25 Best Open World RPGs Of All Time [Updated 2023]

I grew up in an era of gaming where open-world adventures were technologically unthinkable. If you had pitched the idea back then, the general gamer would have scoffed before promptly reminding you that every game has a loading screen practically every time you move from room to room. 

That was the reality back then, but today, we get to explore fully realized and magnificently expansive worlds pretty regularly. In fact, for many gamers, the absence of an open world to explore can be a dealbreaker. I don’t fall into that camp myself, but I can certainly see the appeal and the value for money of an open-world title. 

Well, with that notion in mind, we turn our attention to open-world RPG experiences. There have been some truly masterful entries to the sub-genre, and we thought it only right to share those with you, offering fans a comprehensive list of all the Best Open World RPGS of All Time. 

Selection Criteria

  • All games listed must have an aggregate Metacritic score of 70% or higher
  • All games listed must use an open-world format
  • All games listed must have RPG components, action RPGs will be considered
  • All games must promote explorative freedom, and the ability to role-play with the world
  • Only one game per franchise will be considered 

Okay folks, strap yourself in, there’s a big world out there, and we are going exploring! 

The Best Open World RPG Games Of All Time

#1 – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt | Nintendo Switch download software | Games |  Nintendo

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Metacritic Score: 94%

The Witcher as a series has always had a modest but passionate fanbase. Inspired by the books of Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, and his many trials and tribulations of being a Witcher, this fantasy world’s brand of monster hunter for hire. 

The original game and its sequel never quite penetrated through to the mainstream RPG scene, serving as RPG hidden gems of the era, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would up the ante, captivate the masses, and scoop practically every prize going in 2015, including the coveted Game of the Year award. 

You can’t say the game didn’t deserve these accolades either, as the sheer scope of the world presented, the iconic questlines you’ll embark on, the cast of memorable characters you’ll happen upon, and the wealth of complex RPG systems implemented all culminate in a fantasy adventure like no other. 

It’s a title so good that it’s inspired a Netflix-original TV series, Plus, the game has some pretty wonderful DLC content to get stuck into as well. All in all, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a must-play for all RPG fanatics, and an example of how to nail the open-world format. 

It’s a little immersion-breaking when Roach gets stuck on rooftops, but if even the bugs are enjoyable, you know you have a good game on your hands. 

#2 – Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Support | Official Ubisoft Help

Developer: Ubisoft

Metacritic Score: 84%

Seeing as Assassin’s Creed: Mirage is not far away, there’s no better time to get prepared for this new assassin adventure than diving into the last one, AC Valhalla.

This one plays out much like the other modern AC entries like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Origins, offering an open-world deep dive into Norse Mythology as you and your band of Vikings take to England. 

You’ll be fighting wars, taking down kings, uncovering assassination plots, encountering all manners of enemies, and exploring to your heart’s content. You know, the usual AC stuff but this time, with tight Nordic braids in your hair and a helmet with horns. 

The parkour and exploration are great, as they pretty much always have been within this series, but what helps make this one the most memorable in the series to date is the combat system. 

It’s a battle system not unlike the Shadow of Mordor series, minus the Nemesis system, allowing you to cut foes down to size, use big finishers and abilities to land outlandish blows, and enemies actually have a bit more about them than the spongy adversaries that came before. 

I’m not about to sit here and kid you by saying that I adore the AC series. It’s been a very hit-and-miss franchise in my book, and Assassin’s Creed 2 still stands as the series’ peak in my eyes. 

That being said though, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the first game in a long time that made me want to return to this series, and that in itself is worth a lot of praise. 

#3 – Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 | Nintendo Switch games | Games | Nintendo

Developer: Monolith Soft

Metacritic Score: 89%

If you’re familiar with Xenoblade, a game inspired by the wonderful RPG relic that is Xenogears, then you’ll know that this is JRPG meets anime turned up to eleven, but in the best way possible, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 raises the bar for the series once again. 

Story and world design have always driven this series, and it’s no different in the latest outing, with a cast of iconic characters, plenty of Hero Quests, and side content to get stuck into, and while the main story does take a second to get going, it ultimately delivers too. 

That being said, it’s the setting and the combat that steal the show. From a combat perspective, it’s the quintessential ‘meter management’ we know and love from past iterations with new additions like Master Arts to keep things interesting as you progress. 

Then from an open-world perspective, it’s just bigger and better than ever before. The world of Aionios is a delight to explore with points of interest and battles awaiting around every corner, not to mention the visuals and score make simply standing still a serene and worthwhile endeavor. 

If turn-based RPGs aren’t your thing, I doubt Xenoblade will do much to change that, as it really leans into the complexity of these systems, but if you really love games of this nature, then you need to give this one a try. 

#4 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Guide - IGN

Developer: Konami (Hideo Kojima)

Metacritic Score: 93%

It’s an inclusion that is bound to divide opinion, as many have seen this change of tact, switching MGS from a linear, story-driven epic into an open-world, stealth-based RPG as a bit of a step in the wrong direction. However, even if it’s not the best game in the MGS series, that hardly means it’s not worth mentioning, after all, that’s pretty stiff competition. 

I simply can’t even begin to defend the lengthy and long-winded opening sequence that kicks off MGS5, but when you are let off the leash in Afghanistan to explore, the game really comes into its own. 

The gunplay is razor-sharp, the world is staggeringly beautiful, the stealth mechanics are as tight and refined as we have come to expect from the MGS series down the years, Mother Base makes the moments away from intense espionage just as riveting, and as you would expect from the mind of Kojima, the story is wacky, wild, and keeps you on the edge of your seat for practically the whole run. 

It may not be the MGS experience we know and love, but the fact that the series could pivot this dramatically with such grace shows that the MGS series is timeless and worthy of any RPG gamer’s time. 

#5 – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom | Nintendo Switch games | Games |  Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Metacritic Score: 96%

How do you top a generation-defining, franchise-altering, instant classic like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? By doing it all over again but better, it seems. 

We all remember the sheer brilliance of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a game that practically created the blueprint for modern open worlds and completely reformed in the minds of gamers what a traditional Zelda game could and should be. It seemed simply untouchable, and yet this year we got a follow-up that is undeniably even better. 

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom takes the strong foundation created by BOTW, and then builds a monumental metaphorical mansion of riches on top. The game introduces new mechanics and systems that encourage player creativity and industry, it improves on the minor flaws of the original, and the world is even more impressive in terms of scope. 

The world is bigger, but how the game achieves this is through verticality. Through creating underground caves, and castles in the sky, the player can explore both the X and Y axis of Hyrule, which feels much more rewarding when compared to the original. 

Many will see this as glorified DLC, and perhaps that’s because the cultural impact of BOTW was simply impossible to rebottle again, but what can’t be disputed, is that TOTK is hands-down the best open-world Zelda experience money can buy. 

#6 – Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima review - a likeable, if clunky Hollywood blockbuster |  Eurogamer.net

Back in 2020, many would have thought that the Samurai-inspired sub-genre had been milked dry. We already had a wealth of games of this nature like Ninja Gaiden, Mark of the Ninja, Nioh, Onimusha, Sekiro. Honestly, the list goes on. 

Yet, despite this surplus of samurai epics, one came along late in the day to blow them all out of the water and stands alone as the best of the bunch by some distance. 

Ghost of Tsushima is an open world that mainly succeeds based on a keen focus on cinematography and the sheer beauty of the environment. Sure, the world and the stories told within are gripping too, but this is a rare oddity where simply existing in the world and drinking in the scenery is worth the price of admission alone. 

Thankfully though, there’s more to this game than riding through fields of flowers on horseback. The combat in this game is akin to more accessible souls combat which offers plenty of challenge and makes each encounter feel important. 

Then when combined with wonderful stealth functionality, you have the freedom to be an agent of chaos who swings their katana and asks questions later, or a meticulous shadow who gets the job done and leaves without a soul ever registering their presence. 

In short, Ghost of Tsushima is the ultimate samurai experience, and if you somehow managed to miss this one, you need to right that wrong as soon as possible. 

#7 – God of War: Ragnarok 

God of War Ragnarök

Developer: Santa Monica Studios

Metacritic Score: 94%

Who would have thought that Kratos, the God of War who tore literal deities limb from limb in the most visceral manner imaginable would have a redemption arc? 

Back in 2016, we saw the soft reboot of the God of War franchise that pivoted this gory hack-and-slash series, and thrust players into a father-son action-RPG epic steeped in Norse Mythology, and yes, still quite a bit of gore and violence. 

Well, 2022 marked the end of this saga, as we witnessed the completion of Kratos’ redemption arc, and the secrets of Ragnarok revealed in a truly cinematic fashion. 

GOW: Ragnarok is another example of ‘the same, but better’ as the sequel really doubles down on all the best bits of the original outing, while fixing a lot of the glaring issues present to boot. 

The game offers top-tier visuals, a collection of sprawling and beautiful realms to explore, a captivating storyline, and plenty of new mechanics to play around with. 

I will concede that the combat is still the weakest aspect of the game, and being the God of War, combat plays a pretty big role in the game. But overall, this is a game that makes buying a PS5 for the exclusive titles alone, all the more irresistible.

#8 – Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition | Nintendo Switch download  software | Games | Nintendo

Developer: Larian Studios

Metacritic Score: 93%

It can take a little while for the gaming community to warm to a franchise. You need only look at entry number one on this list to see that. However, when the games being released are mediocre at best, that makes it less likely that the series will dig themselves out of that hole.

Larian Studios found themselves in said hole after a run of rather underwhelming Divinity titles, but against the odds, the studio managed to turn the tide in their favor, producing Divinity The Original Sin 2, a game that is seen as one of the best CRPG adventures of all time. 

The world on display here is exactly what one would imagine in their heads while embarking on a new DND campaign led by a veteran Dungeon Master. The game offers a true pen-and-paper feel to exploration, allowing the player to shape their story as they choose. 

The same can also be said of the combat within this game, as each encounter acts like a top-down chess board, only instead of wooden pieces, you have Druids and Barbarians capable of performing powerful attacks and devastating spells. Freedom and experimentation are often rewarded, and no one battle ever feels the same. 

All in all, Divinity The Original Sin 2 is a game that may just change your view on CRPGs. Give it a chance; you won’t be disappointed. 

#9 – Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 – PS5 Games | PlayStation (UK)

Developer: Larian Studios

Metacritic Score: 96%

If you are looking for something just like Divinity 2: The Original Sin, then look no further than the game that Larian Studios has conjured to one-up their previous masterpiece. 

Baldur’s Gate 3 is technically a follow-on from Baldur’s Gate 2, but thankfully, it’s a self-contained story, which means you can hop without feeling completely out of the loop. What you will need to become familiar with, however, is the basic rules of DND 5E, as this is an adventure powered by Dungeons and Dragons rhetoric. 

It’s all pretty well documented, though, and if you are a weathered CRPG player, you should be able to navigate these systems just fine. 

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a triumph that brings DND to the world of gaming in a seamless way, with combat akin to Divinity 2, encounters that play out with dice rolls that determine your fate, and a cast of characters that you can mold into a balanced and powerful party of allies. 

The sheer scale of the world and the content on offer is staggering, with over 200+ hours to sink your teeth into, split across three separate acts. 

I won’t spoil even a second of that for you but know this. After you play this one, it will be very hard for any other fantasy RPG to measure up to this. 

#10 – Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Developer: Warhorse Studios

Metacritic Score: 76%

This one is a really hard sell, especially if you are someone who likes to hop into a world and feel like a superhuman champion of the realm right from the moment you first pick up a sword.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a Slavic, historical epic that really airs on the side of realism to offer a gritty, survival meets RPG adventure, and while it’s not for everyone, it’s a novel and interesting RPG, to say the least.  

The game has you play as a peasant named Henry, and sees you go very slowly but surely from rags to riches as you become a core part of 15th Century Bohemia’s history. 

It’s a title that feels more like LARPing than playing a high-production value RPG, but it’s a novelty that remains interesting throughout. As the intentionally cumbersome melee combat, and the punishing survival mechanics woven into this open-world RPG adventure make it one of the most authentic and immersive games out there. 

I must repeat again: You might love this game, and equally, you might hate this game, as both are justified responses. However, I would urge you to try this one nonetheless. 

#11 – Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Middle-earth: Shadow of War review - Polygon

Developer: Monolith Productions 

Metacritic Score: 80%

In a year where we were handed the steaming pile of S**t that was Lord of the Rings: Gollum, it’s important to look back and remember that LOTR games have largely been pretty spectacular, and Middle Earth: Shadow of War is one such game. 

Shadow of War is the follow-up to the GOTY smash hit, Shadow of Mordor, and it’s a massive improvement on the original without stripping away what made SoM special in the first place. 

Combat remains slick with a system that feels akin to games like Assassin’s Creed, Ghost of Tsushima, and the Batman Arkham series. The game looks beautifully bleak, and the game adds new systems while fixing and dumbing down old ones. 

However, the main attraction here is the nemesis system, which has an endless supply of named orcs fighting to put your head on a stake. This system is what brought the original so many plaudits, as this procedural system effectively creates personal narratives and vendettas with what are effectively NPCs. It’s masterful design, and it’s only more refined in the sequel. 

So, if you are looking for a Tolkien-inspired open world to delve into, there’s no better option than Shadow of War! 

#12 – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Buy The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition (PC) -  Microsoft Store en-SA

Developer: Bethesda Softworks

Metacritic Score: 94%

I don’t know if this is exactly sticking my neck out here, but if I’m going to include an Elder Scrolls game on this list (and of course I am), then it has to be Oblivion. Skyrim ultras, you have my sympathy, but no matter how passionate your rants, I will not be swayed. 

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was my true introduction to the series after being lost and overwhelmed in Morrowind years prior, and it’s one of those magical, once-in-a-lifetime gaming experiences I’ve been chasing ever since. 

With the brilliance of Jeremy Soule’s soundtrack, the beauty of Cyrodill to behold, and a cavalcade of interesting quests to embark on, Oblivion still stands alone as, in my opinion, the most complete and masterful Elder Scrolls entry to date. 

Has it aged poorly? Yeah, kind of. The combat is pretty one note, level scaling is a joke, and the groundbreaking radiant AI is, well, let’s just say, less groundbreaking today. But it has a certain charm that makes that all okay somehow. 

Modern Elder Scrolls fans will undoubtedly question this opinion, and that’s your prerogative, but to that, I say, you just had to be there. 

But fingers crossed that the remake rumors are true, as you will then get to see exactly what I mean firsthand. 

#13 – Elden Ring

Elden Ring - PS4 & PS5 games | PlayStation (UK)

Developer: From Software

Metacritic Score: 96%

While some could argue that practically every Souls game is at least partially open-world, it was always a little bit of a facade, as Souls games would typically funnel players through a linear path to the end game.

It was the illusion of an open world, but the same cannot be said of Elden Ring, the game that would finally bring the Open-World format to the Soulsborne genre. 

Elden Ring, thanks to this format, serves as the optimum starting point for new Souls players, as the open setting allows players to engage with what they want, when they want, and hone their skills in a natural way, rather than hitting their head against a brick wall in the form of a Taurus Demon in a bid to ‘Git Gud.’ 

Not only that, but it’s a masterful blend of all Souls games that have come before, weaving a tapestry of pain and suffering for any sadistic gamer looking for a harsh, but fair challenge. 

As someone who has platinumed Elden Ring and seen all The Lands Between has to offer, I can say with certainty that this is one of the best open-world games ever formed. Yet somehow only the second-best Souls game. Bloodborne fans, where you at? 

#14 – Fallout New Vegas 

Fallout devs shoot down New Vegas 2 rumors with cheeky message - Dexerto

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment 

Metacritic Score: 84%

Fallout New Vegas is an example of how good Fallout games could be if Bethesda were willing to employ a capable writing staff. Sure, stockpiling Fusion Batteries and building settlements is fun, but imagine if the main questline and general dialogue were great, too. 

In a very truncated development period, working on an antiquated game engine, Obsidian Entertainment managed to take the Fallout IP and make a Fallout game better than Bethesda could have ever dreamed of, which was embarrassing for them but a blessing for the fans. 

FNV gave fans an open-world RPG sandbox to run wild, cause mischief, and genuinely role-play within the Fallout Universe, which is been something that has lacking since the Interplay CRPG days. 

It has wonderful RPG mechanics, and incredible writing. It’s true to the Fallout Source material from the nineties; it has the best DLC content within the series to date, and overall, it serves to highlight all the assets that Bethesda lacks. 

Todd, can’t you just hand the next one over to Obsidian? Pretty please! 

#15 – Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy' Review: A Failure of Fantasy Escapism

Developer: Avalanche Software

Metacritic Score: 83%

If fan service were embodied in a game, this would be the game. 

Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world RPG set within the wizarding world of Harry Potter, set long before the battle between Harry Potter and Voldemort, which allows you to explore Hogwarts and beyond, living the life of a 5th-year student. 

For many fans, that would have been enough, but alongside a cavalcade of goodies to find and endless exploring to be done, you’ll be embroiled in a gripping story that will see you face off against Ranrok, the leader of the Goblin Rebellion. 

To be honest with you, the story is probably the least exciting thing about this game, as the real joy comes through exploring the grounds, flying high in the clouds on your broom, casting wicked spell combinations, and generally just doing what a teen wizard would do with Hogwarts at their mercy. 

I’ll concede, that after the initial novelty of being a Hogwarts student wears off and you explore beyond Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, it does boil down to a typical Ubisoft-format open world where you passively check off map markers. But for that initial high alone, I would recommend this game to just about anybody. 

#16 – Starfield 

Starfield release date: What time it comes out and how to get the game on  Xbox Game Pass and PC

Developer: Bethesda Softworks

Metacritic Score: 87%

Skyrim in space, anyone? 

I joke, but we all knew that if Bethesda could actually make that statement a reality with Starfield, we would be playing this new space epic for years and years to come, and while the game has its flaws, I think they managed it. 

Starfield is an embarrassment of riches where game mechanics and fine details are concerned, which is pretty much the Bethesda motif. The game allows you to explore over 1,000 planets, build your own ships, cook food, make armor and weapons, dogfight in space, build outposts, and stuff thousands of Potatoes into the cargo hold. You think it, and you can probably do it. 

It’s this freedom that makes Starfield so impressive, and, equally, so overwhelming. But if you are someone who wants an open-world RPG to be a completely realized world where you could easily inhabit it for thousands of hours, then this game is probably the one for you. 

I will warn you: there are bugs aplenty, the space dogfighting is pretty poor, and the writing, as is often the case with Bethesda, leaves a lot to be desired. But all that aside, this is the first game that has made me think, hey, should I get an Xbox, and that is high praise indeed from a PlayStation lifer like myself. 

#17 – Horizon Forbidden West

We Need to Talk About That Character in 'Horizon Forbidden West' | WIRED

Developer: Guerrilla Games

Metacritic Score: 88%

While I have never been a massive fan of Aloy on account of her being an absolute personality vacuum, I still loved the world of Horizon Zero Dawn. So, my expectations were naturally high for the hotly anticipated sequel, which thankfully didn’t disappoint. 

Speaking from a graphical standpoint, aside from perhaps Ghost of Tsushima and Red Dead Redemption 2, Forbidden West is perhaps one of the most graphically impressive games to ever grace our screens, which makes this expansive world a joy to explore.

However, it’s also the improved climbing and traversal, along with more complex combat options, bigger mechanical monsters to fill full of arrows, and a lot more side content than before to fill out the world, which makes this sequel a welcome one. 

I was skeptical as to whether the game could capture the same air of mystery and intrigue that the original managed, but it manages that, and gives each side character much more airtime, which is a blessing because, as mentioned, Aloy is as charismatic as a Thunderjaw with a hangover. 

All in all, a great addition to the Horizon franchise, and another wonderful Playstation exclusive. 

#18 – Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact 3.8 Banner and event details | Eurogamer.net

Developer: MiHoYo

Metacritic Score: 86%

My relationship with Genshin Impact is a bit of a weird one. I began playing the game as a professional obligation, and it soon turned into a genuine obsession. I guess that’s Gacha Games for you, but putting aside the gambling addiction it thrust upon me, it’s also a very competent open-world RPG. 

It’s a world that has been built slowly, but surely in an MMO fashion, but at the time of writing, players can expect to play for over 80+ hours just to get caught up on the main story content, which shows the sheer scale of what’s on offer. 

The exploration within Genshin is straight out of the BOTW playbook, and it takes a lot of inspiration from modern Zelda titles, but to its credit, the story is compelling, the world-building is on-point, the combat is accessible yet hard to master, and there’s so much to do that you could play this game endlessly if you wanted to. 

I’ve since kicked the habit that is Genshin Impact, but even though I’m clean now, I think back fondly to my time exploring Teyvat, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new game to take over their life. 

#19 – Death Stranding

Death Stranding - From Kojima Productions and 505 Games

Developer: Kojima Productions

Metacritic Score: 86%

You could have given me one million guesses on what Kojima was going to dream up after leaving Konami, and I wouldn’t have even come close to describing the plot of Death Stranding, which, for those unaware, is a post-apocalyptic uber-eats simulator.

I’m being a little reductive there, but that partly paints the picture. In this game, you play as Sam Bridges, a courier who must brave the tumultuous terrain caused by the Death Stranding and create a communication network between the settlements that remain, effectively rebuilding America one connection at a time. 

To say this is a Marmite game would be an understatement, as some will immediately love the format and appreciate this fresh take on the medium. Whereas others will find this title dull, tedious, and needlessly punishing. 

Me? I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t think the game will ever rank among the greats for me, but I can see the appeal, and from a critical perspective, I know when the opinions of many outweigh my own, making this game worthy of a place on this list. 

#20 –  Marvel’s Spiderman

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered

Developer: Insomniac Games

Metacritic Score: 87%

As far as Action RPG superhero games go, they don’t really get much better than this. In this game, you play as Spiderman, who else. Although, Instead of the usual bit by a spider origin story, you are immediately thrust into the daily duties of the web-slinger in a unique storyline involving a new antagonist, Mr Negative. 

The story, the visuals, and the set pieces make playing this game a joy for sure, but what makes this an unforgettable open-world experience is simply traversing New York City in a way that only Peter Parker (and Miles Morales) can. 

The web swinging feels fluid and satisfying, allowing you to chain jumps, flips, swings, nosedives, and vaults with ease. So much so that you’ll reach your destination and think, hey, maybe I’ll take another lap around the block. 

It’s pure wish fulfillment that allows you to place yourself in the tight spandex bodysuit of the crime-fighting arachnid, and it’s a lot of fun. So, in anticipation of the upcoming sequel, get caught up with Spidey’s story! 

#21 – Red Dead Redemption 2 

Red Dead Redemption 2 | Xbox

Developer: Rockstar Games

Metacritic Score: 97%

While I’ve always seen most of Rockstar’s marquee titles as open-world sandboxes rather than RPGs, I’m happy to make the exception for Red Dead Redemption 2 in particular, and that’s down to the fact that, in this world, you can be anyone you want. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 plays you in the shoes of Arthur Morgan, a gunslinging cowboy living through the civilization of the Wild West, as his band of cronies aims to keep the old times alive. 

It’s a typically deep and affecting Rockstar narrative with plenty of peaks and valleys for players to enjoy standout missions, while getting ample time to branch off from the main quest and try out the laundry list of side activities on offer. 

This is why this game is included here: variety. You can roleplay as a hunter, an outlaw, a horse-breeder, or a professional gambler. If you can dream it, you can do it, and that, in part, makes this game so damn special. 

It’s one of those games that you could get lost in for days without even trying, so mark a few days off on your calendar and give this one a shot. 

#22 – Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Metacritic Score: 86%

It may have taken a while for Cyberpunk 2077 to become the game that it wanted so badly to be on launch, but much like games like No Man’s Sky or Final Fantasy XIV, this game would gradually become a very competent and compelling open-world RPG indeed. 

This one sees you play as a Nomad, Street kid, or Corpo, and sees you embark on a heist that will spiral out of control, leading to you harboring an old rockstar/terrorist in your mind who seems pretty keen on taking over your body and wiping you out of existence. Oh, and he’s played by Keanu Reeves, obviously. 

Cyberpunk 2077 always had good bones, and when most of the bugs were eradicated, what remained was a super-stylish, insanely fleshed-out, high-octane RPG with plenty of memorable high points to enjoy. 

It’s still a game that has its issues, but CD Projekt Red seems pretty confident that their Phantom Liberty DLC which comes right of the back of a successful anime crossover, will right all the wrongs of the original release, so we will keep an eye on that and see if there is any truth to that. 

#23 – Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor On Nintendo Switch: Availability… | EarlyGame

Developer: Respawn Entertainment 

Metacritic Score: 85%

Maybe it’s a little bit generous to call Jedi Survivor a legitimate open-world, as a lot of the sprawling areas are broken up by a pretty lengthy scene in The Mantis. However, I think that due to the rewarding exploration on each planet, and the sheer scope of planets like Koboh alone, we can make the argument that this game belongs here. 

Jedi Survivor is the follow-up to Jedi: Fallen Order, a game that I had very mixed feelings about. However, the sequel rights practically all the wrongs of the original, making platforming much smoother, making the world much more expansive with loads of side content, making combat much more varied and versatile, and making Cal a much more personable character. Aloy, take note. 

As much as Hogwarts Legacy is a gift to experience for Harry Potter fans, Jedi Survivor feels like a love letter to Star Wars fans, offering some of the richest Jedi gameplay you’ll find across the multitude of games the franchise has inspired. 

So, if you feel a disturbance in the force and wish to right that with a long gaming session, then this is the game you’re looking for. 

#24 – The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds | Nintendo Switch games | Games | Nintendo

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment 

Metacritic Score: 85%

Obsidian Entertainment wasn’t hiding under a rock after their success with Fallout New Vegas, they had just pivoted to different types of games. They created the wonderful South Park: The Stick of Truth, and they created the CRPG masterclass Pillars of Eternity and its sequel. 

However, it seemed they still had a Bethesda-style RPG score to settle, and they did that in the form of The Outer Worlds, a spiritual space-bound successor to FNV in a lot of ways that placed players in a wacky intergalactic adventure like no other. 

As you would expect, the writing really carries the game on its back, with some weirdly wonderful encounters, more than a few killer gags, and a main questline with branching paths that is a ton of fun to complete. 

My only criticism of The Outer Worlds was that there simply wasn’t enough of it to go around. However, what is there for players to enjoy is stellar, making this a great game to pop on right after you squeeze the last drops of juice out of your FNV playthrough. 

#25 – Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium developer says lawsuits from former members now resolved |  Eurogamer.net

Developer: ZA/UM

Metacritic Score: 91% 

Then lastly, we have the CRPG Hall of famer, that is, Disco Elysium. One could argue that this teeters on the fence where open worlds are concerned, as it’s pretty pocket-sized when compared to those listed above, but I would combat that by pointing out just how densely packed this little world is. 

Every nook and cranny of this world is packed with exposition, clues, items, lore, and intriguing little tidbits that serve to enrich the masterfully written story. It’s a game that nails dark humor better than any other I have ever encountered. It masters the pen and paper feel a CRPG should without the need for any combat at all. 

Plus, the game offers the player so many ways to role-play and explore Revachol that even after six playthroughs at the time of writing, I’m yet to experience one that feels all that familiar. 

There are some great detective games out there, but none will ever come close to topping this one, and I’ll die on that hill from now until the end of time! 

Honorable Mentions

Then, before we sign off and let you explore all of these open worlds on your own, we want to showcase a few more open-world RPG gems that might not necessarily be the ‘best of all time.’

But they sure as hell deserve a playthrough if you exhaust all the other options above. Here are some other great options below: 

Question: How Long are these Games?

Answer: Every game is unique in terms of how long it is, but the majority of these games last a very long time and often very replayable as well. Expect to get at least 50 hours worth of gameplay out of every game above.

Question: What Makes a Game Open World?

Answer: Open world refers to how the game map is situated. Linear games generally take you from level to level, but open-world games give you a massive map to explore at your leisure.

Question: Don’t All these Games Feel the Same to Play?

Answer: While there is definitely some familiarity between open-world games, each one has a unique combat system and storyline that should be enough to keep you invested along with unique characters and world-building that bolster the experience.


In case you haven’t noticed by now, open-world RPGs make up a lot of the best-rated video games of all time, and rightfully so, because they’re awesome. 

So, with said awesomeness in mind, I hope that this list serves you well in ingratiating yourself into these new locales and thriving in an open-world setting. 

As always, thanks for reading RPG Informer. 

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