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Open your world to these open worlds.
Playing video games in a first-person perspective through the eyes of the protagonist you’re controlling can offer some of the most immersive experiences in gaming. Combine that with a stunning open world, and well, your experience just got even better.
With so many games having vast open lands to explore at the moment, however, it can be hard to know which fantasy-inspired far sprawling land or zombie-infested town are worth your time exploring.
That’s why we’ve compiled 19 of the best FPS open world games for you to lose countless hours in.
Escape from Tarkov is an online tactical first-person shooter set in the fictional Norvinsk region where a war is raging between two rival private military companies.
Gameplay-wise, players are placed on large maps and must fight to survive. The end goal is to reach an extraction point, usually on the opposite end of where you started. Matches are unashamedly hardcore. With the potential for you to lose any gear obtained during a round upon death, as well as the hard-earned gear you’ve brought with you into the match from the lobby.
When not in raids, players can explore and upgrade their hideout, with plans for a fully open world upon the official launch of the game.
If it’s an immersion-seeking experience you’re after then theHunter: Call of the Wild could be for you. There’s nothing quite like sitting quietly amongst the reeds, watching your target finish its conveniently placed snack. Patiently waiting for the moment it rears its head, allowing you to line up that perfectly angled shot.
For some, the laid-back pace of the game will be too slow, as the at times solitary life of a hunter isn’t always all-out action. However, If you’re looking to be one with nature, soak in the picturesque countryside and hunt some animals along the way, then give theHunter: Call of the Wild a try. Happy hunting!
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl is a survival horror first-person shooter that’s developed a bit of a cult following since its release. Assuming the role of the Marked One, you’ll explore a sandbox world referred to as the Zone. Set six years after an alternate-reality version of the Chernobyl Power Plant has been hit by a second explosion. You’re left to pick up the pieces and uncover what remains of the radiated site.
The game was criticised for its bugs and glitches at launch, an aspect of the game fans have adopted as part of the 2007 game’s charm. At the time of writing, fans are also working on a mod known as STALKER.: Oblivion Lost Remake which aims to restore content that was cut from the game during its development.
7 Days to Die is a survival horror game set in an open world ravaged by the events of a nuclear Third World War. As one of few survivors, you’ve got to fend for yourself against the newly mutated zombie inhabitants.
The bulk of your time spent in 7 Days to Die will be searching for food, water and shelter before nightfall. As once your time is up, so too is the patience of the brain-hungry hoard. Who become feral and much more dangerous at night. Your objective? Survive 7 days.
Think you’ve had bad nights out? They likely pale in comparison to the events of Dead Island (I would hope so anyway). Waking up in your hotel room the morning after the party of the century, you’re alerted by the intercom to evacuate immediately. As an infectious plague is sweeping the tourist-filled tropical resort, turning most holidaymakers into flesh-seeking zombies.
Thankfully, not everyone has turned, and after picking from four playable survivors (each with their own unique skill tree), you’re left to try and escape what was supposed to be the holiday from heaven.
Initially inspired by the popular ARMA 2 mod DayZ, Rust is a multiplayer-only survival game that’s changed a lot since its early access release in 2013. Swapping out zombies for equally angry wildlife for a start.
In Rust, your goal is to manage your health, hunger, and thirst in order to survive in the unforgiving wilderness. Finding shelter is of course, important too. With crafting and base building likely to take up the majority of the time you spend in this challenging online survival game. Once strong enough, you can raid opposing players’ bases for their precious cargo too.
With the sequel not releasing until some point next year, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in this open world survival game. After customising your character to your liking, you’ll find yourself waking up on a prehistoric island. An island you’re seemingly stranded on that’s teeming with dangerous dinosaurs.
What you do next is up to you. Build a settlement, go fishing, maybe even try and tame a new dino-friend. Your only real objective is to survive as you get well acquainted with your new island life.
If you told us in 2013 that we would still be playing GTA V almost ten years and three different console generations later, we likely wouldn’t have believed you. Back in late 2014 and early 2015 when the first enhanced versions of the game launched on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, one of its big new additions was the inclusion of a first-person mode.
Offering an entirely new way to play, allowing players to ditch the traditional third-person camera angle and play the game completely in first-person instead. It’s clunky, can be disorienting and perhaps just not the best way to play. But it certainly brings a new perspective to exploring Los Santos.
Hunt: Showdown is a unique multiplayer first-person shooter that combines PvP and PvE elements to create an experience quite unlike any other. In one of the game’s main modes, Bounty Hunt, players are pitted against each other in an open world to find and defeat bosses first and claim their bounty.
Once claimed, the location of the bounty holder is then revealed to everyone on the map. Their mission is to then try and reach the extraction point whilst avoiding being hunted by up to 12 other bounty-seeking players.
Based on the books by author Dmitry Glukhovsky, the third title in the video game trilogy allows players to explore an open world, a first for the series.
Whilst previous titles usually had you limited to the confines of the claustrophobic Metro tunnels situated deep underground. Exodus lets you explore the vast and less than inviting world of the surface. So, consider yourself warned as the open plains of Russia are equally, if not more dangerous than what lurked below. You’ll need your wits about you to survive in this harsh open world.
The only free-to-play game on this list, Destiny 2 is still going strong five years after its launch with frequent updates and expansions keeping its dedicated audience… well, dedicated.
There’s plenty of fun to be had with your friends as you explore Bungie’s carefully curated worlds, completing quests and gaining EXP to rank up. One hour can quickly turn into five as you embark on the endless pursuit of upgrading your gear and weapons.
Once strong enough, you and five fellow guardians can take on raids too, which test your communication and combat skills and where some of the game’s best loot can be earned.
If you enjoyed the earlier entry on this list Dead Island, then you’ll likely enjoy the spiritual successor Dying Light even more. Developer Techland took what they learned from their previous undead bashing efforts to produce some of the best zombie-slaying open world experiences you’ll ever have in Dying Light.
The series is so good in fact, that both games appeared on our list of the 22 best Xbox Series X/S survival horror games. Either title is a great place to start, but with a map, four times the size of the original, as well as even more parkour techniques to get around with, the second game in the series just about takes the flesh-covered cake.
Thanks to a plethora of free updates and support over the past six years, No Man’s Sky has exceeded the strong potential that was set upon the action-adventure survival game by both its fans and developers, since its announcement back in 2013.
Now playable with friends, regardless of what system they’re exploring on thanks to cross-platform play. There’s never been a better time to land on a procedurally generated planet and start managing your space fleet empire together.
Similarly to Grand Theft Auto 5, GTA’s cowboy hat-wearing cousin, Red Dead Redemption 2 can be played in first-person. Yes, Rockstar’s cowboy epic can be experienced directly through the eyes of protagonist Arthur Morgan himself. Never has a drunken saloon fight felt quite so vivid.
When not bothering the locals, there are some breathtaking views to soak in. There’s something quite magical about setting up camp on a hill and watching the sun slowly set over the western plains. Failing that, dual-wielding revolvers in first-person looks pretty cool too.
Borderlands is a series you wouldn’t typically associate with being ‘open world’. As the popular looter shooter titles generally offer a collection of smaller, semi-open worlds for players to explore. With just how much fun we’ve had diving into these semi-open worlds over the years, however, we couldn’t leave the series off this list completely.
Inside Borderland’s refreshingly compact locales of crystal dungeons and fauna-filled swamps is loot to be found. Just about everywhere. Whilst some open worlds can feel empty and lifeless, this is far from the case with Borderlands. With guns and gear hidden in every crevice that rewards you for your exploration.
Fallout 4 is a divisive game among fans of the series, largely due to its limited dialogue options and simplification of its RPG mechanics. One area where fans can agree the game was better than its predecessors, however, is in its first-person combat.
Aiming feels smoother than ever, particularly when trying to run and shoot at the same time. Of course, there’s still the (mostly) reliable V.A.T.S. system too, which slows down time to allow you to pinpoint specific body parts of your enemy to aim and take fire at.
Ask any Fallout fan about their favourite games in the franchise and there’s a high chance Obsidian Entertainment’s Fallout: New Vegas will be near the top of their list. So, when the developer of the 2010 spin-off announced they were working on a Fallout-esque RPG set in space, well, fans got understandably excited.
Rightly so too, as the end product was The Outer Worlds, a space opera teeming with planets to explore and moral dilemmas to be solved. Whether that be through words or a robust first-person combat system. That’s for you to decide.
Depending on what system you played Cyberpunk 2077 on at launch your experience would likely have varied greatly. A technical triumph on a good pc and a bit of a disaster everywhere else. With frequent frame rate drops and texture pop-in disrupting the experience for console players.
Fresh off the back of new updates and patches, however, there’s never been a better time to dive into CD PROJEKT RED’s futuristic landscape. As the game’s neon-lit world looks and runs great on the now easier-to-obtain ninth-generation systems.
Rather than pick a particular game in the now long-running franchise, we’ve gone for the Far Cry series as a whole. As there’s something for everyone across the many open worlds that Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto have created.
Want to explore a US county overrun by a religious cult? Far Cry 5 has got your back. Maybe site-seeing across the Himalayas whilst being pursued by the region’s charming, yet villainous ruler is more your thing? Far Cry 4 has you covered. There really is something for everyone (providing you’re comfortable with being chased down by a vicious dictator along the way.)
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