• Top 10 Best Open World Video Games in the UK 2021 (Minecraft, Zelda and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Open World Video Games in the UK 2021 (Minecraft, Zelda and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Open World Video Games in the UK 2021 (Minecraft, Zelda and More) 3
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Top 10 Best Open World Video Games in the UK 2021 (Minecraft, Zelda and More)

Open world games are truly video gaming at its finest, offering immersive realms into which you can escape, explore and pave your own adventure for hours at a time. The incredible thing is, as gaming technology develops, these virtual worlds only continue to expand and increase in detail, meaning there's never been a better time to get into them.


Before you embark upon hundreds of hours of gameplay, it makes sense to find a world that you're truly itching to explore, whether that's a medieval past, a dystopian future or a good old sandbox. For a perfect escape from the day-to-day stresses of adult life, read on for our top 10 open world games currently available on PC as well as Xbox, Switch, PS4 and PS5.

  • Last updated: 19-04-2021
  • 170 views
Table of Contents

What Is an Open World Game?

Before we get into our buying guide, it may help for us to describe exactly what an open world game is. Their infinite scope means one can differ quite drastically from another, but there are key elements that they all share.


The phrase 'open world' refers simultaneously to two things, the first being the game's 'openness'. While there will always be a main storyline – and maybe some soft restrictions, such as an area you're unable to explore until you've obtained a certain weapon – for the most part, you are free to explore and complete objectives at your own leisure

The second key element of an open world game is an expansive world to explore. Roaming around a small landscape wouldn't be much fun, and so open world games feature some of the biggest and most richly detailed landscapes in video games. 


Oftentimes, exploring is just as much fun as completing missions, and you may spend entire sessions just interacting with characters and exploring the secrets that the world has to offer. Of course, these fictional realms differ drastically from each other, and that's what keeps fans coming back for more – no two worlds are quite alike.

How to Choose an Open World Video Game in the UK - Buying Guide

It's impossible to fit the scope of an expansive open world game into a front cover or a blurb – finding the right one takes a bit more thought. In our buying guide, we've outlined things to look out for to ensure that you're headed in the direction of an experience you'll never forget.

Choose Your Ideal Setting

The primary appeal of open world games is their ability to let you fully immerse yourself in a fictional world, and the scope, look and feel of these worlds is as boundless of the developers' imaginations. That said, most do tend to feature worlds that fit loosely into one of three categories. Read on as we give you a quick rundown.

Escape Into a Fantastical World of Myths and Magic

If video games, and open world games in particular, are designed to offer an escape from the mundane, that might explain why such a large proportion of them are set in fantasy worlds quite unlike our own.


While not a prerequisite, these worlds often take place in a pseudo-medieval setting, replete with swords and noble heroes on horseback, and in which modern technology is replaced by myth and magic. 


Part of the appeal of these types of games is surely the lush green landscapes that they present, but then there are also the monsters, the colourful characters and the deep, dark locations just waiting to be found. In short, there's nothing quite like a world in which fantasy can become reality and the fate of the world rests upon your shoulders.

Sneak, Survive and Stay Alive in a Dystopian Future

For many developers, open world games offer the perfect opportunity to explore our potential future, which often tends to be a negative future, or 'dystopia'. The story may take place a few centuries into the future in a world ravaged by nuclear war, or even an entire millennium away in a word completely unrecognisable as our own.


They're often not as pretty as fantasy games, usually featuring ravaged landscapes or grim, neon-soaked cities (though this is not always the case – sometimes nature can reclaim its territory, as in Horizon Zero Dawn), but these apocalyptic worlds offer an extra level of threat. 


Survival is the name of the game in a world without rules (or with too many rules), and storylines often involve unlocking the mysteries of the past and finding out what exactly lead to the world getting into such a state.

Put Yourself at the Centre of Historical Events

Sometimes it's not about escaping into fantasy or our unrealised futures, but into historical events that really took place – or events that are loosely based on history, anyway. Being open world, you'll be allowed to chart your own course, but you'll do so against the backdrop of real locations and historical events.


In Assassin's Creed Valhalla, for example, you play a Viking raider, and as you invade your way across Anglo-Saxon England you'll get the chance to visit early medieval versions of London and Leicestershire, as well as landmarks such as Stonehenge. In Red Dead Redemption 2, you play an outlaw, fighting back against the decline of the Wild West.


We wouldn't advise using them as revision for your history exam, but for those who want to use open world games to explore real worlds rather than fictional ones, these types of games are a great escape.

Make Sure It's Available for Your Platform Before You Get Your Hopes Up!

Make Sure It's Available for Your Platform Before You Get Your Hopes Up!

Unless you're an avid gamer with multiple consoles, you may want to check that the open world game you're eyeing up is available on your platform before you get too hyped up about exploring it.


The similar performance capabilities of the PlayStation and Xbox One mean that most games that are available on one of these consoles are available on both, though there are exclusives that are only available for PS. Similarly, PC owners will also have the pick of pretty much everything except some first-party exclusives.


Switch owners, meanwhile, may need to be more selective. The Switch's slightly lesser performance capabilities mean that many modern games are not currently available for this platform. That said, Nintendo's preference for first-party titles does mean you get access to some excellent games not available to other console owners. 

Online DLC Can Keep the Adventure Going for Longer

Online DLC Can Keep the Adventure Going for Longer

Open world games can provide hundreds of hours of gameplay, but soon every adventure must come to end. That is, unless there's lots of downloadable content (or DLC) to sink your teeth into.


One of the best things about modern gaming is that with more popular titles, the adventure never really has to be over. They'll come at a price, but sometimes developers will continue to release extra downloadable content that means you can continue to return and interact with your favourite fictional worlds.


The great thing is, many older titles can be bought in special or extended editions that include all the additional DLC right out of the box. Sometimes DLC is as simple as a few new outfits, but it can take more elaborate forms, such as extended side quests that'll take a good few hours to complete, so it's always worth looking out for.

Check the PEGI Rating if You're Looking for a World for Younger Gamers to Explore

Check the PEGI Rating if You're Looking for a World for Younger Gamers to Explore

Sword fighting and dystopian futures don't usually make for kid-friendly games, hence why most open world games are intended for adults. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that younger gamers are completely barred from any type of open world experience.


Minecraft has been an overwhelming hit with kids because it provides a free-roaming experience that they too can enjoy, and Breath of the Wild, while not suitable for children, is restrained enough with its depictions of violence that it can be enjoyed by gamers over 12


They're harder to find, but open world games for kids do exist – just check out the PEGI rating alongside your own judgement to ascertain which ones would be suitable. 

Top 10 Best Open World Video Games in the UK

You're prepared for your upcoming adventure, so the next step is deciding is where it'll take you. Without further ado, here's our selection of the 10 best open world games to buy online in the UK.

10
World TypeDystopian
Platform(s) AvailablePS4, Xbox One, PC
DLC AvailableYes, coming soon
PEGI Rating18
9
World TypeDystopian
Platform(s) AvailablePS4, PC
DLC AvailableYes
PEGI Rating18
8

GuerillaHorizon Zero Dawn

Complete Edition

£14.98

World TypeFantasy/dystopian
Platform(s) AvailablePS4, PC
DLC AvailableYes, included in this edition
PEGI Rating16
7
World TypeHistorical
Platform(s) AvailablePS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, PC
DLC AvailableYes
PEGI Rating18
6

BethesdaFallout 4

Game of the Year Edition

£16.73

World TypeDystopian
Platform(s) AvailablePS4, Xbox One, PC
DLC AvailableYes, included in this edition
PEGI Rating18
5
World TypeFantasy
Platform(s) AvailableSwitch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
DLC AvailableYes
PEGI Rating7
4
World TypeHistorical
Platform(s) AvailablePS4, Xbox One, PC
DLC AvailableYes
PEGI Rating18
3

NintendoThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

£49.99

World TypeFantasy
Platform(s) AvailableSwitch, Wii U
DLC AvailableYes
PEGI Rating12
2

BethesdaThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Special Edition

£14.99

World TypeFantasy
Platform(s) AvailableSwitch, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
DLC AvailableYes, included in this edition
PEGI Rating18
1

CD Projekt RedThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Complete Edition

£42.95

World TypeFantasy
Platform(s) AvailableSwitch, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, PC
DLC AvailableYes, included in this edition
PEGI Rating18

Compare the Best Open World Video Games

Image
1
CD Projekt Red The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 1

CD Projekt Red

2
Bethesda The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 1

Bethesda

3
Nintendo The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 1

Nintendo

4
Rockstar Games Red Dead Redemption 2 1

Rockstar Games

5
Mojang Minecraft 1

Mojang

6
Bethesda Fallout 4 1

Bethesda

7
Ubisoft Assassin's Creed Valhalla 1

Ubisoft

8
Guerilla Horizon Zero Dawn 1

Guerilla

9
Kojima Productions Death Stranding 1

Kojima Productions

10
CD Projekt Red Cyberpunk 2077 1

CD Projekt Red

Name

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Red Dead Redemption 2

Minecraft

Fallout 4

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Horizon Zero Dawn

Death Stranding

Cyberpunk 2077

Features

Toss a Coin to Projekt Red for This Unmissable Adventure

Explore the Lands Of Skyrim as Your Own Unique Character

Hyrulean Lore Meets Open World Exploration in a Match Made in Heaven

Go Rogue or Stay on the Right Side of the Law in the Wild West

Possibly the Best Open World Sandbox of All Time

Do What You Can to Survive in a Post-Nuclear World

Sneak, Slay and Pillage Your Way Through Anglo-Saxon England

Use Arrows and Traps to Slay Rogue Machines in a Decayed Future

Immerse Yourself in a Movie-Like Storyline With Incredible Performances

Explore a Dystopian Future Following Recent Bug Fixes

Price£42.95£14.99£49.99£20.00£20.00£16.73£37.99£14.98£20.00£29.99
World TypeFantasyFantasyFantasyHistoricalFantasyDystopianHistoricalFantasy/dystopianDystopianDystopian
Platform(s) AvailableSwitch, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, PCSwitch, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PCSwitch, Wii UPS4, Xbox One, PCSwitch, PS4, Xbox One, PCPS4, Xbox One, PCPS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, PCPS4, PCPS4, PCPS4, Xbox One, PC
DLC AvailableYes, included in this editionYes, included in this editionYesYesYesYes, included in this editionYesYes, included in this editionYesYes, coming soon
PEGI Rating1818121871818161818
Link

Recommendations for Players From All Walks of Life

Recommendations for Players From All Walks of Life

Whether you're a Switch, PlayStation or Xbox advocate, you're bound to benefit from knowing a little more about the best games and accessories currently available. We've got lots more recommendations below, including Switch games you can enjoy with the kids, RPGs to sink your teeth into and the best headsets for online play. 

Summary

We hope this article has helped you find your next open world adventure, be that one full of magic and mystery or one that gives you the chance to explore the ravaged wastelands of an apocalyptic future. The only thing left to do is clear your calendar and tell your friends you won't be available for the next few weeks!

Author: Ben Willimett

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