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The best Xbox open world games

The best Xbox open world games will give you the chance to lose yourself in an amazing and expansive world and allow for amazing action and exploration.

Best Xbox open-world games: Master Chief next to Giancarlo Esposito

The best Xbox open world games can have you do anything from building bases, riding through the wild west, or just journeying around trying to look for the next place to turn into a racetrack. Open world games aren’t just about climbing up towers and grabbing an item that increases your attack by 0.1%, there are some really cool, unique games out there.

It’s tough though, because unlike other styles of games, you know that if you get into one of the best open world games, then you’re going to be there for a long time. It’s a commitment, and you need to make sure you’re not going to get ten hours into a game, only to have it turn out to be a giant wasteland devoid of joy. There’s also many new Xbox games coming that are vying for your attention. So to help you along, we’ve made a list of the best Xbox open world games around, many of which rank among the best Xbox games on the platform as a whole.

Here are the best Xbox open-world games:

Bext Xbox open world games: A player runs out with a sword to attack zombies in the dark in Minecraft

1. Minecraft

Minecraft probably doesn’t need an introduction, but just in case, this is the blocky game that kicked off a trend toward survival games that still hasn’t been satiated.

Each world you create will have new points of interest, new dungeons to explore, and new opportunities for adventure, treasure, and probably death. It’s an incredible game (and one of the best Xbox survival games too), and between the co-op and infinite replayability, it’s incredibly hard to beat.

Best Xbox open world games: A tarnished soldier bathes in the glow of the golden tree in Elden Ring

2. Elden Ring

Having received The Loadout’s first ever 10/10 in our Elden Ring review, FromSoft’s game is an innovative spin on the Souls genre and it’s largely down to the open world at your fingertips – an open world that Aaron praises as “intricately crafted,” and “should be used as a reference point for open-world design moving forward.” It’s quite good.

But a stunning open world doth not a 10/10 game make. Fortunately, Elden Ring also packs incredible questlines which are revealed through masterful environmental storytelling, and more punishing Elden Ring bosses than you can shake a needlessly large sword at. As a result, Elden Ring isn’t only one of the best Soulslike games ever made, but one of the best games ever made full-stop.

Best Xbox open world games: two cowboys lead the pack in the snow in Red Dead Redemption 2

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is another stunning open-world adventure, with beauty to be found over every hill, and danger lurking around every corner as you follow Arthur Morgan on his adventures through the Wild West. Set at the turn of the 20th Century, Arthur and the notorious group of vagabonds known as the Van der Linde gang are on the run from the law, and things are looking dicey.

Red Dead Redemption 2 has the same feeling as settling into a long, but excellent, book. Things take a while to warm up, as the characters are drip-fed to you slowly, but you’ll feel surprisingly emotional by the end of it all.

Xbox open world games: Geralt on a boat with Yennefer and Triss in Witcher 3

4. The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

Geralt has been getting even more attention ever since Henry Cavill’s excellent portrayal of the grey-haired Witcher in the Netflix TV series. But here at The Loadout we’re all about games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is easily one of the best RPG games of all time.

While the first two games are good, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the one that made the series a quintessential part of people’s gaming lexicon. The world is filled with grey morality, stunning colors, and more monsters to fight than you’ll probably survive.

Boasting two excellent DLC offerings that can be picked up as part of the Game of the Year Edition, as well as a major update for current-gen hardware, Geralt and Ciri’s most iconic adventure provides well over 100 hours of content to revel in.

Best Xbox open world games: A massive worm pops out the ground in No Man's Sky

5. No Man’s Sky

Now, technically speaking, No Man’s Sky is an open-universe game, but we’re not sure that’s actually a phrase, so we’re just going to put it here with the rest of the best open-world Xbox games.

What started off in 2016 as something many found disappointing, has evolved into a truly incredible journey featuring giant frigates, mechs that can be summoned from the sky, and some of the most fascinating creatures you’re ever likely to see.

Indeed, developer Hello Games has marked itself as one of the most dedicated studios in the industry due to the sheer amount of effort it has continually put into realizing the game’s original vision. If you’re getting Starfield fatigue, then be sure to give No Man’s Sky a go – it’s even on Game Pass.

Xbox open world games: A Skyrim soldier readies his sword and shield

6. Skyrim Anniversary Edition

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim was released over ten years ago and has since been re-released constantly. It’s a bit of a meme, but there’s a reason this game has endured the test of time so well, and that’s simply because it’s incredibly good.

As the Dragonborn, you’re tasked with defeating the ancient dragon Alduin before he can destroy the world. Considering he’s known as the ‘World-Eater’ – a pretty metal moniker – he’s kind of a big deal. Fortunately, being the Dragonborn comes with a host of big, shouty powers that can render Alduin and his ilk (there are a lot of dragons to slay) useless.

The latest version gives everything a bit of a facelift, and it will be the kind of remaster we look back at in ten years’ time when the 20th-anniversary edition comes out.

Xbox open world games: Kassandra goes for the throat in an Assassin's Creed Odyssey battle

7. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Some may view Valhalla as the best of the newer takes on the Assassin’s Creed series, and while it’s certainly good, we much prefer the beautiful high seas of Greece in Odyssey to the grubby bogs of England in Valhalla or sprawling streets of Baghdad in Mirage.

Odyssey is absolutely massive, but a lot of the quests in this game are optional so you can spend as much or as little time as you like sailing around, fighting mythical creatures, or just spartan kicking enemies off cliffs – we totally don’t think Odyssey’s the best just because you can spartan kick enemies off cliffs, by the way.

Best Xbox open world games: Forza Horizon 5 cars offroad in thunder and lightning

8. Forza Horizon 5

You might not immediately think of Forza Horizon 5 as an open-world game, but it is, and it’s one that’s aimed at anyone with even a passing interest in the best racing games. This stunning recreation of Mexico is a joy to travel around, and the constant threat of other Drivatars from players you do and don’t know helps to keep every moment exceptionally engaging.

In our 9/10 Forza Horizon 5 review we reckon that “the Horizon formula has been perfected in Forza Horizon 5”, as developer Playground Games “has retained what fans loved in previous games, but also offers fine-tuned gameplay and a more diverse open world to explore.”

Best Xbox open world games: A rovot and a child look at a scary sea monster in Sunset Overdrive

9. Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is a little old now, but as one of the few Xbox exclusives, it’s still one of the most entertaining open worlds to explore. Set in the not-too-distant future, you take on the role of an employee of FizzCo, an energy drink manufacturer whose product is turning people into mutants. Fortunately, you have pleeeenty of absolutely wild weapons to choose from when dealing with these beasties.

While the edgy humor has aged somewhat, the ability to bounce, grind, and blast your way through this brightly colored urban hellscape hasn’t lost any of its shine. Insomniac makes incredible games, and Sunset Overdrive is no different.

Best Xbox open world games: a woman in red armor with a blurred backdrop of Diablo 4 behind her

10. Diablo 4

If you’re a fan of top-down RPG games with big open worlds, then you can’t go wrong with Diablo 4. The latest installment in Blizzard’s hit franchise offers up a huge amount of content to work through as you journey across Sanctuary.

If you do give Diablo 4 a go and get hooked, then don’t worry. As well as unlocking new cosmetics for your Diablo 4 mount, or mastering every class on our Diablo 4 tier list, there is a long pipeline of seasonal content drops, you won’t run out of things to do out in the world anytime soon.

best Xbox open world games: A Spartan chases a flaming skull in Halo Infinite

11. Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite is huge, pretty, and just a riot to mess around in. The new abilities Master Chief brings with him are great to play with, and you can do some truly silly things if you’re willing to experiment a bit. The game finally features online campaign co-op too, meaning if you’ve been waiting to play the latest Halo title with your friends, now’s the time to jump in.

In our Halo Infinite review Aaron notes Zeta Halo’s “stunning vistas”, which can be explored to their fullest by foot, grapple, or air. While Infinite’s open-world elements aren’t groundbreaking by any means, they are excellently deployed.

Best Xbox Open World games: A man on a motorcycle does a wheelie in GTA 5

12. Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5 is a fun single-player experience, but the online mode is where it becomes one of the best open-world Xbox games. There are so many different things to do, roleplay groups to engage with, and challenges to overcome, that you’d be unlikely to see everything without really putting some effort in.

GTA Online is still getting served with regular content updates too, which means you can expect to see new things fairly consistently, despite the game being released all the way back in 2013. It’s one of the best games of all time, both for its longevity and for how it still boasts one of the best open worlds.

Best Xbox open world games: a massive minigun being fired off in Fallout 4

13. Fallout 4

Set a decade after Fallout 3, Fallout 4 may not sit on the same pedestal as its predecessor, but it remains a fan-favorite installment in Bethesda’s iconic series. Having just emerged from cryosleep you find yourself in Vault 111, an underground fallout shelter. However, after your spouse is murdered and your child is kidnapped, you set out on an adventure across the Commonwealth in search of your missing kid.

Fallout 4 retains the excellent combat system the series became synonymous with, mixing it with a thriving open world and a deep narrative. If you’ve already spent some time in Starfield you’ll feel right at home in Fallout 4, considering many of the star-faring game’s systems have been inspired by its grittier, alternative Earth-bound cousin.

Best Xbox open world games: a skeletal captain commands its undead crew in Sea of Thieves

14. Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves has truly aged like fine rum. What was once a simple open-world pirate game with a distinct art style and swashbuckling action has evolved to include tall tales of the deep, more fearsome beasties, and much, much more.

As one of the best Xbox co-op games out there, Sea of Thieves is at its best when you’ve managed to press gang a few pals into playing along. With your friends in-tow, set sail and get looting!

Best Xbox open world games: Basim attacking two soldiers in Assassin's Creed Mirage

15. Assassin’s Creed Mirage

We may have marked Odyssey as our favorite modern Assassin’s Creed, but Mirage is still one of the best Xbox open-world games out there. Set several years before the events of Valhalla, we get to follow Basim’s early days as a street thief in 9th Century Baghdad – the height of the city’s golden age.

In our Assassin’s Creed Mirage review, Kyle says that Ubisoft has delivered “a truly excellent experience” partly thanks to Baghdad being an “authentically presented environment” that he was “desperate to continue exploring, even after the main narrative has concluded.” Banger.

So there you have it, all of the best Xbox open-world games in one place. Now you have all the options, it’s time to get out there and explore. If you’re a Game Pass subscriber, be sure to also check out our best Xbox Game Pass games list – with hundreds of games on the service, make sure these truly amazing games could slip through your net.

Best Xbox open-world games: a hypogriff fighting soldiers

16. Dragon’s Dogma 2

Dragon’s Dogma 2 uses its expansive world to the absolute fullest, and often encourages you – sometimes more forcefully than others – off the beaten track. Whether you’re being corralled by your pawns, or chased by giant monsters, you’re going to find new places to explore and treasures to find – emphasis on the treasure part.

While that’s not to say Capcom’s RPG won’t allow you to enjoy its gorgeous world at your own pace at times, Dragon’s Dogma 2 really does encapsulate the spirit of adventure you should always have when delving into a fantasy world. It’s also a third-person game, which means you’ll be able to catch every golden glint and cubby if you angle your camera juuuuuust right.

Best Xbox open-world games: a person holding a strange weapon next to a horse

17. Far Cry 6

We’d be remiss to snub the timeless sandbox shooter series Far Cry from our list, and it’s helpful that its most recent installment is pretty darn good. Set on the fictional Caribbean island of Yara, you take on the role of freedom fighter Dani Rojas as you aim to take down dictator Antón Castillo. The best part? Castillo’s played by none other than the legendary Giancarlo Esposito.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Far Cry 6’s best narrative moments occur with Castillo in-frame. In our 7/10 Far Cry 6 review we note that “with all great villains, he’s even more terrifying when you meet him face to face.” Though it might not be the most innovative entry into the Far Cry series, Far Cry 6 offers plenty more of its exceptional gunplay.

Best Xbox open-world games: a view of a futuristic Starfield city

18. Starfield

Forget open-world games, we’re talking open-universe games now, and Bethesda’s Starfield is the Xbox exclusive that best represents this. Having managed to stuff over 1,000 planets into its unbelievably huge space game sandbox.

In Jamie’s 8/10 Starfield review that was finalized after over 100 hours of gameplay, he says that “while it has weak spots and doesn’t push many boundaries, Starfield is still an excellent RPG experience. Bethesda has once again mastered the things it built its reputation on – world-building, quest design, and deep customization. However, it’s found new things to excel at too, with exciting combat and a novel implementation of New Game Plus.”

If that doesn’t sound like high enough praise to merit a spot on our list, I don’t know what does.

Before settling down to sink countless hours into these open-world beauties, be sure to do so with the best possible setup – our best Xbox controllers and best Xbox accessories guides will help you with that. Happy exploring!