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The best open-world games on PC

Open-world games are incredibly popular — and for good reason. Offering a sense of freedom not found in other genres, these titles manage to keep players entertained years after their initial release. And with the price of games continuing to rise, open-world games pose a great value to consumers.

If you happen to play on PC, there is an overwhelming number of open-world games at your disposal. Whether you’re looking for a multiplayer shooter or a single-player game that’ll keep you occupied for more than 100 hours, here are some of the best open-world games on PC.

Further reading

Elden Ring
Elden Ring
84 %
4/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Role-playing (RPG)
Developer FromSoftware
Publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release February 25, 2022
Although it launched in February, fans and critics alike were immediately heralding Elden Ring as the best game of 2022. The latest FromSoftware title takes everything you’ve come to love from Soulsborne games and combines it with a massive open-world environment. Everywhere you look there’s something new to discover, and you never know what horrifying creature is just around the bend. It’s easy to sink hundreds of hours into Elden Ring. From its lengthy main quest, dozens of auxiliary dungeons and mini-bosses, and a robust multiplayer offering, there’s no shortage of content to work through. Long-time fans of the genre will find much to love, and even newcomers should find plenty of reason to get lost in its unforgiving world.
Read our full Elden Ring review
Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite
85 %
4/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter
Developer 343 Industries
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release November 15, 2021
Halo games rarely disappoint, but no one was prepared for the success of Halo Infinite. After showing off a few rough trailers, the team went back to the drawing board, delayed its launch, and ended up crafting one of the best PC games of all time. Its multiplayer might get most of the attention, but its revamped campaign gives you unprecedented freedom to explore to your heart’s content. Getting around its sprawling open world is a breeze — thanks to a roster of fun-to-drive vehicles and fast travel — but where it really shines is during combat. Halo Infinite gives you a variety of ways to approach shootouts, letting you cater the game to your playstyle. Want to sneak around and surprise the enemy? Or would you rather drive a Warthog straight into the enemy encampment? It’s an unprecedented level of freedom for a Halo game, which makes its tight gunplay even more enjoyable.
Read our full Halo Infinite review
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
88 %
4.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Release November 10, 2011
With Skyrim now available on just about every platform under the sun, odds are good you’ve already experienced the Dovahkiin’s journey. If you haven’t — or if you’re looking to relive the glory days — consider diving into the recently released Anniversary Edition of Skyrim for a bit of bonus content. Playing the open-world epic on PC is arguably the best way to experience Skyrim, as it gives you access to thousands of mods that further augment your world. Whether you want to ramp up its graphics, add new questlines, or turn dragons into Macho Man Randy Savage, Skyrim on PC is a beast all its own. As far as open-world games are concerned, it’s hard to beat Bethesda’s iconic masterpiece.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
95 %
4/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer CD Projekt RED
Publisher WB Games, Bandai Namco Entertainment, cdp.pl, Spike ChunSoft
Release May 19, 2015
Jump into the shoes of Geralt one more time, as he navigates political turmoil, disgruntled townsfolk, and a whole lot of deadly beasts. Despite offering one of the most intriguing and tightly written narratives in gaming, The Witcher 3 still gives you incredible freedom to explore every dark corner of its haunting world. Throughout The Continent you’ll find plenty of tasks to keep you busy — from sitting down to a game of Gwent to chasing down supernatural monsters that are terrorizing nearby farmers. And with more than 50 hours worth of content (and close to 200 if you’re a completionist), the open-world of The Witcher will keep you entertained for a very long time.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V
90 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer Rockstar North
Publisher Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive
Release September 17, 2013
With GTA VI still a mystery, GTA V remains the best open-world crime game on the market. Boasting a thrilling narrative that jumps back-and-forth between three playable characters, a realistic world to explore, and hundreds of supercars available for the taking, there’s not much Rockstar could have done to make GTA V a better game. You can even take the action online and roam the streets of Los Santos with a gang of your friends. Aimlessly causing chaos is half the fun, but GTA Online also gives you a variety of multiplayer game modes and unique Heist missions to put your skills to the test.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
76 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher Ubisoft Entertainment
Release November 10, 2020
The latest and greatest Assassin’s Creed game sees you taking control of Eivor — a Viking that travels to England during the 9th century. With the rolling countryside as your backdrop, you’ll get into the usual AC shenanigans of sneaking around castles, taking on dozens of foes in hand-to-hand combat, and collecting a literal treasure trove of hidden items. Despite being the umpteenth entry in the series, Valhalla manages to stay fresh with a reworked combat system and one of the most interesting locations in recent memory. Beyond its gigantic open-world, Valhalla also gives you the freedom to play how you’d like — whether that be running in with a giant ax or slinking through the shadows picking off enemies with a bow. The freedom offered by Ubisoft is unparalleled, and Valhalla quickly became one of the most popular open-world games of the past few years.
Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3
78 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter
Developer Gearbox Software
Publisher 2K Games
Release September 13, 2019
The only thing larger than Borderlands 3‘s gigantic world is its arsenal of deadly (and ridiculous) weapons. If you’ve played any of the previous games in the series you know exactly what to expect, although this time things are even more ludicrous than ever before. Borderlands 3 ensures the looting and shooting never gets boring with a roster of unique playable characters, a vibrant world filled with quirky characters, and enough multiplayer content and DLC drops to keep you playing for years. If you’re looking to loot, shoot, and laugh, consider making space for Borderlands 3 on your drive.
Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5
86 %
4/5
E
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Racing, Sport
Developer Playground Games
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release November 09, 2021
As one of the best games of 2021 (and with a “Very Positive” rating on Steam after more than 45,000 reviews), Forza Horizon 5 somehow manages to outperform its predecessor. More cars, better graphics, and the breathtaking Mexican landscape combine to make Forza Horizon 5 stand out in a crowded racing marketplace. Even if you’re not a fan of the racing genre, Playground Games makes sure there’s plenty of fun to be had in Mexico. In fact, the game will reward you just for driving around and checking out new locations. Much more than a racer, Forza Horizon 5 is an exploration game — and one that everyone should check out in the coming year.
Read our full Forza Horizon 5 review
Minecraft
Minecraft
84 %
E10
Platforms Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac
Genre Adventure, Arcade
Developer Mojang Studios
Publisher Mojang Studios
Release November 18, 2011
Minecraft gives you a nearly limitless world to explore, filled with strange biomes, dangerous monsters, and hundreds of collectible resources. The only restriction is your imagination and how much free time you have on your hands. Now more than a decade old, Minecraft has accumulated an overwhelming amount of content. And unlike at launch, it’s never been easier to invite a few friends to join in on the fun. Piecing together gigantic castles or traveling to the Nether is much more enjoyable with a group, and there’s always something new to discover in the timeless world of Minecraft.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2
93 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Rockstar Games
Publisher Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games
Release October 26, 2018
Let’s face it — Rockstar has perfected the open-world formula. Five years after the launch of GTA V, Red Dead Redemption II took everything players loved about the crime game and improved and adapted it for an old western setting. The world of Red Dead Redemption II always feels alive, from the wildlife roaming its forests to the trains zipping around railways. It’s all pulled together by a cinematic main story and robust online offerings. Considering it still has a healthy player base more than three years after its original release, it’s safe to say Red Dead Redemption II‘s open world will keep you busy for quite some time.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition
91 %
4.5/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Guerrilla Games
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release December 06, 2017
Originally a PlayStation exclusive, Horizon Zero Dawn has since found its way to PC. You’ll guide Aloy on a quest to discover her past and save an Earth overrun by towering, hostile machines. Its world is completely open to exploration, but that often takes a backseat to incredible voice acting and an emotional narrative that never stops driving the action forward. Horizon Zero Dawn on PC comes with a bunch of extras, including expansions, cosmetic DLC, and even a digital artbook on Steam. Its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, is now available on PS4 and PS5, but it’s unclear when (or if) it’ll arrive on PC.
Black Desert
Black Desert
66 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Strategy, Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Pearl Abyss
Publisher GameOn, Kakao Games
Release July 14, 2015
Say what you will about its monetization scheme, but there’s no denying Black Desert‘s appeal as an open-world RPG. Once you’ve launched the game and started playing, you’re free to roam a gigantic map that’s entirely free of loading screens — quite the feat for an MMO of this scale. Better yet, Black Desert manages to pack every inch of its world with worthwhile content. Whether you’re out looking to gather resources, searching for an efficient mob grinding location, or want to find a good hiding spot to ambush unsuspecting players, Black Desert rarely feels like an empty game.

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