The open world subgenre has become one of the most prevalent in the gaming industry. Improvements to the console hardware and game engines have allowed developers to create massive maps that are filled to the brim with items to discover, side quests to complete, and NPCs to interact with. The acclaim and commercial success, unsurprisingly, has meant that several companies have tried to fit open worlds into their games, often with mediocre results. Fortunately, fantastical open world games have been released in recent years, many of which will appeal to fans of third-person shooters.
It's worth noting that this article will only include one game per franchise, to make sure it doesn't turn into a ranking of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption series.
10. Mass Effect: Andromeda
It wouldn't be too disingenuous to say that the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda was disastrous. The game was awash with bugs and glitches upon release, which painfully disappointed the franchise's many die-hard fans. The game's narrative also received criticism, as many players complained that they didn't feel a connection with any of the characters.
While the bugs were inexcusable, it's fair to say that much of the game was unfairly criticized due to the unrealistic expectations placed on its shoulders. Mass Effect: Andromeda certainly doesn't reach the heights of the iconic Mass Effect 2, but it earns a spot on this list for having the best combat in the series, as well as an open world for the first time in the franchise.
9. Watch Dogs 2
It's easy to forget now how highly anticipated the original Watch Dogs was ahead of its 2022 release. Much like the aforementioned Mass Effect: Andromeda, the game was heavily criticized at launch for failing to live up to expectations, although players are now starting to appreciate it. the game for what it was.
Watch Dogs 2 was released just over two years after its predecessor and tried to improve on many of its shortcomings, such as the boring open world. Ubisoft's Watch Dogs 2, like the other two episodes in the trilogy, feels like it could have been so much more; but still offers a solid open world experience.
8. Mad Max
There was a time when games associated with movies flooded the gaming industry. From Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings to nearly every children's movie, game publishers often look to cash in on the success of popular movies with a 6-8 hour adventure. These games have died out in recent years, however, as the often ridiculously short timelines developers had to stick to linked games would, unsurprisingly, result in lackluster products.
Despite the skepticism gamers now have of movie-associated games, there are a few movies and properties that are begging to be given the gaming treatment, including the Mad Max franchise. Mad Max was released just a few months after Mad Max: Fury Road, although the game is not a direct link. This is probably why Mad Max proved to be such a success, as the developers didn't have the restrictions of basing their game on a 90-160 minute movie like most associated games.
7. Saints Row 4
While it seems like a distant memory now, there was a time when the Saints Row franchise was seen as having a more serious tone than its Grand Theft Auto counterpart. The opposite is now the case, with Saints Row 4 embracing the franchise's new identity as being essentially Grand Theft Auto with all mods and cheat codes enabled.
Saints Row 4 was well received by critics upon release, with the PC iteration scoring an impressive 86 on Metacritic.
6. Sunset Overdrive
From one open world over-the-top shooter to another, Sunset Overdrive was published in 2022 by Microsoft Studios. The game was developed by Insomniac Games, best known for their Ratchet & Clank and Spider-Man games.
Much like Saints Row 4, Sunset Overdrive sacrifices realism for extreme, enjoyable action, with the simple intention of making the game as fun as possible. Fans of the game have been eagerly awaiting news of a sequel since the game's release, although there are few concrete words as of yet.
5. Just Cause 4
Just Cause 4 is the third game in a row that will appeal to players who just want to focus on the fun, no matter how ridiculous and over the top it might be. Similar to Saints Row, the Just Cause franchise has taken its extreme elements to a whole new level with its fourth installment, exemplified by the constant extreme weather conditions and ridiculous weaponry like the Lightning Gun.
Just Cause 4's action gameplay didn't go unnoticed as the game acquired the 2022 Webby for Action Game.
4. LA Noire
The first, but certainly not the last Rockstar game to make an appearance in this thread, LA Noire caught attention in 2022 with its unique crime scene investigation gameplay. The game has had its share of critics and its facial animations haven't aged very well, but LA Noire is still a fantastic option for players who are excited at the prospect of stepping into the shoes of a 1940s detective.
Many of LA Noire's shortcomings have been fixed in the game's recent remaster, including changing the ambiguous options from "Truth", "Doubt" and "Lies" to "Good Cop", "Bad Cop" and "Accuses. ”
3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Stealth sections in open world games don't tend to get much love. Consequently, when gamers heard that the legendary Metal Gear Solid series was implementing an open world in its most recent release, there were quite a number of skeptics.
Fortunately, Kojima Productions destroyed it with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Not only did the studio do a great job implementing stealth into the game's massive map, but it also created one of the most impressive open worlds in history. You can see the best weapons in the Meta Gear Solid series.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
Many people were understandably disappointed that the gaming industry hadn't heard of Grand Theft Auto VI during the eighth generation of consoles. However, Rockstar has offered gamers the next best thing, a sequel to their iconic Western, Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was released in 2022 and raised the bar for open world realism with its incredible map that was filled with some of the truest weather effects and wildlife mechanics ever seen in a video game. The Rockstar Western also surprised many with its powerful story, which gave the gaming industry a new anti-hero to love, Arthur Morgan. Check out the hidden plots of Red Dead Redemption 2.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas were all strong contenders for this spot, but it's the latest GTA release that takes the cake.
Many games have tried to replicate the massive success of Grand Theft Auto V since it was released in 2022, but none have been able to measure up to Rockstar's modern classic. Many people predicted that Cyberpunk 2077 would be the game that would finally surpass GTA V, but its disappointing release only served as a reminder of how much praise Rockstar's game still deserves today. Check out our list of GTA 5 missions.