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 videos.

As technology continues to advance and the gap between console and PC gaming gets smaller, we’re seeing game developers create more detailed and immersive open-worlds than ever before.

Genre defining titles like The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Cyberpunk 2077 continue to push the envelope of what’s achievable in video games while presenting players with living, breathing worlds. 

In this list, we’ll be highlighting the best upcoming open-world games releasing in 2021 and beyond in order of release date.

If we forgot to include your favorite game, feel free to sound off in the comments and let us know. And lastly, make sure to check back as we continue to update this list with new games in the future.

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

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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 various species of bizarre-looking creatures through life as they try to survive in an ever-changing world filled with a myriad of dangers, including predators and a massive, continually moving roller that kills anything in its path. 

As creatures explore, feed, and essentially thrive, they’ll start to experience evolution as their bodies adjust to the environment. The total number of evolutions is currently unknown, however, they include things like learning to breathe underwater, growing wings to fly, changing body shape to fit through narrow areas, etc. Every playthrough offers a unique experience with procedurally-generated worlds and random types of species. 

2019 came and went, and we still don’t have an exact release date for THQ Nordic’s upcoming action RPG, Biomutant. The game is currently in development by Stockholm-based Experiment 101, a studio founded by former Avalanche Studios creative director Stefan Ljungqvist, best known for the Just Cause Series.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Biomutant sees you playing as a raccoon-like creature with the ability to acquire mutations and attach bio-mechanical body parts that affect combat and traversal.

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.

Couple this with its absence from Ubisoft’s release calendar and there’s only one logical conclusion: we probably won’t see Skull & Bones until 2021 at the earliest.

It’s a shame the game won’t be coming out sooner because 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. 

Although Techland recently delayed the next entry in their zombie-parkour survival series, Dying Light 2 will likely end up being a cross-gen title and release for both current/next-gen consoles.

The first-person action RPG is set after the events of the first game and introduces Aiden Caldwell, an infected zombie virus survivor who uses his superb dexterity and combat prowess to gain allies and constantly escape the clutches of the undead. 

Dying Light 2 plans on delivering a refined traversal system with more fluid animations along with highly-interactive environments where players can swing from ropes and even ride on the roof of vehicles. Techland has also included more player-choice this time around, offering a dynamic open-world that evolves throughout the game. 

Originally planned to release in 2018 and then later 2019, Atomic Heart has had one of the more interesting development stories, with rumors suggesting it may not even be the same game at all.

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.

Even though Bethesda is more occupied with Elder Scrolls: Online and the latest flavor of the month Fallout 76 controversy, 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. Whether it’s a release date, gameplay, or another cinematic, rest assured the game will be coming to next-gen consoles.

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. 

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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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