Biggest Open World Games Based On The Size Of Their Maps


  • Just Cause 3 & 4 offer expansive maps totaling 395 square miles each, set in Mediterranean and South American terrains, with unique gameplay mechanics.
  • Test Drive Unlimited 2 impresses with two island maps totaling 618 square miles and 1,800+ miles of roads, allowing players to explore and race freely.
  • Minecraft boasts an unbelievable 1.5 billion square miles of land to explore, making it the largest open-world game in terms of sheer size.

Open-world games are not new; in fact, they’ve been around for some time. The original Legend of Zelda for the NES gave gamers a glimpse of how much fun an open-world game can be, and ever since that landmark game developers of open-world games have endeavored to give gamers larger and larger worlds to explore.

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There will be many open-world games that gamers will be surprised didn’t make this list, such as Grand Theft Auto 5 or Fallout 4. Those two games have large world maps, but even they are nothing compared to the games that did make this list. Here are the games with the largest maps for players to explore.

Updated on September 26, 2023, by Jeff Drake: Having a large map is not a feature unique to modern games. Many of the games on this list are almost old enough to buy alcohol, were they a person and not a video game. The best example is the Elder Scrolls series. The map in The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall makes the map of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim look miniscule by comparison. Sure, Skyrim is the better game, but it doesn’t take long to uncover the entire map; fortunately, the Blackreach region gives a few more hours of exploration.

Updated on March 16, 2024 by Catherine Robustelli:Larg Maps aren’t uncommon in video games nowadays. However, it may be surprising how big some of the older titles are. For example, The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall makes The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim map look super tiny. After looking at all the largest maps strictly on land, it’s hard to fathom the enormity of some of the games further down this list. Some of these games span an entire galaxy or even galaxies.

28 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Gamers who were impressed with the size of Skyrim‘s map might want to give The Witcher 3 a try. Why? The map in The Witcher 3 is over twice as large as Skyrim‘s. Not only that, but there are more varied terrain types as well – there are more than just mountains, grasslands, and endless tundra.

The game world in The Witcher 3 is also quite a bit more colorful. Skyrim faced more than a little criticism over the drab colors used for the game world; this game has a much more vibrant world to explore. It’s like Skyrim, but with the color palette of Oblivion, and more diversity in terms of biomes.

27 Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Assassins Creed Black Flag Whale Diving Into Water

The sixth major installment of the Assassin’s Creed series brought the player from the mainland into the wild and untamed Caribbean. Set in an alternate 15th century during the age of piracy, players explore the West Indies and command naval ships as pirates fight for independence.

The game received plenty of positive reviews for its stunning graphics and naval gameplay. One of the biggest selling points of the game was just how large it was, and the expansive seas to sail.

26 World Of WarCraft

World of WarCraft Troll Mage Battles Onyxia

Dungeons & Dragons players flocked to their computers in the late 90s as a new genre of online play launched called MMORPGs. Titles such as Meridian 59, the first subscription-based game, paved the way for later games like World of WarCraft. However, when Blizzard Entertainment’s crowning achievement launched, players around the world were astonished by the sheer size of Azeroth.

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As a sequel to the RTS franchise, WarCraft, the MMO launched with two fully-fleshed out continents, Kalimdor and The Eastern Kingdoms. Each continent by itself spanned around 41 square miles from tip to tip. Combined, the total landmass for players to explore totaled nearly 80 square miles, an incredible feat for the genre.

25 Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Sneaking across the rocky landscape of Greece in Assassin's Creed Odyssey

The Assassin’s Creed games are great, and some of the entries in the series have large game worlds. However, many gamers complain that even though the game worlds in the series are large, they can also be painfully generic. This can make large game worlds seem smaller than they actually are.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey offers a scaled-down map of Ancient Greece for players to explore. This includes many of the larger islands in the Aegean, like Melos and Euboea

24 Day Z

Day Z Crashed Helicopter In Open Field

Bohemia Interactive went for a different approach when designing their open-world game. In 2018, they released their survival horror title known as Day Z. Inspired by a mod built for Arma 2, the game takes place in the zombie-infested, post-Soviet country of Chernarus.

Like any horror game, the goal of Day Z was to gather materials and survive as long as possible. If being lost in a zombie game wasn’t enticing enough, Day Z came with an open world full of hidden dangers.

23 Arma 3

Arma 3 Soldiers Sniping From Mountain

The goal of Arma 3 was to create a realistic military tactical shooter in an open-world setting. According to the ratings it earned, developer Bohemia Interactive must have succeeded. With over 20 vehicles and 40 weapons to play with, the third installment was released with limitless capabilities within its military sandbox.

The events of the game take place in the near future on a series of islands in both the Aegean Sea and the South Pacific. Altogether, the photorealistic environments presented in the game spanned nearly 104 square miles, making a perfect sandbox to get lost in.

22 Lord Of The Rings Online

Entering a hobbit village in Lord of the Rings Online

  • 125 Square Miles – Estimated

This game started with a small map. The length of the map could be walked in a relatively brief amount of time. That was in 2007. In 2023, Lord of the Rings Online‘s map has been expanded to enormous proportions. In its current version, this game allows players to experience walking across Middle Earth.

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It really is impressive how much the developers have added to this game over the years. The problem is, there isn’t a clearly defined size of the map. The best estimates put the size of the game world at approximately 125 square miles.

21 Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising Sniper Overlooking Valley

One of the earlier iterations of military-style games in open worlds was none other than Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. This tactical shooter, developed by Codemasters, threw players into realistic, modern infantry combat in large-scale battles. This installment, in particular, acted as a standalone sequel to Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis.

The game takes place on the fictional island of Skira, off the coast of China. The island offers a whopping 135 square miles of play area from top to bottom, delivering a very realistic island battle map.

20 Xenoblade Chronicles X

Trying to avoid being stepped on while running across the grasslands of Xenoblade Chronicles X

This sequel managed to improve upon the original Xenoblade Chronicles in every way, but one of the biggest improvements was the size of the world map. Xenoblade ChroniclesX takes place on the planet of Mira. This planet is the new home for humanity after Earth was destroyed and the colony of New Los Angeles was established there.

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The world map in Xenoblade Chronicles X, for the most part, resembles the mountainous areas of Colorado. This game is unique among the games on this list in that the player can explore the world in a large mechanized battle suit.

19 Burnout Paradise

Driving down a dirt road in Burnout Paradise

The Burnout series is known for fast-paced racing action coupled with less-than-accurate, arcade-style physics. It’s loved for standing apart from the usual racing game; near misses and causing huge crashes are encouraged, rather than something to avoid. Something the series is less well known for is having large maps.

Burnout Paradise gives the player a huge 200-square-mile map to explore at their leisure. Races are simple to start. One great aspect is that there’s no set course during a race – players are free to pick their own route to the finish line.

18 Death Stranding

Looking at a settlement in the distance in Death Stranding

Many gamers play Death Stranding and can’t help but think about how they’ll never get to play the game from the PT Demo. This game feels like the movie Serenity, which finished the Firefly television series. It was well-received but also felt (in a tiny way) like too-little-too-late.

One thing this excellent game has is a gigantic map to explore; the map in Death Stranding is 230 square miles located somewhere in the post-apocalyptic U.S. The map is big, but a fair portion of the map is mountainous terrain. This type of terrain makes for great sweeping views of the game world, but it also makes the map feel smaller.

17 True Crime: Streets Of L.A.

Driving down Broadway St. in True Crime Streets of LA

True Crime: Streets of L.A. is one of those forgotten open-world games from the PS3 and Xbox 360 era. This game is centered around the Los Angeles area, and the game’s 240 square mile map manages to cover a large portion of the city.

Related: The Best Open-World Games With The Most Immersive Historical Settings

True Crime: Streets of L.A. was lost in the mix of open-world games that included Fallout 3, GTA 4 & 5, Red Dead Redemption, and Watchdogs. This game may have had a bigger map than those games, but that doesn’t make it better. There are few gamers, who have played all these games, that would probably rank True Crime: Streets of L.A. as the best.

16 Just Cause 3 & 4

Parachuting around the tropical islands of the Just Cause series

The Just Cause series is famous for giving players a huge world to explore, and Just Cause 3 and Just Cause 4 are no exceptions with maps covering approximately 395 square miles. Just Cause 3 takes place on an island in the Mediterranean called Medici. Being a Mediterranean island, it has a mostly rocky, mountainous terrain with sparse vegetation and several small picturesque towns.

Just Cause 4 takes place in the fictional country of Solis, which is located in South America. The mountainous terrain allows for some great views, and getting around via parachute in both games is a great game mechanic; though there are also many vehicles the player can use. The vehicle list includes attack helicopters and even a wing suit that’s jet-powered.

15 Test Drive Unlimited 2

Car racing on a road

  • 618 Square Miles – 1,800+ Miles of Road

Technically, Test Drive Unlimited 2 has two maps, but when added together they total 618 sq. miles. This provides a large open world for the player to explore as they wish. Besides participating in races the player can also purchase new cars and real estate. The two maps are both islands; one is the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and the other is the Spanish island of Ibiza.

The 618 sq. miles might not sound like an overly large map, but (in total) the player has over 1,800 miles of road to explore. After reaching level 10 the player can quickly commute between islands for a change of scenery.

14 Final Fantasy 15

Exploring the open road in Final Fantasy 15

The Final Fantasy games have always featured unique fantasy worlds. With the fifteenth game, Square gave us an enormous world to explore. The game world in Final Fantasy 15 is approximately 750 sq. miles in size; however, many areas of the map are separated from other areas with impassable terrain such as mountains.

Although this game has a large world map, it is very sparsely populated and is mostly flat terrain. Still, the world is beautifully designed and contains varied ecosystems ranging from harsh deserts to dense forests. Overall, it provides some nice scenery for a road trip.

13 Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Running through a forest in Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is set in the fictional South Pacific island of Aurora. This is a huge island with a lot of open wildernesses containing numerous biomes; such as mountains, deserts, swamps, and forested areas. There are populated areas of the island as well. All of this can be explored; however, with a map size of 781 square miles, it’s going to take a while.

In Ghost Recon: Breakpoint‘s case, more is not better. The map has humongous sections of land that are completely empty of anything with which to interact. In that regard, it’s pretty accurate, but that doesn’t make it fun. To be fair, the Ghost Recon series is not the first example to come to mind when asked about open-world games.

12 The Crew

Racing through a barren landscape in The Crew

This ambitious online-only game uses the continental U.S. for its world map – all of it. That being said the map is scaled down quite a bit, but still large enough that to drive from coast-to-coast takes about 45 minutes.

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The map is roughly 1900 sq. miles in size and even has most of the major cities to drive through (they are also scaled down in size though). The sequel, The Crew 2, has a map that is roughly the same size but allows the player to travel by plane. However, traveling by plane definitely makes the game world seem a lot smaller.

11 Fuel

quad bike riding down slope

Fuel is the second and last driving game to make this list; with a map that is somewhere between 5560 – 7000 sq. miles in size (the size of the map varies wildly depending on the source). This enormous map is also procedurally generated as well, so the terrain will vary on different playthroughs. This game truly has one of the biggest game maps to explore.

Fuel has approximately 10,000 miles worth of roads to explore and can take as long as three hours to drive across the map. To put the size of the map into perspective, it is roughly the size of the state of Connecticut.

10 Guild Wars Nightfall

Fighting enemies in the desert in Guild Wars Nightfall

This MMORPG came out in 2006, but it still has one of the biggest maps for the genre. Guild Wars is very similar to World of Warcraft, something which is probably not coincidental, but manages to outdo that game in map size (by quite a bit).

The map in Guild Wars Nightfall is a whopping 15,000 sq. miles. This provides a large enough map that players will probably always have unexplored areas they can venture into if the game starts feeling a little “same-y”. Despite being nearly 20 years old this game can still be played via Steam and still has a respectable following.

9 Atlas

Sailing the seas looking for resources in the MMO Atlas

Atlas is an MMO with an impressively large map to explore. Players sail the high seas in search of adventure, resources, and treasure in Atlas; meaning much of the map is water. Normally, when comparing map sizes in open-world games, large bodies of water are almost considered cheating. They might look impressive, like in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, Odyssey, and Valhalla.

The map in Atlas is so big, though, that endless expanses of water don’t seem like a waste of space. There are many, many, islands to explore, and most of the islands are large enough to spend several hours exploring.