Death Stranding Director's Cut takes the truly unique "strand game" adventure and dials things up a notch for PS5. Hideo Kojima and his team created a haunting and strange world with the original game, tasking players with traversing a desolate and dangerous landscape to make deliveries. It shouldn't work, but it does — every step you take can be a risk, and this need to watch your footing is an interesting way to create tension, especially when those nasty BTs show up. Director's Cut enhances the experience with improved graphics and performance, DualSense support, 3D audio, and a range of new content.
Taking place hundreds of years before the events of Harry Potter, Hogwarts Legacy finally lets fans live out their dream of attending the eponymous school. While there's an intriguing story to follow that takes you far beyond the castle itself, this RPG's strengths are all in the smaller things. The school is a joy to explore, as are the surrounding grounds, because of an obsessive attention to detail that really does imbue the open world with magic. Layer on top solid spell-based combat, flying on your broom, and even rearing magical creatures, and the result is a real crowd-pleaser — and definitely the best game in the franchise.
Insomniac Games delivers an ultra-fun sequel in Marvel's Spider-Man 2. Refining pretty much everything that came before while delivering another rollicking superhero story, this is about as solid a follow-up as you could hope for. While it'll be fairly familiar if you've played the other games, new features tip it over the edge. The Web Wings are a huge boon for traversal, combat has been smartly refined, and the side content is more meaningful. It's a real crowd-pleaser, and is another shiny jewel in Sony's PS5 crown.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales may be shorter than its immediate predecessor, a spin-off if you like, but it’s lacking none of the character of its older, bigger brother. While Marvel’s Spider-Man did away with origin story clichés, Miles Morales is much more of a coming of age tale, as it sees the eponymous star coming to terms with his new-found powers. This is a deeply personal plot that adds depth to Insomniac Games’ wider Spider-Man universe, and it comes with some smart new gameplay wrinkles that make it a blast to play. Instant loading and sumptuous visuals are merely the frosting on the top of this wintery open world treat, which will leave you lusting after Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Elden Ring’s crowning achievement is taking a relatively niche gameplay loop – refined over the years with Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, et al – and presenting it to the masses. FromSoftware’s open world magnum opus is a staggering achievement: a sandbox bursting at the seams with vulgar secrets, all presented with enough ambiguity to make combing every square inch of its dramatic Lands Between backdrop feel like true discovery. With a complex combat system enabling an eclectic array of gameplay styles, and some of the most devilish encounters in gaming history, this is an unmissable experience – and then some.
Segmented into a selection of sprawling sinister landscapes, celebrated director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s ambitious open world harbours more secrets than you may imagine. Cliff edges hide untouched catacombs, littered with loot and guarded by grotesque enemies, while the friendly characters you encounter gradually make way to sprawling quest lines that will send you all over the open world.
While you will need assistance to discover much of the game’s more obscure content – and we recommend reading through our Elden Ring guide before you embark – a big part of this fantasy favourite’s appeal is simply getting lost in its world. With the bottlenecks of past entries mostly eradicated due to the sheer scale of its sandbox, no two adventures will ever be the same.
In fact, the title’s versatility is one of its defining features. With a dizzying selection of armaments to choose from, ranging spellbinding incantations through to deadly seven-foot swords, the game gives you the freedom to inject your own personality into it. And whether you’re playing in single player alone or in co-op with a companion, you’ll find what feels like a never-ending array of artillery to experiment with and areas to explore.
FromSoftware has never been blessed with technical chops, and while the painterly art direction borders on the sublime, some minor frame hitching and graphical glitches can be a concern. But these are minor blights in a tour-de-force: a culmination of everything the Japanese developer has spent the past decade and a bit working to achieve.
Seven years later, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is still one of the absolute best RPGs around. This updated PS5 version only adds a little bit of new content in the form of costumes and a (actually fantastic) quest inspired by the Netflix series, but the visuals are better than ever thanks to improved assets, textures, lighting, and even a dedicated ray tracing mode. What's more, a number of small gameplay improvements really add up, resulting in the definitive edition of Geralt's generational adventure. If you've got the urge for yet another replay, then it's best done on PS5 with what is the best looking and best playing version of The Witcher 3.
The sequel to Guerrilla Games' breakout hit, Horizon Zero Dawn, is bigger and better than its immediate predecessor in every single way. Horizon Forbidden West may retread familiar territory with its open world RPG adventure, but it improves upon the writing, introducing a worthwhile cast of characters for heroine Aloy to bounce off. New combat and exploration wrinkles, including a grappling hook, intensify the action, while the eponymous Forbidden West is a diverse sandbox, bursting with varied biomes and secrets to discover.
Offered as an added incentive as part of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ pricier Ultimate Edition, a somewhat strange delivery mechanism should take nothing away from Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. Insomniac Games invested a huge amount of effort here, rebuilding New York City to take full advantage of the PS5 hardware, without interfering with the critically acclaimed action of the PS4 original. Some vocal fans were frustrated by the changes to protagonist Peter Parker’s face – but with new visual effects like ray tracing, in addition to silky smooth 60 frames-per-second refresh rates, this is the definitive way to experience Sony’s superb superhero sandbox. It even includes all of the original’s inconsequential but enjoyable expansion packs!
Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut repackages one of the greatest open world games of the PS4 era on the PS5. A breakout hit for first-party developer Sucker Punch, this expanded re-release includes a new idyllic samurai sandbox named Iki Island, and forces protagonist Jin Sakai to face some painful memories. With improved presentation and stunning DualSense support, allowing you to physically feel the clash of steel-on-steel in your fingertips, this is the definitive version of one of PlayStation Studios’ crowning achievements.
It represents an interesting change of direction for the team, which during the PS2 era was best known for its cutesy mascot platformers, Sly Cooper. Moving into the PS3 era, the Seattle studio cut its teeth in the open world arena with inFAMOUS, a superhero series spanning a variety of unique powers, including the unusual Video and Neon abilities of inFAMOUS: Second Son.
There are similarities between all three series, despite the obvious deviations in setting and tone. Ghost of Tsushima, as zen as it can be, has a very aggressive combat system, which sees you cutting through Mongols rapidly and using all manner of samurai gadgetry to make your approach. While it’s not necessarily the game’s strongest asset, you can approach many skirmishes in stealth – or simply challenge your adversaries head-on to a duel.
As a sandbox, there are few surprises in Tsushima and its expanded Iki Island, although the way points of interest are presented is particularly original. Rather than rely on compasses and maps, the developer uses the wind to guide Sakai to key regions of interest, while wildlife like birds and foxes will lead the way to Hot Springs and collectibles.
It all makes for a serene experience during exploration, accentuated by the otherworldly visual style. Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut presents a romantic glimpse into historical Japan, but its virtual tourism is arguably unmatched, making it one of the greatest open world adventure games you can currently play on PlayStation – or any console for that matter. A surprisingly robust online suite, named Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, rounds out the package impressively.
That about does it for our list of the best open world games on PS5. What are your thoughts on PS5's top sandboxes? If you're looking at this list and disagree with the order, remember this is entirely determined by you and our community. You can help make this list even better by using the search bar on the first page of this article and rating your favourite open world games. You can also rate games by visiting their respective pages and tapping the star icon. Doing so can make direct changes to the list, so it's worth doing! Oh, and if you think we're missing a game from our PlayStation Game Database, feel free to let us know.
With all that said, let us know what your personal favourite open world PS5 games are in the comments section below.
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