Skip to main content

25 best open world games to play right now and completely forget real life exists

The best open world games are the ones that will lure you in with a world to explore, and then completely captivate you with their stories, side quests, and whatever's over the next horizon. Such is the pull of these digital worlds that you'll be more than happy to lose yourself in them completely. The best open world games, after all, have the capacity to eat up your free time - don't say we didn't warn you.

As with all the best open-world games these epics will drink up your nights and weekends like a time-sucking vampire, trapping you with rich stories, immersive locations and NPCs with tales to tell. To make your descent into madness easier, we've ranked the 25 best open world games that are available today. Ghost of Tsushima and Cyberpunk 2077 are on the way (plus eventually Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield), but until we can see if they're contenders, here are the best open world games you can play right now!

Oh, and one more thing - some of these games are compatible with 4K, so if you want to see them at their best on console then you'll need an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro. If you've not gotten on the 4K bandwagon yet, visit our dedicated pages for Xbox One X deals or PS4 Pro deals.

25. Mad Max

Mad Max

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Hours of play: 60.5 hours

What a lovely day! You’ll be thinking to yourself as you storm through the sandy world of Mad Max with your friendly associate Chumbucket firing jolly little rounds from your car-mounted machine gun. Or using a flamethrower to incinerate nearby War Boys. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most of the game is about vehicular warfare, so it’s rife with confronting camps of War Boys in an otherwise desolate and empty land, or customising your car to make it as offensive as possible (in the combat sense, not as if you’re painting swear words on the side). Action rather than story makes up the backbone of Mad Max, so if that’s your cup of chrome then look no further and get that engine revving.

24. Terraria


Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, PSVita
Hours of play: 89.5 hours

Terraria is so full of possibility that it verges on the sandbox/open world boundary. Build your home and defend it from the icky things that will try to knock the door down and suck your brains out of your nose. If you’d rather you can ignore those beasties and delve deep into the earth to find valuable resources or just explore to your tiny, pixelated heart’s content. Craft better armour and weapons, and even a jetpack, then once you’re feeling strong enough - and probably a little bit cocky - wait for one of the game’s bosses to spontaneously attack you. There’s always something better to build, a new cavern to dig into, or another storey of your house to be built. 

23. Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Hours of play: 57 hours

Medici isn’t an island that’s ever known peace, which is really for the best, if you consider just how much chaos you can cause as Rico Rodriguez. The entire province is at your feet, and considering the arsenal of weapons that you’ll build up during your playthrough I can’t help but pity its citizens a bit. Destroy your enemies in this action open world with anything from a rocket launcher or exploit the element of surprise with your parachute and grappling hook. Because horizontal traversal is for chumps. Don’t expect too much from Just Cause 3’s missions or NPCs, as they’re shallow at best. Despite this, there’s really nothing like parachuting towards the fast-approaching ground and then letting loose with a shotgun RPG. 

22. L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Hours of play: 40.5 hours 

With case names like The Red Lipstick Murder and the White Shoe Slaying, L.A. Noire quite evidently prioritises its noir detective cases over anything else. While the investigation process is in-depth enough to make you analyse suspect’s facial twitches, the actual open world itself is mainly made up of crimes you can intervene in and vintage cars to commandeer. L.A. Noire doesn’t quite make it further down this list as you can’t freely enter shops or play through Cole Phelp’s personal life, but if you want to saturate yourself with old-timey talk and criminal activities, you’ll find more than enough to delight in L.A. Noire. Although bearing in mind the amount of corpses you’ll be faced with, hopefully you won’t be delighted in a creepy way. 

21. Saints Row 4

Saints Row 4

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Hours of play: 35 hours

The fact that Saints Row 4 has a sex appeal slider that alters the size of your junk or rack - depending on which gender you choose - really sets the scene for its ridiculous tone. Although it’s not one of the best open world games out there, it’s sure to make you laugh out loud with its vibrant purple brand of inanity while you race around the streets with your newfound powers as you fight to free your friends from the alien invasion that threatens your position as President of the United States of America. Sometimes you’ll be playing dubstep in a 50’s America, shooting zombies in the face, or speeding ahead of cars using your powers. Dear lord, Saints Row 4 is open world madness, but boy does it pull it off. 

Read on for our top 20 best open world games...

Or watch our video below where we discuss if open world games are really as open as they appear.