Video Games are a form of escapism and after the Role Playing Genre, this feeling is captured best by open world games. In it players can fully immerse themselves in living, breathing cities where they can pretty much do what their heart desires. Today we’ll list out this generation’s best open world games that most definitely deserve a spot in your collection.
Red Dead Redemption (Xbox360 PS3)
Om nom nom
The Wild West was a genre long forgotten by the gaming industry till Rockstar came in and resurrected it with Red Dead Redemption. Players stepped into the dusty boots of John Marston, an honest to good family man faced with a difficult situation where he had to hunt down his old gang to save his family. Besides a stellar plot, excellent voice acting and a plethora of stuff to do, RDR is pretty much the only game out there that allows players to fully immerse themselves in both the beauty and the perils of the Wild West.
Army of Two
As a genetically modified cop, Crackdown allowed players to deliver justice by any means in a futuristic metropolis by the name of Pacific City. Thank to their spruced up genes, players could leap across entire buildings in a single jump, throw cars like they were made of paper and rip apart items from the environment to use it as weapons on common criminals. The icing on the rather over-the-top cake was the fact that players could indulge in this mayhem co-operatively with a friend over Xbox Live.
Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox360 PS3 PC)
Blind fire FTW!
Ditching the larger than life shenanigans for very realistic gameplay, Grand Theft Auto IV was more sober than previous GTA games. As a Serbian immigrant by the name of Niko Bellic, players arrived in Liberty City with the hope of living the American Dream. Unfortunately life had other, harsher plans for him and so Niko’s dragged into a life of crime as soon as he steps off the boat (literally speaking). Even though GTA IV’s gameplay was pretty repetitive, roaming around in a phenomenally detailed rendition of New York City was by far one of the best experiences this gen.
Saint’s Row 2 (Xbox360 PS3 PC)
While GTA IV was grounded in reality, Saint’s Row 2 was an unapologetic romp in over-the-top badassery. Picking up from where the first game left off, Saint’s Row 2 dumped players once again in the city of Stillwater where they had to rebuild their criminal empire and avenge those who double crossed them. What made SR2 so enjoyable was the plethora of side activities you could distract yourself with be it throwing annoying fans off a roof, trail blazing through college campuses on a fire breathing ATV or splattering poop across suburban neighbourhoods.
Burn it or save it?
Cole McGrath was an ordinary courier till one day his package exploded (no not that one silly) bestowing him with electric powers and levelling his city at the same time. Now with electricity oozing from every pore of his body, Cole embarked on an mission to find those responsible for this unfortunate situation. Like Altair from Assassin’s Creed, Cole was proficient in the art of Parkour that allowed him to traverse the length and breadth of city. Not that he really had a choice as a man who’s made of electricity can’t really use the city’s transport system.
Prototype (Xbox360 PS3 PC)
You really won't like him when he's angry
From the makers of The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Prototype was an open world game that was satisfying, violent and downright bloody. Players stepped into the unfortunate boots of Alex Mercer, a New Yorker infected with a virus that grants him badass mutated powers. With great power comes greater curiosity and so Alex embarks on a bloody mission to track down his malefactors. Tons of carnage and bloodshed ensues.
Red Faction Guerilla (Xbox360 PS3 PC)
Cue slow mo cinematic walk
If you crave wanton destruction, RFG will quite literally give you a tent in your pants. Using a proprietary engine, developer Volition allowed players to systematically tear apart buildings brick by brick or blow them apart altogether. The game may have been low on plot but given the amount of wanton destruction it brought to the table, we really didn’t care.
Assassin’s Creed II (Xbox360 PS3 PC)
I believe I can fly
Assassin’s Creed was an interesting game that granted players access to an open world where they could – thanks to their parkour skills – climb and scale buildings with ease. Unfortunately it was marred by some serious repetition that made the game an exercise in monotony. Luckily Ubisoft patiently listened to all the criticism levied at that product and reworked everything from gameplay to combat for AC II offering players a far superior experience.