The gaming world is full of different genres – some straight forward and linear, others more diverse and expansive.
Although having a predetermined path works for some, open world games are normally the titles that keep you coming back for more.
The massive landscapes; hidden items, side-missions, and characters; and the freedom of choice are always a winning combination.
Here are some of the franchises that exploit the beauty of this genre.
The Elder Scrolls
This is an absolute no-brainer. When it comes to great adventures taking place in huge settings, The Elder Scrolls franchise is one of the best open world games to grace our screens.
Every game in the series has been a testament to how the genre should make you feel – overwhelmed and awestruck.
The series features good day and night cycles, beautiful environments, and a vast array of characters.
Grand Theft Auto
From the streets of Vice City to the valleys of Los Santos, the team at Rockstar always deliver a world which you can immerse yourself in.
Even Hideo Kojima, the legendary creator of the Metal Gear series, admitted that GTA is on another level compared to today’s games.
Bustling cities, iconic landmarks, fast cars, dirty hookers, drive-by shootings, sleazy strip clubs – this game allows you to live an honest and clean life, as your raging hedonism is satisfied in-game.
Dark Souls might not be the biggest open world franchise to exist, but it offers something different (not just dying a lot, and killing dogs).
The deadly worlds are fraught with danger, deserted castles make the hair on the back of your neck stand up , and you are never truly prepared for what happens next.
Let’s be honest, one can never really get bored of smashing zombies to death… well, re-death. Combine this with an open world setting and, boom! Winner winner chicken dinner.
The zombie survival titles take putrid flesh and combine it with exotic, sunny locations perfectly.
The game world feels real, with chirping birds seemingly unaware that undead maniacs are on the loose. Dead Island 2 looks like it will do all that even better.
Batman Arkham Series
I know we go on quite a bit about the Bat – lately it’s his Arkham Knight adventure we are drooling over – but can you blame us?
The Arkham series cemented Batman as the best super hero video game (Ed: In our humble opinion) and Arkham’s open world, notably in Arkham City, was as dark and treacherous as it was exciting and expansive.
The game really does give you a feel for the original comic book world it originated in.
We are now entering the year of the seventh Assassin’s Creed, and every entry into the franchise has featured a great, historic open world that has been a joy to explore.
The Assassin’s Creed franchise brings a fresh take on historic cities and landmarks – I’d wager it is the only history lesson a lot of kids are getting these days – and the previews of Paris in Unity look breathtaking.
Do you agree with the selection? Let us know in the comments and forum.