10 open-world games that fell flat

Gamers take open worlds for granted these days. When we know there is a sandbox title coming our way we just assume that it will be filled with awesome things to do and great places to visit but that is not always the case.

There are times when studios just fail to deliver a decent open world experience that gamers hope for.

Be it an empty and dull hub, uninspired locations to visit, or the lack of activities to keep you busy, these 10 games proved that you can have all the space in the world to explore but if it does not synergize well it could mean disaster. Here are some of the worst open world video games that you should totally avoid.

Mafia III

The Mafia series has been a staple in the industry for years now and after the great success of Mafia II, gamers all over the world were very excited when 2K announced Mafia III. Set in a fictional New Orleans, the game was meant to be the step in a new direction for the series and we all thought we would get the bustling city vibe with the fantastic story we have known in the series.

What we got was the complete opposite and instead, we were subjected to a game with a boring, yet stunning-looking, open world that had next to no side objectives to even warrant your time. It was a mess made up of not content and no excitement at all. The game’s story even took the back seat and lacked any real character connection and development. It was as if the creators started developing everything and then suddenly stopped halfway.

No Man’s Sky

It would not be a “worst of” list if it did not have No Man’s Sky in it right? I know I harp on about this game but it just belongs on this list. When we first saw the game it was a different experience to what we go in the final release. Fuller planets, living ecosystems, and overall something worth exploring.

What we got, in the end, was a complete hot mess of an open world game with every planet bearing this dead empty feeling that felt as if a 6-year old designed the creatures on paper before the developers put them into the game. Not to mention every planet looked the same to a certain degree, meaning they had no life, no pretty photo opportunities, and no reason to play the game.

Metal Gear Solid 5

I don’t get the hype around Metal Gear Solid 5 at all. It was a watered-down game with a series of empty open world hubs that just lacked any sort of excitement and activities to undertake in them. Sure, the game had some strong story moments but in order to get to those parts, you would have to put up with a series of repetitive missions all based in the game’s bland open world.

If you enjoyed running around the African savannah for hours with no real objective to keep you busy then good for you, but let’s compare MGS5 to likes of Horizon Zero Dawn and see which of the two’s open world was an absolute snore fest.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

When Bioware said they were going to make “bigger and better” world hubs we all got a little excited. I mean the great success of the previous Mass Effect games clearly guaranteed that Andromeda would be just as great right? Wrong!

Mass Effect: Andromeda instead delivered a series of planetary open world hubs that were less exciting than the view from outside the Sun International’s window in Bloemfontein. All these hubs included tedious side quests, next to no life at all, and of course, when you did have life it was welcomed by a badly animated character that did not help with the connection you had to them in the game at all. Thankfully the series has been put on hold indefinitely.

Two Worlds

In 2007 an open world hack and slash released that forever divided the gaming industry. Those who loved it really loved it, and those who hated it not only hated the game but hated the people that loved it. Two Worlds was not a bad game but its open world, combined with its terrible combat, catastrophic visuals, and overall bland narrative made the game look very unpleasant.

It had the potential to be the link between Diablo and Sacred back in the day but alas something went very wrong somewhere along the line that instead of a great DLC, we got an empty open world to explore with very little reason to walk over the hill to see what we could discover. Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side.

The Amazing Spider-Man

We all have high hopes for the upcoming Spider-Man game on PS4 but we are also at the same time, very anxious about it as we have been burnt before by The Amazing Spider-Man. This PS3 game was one of those titles that tried to bank on the whole “let’s make a game about our new movie to make a quick buck” era, and often, mostly all the time these games failed terribly

The Amazing Spider-Man just did nothing for the series at all and took players through a bland city that looked like something from a mobile game. Literally, the best thing about the game was swinging around the city and that was all there was to do really. It was sad, just sad.

Superman Returns

Yet another game that suffered from the video game based on a movie to make a cheap dollar virus. It had a lot of similarities to the Amazing Spider-Man whereas the best part of the game was flying around the city. At least this game had Superman’s laser beam eyes he could use while soaring through the air. Other than that this open world was as bland as the movie, no really, the bustling city felt like a wasteland with very little people, cars and activities going on around the place to make it feel alive.

At least we have learnt that the only real superhero game that works is based off a man dressed as a bat that fights a clown. Other than that, please developers, stay away from open world hubs unless you have the time and effort to make it come to life in more ways than one.

Homefront: The Revolution

The Homefront series has been slipping into darkness for some time now and while we all had high hopes that latest one would be better than ever, it instead delivered a horrendous mess of a game with no real push to play it at all. Homefront was set in a city controlled by an army from North Korea. The city’s hubs are dead and empty, resulting very little to do in the game.

Not to mention that the overall experience is just bugged to death so when you do find the energy to play it, chances are you will end up raging as enemies teleport into places, the player himself glitches in and out of the world, and the empty open world becomes a chore to explore thanks to all of these bugs. Not ideal at all.

Raven’s Cry

Looking at Raven’s Cry you would think that the game might have released back in 2007, but no. This game was a 2015 release and it went down as one of the worst games of the year, if not of the decade. The game was so bad that Gamespot gave it a 1/10. Set in the 17th century,t the game revolved around Christopher Raven, who gets attacked by pirates one day and now seeks vengeance.

While that sounds like an epic game, it was not. The story fell flat and instead came off racist, homophobic and sexist, and the entire experience was a buggy mess with content missing from the game, and the open world was as bland as the game’s story. Raven’s Cry was so bad that it was pulled off the Steam store for an entire year before coming back for the sake of it.


Call it being before its time or simply missing the point completely when it comes to copying the GTA series, but Driv3r did not have idea what it was trying to do. The game featured realistic vehicles to control, all in an open world that saw you undertake missions and races. It was the third game in the series so how bad could it be right? Well, it was bad, pretty bad.

You could stand for 5 minutes and watch as not one person walked past you. Trees and visuals were dull, and the overall feeling you got in the game felt as if you were placed into a tech demo with no real life behind anything around you at all. Sure, it could have been the tech restrictions of the day, but guys, we had GTA San Andreas, so there is no excuse for this.


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10 open-world games that fell flat

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