its unparalleled freedom and meticulously crafted world that mirrors the complexities of real life. It revolutionizes storytelling in video games by introducing three protagonists: Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. Each character comes with their own narrative arc and personality, providing a unique perspective on the game's story. The intricate heist missions require careful planning and execution with these characters.

The game's world is a sprawling, dynamic playground. From the urban sprawl of Los Santos to the sun-drenched shores of Blaine County, every corner is crafted with attention to detail, making it feel alive. Players enjoy a wide array of activities and side missions, from high-speed street races to the leisurely game of golf. The dynamic stock market, influenced by players' actions, adds an intriguing layer of complexity and realism. This level of detail ensures the world of Grand Theft Auto V remains engaging and fresh for countless hours.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Official Game Trailer - Nintendo E3 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offers a vast and exciting world for players to explore. The game's open environment, Hyrule, is full of surprises and adventures. It has clever features like changing weather and day-night cycles, making the experience feel real and engaging. Its creative problem-solving opportunities make the gameplay interesting. Players have the freedom to tackle challenges in various ways, thanks to the game's flexible tools and mechanics.

In addition to this, the Shrines scattered across the world have unique mini-challenges, each with its own puzzle or task. Players can experiment and find their own solutions, which makes every victory feel personal and rewarding. Also, the game encourages exploration and discovery in a natural and enjoyable way. Every corner of Hyrule is filled with secrets and surprises, making exploration exciting. This freedom to explore and discover at your own pace turns the game into a memorable adventure that players cherish.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Killing Monsters Cinematic Trailer

The final game on our list of the best open-world games of all time is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This game is known for its expansive and immersive world, along with deep, complex gameplay. Players embody Geralt of Rivia, a skilled monster hunter, navigating a world rich with political intrigue and ancient folklore. The combat system combines swordplay, magic, and strategic planning, making battles both engaging and thoughtful. Each monster and adversary requires a unique approach, encouraging players to utilize the alchemy system to craft potions, bombs, and decoys for tactical advantages.

Furthermore, The Witcher 3 captivates with the depth of its world and stories. Every quest, whether main or side, is crafted with detail and narrative complexity, making it feel important and engaging. From assisting a village with a monster problem to diving into political affairs, each quest immerses players in its narrative, often presenting them with choices that have significant consequences. The game excels in exploration and RPG elements. The world is vast, filled with secrets, treasures, and hidden challenges that reward the curious. All these make it one of the best open-world games of all time.

So, what are your thoughts on our selection of the best open-world games of all time? Do you agree with our choices, or do you have other favorites in mind? Let us know on our socials here.

Amar is a gaming aficionado and freelance content writer. As an experienced gaming content writer, he's always up-to-date with the latest gaming industry trends. When he's not busy crafting compelling gaming articles, you can find him dominating the virtual world as a seasoned gamer.