There’s something special about open world games.
Sure, open world games on PS4 are not for everyone, but there’s something to be said about the freedom they give us. The best open world games give us the ability to go wherever we want and do whatever we want, in any order that takes our fancy. While we may play video games to escape from reality, we can’t resist the realistic simulation of free will that a great open world game offers. And so if you own a PS4, you might be after the best open world games available on the format.
Open world experiences are becoming more common as newer hardware allows for video game worlds that are bigger and richer than ever. In fact, with so many different types of open world games available, it’s hard to know which ones are worthy of your valuable time.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our picks of the best open world games on PS4 that you really shouldn’t miss out on. Pick up any of these games and you’ll surely find yourself engrossed in their worlds for tens of hours.
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1. Horizon Forbidden West
When it released in 2017,Horizon Zero Dawnwas one of the best open world games you could play on PS4. Following Aloy, a young woman living in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with dangerous robotic creatures, it featured a huge world, an engaging story, and just about everything else we love about an open world game. Fast forward to 2022, andHorizon Zero Dawnhas been outdone by its sequel,Horizon Forbidden West. Again putting players in Aloy’s shoes, it’s just about bigger and better than its predecessor in every way.
Horizon Forbidden Westpicks up shortly after the events ofHorizon Zero Dawn. Having dealt with one threat, it seems like Aloy’s journey is far from over, with much more about the world around her – and where she herself came from – to discover. Players will venture to brand new areas – the titular “forbidden west” – and explore real-world cities, now ancient ruins in the game. With new abilities to unlock for Aloy, a bigger world than ever to explore, new characters to meet, creatures to defeat (and sometimes tame), this is one of the best open world games you can play on PS4. It looks absolutely beautiful, too.
Read our review ofHorizon Forbidden West
2. Elden Ring
From FromSoftware, developer of games such as Dark Souls and Bloodborne comes Elden Ring, an open world game like no other.
Made in collaboration with George R.R. Martin, Elden Ring is a fantasy epic that will quite simply consume you. After creating your character, you’re let loose in an uncompromising world in need of a hero. And of course, that hero is you. Can you locate and take down numerous Shardbearers, claim their Great Runes and restore order? You can but try.
As you’d expect from FromSoftware, the combat in Elden Ring is absolutely brutal. Thanks to the large open world ripe for your exploration, however, you can find the items and skills that you need to overcome any powerful adversary that stands in your way. Needless to say, Elden Ring is still extremely challenging but it’s FromSoftware’s most accessible game yet. And it’s also quite possibly the best open world game available on PS4.
Read our review ofElden Ring
3. God of War Ragnarok
We lovedGod of Warwhen it released in 2018. We even called it one of the best open world games on PS4, even though it wasn’ttrulyopen world. But along comes its sequel,God of War Ragnarok, continuing the story of Kratos and Atreus, in a world that’s bigger and more open than ever. This is a fine example of how a sequel should be: a true improvement over what came before it. And when what came before is as good asGod of War, that really is a feat.
God of War Ragnarokexplores Kratos and Atreus’ relationship in greater detail, giving us more insight into these fantastic characters. You’ll also meet more characters along the way, exploring new parts of the world and picking up many different side quests along the way. Sure, sticking to the main story will give you plenty to sink your teeth into, but in true open world style there’s a heck of a lot more you can dive into if you want.
Read our review ofGod of War Ragnarok
4. Dying Light 2
You don’t need to have played the first Dying Light to get a kick out ofDying Light 2, an open world game set in a city overrun by zombies. Players take on the role of Aiden, a pilgrim who has spent much of his time travelling from city to city, picking up odd jobs as a means to get by. He’s also a freerunner, and his parkour skills which allow him to scale walls, jump from rooftop to rooftop and quickly cover large distances make it extremely easy (and fun) to get around.
There’s of course a story to engage with inDying Light 2, but the real joy of the game is simply exploring. The world is an incredibly well-realised post-apocalyptic city, with dark corners filled with zombies ready to attack and ramshackle meeting points have been set up for survivors to gather in. There are hundreds of people for you to meet, many of whom will have a mission for you. When you’re not talking to a civilian, learning about their experiences, you’ll be traversing the world, restoring power to electricity stations, turning on water supplies, and simply enjoying the thrill of parkouring through the city.
There’s a touch of horror here, particularly in some ofDying Light 2‘s story sections requiring you to sneak past extra-deadly enemies. But if you’re up for the challenge, there’s a lot to love here. It’s one of the best open world games on PS4 right now, that’s for sure.
Read our review of Dying Light 2
5. Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima, from Sucker Punch Productions, casts you in the role of Jin Sakai on a quest to reclaim the beautiful lands of Tsushima. You can rush through the game’s story if you wish, but in doing so you’ll miss out on much of the joy of the game.Ghost of Tsushimafeels most alive when you’re simply exploring its extraordinary world. You’ll encounter enemies to defeat in duels or intense swordfights; you’ll meet old and new friends who need your help; and, curiously, you’ll also come across wild foxes and birds who want to guide you to helpful points of interest.
Ghost of Tsushima‘s world may not be the most densely packed, but there’s something to be said for the majesty of the ancient Japanese countryside. It’s an absolute wonder to explore, and for that reason, it’s one of the best open world PS4 games you can play. Plus, Jin Sakai is just a super-cool protagonist to play as; is there anything better than being a samurai?
Read our review ofGhost of Tsushima
6. Watch Dogs Legion
Watch Dogs Legiontakes you to the streets of London, giving you a hyper-realistic version of the city to play around in. But unlike other games on this list of best open world games on PS4,Watch Dogs Legiondoesn’t have a central protagonist. Oh no: essentially, you can play as anyoneyou meet on the street.
It’s a very cool gimmick, and one that allows more freedom than ever to tackle the game as you see fit. You see, everyone has their own unique skills and abilities. Want to infiltrate your enemy from the inside? You can recruit a disgruntled employee. Or maybe you need someone with their own drone. There’s plenty of drone experts around. The freedom is unparalleled, and getting to switch characters whenever you want is a neat trick.
Watch Dogs Legion‘s vision of London is also simply breath-taking. It’s not quiterealistic, but there are dozens of real-world landmarks to spot. Whether you’re sneaking through King’s Cross train station or scaling Tower Bridge, there are plenty of thrilling moments to be had here.
Read our review ofWatch Dogs Legion
7. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The latest game to the Assassin’s Creed series is also undoubtedly one of the best. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla casts you in the shoes of Eivor, a viking warrior. Along with their band of fellow vikings, they’ve sailed to England in search of a new life. You’ll work towards building up your new village while creating partnerships (and rivalries) with nearby towns.
The world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is huge and beautiful. It’s England like you’ve never seen it before: stark, picturesque, and often violent. But that’s no problem for Eivor; equipped with weaponry and armour, they’re ready to take on anything this world can throw at them. It’s a huge game with an endless amount of side activities to take on. Even after 100 hours, you’ll still be finding new things to do, meeting new people to talk to, and finding locations on your map you’ve never been to before.
It’s not just its sheer size that makes Assassin’s Creed Valhallaone of the best open world games on PS4, it’s everything: its story, its setting, its characters. We love it all.
Read our review ofAssassin’s Creed Valhalla
8. Death Stranding
Okay, Death Stranding isn’t for everybody, but some out there are likely to consider it one of the best open world experiences on PS4.
In Death Stranding the world has become disconnected after a catastrophic event. And so it’s down to you, playing as The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus, to activate a network, going from east to west. Along the way there are countless deliveries to make, because it would be too easy to just let you concentrate on your important task. And instead of hostiles being your main enemy, it’s the terrain that will cause you the most hardship.
It can be boring at times, and the story doesn’t quite pay off in the end, but there’s something strangely alluring about Death Stranding. You probably won’t be able to say that you enjoyed every minute of it when the credits roll, but you’ll be glad you played it. That’s why it’s on our list of the best open world games on PS4. There’s just nothing else quite like it.
Read our review of Death Stranding
9. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Though it was a launch title for PS5, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is also available on PS4. A standalone expansion to the excellent Marvel’s Spider-Man, this time Miles Morales dons the legendary spider suit to protect New York. If you’ve played the first, you’ll be able to hit the ground running (uh, swinging?) here, with many of the mechanics and gameplay functions feeling familiar. And if you’re completely new to it, it doesn’t matter. You’ll have a fantastic time all the same.
There’s something special about Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Not only does it look absolutely fantastic, with its rendition of New York looking more realistic and beautiful than ever, but Miles is an excellent protagonist, and it’s a joy to spend time in his company. Although this is a shorter and more focused open world game than its predecessor, there’s still tonnes to do, with civilians to save, an excellent story to sink your teeth into, and plenty of side activities to engage with.
If you enjoyed the first Spider-Man game, then we’ve no doubt you’ll also find Spider-Man: Miles Morales to be one of the best open world games on PS4.
Read our review of Spider-Man: Miles Morales
If adventure is your thing, you probably ought to check out GreedFall, a brilliant open world action RPG developed by Spiders.
An illness called Malichor is eating at the heart of Teer Fradee, and of course, you’re the one who has to find a cure for it. Cue a dangerous journey full of monsters, traps and plenty of loot to make it all worthwhile.
Adventuring isn’t the only thing you have to concern yourself with in GreedFall though, you also have to manage relations with various tribes and factions, aligning with them as you see fit. There are various companions you can recruit, too, who also might assist with your diplomatic endeavours. At the end of the day though, GreedFall mainly has you exploring beautiful environments and hacking away at enemies with a variety of weaponry. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Needless to say, if you’re after an open world game on PS4 to get lost in, GreedFall will certainly do the trick.
Read our review of GreedFall
11. Days Gone
The world of Days Gone is dangerous. Not only have people been turned into zombie-like creatures called freakers, but many of those who have survived are lawless.
Taking control of Deacon St. John, it’s your job to navigate this hostile world as a drifter. Riding your bike, you’ll ride from settlement to settlement, completing bounties, checking in with your friends and simply surviving. Although there’s another thing on Deacon’s mind; his wife who he became separated from at the start of the outbreak. Is she still alive? He honestly doesn’t know. But he’ll do his best to find out, even if it means taking on massive freaker hordes.
If you like a good story, Days Gone is undoubtedly one of the best open world adventure games available on PS4. Its dramatic tale of love overcoming all odds really got its claws into us. But that’s not the only thing that makesDays Goneworth playing. Its missions are fun, its world is exciting to explore, and there’s nothing quite like coming up against a horde of hundreds of freakers at once.
Read our review of Days Gone
12. The Outer Worlds
Take Fallout, Mass Effect and Borderlands, put them in a pot, mix them up, and you have The Outer Worlds. Rather than having one massive open world, The Outer Worlds has multiple smaller ones. It still feels very expansive though. Using your ship, you can hop between them at your leisure providing you have the clearance to do so, and each one has plenty of quests for you to discover and complete.
The Outer Worlds is quite a funny game, content with making you chuckle just as much as it is pumping you up for combat or leaving you slack-jawed with its sumptuous visuals. You’ll get a kick out of recruiting and bringing along a couple of companions along for the ride, too. They’ll help you in combat, and if they have something useful to say they’ll helpfully chime in. Though they’re also vocal if you do something they don’t like as well.
Whether or not The Outer Worlds is truly an open world game or not is up for discussion, but it sure as hell feels like one. And if you pick it up, you’re sure to have many enjoyable hours with it.
Read our review of The Outer Worlds
13. Red Dead Redemption 2
Playing Red Dead Redemption 2 is like stepping into an alternate reality. Never before has an open world felt so cohesive, immersive and real. While there’s an in-game map available with important quests marked with icons, all of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s side content plays out naturally. You might come across someone sifting for gold, for example, and hanging around might present you with an opportunity. Or you might find two escaped convicts at the side of the road, and it’s up to you whether to free them or not. You feel like you have a real choice in how you act in the world, making you feel like you belong there rather than just visiting.
The real draw of Red Dead Redemption 2, however, is its epic story that will take you around fifty hours to unravel. Needless to say, if you’ve got a PS4 and love open world games, Red Dead Redemption 2 is absolutely essential.
Read our review of Red Dead Redemption 2
14. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Have you ever wondered what it would be like living in medieval times? Well, wonder no more. Pick up Kingdom Come: Deliverance and you’ll be transported to the medieval Kingdom of Bohemia.
You’re not a hero in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. You’re no one special. The son of a blacksmith, you’re just an unremarkable young man who’s found himself in the middle of conflict. But you want revenge for your parents and have some spunk. Therefore, tragedy is just the start of your adventure.
With its unique combat system and realistic open world, there’s nothing else quite like Kingdom Come: Deliverance available right now. Definitely add it to your PS4 library if you like games that give you a lot of freedom.
Read our review of Kingdom Come Deliverance
15. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Whether it be Geralt’s gruff and manly tones or Ciri’s, well, Ciri-ness, whoever you are, there’s a good reason to play The Witcher 3. It’s a truly massive experience – and not one to embark on lightly.
As far as open worlds go, The Witcher 3takes the biscuit in terms of size and scope – it’s apparently thirtytimes larger than the previous Witcher games. Unless you have a couple hundred hours to spare, you won’t be getting far!
The Witcher 3 follows said gruff and manly Geralt, a monster hunter who sets out to findhis adoptive daughter who’s being pursued by a group known as the ‘Wild Hunt’. It’s massive, it’s beautiful, and it’s without a doubt one of the best open world experiences you can find onPlayStation 4.Expect a lot of combat, a lot of horseriding, and a lot of sitting around in taverns trying your hand at Gwent.
Read our review of The Witcher 3
16. Yakuza 0
Following the exploits of Kazuma Kiryu, each entry in the Yakuza series offers a densely populated open world for you to explore. Though there’s a caveat; they’re rather small. Of all the Yakuza games, Yakuza 0 is the best and also the ideal place to start. Largely taking place in Kamurocho, the stalwart location of the series, it also lets you visit Sotenbori, too. Though wherever you are, you’re very rarely more than 10 seconds away from something to see or do, meaning the environments feel very rich.
When you’re not following the game’s gripping story, you can go bowling, bat some baseballs, play in an arcade, or even sing a song or two; the list is endless. And there are more sub-stories than you can shake your fist at too. Speaking of fists, have I mentioned that there’s a countless number of thugs, delinquents and yakuza to beat up along the way?
If you’re after an open-word game that sacrifices map size for activity density, give any one of the Yakuza series a go. They’re all great. But we really do suggest starting with Yakuza 0.
Read our review of Yakuza 0
17. LEGO City Undercover
Dubbed “GTAwith LEGO”,Lego City Undercovermight not be the obvious choice for an open world game on PS4, but it is one of the best. Playing as minifig cop-slash-everyday hero Chase McCain, there’s a whole lot of crime breaking out all over LEGO City and it’s up to you to bring peace back to the colourful brick-built world. If you’ve ever played a Traveller’s Tales LEGO game,Undercoverwill feel instantly familiar to you. It’s the traditional LEGO game gameplay we all know and love, but in a fully open world environment.
There’s a story to follow, spread across 15 chapters, but outside of that, there’s a good 40-60 hours’ worth of extra content to sink your teeth into; whether it’s taking part in races, finding hidden golden bricks or completing master builds across the city.
It may be a bit ‘childish’ compared to some of the other open world games on this list, but just because your six year old can enjoy playing it with you doesn’t make it any less fun. In fact, the family-friendly element only makes it more enjoyable – and it’s packed with plenty of humour that even the most fully grown of fully grown adults will get a chuckle out of. Plus, you can also play it in local co-op. And we all know that things are more fun when shared with others.
Read our review of LEGO City Undercover
18. Mad Max
When it came out back in September 2015, Avalanche Studios’Mad Maxwas met with mixed reviews. We absolutely loved it, but others criticised its repetition, boring locations and overall blandness.
Well, those people werewrong. If you love the post-apocalyptic setting ofMad Max, the game perfectly captures the feeling set by the film franchise. Playing as Max, there’s a story mission to follow, tonnes of side content to wade into, and, as you’d expect from a game set in this universe, Max’s ‘Magnum Opus’ is at the centre of everything.
While plenty of the game takes place on foot, driving around in your customisable and upgradable car also makes up a big part — and racing over sand dunes and through remains of lost civilisations is completely exhilarating. As far as open world games on PS4 go,Mad Maxis up there with the best. Its fine balance of fighting, vehicular combat and exploration is practically unrivalled.
Read our review of Mad Max
19. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition
The Elder Scrolls games have always provided players with a huge fantasy world to explore, but none have been as varied orcohesive as Skyrim’s. Abandoning the class system used by previous entries in the series, Skyrim enables players to develop a character as they see fit throughout the course of the game. This, along with a streamlined menu system, makes the game much more accessible to those new to the series.
With a world full of mysteries and quests to resolve, as well as dragons to defeat, Skyrim is the ultimate open world adventure for those seeking an absorbing and time consuming fantasy.
Read our review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition
20. Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto titles have always been ambitious, but with the fifthmain entry in the series they went above and beyond what anyone could have expected, and have delivereda world that is both vast yet densely populated with things to see and do.
Withthree playable characters, each with their own motives and missions to complete, it’s up to you who to play as and how to spend your time in the city of Los Santos. Want to play the markets to make a fortune? Go for it! Fancy a round of golf to relax? Sure! Have you ever wished you could see through the eyes of a dog while, er, “doing the deed”? You can do that too! The city is literally yours for the taking, and you’ll be having so much fun that you may even forget that there are story missions to do.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fully featured online mode where you can team up with other like-minded individuals to create havoc on the streets or complete jobs. Grand Theft Auto Vtruly is the complete package for open world fans.
Of course, the main reason that open world games became so widespread is their popularity with players. The ability to freely explore a massive world is an incredibly appealing style of gameplay, so it's no surprise that it has become so popular.Is there an open world game? ›
Open-world games such as these, and open-world franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and The Elder Scrolls are some of the most iconic and successful IPs in gaming history.What makes a good open-world? ›
An open world facilitates greater exploration than a series of smaller levels, or a level with more linear challenges. Reviewers have judged the quality of an open world based on whether there are interesting ways for the player to interact with the broader level when they ignore their main objective.