The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim stands as an extraordinary open-world RPG, pushing the boundaries of innovation. In true lineage with its forerunners, Skyrim presents players with a magnificently vast and immersive world awaiting their exploration. What truly captivates in The Elder Scrolls series is their inclination towards personal narratives and thrilling escapades, where each choice the players make resonates within the dynamic tapestry of the game’s universe.
The series’ remarkable sense of expansiveness has catapulted it to become one of the most influential in the gaming industry. Even action games strive to surpass Skyrim’s vastness and level of interactivity. Presently, open-world games prioritize providing players with a dynamic realm brimming with captivating landscapes to discover, engaging side quests, and spontaneous occurrences, reminiscent of the immersive experience offered by Skyrim. While Skyrim’s world spans an impressive 15 square miles, there exist realms of even grander scale. Let us now delve into other gaming worlds that surpass Skyrim’s magnitude and promise to captivate players for an extended period.
Updated by Michael Llewellyn on January 16, 2022: Although not the largest game in existence, Skyrim is an expansive realm brimming with rich lore, captivating quests, and an abundance of diversity that can easily consume countless hours of exploration. It transcends mere vastness, as a true open-world necessitates diverse landscapes and a plethora of engaging activities. Notably absent from this compilation is Final Fantasy 15, whose 700 square mile map consists mostly of desolate expanses with scarce inhabited settlements. This updated list showcases recent titles from the past two years that offer open worlds surpassing the magnitude of Skyrim, teeming with an array of enthralling content awaiting discovery.
13 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – 21 Square Miles
In the year 2015, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt made its grand entrance onto the gaming scene, captivating players on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. However, it didn’t stop there. In 2019, a remarkable Nintendo Switch port emerged, proving its mettle against its larger and mightier console counterparts.
With an impeccable display on the Nintendo Switch, The Witcher 3 showcases the sheer brilliance of CD Projekt Red’s expertise in crafting breathtaking and expansive realms. Although spanning a modest 21 square miles, this world is far from diminutive, exuding a grandiose ambiance. Every nook and cranny is adorned with unique urban landscapes, rural settlements, and an intricately designed map, brimming with covert caverns, mysterious dungeons, and an abundance of captivating missions.
12 Sacred 2: Fallen Angel – 22 Square Miles
Released in 2008, Sacred 2: Fallen Angel made its grand debut on the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. This extraordinary top-down open-world RPG has garnered immense praise from devoted fans, establishing itself as the pinnacle of the series. One of its most captivating features is the colossal open-world map spanning 22 Square Miles, adding depth and immensity to the immersive gameplay experience.
Apart from the map’s scale, players have the opportunity to delve into caverns and dungeons that can span several levels, while surface dungeons and structures can stretch up to four stories tall. Moreover, the game world is intricately divided into diverse regions, each boasting unique climates, terrains, architectural styles, and an array of fascinating non-player characters (NPCs).
11 The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild – 28 Square Miles
In 2017, the enchanting world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was unveiled to gamers, gracing both the Nintendo Switch and the venerable Wii U. Despite its debut on the older Wii U console, Breath of the Wild remains a testament to the artistry and grandeur of open-world gaming, standing tall among the most exquisitely crafted experiences of the past ten years.
Although not as densely populated as The Witcher 3 or Skyrim, the realm of Hyrule offers an expansive and unrestricted playground for players to venture into in any sequence they desire. The tranquil expanses of Hyrule’s untamed wilderness span a staggering 28 square miles, providing an exquisite delight for those who yearn to discover its secrets.
10 Red Dead Redemption 2 – 30 Square Miles
Red Dead Redemption 2 galloped onto the gaming scene in 2018, lassoing players onto the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This immersive, Wild West-inspired action-adventure transports fans straight into the heart of their cowboy daydreams, allowing them to ride off into the sunset with unrivaled exhilaration.
Spanning across a vast expanse of 30 square miles, this game stands out as an epitome of dense and breathtaking virtual landscapes. Within its realm, numerous towns emerge, each possessing a raw, gritty essence that seems as if it was plucked straight out of the captivating universe of HBO’s Deadwood. As you venture forth, the sheer enormity of this world becomes apparent, brimming with an abundance of enthralling endeavors, thrilling hunts, and captivating side quests that seem to stretch into infinity.
9 Grand Theft Auto 5 – 31 Square Miles
In 2013, Grand Theft Auto 5 made its debut on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, captivating gamers with its immersive world. The following year, an upgraded edition of this virtual masterpiece arrived on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, mesmerizing players once again. Finally, in 2015, the much-anticipated release on PC allowed even more fans to experience the wonders of this open-world marvel. Despite its classification as a last-generation game, GTA 5 continues to reign supreme as the ultimate standard for contemporary open-world adventures.
The realm of Grand Theft Auto 5 is not only brimming with an abundance of destinations to explore and sights to behold, but it pulsates with vitality, distinctiveness, and a cleverly exaggerated portrayal of California. Moreover, it showcases an exceptional ensemble of unforgettable personalities and main characters.
8 Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – 90.7 Square Miles
Unleashed in 2018, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey made its grand debut across the realms of PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A year later, it conquered the realms of the newly minted Google Stadia game streaming platform. This epic adventure transports players to the captivating world of Ancient Greece, immersing them in the historical tapestry of 431 BC.
With its ancient backdrop, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey becomes the second installment in the series to transport players to a bygone era, following the footsteps of its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which immersed gamers in the wonders of ancient Egypt. Odyssey, however, takes the grandeur to new heights, boasting a colossal expanse of 90.7 square miles. From its captivating visuals that burst with vibrant hues to its meticulously crafted world, this epic adventure is a masterpiece that captivates players from beginning to end.
7 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – 38.5 Square Miles
Input: With the arrival of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, gamers anticipated a grander and more expansive world in comparison to its predecessor. Surprisingly, Valhalla falls short in terms of map scale, as it is merely half the size of the colossal Odyssey.
Valhalla deserves credit for its dedication to exploration. While Odyssey immerses players in the vastness of the Mediterranean Sea, Valhalla takes them on an exhilarating journey across the diverse landscapes of Norway and Britain. With its extensive maps, enriched content, and exciting upcoming DLC, Valhalla offers an abundance of opportunities for open-world enthusiasts to delve into uncharted territories.
6 Forza Horizon 5 – 41 Square Miles
Unleashed as a triumphant force among the gaming marvels of 2021, Forza Horizon 5 roars alongside the legendary Halo Infinite and the thrilling Microsoft Flight Simulator. A true masterpiece, this high-octane racer reigns supreme, setting new standards across all gaming platforms.
The game presents an expansive and diverse open world that surpasses its predecessors, showcasing vast and captivating landscapes awaiting exploration. Within this immersive environment lie towering mountains, fiery volcanoes, lush jungles, and bustling towns, each harboring a plethora of quests, missions, races, and hidden treasures to uncover.
5 Dragon Age Inquisition – 45 Square Miles
Input: Despite receiving high praise upon its release, Dragon Age: Inquisition, the latest installment in BioWare’s captivating dark fantasy franchise, has proven itself to be a formidable contender among the top-tier RPGs. Rather than being undervalued, this remarkable game has regrettably slipped under the radar in recent times, leaving RPG enthusiasts unaware of its true brilliance. BioWare’s extraordinary creation, a recipient of numerous awards, undoubtedly merits greater acclaim and recognition from the devoted RPG community.
Despite straddling generations, the visuals remain remarkably stunning in this cross-gen game. The realm itself is a veritable delight to venture into, brimming with hidden enigmas and captivating legends that will surely captivate Skyrim enthusiasts. Enhanced by a grandiose score, a somber narrative, and an exceptional ensemble of voices, Inquisition stands as a colossal masterpiece that every RPG aficionado ought to have gracing their personal collection.
4 Xenoblade Chronicles X – 154 Square Miles
Released in 2015 for the Nintendo Wii U, Xenoblade Chronicles X emerged as the captivating sequel in the Xenoblade Chronicles saga. Embarking on a unique path, this spin-off game ventured into uncharted territory with its innovative design and gameplay, including the introduction of a user-generated avatar and enthralling MMO-inspired mechanics.
Embark on an epic adventure within a sprawling, boundless RPG universe. Spanning across a staggering 154 square miles, this game invites players to delve into the unexplored depths of a mysterious planet teeming with perilous beasts and extraordinary creatures. While it may not boast the same level of density as its counterparts, the allure of exploration remains undiminished, captivating players with its irresistible charm.
3 Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – 170 Square Miles
In 2017, the captivating world of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands unfolded on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms. This exhilarating game took a bold step away from the traditional linear mission approach seen in its predecessor, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Transporting players to a mesmerizing, fictionalized Bolivia, Wildlands offered an expansive open-world experience like no other.
The player’s mission is to seize control of different sections of the map and free the regions from the clutches of the cartels. Within this expansive game world, players can harness the power of their surroundings and strategically exploit the dynamic day and night cycles to their advantage.
2 Death Stranding – 230 Square Miles
Released solely for the PlayStation 4 in 2019, Death Stranding made its way to the PC in 2020, courtesy of Kojima Productions. Crafted by the mastermind behind the iconic Metal Gear Solid franchise, Hideo Kojima, this game emerged as a work of art.
Death Stranding’s universe spans a vast expanse of 230 square miles, meticulously crafted with the awe-inspiring Decima engine from Guerilla Games, renowned for Horizon: Zero Dawn. Within this expansive realm, a journey through its wondrous landscapes is an endeavor that demands patience, yet rewards with unparalleled beauty and captivating symphonies of sights and sounds.
1 Just Cause 3 – 390 Square Miles
Unleashed upon the gaming world in 2015 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Just Cause 3 emerged as a boundless adventure crafted by the ingenious minds at Avalanche Studios. Spanning a sprawling expanse of 390 square miles, this opus of open-world action shattered all boundaries, introducing players to unprecedented levels of verticality.
Input: Just Cause 3 lacks an exceptional storyline, but it offers gamers an unparalleled level of artistic liberty. When it comes to executing breathtaking feats, this game brings players closest to embodying the daring spirit of James Bond or Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible franchise.
Unveiling: Open-World Adventures Perfectly Tailored for Young Explorers.