The best Xbox open world games often provide two main things to the player. Firstly, the freedom to take on presented tasks as and when you wish. And, secondly, provide you with a large enough environment filled with a solid variation of activities, side-quests, story bites and challenges.
Enough for you to divulge when you want a break from the main storyline.
While the best Xbox open-world games sometimes get an unfair slanting due to their jack-of-all-trades nature, open-world games give their players hours of content in an immersive world that’s just as much a part of the action as the characters that populate it.
Top 15 Best Open World Xbox Games:
Keeping expansive maps and incredible side quests at the top of mind, today, we’re looking at best open-world experiences the Xbox One has to offer. Before we delve into a short review of each title featured, here’s a summary of the best Xbox open-world games:
Scroll down to read an in-depth review of each of the best Xbox Open World games we have listed. Your next grand adventure awaits!
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Best Classic Xbox Open World Game
Release Date: 11th November 2011 Game Developer:Bethesda Game Studios Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox
Okay, so it has been around the block a few times by this point, but there’s a reason Skyrim has been so cherished by the community since it’s first arrived on the scene over a decade ago. Even though the game is home to one too many bugs and glitches for a AAA video game, you cannot help but love Skyrim.
The fantasy side of the same coin to Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic Fallout series, the Elder Scrolls series follows the adventures of different individuals during different periods of time in the land of Tamriel. In Skyrim, the quest afoot is for the player as the prophesied Dragonborn to stop the evil dragon Alduin from consuming the world whilst managing an ever-escalating civil war between the Imperial army and the rebellious Stormcloaks.
While Skyrim is certainly enjoyable when played seriously, there’s just as much fun to be had by playing a goofy or uncommon build. Running headlong into combat or sneak attacking with bows is optimal, but having an army of skeletons do your fighting as a necromancing puppet master is just as cool (if not more!)
If you are looking for one of the best RPG games on Xbox that doubles up also as one of the best open world games on Xbox and don’t like the setting of a future where humanity has been near-nuked out of existence, Skyrim is the game for you
Release Date: 15th February 2019 Game Publisher:Xbox Game Studios Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Sometimes, it’s nice to find a game that’s just trying to be fun rather than become the next world-record breaking series or syphon all the money from your bank account via micro-transactions. Crackdown 3 is one such game.
Crackdown 3 doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it doesn’t look to deliver all new “cutting edge” gameplay, it simply wants to be fun. All out, goofy fun. And it does that. It does that really well and makes the cut as one of our favourite open world games for Xbox. Heck, even the Terry Crews Crackdown 3 trailer is fun too!
Following the basic premise of the other two Crackdown games, the Agency sends in its Super Soldiers to the city of New Providence after the world loses all power bar the city in question which is controlled by shady corporation TerraNova and its leader Elizabeth Niemand. As an Agent, its up to you to uncover what’s going on and fight back against the corrupt TerraNova.
Crackdown 3 is very much style over substance, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and we believe it’s good to have games in this vein from time to time that don’t demand everything from you at all times.
Release Date: 23rd June 2015 Game Developer:Rocksteady Studios Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
One for the superhero fans, the Batman Arkham games are some of the best open world games on Xbox for comic book lovers; period. They have essentially cornered the market and become the measuring stick for how to make a good superhero open world Xbox game (prevalent in that the great PS4 exclusive Spider-Man Miles Morales took a healthy amount of inspiration from Rocksteady games).
Even for an open-world game (which pride themselves as having numerous side activities for the player to partake in), Batman: Arkham Knight provides the player with so many options to choose from, all of which work within the context of the game and really translate the feeling that you’re making Gotham a safer place.
Whether you’re stopping APC convoys, defusing bombs or crippling the Penguin’s weapon smuggling, all the side quests feel worthwhile and don’t have that horrible tacked on feeling that comes with other titles that reek of artificial padding and hollow length. Put all that with the New Game+ mode, combat and vehicle challenges and the different characters like Batgirl, Nightwing, Catwoman, and Azrael all with their own unique twists, and the game’s content only grows exponentially.
Release Date: 18th November 2014 Game Publisher:Ubisoft Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox, Microsoft Windows
Ubisoft is something of an open-world production factory. You’ll find plenty of Ubisoft titles on our list of best Xbox open world games that’s for sure! And, they do admittedly lean on axioms that are used ad-nauseum in a lot of their games. But there’s a reason these same mechanics keep popping up, and that is that they work relatively well.
The first Far Cry game to make an appearance on the Xbox One, Far Cry 4 takes place within the kingdom of Kyrat, ruled with an iron fist by the tyrant Pagan Min (magnificently voiced by Troy Baker). You play as AJ Ghale travelling back to his parent’s homeland to scatter his mother’s ashes to fulfil her final wish. AJ gets caught up in the action and joins the resistance force known as the Golden Path to overthrow Pagan’s rule.
There’s a number of Far Cry games available on the Xbox One now, all with their own flavour. Far Cry Primal is more rudimentary and savage owing to its time period setting, whereas 5 and New Dawn explore a cult angle that centres more around the story and charisma of the cast. For us, Far Cry 4 is a good balancing act of almost all mechanics and systems that make open-world games so appealing to the gamers that enjoy them.
Release Date: 27th October 2017 Publisher:Ubisoft Platforms: PS4, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
From one Ubisoft game to another, you wouldn’t be amiss to have a slight internal groan when seeing any Assassin’s Creed title on our rankings of the best Open world games for Xbox. The series was in serious freefall after the PR disaster ridden Assassin’s Creed Unity, and what should have been a huge leap of faith (pun completely intended) forward for the franchise ending up being a face-first splat on the ground.
Being accused of treading water even before this rather large and ungraceful fumble, many were skeptical and wary of the brand name from then on, and rightly so. The developers however have been working hard to bring credit back to the Assassin’s name, and slowly but surely they’ve been incrementally making better and better games, exemplified with Assassin’s Creed Origins.
With Origins, several elements that fans came to expect as standard fare from the franchise were reworked for the betterment of the game like the overhauled combat system, along with tremendous work in other areas like voice acting and the overall story.
The two follow ups of Odyssey and Valhalla are great fun as well, but it makes both chronological and qualitative sense to start with Origins before playing either of those. Either way, you’ll be getting one of the best Open world experiences on Xbox regardless.
Release Date: 10th November 2015 Developer:Bethesda Game Studios Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
While Fallout 4 certainly has its critics thanks to the fact that it’s helmed by notorious bug-bearers Bethesda, post-apocalyptic Boston and the story it tells is worthy of being played by all open-world and RPG fans out there.
Set within “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts” in 2287, you are cryogenically frozen in a Vault just before the Great War takes place and are witness to the murder of your spouse and the kidnapping of your young child. After escaping from the tube and the Vault, you reemerge into an entirely brave new world and begin the search to find your loved ones. Of which, you’ll notice a new discovery.
A revolution in the world of Fallout, your character finally has a voice!
Gone are the mere selection of text box answers and silently facing your friends and foes, now you have a voice actor/actress to vocalise your displeasure or your diplomat attempts to defuse a volatile situation. Okay, so the dialogue system wasn’t exactly the most amazing thing in the world but it was a fantastic new addition for Fallout players. The focus on settlement building (while neat) was never really our cup of tea and in hindsight, seemed like a testing ground for systems in Fallout 76.
Even with that honest airing of the dirty laundry, Fallout 4 is a great journey to be had, both for the player character’s own personal journey and the one that unravels with them at the centre as they get to be the most pivotal pair of hands in the Commonwealth.
Choose your side and find your son. He’s out there, waiting for you.
Release Date: 8th August 2016 Developer:Hello Games Platforms: Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Microsoft Windows
When Hello Games released this galaxy hopping open world adventure, it would be fair to say that we were all a little surprised at how good this game was going to be. As one of the best open world games on Xbox game pass, No Man’s Sky is inspired by science fiction and presents an exciting galaxy to explore with unique planets, lifeforms and of course, danger.
As you voyage through No Man’s Sky, the choice of who you want to be is entirely up to you. Will you become a fighter and prey on the weak? Or, will you harness your skills in trade and exploration to find rich resources that you can exploit to gain rewards?
However you play this open world adventure, one thing that’s clear is that the star of the game (no pun intended) is the ability to share your ventures with others. With all other players living as part of the same galaxy, you can choose to share your discoveries with them on a map and also receive insights to loot and other cool things from fellow players too!
Release Date: 29th October 2020 Publisher:Ubisoft Platforms: PS4, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
When the original Watchdogs hit the scene back in 2014, Ubisoft absolutely crushed it. It was revolutionary, a joy to play and a concept that had been untouched.
Back for the third instalment, Watch Dogs: Legion takes all of that hacking action and places you within a near-future London. As you attempt to recruit a huge group to take on various missions throughout the open-world city, exploring London is extremely fun and challenging at the same time.
One thing we really enjoyed about Watch Dogs: Legion is that you are not tethered to a single character. You can swap between many characters that come with various strengths and weaknesses. This makes a real nice change from your typical skill tree whereby you level up a single character. Why not play with many!
While Legion was slightly rushed out the door from Ubisoft, it is still one of the best open-world Xbox games for any players who enjoy mystery and some dark-web hacking!
Release Date: 3rd December 2020 Publisher:Ubisoft Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Seriously, we’re not trying to just promote Ubisoft games here. They’ve just made a lot of open-world titles that could arguably be listed as some of the best Xbox open world games of all time!
Of which, Immortals: Fenyx Rising is one of them.
Straight out of the same studio that developed Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (arguably one of the better Assassin’s Creed titles), Immortals: Fenyx Rising is an open world fantasy RPG with an emphasis on fluid combat and puzzle solving.
It’s beautiful, historical and hilarious at points.
Taking lead as the customisable Fenyx, you are tasked with freeing the realm of corruption that has been spread by Greek Mythologies ”Typhon”. Get your history books out as Immortals is very much based around Greek myth (albeit educated via humorous quips!).
Release Date: 3rd December 2020 Publisher:Techland Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox, Microsoft Windows
Heralded as one of the best horror survival games on Xbox, Dying Light 2 takes the cake for open world games set within a zombie apocalypse. While zombie apocalypse games have been done to death, Dying Light 2 absolutely obliterates previous attempts at this genre.
In fact, it amplifies the experience, giving you an urban playground to explore and all the tools you’d possibly need to make the experience as fun as possible.
As a survivor by the name of Aiden, you arrive at Villedor as various factions are competing for control of the city’s territories and resources. In the meantime, you’ll be dealing with the endless hordes of the infected looking to turn you into lunchmeat. Fortunately, you can call your friends in with four player online co-op, which should make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
For anybody on the march for an Xbox open world game that will allow you to slay enemies until your hearts content while anxiously watching your back for more, Dying Light 2 is the one for you.
It goes without saying that any video game where Hideo Kojima was on the team is bound to be an absolute classic. And, you only need to look at how good the Metal Gear Solid Series has been over the years to understand why we would make that statement.
The Phantom Pain is easily one of the greatest open-world Xbox games of all time. It encapsulates everything we have loved about the previous 8 instalments and bundles it up into a modernised, open world format.
Nine years after the events of MGSV: GROUND ZEROES and the fall of Mother Base, Snake a.k.a. Big Boss, awakens from a nine year coma. The year is 1984. The Cold War serves as the backdrop as nuclear weapons continue to shape a global crisis. Driven by revenge, Snake establishes a new private army and returns to the battlefield in pursuit of the shadow group, XOF.
Ushering in a new era for the franchise with cutting-edge technology powered by the Fox Engine, MGSV: The Phantom Pain will provide players a first-rate gaming experience as they are offered tactical freedom to carry out open-world missions.
Release Date: 27th October 2021 Publisher:Ubisoft Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
If you’re looking to grab yourself one of the best Xbox open world games that comes with a little more adrenaline than your typical island traipsing model, Riders Republic will be right up your street. It is categorically the best open world Xbox game that simulates sports. In fact, it’s probably the only one besides Steep, The Original.
Carve your way down mountains, tailslide through dunes and compete to become the most radical extreme sports professional across multiple lands. If you are a fan of extreme sports, this is the best Xbox open world game you can buy right now. Hands down.
As far as Ubisoft open world games go, Riders Republic is definitely the most exhilarating and stretches the limits of the Ubisoft’s infamous open world style of gameplay. It’s chaotic, joyful and extremely social for anybody who likes to talk a little trash on the mic from time to time.
Release Date: 17th September 2013 Publisher:Rockstar Games Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Do we really need to promote the reasons why Grand Theft Auto V should be in every list of the best Xbox open world games? We feel like it could be kind of moot, but for argument’s sake, let’s pretend there’s some insatiable madman who’s still holding out on playing it and I’ll indulge them.
Make no mistake, awesome open-world games are no easy feat to create. While other games stick to just one or two main types of gameplay, open world titles have to cram in a whole host of different mechanics with players just expecting at least a respectable level of competency from them all.
It’s quite amazing then frankly, that GTA V goes above and beyond what you’d expect from these mechanics of driving, shooting, exploration, and customisation, as well as development principles like voice acting, story, and graphical detail, while at the same time being so accessible to so many people.
And once you’re done with the single player story after around fifty hours or so, you can move onto the endless madness and tomfoolery of GTA Online, starting your own illegal online empire from the comfort of your own underground bunker. It’s endless fun!
Release Date: 18th May 2015 Publisher:CD Projekt Red Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, Microsoft Windows
One of the most lauded video games, not just as the best open world series on Xbox, but gaming in general, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a modern classic that cannot fail to impress or entertain any gamer out there. Straight out of Polish developers/publishers CD Projekt Red, the game is an almost four year labour of love and determination, and the proof of that quality is in the final product.
As the monster-hunting mercenary Geralt of Rivia, you search for your missing daughter who is hounded by the Wild Hunt, an ungodly force from an unknown mythical plane that wants her magical blood in order to save their dimension.
A masterclass in how to serve the buffet of open-world dietary requirements like combat, dialogue, NPC interaction, skill trees, levelling, economies, and everything in between, CDPR’s creation blossomed into one of the finest games ever made, rightly earning its place as one of the best selling games of all time for a reason.
It’s just such a shame that Cyberpunk 2077 could not reach the lofty heights set by Geralt, but that’s much more in depth conversation for another article. If you can’t get enough Witcher from the eons worth of content found in the game, check out the Netflix series.
Release Date: 25th October 2018 Publisher:Rockstar Games Platforms: PS4, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Where to start even describing a game like Red Dead Redemption 2?
There are very few video games (nee pieces of art or media) that come along and make such a profound impact like Rockstar games. While Grand Theft Auto as a series has had a wider impact on pop culture, Red Dead Redemption 2 (and its predecessor) unfolds a powerful narrative into your heart and head that will truly stay with you.
The epitome of the best role-playing Xbox open world games.
You may take those words as hyperbole, and to a degree you would be correct. Yet, it’s tough to explain the effect an involved and deeply personal narrative experience like Red Dead Redemption 2 will have on someone using simply virtual ink alone.
Delivering the best Xbox open-world games are Rockstar’s bread and butter at this point, almost perfecting the formula after years of refinement and filtration through its primary series of Grand Theft Auto. There’s everything you’d expect from an open-world environment, and speaking of which, the environment itself is a true star of the game.
Taking the eponymous theme of its title quite literally, RDR2 takes the interactive medium of video games and mixes it with the expositional magnitude you’d expect from a Hollywood blockbuster.
Phew, that was some list and we hope that you found the next best open world game on Xbox to add to your collection. With so many titles out there, we really could have added plenty more. But, we wanted to provide you with a variety of different games and mechanics to meet the desires of a variety of gamers.
No matter how much you hate Ubisoft, you cannot deny that the ability to keep churning out fairly good quality Xbox open world games is impressive. Although Rockstar Games would take the crown for absolutely perfecting this genre with both the Grand Theft Auto series and Red Dead Redemption making many more lists than this one, Ubisoft definitely have the most variety here.
Did we miss any titles that should have made the cut?
Let us know of any great open world Xbox games in the comments below. We would love to hear from you! Meanwhile, here are some other awesome articles for you to check out!
Content Disclaimer: This article on the best open world games on Xbox has been independently written. We have not been commissioned by any publishers mentioned, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or gifts.
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