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The 10 best open-world games on the market


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Every gamer knows the feeling of placing themselves into a new Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto or any open-world game. Expansive landscapes packed full of millions of adventures to discover and conquer. If there are cars on the roads, chances are you can drive them. If there are mountains in the distance, you can most likely climb them. There is something new around every corner.

For those not familiar with the term ‘open-world’, it refers to video games where the player is able to move freely throughout the virtual world and is given considerable freedom in how and when they approach particular tasks within the game.

The games listed below represent the best open-world games on the market. Huge cities, Giant kingdoms and entire continents have been brought to life with incredibly intricate detail. If you have hours of free time and want to get lost in another time or world, you have lots of options. These are my picks for the top ten best open-world games on the market.

10. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor offers players their own epic story of death and revenge against hordes of bloodthirsty orcs. The antagonist’s armies are endless, but beware of your choices. Dying at the hand of an Orc will result in the creature being ‘promoted’ through the leadership roles. Run into that Orc again and they will remember you. Your demise throughout the game creates a history for each Orc leader in the game but one will always be special. The Orc that causes you the most pain and hardship will evolve to become a primary nemesis in the game and the final boss.

However good the plot of Shadow of Mordor is, this game falls short in its gameplay elements. The game’s world is dull and uninteresting, in game combat is disappointing and the list of collectables are uninspiring.

9. Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight allows players to explore the whole city of Gotham, drive the Batmobile and play with a huge variety of gadgets.

The game’s Gotham city is packed full of interesting sights and tasks. Batman and DC fans will find cleaver Easter eggs hidden throughout the game pointing to their favourite villains, heroes and storylines. Perfectionists will happily spend hours solving every puzzle, completing every sub-plot, winning every fast-paced race and finding every trophy hidden within the game.

Players who stick to the main story will not be disappointed as their decisions within the game cause batman and Gotham to evolve. This provides the player with impressive scenery changes and new tasks to overcome. Arkham Knight gives players the best insight into the Dark Knight’s Gotham and is a great open-world game.

8. Dragon Age: Inquisition

In this game, players are able to play the role of the boss. The inquisition (the player’s private army) is one of the most powerful in the land. At the war council, Thedas’ political landscape is shaped by the player. Three council strategic advisers (diplomatic, espionage and military) offer unique tasks from both peasants and royalty. Who the player assigns to each task creates a unique outcome.

Decisions like theses help players to understand just how much power their rule has in the game. The game’s fast paced combat is easily some of the best in the series and mixed with some impressive graphics, players will not be disappointed. The game is filled with many customisable features for the protagonist and their party to ensure that the players army is the best it can be.

7. Assassin's Creed: Black Flag

Much like Earth, the world of Assassin’s Creed 4 is 70% water. But do not fear as Black Flag uses this to its advantage and makes the players seafaring adventures one of the best parts of the game. The game is full of ornate shipwrecks hiding riches, mysterious islands hiding quests and ancient temples guarding dangerous secrets.

With Assassin’s Creed 3's hard to control sailing mechanic having been fixed in this new instalment, players can now fully engage themselves in epic sea battles. Sailing without aim is also a pleasure with stunning scenery and marine life.

6. FallOut 4

FallOut 4 secured its place on this list with the huge amount of content included in its open world. The game’s post-apocalyptic landscapes are just as interesting and engaging as the previous games in the FallOut series, the only difference being the more colourful personality FallOut 4 has to offer. Set in a destroyed Boston, players will find many fascinating environments to explore which are full of bandits, monsters and treasures.

The biggest feature of FallOut 4 is the ability for players to do whatever they want. Players have the choice of endlessly wandering and exploring the wasteland, building a settlement piece by piece and even have to chance to experience a story packed full of intriguing characters.

5. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Although the map may not be full of objective markers, minigames and side stories this game proves that less is more. Guards do not have predictable patrol routes, instead milling about realistically and reacting to the player’s movements. Their shifts constantly change and they move to and from outposts unpredictably. The player is able to enter the game and really mess things up with the use of guns, grenades and gadgets or going in old fashioned and knocking them out. The game’s cycle of infiltration, combat, surprise attacks, upgrades and escapes will keep players coming back well after the story finishes.

4. Grand Theft Auto 5

In Truth, the open world of GTA is fairly ordinary, even with the exaggerated stereotyping of characters and funny innuendoes spread throughout the game. Being able to commit multiple crimes, rampage or explore every aspect of your surroundings without consequence, cost or ever tiring is what brings this open world game to life in the otherwise mundane backdrop.

Every aspect of GTA5 feels authentic. It’s all believable despite the increasingly maddening missions you are sent to complete. Once the player has experienced how the protagonists' lives play out, they are able to explore an entirely new side of the game in GTA Online. A chaotic multiplayer we’ve all been dreaming of.

3. Skyrim

The true genius of Skyrim is that everywhere looks and feels unique. Although some locations off grander scale and magnificence than others, players will always find new places to explore and experience. Players will never get tired of exploring this open world, even after hours of ignoring the storyline. Add in dramatic weather, day and night cycles and the occasional dragon, Skyrim is the perfect fantasy to explore.

2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The game’s protagonist is trying to find his daughter before ‘The Wild Hunt’ catches up with her. The action of The Witcher 3 is more than just stat-boosting fast paced work and is something that genuinely adds to the character of the game and the player's character.

The game’s world is massive and very interesting. Players encounter all sorts of people working stiffs, the middle class and even royals. Each have their own perspective on the world, war and the Witcher himself. Everyone is worth talking to and every location should be explored as they feel excitingly real. Moving through this open world has an authenticity that many open worlds lack. The game dirty, funny, unfair and scary whilst also being strangely familiar.

1. Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar is at the frontier of open-world games. Red Dead Redemption takes place in the untamed Western expanse of 19th Century America, and the geography of this open-world game doesn't just space out objectives. Instead, it provides room for a proper Western to happen.

The game’s protagonist, John Marston, is a guy walking away from crime, only to have one last job thrust upon him. The character moves through an untamed civilization, messily intersecting with side quests and primary goals in a way that feels realistic. The discovery of the wilderness is rewarding but what made it truly fitting in an open-world game is the detail that Rockstar have played to the shape of a Western adventure. Sometimes nothing happens at all during the game's storyline before the player walks into an explosion of sudden violence, kidnappings and shootouts. Red Dead Redemption is a full world of eerie calm, fast paced action and a great storyline.

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