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The Most Immersive Open World Games (April 2022)

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 15:40 PM
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Open world games are some of the most popular because of how many hours you can spend on them! These are the most immersive.

p>Occasionally, a game comes out that players just want to cozy up to for hours on end. Open-world games can be riveting, or they can be frustrating and tedious. The scale of an open-world game can be both its strong and weak suit. On one side of the spectrum, some games have enormous maps that are time-consuming to traverse.

With focused gameplay, however, open-world games can provide immersive experiences that have immense replay value. The realism of these maps is awe-inspiring. Love or hate the following titles, they are some of the highest-selling in gaming. Let's take a look at the most realistic and best open-world games.

22 Death Stranding

Developer Kojima Productions
Platforms
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • PC

Many fans were heartbroken to hear that masterclass game developer Hideo Kojima wouldn't be working on the critically acclaimed Metal Gear Solid series any longer but were quickly placated to learn the iconic creator was opening his own studio. His first foray into the world of video games as an untethered designer was Death Stranding.

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Although it's a bit avant-garde for some, the world that Kojima created is nothing short of spectacular, especially from an immersion standpoint. Players get to control Sam, a "futuristic delivery man" portrayed by the talented Norman Reedus of Walking Dead fame. Although the game itself is superbly strange, it's also incredibly enthralling (although some may find it hard to enjoy its quirky gameplay). It's definitely worth a look, if just to appreciate its open world.

21 Shenmue

Developer Sega AM2
Platforms
  • Sega Dreamcast
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Before Shenmue arrived for the Sega Dreamcast back in 1999, the concept of open-world games was still very much in its infancy. While most other developers were still trying to figure out how to make the leap from 2D to 3D though, Yu Suzuki was instead focused on creating one of the most immersive and realistic video game worlds of all time; and boy, did he succeed.

Set in the late eighties, the game allows players to explore parts of Yokosuka; a small city in Tokyo's Kanagawa prefecture. All the NPCs that they'll encounter are fully voiced and have their own well fleshed-out identities and daily routines. The game even utilizes historic geographical data to ensure that the in-game weather matches that of the period in which the story takes place.

20 Ghost Of Tsushima

Developer Sucker Punch Productions
Platforms
  • PS5
  • PS4

Where Shenmue serves as a window into life in 1980s Japan and, in its sequel, 1980s Hong Kong, Ghost of Tsushima instead takes players back quite a bit further. Set on the island of Tsushima during Japan's Kamakura period, Sucker Punch Productions' epic action-adventure tells the story of a samurai named Jin and is one of the best looking games of the PS4 era.

What makes Ghost of Tsushima all the more impressive is that it was developed by a western studio. Indeed, Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi once described the game as an amazing achievement and also expressed his surprise at how historically accurate the title really is. The attention to detail paid throughout the game really is astounding and really helps to draw players into its beautifully presented open-world.

19 The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Developer Nintendo EPD
Platforms
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Nintendo Wii U

The Legend of Zelda series is one that's always been built around exploration and adventure and has featured open-world elements since making its debut back in 1986. It was not until almost three decades later and the release of Breath of the Wild, however, that its creators truly embraced the idea of a fully open world.

Not since Ocarina of Time has a Zelda game made quite as big an impact, both in terms of its sales and its critical acclaim. Granted, the size of the map can be a little daunting at first and certain areas of it can sometimes feel quite barren, but the sheer sense of freedom provided by the game makes it a must-play; not just for series fans, but anybody who loves adventure.

18 Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Developer Warhorse Studios
Platforms
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • PC
  • Amazon Luna

Technical issues aside, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of the most realistic video games of the past few years. The level of detail found throughout the game is incredibly impressive, allowing it to provide a remarkably accurate representation of life in the early 15th century. It also has an excellent story full of memorable and well-written characters, which only increases the sense of immersion that players get.

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Those looking for a historically accurate game set in the medieval period will struggle to find much better and anybody who does check it out will find it difficult to put down. With a Switch port currently in development and rumors of a sequel beginning to circulate, fans will be hoping that this proves to be just the first of many great Kingdom Come games.

17 Rust

Developer Facepunch Studios
Platforms
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Rust often gets criticized due to the large number of players who shoot on sight and raid other peoples' bases. Though this kind of behavior can make things difficult for new players, it's arguably exactly what one should expect from a post-apocalyptic wasteland and therefore helps to make the game's open-world a lot more immersive.

When all's said and done, the radiation zones and irradiated animals in Rust pose very little threat to those who know what they're doing. The unpredictable nature of humanity, on the other hand, ensures that players need always remain on their toes, while simultaneously making the experience feel a lot more genuine than it would otherwise have been.

16 Dragon Age: Inquisition

Developer BioWare
Platforms
  • PS4
  • PS3
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox 360
  • PC

Despite being released more than half a decade ago, Dragon Age: Inquisition is still fondly remembered by a huge number of gamers. It was even dubbed 'Game of the Year' in 2014 for its immense fun and immersive gameplay. With a very in-depth character creator, players could sculpt their perfect being for this world full of fantasy adventure.

One can even choose from a number of different classes with a bunch of varied skills and weapons. The possibilities are staggering for the kinds of wild wizards or wrathful warriors one can ever conceive of. On top of that, the areas are colossal enough for players to literally get lost in.

15 Middle Earth: Shadow Of War

Developer Monolith Productions
Platforms
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

At first, what appears like a hybrid of a stealth game and another Tolkien inspired one then reveals itself to be a wanton way for gamers to rampage across Mordor while leaving a wake of orc blood and possessed husks behind them. There are huge maps to explore and a great many missions to accomplish in Middle Earth: Shadow of War. Though, all aspects involve a world steeped in deep lore that fans of the Lord of the Rings movies and books will be sure to love.

Although the gameplay and story take some liberties with Tolkien's Legendarium, it is meant to immersive the player into the world with fun and novel aspects; such as the enemy orcs that are immensely full of character and individuality.

14 God Of War

Developer Santa Monica Studio
Platforms
  • PS4
  • PC

As an action-packed and incredibly refined game, God of War took the world by storm. Add the tremendous legacy left by previous games in the series combined with new lore set in Norse mythology, this game is truly groundbreaking on many levels. Intricate storytelling pulls the player into a fun and challenging world full of a variety of enemies and even a few puzzles.

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The combat is also stellar and places importance on equipment and strategy in addition to reflexes and observation. Only true warriors can get 100% completion in this mythical world brimming with vibrant characters both old and new.

13 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Developer CD Projekt Red
Platforms
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

The perfect game for those who love hunting down and slaying abhorrent monsters. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt places the player once more into the boots of Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf. He's a renowned witcher in the Northern Realms who often have quite a variety of adventures besides the usual fiend-killing.

One can enjoy card games, dialogue-based intrigues, and even partake in the dating scene, if one dares. With lots to see and do, this action RPG feels almost like a life simulation game, one that has great dark fantasy elements in addition to well-designed and balanced combat.

12 The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Developer Bethesda Game Studios
Platforms
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • PS3
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox 360
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

There are few games as expansive or rich in story as The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. As the Dragonborn, one can galavant about the most northern province of Tamriel and slay dragons before consuming their souls. A gross oversimplification for this incredible game, though one that sums up just how awesome one's time in Skyrim can be.

A variety of character creation options, settings to explore, and sometimes hilarious sights to behold and exploit make this nordic adventure one every appreciator of open-world games should play at least once in their life.

11 No Man’s Sky

Developer Hello Games
Platforms
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • PC

When No Man's Sky launched, it was missing features and was riddled with bugs. Among the missing features was online multiplayer. Now, developer Hello Games has delivered on their promises by adding multiplayer, among other things. The difference between what No Man's Sky was when it launch and what it is now is a night and day difference.

Open-world exploration in No Man's Sky is spectacular. The scale of the game is so large that it is impossible to traverse. Traveling between star systems is a thrill in No Man's Sky. It is the most realistic interplanetary travel game to date.

10 Grand Theft Auto 5

Developer Rockstar North
Platforms
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • PS3
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox 360
  • PC

Open-world exploration in the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto 5 is more than most players could ask for. The expansive fictional city of Los Santos contains plenty of intricacies that keep players engaged for hours on end. This is Rockstar Games' most realistic Grand Theft Auto game, and bargain hunters can buy it for cheap now that it's been out for a while.

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Although the cars, people, and places are fictional, their creations were often inspired by the real world, with many iconic Los Angeles locations showing up throughout Los Santos. This game about stealing cars could be the most realistic open-world game.

9 Fallout 4

Developer Bethesda Game Studios
Platforms
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Through a series of updates, there were significant improvements made to the gameplay of Fallout 4. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world like the other Fallout games. Its expansive open-world is what keeps Fallout 4 surprising, to say the least.

Using the Pip-Boy is an intuitive way of finding one's way around Fallout 4's gigantic and barren wasteland. On their expedition, players will find remnants of the old world and many vaults that only add to the immersion of Fallout 4's fantastic open-world.

8 Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Developer Ubisoft Quebec
Platforms
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch (Japan Only)
  • PC

Ten games later in the series, Assassin's Creed continues to surprise players. In one way or another, its story revolves around the Animus. The Animus is a device that allows a person to interact with their genetic history. Through this device, players can relive their ancestors' lives.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey takes place during the Peloponnesian War in Greece. As the latest game to release in the series, it offers the best open-world experience in the series thus far. With gorgeous visuals and top-notch dialogue, Assassin's Creed Odyssey is one of the best open-world games to dive into.

Origins and Valhalla also have immersive open-worlds.

7 Horizon Zero Dawn & Horizon Forbidden West

Developer Guerrilla Games
Platforms Horizon Zero Dawn
  • PS4
  • PC
Horizon Forbidden West
  • PS5
  • PS4

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most recognizable open-world games on the PlayStation 4. Players are immersed in a world where robotic dinosaurs run rampant and humans are brought back to their primitive state. As protagonist Aloy, players embark on a journey to defeat the machines and prevent them from wiping out humanity. This is one of the most spectacular open-world games to launch on the Playstation 4. Horizon Zero Dawn continues to surprise at every turn, which is why many consider Horizon Zero Dawn to be a must-play game.

Horizon Forbidden West continues Aloy's story as she ventures towards the titular zone in search of information regarding a plague that is spreading across the world. Bigger and generally better, the sequel takes everything that worked in its predecessor and expands on it, including open-world exploration.

6 Forza Horizon 3, 4, & 5

Developer Playground Games
Platforms Forza Horizon 3
  • Xbox One
  • PC
Forza Horizon 4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • PC
Forza Horizon 5
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • PC

In the realm of open-world racing game franchises, Forza Horizon sits above and beyond any of its rivals. All the games are great in their own right, and Playground does a stellar job of adapting real-life locations into beautiful maps that respectfully reflect the areas' cultures.

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Although the first two entries are incredible, they cannot compare to their more modern sequels in terms of scale and visuals. When it comes to the last three games, subjective opinion is likely to dictate whether someone prefers Forza Horizon 3's Australia, Forza Horizon 4's Scotland, or Forza Horizon 5's Mexico. E

5 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Developer Kojima Productions
Platforms
  • PS4
  • PS3
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox 360
  • PC

Some players were taken aback by Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's storytelling, which was scattered throughout the game rather than focused. Open-world is not something familiar to the Metal Gear Solid series, and it would seem as if the storytelling suffered.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is a masterpiece in its own right. The sense of realism is above and beyond. Love it or hate it, The Phantom Pain is one of the most realistic open-world games of all time.

4 Spider-Man

Developer Insomniac Games
Platforms
  • PS5
  • PS4

Developer Insomniac Games' rendering of New York City is the closest representation that players have seen of the city in gaming yet. Touring through real-life locations like Central Park is both overwhelming and awe-inspiring.

Future open-world games can learn a lot from Spider-Man for PlayStation 4. Although it is possible to fast-travel in the game, the city is so detailed and immersive that most players won't want to. It will be awhile before players forget the brilliance put into Spider-Man for PlayStation 4.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales also deserves an honorable mention.

3 Watch Dogs 2

Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • PC
  • Google Stadia

Some would say that the Watch Dogs series is a Grand Theft Auto copycat, but it is so much more. Sure, players can steal cars and drive, but that is one of the few things the two games have in common. Watch Dogs 2 allows players to manipulate their environment through technology.

One can change the color of traffic lights, open gates, and disable people's cell phones. The amount of realism contained in Watch Dogs 2 makes it outstanding. This open-world game is super realistic, and too few people have gotten a chance to play it.

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