9 Best Open World Video Games Ever Made

    October 20, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Legend of Zelda

    This is America (unless you’re reading outside the U.S., in which case you can ignore the sweeping generalizations in this cookie-cutter intro). In America, we feel empowered by making our own decisions and controlling our destiny. Open world video games help us scratch this itch. While open world games have changed over time, our affinity for them has not. These are the 9 best open world games ever made. DEAL WITH IT!


    Metroid: Best open world video game

    Metroid was almost too much for my childhood brain to handle. The platforming, the weapon sets and the ability to run freely around this strange alien environment was exhilarating. Sure, it’s a little hard to remember how my 10-year-old self felt when he realized this bad a** dude was actually a woman, but after dabbling with cross-dressing and going to years of therapy, I think I’ve finally come to terms.

    GTA IV

    Grand Theft Auto Four: Best open world video game

    Although Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas were fantastic games, they were also full of glitches and limited by their platforms. Grand Theft Auto IV signaled Rockstar’s next chapter in the series, and the first chapter on the “next generation” of consoles. GTA IV returns to a vastly improved Liberty City, which is not only based on New York City, but does a pretty good job of emulating it in a insanely detailed manner.

    Assassin’s Creed II

    Assassin's Creed II: Best open world video game

    The original Assassin’s Creed was fun, but somewhat disappointing. Ubisoft listened to fan feedback and returned with a far more polished sequel. The in-game economy and private villa give you a real purpose for completing more side quests and earning more cash. Renaissance Italy is also a very interesting place to run across rooftops, assailing guards and anyone else who gets in your way.

    Red Dead Redemption

    Red Dead Redemption: Best open world video game

    I’m a big fan of Western films and television shows. Apparently, so are the developers at Rockstar San Diego.Red Dead Redemption rolls up all the best parts of Westerns and sprawls it over three distinct landscapes. Borrowing from and improving on the GTA model, RDR’s visuals and controls are crisp and on point. The main storyline missions and side quests blend more seamlessly than they did in the GTA series.

    World of Warcraft

    World of Warcraft: Best open world video game

    World of Warcraft, otherwise known as WOW, is far more than just a game. For some, it’s a way of life. This Tolkien-esque online world is the biggest and best MMORPG there is. The ability to play on your own, cooperatively or competitively with other online players gives one a wealth of choices and opportunities for character development.

    Grand Theft Auto III

    Grand Theft Auto III: Best open world video game

    Grand Theft Auto III proves that we all have a car-jacking, gun-blazing, hooker-killing gene. It made us re-evaluate what we expect from open world games, and the activities we’re able to perform while running around in them. Sure, some of the missions are just stupid-hard, and the controls aren’t exactly ‘tight,’ but it never matters, as Liberty City presented us a seedy, funnier look at what an open world game could be.

    The Legend of Zelda

    The Legend of Zelda: Best open world video game
    There are a lot of things that stand out about The Legend of Zelda (Gold Cartridge): the ability to save, the timeless music, and of course, the addictive game play. Combining elements of puzzle-solving, combat and basic exploration, Zelda is often credited with defining what an adventure game should be.

    The Sims

    The Sims: Best open world video game
    Do you have a God complex? After playing The Sims, I think I do. Do you want to see your Sims happy, or are you a masochist who wants to see them fail? Maybe you just want to build your dream home and forget about the people. It doesn’t matter. Without any defined goal, the player is left to define success for themselves. Both men and women love The Sims, which speaks volumes for the game’s tone and variety.

    The Ultima Series

    The Ultima Series: Best open world video game
    The Ultima Series is the granddaddy of open world gaming. The vast land of Britannia had unlimited adventures for your character to explore, and Ultima Online set the stage for later MMORPGs. Plus, there were lots of random clay pots for you to steal from.

    1. Aliened says:

      The person who wrote this article is a tool. As everyone stated before: GTA, Sims and Ultima over The Elder Scrolls? they are like one of the most important cornerstones of massive RPG’s… ha, this guy must be living in his own little world.

    2. asdasd says:

      FAIL LIST is 0/10

    3. wtf says:

      weres black ops

    4. Fanboy says:

      Worst list ever. Two GTA’s? And neither of them Vice City? No Fallout 3? No Final Fantasy VII or VIII? Outlandish. No Fable? Jade Empire? Let’s get some real games on this list. Metroid and Zelda are classic, but they both are completely linear and therefore shoudln’t be here. The Sims is hardly a game. Assassin’s Creed and RDR? Fluff games for ten year olds. WoW is possibly the most over-rated game of all-time, right next to Halo. This list is garb.

    5. Yea says:

      Mass effect does NOT fit in this list actually, though you can easily replace GTA IV with San Andreas, add in some FF titles, TES titles, Fallout – thank you very much – , and a big fat YES to M&B too.

    6. STNTINEL says:

      wow gta4 but not san andreas?
      and what about elder scrolls?
      u suck

    7. josh says:

      the elder scrolls, assassin’s creed, Borderlands seriously where are they on the list?

    8. john says:

      wheres assassin’s creed brotherhood?

    9. Derp says:

      I see no mention of the Elder Scrolls.
      Please bury yourself in a pit.

    10. what about Elderscrolls and the most important were the F*** is Mass Effect. Mass Effect is the Greatest thing that has happend to Open world/RPG games since the Elderscrolls has been out.

    11. Tanner says:

      Yep, Elder Scrolls series is one of the definitive epic open world games.

      Epic in the truest sense of the word.

    12. T-Vo says:

      Definitely useless, no Elder Scrolls games, Morrowind or Oblivion, and no Fallout 3 or New Vegas. If you don’t include any of them, then I don’t think you understand what open world gaming is.

    13. FenrirIII says:

      No Oblivion? No ElderScrolls? No Fallout? No Final Fantasy? What a short, useless list.


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