Our constant desire to explore sprawling open world games doesn’t show any sign of slowing down in 2017. The ability to see a point far off of the map and to be able to travel there in real time has never lost its “oh damn” effect, and thanks to the talents of many triple-A developers (and even some indie ones) hopefully it never will.

We thought we’d take this opportunity to round off some of the most promising open world games set to grace our gaming consoles and PCs in 2017, the open world games with the ability we look forward to losing countless hours to, not least because of how immersive these vast settings and locations will be.

5. Ghost Recon Wildlands

Buy Ghost Recon Wildlands

A somewhat diversion for Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon subset of Tom Clancy games, Ghost Recon Wildlands appears to be taking direct inspiration from the free-flowing movement of Watch Dogs 2 and the squad co-op play of The Division to unabashedly deliver the best of both. Set in Bolivia, Ghost Recon Wildlands is touting multiple environments to explore, plenty of targets to take down, and a variety of vehicle types to take control of – Dirt Bikes anyone?

Although some fans may be disheartened that the Ghosts in this open world game shan’t be making use of the futuristic weaponry seen previously in franchise entries Advanced Warfighter and Future Soldier this time round, gaining a tactical advantage over your enemy still plays an important role. Whether solo or with friends, Ghost Recon Wildlands looks set to be one of 2017’s open world highlights.

4. Horizon: Zero Dawn


Buy Horizon: Zero Dawn

If you’re someone looking to justify their PS4 Pro purchase and really put it through its paces, Horizon: Zero Dawn is the first person open world game you’ve been waiting for, and it’s only a couple of months away. Set within a dystopian landscape described by Guerrilla as taking place post post-apocalypse, as Alloy you’ll be required to put your hunting and bow abilities to the test as you tame and master the many robotic beings which now plague the earth.

Utterly gorgeous to look at with additional crafting and RPG elements which’ll help to flesh out the gameplay even further beyond exploring and combat, Horizon: Zero Dawn has so many parts going on we just hope a spanner doesn’t get thrown into the works. The end of the world has never looked or played so good, and this is a open world game which has “franchise” written all over it.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Set to give The Legend of Zelda fans across the world the level of freedom we’ve wanted to see since the Nintendo 64 days of Ocarina of Time, Breath of the Wild is yet another open world game on this list which is one hell of a beauty to look at. Set approximately 100 years after the events of A Link to the Past, crafting is introduced for the first time in the franchise as well as the ability to slide down hills on the back of your shield – so that’s always good!

In all seriousness, Breath of the Wild is about to play a very important role in the global launch of Nintendo’s new console the Switch, treating day one buyers to a meaty Hyrule to explore and many dungeons to fill their boots with. Whether playing at home in 1080p or on the go at a slightly resolution, it’s not every year a Zelda game releases, so we’re definitely chomping at the bits to see what this one has in store.

2. Mass Effect: Andromeda

Buy Mass Effect: Andromeda

We’ll be looking to the stars in March of this year thanks to the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda which isn’t so much of an open world game but rather an open universe game – literally. Set within a completely different section of the galaxy than that of Captain Sheppard’s original trilogy, if there’s one word to describe Mass Effect: Andromeda it would most definitely “new” signifying the unknown which is quite apt for a game set within the vast vacuum of space.

With more races to discover, a new vehicle in which to roam around in, and of course a fresh crew to spearhead in the Andromeda galaxy, choice-based decisions make a return to the Mass Effect series to help you craft your own story within this near-endless universe. There’s a lot to live up to and we’ve still seen very little, but that’s what makes Mass Effect: Andromeda one of the best open world games of 2017.

1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Buy Red Dead Redemption 2

Saddle up and take to the sand dunes partner, because Rockstar’s long-awaited cowboy sequel returns this winter with Red Dead Redemption 2. You can bet that there’ll be a beautiful open world to explore on horseback as well as an expertly written story that is sure to engross us if it’s anything like John Marston’s tale. The prospect of a more integrated multiplayer component is what’s got us most tantalised however, is there a chance that Red Dead Redemption 2 could be more MMO than open world? We’ll know soon enough!