From the early days of gaming, with Ultima and Lords of Midnight, open-world games have always been right at home on PC – indeed, those pesky consoles often couldn’t handle it. Compare the ambitious early version of Halo to the final, more confined result, for example – and only the PC could hold sprawling regions in the very first Elder Scrolls games. Nevertheless, it was the leap into full 3D with Grand Theft Auto 3 and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind that really brought the idea of open-world gaming to the masses.
These days, open world can be considered its own genre. You can find accurate depictions of real-life cities or countries, huge fictional expanses with their own landmarks, complete worlds to check out – or even entire galaxies, depending on where you want to go on your next open-world gaming adventure.
The cool thing about the best open-world games is that they can come in a variety of forms: the important feature is that they allow you to explore freely. As such, our list of top open-world games features everything from the best FPS games to car games.