Video game file sizes have exploded over the past couple of decades. From having video games that took up just a few megabytes on our hard disk, games rose to more than 100 GB these days. However, bigger file sizes do not make a better game, and most of the time it is because the games are massive sandboxes with huge textures and assets to store. The ninth-generation consoles and gaming hardware brought in support for 4K gaming. This means developers have to use 16K textures to make the games look good on your giant 4K displays.
Even a small 16K asphalt texture can be as big as 5 to 6 GB. Thus, bigger file size is quite acceptable in video games. However, hardware manufacturers are working hard to develop compression technology to bring down the file size without hurting the quality and resolution of in-game assets. An early version of this compression technology is already being implemented on the latest Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5.
This has helped video game file size become smaller by a few gigabytes. However, they are still crazy big. How crazy, you ask? Let’s have a look at the largest video games by file size you can download right now.
1. ARK: Survival Evolved (with all DLCs installed): 275 GB on PC
ARK Survival Evolved is a massive survival video game that focuses on action-adventure gameplay elements. The game starts with players stranded on an island with dinosaurs, and other pre-historic threats. Players have to fight ancient threats, and even fight against other human players who want to kill them for loot. Since this is a survival video game, it has a lot of DLCs that include everything from skins to new animals. The game can take up a whopping 275 GB on your hardware with all these DLCs installed. This makes ARK: Survival Evolved the biggest game you can download today.
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (with Warzone): 231 GB on Xbox Series X
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was one of the best-looking games ever released when it came out in 2019. Infinity Ward outdid themselves with the visuals and the story. This title is a genuinely good entry in the long-running series for quite some time. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare also was the first game to get the Warzone update. Call of Duty: Warzone is the free-to-play battle royale expansion for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The game has a lot of content. It includes Campaign, Multiplayer, Spec Ops, and Survival game modes. All this, combined with Warzone, takes up a staggering 231 GB on your storage.
3. Age of Empires IV (with 4K HDR pack installed): 218.6 GB on PC
Age of Empires IV is a massive strategy video game published by Xbox Game Studios, and it is a PC exclusive. The game requires some decent hardware to run, and it can be played smoothly on a high-end PC. Originally, the game is just 86.2 GB. Although that is quite big, we have seen every game push such sizes these days. But, the 4K HDR pack takes up another 132.4 GB on your hard disk. This pushes the download size to 218.6 GB. The game is great, but the file size is daunting for sure.
4. Quantum Break: 178 GB on PC
Quantum is a PC and Xbox exclusive game title. It was developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by the then Microsoft Studios on Microsoft Windows 10 and Xbox One in 2016. The game is a science fiction third-person action-adventure video game. Originally planned to be a sequel to Alan Wake, the game later shifted to a more time-machine-based theme as Microsoft wanted a new intellectual property (IP). The title is visually impressive, but a space hog on the older Xbox One consoles. It is a bit lenient on the PC, however.
5. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep: 165 GB on Xbox One
Destiny 2 is that game that never runs of content to add. Its 2019 expansion, Shadowkeep, is one of the largest video games to exist out there. Although the game goes a bit easy on the PlayStation 4 (120 GB) and PC (95 GB), the Xbox One port of the title is massive. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep was the first expansion independently published by the developers, Bungie, after they acquired publishing rights from Activision. The game has a full-fledged campaign, multiplayer modes, and several PvE and PvP activities.
6. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: 165 GB on PC
Call of Duty games are a predominant presence in this list, and Black Ops Cold War marks their second entry. Cold War is the first Call of Duty title to be released on the ninth-generation home video game consoles, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. The game is extremely visually impressive, probably one of the best of 2020. That means the video game files have large textures stored in them, and that, again, means the file sizes will be absurdly big.
Black Ops Cold War, coupled with 2019’s Modern Warfare and Warzone, will take up over 500 GB of space on your PlayStation 4. Activision officially confirmed this last year, and it is a bit concerning because the PlayStation 4 originally launched with just 500 GB of storage space back in 2013.
7. Final Fantasy XV (with 4K textures and videos): 155 GB on PC
Final Fantasy XV is another good entry in the long-running series from Square Enix. Just like its predecessors, this action role-playing game takes quite some toll on your storage. The game takes up around 100 GB on your storage devices if you are playing at 1080p or 720p, i.e., without the 4K textures and videos pack.
However, if you plan to ball out a full 4K resolution with all its sharpness, the game is going to take up a chunky 155 GB of space. That is a lot, and especially considering this is a five-year-old game, the numbers are a bit too much. Most multi-million dollar AAA titles come in at half of those sizes, even to this date.
8. Red Dead Redemption 2: 150 GB on PlayStation 4
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the biggest project Rockstar Games has ever undertaken. The game is extremely visually impressive and packs physics and gameplay mechanics that blow players’ minds away. It is a technological marvel like no other title, and the fact that it is over 100 GB is no surprise. However, the file size on the last-gen PlayStation 4 is a bit too obtrusive. To clarify, it takes up almost 150 GB of storage on it. The game is a bit smaller on the PC, coming in at around 115 GB.
9. Hitman 2: 149 GB on PC
Hitman 2 was the game everyone was shouting about when it came out in 2018. The game is exceptionally beautiful and filled with beautiful nerve-wracking levels. It has several missions, and the best part is that they can be purchased and installed separately. These include the Miami mission, the Mumbai mission, Santa Fortna, Whittleton Creek, Isle of Sgail, Himmelstein, Hawke’s Bay, New York, and several other DLCs like the Silver to Gold upgrade and the Episode 2: Sapienza. All the DLCs, when installed together, fill up around 149 GB of your storage.
10. Marvel’s Avengers: 133.7 GB on PlayStation 4
Marvel’s Avengers, the 2020 title, was a disappointment. The game desperately needed more time in the oven. The animations weren’t well done, and the character models, although well-made, looked nothing like in the Marvel movies or the comics. On top of that, the game was a showcase we have already seen in the Marvel movies, and it added nothing new to the franchise. But, this isn’t the end—the game wasn’t well optimized on PC. Additionally, the huge textures and detailed models pushed the size of the files too high. It takes up almost 134 GB of space on the last-gen PlayStation 4.
11. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (with HD textures pack): 131 GB on PC
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a decently sized game, coming in at around 50 GB on PC and consoles. But, the HD textures pack can push the file size to the moon. The game is excellently optimized on PC, so performance never is an issue while playing. But, the huge file size for a multiplayer game with no campaign mode or an extensive storyline is quite surprising.
12. Microsoft Flight Simulator: 127 GB on PC
Microsoft Flight Simulator is a behemoth of a game. This title lets you fly around the entire world in a 1:1 proportion. This makes Flight Simulator second on the list of games with the largest maps, and rightly so. It is only behind No Man’s Sky. However, the large file size of this title is not because it comes with the textures and models of the entire world. That would have had pushed the file size to at least a hundred terabytes.
The files you download before getting started are probably the models you need most readily. These include models of hangars, airplanes, and cinematics. The rest of the world is streamed from Azure cloud servers as you fly around the world. Therefore, you would be downloading even more data as you play the game.
13. Halo: The Master Chief Collection: 126 GB on PC
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) is a remastered collection of several classic Halo games from the past. These include Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. These titles were originally launched on the original Xbox and the Xbox 360. Moreover, they had remained console exclusive up until the time they were launched on PC with the MCC.
All these games pack both the remastered and the classic visuals for a complete experience Hence, this pushes the full file size, when all the games are installed, to almost 126 GB. However, players get the chance to download games one by one and uninstall them to download the next. This allows the game compilation to be less stressful on your storage.
14. The Elder Scrolls Online: 125 GB on PC
The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the oldest games on this list. Released in 2014, this game is only behind Grand Theft Auto V, which was released in 2013. Just like any other Elder Scrolls game, this game comes with a huge map of almost 400 square kilometers (km²). Furthermore, new zones and content are added continuously. This pushes the file size even higher.
These include the Gates of Oblivion expansion, which is undoubtedly one of the largest additions to the video game. Elder Scrolls Online is one of the largest Elder Scrolls to have ever been made. This forces the file size of the game to reach an enormous 125 GB, which is quite big for a 2014 title.
15. Forza Horizon 5: 116 GB on Xbox One
Forza Horizon 5 is the newest installment in the series, and it came out in November 2020. It packs hundreds of highly-detailed cars and a huge map of almost 107 km2. Thus, considering this is a current-gen game with all the bells and whistles of 16K textures and ray tracing, the storage requirements are not surprising at all. The Xbox Series X|S and PC versions of this game are a bit smaller, at around 103 GB. This is because of the smart file compression techniques supported by these platforms. Packing an old-school mechanical hard drive, Xbox One is not capable of this technology.
16. Destiny 2: Beyond Light: 105 GB on PC
Destiny 2: Beyond Light is the fifth expansion of the Destiny 2 game. It was released in 2020 and was exclusively developed and published by Bungie. With this expansion, Bungie changed several things, including the game mechanics. Newly introduced features and mechanics included gear sunsetting and stasis abilities among some core playlist changes. The game is significantly smaller than the current version of Destiny 2, by almost 30-40%. However, the game takes up different sizes on different platforms, with the installation sizes on the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S being much smaller. To clarify, the game only takes up around 65-70 GB on these consoles.
17. Grand Theft Auto V: 103 GB on PC
Grand Theft Auto V is the oldest game on this list, and it is a storage hog. It came out in 2013 originally on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The download size for the game was around 17-18 GB back in 2013, and it used to take up around 36 GB on the PS3 after installation. But, lots of updates and new and enhanced textures have pushed the file size northwards to 100 GB today.
Players have to download a hefty 81.7 GB these days. After installation, the game takes up over 100 GB of storage. This is massive for an eight-year-old game. But, considering new content is added to GTA: Online now and then, and it is one of the most played games worldwide, this may not be a bad investment.
18. DiRT Rally 2: 100 GB on PC
DiRT Rally is known for its realistic driving physics. The second installment in this series is known for packing astounding visuals alongside the realistic driving physics the series is known for. The game is extremely heavy, coming in at around 100 GB and around 95 GB on PlayStation 4 and 5. While Forza Horizon 4 has more cars and a larger world, they are not nearly as detailed as what is seen in DiRT Rally 2.0. Even the car sounds are extremely compressed in FH4. Consequently, with all DLCs installed, DiRT Rally 2 takes up a sizable chunk of space on your drive.
19. Middle Earth: Shadow of War (with 4K cinematics and HD textures installed): 97.7 GB on PC
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is an action RPG and a sequel to 2014’s Shadow of Mordor. The game was released in 2017 and is humongous. The initial download will take up around 64.56 GB. However, if you have a capable machine, you have the option to download the 4K cinematics and the HD textures pack. That will take up another 30 GB, pushing the game size to almost 97.7 GB. This is quite grand but undoubtedly justified. The game comes with a significantly bigger world and more weapons, abilities, and ways to interact with Mordor’s dark realm.
20. Call of Duty: Vanguard: 93.16 GB on PS4
Call of Duty: Vanguard is the latest installment in the long-running franchise. The game is significantly smaller than previous installments in this series, mostly thanks to the newly introduced “on-demand texture streaming technology”. This pushes the file size down by almost 30-50% down compared to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
The game takes up only 61 GB on the latest Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5. Whereas, installation sizes on PC and the last-gen PlayStation 4 still rock in at around 90 GB. This is due to the lack of the latest technologies on the PS4. Also, Sledgehammer missed out on its implementation on PC, because not everyone will be playing the game on an SSD.