Each genre has it’s own champion this year, however, we would like to explore the catalogue of open-world titles that were produced this year. Open world games often provide some of the most holistically detailed, explorative and immersive experiences on the market. So we are happy to report that 2020 was able to provide plenty of candidates for the top spot. So we want to settle the score once and for all. Here are our top ten best open-world titles produced in 2020.
10. Mafia: The Definitive Edition
First up, we have Mafia: The Definitive Edition. This one is a complete remake of the popular title published way back in 2001. In this one you take control of Tommy Angelo, a cab driver in the city of Lost Heaven and follow him as he dives head first into mafia life and all the chaos that comes with that. So you can expect heavy New York/Italian accents, fist fights, grubby deals and a whole lot of shootouts.
However, the most awe inspiring aspect of this title is the open world that 2K have created here. The developer has built Lost Heaven from the ground up, meaning each area you knew and loved from the older version of this title is back with a new coat of paint. There is a wonderful world to explore, secrets to find and some snazzy classic cars to cruise around in while you do it, so we urge you to give this one a go.
9. Genshin Impact
Next up we have the Gacha model, Breath of the Wild inspired title, Genshin impact. This game allows you to explore the vast and expansive world of Teyvat, where you will encounter a cavalcade of fun, interesting characters, get sent on some wild side quests and then the main plotline is nothing to turn your nose up at either.
Though, its the world on offer that really sells this title. Not that it needs it because it’s free to play. The different segments of the map are inspired by real-life regions of Europe and Asia. Plus, the art style is iconic. Just picture the game of the year worthy Zelda title this game takes inspiration from and add an anime filter and you won’t be too far off the mark. If you haven’t tried this one, you need to real soon, it’s free after all so no excuses.
8. Immortals: Fenyx Rising
From one Breath of the Wild inspired title to another. Immortals: Fenyx Rising offers gameplay that is very similar to the Zelda title, much like the last entry. However, this game uses Greek mythology and a light hearted narrative to set itself apart from the pack. Just picture if Dreamworks made games and throw in some God of War just for kicks. Although, don’t add the excessive violence and bone-crushing attacks that Kratos is capable of. That might throw off the lighthearted tone.
The reason why this title exceeds it’s BOTW inspired counterpart here is down to the fact that the world is much more aesthetically pleasing, the story is better, the writing is wonderful and most importantly, there aren’t any paywalls that you’ll find in Genshin Impact thanks to the Gacha model. Overall, this one is the better experience, so if you have to choose just one, make it Immortals: Fenyx Rising.
7. No Man’s Sky – Origins
Remember that game from 2016 that was supposed to revolutionise gaming. The same one that fell flat on launch, disappointed the gaming community and quietly stepped out of the limelight. Well, Hello Games have been working away since then to improve this game and make it an experience closer to what we all expected the first time around. So with the dawn of the ninth generation of gaming. A next-gen update has been added for this title and if you revisit this title now, you’ll see that it’s a whole new game entirely.
You still have the infinite number of planets to explore, however, this is a feature of substance now. You can play with other gamers, build bases, the storyline is actually worth revisiting. Plus, the game looks stunning with an enhanced 4K display. So if you walked away from this one a long time ago, it may be time to invite it back into your game library.
6. Demon’s Souls Remake
Get ready to die and die again. The Soulsborne series has become a mainstay in the gaming landscape, producing titles almost annually at this stage. However, none of this would have been possible without the game that brought this harsh but fair gameplay model into the spotlight. This was, of course, the cult classic Demon’s Souls.
So as we enter a new age of gaming, we have been gifted with the opportunity to revisit the open world of Boletaria once again. The new visual upgrade is very impressive, the refined mechanics bring this title into the next era with grace and the combat is just as unforgiving as ever. So if you love the Souls series but missed the grandmaster of them all, you might want to check this out.
5. Marvel’s Spiderman: Miles Morales
In 2018, Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spiderman swung into our lives and produced what is arguably the best superhero-based title to ever grace our screens. The open-world of New York City was captured in fine detail, the web-swinging mechanics alone were enough to spend hours playing this title. Then to add to all that, the story was completely fresh, not borrowing from the existing movies and comics out there.
So this year, Insomniac thought that it would be fitting to bring to us a refined, next-gen experience following Miles Morales of Into the Spiderverse fame. The new visual upgrade is stunning, the load times are cut drastically, the new story is short but sweet. Plus, you get a remastered version of the 2018 iteration. So if you’re looking for value, this game is the pick of the bunch.
4. Watchdogs: Legion
Want a game that uses innovative AI to let you control literally any NPC you like? Want to start a hacker rebellion and use fancy gadgets to get the job done? Or maybe you just want to explore a dystopian, post-Brexit London that doesn’t seem too far away from our actual reality. Either way, Watchdogs: Legion has exactly what you are looking for.
In this title, you play as a member of Deadsec, a cybernetic rebellion army and your role is to clear the group’s name and free the city from the chains of a privatised police force. Easy right? The city of London is recreated in immense detail, all the landmarks are there for you to visit. Plus, the multicultural nature of the real-life city is on show for all to see. So get ready for a myriad of accents too. If you missed this one, you need to give it a try.
3. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Now, we all know that Assassin’s Creed has felt like a tired IP for a number of year’s. Origins and Oddessy have done a lot to improve the situation but this year’s installment has blown many of its predecessors out of the water. AC: Valhalla offers a Viking inspired adventure like nothing we have seen before in gaming with familiar yet fresh gameplay, stunning vistas to drink in and a plot that wraps up the rather convoluted templar saga, wiping the slate clean for the next instalments in the series.
You’ll initially explore the snow-covered lands of Norway before travelling to England in search of a new home. When you arrive, the stark contrast of white snow to a golden autumn hue really hits home and from there, the title never really let’s go. The world is truly beautiful, the story is written to the standard of a Hollywood blockbuster and if you haven’t already bought this title, we couldn’t recommend it more. Assassin’s Creed is back and it’s back with and bang.
2. Ghost of Tsushima
In at runner up, we have the game that won the Gamers Voice award at the GJA’s, Ghost of Tsushima. This title offers what is easily the most authentic and beautifully crafted samurai story that gaming has ever seen. The title will have you master the art of samurai combat, learn how to become one with the shadows and will see you fight for the honour of your family.
However, what is most notable about this title is the beautiful open world that you inhabit. The art direction is an oriental masterclass, with blossom trees aplenty and a mass of impeccably designed areas to explore throughout your journey. Arguably only The Last of Us Part II could rival the visual splendour on display here and if you’re familiar with Naughty Dog and their iconic series, you’ll know that is high praise indeed. Be sure to grab your katana and jump into the action as soon as possible.
1. Cyberpunk 2077
Then lastly we have an entry that may spark a little bit of controversy but we had to give it the crown. It’s Cyberpunk 2077 of course. The game that we have been patiently waiting for since it was shown at E3 way back in 2013. After what seems like an eternity, the game has arrived and it is causing quite a stir. Gamers are having issues with practically unplayable versions on last-gen consoles, the bugs and glitches are plentiful and crashes are happening very regularly indeed for the fans of the series.
Yet despite all the criticism, we keep going back for more and the reason is simple. It’s just that good. The world of Night City is chocked full of detail, interesting characters, Easter eggs, brilliant quest lines, fancy cars, stylish weapons, intriguing cybernetics. Plus, the game looks absolutely out of this world provided you have the hardware to support it. It may not be what everyone expected but for us, it’s the pick of the bunch this year and well worth the wait.
So that’s our list of the top open world games produced in 2020. What do you think of our list? Would you change the order? What games did we leave out that you think deserve a spot. Let us know in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading