Everyone likes a good open world game. The freedom to do as you want, when you want, or not at all; the best open world games offer an immersive experience that you can get lost in for hours. Here are some of the best open world games on Xbox…
Busier times of the year might sway us towards shorter games, but a good hefty open world game can always lure us back with the temptation of an undiscovered world full of secrets and life. We’ve put together a list of some of the best open world games out there, based on TrueAchievements ratings, site review scores, and personal opinions — many of the games on here have fantastic stories, but the open worlds of some are so richly detailed that you can find yourself forgetting about the main quests and missions entirely while you focus on exploration instead. Again, this is only a selection of some of the many open world games out there — if you don’t see your favourite, why not tell us about it and why you love it, in the comments? Check it out below and let us know what you think!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition
Come on, you know it, I know it: this list wouldn’t be complete without a grim-faced Geralt to represent The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition. Now, The Witcher 3 is my favourite game, and I could happily talk about it for hours, so to keep me from wittering about it all day, I’ll just say this: The Witcher 3 raised the bar for the quality of open-world RPGs across the board. Many great games have come out since, but The Witcher 3 still stands apart with a world that feels rich and real whether you’re hunting for every last question mark in Skellige or admiring the sunsets in White Orchard. Add to this that the Complete Edition includes Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine (the latter being arguably the best bit of The Witcher 3’s open world) and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition definitely deserves a spot on this list.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition
You are Geralt of Rivia, mercenary monster slayer. Before you stands a war-torn, monster-infested continent you can explore at will. Your current contract? Tracking down Ciri — the Child of Prophecy, a living weapon that can alter the shape of the world.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 saw that bar for open world games, jumped it, and rode away with it. Its open world is ridiculous in its level of realistic detail, from the variety of plants you’ll find to the gradually decomposing bodies of hunted animals. The towns and cities of Red Dead Redemption 2 feel alive and highly detailed, while the wilderness is teeming with wildlife (except for when you’re actually trying to hunt). If you take Arthur out exploring, you can do everything from setting up his tent and brewing him a nice coffee to skinning your kills and cooking them over an open fire. Red Dead Redemption 2 takes everything into account, even Arthur’s smell; and hunting requires no small amount of patience and planning. The random encounters make every part of Red Dead Redemption 2’s world feel alive, whether you’re anxiously defusing a situation with a camper who’s a little too protective of his campfire, or else pretending you can’t hear someone asking for a lift into town while you ride away with a high-quality pelt on the back of your horse instead.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Winner of over 175 Game of the Year Awards and recipient of over 250 perfect scores, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of honor and loyalty at the dawn of the modern age.
Includes Red Dead Redemption 2: Story Mode and Red Dead Online.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
If The Witcher 3 has to be on this list, so does The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which remains one of the best open world games there is. Over a decade after it launched, players are still sinking hundreds of hours into Skyrim — just take the Skyrim Grandma as an example. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a true example of a fantasy world you can get utterly lost in, and that sense of adventure never dulls no matter how many times you play through it. One of the factors which aid Skyrim’s open world in providing such an immersive experience is the haunting soundtrack, which beautifully complements the wintry world of Skyrim. Where other games might fall short — such as Breath of the Wild, which features a gorgeous open world that can nevertheless feel lacking in impactful exploration rewards, or the later Assassin’s Creed games, the worlds of which, while beautifully depicted, are sometimes too large for their own good — Skyrim excels, with secrets scattered tantalizingly throughout the map along with cities and settlements that really feel alive and full of opportunity.
The Games on Demand version supports English. The next chapter in the highly anticipated Elder Scrolls saga arrives from the makers of the 2006 and 2008 Games of the Year, Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines and revolutionizes the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose.
Elden Ring has shot its way onto many “best of” lists since it came out in early 2022, and for good reason; its open world looks to add huge depth to the game’s lore and is full of mysteries to explore, while also managing to be visually breath-taking. You travel for countless in-game miles in your quest to become an Elden Lord, and yet Elden Ring’s massive open world manages to keep feeling fresh and full of promise. Over 100,000 TrueAchievements members have travelled to the Lands Between, and the game holds a highly-respectable rating of 4.8/5, all of which means we wouldn’t dare leave the game off this list.
THE NEW FANTASY ACTION RPG.
Rise, Tarnished, and be guided by grace to brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The open world of Yakuza: Like a Dragon is quite a bit smaller than those of the other games on this list, but this is by no means a drawback — Yakuza: Like a Dragon is in all respects an excellent (and eccentric) game, and its open world reflects this in both the quality of the world and the quantity of weirdness you’re sure to find in it. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is packed full of things to do, and the substories scattered throughout the map reinforce the idea that you’ll never be bored, as does the fact that Yakuza’s protagonist, Kasuga, sees the world as if it were an old-school RPG. The bustling nightlife of Yokohama is broken up by sporadic fantasy instances as Kasuga imagines everything as though it were a story with him as the hero. You’ll most likely find yourself eager to check out every path or alley in Yokohama just to witness the variety in enemies and to see the city as Kasuga does — full of opportunity; whether that’s saving its inhabitants from a series of bizarre circumstances, rummaging for “treasure” under vending machines, or fending off REM Rams in one of the game’s many side activities.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Russian and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles available in early 2021 via patch update.
Game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One title and Xbox Series X|S title when available.
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
AC4: Black Flag is the best Assassin’s Creed game. Disagree? Fight me — mano a mano, ship a ship, or cutlass a cutlass. The gorgeous open-word Caribbean is the scene of our scrap to the death, you and me, dissenter. There is soft sand between our toes, with shards of jungle lining the island we find ourselves having voyaged to. Over yonder, sitting on the silvery translucent water, are our glorious ships bristling in a mild breeze. Just below the masts are our crews, who appear to be engaged in a duel of shanty singing — two fine renditions of Drunken Sailor. This video game world is a special place, filled with the ambience of the 18th Century Golden Age of Piracy. The exploration of it has given me joy for years now. It just so happens that a fantastic story is at the centre, revolving around pirate Edward Kenway coming to terms with greater responsibility, much like a certain Ezio Auditore I hasten to add. Along with Edward, you will find Blackbeard, Vane, Hornigold, Read, and Anne Bonny while trying to form a pirate colony in the shape of shanty-town Nassau. There might be one too many tailing missions in getting through this gorgeous game, but there are some fantastic set-pieces along the way. The ship combat is exceptional, the stealth is fun and just about precise enough, though the open-combat struggles to impress now. Other than that, though, this is a game that in my eyes — and I assume that is the reason you are unsheathing your cutlass again — is head and shoulders (knees and toes) above the likes of Odyssey (sorry Heidi), and just about bests Brotherhood and ACII. Now, fight me you scallywag!
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
It is 1715. Pirates rule the Caribbean and have established a lawless Republic. Among these outlaws is a fearsome young captain named Edward Kenway.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance should be no secret to the long-time TA audience at this point; we feel like we mention it around once a week in some article or another. We even have a retrospective of the making of the game on the site. This is pretty meta actually, because Kingdom Come takes place way back in 1403 Bohemia which is being ruled by the idiotic King Wenceslaus. You enter stage right with Henry of Skalitz, a blacksmith’s son whose ability to read, write, eat properly, ride a horse, and most useful things, has exited stage left. After a raid on his hometown by a Cuman horde led by a rival King looking to retake the land, Henry somehow finds himself under the charge of Sir Radzig. The tale that unfurls in this medieval epic is emotional, honest, and surprisingly dense. There are fewer satisfying moments in gaming than finally learning how to pick a lock or earning your way to wealth. There are fewer better sights in video games than escaping a forest of bandits, bleeding out with a knackered horse, but stumbling into perfect architectural recreation of Sasau Monastery and finally seeing afternoon light glint off the tall white walls like comforting Morse code from God. There are fewer greater moments than a quest that sees Henry and a priest… you know what, I can’t write about that — it’s quite personal. Now, there is jank like a Bethesda title and occasionally there are just one too many systems in play. Also, if you dip out for a month, good luck coming back to it — it’s obscenely deep. But the quality of the game is extraordinary — Kingdom Come is special.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a story-driven open-world RPG that immerses you in an epic adventure in the Holy Roman Empire. Avenge your parents’ death as you battle invading forces, go on game-changing quests, and make influential choices. Explore majestic castles, deep forests, thriving villages and countless other realistic settings in medieval Bohemia!
Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V might be the most obvious pick, but that is for a good reason. It is, ultimately, a perfection of the GTA formula — a big open world stuffed with satirical comedy and satisfying action. The single-player has aged really well as a piece of narrative that, in some ways, satirically skewers its own growth into the endless, live-service, money-churning experience of modern GTA Online. However, over in the single-player, you follow the three tales — gangbanger Franklin, retired nark Michael, and unhinged Trevor — through the tapestry of modern America. The story is compacted into the fictional LA, called Los Santos, where you will set up heists in order to finally make all three characters rich. It’s a really well written, but often a searing indictment of the corporate, social, and political structure of America that allows money to rule all. It never really lets you see that in the moment, though. You will be too busy dangling off of boats driving over a motorway, or plotting how you are going to get your money out of the bank in the coolest way possible or driving an old Dewbachee Aston Martin DB5 look-alike away from a film set while being chased. It’s just insane, but also funny, but also quite sentimental, but also feels fun to play still… it’s just really good! You know what, maybe we are going soft, but there is even fun to be had in that money-grubbing, expletive-laden, hellscape of an online mode, as well.
Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition & Megalodon Shark Card Bundle
The Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition & Megalodon Shark Card Bundle includes the complete Grand Theft Auto V story experience, free access to the ever evolving Grand Theft Auto Online and all existing gameplay upgrades and content. You’ll also get the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack, the fastest way to jumpstart your criminal empire in Grand Theft Auto Online, plus a Megalodon Shark Cash Card worth $10,000,000 in-game GTA dollars to spend in GTA Online.
The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is Obsidian let off the leash and allowed to make its own action-orientated first-person RPG after previously making Fallout New Vegas. The wildness begins as soon as you realize that the universe is dominated by imposing megacorporations in a circa-early 1900s, but sci-fi, setting. As you try and help a scientist revive some colonists, you will be exploring the immaculately well-themed hub worlds by hunting down quests while trying to balance your relationships with various factions. With companion quests to do, two of whom will then tag along on your missions, this becomes solid (kinda) open world fun. The combat is solid as heck, with the first person shooting taking on a much more action-heavy approach. Though with numbers popping out all over the place and slow-motion cutscenes when a big move is pulled off, you can feel the video game lineage. Obviously, if you would rather be a stealthy little adventurer or wag tongued royalty, there tend to be options for that too. Obsidian implemented cool stuff, too. Like the companions boosting to your stats, meaning mixing and matching armour and weapon types based on who you have with you. It keeps the game centred around companionship in this savage universe. This is good stuff from Obsidian, and if we are counting this hub-orientated game as ‘open world’ and you would rather have a fantasy twist, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a great place to go, too.
The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is a new single-player sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator is the most open-world game out there, especially when you consider, oh, I don’t know, that the entirety of planet earth is playable. It’s astonishing what Asobo Studio has managed to pull off with the simulator. Microsoft Flight Simulator uses map data from Bing to produce the game’s open world, and it does so with incredible accuracy. If you take off from one of the 37,000 airports included in the game — over 40 of these are hand-crafted to a high level of detail — and fly towards your house (which is probably one of the first things you’ll do in the sim), I can guarantee you’ll be amazed at just how true-to-life the sim looks. Sure, Asobo hasn’t painstakingly modelled your street exactly, but it will be fairly close. It has painstakingly modelled most of the major cities, big points of interest, and a boatload of planes, all of which look visually fantastic when running on either Xbox Series X|S or PC. Sure, the gameplay/simulation may be a little dry for some people’s tastes, but even so, it’s still worth checking out, even if it is just to crash a 747 into that one annoying neighbour’s house who constantly has parties that go on until 4am.
Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard – Preorder
Microsoft Flight Simulator is the next generation of one of the most beloved simulation franchises. From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day or night and face realistic, challenging weather conditions.
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas is the underdog Fallout game that has made it to the top of the pile for us at TA. Why? This game has consequences, after consequences, after consequences. Obsidian outplayed Bethesda at their own game in some ways. The Courier, your character, gets dug out of the ground in the Mojave Desert and so begins a rollercoaster of events that will leave you staggered at the variety of narrative beats that can occur with just one player-driven choice. Outside of that, you still have your eerie wasteland to explore filled with grim detail. You still have skill trees and V.A.T.S., both with new additions. You still have crafting and customization, but bigger and better. The return of a reputation system, a la Fallout 2. More companions with more depth than Fallout 3 and a strange story with more than enough detail to feel fleshed out and compellingly real, no matter what angle you take down its many paths. For us, this is the complete Fallout experience.
Fallout: New Vegas
Experience all the sights and sounds of fabulous New Vegas, brought to you by Vault-Tec, America’s First Choice in Post Nuclear Simulation. Explore the treacherous wastes of the Great Southwest from the safety and comfort of your very own vault: Meet new people, confront terrifying creatures, and arm yourself with the latest high-tech weaponry as you make a name for yourself on a thrilling new journey across the Mojave wasteland. A word of warning, however – while Vault-Tec engineers have prepa…
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Konami’s decision to shift to an open world setting for Metal Gear Solid V certainly raised a few eyebrows when it was first announced, but the implementation turned out to be one of the game’s greatest strengths. World-class mechanics coupled with scenarios that can be approached from any angle makes for a degree of freedom and creativity seldom seen in traditional stealth games, although some missions do fall back into the more linear scripted sneaking the series was built upon. Ocelot had the right of it — “Afghanistan is a big place,” he correctly asserts in that still-incredible trailer, and it’s a map rich with opportunity for imaginative stealth, plus it’s just one of several massive locations to explore. Even the classic cardboard box gets an overhaul to make it even more versatile, with Snake able to burst out of it to ambush unsuspecting foes or dive out of the side to leave it in place as a decoy or diversion, while Peace Walker’s Fulton extraction system allows you to pilfer supplies, vehicles, and even enemy soldiers to build your own private army. The Phantom Pain has its issues, but the moment-to-moment gameplay definitely sits in the genre’s upper echelons, largely thanks to the boundless potential afforded by the open world setting.
METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN
Ushering in a new era for the METAL GEAR franchise with cutting-edge technology powered by the Fox Engine, METAL GEAR SOLID V: The Phantom Pain, will provide players a first-rate gaming experience as they are offered tactical freedom to carry out open-world missions.
That’s just a few of the many, many great open world games out there. What do you think of this list? Let us know in the comments, and if you’re not seeing your own favourite, you can head over to its game page and rate it, review it, or chat about it in the forums, or share your thoughts in the comments below too!