Open world gaming has become one of the most popular genres in the industry, and for good reason; seldom do other game worlds possess the ability to immerse us and transport away from our earthly confinement. The freedom and range of possibility in open worlds is immeasurable. Whilst there have been countless open world games to come and go, these Top 10 Open Worlds prove just how rich, detailed, and mesmerizing something as simple as the environment in which you play in can be.
10. Spider-Man 2
Videogames adapted off of movies are typically pretty bad. Thankfully, that is so not the case with Spiderman 2. Loosely based off the second film in Tobey Maguire’s outing as the webhead, the game took on a life of its own. Plot aside, the real reason everyone looks back on this gem with admiration is due to the way you could swing through the open world of NYC. Plus, with all the various petty crimes you could stop, there was always something to keep your attention. This may sound dark, but I don’t think there was anything more entertaining than webbing up gangsters, scaling the Empire State Building with them over your shoulder, then dropping them off the edge and trying to catch them before they hit the ground… Sometimes I missed.
It might not be a traditional Open World, but this game provides an interconnected map that is a marvel to explore- with every corner being ready to kill you. It boosts and encourages exploration with rewards, but challenges you to get to them. Further exploration is blocked by the bosses that need to be defeated, but it is rarely a straight path to get to them. And in the case of The One Reborn, the straight path might be the least safe option. The world not only is interconnected, but changing. After different bosses are defeated the world will change, new creatures can appear, and some that have been there all along will be seen.
8. Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City took everything that was great about Arkham Asylum and made it even better, and the world is no exception. While exploring the asylum ground in the first game was great, flying above the streets of Arkham City feels even better. The city felt less isolated than Arkham Island while still managing to bring that dark, eerie feeling that the Batman series is known for. And of course, it didn’t help that Arkham City was just so much bigger. You spend a lot of your time inside various buildings throughout the city, but nothing feels more exciting than spending time just grappling onto every rooftop and gliding your way over the city, listening to what criminals have to say on your radio. It’s a dark and dangerous place, but I wouldn’t expect anywhere else for the Dark Knight to feel at home.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda series is peculiarly open world. While not a sandbox game, there are still elements of free exploration to be had in most (if not all) of the beloved adventure games. If there’s one representation of Hyrule that stands out above the rest, it’s Wind Waker. With the land of Hyrule mostly underwater, a large portion of the game is spent sailing between the game’s islands. While it may sound boring on paper, anyone who’s played it can say it’s anything but. Sailing the open seas, coupled with the game’s fantastic art direction, created a surprisingly unique experience, and often made traversing the game world more fun than the rest of the game.
6. No Man’s Sky
No man can deny that this game had an enormous open world. The freedom of exploring through space: different planets, different wildlife, different atmospheres; there’s an endless amount of space to explore. The different encounters for players are based upon procedural generation, giving the game its 18 quintillion+ planets that the game has to offer. By sheer volume alone this game has more to explore than any other open world to date. What keeps it from the top of this list is the lack of other content to match the size.