15. Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV takes place in a lush open world that successful combines fantasy with reality, with roads weaving through monster-infested wilderness. It's an incredibly unique setting, and one that begs to be explored. A glamorous day and night cycle works wonders, too, and the fact that powerful creatures appear at night can give the game a surprisingly tense atmosphere. More than anything, though, it's the title's road trip theme that makes its open world really click, with Noctis and the gang adventuring by day before retiring to a cosy campsite to see out the darkness.
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The world of The Elder Scrolls Online is gigantic -- and even then, we feel like that single word doesn't come close to properly describing the scale of this colossal MMO. Quite possibly the largest, fully explorable map of any game on PS4, Tamriel offers near limitless adventure. Filled with quests, dungeons, and everything in between, it's not the best looking open world on Sony's system, but it's certainly one of the most time consuming.
Gransys is a foreboding place -- a free roam fantasy setting that has a dark and dangerous edge to it. Again, this is an open world that isn't as expansive as some, but it's utterly drenched in atmosphere. Brilliantly designed beasts roam the land, and the game does an amazing job of making even the blandest of tasks seem like an epic quest due to the potential danger that's involved. To top it all off, reanimated corpses and other horrors appear at night, when the light of your lantern illuminates only your immediate surroundings. Gripping stuff.
As an MMORPG, a huge, open map is somewhat expected of Final Fantasy XIV, but genre expectations don't make the world of Eorzea any less impressive. A diverse and beautifully designed land packed with adventure, it's no wonder so many players lose hundreds upon hundreds of hours to A Realm Reborn. Travelling from one side of the map to another on the back of your trusty chocobo really opens your eyes to just how much effort has been poured into each gorgeous location.
An open world makes so much sense for Spidey, and Insomniac Games really pulled it out of the bag for Marvel's Spider-Man. The developer built a richly detailed version of Manhattan that's an absolute joy to explore. It may not be pushing open world design, but the missions, collectibles, and side objectives this web-slinging sandbox hosts all add up to a wonderfully compelling experience. Simply getting around in this game is endlessly fun, and even when you've exhausted the list of things to do, you'll still catch yourself fighting crime and web zipping across the New York City rooftops.