Here are the greatest open-world PC games now available that allow us to fly, drive, and sail around beautiful, boundless worlds.
Searching for the top PC open-world games? Since the beginning of gaming, when Ultima and Lords of Midnight were released, open-world games have always been best played on a PC. In fact, those annoying consoles frequently struggled to keep up. Only the PC could support expansive territories in the very first Elder Scrolls games. For example, contrast the ambitious early version of Halo with the final, more constrained outcome. However, the introduction of Grand Theft Auto 3 and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind into full 3D helped popularise the concept of open-world gaming.
Open-world video games are now considered a separate genre. In one of the finest open world PC games, you can find realistic representations of real-world towns or nations, vast fictitious stretches with their own landmarks, complete worlds to check out, or even entire galaxies, depending on where you want to travel on your next trip.
Given the enormous range of the genre, its coolest quality is that they can take many different shapes; what matters is that they let you explore without restriction. As a result, our selection of the best open world games includes everything from the top first-person shooters to racing games with expansive open environments.
The top PC open-world games are listed here.
Tower of Fantasy, Elden Ring, Halo Infinite, No Man’s Sky, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Saints Row 4, Fallout 4, Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto 5, Days Gone, Watch Dogs 2, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Trove are just a few examples.
1 Tower of Fantasy
Tower of Fantasy finally reached the west in mid-2022, and it has received a resoundingly positive response. Genshin Impact is heavily influenced by this MMO action RPG, so if you enjoyed that title, you’ll definitely enjoy this one as well. It’s one of those cases where the concept was so successful that it only made sense for another developer to try it out; nonetheless, it’s not entirely derivative. Its scenario and plot are quite different from those of Genshin, with a stronger sci-fi emphasis than a completely fantasy one.
Of course, Tower of Fantasy also has a sizable open environment, like like Genshin. Bare deserts, warm beaches, wide-open spaces, teeming metropolis of the future, and much more can be found. It’s also not one of those empty free worlds. There is a lot to do, like gathering resources, battling monsters, and much more. You can do it everything with your friends, which makes it much more fun. Who doesn’t enjoy venturing with their friends into unknown territory?
2 Elden Ring
Hardcore action RPG games in the Souls-like subgenre have evolved to a masterful degree with Elden Ring. Elden Ring’s new open environment, which provides the player the ability to explore and complete missions, bosses, and dungeons in whatever order they choose, is largely responsible for the game’s popularity. This is not an Assassin’s Creed or Witcher, but rather a critically regarded ARPG that successfully avoids common genre stereotypes while providing a demanding gaming experience and creative freedom. To find out what we thought of this open-world game, read our Elden Ring review.
Even those who are unfamiliar with the genre will find this to be a more hospitable entrance point. We have guides to all of the Elden Ring bosses, how multiplayer functions, and even the Ashes of War locations if you’re searching for some advice to help you out.
3 Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite has done a really good job of adjusting to the open world. It brings out the best of Halo: Combat Evolved’s former splendour and offers veteran players a fresh experience. The grappling hook expands Zeta Halo in a way we haven’t seen before, giving you more tactical options and allowing you to explore this breathtaking area.
Although collectibles are introduced in Infinite, they are not overly common and many are marked on the map in-game. The only ones you’ll actually need to search for are the skulls from Halo Infinite, which gamers should be accustomed to by this point as they appear in every Halo game. After completing the story, you can play multiplayer in Halo Infinite and, when it launches, the Halo Forge. To learn more, see our Halo Infinite review.
4 The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
One of those games that we frequently play again and again is Skyrim, and the charm is always present. This open-world RPG has hundreds of different ways to play through it, from the standard character builds of thief and warrior to trying to complete the entire game while vegan or playing as a fictional character from the game’s backstory. The vast world of Skyrim is teeming with people and animals going about their everyday lives without your intervention. You might frequently see a giant kicking a hapless wolf into orbit or a couple of Thalmor escorting a kidnapped Nord.
As a Dragonborn, a hero who has been predicted and who is thrust into a tense civil war, you play in this fantasy open-world RPG that explores the vast and beautiful continent of Skyrim. The setting draws extensively from the landscapes of nations like Norway and Iceland, blending its history, culture, flora, and folklore with the realistic high fantasy of The Elder Scrolls. Skyrim is still among the most talked-about open-world games because of its amazing attention to detail and intriguing tale. It was released almost 10 years ago. Once you’ve used up all the methods to play, you can check out the greatest Skyrim modifications because it still has a strong modding community.
5 No Man’s Sky
When No Man’s Sky was released in 2016 there was a harsh response. The game’s buzz was out of hand, and it was difficult for the small firm Hello Games to live up to players’ expectations. No Man’s Sky has evolved into the best open-world space game over the course of six years and numerous upgrades thanks to that little studio.
Open universe is what No Man’s Sky means by “open world.” This game begins with a whole planet, and it only gets bigger from there, unlike some open-world games that give you a city or even a state to explore. You are free to roam around it, locating outposts, interacting with animals, getting into mischief, mining for minerals, seeking for artefacts, constructing bases, and experimenting with No Man’s Sky mods. You can find other entirely other worlds to explore and plunder after you’ve fixed your ship and taken off into space. No Man’s Sky is a game that you could play for the rest of your life and still not experience everything it has to offer. Even better, you may now play with pals, build massive bases, and simply explore this breathtakingly beautiful universe.
6 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt manages to make its environment feel like a single, unified globe despite being divided up into a number of tiny open-world locales. Whether you’re skulking through ancient woodlands, chasing animals through the battle-scarred plains of Velen, or exploring the cobblestone streets of Novigrad, CD Projekt Red has created a world that seems both real and fantastical in equal measure.
And you’ll always find new tasks, people, creatures, and encounters as you explore these hostile regions. What bigger compliment could there be for an open-world game than the fact that you never want to fast travel around The Witcher 3’s map out of concern that you could miss out on a brand-new, thrilling adventure? The Witcher 4 is still unofficially unannounced, but at least we have the best Witcher 3 mods to play around with.
7 Saints Row 4
The Saints Row series is the ideal contrast to the conventional open-world video game of today. Volition increased the ridiculousness while using Grand Theft Auto 3 as a model. Saints Row 2 and 3 had amusing tasks like diving in front of cars to collect insurance money, but Saints Row IV took things a step further by introducing superpowers.
The metropolis of Steelport hasn’t changed much since the last game, but being able to sprint faster than a speeding bullet or leap up huge buildings in one bound adds a tonne of excitement to the mix. If you can sprint up to an enemy at super-speed and punch them off the battlefield, why bother with cars, helicopters, or even firearms, you’ll shortly discover. Saints Row IV is one of the most enjoyable open-world games currently available thanks to these abilities, which guarantee that it feels very different from the series’ primary influences.
It’s not hard to understand how this bizarre game has developed a cult following when you consider the storyline of an extraterrestrial invasion, the absurd and broad selection of tasks, and the fact that you’re doing all of this while playing as the President of the United States.
8 Fallout 4
Fallout 4 can keep you occupied for several hours. To create a base and survive in this uncharted future, one must do everything from traverse the arid post-apocalyptic plains to scavenge buried resources. More adventures, interesting personalities, and locations can be found in the retro-futuristic wasteland of Boston, Massachusetts, than you could possibly see in the course of a 100-hour playthrough. Fallout 4’s vast open environment never feels empty, whether you’re battling through the mutant-infested streets of downtown Boston, navigating the severely radioactive Glowing Sea, or visiting the Salem Witch Museum.
Check out our Fallout 4 beginner’s guide before donning your hazmat suit to explore the wastes, or if you’re ahead of the curve (the game was launched in 2015, after all), try our guides to the best Fallout 4 modifications and Fallout 4 console commands to customise the experience even more.
9 Red Dead Redemption 2
As Arthur Morgan, a wanted criminal and member of the notorious and cunning Van der Linde gang, you’ll play in RDR2. Hope is an uncontrollable reaction that will carry you through this sorrowful ode to the Old West even knowing the gang’s end seems inevitable. Red Dead Redemption 2’s extraordinary open environment, though, is thanks to Rockstar.
The varied terrain shifts from snow-covered mountain peaks and ice lakes to arid plains and muddy swamps. NPCs respond to your character’s honour bar and, depending on how well-behaved you have been, will respond to your arrival in town. Before you can enter freely into “wanted” territory or run the risk of being tracked down by bounty hunters, you must go to the neighbourhood post office to settle any outstanding debts.
Although story missions open up or close off certain places, Red Dead Redemption 2 largely allows you to traverse the vast American frontier at your leisure. From striking up conversations with random people on the side of the road to trudging into town for a haircut to hunting for fabled creatures in the harsh landscape of the Grizzlies. The interesting and alluring open world of Red Dead Redemption 2 will beckon you to explore every inch of it.
10 Grand Theft Auto 5
Grand Theft Auto 3 essentially invented the 3D open-world game, but GTA 5 is the realisation of what Rockstar set out to accomplish with that ground-breaking adventure. Los Santos, a metropolis inspired by Los Angeles, is part of the incredibly expansive San Andreas region, one of the most intricate open-world settings yet seen in a video game. Wherever you go, there are side tasks, shops, sports, and easter eggs to keep you busy.
In case that isn’t enough, there is also GTA Online, which expands on the fantastic aspects of the sandbox game and adds dozens of new users, exposing them to racing, heists, battle royale, biker gangs, and much more. Even GTA 5 mods exist that let you accomplish all of this while playing as Superman or Magneto, make cow-firing weaponry, or simply let the whales fall out of the sky at random. Who requires a release date for Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC?
Six years after its release, one of the finest multiplayer games on this list is still GTA Casino, which just added a sizable online casino to Los Santos complete with minigames, new GTA casino missions, a stack of hidden GTA Playing Cards to find, and a GTA casino heist mission payout.
11 Batman: Arkham Knight
All open-world games should live by the maxim, “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman.” Despite having a smaller play area than most other open-world games, Rocksteady’s third and last journey into the universe of the Dark Knight includes a nearly comprehensive reproduction of Gotham City. Few open-world games are as meticulous and rife with fan service as this superhero game.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a heinous murder, a fascinating encounter, a perplexing riddle, a gang of ne’er-do-wells to beat up, or a billboard advertisement that you should really take another look at after you’ve been doused in Scarecrow juice, Gotham has something interesting to catch your attention on every square metre. Also enjoyable is moving across the city, whether using grappling glides or the Batmobile to speed through the streets.
While the story may not be as good as that of the other Arkham games, Arkham Knight still stands out for its gameplay, gorgeous visuals, and open world that you’ll want to spend hours exploring. If you’re a fan of the DC comics, you’ll also find that the game never gets boring because of all the easter eggs you’ll find.
12 Days Gone
Days Gone, which was once a PlayStation exclusive, is now playable exclusively on PC thanks to a slew of repairs and improvements. The only thing that slightly detracts from it is that the obligatory stealth missions can result in instant failure if you’re not careful. Climbing aboard your hog and driving through the Pacific Northwest, our review describes it as a “workmanlike open-world adventure” that’s “elevated into something special by its spectacular horde fights, ambitious scope, and warmly written characters.”
Clearing out forts, traversing a research centre, or rescuing hostages from the Ripper cult are just a few of the varied objectives that add to the allure of this expansive open world. Days Gone has had its first PC mods now that it is available, which range from lowering the zombies’ movement to match a classic movie shamble to reshading the game to resemble Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake.
Days Gone needs to be on this list, if only so that PC users may give it a genuine shot, whether they are playing the game for the first time or going back to it to investigate the development of the modding scene.
13 Watch Dogs 2
It can be challenging to introduce yet another contemporary, open-world city-based game in a setting where Grand Theft Auto 5 already exists. However, Ubisoft found a way to update the model by incorporating hacking, in-game invasions like to those in Dark Souls, and sharper social and political commentary. All of that is accomplished in Watch Dogs 2’s believable, if slightly compressed, caricatured portrayal of San Francisco. It’s also great.
Compared to the original game, the struggles of the main character Marcus and the outcast hacker group DedSec provide a much more gratifying and welcoming backdrop. Finally, the sequel was given permission to make fun of the (really hilarious) hacking mechanic. Everything may be hacked, including smartphones, traffic lights, cars, and security cameras. With a variety of drones on board, the gameplay is constantly action-packed, interesting, and shockingly amusing. The best way to play bowling with any close security personnel is to hack a parked automobile.
Exploring San Francisco is the main highlight of the main plot, made possible by a top-notch music, a meticulous depiction of the Bay Area, and the option to hack oncoming traffic to help clear the roads a little. There are some noteworthy missions throughout the main story.
14 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Due to the fact that it was the first MGS game to be released on the PC and the only open-world MGS game (except Survive), Metal Gear Solid V deserves a spot on our list. Metal Gear Solid V was one of the most fulfilling, captivating, and enjoyable open-world games ever created, despite the fact that many people were sceptical of the genre transition before its release.
There are at least a few hundred missions in MGS V, a military game that has a staggering quantity of content. The stealth systems function great, with many moving parts that assemble like well-oiled clockwork. You must be mindful of your surroundings, including light, cover, position, and noise. If you raise suspicion, the guards may even use a walkie-talkie to contact neighbouring bases if reinforcements are required.
These stealth mechanics are greatly enhanced by the open world because it broadens the game’s horizons. The game gives you entire freedom to act anyway you like, no matter how crazy, and allows you to watch outposts from great distances and formulate an attack strategy.
15 Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Not all of the Assassin’s Creed series’ open-world games are as good as Odyssey. A number of different weapon combinations are available in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s greatly improved combat, including the ability to dual-wield axes like a raving Viking warrior. The fact that the main character is a fierce Viking named Eivor who seeks renown in conflicts against the native Saxons who currently rule England is therefore very appropriate.
Our review of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla demonstrates that the game’s merits go beyond simply having better combat. Rap battles, drinking games, and the “hopelessly addicting dice game Orlog” are some of the newer entertainment. Additionally, you can take part in raids and ransack villages to gather loot for your own Viking colonies. You’ll find a lot to love in Valhalla if exploring the untamed areas of Dark Ages England and Norway appeals to you. We have plenty of advanced tutorials, such as how to use Ymir’s Tear Stones, but our Assassin’s Creed Valhalla basic tips are accessible to get you started.
16 Far Cry 5
The most recent Far Cry game takes players to the US, yet it still feels very remote from civilization. The stunning open environment that players can explore this time around is Hope County, Montana, but in order to get to your own Far Cry 5 ending, you’ll have to share it with homicidal cultists and dangerous animals like bears, mountain lions, and wolverines.
Most open-world games require you to travel from Point A to Point B in order to accomplish anything, but Far Cry 5 packs a tonne of excitement between those places thanks to chance encounters. Be prepared to be distracted—often simultaneously—by enemy jeeps, bears, VIP soldiers, barricades, hostage situations, car chases, or aerial bombardments. Far Cry 5 attempts its damnedest to keep players preoccupied at all times, making it incredibly simple to become lost in the vast open spaces. To top it all off, while it doesn’t function as well as a co-op game when it comes to missions, it performs admirably when players are simply having fun in the free area. So get together with a friend, decide where to go, and wait for the fireworks to begin. In Far Cry 5, the wait time won’t be that long.
17 Forza Horizon 4
As open-world racing video games proliferate, it takes a special game to differentiate itself from the competition.
Although the most recent Forza game’s depiction of the British Isles is a greatly condensed version of the UK, there is still a sizable region to explore, including the Scottish Highlands, portions of Oxfordshire and Cumbria, and down to Cheshire. Our Forza Horizon 4 review discovered that it’s amazing merely to drive about and explore, even before you start talking about the magnificent sights and the seasonal weather changes. The hills, forests, sleepy villages, and towns all lend a feeling of character to the game’s landscape.
If you’re new to the series, be sure to screech over to our Forza Horizon 4 beginner’s guide. Forza Horizon 4 isn’t just about the looks either; all of its vehicles feel distinct when you fling them into hairpin corners or race over the summit of a hill. In addition, Forza Horizon 4 has an absurd amount of things to do, such as epic races, challenges, customization, and even season-specific Forzathons.
Trove is an MMO with elements of Minecraft, including a randomly generated world that you can spend countless hours exploring. Because Trove is voxel-based, you can create anything with basic cubes and transport it to any new open environment you come across while exploring.
Simply enter an adventure portal, locate a piece of land, and plop down your base to have a secure somewhere to go back to in between killing sessions. Naturally, Trove also features all the hallmarks of a traditional MMO, including difficult dungeons and multiplayer gathering areas where you can flaunt your brand-new velociraptor mount.
These are the top PC open-world games available right now. Since the early days of randomly generated dungeons in vintage games like Daggerfall, the genre has advanced significantly. Since then, the genre has undergone a transformation, and the worlds we play in now appear and feel more authentic than ever. As always, we’re excited to see how future PC games leverage cutting-edge technology to create even more captivating worlds. In fact, some of the finest free PC games are already embracing a more open design.