11 Best PS5 Open World Games to Explore Endless Possibilities [2023]

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A land to explore, a new quest to start, or a new boss to take down — open-world games have always been about freedom and exploration. And the PS5 is home to the best open-world games out there.

In this article, we’ll go through the best PS5 open-world games. After all, the PlayStation 5 offers unparalleled performance and optimization to enjoy these open-world games at their full glory.

Before that, let’s take a look at the basic differences between open-world games and their direct anti-thesis, linear games. Let’s get started.

Open World Games vs. Linear Games

Have you played Grand Theft Auto or the popular The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? And do you remember the freedom that you had when playing them? If you do, you’re a fan of the open-world games.

Technically, open-world games are non-linear games. They allow players to roam around and approach the game as they like. And’s that what makes open-world games so popular. Rockstar remains at the forefront of open-world game design, whether with the Grand Theft Auto series or their newest Red Dead Redemption 2. And many other AAA developers invest heavily in open-world games due to their popularity among gamers.

Red Dead Redemption 2

They’re not the only pioneers in open-world game design. Sony’s first-party studios, including Guerrilla Games and Insomniac Games, have given their consoles the best open-world games of the Horizon and Spiderman series.

So, you set off in an open world where you can EXPLORE. This unrestricted approach differs from linear games, where you follow a specified path set by the developers.

The design of open-world games is essential. Developers focus on providing different biomes, difficulty, and enemy types to keep the open world interesting. These games also excel in story-telling, allowing players to do side quests and activities. Moreover, players’ action is key in how the world unravels itself. Take Death Stranding, an action-walking sim game that lets other players build roads, signs, and more.

Many sub-genre open-world games include racing, action-adventure, RPG, or MMPORGs.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) V  is a decade-old game that came out in 2013. But it still holds the true essence of an open-world game where you witness the cinematic blockbuster of three protagonists struggling in life: Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.

Each protagonist’s personality fits the story, where they struggle with their problems- marriage, debt, or simple, psychotic behavior. To solve the problem, these three protagonists carry out Heists, only to find themselves more stuck and helpless than before. 

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The single-player missions are well-laid out in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, with a land area of 48.15 square kilometers. This big map includes activities like a golf course, bowling, darts, tennis, and triathlon. 

But how does GTA V hold up in the PS5 era, considering that the game came out the during the era of PlayStation 3? Well, it survived the test of time. And Rockstar also did their job by releasing the enhanced version for each console generation, including PlayStation 4 and 5.

When you first boot the game, you’ll get mesmerized by its visuals. It supports 4K, 60FPS, and all the latest graphical tech, including Ray-Tracing. The game loads fast and works with PS5’s controller adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.

Preview Product Rating Price
Grand Theft Auto V - PlayStation 5 Grand Theft Auto V - PlayStation 5 No ratings yet $18.70

Overall, GTA V is one of the best games you must try, especially if you’re an open-world fan who wants to explore the streets of Lost Santos. And, if you feel bored, you can always jump into its multiplayer, which offers tons of content to explore.

  • Developer: Rockstar Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 32 hours for the main story and 82 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: 48.15 square kilometers
  • Cross-progression save: Supported between PS4 and PS5 only.
  • Release Date: March 15, 2022

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West is the sequel of the robot-infested open-world game Horizon Zero Dawn. Like its prequel, Horizon Forbidden West offers a surreal open world where you explore the depths of the sunken city to the gigantic mountains spread across 24 square kilometers map size. 

And you’ll find a lot of stuff to do in this vast open world, including meeting interesting characters and experiencing the thrill of discovering new lands and enemy types. On top of that, Horizon Forbidden West improves drastically on visuals, allowing you to enjoy every moment during its 30 hours of main story campaign.

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However, what makes Horizon Forbidden West a worthy open-world game is its ability to build upon Horizon Zero Dawn. It improves the main story by offering a time-sensitive quest line with a key focus on the political and social turmoil in a world where giant machines infest the lands. The side-quests are also well-designed, where you feel connected with the world characters. 

As for activities, you get access to the Machine Strike strategy game, which seems inspired by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Gwent board. The combat also has been overhauled and improved, giving you something new to explore, especially if you played its prequel.

Preview Product Rating Price
Horizon Forbidden West (PS5) Horizon Forbidden West (PS5) No ratings yet $42.94Amazon Prime

So, if you want to fight big machines in a well-designed action-adventure game, pick up Horizon Forbidden West!

  • Developer: Guerrilla Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 30 hours for the main story and 88 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: 24 square kilometers
  • Cross-progression save: Supports PS4 to PS5 save game transfer.
  • Release Date: February 18, 2022

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is an open-world game that fetched mixed reactions during its launch in 2016. Hello Games, the developers of No Man’s Sky, promised a world where you could do exciting things, but the initial launch could have been better than the expectations set by the developers.

However, Hello Games’ push to fulfill its promises has led to one of the best comebacks. No Man’s Sky fundamentals are strong as an exploration game where you must survive in a procedurally generated universe. It constantly receives significant content updates. The past updates include the 2.0 Beyond update, Exo Mech, Living Ship, Synthesis, ORIGINS, Expeditions, etc.

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The open-world design uses procedural generation. This means that you’ll find new things to explore every time you boot the game — be it new planets, new enemy types, new materials, and so on! This design philosophy also reflects on its end goal of reaching the center of the universe.

And you’re free to pave the path to the end goal. Each planet you encounter has challenges and life support systems you must adapt to. However, things get interesting with side quests that require exploration.

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No Man's Sky - PlayStation 5 No Man's Sky - PlayStation 5 360 Reviews $25.50Amazon Prime

Apart from exploration, the base building is another key game element. You can build the base according to your preferences. Furthermore, you can own up to 12 ships. There’re also provisions to build a ship!

In short, No Man’s Sky is full of surprises with engaging world-building aspects. Its procedurally generated world means you always find new experiences every time you play the game.

  • Developer: Hello Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 30 hours for the main story and 139 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: Infinite
  • Cross-progression save: Supports crossplay across all platforms. Cross save works across PC to Macs, and PS4 to PS5.
  • Release Date: October 7, 2022

Far Cry 6

The Far Cry franchise is known for its shooting, audacious villains, and extensive world environments with the sprinkle of “new” mechanics that keeps fans coming back.

Far Cry 6 follows the core formula focusing on an excellent Far Cry experience from the onset. Like the previous iterations, you get a vast open world of the fictional island of Yara. It is controlled by dictator Anton Castillo, a charismatic madman managing the land’s resources. Giancarlo Esposito does the portrayal as he succeeds in giving life to the villain. And that’s why Anton Castillo is on par with the highs of Far Cry 6 villains, including Vaas Montenegro from Far Cry 3.

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You play Dani Rojas, a fully-voiced protagonist, which you can play as a male or a female. You play through a predictable story that relies on betrayals. In addition, you’ll also find the game to cover social issues in Latin American culture. 

The enemies are challenging and can call for backups. To defeat them, you get plenty of weapons to choose from. These weapons support mods to add more variety to gun fights. The vehicle system is also fun as you can modify them as per your taste. This is a drastic change compared to previous Far Cry games, where you needed to unlock abilities through an RPG-style skill tree. And, then, you also get to have pets/amigos — what about telling your pet crocodile (Guapo) to clear an enemy or ask Chorizo (a dog pet with back legs on wheels) to fetch you resources.

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Far Cry 6 PlayStation 5 Standard Edition Far Cry 6 PlayStation 5 Standard Edition No ratings yet $13.59

All of these make Far Cry 6 an excellent experience. You can enjoy its open-world design with unique mechanics, such as the Amigos companions. The combat is fun, and you can enjoy it smoothly with PS5 4K 60FPS performance.

  • Developer: Ubisoft Toronto, Ubisoft Montreal
  • Estimated time to complete: 23 hours for the main story and 59 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: 88 square kilometers, three times bigger than Far Cry 5 map size
  • Cross-progression save: Supports crossplay across all platforms. Cross save works across PC to Macs, and PS4 to PS5.
  • Release Date: October 7, 2021

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Do you want to play as an Assassin Viking in an open-world setting? Then, check out Assassin’s Creed Valhalla offering a beautiful world where you can witness the aurora in the sky to Norway’s mountain range. It also captures the essence of England’s four states and their political turmoil, including East Anglia, Mercia, Wessex, and Northumbria.

You play as Eivor, a Viking raider (you can choose between male and female), set to explore where they carry out raids against Saxon fortresses and troops.

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As the game takes place in Norway and England, these places are separated by the vast ocean. However, Valhalla cut out naval combat, which was present in the older Assassin’s Creed games. Nonetheless, the game does make up for it with an exciting raids system.

Like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey, Vikings offers a fully-fledged RGP experience. You get to explore an interesting main story, along with good side-quests. Your character progressions require you to invest points as you gain XP when performing activities across the map. The gears are also well-crafted as you grind your way to find more powerful weapons. However, all of these can lead to locked progression, meaning you need to become more powerful before you move to challenging zones.

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla PS5 Assassin's Creed Valhalla PS5 No ratings yet $24.39Amazon Prime

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s vast open world will keep you hooked. It also performs at 4K 60FPS with the option to play at high-fidelity 4K 30FPS.

  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Estimated time to complete: 61 hours for the main story and 143 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: 100 square kilometers
  • Cross-progression save: Supports crossplay across all platforms
  • Release Date: November 10, 2020

God of War Ragnarok

God of War Ragnarok picks up from where God of War 2018 left off. And Santa Monico Studios did an exceptional job showcasing their story-telling, world-building, and combat prowess.

The game takes you beyond the Midgard of God of War 2018 as you try to find answers before the Ragnarok event that could spell the world’s end. Atreus has become older and now asks more questions, whereas Kratos has started to show concerns about his son’s future.

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God of War Ragnarok puts you in action from the get-go. Once the initial brawl of fights ends, Kratos and his son Atreus start their journey to Nine Realms to find answers. Throughout the journey, you’ll meet interesting characters.

The writing, acting, and sound design are top-notch. And that shows in the game’s flow as your expectations change every minute. The combat is also sharpened to include new abilities for Atreus and Kratos. You also can access your old combat instruments, including the Leviathan Axe, Guardian Shield, and Blades of Chaos.

Preview Product Rating Price
God of War Ragnarök - PlayStation 5 God of War Ragnarök - PlayStation 5 No ratings yet $49.49Amazon Prime

Overall, God of War Ragnarok is a tightly-packed action-adventure game. Santa Monico Studios have over-delivered, showing in every aspect of the game. Also, the package runs exceptionally well on PlayStation 5 with excellent fidelity and full support for PS5 controller haptics.

  • Developer: Santa Monica Studio
  • Estimated time to complete: 26 hours for the main story and 53 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: 144 square kilometers
  • Cross-progression save: Supports cross-save across PS4 and PS5.
  • Release Date: November 9, 2022

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart takes you on an intergalactic adventure with Rachet and Clank as you again go on the adventure to “save the universe.” In this new adventure, you enjoy Clank’s all-new inter-dimensional mechanics and out-of-the-world weaponry against an evil robotic emperor. 

The new weapons include the likes of the Shatterbomb, Burst Pistol, and Topiary Sprinkler. Along with excellent combat mechanics, you also get new ways to move across the map, including zip lines, boost, and slipping through dimensions using your handy new physics-defying gadgets.

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Along the journey, you need to upgrade your weapons. However, the normal difficulty might not pose a threat, but it does enough for you to keep you busy. In addition to excellent combat and over-hauled movement, you enjoy an emotional story with nicely-timed comedy.

You also get to play as Rivet — a playable Rachet’s parallel. It has its dynamics but lacks any character-specific moves or skills. Rivet suffers from fighting without a Clank, which shows in its narrative. And, Insomniac games took the chance to discuss mental health topics as well.

Other gameplay elements include pocket dimensions which you can discover during your journey. It offers platforming challenges that you’ll surely enjoy. Once you finish the game, you can continue playing, further upgrading your armor and weapons.

Preview Product Rating Price
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - PlayStation 5 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - PlayStation 5 2,878 Reviews $59.96Amazon Prime

Undoubtedly, Ratchet and Clank is a great PS5 exclusive. It shows the world how stunning the PS5 can look and play. It also takes full advantage of PS5 hardware, including fast-paced SSD and controller haptics.

  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 11 hours for the main story and 18 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: Not calculated
  • Cross-progression save: Not applicable as the game is exclusive to PS5.
  • Release Date: June 11, 2021

Watch Dogs: Legion

Fancy a rogue-like open-world Watch Dogs game? Then, check out Watch Dogs: Legion, the third installment in an action game developed by Ubisoft Toronto. Like Grand Theft Auto games, Watch Dogs games fall under the sandbox genre. But, with Watch Dogs: Legion, Ubisoft tried out a rogue-like system where you can recruit NPCs within the game — each with their weapons, perks, and personality.

It looks inspired by the Shadow of War, but you recruit NPCs here rather than execute them. And this also makes Watch Dogs: Legion have its own identity rather than relying on being another GTA clone.

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Recruiting NPCs is easy. All you need to do is complete their side quest, and they’ll join you. Using different NPCs as the leading player also brings various ways to complete primary and side-quests.

Ubisoft Toronto has also done an excellent job in rendering Fallen London. It looks dark yet futuristic. However, performance can be an issue, especially when you move through crowded places.

Preview Product Rating Price
Watch Dogs: Legion PlayStation 5 Standard Edition Watch Dogs: Legion PlayStation 5 Standard Edition No ratings yet $11.95Amazon Prime

Overall, Watch Dogs Legion offers a fresh take on open-world hacker games. The ability to create your gang, recruit different members, and play them to complete primary and side-quest, gives you ultimate freedom, making the sandbox-style work with a rouge-like system.

  • Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
  • Estimated time to complete: 18 hours for the main story and 49 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: 11 square kilometers
  • Cross-progression save: Supports cross-save across PS4 and PS5.
  • Release Date: November 12, 2020

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village is an action-focused horror game with plenty of open areas to roam and explore. It departs from Resident Evil 7 formula of slow psychological horror to more fast-paced exploration-based combat, similar to Resident Evil 4.

Ethan returns to Resident Evil Village after rescuing his wife in Resident Evil 7. This time, he finds himself in the Village to save his daughter.

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The central hub village is where you spend most of the time. It has a lot of mystery as you find hidden paths. It links different game environments as well. This means that Resident Evil Village is not a true open-world game, but it does qualify as a semi-open-world game.

Throughout your journey, you’ll find various villains trying to stop you. This includes the popular Lady Dimitrescue. You also meet new villains, including Lady Dimitrescue’s three daughters. Apart from playing hide and seek from the main villains, you must fight through mobs, requiring shooting skills to survive.

Preview Product Rating Price
Resident Evil Village (PS5) Resident Evil Village (PS5) No ratings yet $26.49Amazon Prime

Overall, Resident Evil Village is a top-notch pick for horror fans that want an open-world experience. It runs butter-smooth on PS5 at 4K 60FPS.

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Estimated time to complete: 10 hours for the main story and 36 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: Unknown
  • Cross-progression save: Supports cross-save across PS4 and PS5.
  • Release Date: May 7, 2021

Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI is a timed PS5 exclusive that offers an excellent open world full of life. The game offers progressive world-building and a story you’ll remember for quite a long time.

The game’s story covers The Valisthea realms across many decades, showing the struggle for resources at the realm’s core five enormous Mothercrystals, which also act as a primary realm’s magic source. You also get to visit 5 kingdoms spread across its gigantic open world. Each kingdom has its identity, religion, rulers, government, etc.

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You play as Clive Rosfield, the kingdom of Rosaira’s eldest prince, and Joshua, his brother. These protagonists are crafted with care, showing passion for their actions. As Final Fantasy XVI is an RPG experience, you get to level up your characters, give them unique abilities and use them in memorable battles where you can choose to use your path to victory — be it using powerful swordplay techniques or the Eikon abilities.

Preview Product Rating Price
Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 No ratings yet $46.56Amazon Prime

Final Fantasy XVI is Square Enix’s best work in creating an RPG world, coupled with great storytelling, world-building, and combat. You can play FFF XVI in quality or performance mode, allowing you to choose fidelity or smooth 60FPS gameplay.

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Estimated time to complete: 35 hours for the main story and 73 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: Bigger than the Final Fantasy XV map
  • Cross-progression save: Not applicable as the game is only available on PS5.
  • Release Date: June 22, 2023

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is hands-down the best open-world RPG game. The PS5 version has many upgrades, including ray-tracing, 60FPS mode, 4K textures, and much more! The complete edition also gives you access to its legendary DLCs: Blood and Wine & The Heart of Stone.

The main protagonist is Geralt of Rivia, a witcher that takes contracts to kill monsters. His latest contract is to find Ciri, the Child of Prophecy. Ciri is a powerful magician capable of changing the world. Along the main quest, you can do one of the best-designed side-quests that can easily take you more hours than your main quest! Additionally, you must enjoy one of the best mini-games of all time, Gwent.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt World is well-designed with various landscapes. You can witness the Novigrad, a luxurious dark place, to the cold Skellige islands. The beautiful scenery is matched with an excellent background score. The combat is also challenging, where you must use a mix of sword combat, potions, and stances.

But what about performance? The Witcher PS5 version ensures you can play it in full glory. It offers a 60FPS mode and the option to play in 30FPS quality mode, providing better graphics fidelity, including Ray-tracing support. Additionally, you also get new content with the PS5 edition. The load times are also improved, along with 3D audio support. Also, if you already own the game on PS4, you get a free PS5 version upgrade without spending anything.

Preview Product Rating Price
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition - PlayStation 5 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition - PlayStation 5 No ratings yet $34.00Amazon Prime

In short, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PS5 is a must-pick. Its thought-provoking open world, excellent storyline, and combat make it one of the best open-world RPG games ever.

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Estimated time to complete: 56 hours for the main story and 150 hours for the completionist.
  • Map Size: 142 square kilometers
  • Cross-progression save: Yes, from PS4 to PS5.
  • Release Date: December 14, 2022

Conclusion

PlayStation 5 is the home of open-world games. And there are two reasons behind it. The first is that Sony studios are masters of creating engaging open-world games such as God of War Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, and Rachet & Clank: Rift Apart. Secondly, it houses the most powerful hardware capable of powering the artistic vision of the developers, providing a seamless experience to the players. Indeed, a great way to explore endless possibilities.

If you like this list and love the Resident Evil franchise, be sure to check out our list of the best Resident Evil games!

Nitish Singh
Nitish Singhhttp://www.techaltair.com
For the past 20 years, Nitish has been an avid gamer. His primary focus is on PC games, but he also enjoys exploring the worlds of Nintendo, XBOX, and PlayStation. Nitish is always looking for new games to try out and is particularly fascinated with emulation.

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