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10 games like Ghost of Tsushima for open-world connoisseurs

(Image credit: Sucker Punch)

Jin Sakai’s journey to stop the Mongol invasion of Japan is currently the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive, likely because it has the two things people just can’t get enough of – samurai and a lush open world to explore, which may be why you're looking for games like Ghost of Tsushima to dive into once you've followed every fox possible.

People have waited a pretty long time to finally explore Japan in an open-world format, and with how beautiful Ghost of Tsushima is, the wait was well worth it. At the heart of it, this game harks back to the pinnacle of open-world game design, when every game needed one, and the best open-world games all tried slightly different things with the concept. If you’re looking for something with a similar feel to Sucker Punch’s samurai adventure, you may have to say goodbye to Japan and go explore other digital countries in some cases, but the feeling of awe at the sheer mass of things there are to see and do is the same.

Here are the 10 best games like Ghost of Tsushima for any platform, which will keep you busy exploring.

1. Horizon Zero Dawn

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

One of PlayStation's biggest hits prior to Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon Zero Dawn tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world in which the people of America have started over as members of prehistoric tribes. Fuelled by her curiosity about the past and the origin of massive mechanical beasts her clan fights, Aloy sets out on a journey throughout the country. It’s easy to believe Aloy’s curiosity would pull her here and there, at least that’s the excuse we like to use when we start out on the game’s massive map, intent on reaching a goal, only to get distracted by combat or a collectable or an interesting cave.

The setting is easily one of the best things about Horizon, as there simply is no other game in which you take down gigantic robo-dinosaurs without it even feeling weird. Combat also persistently remains a satisfying challenge, thanks to enemy variety, their inherent strength, and the myriad different ways you can use to defeat them. Horizon’s digital America meanwhile isn’t just your standard post-apocalypse littered with overgrown cars, but a wild place you get to explore from its deserts to its jungles. The main story will have Aloy grow to you, as she has to stand up for herself quite a bit, and the side quests tell you more about this fascinating new society, making Horizon Zero Dawn a place of many interesting stories.

Available on: PS4, PC

2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice 

(Image credit: Activision)

Since a lot of Ghost of Tsushima’s charm comes from you being a samurai, you shouldn’t miss out on another standout with the same theme - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Sekiro plays differently, but places so much importance on the right times to block and strike that the idea is close to Tsushima’s standoffs. As a FromSoftware game, it’s frankly none too accessible, but the world that opens up once you’ve defeated your first few enemies is just as beautiful and exciting as Tsushima, and takedowns are just as satisfying, if not more so for how much risk and precision they take to pull off.

Your brooding protagonist with his prosthetic arm encounters (and often fights) beasts of legend, and he is another loyal, lone samurai who will move heaven and hell for his master. While Sekiro is devoid of personal stories, it’s full of secrets, from prosthetic upgrades to bosses and people hidden away. If you enjoy the feeling of gradual mastery in the face of adversity (meaning Sekiro’s undoubtedly high difficulty) then this, too, is the sword fighting game for you.

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One 

3. Batman: Arkham Knight

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Interactive)

Apart from the open world, Tsushima and Batman share the general feeling of combat. The whole idea of your character being surrounded, only to methodically make short work of his enemies, feels a lot like the fighting style the Arkham series popularised. Both games also offer multipart side quests that can take you all over. While some of what’s available can feel like filler, getting around as Batman still feels great, and if we’re honest, he’s sort of a samurai in his own right. The entire Arkham series, even the mostly linear Arkham Asylum, share with Tsushima that focus on their hero and how no matter how hard he tries, he can’t solve everything on his own - while Jin puts a team together  for that, Batman sometimes gets supported by Robin, Catwoman and Nightwing.

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One 

4. Infamous: Second Son 

(Image credit: Sucker Punch)

Yes, okay, it’s cheating ever so slightly to simply put another Sucker Punch game on this list, but it’s an argument for the developer closing out the console cycle as it started it. Delsin’s superpowered romp through Seattle still feels great to play, thanks to fun movement and fluid combat. The side activities are all about collectables and can feel a little much if you’ve already done that a few times in other games by now. 

All in all Second Son was an interesting blueprint for how your choices in an open world could affect its inhabitants, and how even the comparatively limited space of a city could be used well in an open-world game. 

Available on: PS4

5. Marvel's Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony)

Wheee! Waheeeey! These are only some of the exclamations you’re likely to make once you’re swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper in Insomniac’s New York. Anyone who has ever watched a superhero movie can appreciate the storytelling and the quest setup. Marvel's Spider-Man PS4 a game that can be as fun and exuberant as it can be unexpectedly dramatic, and safe for a few instant fail stealth missions, it leaves you with sufficient freedom as to how to approach things, too. This Spidey (and Miles Morales!) are witty and overall well-written.

Most importantly, Spider-Man doesn’t overstay its welcome. There are many things to collect and genre-traditional bandit camps to clear, but the size of the map makes things seem achievable.

Available on: PS4 

6. Red Dead Redemption 2

(Image credit: Rockstar North)

Ancient Japan sure is one setting many people get excited about. The Wild West is another popular setting, and Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most detailed facsimile of a cowboy’s journey out on his journey through the land. From taking care of your horse to maintaining your own health and hygiene, there is a lot to keep an eye on, and while some of it can feel like busywork, the attention to detail is astounding. The same goes for the environment. And if you want your game to have standouts, the Deadeye system is still the best version of a standoff mechanic using guns. Apart from all the guns and cowboy hats it needs to be said that at the end of the day Red Dead Redemption 2 has a very engrossing story that fits the idea of a Wild West epic to the T.

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC 

7. Assassin's Creed Odyssey

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The way Ghost of Tsushima plays is a more direct improvement on older Assassin’s Creed titles, but Assassin's Creed Odyssey takes this spot for its absolutely gorgeous world. While the story is interesting in its own right, and the new combat system does the long-running series a world of good, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t immediately get lost in its landscapes. Whether it’s sandy beaches or statues of Greek gods high up on a mountain, you just want to see (and climb!) all of it.

Assassin’s Creed has a reputation for taking players around the world. Because of that, many of us thought we’d first enter an open-world Japan as an assassin, now Tsushima has taken that particular crown.

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One 

8. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor 

(Image credit: Monolith)

Mordor isn’t a beautiful place - it’s actually the opposite, but as ranger Talion, it can often almost feel like a playground. After Talion loses his family to orks in a ritual summoning, he becomes one with a wraith called Celebrimbor, the smith who made the One Ring. From then on, Talion decides that his revenge is best taken from within, and basically kills a lot of orcs.

What makes Shadow of Mordor and his sequel Shadow of War such fun is how powerful you can become – with new skills, taking out lesser orcs becomes a dance not unlike Jin’s standoff takedowns. However, there are always orc captains stopping you from getting too cocky; powerful orc captains can still quickly put you in your place. Thanks to the unique Nemesis system, they also remember you and up their defences if you use a certain attack too often. If you’re looking for more combat with a similar feel to Tsushima and you enjoy plenty of side content, this is the dark place for you.

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One 

9. Yakuza 0 

(Image credit: SEGA)

Admittedly, this game may look like a leftfield choice for this list, but Yakuza 0, and by extension the whole Yakuza series, is the best in offering meaningful side quests. From procuring toys (and, err, other things) for children to helping a random stranger dodge a marriage proposal or infiltrating a cult, Yakuza 0 has it all, and the conclusion to each of these missions is both meaningful and heartwarming. The games in Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s new engine, everything from Yakuza 6 onwards, also look absolutely brilliant, inviting you to saunter around real-life modern Japan and enjoy what it has to offer.

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One 

10. Onimusha: Warlords

(Image credit: Capcom)

The first part of the Onimusha trilogy was one of the games that served as direct inspiration for Ghost of Tsushima. while it’s mostly a gameplay system that Tsushima took a cue from, Onimusha’s Samanosuke Akechi does have a lot in common with Jin: both battle through historic Japanese time periods, both are loyal samurai who receive help from badass women and both are built after Japanese actors. While the last point doesn’t sound like much, Akechi being what went for the spitting image of Japanese/Taiwanese heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro was a big step at the time. Onimusha is a more linear and puzzle-driven game overall, but it captures the spirit of feudal Japan and has a great soundtrack to boot. Plus, Onimusha 3 comes with a time travel plot featuring Jean Reno. Just saying.

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch 

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