Best Open-World Games 2023

Ready for a new adventure? Check out this list of the best open-world games on Steam and other platforms you can play right now!

These days, it’s not uncommon to see the best open-world games include shockingly accurate depictions of real-world cities or even sprawling fictional continents.

So whether you’re a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, or more contemporary settings, there’s a new open-world game just waiting to be explored.

In this list, we’ll highlight the best open-world games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch platforms.

So, without much further ado, let’s see what fascinating new worlds await you!

Related:Biggest Open-World Games Ranked By SizeLongest Video Games Ever (From Least to Most Hours)Best Sandbox PC Games 2023

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Our top choice for the best open-world games of 2023 is SEASON: A letter to the future by Scavengers Studio.

Billed as a narrative-driven exploration adventure, the game casts you as a young traveler named Estelle on their first journey away from home.

Exploring vibrant and stylized environments affected by changing seasons, you’ll record and photograph characters you meet along the way.

Doing so allows you to learn more about the world while fully absorbing the game’s cozy art style.

Hogwarts Legacy is another open-world game that was released just this year and offers a unique blend of action, RPG, and exploration-based gameplay.

In it, you take on the role of a new student attending the legendary wizarding school during the late 1800s, prior to the events of the book series.

During your studies, you’ll get to hone your spellcasting skills in addition to brewing potions, taming magical beasts, and uncovering mysteries.

Additionally, Hogwarts Legacy incorporates a morality system that ties certain outcomes to your decisions in the story.

Those looking for more magic-embedded open-world games are welcome to pick up FromSoftware’s latest smash-hit Soulslike, Elden Ring.

In it, your character finds themselves dropped in a dark fantasy setting overrun with giants, dragons, and other mythical monsters.

Players have the option to fully invest in arcane magic using classes like Astrologer and Prophet, or embrace the visceral nature of Elden Ring’s melee combat.

Regardless of the path chosen, you’ll find no shortage of challenging bossfights and enemy encounters while exploring the Lands Between.

Functioning as a standalone expansion to Marvel’s Spider-Man, Miles Morales shifts its focus to the up-and-coming crime-fighting teen.

With the city in need of a hero, Miles steps up to don the mantle of Spider-Man while coming to grips with his own personal struggles.

The sequel features a revamped open world with expanded traversal and combat that makes for a superhero dream come true.

Aside from being well-received by critics and fans, the game stands out for being the first Spider-Man game to launch alongside a new console.

Presented as a third-person RPG detective story, A Bavarian Tale casts you as a medical student traveling to the German town of Wolpertshofen.

However, things take a turn for the worst when a sudden death causes turmoil to spread across the village, forcing your character to step up.

Making your way around lovingly detailed open environments set in 1866 Bavaria, you’ll use your deductive skills to find clues and question the local villagers.

If you’re the kind of person who plays the same kinds of open-world games and could do with a good mystery, this game is worth checking out.

Next up is Forza Horizon 5, another Microsoft first-party title that builds upon the success of its predecessors, namely the arcade-inspired Forza Horizon sub-series.

Developed by Playground Games, FH5 drops players into a loving recreation of Mexican deserts, towns, beaches, forests, and more.

Throughout the open-world players can find a wide selection of activities beyond just racing, including tucked-away secrets and the occasional scenic view.

Whether you’re a car buff, a diehard racing fan, or simply like exploring unique settings, you can’t go wrong with Forza Horizon 5.

Another open-world racing game worth checking out is Riders Republic, which serves as a successor to Ubisoft’s snowboarding game Steep.

In it, players are set free on an enormous open-world map comprised of famous US national parks that offer distinct terrain to tear up.

Like Forza Horizon, the game features a wide variety of environment types that introduce unique hazards and challenges depending on your equipment.

Players can navigate the world with other people by skiing, cycling, wingsuit flying, and snowboarding throughout races, trick challenges, and free-roaming exploration.

The third and final driving open-world game we’re recommending to players is Motor Town: Behind the Wheel, an indie driving sim from developer/publisher P3 Games.

In it, you go around a huge open world completing different jobs that put you in the driver’s seat of a wide selection of cars, trucks, buses, etc.

Assignments can range from cargo deliveries to transporting passengers and more, with each one netting you new cars, parts, and other rewards.

Like many great open-world driving games, Motor Town features a day/night cycle, realistic physics, and a ton of small details that help elevate its gameplay.

Switching gears, if you enjoy more survival-based open-world games then you’ll like Subnautica: Below Zero, a follow-up to the hit game from Unknown Worlds.

The story sees you returning to the alien planet from the original, only this time discovering a new icy region on the surface.

To stay alive, you’ll have to gather resources and use them to craft bases, submersibles, weapons, and more as well as keep your character’s belly full.

Much like its predecessor, Below Zero keeps things open-ended, allowing you to explore the deepest corners of the ocean, construct bases, or advance the story.

As much as we love sequels to great open-world games, it’s always nice to see a promising new IP like Len’s Island pop up on the Steam store page.

In this open-world survival game, you’re tasked with carving out a new life on a beautiful island teeming with wonder and mystery.

As you explore the island’s many caves and forests, you’ll come across useful materials that can be crafted into tools and weapons as well as used to build bases.

When you’re not tending to crops or adding expansions to your humble abode, you’ll set out to meet different characters and battle any enemies that cross your path.

Fans of open-world games are likely to have played through at least one Far Cry game in their lifetime, including the most recent Far Cry 6.

The game harkens back to the lush tropical paradise settings of previous entries while telling a new politically-charged story.

In it, you assume control of Dani, a rebel soldier fighting against a corrupt dictatorship on the fictional Caribbean island of Yara.

Yara’s world is massive, ecologically diverse, and downright gorgeous to soak in while traveling by boat, car, helicopter, and more.

What open-world list would be complete without Assassin’s Creed? Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest entry in the series and casts you as a Viking raider.

Set in 9th century Britain, the story centers on a brewing war between the Templars and Brotherhood that causes your character to seek out a safe haven for their people.

Throughout the game, you’ll go around completing missions and favors for characters while exploring sprawling environments and building settlements for your people.

Similar to previous installments, gameplay emphasizes open-world exploration and action-driven combat with elements of stealth and RPG progression.

Other than Ubisoft, many consider Rockstar to be the best at making open-world games, with Red Dead Redemption 2 among the studio’s best efforts to date.

Set during the tail end of the Old Wild West, the game features an open world teeming with vistas, intriguing mysteries, and tons of fun side activities.

This is complemented by one of the most well-crafted video game narratives centered on an aging cowboy forced to confront his own mortality.

When you’re not knee-deep in trouble with the law, you’re free to carve out your own adventures with horseback riding, exotic animal hunts, drinking, and more.

Of course, Rockstar’s claim to fame is their satirical take on contemporary American pop culture with the Grand Theft Auto series.

The most recent is Grand Theft Auto V, which features three protagonists in its single-player story and the ability to create your own in GTA Online.

In it, you play as work-for-hire criminals as they get down and dirty for various mob bosses and street gangs in exchange for money, weapons, and cars.

Players have the freedom to go off and explore the world for themselves, often encountering random, unscripted events that lead to cool discoveries.

Metro Exodus is the latest installment in the post-apocalyptic FPS and shares many of the same open-world qualities as the games previously mentioned.

In it, you take on the role of a Russian scavenger named Artyom as he and his family set off in search of a new home beyond the frozen wasteland.

As you travel around post-apocalyptic Russia, you’ll be subjected to brutal weather conditions, ammo scarcity, lethal radiation, and a host of mutated creatures.

While a large part of the journey is spent on a steam-powered train called the Aurora, there are plenty of opportunities to explore Metro Exodus’ world firsthand.

No longer limited to PlayStation consoles, Horizon Zero Dawn is a fantastic action RPG with a strikingly vibrant post-apocalyptic open-world.

You play as a hunter named Aloy as she sets out to defend her tribe from the machines in hopes of gaining their acceptance and ensuring their survival.

As you progress through the story, more details surrounding Aloy’s mysterious past and how the machines came to be are revealed.

Despite the game’s primitive setting, players can unlock gadgets and upgrades over time that let them harness the machines’ power and devise new strategies.

If we’re talking large-scale open worlds, it doesn’t get much bigger than No Man’s Sky, which has come a long way since its controversial launch.

In this space-faring survival game, you’ll travel to different planets harvesting resources, and eventually, reach the center of the galaxy.

The main focuses of the game are exploration, crafting, and base-building, with players able to construct both ground and aerial vehicles for easier navigation.

NMS also supports online co-op with an open-ended quest structure that lets you and your friends focus on the types of activities you enjoy most.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is another notable open-world game that needs no introduction seeing as its won countless awards.

In it, you play as a “Witcher” monster hunter named Geralt as he sets out to find his adopted daughter and save her from an evil cult known as the Wild Hunt.

Along the way, you’ll get to explore various storylines tied to different characters in the form of quests, boss fights, and open-ended exploration.

Between major plot points, players are free to explore the Witcher 3’s vast open-world and hunt wildlife, gather ingredients, and soak up some scenery.

Fallout is a long-running open-world franchise that’s best known for its extensive RPG mechanics and dynamic quest structure.

In Fallout 4, players are cast as the Sole Survivor, a vault dweller who awakes from cryogenic stasis after witnessing their son’s kidnapping and spouse’s murder.

After emerging from Vault 111, players set off across the Commonwealth Wasteland looking for clues about their lost child while encountering unique NPCs.

The game introduces several refinements over its predecessors, including expanded dialog, crafting, and base-building, along with mod support.

Last but not least, Skyrim is the fifth and most recent entry in the beloved action RPG series and considered one of the best open-world games of all time.

Set 200 years after Oblivion, it sees you fulfilling your duty as a predetermined warrior destined to defeat a terrifying dragon.

Boasting a flexible combat system with room for stealthy and aggressive playstyles, the game features a robust skill tree, unique abilities, and powerful gear.

While Skyrim’s map may not be the biggest, it offers plenty of secrets, recruitable companions, and hidden areas off the beaten path.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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