What's the best open world game on the PS4? 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.
In truth, this is a difficult list to put together. 'Open world' is a very broad term -- now more than ever -- but we like to boil it down to its base meaning: 'open world' applies to any game where you're free to go off and do your own thing. You're not always tied down by a story or stage progression, and there's optional stuff to sink your teeth into.
As such, 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.
There aren't that many open world racing games on PS4, but Need for Speed Heat gets the job done pretty well. Palm City, inspired by Miami, is a large map that includes both built-up areas and a web of long, winding mountain roads. It's at its most atmospheric during the night, when rain-slicked streets reflect all manner of Underground-esque neon. As you progress, you'll slowly uncover safe houses and gas stations, as well as billboards to smash, graffiti to find, and a huge list of races and events to play.
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This remaster of the open world arcade racer proves that there's life in Burnout yet. It's still incredibly fun zipping through city streets and mountain roads at ungodly speeds, and Paradise City is a perfect vehicular playground. With hidden areas, ramps at every turn, and hundreds of events to tackle, it's also stuffed with things to do. Throw in Big Surf Island and the online multiplayer, and there's near endless fun to be had in this generously sized open world. Whether you've played it before or are new to the series, Burnout Paradise Remastered is relentlessly entertaining.
Dragon Age: Inquisition sees you travel to various free roaming environments as you look to right the wrongs of a troubled fantasy setting. Some tedious fetch quests can drag the overall experience down at times, but they don't take away from the game's stunning scenery and richly detailed locations. There are some truly wondrous sights to behold throughout Inquisition, and each area has its own unique feel and charm. Loads of secrets ensure that exploration is well rewarded, too.
Seattle may be best known for being the birthplace of grunge, but there’s no such grime in inFAMOUS: Second Son’s glittery rendition of the Emerald City – apart from that which is supposed to be there. As one of the smaller sandboxes on the PS4, the drizzly urban environment has less scope to impress compared to the enormous alternatives also available on the console. But it succeeds in serving as a stellar playbox for protagonist Delsin Rowe’s powers, which see him sprinting up the Space Needle and gliding into China Town with ease.
21. 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.