What are the best PS4 open world games? There are a lot of good sandbox games on the PlayStation 4. The genre may not be universally praised these days, but a great open world game can really pull you into an experience like few other genres can. Typically boasting huge free-roaming environments for you to explore, open world titles roared into the mainstream scene during the last generation, and since then, they've been expanding, growing, and evolving thanks to more powerful hardware.
This list focuses on the open world aspect of each included game: how cohesive the open world is, how enjoyable it is to explore, and how it improves the overall experience. Without further ado, here are the best open world games currently available on PS4. If you want to know what we think are the best PS4 games overall, check out that list through the link.
Best PS4 Open World Games
Below is a list of the best PS4 open world games. These are our favourite PS4 sandbox games, as determined by our editorial team.
25. NieR: Automata
You can’t play NieR Automata without feeling like there’s subtext in every facet of its design, and that expands to its open world, too. Whether it’s the monochromatic space station that serves as 2B and 9S’ base hub or the abandoned theme park that some machines have assumed as their home, the role-playing release’s sandbox plays a huge part in shaping your emotions throughout. This may not be the most elaborate setting on the PS4, but its visual variety and impact on the narrative make it stand out.
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24. Mafia III (PS4)
Mafia III certainly isn't the most original open world game on this list, but if you can look past the repetitive sandbox missions, there's a lot to like about the tale of Lincoln Clay's vengeance. The atmosphere is rich and the storytelling is fantastic, while the gunplay is super satisfying. What's more, the 1960s era radio is absolutely top notch, really solidifying the title's tone. This is one of those open world games where simply driving around the city is a pleasure.
23. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Stretching back to the launch of the PS4, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag still offers a unique open world to explore — mainly because most of it is water. Taking to the free roaming seas as the captain of your very own pirate ship, Black Flag encourages you to pillage your way across the Caribbean, soaking its crystal waters with the blood of your enemies. A selection of lovingly crafted port towns are also on the agenda, should you get a bit seasick.
22. Dying Light
Unforgivably cliched story aside, Dying Light is a great option if you're looking for open world horror. With the city of Harran overrun with zombies, it's up to you and your first-person parkour skills to save the day. The game does a really good job of making its setting seem quite claustrophobic while also allowing for plenty of freedom, and the best part is that you can enjoy the vast majority of the adventure with up to three other players. Surviving together as a group of baseball bat-wielding free runners is fantastic fun.
21. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Ghost Recon: Wildlands is like the mother of all cookie-cutter open world games, packed with map markers and approximately 12 billion things to collect. However, Ubisoft's squad-based shooter really shines when it comes to co-op play with up to three other people. Thanks to its truly gigantic and completely open map, there's always something for you and your buddies to do — even if you're just looking to cause absolute chaos. With the right team at your back, Wildlands can be an absolute blast.
Good list. I really need to check out Dragon's Dogma and Nier sometime. The lack of AC: Unity is terrible though. And it inFamous should be higher up.
I'm also surprised to see that Horizon wasn't higher, I haven't played it so I can't say, but given all I've heard I was surprised at what as above it.
@Jaz007 Jaz please
There are only 3 open world games I've ever enjoyed:
3. Incredible Hulk Ultimate Destruction
2. Breath of the Wild
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
Then you have never played Just Cause 3
Yes I've played both Just Cause 2 and 3. Both were a lot of fun... for about 2 hours. Then it just gets boring for me.
Ghost recon and dying light would be in the top 10 for me. Both had really well done open worlds for the games they were.
@ShogunRok Is that really a screenshot from Unity?! I never played it due to the poor reception but I had no idea it was that buggy.
I think they make medication for that sudden loss of joy
@Jaz007 Dragon's Dogma is good fun. The acting is corny and the game can feel a little stiff in places but it's approach to fights and the various enemies make the game great fun.
@ShogunRok The games been patched though (no one can deny issues at launch), and I don’t think I’ve seen a open-word more alive and vibrant. It’s a brilliant recreation of the French Revolution with everyone going about their daily activities. The detail is mind boggling.
Besides, I don’t see people toss PS3 Skyrim out the si doe for that reason. Heck, AC: Unity pathed is probably better than PS3 Skyrim ever became in technical terms.
I'm currently making my way through the Assassin's Creed games just so I can get to Origins. I'm playing Black Flag at the moment and it's superb. Any game which features sea shanties as collectibles was always going to be a winner in my book.
Surprised to see Watch Dogs 2 so high up. Quite enjoyed the first. Thought the second added very little other than more obnoxious characters with some of the most cringeworthy dialogue I have heard in a long time. Above Skyrim as well? Each to their own I guess.
I still haven't play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt but I always read comments saying it's one of the best games this generation, maybe I buy it on Black Friday to try it
I don't like many first person shooters, but Dying Light & Far Cry 5 are my favorite!
NIER only 19th ??? But whyyyy ??
Like Jaz007 wrote, they have patched the game really well, especially on console. The above picture is from the pre-patched PC version, if I remember correctly, which is the platform that had the worst version of the game at launch.
The best open-world games to me are mainly those I can have simple 'fun' in. I'm not really looking for realism and such, I just want something rather simple and fun to explore.
So for me the best open-world games for the PS4 would be:, Yakuza 6, Yoku’s Island Express, Grow Home, Jazzpunk, Blackhole. Metroidvania games, explorative puzzle games and platformers in general are also very high on my list.
Lots of great games here that I ought to get. Nice to see Horizon Zero Dawn high up on this list, but I would have put Nier Automata much higher than 19th (I really need to find the time to play more of it).
@DLB3 Horizon is definitely fantasy. If you're going to do an amorphous flying evil computer virus soul, you're in fantasy territory.
@DLB3 I'd say that for it to be sci-fi, it needs to be grounded in a certain ''realism'', if it doesn't do that, it's not science fiction. The Witcher 3 doesn't do that, so it's obviously fantasy. Same is true for Star Wars for example. I think that Horizon has a lot of fantasy elements, so that makes it fantasy to me. A fantasy game set in a post-apocalyptic setting.
@DLB3 Oh, I agree with you on that. The machines aren't that farfetched, you could make something like that. But it's just the little things like the elemental arrows (especially freeze arrows), those cables that seem to spawn like vines, the floating virus soul I mentioned earlier. It's just the small details that are definitely fantasy based, and to me that makes it more of a fantasy game than a sci-fi game.
@DLB3 The small things add up
To me it's sci-fi (or realism if there's no focus on technology and science), unless it does something that doesn't fit that label. In that case it's fantasy. You can have a 100-hour game set in a realistic world, but if there's one small part where a witch shows up and uses a magic spell, it's fantasy to me.
That's why I would classify both TW3 and Horizon as fantasy games, as both games have fantasy elements, regardless of how big the focus is. A science-fiction game should have no fantasy elements at all IMO.
@DLB3 It's like Star Wars. Everything is kinda realistic, except for the force, that's just pure magic. The same applies to Horizon I think, the machines and all are mostly believable, but there are a few things that are fantasy, the flying computer AI was the biggest culprit. Suggesting that if such a thing is possible, there is some kind of magic/supernatural in play.
@Jaz007 Kinda surprised that you feel that AC Unity should be on a best of list after that launch. While yeah they did patch it, it shouldn't have been released in that state.
Make way for Red Dead..
Not sure how to feel about that placement of NieR. The open world aspect of it is pretty poorly done, but I'm liking pretty much everything else about the game.
A great list. Great, not perfect. The Witcher 3 deserves every good thing ever said about it and no doubt should be number one. I'm no fan of GTA, but I feel like it should have been a little higher on that list, at the very least it should've been rated higher than anything made by Ubisoft.
@Ralizah Yeah, with NieR being one of my all-time favorite games, I bristle when I see it only at #21, with so many more formulaic and pedestrian games in front of it — dominated by a horde of Ubisoft games that all do the same thing. The list includes a couple games I just couldn’t even bring myself to finish in Black Flag and Dragon Age Inquisition which had open worlds so pointlessly conceived as to make it a chore to even make it through the game.
But you’re right, when judging NieR strictly as an ‘open world’ game, then I might have to concede that it’s not the most stellar representative of the genre, even if it is head-and-shoulders a more satisfying experience than the rest of this list. So it’s hard to argue the placement, even if it’s a better game than 90% of these others.
i think ill give Burnout and The Witcher 3 a look
Looking at this again, and this isn’t saying anyone is wrong (sole will like one more than the other), but why is Horizon lower than AC: Origins? Didn’t everyone (including staff on this cite) like Horizon more? Was the open-world aspect specifically, or what did it?
I thought No man's sky might make the list as it's about as open world as it gets and a lot of fun in a zen kind of way. I find it hard to stop playing when each solar system is a randomly generated sandbox, especially with the constant flow of new content. It's stigma from previous iterations doesn't enamour it to praise I guess but I still love it!
Can't believe FO4 is higher than Horizon and Spider-man, lol
@Th3solution Still, even then, putting it under FFXV with its vast tracts of nothing and constant enemy reinforcements throwing your party into disarray?
Fallout 4 as well.
@Ralizah Yeah, I haven’t played FFXV yet, but my impression is that the open world is not very well developed. I still plan to play it one day though. As for Fallout 4, I just haven’t the interest to even give it a try.
@LaNooch1978 It's a pretty big grind, yeah. One of those "do everything" Platinums, which usually isn't too bad, but when you've got a game as big as this...
@Tasuki and @Jaz007 The are a few games I haven’t bought because the review says thay have lots of bugs. I don’t think I’ve ever gone back and pick anything up after it has been patched.
How would you ever finding out if a game that was broken at launch is fixed now?
@Ryall I would ask look online and ask people there. You can ask people here, and you could also look on gamefaqs, just be prepared to deal with much less civility on there and many more trolls. There is a good chance of it having the information though.
Fallout 4 beat Horizon Zero Dawn? What?
RDR2 is one of the most stellar open world games I've played.
@sketchturner I love both but I think there's much more content in Fallout 4.
@Rash I even thought the hunting was going to be average or as stale as Trevor's in GTAV but RDR2's hunting is so quite addictive and satisfying. The graphics especially makes it a joy studying animals and then you chance upon and inspect some strange site deep in the woods while tracking some elk.
Fallout 76 didn't make the cut?
Technically, I think Rockstar's attention to detail in their games is leagues ahead of anybody else. I did think Ubisoft's Bolivia in Ghost Recon: Wildlands was impressive, though, especially the sheer size of the map.
From a combat perspective, I think Horizon: Zero Dawn is the pick of the bunch. Taking down those dino machines was a joy to play.
The Witcher 3 is still my favourite, though.
@TheArt Amount of content does not equal fun gameplay. I'll take quality over quantity any day.
Horizon is my personal #1, because huge frickin' robots > everything else. Plus, no online and no MTX.
I’m surprised to see Far Cry 5 on here. From everything I’ve read, nothing about it stands out as the best in the series.
Maybe it's the atmosphere. It's a stunning game with good gunplay and satisfying mechanics in general. Also so much crazy stuff happens. Random stuff everywhere. It just has that thing where it ends up greater than the sum of its parts
Just Cause 3 is more of an open world game than several of these - Dragon Age Inquisition is more a collection of restricted areas accessed by a map
RDR2 number one? Better than GTA5 , Far Cry 5, and Skyrim.? Not the RDR2 i played.
Why do these sites post titles that aren't actual open worlds? Waste of time.
@NoCode23 Though I think Bethesda's reputation has plummeted, I agree. RDR2 was nothing special. Just another tedious game with many, many flaws, and a money hungry gaming company who's still polishing their golden turd.
Death stranding over grand theft auto 5 is the joke of the year.gta is so fun.word up son
@playstation1995 Yea son GTAV still gets treated like a last gen game but it's better than AC or DS by miles no matter if it's old. And HZD should be top 5. But at least RDR2 is #1 😉
@TheArt. Gta 5 is so beautiful it was a good looking game on ps3.now on ps4 it looks better.and theres so much to do.word up son
Infamous in the list and no days gone?!! Really now?
Infamous's empty and hollow world is better than the massive, alive and beautiful world of days gone?
Not to mention the overall game quality which is far superior again..
WOW no Days Gone. Seriously?
RDR2 is a game that doesn't get at all what makes open world games good to begin with, a shame to see it so high, specially above The Witcher 3.
Chiming in with another "No Days Gone?" comment. Haha
I'm a little over half way through the story on my first playthrough (thanks Black Friday sale!), and I've got to say, it's far less open world than I thought it would be. Sure, you can drive around, but unless you're doing the story missions, I haven't found there to be much of a reason to explore.
That's okay, I've adjusted my expectations and am just focusing on the story missions with the occasional side mission for now. Once I'm done with the main story I'll do all the side and end game stuff like clearing the hordes.
I've got to say, it's the first game since last year's GoW that had me waking up early so I can squeeze in some play before work. I'm enjoying it far more than the lukewarm reviews would have led me to believe.
I'd stick the Auroa archipelago from Ghost Recon Breakpoint in this list. The islands are absolutely huge with some stunning provinces and the architecture of the Skell Tech buildings is really impressive. It's a shame Ubisoft wasted its potential.
I play Yonder the Cloud Catcher Chronicles as my kids friendly Open World game.
The list was pretty good until the last two. Nothing against Red Dead Redemption but The Witcher 3 was and is the best Open world rpg game out there.
@Neolit Nothing against Red dead but The Witcher is definitely the undisputed king. It is what fuzed SO many game nowadays. It was literally "game" changing.
@PcTV I was saying the same thing, Its kinda disrespectful to put Red Dead of the powerhouse of a game.
@NoCode23 Honestly The Witcher 3 should 100% be number 1
Maneater hasn’t been added? For shame.
@steventonysmith I know buy a better game.
@SaintAnthony412 You talk as though TW3 is original and didn't take most of its ideas from Rockstar and other games. Original RDR and GTA were game-changing way before TW3. I love TW3 but overall I'd take RDRII any day.
@TheArt HZD its my favorite game this generation. And so what if GTA did it first its always the exact same thing you are doing. I hated the first RDR so boring maybe its the setting. Only for the GAMEPLAY alone HZD beat GTA and RDR and the story its something else. So HZD #1 for me. 😆
Games are personal anyway.
I have found all bethesda open worlds to be soulless affairs. Haven't enjoyed one yet.
@Flaming_Kaiser I know. There's no hope changing your mind about R* games.
The Witcher 3 is the far superior open-world game compared to Red Dead Redemption 2. Signs of an excellent of an open world game is its story, mission structure, and ability to the player enthralled. The Witcher 3 smokes RDR2 like a phat blunt on all three areas. After playing 30 hours of RDR2, the redundant storyline had played its course where as W3 kept me enthralled for all 700 hours I played it (3 playthroughs including DLC). For those who chose RDR2, you should banished to do forced labor in a Russian gulag for the remainder of eternity.
not well made list. some games YOU have given them average reviews. others too low score to be great. so how can you put them in "best of" list?
also, can you try to limit one game per franchise? like how many final fantasies we gotta see in each list you guys make?
i know, I JUST KNOW, each time i click on your lists, there are gonna be a lot of final fantasies! not just that, but in general, maybe limit one game franchise per list?
ALSO, not all of them are actually really open world. ill say, more like they seem like they are, but arent. i guess there should be more precise definition of "open world" games as it is not clear yet what exactly qualifies as one so i suppose its easy for you guys to put anything you might think fits that role in here. but, its wrong!
BUT, thanks for the list! always interesting to check those. especially when the price tags at the bottom are always wrong when you click on the urls provided by you guys so as to make few extra bucks haha
@TheArt Watch the latest Jimquisition that shows what kind of company it is. If they make a new Manhunt or Bully i might change my mind.
@Flaming_Kaiser I won't go near a website that thought Dishonored 2 was trash, certainly his opinion on anything isn't valid. Dishonored 2 was a 91+ game on Metacritic, his score singlehandedly brought it down to 88.
@TheArt I watch the guy every monday i dont agree on some thinga but he brings up many great points. He does not review anything anymore he just brings interesting news.
"You can have Big Boss tackle missions" ...Freudian slip?
Death stranding over gta 5 is a joke.gta 5 is number 1 and red dead redemption 2.word up son
Who are the mouthbreathing lemmings who are incapable of intelligent video game thought that put RDR2 as #1 and Death Stranding at #5? The Witcher 3 is far superior to RDR2 especially in the department of compelling story (I mean how many failed get rich quick schemes can you have in one game, ahem, Rockstar?) and gameplay. Worse, who is the moron that placed Death Stranding over GTA 5? What a bunch a idiots who put this list together.
@Slippship It wasn't a bad game per se but it was just so cheesy. I tend to have very little affinity for characters in games anyway but enjoy the story. It was the trying so hard to be cool in part 2 that was the worst. I will be picking all the old people in Watch Dogs Legion and hoping for lots of references to young whippersnappers.
Red dead 2 is the most “alive” game i have ever played
I grade open world games by how much they pull me in, and make me forget I'm in my living room. To each their own, but I think Bethesda hands down makes the deepest, most compelling open worlds out there. Not so much in the dialog, or even the combat, but when exploring both in the 'open' part of the world and in the random caves, buildings, etc. If you play a game to let yourself be absorbed by it, and you like to take your time and identify with your character rather than see how fast you can rush through a game, it's Bethesda hands down for me.
I don't like 'collectables' and shining trinkets that take away from realism. I'd much rather find a book with an interesting story like in Skyrim, or even more so in it's predecessors Morrowind and Oblivion. Most reviews and review sites don't have the time to sink into any individual open world game to really plumb it's depths and appreciate it's subtleties. If you start Skyrim and aren't in a hurry to finish it in order to get to the next game on your backlog, and you take the time to appreciate all of it's systems meshing together, I think you will lose yourself more completely to the game than any of the others on this list.
Death Stranding? bleh god awful game, we should have gotten a new MGS
@LordSteev no doubt IMO Oblivion > Skyrim. But it looks like Microsoft wants to keep Elder Scrolls to themselves from now on. All good by me. cause oblivion was the only bethesda game I really enjoyed
Err, Kingdom Come Deliverance???
What an Awful list! No JRPG's on this at all apart from Nier??!?!?
The writer certainly had their western only eyes on when writing this !
Ni No Kuni 2 ?
Tales of Beseria ?
Trails of Cold Steel - Legend of Hero's ?
Persona 5 ?!?!?
From my experience playing The Witcher 3, I would say it is far from being linear. Multiples times I cough myself completing quest that I had no idea it would progress the game plot.
I would go as far as saying that The Witcher 3 made for game narrative the equivalent of what From Software made for level design in the soulsborne games.
NieR Automata in 25th position, behind Watch Dogs 2 in a list of the best PS4 Open World Games. 👍
@Beserker-Boy because none of them are REALLY open world games, especially Tales Of Berseria
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