Best Upcoming Open World Games 2021 (And Beyond)

Here are the best upcoming open world games to play this year! Check out the latest releases along with trailers and gameplay.

As technology advances and the gap between console and PC gaming continues to shrink, we’re seeing more detailed and immersive open world games than ever before.

And while the most common forms of open world games are RPGs, action-adventure, and survival games, we’ve chosen to showcase a few that look to defy convention.

In this list, we’ll highlight the best upcoming open world games of 2021, including the best new open-world games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

We’ll be updating this list with new titles in the future, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your most-anticipated open world games!

Related:Best Upcoming RPGs 2021Best Upcoming Indie Games 2021 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Game Remakes 2021 (And Beyond)

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Sable is an upcoming adventure game developed by UK studio Shedworks and indie game publisher Raw Fury.

The story is described as a “coming-of-age tale of discovery,” and sees you guiding Sable through a rite of passage known as the Gliding.

Your journey sees you navigating across a vast, tranquil alien planet filled with captivating vistas, mysterious spaceships, and other remnants of the past.

There’s also a cool-looking hoverbike you can ride and (hopefully) upgrade as you make new discoveries and experience Sable’s story unfold.

Previously scheduled to release in May 2020, Amazon Games’ upcoming open-world MMO New World is now dropping at the tail end of September 2021.

The game takes place during the mid-1600s and sees players settling in a dangerous world based on colonial-era America where magic topples all.

Forging a new destiny, you’ll explore the supernatural island of Aeternum as you fight enemies, gather materials, and explore the wilderness and ruins in search of clues.

New World features non-class-based real-time combat with PvE and PvP battling and doesn’t include any monthly subscription fees but rather follows a “buy-to-play” model.

In contrast to Far Cry 5’s rural American setting, Far Cry 6 revisits the lush tropical paradise trope of previous entries while telling a new politically charged story.

You play as Dani, a rebel soldier fighting against Yara’s corrupt dictatorship lead by Anton Castillo (performed by Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito).

Along with new environments and characters, it features a ton of exciting weapons, vehicles, and animal companions to bring along for the ride, including a baby alligator you can pet.

Like previous entries, Far Cry 6 will include a co-op mode that lets two players experience the story via local and online multiplayer.

Ubisoft has been trying to usher in a new wave of extreme sports games for a couple of years now but their latest attempt looks to be the most promising.

Riders Republic is a mashup of popular extreme sports such as snowboarding, skiing, off-road biking, and wingsuit flying all jammed into a huge, connected open-world.

Players have the freedom to explore the game world at their leisure using a variety of traversal tools and participate in competitions against other players online.

There will be tons of options for customizing your character’s appearance and gear, though nothing in the way of impacting player performance.

Len’s Island is an upcoming open-world survival game that sees you carving out a new life for yourself on a beautiful island teeming with wonder.

Explore the island’s mysteries by dungeon crawling through caves, hiking through forests, and constructing homes and farms.

The game uses a streamlined, modular building system that will make even the most novice designers feel like seasoned builders.

When you’re not tending to crops or adding expansions to your humble abode, you’ll set out to meet different characters and battle enemies that may cross your path.

Playground Games’ next take on Forza’s open-world racing series is slated to release this Fall for PC and console, this time transporting players to Mexico.

Touted as the biggest and most varied Forza map to date, FH5 will feature an abundance of biomes including rainforests, deserts, waterfalls, and even volcanos.

Additionally, areas such as Guanajuato will offer a sprawling network of tunnels to explore and there are numerous towns decorated with murals by local Mexican artists.

Getting from place to place should be no issue since FH5 is set to feature even more vehicles designed for both off-road exploration and high-speed street racing.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a first-person action RPG set after the events of the first game and centers on a completely new protagonist.

Aiden Caldwell is an infected survivor who uses his superb dexterity and combat prowess to gain allies and constantly escape the clutches of the undead. 

The game features streamlined parkour traversal complemented by interactive environments that let you swing from ropes and ride on the roofs of vehicles.

This time around, Techland is including more player-choice, promising to deliver a dynamic open-world that reacts to your actions and evolves throughout the story.

Long shrouded in mystery, Elden Ring‘s appearance at E3 2021 came as a relief for fans who have been eager to learn more about From Software’s next open-world action RPG.

Aside from its dark fantasy lore being penned by George R.R. Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki’s role as director, we’ve also learned more about how the game will play.

Elden Ring’s combat draws inspiration from previous From Software games, namely the Souls series, but with a bit more verticality akin to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

There’s also a horse you can ride throughout the open-world, seemingly even during battles, and it can jump really high.

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are known for getting nitty-gritty with their approach to post-apocalyptic open-worlds.

While they’ve always been reminiscent of games like Metro and even Fallout RPGs to some extent, the series suddenly disappeared after just three releases.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will see players venturing into “The Zone,” an irradiated wasteland surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site.

The area stands out for its high radiation levels, which causes scavengers to develop supernatural abilities that affect traversal and combat.

Chances are we won’t receive an update regarding Bethesda’s latest project for at least a few years as the company already has enough on their plate with the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI.

This leads us to believe Starfield will most definitely release on the following consoles, which includes PS5.

So far, all we know about the game is that it’s a single-player RPG set in outer space.

Starfield will be Bethesda’s first new IP in over 25 years and has the potential of becoming the third pillar in their RPG catalog along with Fallout and Elder Scrolls.

Shiro Games, the studio behind Northgard, Evoland, and Darksburg, have revealed their next upcoming project, a medieval turn-based RPG titled Wartales.

In it, you lead a group of mercenaries across a plague-stricken land in search of wealth while battling wild animals, fearless bandits, and other enemies.

Along the way, you’ll recruit new companions with unique skills, accept contracts from NPCs, and collect bounties for petty thieves and crooked conmen.

The game also features a crafting system for making new weapons and tools as well as upgrades for developing your party’s campsite to boost morale and efficiency.

Tchia is an upcoming open-world adventure game in which you play as a young girl exploring a physics-driven sandbox.

The game offers tropical locations to discover, characters to get to know, and hidden surprises around every corner.

Additionally, Tchia has a special ability that lets her magically transform into 30+ different animals as well as 100+ objects.

This is reflected in both the story and gameplay, with Tchia using her powers to help her friends, explore the island, and escape danger.

Toeing the line between weird and genuinely exciting, Palworld is an upcoming open-world game from Pocketpair Games, best known for Craftopia.

It puts its own spin on the survival crafting genre by throwing in Pokemon-inspired creature collecting, with various “Pals” for you to tame.

Monsters you collect have special powers that can come in hand during battles, farming, building, fishing, and more.

While it’s a bit jarring to see such adorable creatures appear alongside shotguns, assault rifles, and rocket launchers, there’s something so interesting about Palworld’s concept.

Indie game studio Monomi Park is currently working on a sequel to the bright and bubbly farming sim Slime Rancher.

Continuing with the adventures of Beatrix LeBeau, Slime Rancher 2 sees you venturing to Rainbow Island, a new world brimming with ancient mysteries and exotic wildlife.

Armed with an arsenal of slime-wrangling tools, you’ll collect and breed an assortment of unique slime creatures with distinct traits and personalities.

Once you get a hang of the game’s plort-based economy, you’ll be able to to flip resources for newbucks and spend them on ranch upgrades and new gadgets.

In Hazel Sky, you take on the role of a young engineer tasked with overcoming the challenges that await him on an abandoned island.

Your journey sees you exploring every inch of the island in search of spare parts that can be combined to create mechanically-dazzling machines.

The goal is to build a device that will allow you to escape the island and make it back home in one piece, though we’re counting on plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Despite Hazel Sky’s mechanics-driven premise, it’s story also shows a lot of promise and we’re eager to learn more about its main protagonist Shane.

Zeno Clash developer ACE Team is currently working on an open-world survival game called The Eternal Cylinder.

In it, players are tasked with guiding bizarre-looking creatures through life as they explore a hostile world filled with predators and a massive roller that kills anything in its path. 

The total number of evolutions is currently unknown but includes things like learning to breathe underwater, growing wings to fly, and many more.

Every playthrough offers a unique experience with procedurally-generated worlds and random types of species. 

Skull & Bones‘ development has been plagued by numerous delays, reboots, and internal turmoil stemming from the departure of the game’s creative director mid-production.

At the moment, the initial release date points towards sometime after March 2021.

We bet so many of you are looking forward to getting your hands on this one, and with good reason.

Some of its systems are genuinely interesting, such as the ability to use landmasses for cover and territory control as well as being able to camouflage your ship by raising the enemy’s flag. 

PlayStation exclusive Horizon Forbidden West will expand upon the mysterious world introduced by its predecessor in hopes of dazzling both PS4 and PS5 owners.

The sequel includes a host of graphical and gameplay improvements over Horizon Zero Dawn, including new water traversal sections,

Our protagonist Aloy returns, this time searching for more answers that will inevitably lead her to the biggest challenges she’s ever faced.

Considering Horizon has always stood out for its unique interpretation of a post-apocalyptic world, we’re eager to see what lies beyond the forbidden west. 

Initially announced as a 2018 release, Atomic Heart has had one of the more interesting development stories, with rumors suggesting it may not even be the same game anymore.

Categorized as a “first-person shooter with RPG elements,” the game is well into the process of development at studio Mundfish, a Russian-based indie game studio.  

Evoking memories of sci-fi staples like BioShock and Fallout, Atomic Heart takes place in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union’s research has led to a technical revolution.

Players assume control of a Soviet KGB officer tasked with infiltrating a secret facility that’s gone radio silent.

Best known for Batman: Arkham Origins, developer WB Games Montréal is back with another game set in the DC Universe.

With the Caped Crusader supposedly dead, Gotham Knights shifts its focus to his super-powered protégés as they’re called to defend Gotham City.

Presented as a co-op-based action-RPG for up to four players, the game sees you donning the mantle of Batgirl, Robin, Red Hood, and Nightwing with help from friends.

A single-player mode will also be available, allowing one player to swap between the four characters throughout the campaign.

Avowed is a brand-new IP from developer Obsidian that’s currently in development. It’s described as a first-person RPG set in a fantasy-inspired world called Eora.

In it, you play as an unknown hero who wields a sword and casts magical spells using some really cool-looking hand gestures.

It’s not surprising to see Obsidian racing to make another RPG when you consider it’s their bread and butter. Fallout: New Vegas, KOTR2, Pillars of Eternity, the list goes on and on.

Thematically, Avowed gives off a much darker tone than we’ve seen Obsidian explore in the past, so it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with. 

A third entry in the zombie survival horror series State of Decay is currently in development for Xbox Series X and PC.

State of Decay 3 intends to offer the ‘ultimate’ zombie survival simulation, and judging by the announcement trailer, Undead Labs is off to a great start. 

Fans can look forward to battling even more undead humans along with a new contestant: brain-eating zombie deer.

We anticipate the game’s graphics will significantly benefit from the next-gen hardware and overall shorter load times.

Even though Bethesda is more occupied with Elder Scrolls: Online, they still like to occasionally remind us Elder Scrolls VI is coming.

That being said, we haven’t received an update since 2018, so it’s likely Bethesda will have something to show before the year is through.

Current speculation suggests ES6 might be set in the Skyrim-adjacent region High Rock based on the announcement trailer depicting a mountainous northern province.

It’s also rumored that the ongoing conflict with the Thalmor may be a key element in the game’s plot.

While it may not be the long-rumored Fable 4 sequel we had in mind, a new Fable game is confirmed to be in development at Forza Horizons’ studio Playground Games.

Intended to be a reboot for the series, Fable will retain the spirit of the original trilogy, which saw players engaging with magical creatures throughout fantasy-inspired locales. 

Other than a cinematic reveal trailer, we don’t have much to go off of in terms of gameplay or even story.

The game is still a long way off but is expected to launch on Xbox Series X and PC as well as come to Xbox Game Pass.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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