38 Best Action-Adventure Games With Incredible Worlds – Gameranx

Gameranx
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We like our action-adventure romps with a side of beautiful scenery.
If you’ve never stepped foot into one of these detailed action-adventure-infused worlds, you’ve been missing out.
Action-adventure games are always hugely popular as they give players the opportunity to explore a range of new worlds and environments while taking on plenty of bad guys. There are so many incredible options out there to choose from, and it can feel impossible to choose which amazing game world to venture into first. Check out our definitive list of the 35 best action-adventure games to dive into, each featuring a highly-detailed world to explore on your journey.
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Developer: Blue Twelve Studio
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
Release Date: July 2022
Stray is the science-fiction game that you didn’t know you needed to play, and possibly the most unusual one around. Set in a futuristic secret city hidden beneath a ruined city, a stray cat finds itself trapped in a world that is completely foreign. The aesthetics of this city were supposedly influence by Kowloon Walled City, an ungoverned and densely populated Chinese enclave in British ruled Hong Kong. Not only is the setting incredibly futuristic, it still harbors the grime and dirt of a super city from our very own Earth – calling this the perfect playground for an adventurous stray cat would be an understatement.
Developer: Massive Monster
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
Release date: August 11, 2022
The adventure and action of Cult of the Lamb is not one to be missed. Which can be proven by the fact that over 1 million players have already dove into this weird and wacky title so far.
The game itself is a bout a lamb who was saved by a “stranger” and is now possessed by them in order to fulfill a debt. So what do you have to do in order to repay them? You need to start a cult that’ll worship you as a god. No problem, right?
The lands you’ll be in are ripe with those who might worship you. Build up your flock, then venture out to find the “false prophets” and take them down! Do sermons, create powerful rituals, and rise to the tier of a Lamb God!
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: January 2018
If you enjoy slaying a range of mythical beasts in a low-fantasy setting, you’ll love Monster Hunter: World. The game’s primary setting of the New World is ripe for questing and exploration. Of course, it’s perfectly crafted for hunting a variety of intelligent monsters as well. The New World is comprised of six huge zones that players can venture into freely, encountering different creatures and exploring unique environments. A world where wilderness features heavily, Monster Hunter: World gives players the freedom to explore the different ecosystems in-game and offers an incredibly expansive game world for players to enjoy. We’d recommend taking on the beasts with friends, as this game falls on the more difficult side.
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: June 2021
Scarlet Nexus is an action-adventure game set in an alternate reality of the near future in which humans have gained extrasensory superpowers. This world is an exciting and somewhat unnerving look at a potential alternate reality for humanity and is really interesting in terms of exploration. While not exactly an open-world game, Scarlet Nexus gives players an insight into its concept of a ‘brain punk future.’ This near-futuristic landscape of Japan takes modern-day science fiction from the West and fuses it with a classic anime style. The end result is a highly detailed and conceptually intriguing game world that’s definitely worth checking out if you like your dystopia with an anime vibe.
Publisher: Warner Bros
Developer: Monolith Productions
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: September 2014
Based on Tolkien’s universe and set in the timeline in between The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings movies, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor takes players back to the lands of Middle Earth. This game gives players the chance to explore the world as Talion, a ranger from Gondor whose quest for revenge leads him into Mordor, home to the Dark Lord Sauron. The world of Mordor that players experience in this game isn’t the same barren, boiling wasteland that they may have seen in the Peter Jackson movies. It’s not as high fantasy in its setting as some may expect, but nonetheless, this is a great game for fans of Tolkien’s works to immerse themselves in and explore.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: DICE
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: November 2008
Mirror’s Edge is an action-adventure platformer in which players take on the role of an underground parkour courier named Faith. In this game, players can use enhanced movement mechanics to explore a sprawling, high-tech cityscape set in the near future. Faith’s methods of traversal are high velocity and occur in first-person mode, so you really do feel as though you’re flying across the city’s rooftops and running along its walls with ease. This setting is based a lot closer to our own reality than some of the more epic fantasy worlds that you can jump into, but that only adds to the excitement.
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Acid Nerve
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: July 2021
An engaging indie game, Death’s Door is a 3D isometric action-adventure title that invites players to explore the cycle of life and death. Journeying through dungeons as you travel through the narrative as a little crow charged with collecting souls, Death’s Door gives players some truly delightful visuals. The game’s world design is stunning, even in the bleaker parts of the afterlife. Death’s Door is a great way to spend some time unlocking a mystery as you take in the gorgeous scenery and highly immersive music.
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: November 2012
Far Cry 3 is an island-based action-adventure title and gives players access to a tropical archipelago to explore. The game’s setting is on the Rook Islands, a fictional cluster of tropical isles that players are able to explore at their leisure as they work through the main story. As the protagonist, players must work to save their friends who’ve been kidnapped by pirates and hidden somewhere on the islands. Traversal includes exploring on foot and making use of a range of vehicles and aerial methods. This is an exciting world to explore as procedural generation is used to prevent the landscape from becoming repetitive or too easy to navigate.
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Team Bondi
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: May 2011
An investigative action-adventure game set in LA in 1947, L.A. Noire gives players free reign over the crime-filled streets of 40’s Los Angeles. This game is an ode to the city of that era; many of the game’s landmarks and buildings are based on real-life monuments and places of the time. The story of L.A. Noire makes for an exciting and engaging journey through the game’s world, which hums with a feeling of authenticity. The level of detail involved in the city’s architecture and visual design is incredible, and fans of film noir are bound to get a kick out of this dark detective-based drama.
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Toronto
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC
Release Date: March 2018
Far Cry 5 is the fifth installment in the Far Cry series and is based in a fictional area of Montana known as Hope County. This is an open-world environment in which players can explore freely on foot or in one of the game’s varieties of vehicles. In Hope County, you’ll explore different regions that are based on the real-life areas of southwestern Montana. The game also features a range of environmental activities that players can immerse themselves in outside of the main storyline. Take some time to go fishing or hunting, craft some materials, or even use your wingsuit and glide across Hope County for an aerial view.
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Hangar 13
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: September 2020
A remake of the original Mafia game from 2002, Mafia: Definitive Edition is set within 1930s Illinois and follows the exploits of a gangster and his criminal family. The setting of Lost Heaven is a cityscape that players are able to explore freely thanks to the game’s open-world design. Such leisurely exploration can be done outside of the game’s main storyline which means that a range of collectibles and side quests can form part of additional gameplay. The world design of Mafia: Definitive Edition shows big improvements on the original, with the city now much more reminiscent of the America of the 1920s and 30’s that players will find more recognizable.
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: February 2016
A survival game set in the prehistoric era, Far Cry: Primal takes the formula of the Far Cry franchise and turns it on its head through its setting. As a prehistoric hunter with an ability to tame animals and craft your own primitive weapons, you’re able to experience life in the times long before the standard firearms-based combat and vehicle-based traversal of other Far Cry games. In this game, survival becomes an important component of your gameplay. In 10,000 BC there are plenty of flora and fauna to discover and learn about, but there are also plenty of dangerous natural predators. Becoming one with the environment is key in Far Cry: Primal.
Publisher: Eidos Interactive, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Rocksteady Studios, WB Games Montréal
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: 2009-2019
The Batman: Arkham series of games has been around for over a decade. Their environmental storytelling makes use of cinematic influences which ensure that the world you’re jumping into when you play one of the Batman: Arkham games feels as true to the characters’ source material as possible. In these games, you’ll explore Arkham Asylum, Arkham City super-prison, Gotham City (both Old and New), and a range of other locations known to the Arkhamverse, as it’s known. If you’re a fan of the Caped Crusader, you’ll enjoy almost all of these games.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Kojima Productions
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: November 2019
Another game set in an apocalyptic future is Death Stranding. This game features a grim setting, where monstrous, destructive beasts roam the Earth and your role as a courier is to deliver cargo to a variety of isolated outposts. It’s also the best kind of bizarre, as far as exploring a world trying to survive in the face of cataclysmic odds can be. The ravaged wasteland you’ll encounter as you traverse the game’s open-world environment feels creepily atmospheric and leaves you fascinated with ‘what if’ questions about life, death, and the future of humanity.
Publisher: Hello Games
Developer: Hello Games
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Nintentdo Switch, PC
Release Date: August 2016
A gorgeous space exploration game set in a procedurally generated universe, No Man’s Sky is a limitless exercise in open-world gameplay. As a spacefarer in this game, the galaxy is entirely at your fingertips. With over 18 quintillion planets to discover and explore, you could spend ages searching for signs of new life, mining for resources, and learning about alien cultures. Finding and naming new planets is also a cool aspect of No Man’s Sky. It’s definitely one to try out if you’re into space adventures.
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Asobo Studio
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: May 2019
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a gorgeously designed action-adventure game set in 14th century France. During the time of the French Inquisition and amidst the backdrop of the Black Death, players will go on a journey that incorporates stealth, survival, puzzle-solving, and occasional combat. The different areas of Aquitaine that the player will explore as Amicia, the game’s protagonist, are deeply rooted in history and give the game a realistic feel. This is an excellent game in which to immerse yourself, especially if you’re a fan of historical events.
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Techland
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: January 2015
Dying Light gives players the chance to experience an urban quarantine zone infested with zombies who react according to the game’s dynamic day-night cycle. Open-world exploration of the game’s main environment, Harran, is a key feature of gameplay. As part of this, traversal around the city is done primarily via a range of parkour methods, meaning that players can feel like they’re fully immersed in the fight-or-flight style reality of the game’s setting. Dying Light is a thoroughly engaging world to enjoy an adventure in, especially if you like your exploration with a side helping of zombie bashing.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Bend Studio
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: April 2019
Days Gone takes a hard look at what life would be like in a post-pandemic world. Set in the harsh wildernesses of Oregon two years after a global pandemic, players must try to survive the zombie-like creatures that most of humanity has been turned into. Traveling the game world of the Pacific Northwest on a motorcycle, players have the freedom to roam as they see fit, all the while building trust with different settlements they encounter on their travels. This is a fully-fleshed-out world that features a diversity of terrain that’s true to the area around Oregon and gives the overriding narrative a contemporary and realistic feel.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Stadia,, PC
Release Date: November 2019
Created with Unreal Engine 4, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order adopts a Metroidvania-style of map exploration as players venture through the futuristic world around them. Playing as the Last Jedi, it’s up to players to take on the role of Padawan Cal Kestis to traverse the galaxy in any way they choose. The environments in this game have been truly beautifully designed. Planets are your playground as you explore a variety of incredible scenery, including haunted jungles, ancient forests, and windswept cliffs on your journey to restore your fallen order to greatness. A huge hit with hardcore Star Wars fans, this title is also a great way for anyone to escape the mundanity of the real world for a while.
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Eidos-Montréal
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: October 2021
One of the smash-hit games to come out of the end of last year was Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. The title takes players on a wild spacefaring adventure across the stars, but what really stands out is its use of environmental storytelling. In this game, you’ll explore a variety of spaceships, get acquainted with the Knowhere mining colony and trading post, venture across hostile and unfamiliar planets, spend a bit of time on 1980’s-era Earth, and even pilot yourself across the stars. If you’re looking to explore a truly colorful and incredible universe–or if you’re a fan of the property in general–then this game is a great choice.
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: May 2010
Widely regarded as an example of narrative brilliance in games, Alan Wake is an atmospheric thriller set in the fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington. Experience a nightmare made reality as thriller novelist Alan Wake, who must explore various areas of Bright Falls in order to solve the mystery of his wife’s disappearance. This game world is all about survival in an open-world environment where darkness is literally taking over. The creepiness of the game’s story really underpins the setting of Bright Falls, which in itself has an overwhelming horror film-like, small American town vibe to it. Immerse yourself in this incredible world and go on a psychological trip you won’t forget in a hurry.
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Wii U
Release Date: March 2017
The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is a great example of action-adventure meeting open-ended gameplay. Its setting and design mean that players can immerse themselves fully in the mythical kingdom of Hyrule and experience the game in a non-linear fashion. There are different means of world traversal in this game, making map exploration a lot more exciting than being limited to exploring on foot. As Link, you’re able to climb, swim, and use a paraglider to sail through the air as you adventure across the beautifully-designed world of Hyrule. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is a masterclass in escapism and a world that all Nintendo fans should love to dive into.
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Eidos-Montréal, Crystal Dynamics
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC
Release Date: November 2019
The final installment in the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy sees Lara Croft undertaking her most expansive mission yet. In this game, players work their way through the final chapter in Lara’s origin story. Traveling across the tropical regions of the Americas in search of the legendary lost Incan city of Paititi, players can feel truly at one with the South American wilds. Explore vast Peruvian jungles, the Mexican island of Cozumel, and eventually, the lost city of Paititi itself. This incredible game world is heavily influenced by Mayan and Aztec culture in its design, and has plenty of content to keep history fans hooked.
Publisher: CD Projekt RED
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Stadia, PC
Release Date: November 2020
The world of Cyberpunk 2077 is set primarily in Night City, an open-world environment in a dark, futuristic universe. In this game, players get to explore the sprawling, neon delights of Night City in an RPG that follows your journey as a cybernetically enhanced mercenary. Night City is an incredible metropolis of the future and can be enjoyed both on foot or by vehicle. The Cyberpunk universe that the game is set in makes use of ideas from the cyberpunk concepts of transhumanism and dystopian science fiction. It’s an incredibly immersive world and one that’s definitely worth venturing into if you’re into imagining futuristic worlds. Since it’s botched release, the title has seen a number of updates and fixes, so it’s worth jumping back into.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PC
Release Date: 2007-2022
This long-running and well-loved franchise follows the adventures of treasure hunters Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer. The Uncharted series of games takes players on a globe-spanning set of adventures featuring a variety of settings based on real-world locations. Players can explore, climb, swim, fight, and solve puzzles across multiple world maps. Some of these include Panama, the Amazon rainforest, an unknown South American island, Tibet, Istanbul, Borneo, Nepal, London, and Colombia, to name a few. Immerse yourself in a variety of cities, jungles, islands, and other locales in these incredible action-adventure games.
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal
Platform: Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Stadia, PC
Release Date: November 2015
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the second installment in the Tomb Raider series reboot and is considered by many to be the standout entry into the franchise. On this adventure, Lara works her way through a range of exciting and high-intensity environments as she survives the freezing Siberian wilderness, explores sunken temples in Syria, and hunts down the mysterious organization Trinity on a quest to discover the lost city of Kitezh. The worldbuilding and scenery in this game are fantastic, and there’s a real feeling of authenticity to the Russian and Syrian settings. This is a great game set in an engaging game world and should get you in the mood for treasure hunting and puzzle solving.
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar North
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: September 2013
Grand Theft Auto V is a great example of open-world game design that encourages players to venture outside of their main storyline objectives. Set in the fictional state of San Andreas in California, the game features a mixture of open countryside and city-based settings. The fictional city of Los Santos was based on modern-day Los Angeles, which lends a feeling of authenticity to the gameplay in a way that many players have really connected with. This incredible game world grounds Grand Theft Auto V’s epic storytelling in a sense of reality. It’s a great game to get stuck into if you enjoy an adventure that feels like it could really be true to life. Who cares if it came out almost a decade ago?
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Stadia, PC
Release Date: October 2013
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is set in a fictional history and real-world locations, namely the West Indies from 1715 to 1722, otherwise known as the Golden Age of Piracy. The historical-themed backdrop to the main story serves as a great environmental setting for the game, which enables players to set sail as renowned and notorious pirates. In Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the main cities of Havana, Nassau, and Kingston form the principal areas of exploration, as do a large number of surrounding locations, both on land and on open water. There’s a much more open-world feel to this game than in earlier installments of the AC franchise, and it’s a great adventure to sink your teeth into.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Nintentdo Switch, PC
Release Date: November 2011
Skyrim is a classic example of high-fantasy worldbuilding and still stands the test of time over a decade after it first launched. The game is set in the northernmost province of Tamriel, the world in which the events of all the games in The Elder Scrolls franchise take place. Skyrim, a hardy, cold and mountainous region is a landscape torn by warring factions, bandits, monsters, and religious upheaval. It’s a foundation upon which many open-world games of today build and is a fantastic example of non-linear exploration in an open-world setting. Plus, it still looks beautiful years later, especially with mods.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: November 2015
Set in post-apocalyptic future America, Fallout 4‘s game world is a real feast for the senses. The game is set in Boston in the year 2287, around 200 years after the world as you know it was annihilated by nuclear bombs. This all makes for an exciting game premise in the first place, but it’s only once you’re set loose to truly explore the ruined landscape of a once-famous American city that you truly get a sense of immersion. Fallout 4‘s map is huge and encompasses a large region including the city of Boston and other areas of New England. It’s clear how the level design has taken influences from the modern-day landmarks and geography of Boston and the surrounding area, which really pulls you in and gives Fallout 4‘s environmental storytelling plenty of authenticity.
Release date: November 2020
Developers: Insomniac Games, Nixxes Software
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows
Publishers: Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Easily one of the best things about Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is the exploration element of the title. You won’t just be given a section of New York to go and explore, you’ll get basically all of New York! A New York that is very faithful to the original mind you.
You’ll get to web-sling around with freedom that honestly hasn’t been fully achieved in a Spider-Man game before, and you’ll enjoy going from spot to spot along your journey.
Plus, there are plenty of collectibles for you to go and find in the city! Backpacks that’ll unlock special suits, side-missions and quests that’ll help you unlock better gear, and more. Oh, and did we mention the Photo Mode? You’ll be taking a lot of photos in the game!
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4
Release Date: July 2020
Set during the first Mongol invasion of Japan, Ghost Of Tsushima sees players tasked with the role of a samurai whose duty it is to protect Tsushima island from invaders. This game’s world design is extensive and gives players complete freedom to explore the island of Tsushima as they see fit. Visually, the in-game world is stunningly beautiful and is based on the real-world Tsushima Island. Explore a variety of incredibly detailed island settings to your heart’s content. Ghost of Tsushima features so many beautiful landscapes it’d be difficult to single any out, but if you’re looking for a highly immersive stealth combat adventure set to an atmospheric soundtrack in a visually incredible world, this is the game for you.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 5, PC
Release Date: February 2017
Set in the post-apocalyptic United States, the premise of Horizon Zero Dawn‘s story is inherently tied to its dystopian setting. In this new universe set in the USA in the 31st century, humans are no longer the Earth’s dominant species. Instead, the world is overrun with machines, but the world setting itself remains somewhat true to Earth’s natural state. If you’re interested to see how the world might look after a millennium’s worth of decay, then Horizon Zero Dawn is the game for you. Open-world exploration is a core component of this gorgeous game that was perfectly built for getting lost in. Just keep an eye out for the machines.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Sony Santa Monica
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: April 2018
Loosely inspired by Norse mythology and featuring the main character whose former role as Zeus’ son was as the Greek God of War, this game is another great example of real-world historical fiction-inspired game design. The game takes place in an era that predates the Vikings, and so players will experience a much more ancient version of Scandinavia. God Of War allows players to explore six of the nine realms of Norse myth. While it’s not technically considered as being open-world, the different levels that players can explore as the game progresses feel open and airy. It’s atmospheric and visually stunning, and a beautiful world to immerse yourself in.
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia, PC
Release Date: October 2018
The eleventh installment of the hugely popular Assassin’s Creed franchise takes players back to ancient Greece. Set during an era of war between Athens and Sparta, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey delves more deeply into historical mythology than some of the other games in the series, making for an enormous, lore-rich world in which players can explore freely. It is also a game that deviates a bit from the typical stealth mechanics of the franchise in terms of combat. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is visually stunning and draws players in with its use of naval exploration and combat as well as its main use of open-world traversal. This is definitely a game for lovers of Greek mythology.
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC
Release Date: October 2018
Atmospheric, insanely well-detailed, and widely regarded as a landmark in terms of open-world game design, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece. The game is set in a fictionalized environment based on the Western, Midwestern, and Southern United States of 1899. The world maps are huge, as the setting is meant to span the entirety of five fictional American states. In Red Dead Redemption 2, your exploits as outlaw Arthur Morgan take place across an array of environments, from sweeping valleys, mountain wildernesses, and cattle towns to lake, bayous, and port towns, to name a few. This is one of the most gorgeous action-adventure games, and it needs to be seen to be believed.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Guerilla Games
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4
Release Date: February 2022
The sequel to the hugely successful Horizon Zero Dawn sees protagonist Aloy returning to the world of post-apocalyptic America. The story continues the events of the previous game and as such, the setting of a futuristic version of the USA in the 31st century remains the same. This time, the Western United States of California, Nevada and Utah form the game’s open-world setting, as Aloy sets off to explore what they’ve now become known as; the Forbidden West. The game world is just as visually stunning as in Horizon Zero Dawn, but this time, underwater exploration also forms a component of the gameplay. In Horizon Forbidden West, you’ll also encounter some interesting new weather systems as well as more ravaged landscapes.
Publisher: CD Projekt
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Nintentdo Switch, PC
Release Date: May 2015
No list of action adventure games with incredible open worlds would be complete without championing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Masterful storytelling aside, this game’s maps and environments truly invoke the spirit of the Slavonic mythology that the fantasy world was built upon. Stepping foot inside the world of Geralt of Rivia really does feel as though you’re visiting an era that’s not so far removed from our own historical reality, albeit with added magic, monsters, and mystery thrown in for good measure. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is widely acknowledged as being a masterpiece of gaming, and takes the number one spot on this list. If you’re looking to truly escape into a high fantasy setting with a truly human undertone, then this is the game to do it in.
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