What’s the best open world game?

Who doesn’t love exploring? Get yourself a quest or a mission and just head out to see what you can find. Nothing but the open road… and a few hundred enemies. I’ve played my fair share of open world titles – but which one was the best? Well, there’s only one for me.

Fallout 4 is an awesome open world game. It’s got everything you could ask for – a gripping story, great combat, lots of customisation, a massive and varied world and a load of memorable characters. But it isn’t my favourite. All of the Fallout titles are awesome, including New Vegas (though that one was developed by Obsidian). In truth, Bethesda struggle to make a bad game, particularly one with an open world. Their Elder Scrolls franchise is incredible too, and I’m sure that Skyrim would probably be a lot of people’s ‘number one open world game’. For me, Oblivion would take that title over Skyrim… assuming it was better than my favourite open world game.

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Even over the past month we’ve had a great open world game, in No Man’s Sky. Probably the most ‘open’ open world to ever be opened – a title that was probably owned by Witcher 3, before No Man’s came swooping in. But it’s still not my number one. There are loads of other fantastic indie open world titles to choose from as well. Don’t Starve came out of left field, in the early days of the current-gen consoles. Hyper Light Drifter has captivated me somewhat since its release the other month. H1Z1 and DayZ are tearing it up for many a PC gamer and 7 Days to Die currently has me gripped on the Xbox One. But none of those are the best, in my opinion.

If you want a heartbreakingly difficult open world game to play, you’ve got any title from the Dark Souls trilogy to choose from. As well as Demon Souls and Bloodborne. They’re beautifully designed; fun to play but difficult to master. And, if you’re looking for other difficult open world games, Prototype and even Just Cause 2 provide a challenge at times. But, despite the challenge, none of these games would pip my favourite to the post.

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You’ll have probably notice that I’m yet to mention a Rockstar game. And that’s for good reason. Arguably, Rockstar deliver the most widely appreciated open world games. Most people have probably played an Elder Scrolls game, but I can confidently say that far more will have played one of the GTA titles – even if it’s just for a little bit. They’re the FIFA of the open world genre, because they’re accessible for most people. A ‘cool kid’ might take the Mick out of you for playing Skyrim, but wouldn’t bat an eyelid over you playing GTA V… if anything, they’d probably judge you if you didn’t. That being said, they do make fantastic games.

And it’s one of those fantastic titles that gets the accolade for ‘best open world game’, in my opinion. Have you guessed it? That’s right, it’s Bully. I’m kidding. It’s Red Dead. For me, Red Dead gets the title for one key reason – it’s unique. Sure, there are a few Western video-games out there. You’ve got the Call of Juarez series. You’ve got Gun. The slightly older Outlaws. But there aren’t that many. Red Dead is by far the best, and it delivers a completely unrivalled experience. It takes the best aspects of the Grand Theft Auto series, and combines it with a setting like no other. It has all of the components for a fantastic open-world RPG, and it delivers them to a fantastic backdrop and wonderfully engrossing story. Oblivion might be my favourite game, but I’d say that Red Dead does ‘open world’ better.

But that’s the wonderful thing about ‘the best’, it’s usually pretty subjective. So let me know which title would get your award for ‘best open world game’ in the comments below!

  • Dave C

    I hated RD. The controls were awful. I quit half way through due to the un-intuitive overly complicated dodgy controls. I mean it was like ride the horse then hold down 3 buttons at once release only one of them at a certain exact moment to lasso an enemy etc. Who ever thought that was good control design should be fired. Then you had the wonky third person camera that when in buildings many times you were fiddling with the controls to get the character to aim through a doorway instead of at a wall which then resulted in hostage killed and failed mission. There were so many better ways they could have done it and made the game more enjoyable and less annoying. I liked Juarez better due to playability.

  • Dave C

    I hated RD. The controls were awful. I quit half way through due to the un-intuitive overly complicated dodgy controls. I mean it was like ride the horse then hold down 3 buttons at once release only one of them at a certain exact moment to lasso an enemy etc. Who ever thought that was good control design should be fired. Then you had the wonky third person camera that when in buildings many times you were fiddling with the controls to get the character to aim through a doorway instead of at a wall which then resulted in hostage killed and failed mission. There were so many better ways they could have done it and made the game more enjoyable and less annoying. I liked Juarez better due to playability.