8 Best Xbox Series X | S Open World Games

It's a wide world out there.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla | Best Xbox Series X Open World Games
Assassin's Creed Valhalla | Best Xbox Series X Open World Games

While there’s nothing wrong with a linear game that leads you down set paths, there’s something to be said about a game that grants you the keys to a virtual playground, allowing you to play with the toys to your heart’s content. As luck would have it, we just happen to know some of the best Xbox Series X | S open world games on the market for you to enjoy.

The beauty of the open world genre is that it can be any world, from accurate depictions of our real life, historical settings that give us an enhanced peek into how our ancestors once lived or futuristic worlds that let the imagination run wild. Here are the best open world games, listed in alphabetical order, that you can play on the Xbox Series X | S.

 

1. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft

There’s plenty of games out there that allow you to play as a viking, but Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of the first to truly allow players to live the life of the raiders themselves. You play as Eivor, as they travel to England as part of the viking raids to try and take down the various English kingdoms and settlements. To be honest, you’ll be doing that for a while, as Valhalla’s open world is vast and filled with things to do.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla follows a similar RPG formula to the previous Assassin’s Creed games, Origins and Odyssey, which honestly felt more like “Warrior’s Creed” than anything Assassin related. At least Valhalla has more stealth elements to feel more like the Assassin’s Creed games of old, but I digress. With plenty of weapons to find, skills to unlock and more besides, Valhalla’s open world might just swallow all your time.

 

2. Forza Horizon 4

Forza

Developer: Playground Games, Turn 10 Studios
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

The racing game genre has experimented with open worlds quite a bit over the years, some with greater success than others. Burnout Paradise’s open world is nothing short of a triumph, while The Crew’s attempts at recreating the entirety of North America often left a lot to be desired. Still, the best open world racing game on the market is unquestionably Forza Horizon 4.

Set in the beautiful British countryside, and the city of Edinburgh too, you’re given access to hundreds of cars and racing disciplines and you’re told to find what makes you happy. If you want to make custom paint jobs to share online, you can, and you’re rewarded for it. If you’d rather spend your time breaking speed records, you’ll be rewarded for that too. This is an open world in every sense, and it’s all the better for it.

 

3. Immortals Fenyx Rising

Immortals Fenyx Rising
Immortals Fenyx Rising

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft

Ancient Greece and the mythology surrounding it is one of the best periods that games can explore, as it’s filled with interesting events, colourful people/characters and the opportunity to add your own twists and iterations. Just look at the success of Hades, for example, but there was another Ancient Greece-based game that launched the same year which demands your attention, even if it doesn’t have the best name: Immortals Fenyx Rising.

The story, which is narrated the entire way through by Prometheus and Zeus, tells the tale of Fenyx, land on a mystical island and must try to find a way to save their brother. Along the way, you’ll become part of Typhon’s evil machinations, going on a whistle-stop tour of some of the best the mythology has to offer. At launch, Immortals drew a lot of comparison for its similarity to Breath of the Wild, which definitely isn’t a bad starting point as far as open worlds go.

 

4. Maneater

Maneater

Developer: Tripwire Interactive, Blindside Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive, Deep Silver

Another aquatic themed Xbox Series X | S game here, Maneater approaches the open world genre from the RPG perspective, only you’re playing as a shark. This unique formula earned the game the moniker of a Shark-PG, which is pretty accurate in all honesty. While the world of Maneater isn’t always open, as the new regions are unlocked as you level up, you’re always free to revisit the old areas as a massive apex predator, even if only to bully the smaller fish.

As a baby bull shark, you witness your mother being killed by a sadistic shark hunter. Dropped headfirst into the Bayou, you’ll eat and ravage your way up the food chain, eventually moving on to the human beach dwellers unfortunate enough to get in your way. With plenty of enemies out for your blood, Maneater’s open world is a dangerous one, but it’s shockingly a lot of fun.

 

5. No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky
No Man’s Sky

Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Hello Games

Exploring one open world is great and all, but the ability to explore an entire universe filled with unique creatures, landscapes and more is even better. Fortunately, you can do just that in No Man’s Sky, which puts players into the middle of a strange universe and gives you just enough of a push to find your own way in this world.

While No Man’s Sky was initially quite barebones, Hello Games have done an amazing job of turning around the fortunes with a cavalcade of free updates, each adding new diversions, upgrade paths and content. There’s even cross-platform multiplayer to boot, because exploring the universe is clearly much better when you’ve got fantastic friends to share it with.

 

6. Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

The pirate’s life is an open world, if that world is mostly the high seas, and no pirate game has embodied that more than Sea of Thieves. Players are free to explore the ocean as they fit while part of a crew on the search for treasure. Of course, those seas are home to some hostile forces, whether those are the creatures of the sea or some hostile crews looking to steal your loot.

Like No Man’s Sky before it, Sea of Thieves and its open world felt a little bland in the early going, but in the years since its launch, Rare have done a fantastic job in providing reasons for players to come back. With plenty of free updates and premium content, along with regular events, Sea of Thieves is oftentimes a wonderful game to play. Until some crew pillages your ship and steals your loot. Then it’s the worst game ever.

 

7. Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion
Watch Dogs Legion

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft

The Watch Dogs games are often great open world games, because the hacking mechanics that the gameplay offers allows you to get up to some real hijinks, even if it’s just to cause massive traffic jams or make cars drive themselves into a river. There’s some powerful abilities and opportunities to really mess with people in Watch Dogs, and Legion is no exception, especially considering you can play as practically anybody.

Legion’s core gimmick is that players can control a variety of different characters, each with their own core abilities and traits that distinguish them from others, meaning you can truly get up to some mischief. There are few games that’ll let you play as an old grandma who tasers security guards for the hell of it, then five minutes later let you switch to playing as some super spy in a special car that has twin machine guns, but Legion has you covered.

 

8. Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Publisher: SEGA

Turn-based RPGs and open world games doesn’t sound like a combination that would mix well, but Yakuza isn’t any traditional series. The madcap Japanese franchise has long walked the line between engrossing crime fiction set in a condensed yet wonderful open world, and zany antics that make the series such easy fodder for memes and shareable content. Yakuza: Like A Dragon is no exception.

A departure from the regular series, Like A Dragon moves on from regular series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and focuses on Ichiban Kasuga, who just happens to be a massive JRPG nerd. Powered by a love of Dragon Quest, Ichiban sees fights like a turn-based battle, making for a unique and engaging combat system. Of course, the open world isn’t too bad either, as it’s filled with distractions and side quests to complete.

READ MORE: 7 Best Xbox Series X | S Horror Games You Should Play

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