Advances in gaming technology have allowed developers to create beautiful, fleshed-out virtual worlds for players to explore, with some games boasting a truly massive area for gamers to get lost in.
The upcoming No Man’s Sky is set to take the record for the largest game world indefinitely, as it is practically a scale model of the universe.
But before No Man’s Sky comes along and blows our minds with an unpronounceable number of procedurally-generated worlds, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest areas ever created for a video game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – 218km2
The Witcher 3’s world is both massive and crammed with tons of content, allowing for endless hours of completing quests and exploring the countryside.
The world comes to life thanks to the attention to detail exhibited by the developers, and with all the hand-crafted and unique environments it’s difficult not to get immersed in the Witcher 3’s world.
Arma 3 – 270km2
You probably won’t be doing much exploring in Bohemia Interactive’s massive military simulation, more likely you’ll be desperately trying to stay alive as you attempt to adapt to the game’s dogmatic realism.
However, the game area is crafted to resemble a massive, remote Greek settlement, and is definitely worth appreciating.
Lord of the Rings Online – 411km2
The Lord of the Rings Online presents players with a scaled-down version of Middle-Earth (the ‘real’ Middle-Earth would supposedly be the size of Europe and North Africa combined) which is packed with content and incredibly large.
Just Cause 3 – 1,036km2
The Just Cause games have traditionally featured massive game worlds, and the third iteration of the franchise is no different.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 – 1,600km2
Although the ambitious title was met with lukewarm reception, Test Drive Unlimited 2’s faithful recreation of Ibiza is an enormous game area and overshadows its various shortcomings.
The Crew – 4,921km2
The Crew attempted to recreate the entirety of the United States, scaled down to a more appropriate size.
Although the game world is very small compared to the actual landmass, it is still so large that it takes a considerable time to travel across.
Fuel – 14,400km2
Fuel features a ridiculously large map for a racing game.
Although the game world is impressive, its lack of regular content tends to leave the area with a slight feeling of emptiness.
Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall – 161,600km2
The scale of the second Elder Scrolls game is legendary, featuring a virtual world half the size of Britain and a vast amount of content, to the point of excess. The game used procedural generation to achieve such a massive in-game world.
Still, not bad for a game made in 1996.
No Man’s Sky – 264 planets
No Man’s Sky will simply be the largest game ever created, and it may hold that title for a very long time.
The game features a ridiculous number of procedurally-generated planets and solar systems, and is impossible to fully explore – placing the player in a true simulated universe.