Open-world games usually give us a sense of freedom and provide the players with non-linear storytelling, and lots of possibilities. However, there are some semi-open-world games, which have that open world, but you can’t really fully explore it. In our today’s article, we’ll talk about full-fledged open-world games, that will amaze you with their visuals, gameplay, and storytelling. So, forget about the linear approach here, where you need to go from point A to point B.
Enter the exciting realm of open-world PC games, which offers freedom and countless opportunities. These fully developed open-world games provide stunning visuals, engaging gameplay, and gripping narratives.
These games offer unprecedented exploration and non-linear storytelling, from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s large and stunning vistas to Grand Theft Auto V’s crime-ridden neighborhoods. With Fallout 4 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Call of Pripyat, you can explore post-apocalyptic worlds; with Assassin’s Creed: Origins and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you may go on epic journeys. Let your imagination soar as you embark on a world tour unlike any other.
Today, we are going open world, into the exploration, to find the best open-world games for PC. So brace yourself, and let’s start!
1. Grand Theft Auto V
GTA is a great franchise, and among the first, that boasted this open-world nature. Indeed, GTA V is the best open world game ever, offering tons of features. First, there is a vast open space that you can explore, but not only that, as the world is filled with various stuff.
Do you want to go gambling? You can do that. Do you want to roam with your friends in your car? You can also do that. Do you want to raise hell and kill people on the street? YES! There is also an interesting single-player campaign and great characters that you are going to LOVE. With this great gameplay, beautiful graphics and story, GTA V earned the first spot on our list with no struggle. If you don’t like GTA V for some reason, check out the games like GTA V.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I know. I’m annoying. I’m sorry, but just one more time. This game will ruin every single game you play after it. It’s an open world and beautiful… I mean AMAZING graphics will stay in your memory for months after you finish it.
Our protagonist Geralt of Rivia returned in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt once more, to find his adopted daughter Ciri and kill the Wild Hunt. You’ll craft items here, engage in dialogues, fight, and explore the vast open world that the game offers. It will offer hundreds of hours of fun, and you can always return to it and play it again, as its replayability is still untouchable!
3. Fallout 4
What would you do if the nuclear disaster happened? I’m sure that this won’t happen so stop thinking about it and start thinking about our apocalyptic Fallout 4. When starting the campaign, Fallout 4 immediately throws you into a colorful world, that’s soon a victim of a nuclear disaster, and all of the citizens are evacuated.
Years later, you wake up just before they kill your wife/husband and take your son. Your mission becomes to find him, and you’ll do that by searching the open world of the fictional town Commonwealth, as well as doing various quests, collecting items, and crafting stuff. Fallout 4 is one of the best open-world games for PC, as well as a great shooter and role-playing game.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
This list wouldn’t be complete without Skyrim. Skyrim represents the finest RPG and an open world game ever along with some of the entries from the list. It’s a well-crafted game, that will let you FULLY explore the open world, and when I tell that, I really think it. You’ll spend hundreds of hours searching for quests and killing monsters while leveling your character and weapons.
The world is huge, and looks great, although the game is quite old at the moment, counting six years from the initial release. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will satisfy all your open-world needs, and it’s a fantastic game to play and have.
5. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 takes players on a thrilling journey across the American West. You’ll put yourself in the position of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw coping with the Wild West’s demise amid a vast open landscape. Discover thrilling shootouts, ferocious horse chases, and breathtaking vistas. With its deep narrative, fun gameplay, and incredible attention to detail, Red Dead Redemption 2 offers an open-world experience that will leave you breathless.
6. Horizon Zero Dawn
An epic adventure called Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in a future world where artificial life has taken everything. You’ll explore a world full of ruins and antiquated technology as Aloy, a skilled hunter and archer, and you’ll try to solve the planet’s mysteries. Investigate diverse locales, engage in tactical battle, and learn more about your past.
With its intriguing story, gorgeous graphics, and vibrant open world, Horizon Zero Dawn offers PC gamers a fantastic gaming experience. Immerse yourself in this unique fusion of adventure, action, and learning.
7. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Assassin’s Creed franchise took a little odd turn with some of the past few games, so Ubisoft decided to pause a year and create this masterpiece called Assassin’s Creed: Origins. This game brings the best in Assassin’s Creed series while adding some new RPG elements and improved combat.
The open world of Ancient Egypt is also a sight to be seen, letting you explore every corner and every pyramid that you find in the game. On top of that, the game lets you level up and craft new gear, weapons, and armor. It’s a real open-world game, that you’ll enjoy playing for dozens of hours.
8. Watch Dogs 2
Hacking was never this fun with Watch Dogs 2. This game is a worthy sequel to the previous game in the series, offering better gameplay, graphics, and a more interesting protagonist. Although the game isn’t that optimized, you’ll see that it plays very smoothly and it’s fun.
In its fictional world of San Francisco, you are going to shoot, hack, run, and sneak your way through the missions, and also be able to use vehicles to your advantage. Hacking is great here, and you’ll be able to control almost every system in the town, to use it to beat your enemies. Watch Dogs 2 is a great sequel, and it’s definitely worth trying.
9. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Ware returns this year as a sequel to the previous game, with the same setting and open world, but offering tons of new gameplay features, upgrades, and stunning visuals. Story-wise, it follows Talion who is on a journey to defeat Sauron by forging a new ring with Celebrimor, however, things don’t go so well; so they are forced to conquer an army of Uruks to defeat them.
Uruks are the most interesting characters here, as they are funny and very smart, able to gather their army and mutilate you within seconds. This open-world game is surely one of the best you can play now, and if you like quantity in gaming, then Shadow of War is for you.
We often hear about this game being mentioned all the time, but what the hell is PUBG? PUBG stands for Player Unknown’s Battleground, and it’s an open-world shooter game for PC, where your goal is simple- survive, adapt, and overcome. PUBG will throw you immediately into action by parachuting you into the open world without anything but a few pieces of clothes, so you’ll need to search for weapons, food, and gear to survive. It’s a multiplayer game, and it’s played until one of you stays alive on the map. So ready your weapons, clench your teeth and go killing!
11. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Ghost Recon: Wildlands also went open-world this year with this game, but how does it work here? Well, pretty good if you ask me. You are one of the four members of the Ghost team, and you are sent to Bolivia to hunt down various Narco cartels. You can play this game the stealth way, or go guns blazing, but remember that the enemies are fierce and will not forgive you any mistakes. Also, while you do that, be sure to take motorcycles, cars, and helicopters to explore and admire this beautiful open world of Bolivia. It’s the star of the game.
12. Far Cry 4
While Far Cry 4 wasn’t as praised as Far Cry 3, I still hold a special place in my heart for this game. The game is set in the fictional town of Kyrat, which looks amazing in the game. Everything from valleys filled with plants and vegetation to snowy mountains and steep mountains is in this game. The story is solid, and the gameplay flows smoothly as it was on Butter.
If you are a fan of the open-world genre, there is zero doubt that you’ll dislike this game. I mean, what’s more, badass than going on a hunt for Himalai Tiger at the top of the mountain, or exploring the vast jungle and silently killing soldiers?
13. Tom Clancy’s The Division
Tom Clancy’s The Division takes a little different turn, incorporating an urban environment of New York City. Don’t expect it to be pretty, as The Division is a pretty hardcore game, set in a post-apocalyptic world, where you’ll need to kill and loot in order to survive.
It’s an open-world role-playing game, that will make your palms sweat every time you play it or go for a loot. Remember that it’s a multiplayer game, so you’ll encounter many players online, of which some are friendly and others… well, not that friendly! Stay frosty, and watch yourself, soldier! New York became a very dangerous place for The Division members.
14. Borderlands 2
Open-world game with a cartoonish artwork and great graphics? Deep progression system? Smooth shooting gameplay? Oh, stop, please; I’ll take it! Borderlands 2 is a great open-world game, and it’s probably one of the most recognizable games ever, with its artwork and funny characters. It’s a shooting game, incorporating RPG elements, where you’ll upgrade the hell out of your characters, weapons, and equipment.
However, the game incorporates a lot of grinding to get to the higher levels, making it very hard (for someone boring) to play and beat, but there is that great feeling of satisfaction when you beat that boss or hordes of enemies.
15. Just Cause 3
Just Cause 3 should be called Just Cause destruction, mayhem, and carnage… literally! This game is all about creating a huge mess by destroying various antennas, explosive barrels (oh, lots of them actually!), monuments, and statues. Don’t worry about the story that much here, as the game is all about badassery.
You’ll begin the game standing on a plane and shooting stuff with your RPG and guns and then quickly hit the ground and get to the car to start yet another vicious chase through the city. Just Cause 3 will offer you tons of fun, because of its smooth gameplay, great shooting mechanics, and open world that you can fully explore.
In the year 2017, how could this game full of 8-bit chunks provide us with that much fun? Well, it can, with the great concept of the game that’s all about survival, fighting against the other players, and creating your own shelter and house from the chunks scattered through the level. You’ll also be able to collect items and craft various stuff in order to survive.
As with every multiplayer game, I also suggest getting your friends to play it, to make it even more fun. Minecraft might look simple on the surface, but believe me, you’ll have a hard time surviving here with all of the threats to your life.
17. Sleeping Dogs
I was tired of the games focusing on American stuff, so I decided to pick up Sleeping Dogs, which is like a Chinese GTA, set in Hong Kong. Sleeping Dogs is equally as good as every GTA game, offering fighting mechanics that are almost unmatched in this type of game, along with a compelling story about Son On Yee Triad and our protagonist Wei Shen who works on both the police and criminal side.
So, if you like to steer away from cliche games using the same motives and settings, then Sleeping Dogs should be a good rest from the classic American stuff, plus you’ll learn to love the fictional city of Hong Kong; it’s definitely one of my favorite fictional places in the game.
18. Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 is a game developed by Microsoft Studios, and it’s a very badass game, offering almost EVERY car that you can imagine, paired with a huge open world and a great racing experience. Do you want to drive fast, exotic cars? No problem. Do you want to drive high-powered SUVs on the off-road tracks? You can do that too! The possibilities are endless with Forza Horizon 3. Just get in the open world, and race singleplayer or multiplayer if you are that good, but be careful not to get left behind. Don’t be a girl, step on the gas and let’s go!
19. Mad Max
Mad Max was my favorite movie when I was a kid, and now I got to play the game. What a time to be alive! Mad Max is a welcome game, that is set in Wasteland, that will let you explore it to the fullest. Here, it’s all about building your Magnum Opus, a car that can be used for fighting and defending against opponents.
It’s a fighting open-world game, with a big focus on driving. You’ll spend a very big part of the game driving, searching for loot, fighting, and tanking your Magnum Opus with fuel. It’s a fun game to play, and it’s very cheap at the moment, so you can get this underrated gem for just a few bucks.
20. Mafia III
Unlike the semi-open worlds of previous games, Mafia III comes with a full-fledged open world. And guess what? They nailed it. It’s a fictional town of New Orleans, and our new protagonist Lincoln Clay is a Vietnam veteran, who is on a killing spree in order to rule New Orleans. The story is great and offers some memorable one-liners and cutscenes, as well as the appearance of our legendary protagonist from the first game, Vito Scaletta.
21. ARMA 3
And, the award for the hardest shooter of all time goes to ARMA 3. It’s a military simulator, set on the islands of Altis and Stratis, with numerous factions being in conflict on the island. The game offers a vast open world, that you can explore, but with great caution, as you can be killed in a second!
Its single-player campaign has a compelling story, and the ending will be satisfying, depending on which decision you make. On the other side, the multiplayer is where the game shines, giving you complete freedom to explore with your friends and fight versus the other players in the huge, but beautiful open world.
22. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
I remember hating this game because I couldn’t get into it, as it was very hard. However, in my high-school, I started being addicted to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series and decided to play every single game from it. Call of Pripyat is one of my favorite games of all time, set in a post-apocalyptic world of town Pripyat, after a nuclear disaster that wiped the whole town. You are here to investigate the strange case of disappearance, but on the way, you’ll explore the game’s world, befriend various factions, buy weapons and armor, and much more. I recommend that you try the game, but don’t blame me if it ruins your life… just saying.