While directed, scripted, and tightly tailored experience are important and valuable, providing rollercoasters of excitement and emotions to those who seek them, sometimes it’s not quite what you need from gaming.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a theme park and its many attractions, rather than a really developed, but singular experience. This is why open world games are so successful.

Of course, PlayStation 5 can provide a gateway to many such worlds, projecting stunning views onto your TV and having you grip your controller tightly as an unexpected event interrupts a leisurely stroll.

To celebrate these open worlds of PS5 gaming, we’ve assembled this list, and should you find any of the appealing, we recommend hopping through our own gate to adventure, as our marketplace holds many attractive digital offers on these and many other titles.

Horizon Forbidden West

Release date:2022-02-18
Developer:Guerrilla Games

Horizon Zero Dawn was a tough act to follow, but its successor, Horizon Forbidden West managed to do it, improving on most, if not all aspects of the original.

The world felt livelier and easier to engage with through side quests, location design was top notch, and offering a lot of new landscapes, including aquatic ones, and combat was improved as well, and shined through tight setpiece encounters.

The story picks up a few months after the end of HZD and begins with the series’ protagonist Aloy travelling to a new region to find a backup version of technology which might save the post-apocalyptic Earth’s. Unfortunately, her journey is made harder by a competing factions, including one that’s using technology more advanced than anything Aloy and her allies have ever seen.

Key features
  • A sequel to a PS4 hit
  • A large, well-designed world to explore
  • Interesting science-fiction setting
  • Satisfying action and progression

Elden Ring

Release date:2022-02-25

Open world games aren’t what’s typically expected from FromSoftware productions, making Elden Ring something of an experiment.

Thankfully, it paid off, and the game drew in both fans of Soulsborne playstyles, and open world action RPGs in general. If you want a tightly designed, diverse and engaging world to explore and don’t mind highly lethal combat, Elden Ring might be what you need.

The Lands Between, region the game takes place in, is torn apart by feuding demigods, corrupted monsters, and conflicting ambitions. You are one of the Tarnished, exiles recalled back to their homeland to vie for the title of Elden Lord by claiming the Great Runes, ending the war and restoring the titular Elden Ring. It’s a lengthy journey, however, and it will push your patience and reflexes to their limits.

Key features
  • Challenging combat system with many possible build ideas to pursue
  • Evocative setting with fantastic environment and creature designs
  • Complex story you need to assemble yourself
  • Large open world full of memorable locations and encounters

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Release date:2020-11-10
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Ubisoft Montreal

The Assassin’s Creed series has gone a long way from the original instalment launched in 2007.

Several of the recent entries reduced the importance of stealthy assassinations in favor of trying out a more general open-world action-adventure/RPG formula. One such example is AC Valhalla, which took its action to the mid-late 9th century, centering the story on the Viking conquests of England.

You’ll be playing as a warrior named Eivor, who has a few personal feus to take care of, in addition to leading parts of the conquest and settlement. The maps are large, detailed, and there’s a ton of quests, side-stories, and activities you could spend a lot of hours with, making the world feel vibrant and real, even as you end up chasing weird artifacts and fighting what can only be described as monsters.

Key features
  • A mix of historical Viking conquest of England and a science-fiction ancient aliens-style story
  • Lots of gear to discover, including powerful relics
  • Establishing a flourishing settlement is one of the core elements of the game
  • Exciting combat powered by many weapon types

Ghost of Tsushima

Release date:2020-07-17
Developer:Sucker Punch Productions

In terms of open world games on PS5 it doesn’t get a lot better than Ghost of Tsushima, especially if you’re into Japanese history.

Ghost of Tsushima is set in the 13th century Japan, and begins with a disastrous clash between the defenders of the Tsushima island and Mongol invaders. The survivor, Jin Sakai, takes it upon himself to fight against the occupants by any means necessary.

Ghost of Tsushima has it all. A gorgeous open world which is worth exploring, engaging sword fighting powered by several unlockable stances, and many opportunities to deploy dirty tactics. There’s also a great story with a strong motif of tension between Jin’s “any means necessary” approach and what’s expected of him as a samurai.

Key features
  • Immersive navigation through gorgeous environments
  • Great combat system
  • Historical setting
  • Interesting multiplayer mode

Cyberpunk 2077

Release date:2023-12-05

Now, after the release of its major expansion, Phantom Liberty, CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 is in the best state it’s ever been.

The game takes place in Night City, a metropolis of the future, but it probably isn’t a future you would like to live in. Torn between corporations’ heavy hand and gangs running the streets, Night City is a place of contrasts, danger, but also opportunity.

As V, an up-and-coming troubleshooter for hire, you’ll get to explore many corners of the city and its vicinity, soaking in the atmosphere, chasing interesting side-stories, or pursuing your own, because the digital ghost in your head has opinions and won’t leave you alone… nor will people who really want the chip causing this virtual haunting.

Key features
  • Fascinating main story skillfully tackling compelling themes
  • Great city to explore
  • Cool weapons and cybernetic upgrades
  • The core game stars Keanu Reeves, and the expansions adds Idris Elba

Death Stranding

Release date:2022-03-30
Developer:Kojima Productions

Death Stranding is very weird.

It’s probably one of the weirdest things Hideo Kojima has ever done, and if you tried to figure out the full extent of Metal Gear series, you know that’s quite a bar to clear. Boiled down to gameplay basics, DS is a game about being a courier in a postapocalyptic wasteland. Your cargo is represented as object, so you must be careful about stacking, physics, and pathfinding.

But wait, there’s more! The world is full of dangers both from fairly mundane bandits and supernatural entities knows as BTs, which are related to near-death experiences, cause time-altering rainfalls, and devastating explosions when they eat a living human. It is a very weird and very good game, so if you can bear the weirdness, it’s a great, if vaguely lonesome, open world experience.

Key features
  • Several cameos, including Norman Reedus in the leading role
  • Large open world which gradually becomes better-suited for travel
  • A game about connections, which starts making sense once you start playing
  • It’s a triple-A game with level of weirdness typically expected from indie titles

No Man's Sky

Release date:2016-08-12
Developer:Hello Games

No Man’s Sky in its current state is one of the coolest, and probably the chilliest game about exploring a seemingly infinite universe.

It’s not quite as detailed and simulation-oriented as the likes of Elite Dangerous, opting instead for a bit more arcade feel and friendly, somewhat stylized designs, but the joy of flying your space ship from system to system is undeniable.

NMS uses procedural generation to create not just planets and they geology, but also life forms living there, making every world potentially completely unique. In addition to just taking in the sights, you can dabble in trading, study the mysteries lingering at the galaxy core, or build a base to share a safe haven with co-op friends.

Key features
  • Traverse and immense universe
  • Exploration is quite satisfying, and if you discover a new planet or creature you can name it
  • A few survival game systems
  • Can be played both online and offline

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release date:2018-10-26
Developer:Rockstar Games

A sequel to an absolute classic such as Red Dead Redemption has to fill some truly enormous riding boots, but RDR2, long in development as it was, manages to do it very well.

Set years before it predecessor, it shows us the final years of a group of notorious outlaws from the perspective of the leader’s right hand man, Arthur Morgan.

RDR2’s open world might be one of the most detailed and realistic out of any game short of, perhaps hunting simulators. And that’s a vague separation, because hunting is one of the many things you can do, in addition to pursuing photography, chasing bounties, building or destroying your reputation, or just taking in the gorgeous sights. Just don’t lose yourself to vistas, or a puma will eat your face.

Key features
  • A fantastic story about the dying years of the Old West
  • Detailed and immersive world
  • Arthur Morgan is a fantastic, complicated main character
  • Singleplayer by default, but there is also an Online mode

Marvel's Spider-Man (series)

Release date:2023-10-20
Developer:Insomniac Games

It’s been a moment since this list provided a modern, urban location, so let’s talk about the Marvel’s Spider-Man series in general, and it’s latest entry, Spider-Man 2 specifically.

It’s easily the best series about Spidey, even if we adjust for tech changes. Slinging across Manhattan, helping people, fighting robbers, and seeing arachnids’ social lives in tatters is at its absolute finest in Insomniac’s games.

We’re using the plural deliberately, because Miles Morales stars in these games alongside Pater Parker, so much so he gets his own solo outing and shares the playable status with Pete in S-M2. Each Spidey has a full array of acrobatic, web-slinging moves to use, many suits to unlock for form and fashion, and a gallery filled with both iconic and less-known villains to deal with.

Key features
  • Some of the best superhero action games in general
  • Exploring Manhattan feels amazing
  • Spidey villains got interesting reinterpretations for this series’ canon
  • Excellent voice acting

The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt

Release date:2015-05-18

The Witcher 3, now not only fully out, but also with an upgrade for the modern tech, is a gripping adventure set in a dark fantasy world inspired by medieval Eastern and Central Europe.

As Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster hunter with a complicated past, you’re quickly set on a quest to find your adopted daughter, Ciri, chased by many factions for her magical and political importance.

This journey will take him through several large, very different regions, including war-torn Velen and a remote, picturesque Kaer Morhen valley where witchers have their fortress. The expansions also add lovely, seemingly idyllic Toussaint, home of lofty aristocracy and dark secrets. Each region of course comes with its own share of monsters to slay and stories to hear and experience.

Key features
  • One of the finest games in the action RPG genre
  • It’s almost a decade old, but still looks great, partially thanks to solid designs
  • Engaging, dramatic and emotional main storyline
  • Flexible progression lets you adjust builds to challenges awaiting you in the moment

History, science-fiction, fantasy, and anything in-between

Welcome to the grand finale of this list! Hopefully you found the journey enjoyable and quite informative, and are already metaphorically packing figurative suitcases to go on an adventure in one of the open worlds we presented here.

If none of them appeal to you, however, don’t lose hope, our marketplace has many more on offer, so stop by and see for yourself!