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5 Best Sandbox Games on Xbox Game Pass (November 2023)

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Flying a Jet against a sunset in Grand Theft Auto V.

Sandbox games, at their core, tap into a player's core desire for freedom within these virtual worlds. These games often allow players to travel where they want, do what they want, and generally exist within these worlds. This gives them an immersive nature and an increased importance placed on player agency and freedom. Perhaps it is due to this freedom that these titles are so popular and have such longevity. To showcase some of the best, enjoy our picks for the 5 Best Sandbox Games on Xbox Game Pass.

5. Stranded Deep

Stranded Deep Official Launch Trailer

We are starting off today's list of the best Sandbox games on Xbox Game Pass with Stranded Deep. For survival game fans, this title's inclusion on this list should come as no surprise. The game features a sense of freedom that is reflected in the nature of its survival gameplay. Players are able to use whatever resources they have on hand in order to enhance their survivability. In doing so, players are able to freely maneuver throughout the game's world and make the most of the situation at hand. As the name would imply, players are stranded and must attempt to find a means of survival on their own.

This leads the players to make tough decisions as they scavenge what they can. As is the case with many survival titles, players will have to monitor not only their health but also their thirst and hunger levels. This makes obtaining things like food and water incredibly important in Stranded Deep. Luckily enough for the player, the game also features a fantastic crafting system that will aid them in their journey. All in all, if you are looking for a game that features outstanding Sandbox elements, check out Stranded Deep.

4. Terraria

We are staying somewhat in the same vein for our next entry. Despite not having in-depth survival mechanics, Terraria is a title that significantly encourages players to scrounge for resources. It manages to do this not only through its in-depth crafting system but also through its thriving world and community. Within Terraria, players are able to not only dig for treasures and fight enemies but they are also able to trade and participate in many other open-world activities. In doing so, the game places a great emphasis on player freedom, which can be felt all the way down to its more core mechanics.

Players have a tremendous amount of choices regarding their abilities, weapons, and armor. Each of these things becomes somewhat of a reflection of the player's time in the game, as well as what they prioritize. This is wonderful, as it means that players can play this title in a number of different ways and achieve different results. Additionally, thanks to the game's randomly generated worlds, the experience never grows old or tiring. It is for these reasons that we consider Terraria to be one of the best Sandbox games on Xbox Game Pass.

3. Hitman: World of Assassination

HITMAN World of Assassination - Launch Trailer

We are switching gears considerably with our next entry. For fans of the Hitman franchise, Hitman: World of Assassination applies the game's core formula to a semi-open-world setting wonderfully. In terms of the tactical freedom that is afforded to players, this title is perhaps the strongest on our list. Players are able to skulk about through immensely detailed and beautifully designed levels in order to secure their assassinations. However, how the player chooses to do this is entirely up to them. This not only aids the Sandbox nature of this title but wholeheartedly encourages it.

There are twenty levels of players to explore, each of which offers their own unique challenges and opportunities. Added to this, in terms of sheer content, this title is perhaps the most content-rich entry on our list. This is due to the fact that within Hitman: World of Assassination, players receive not only the Hitman game but also Hitman 2 and Hitman 3. This makes it an excellent title for players looking for the most bang for your buck. To close, Hitman: World of Assassination is one of the best Sandbox games on Xbox Game Pass.

2. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Trailer: Open World of the Wildlands

We are following up on our last entry with another title in a similar vein. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands stands among the best in terms of military Sandbox titles. Players can maneuver throughout a gorgeously designed world and approach their own self-defined goals at their own pace. This gives the player an astounding amount of agency throughout the game, which is excellent. Added to this is the game's inclusion of fantastic cooperative play that makes it remarkable for those late-night gaming sessions.

In addition to this, the game allows players to fully customize both their character, as well as their load-outs. Customizing these load-outs comes with a lot of tactical depth, as each assortment of weapons is great for different applications. This places great power within the player's hands and makes outfitting your character a fun and rewarding part of the game. The open-world mission structure of the game also increases this feeling of freedom exponentially. In short, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is one of the best Sandbox games on Xbox Game Pass.

1. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V Xbox One Launch Trailer

We are rounding out our list today of the best Sandbox games on Xbox Game Pass with a pick that should come as no surprise. In terms of the amount of freedom and accessibility these games have, Grand Theft Auto V, in many ways, leads the pack. This is due not only to the open-ended nature of its gameplay. But also in how it frames its gameplay components through both its offline and online iterations. The world of Grand Theft Auto V is vast and allows players to explore its various nooks and crannies freely.

In doing so, you are able to discover many secrets that have been tucked away for eagle-eyed players to find. This not only gives the world of this game a sense of massive scale but also an attention to detail that wonderfully fleshes out the game's world. In truth, there are few franchises within gaming that have become as synonymous with the idea of Sandbox gaming as Grand Theft Auto. Therefore, we consider Grand Theft Auto V to be one of the best Sandbox games available on Xbox Game Pass.

So, what's your take on our picks for the 5 Best Sandbox Games on Xbox Game Pass? What are some of your favorite Sandbox Games on Xbox Game Pass? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Judson Holley is a writer that began his career as a ghostwriter. Returning to the mortal coil  to work among the living. With some of his favorite games being tactical FPS games such as Squad and the Arma series. Although this could not be further from the truth as he enjoys games with deep stories such as the Kingdom Hearts series as well as Jade Empire and The Knights of the Old Republic series. When not attending to his wife, Judson often tends to his cats. He also has a knack for music mainly composing for and playing piano.