Written by Rick Warren / gfn21
As the gaming industry has evolved, more games have adopted open world outlooks. From entirely open world games like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed to a once-linear series like Metal Gear Solid, seemingly every developer has a vision that involves an open world space. While it doesn’t always work out for the best, the open world games that find the most success usually have at least one thing in common: the open worlds themselves are amazing.
5.) India - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
This mini-open world marked Naughty Dog’s second attempt at giving players a large area to explore in the Uncharted games. Having learned from the interesting-but-barren Madagascar section in A Thief’s End, the phenomenal studio designed India to be more than just visually stunning. Packed with exciting enemy encounters, easter eggs and a fun side quest that resembles treasure hunting, India is one of the highlights of the game. I still remember it fondly, so much so that it’s worthy of making my list.
Up next, a completely different planet...
4.) Pandora - Borderlands 2
Borderlands 2 approached the by-the-books wastelands of Pandora seen in the first game as just a small piece of what existed on the monster-filled planet. The various locations, such as the acid-covered Caustic Caverns and Handsome Jack’s high-tech city of Opportunity, are constantly making the shooting and looting gameplay more interesting. The DLC packs only added to the variety of Pandora, and I’m interested to see where Gearbox goes with Borderlands 3 when they leave this memorable setting behind.
Up next, the setting of Bethesda’s most beloved game...
3.) Skyrim - The Elder Scrolls V
While I always had my problems with Skyrim, there were two things that I adored: the soundtrack (obviously), and the open world. The snowy landscapes of Skyrim were a blast to explore, and I loved having no idea what I would find after climbing a mountain or stumbling upon a new named location. The detail in every location and on every enemy only added to the immersion, and the world itself was easily my favorite character in Skyrim.
In the second spot, the latest Rockstar game’s open world...
2.) Los Santos - Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar knocked it out of the park with Los Santos. It’s one of the most impressive open worlds of all time, offering an incomparable level of detail and interactivity. Being free to go into so many of the buildings, purchase apartments and interact with televisions and computers are all amazing touches that make the world feel real. Being able to explore every inch of Los Santos with a friend only makes the city more iconic, and the hundreds of civilians populating the game world make it a huge technical achievement.
1.) Touissaint - The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
I mentioned this world in last week’s Top Five, and since then I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. The sheer beauty of the world is jaw-dropping. From the fairytale-inspired castles and the patrolling knights to the gorgeous skies and grass, Toussaint is truly a paradise. CD Projekt Red knocked it out of the park here, as there isn’t one moment spent in the expansive location that isn’t visually stunning. If it was possible, this would be the perfect video game world to live in... even with the vampires and other creatures roaming around.
That’s it for this week. Be sure to check back next Friday for a new Top 5 and thank you for reading!