The Ultimate Guide to the Top Open-World Games Of All Time, Ranked

Open-world games have captured the hearts of gamers worldwide with their expansive worlds, immersive storylines, and boundless opportunities for exploration. In this article, we'll be ranking the best open-world games of all time, diving deep into the gameplay, settings, and pros and cons of each title. So strap in, grab your controller or keyboard, and get ready to dive into these incredible virtual worlds that have given us endless hours of entertainment.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is arguably one of the most iconic open-world games ever created. Launched in 2011, this action role-playing game boasts a massive, breathtaking world filled with complex characters and rich storylines. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, Skyrim's legacy has lasted a decade and shows no signs of slowing down.


  • Action-packed combat system with customizable magic and weaponry.
  • Freedom to explore and interact with a breathtaking, massive world.
  • Deep character customization system.
  • Endless side quests and secrets to discover.
  • Overwhelmingly replayable with various mods and re-releases.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Captivating open-world design, deep character customization, and lore-rich story content.
  • Cons: Occasional technical glitches and somewhat dated graphics in the original version.

2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 best

Released in 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an action role-playing game developed by CD Projekt Red and based on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski. With exceptional graphical quality and an enticing narrative, The Witcher 3 is often regarded as one of the best games of all time.


  • Deep and intricate combat system with various abilities and techniques to master.
  • An expansive open world filled with unique creatures and characters.
  • Decision-based storytelling influences the game's outcome.
  • Complex character development with upgradable skills and equipment.
  • Riveting side quests with meaningful stories that tie into the main plot.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Immersive storytelling, stunning visuals, and a vast world to explore.
  • Cons: Some players may find the combat system challenging to master.

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption best

Set in 1899, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a Western-themed action-adventure game developed by Rockstar Games. As a prequel to Red Dead Redemption, this game features a gripping narrative, an expansive open world, and intensely detailed gameplay mechanics.


  • Rich storytelling and character development with a large ensemble cast.
  • Expansive open world with authentic, atmospheric environments.
  • Diverse gameplay mechanics, including hunting, fishing, and horseback riding.
  • Full of side quests, secrets, and collectibles to discover.
  • Engaging combat system with cover mechanics, Dead Eye targeting, and choice of weaponry.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Incredibly detailed world, dynamic weather system, realistic character interactions, and engaging gameplay mechanics.
  • Cons: Pacing issues and occasionally sluggish controls.

4. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V best

Developed by Rockstar Games and released in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V is one of the best-selling and most highly acclaimed open-world games. Set in the sprawling city of Los Santos, players can choose to navigate the criminal underworld as three main characters with intersecting storylines.


  • Flexible gameplay style, with missions allowing for stealth, action, or a mix of both.
  • A tremendously detailed open-world city is full of activities and side quests.
  • Three main characters with unique abilities and storylines.
  • Grand Theft Auto Online is a widely popular online mode with countless heists, missions, and customizations.
  • A wealth of vehicles and weapons to choose from.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Expertly crafted story, expansive open world, and the freedom to experiment with various gameplay styles.
  • Cons: Some may find certain aspects of the game's themes and content controversial.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild best

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, developed by Nintendo, revolutionized the open-world genre with its release in 2017. Combining the iconic characters and lore of the Zelda series with a massive, interactive world, Breath of the Wild offers a sublime gaming experience that is both challenging and rewarding.


  • Expansive open world with diverse environments and challenging puzzles.
  • Deep combat system with various weapons, shields, and abilities.
  • Highly interactive environments with opportunities for creative problem-solving.
  • Engaging story with memorable characters and vast mythology.
  • The immersive and dynamic weather system affects gameplay.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Innovative gameplay mechanics, lush open world, and challenging gameplay.
  • Cons: Limited inventory space and sometimes punishing difficulty.


With so many incredible open-world games to choose from, it's nearly impossible to choose the best product definitively. However, according to user reviews and overall popularity, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim stands out as the top contender. Its captivating open-world design, deep character customization, and lore-rich story content have captured the hearts of gamers worldwide, keeping them engaged for countless hours. Ultimately, each game on this list has earned its place among the best open-world games of all time and is well worth exploring for any gaming enthusiast.