As the gap between console and PC gaming becomes smaller, the size and scope of open-world games will continue to rise. Hardware like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will allow developers to make highly ambitious games that benefit from next-gen perks like more available memory and faster processing.

The end result will be more immersive and detailed open-worlds with larger environments and shorter load times.

While this is excellent news for future releases, it also means backward compatible games will run a lot smoother going forward. Here, we’ll be ranking the biggest open-world games by size, in order from smallest to biggest. Make sure to check back as we continue to update this list with new games and while you’re here, consider reading through our other curated lists:

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (15 sq. mi)

Developer: Bethesda – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch

the elder scrolls 5 skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is considered as one of the best open-world games of all time and has only gotten better over time with the advantage of mods and numerous re-releases. Set 200 years after the events of Oblivion, the game presents a massive sandbox in the form of Skyrim, a province belonging to the Empire. Made up of nine separate regions, Skyrim’s open-world is overflowing with secret caves and dungeons housing both untold treasures and deadly foes.

Fallout 76 (16 sq. mi)

Developer: Bethesda – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One

fallout 76

Bound to annoy many Fallout fans, Fallout 76 happens to feature the largest map of any game in the series at 16 square miles. That’s about four times the size of Fallout 4 for a comparison. While the game is definitely not without its issues and an overwhelming majority of player complaints are definitely warranted, there’s still something so captivating about exploring the Appalachian territories of West Virginia.

From encountering the mysterious moth man in Point Pleasant to piecing together clues to find the locations of the legendary Nuka Cola Bunker, there is a myriad of interesting places to visit in between blowing up super mutants.

PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (25 sq. mi)

Developer: PUBG Corp. – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One | Android | iOS

playerunknowns battlegrounds

The battle royale phenomenon may not be as new and exciting as it was in 2017 when PlayerUnknown’s Battleground took the world by storm. However, there’s something to be said about the staying power of what started out as a mod for Arma 2. What’s more, PUBG seems too always be improving with updates and has greatly benefited from the addition of more maps. The two largest maps currently in the game are Erangel and Miramar, each individually spanning 25 square miles.

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (29 sq. mi)

Developer: Nintendo – Platform: Switch | Wii U

the legend of zelda breath of the wild

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild not only reinvents the concept of a Zelda game but also delivers one of the best open-worlds in the form of the kingdom of Hyrule. At 29 square miles, exploring each of the 15 different regions that make up Hyrule is an undertaking within itself that can take upwards of 200 hours to complete. The best part is how much freedom you’re allotted, with the entire map opening up once you’ve made it off the Great Plateau.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (29 sq. mi)

Developer: Rockstar – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One

red dead redemption 2

Serving as the prequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, RDR2 sees the return of states New Austin and West Elizabeth along with newcomers New Hanover, Ambarino, and Lemoyne. These bring the game’s map size to a grand total of 29 square miles, nearly four times the size of its predecessors. While it may not be the biggest Rockstar-developed title, Red Dead Redemption 2 features some of the most stunning vistas we’ve ever seen in a video game.

Far Cry 2 (31 sq. mi)

Developer: Ubisoft – Platform: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

far cry 2

While it may not be the most popular entry in the series, Far Cry 2 is definitely the most ambitious, with many considering it ahead of its time and the turning point in Ubisoft’s support for console gaming. The game presents players with a 31 square mile rendition of the African Serengeti. Although its visuals will look dated by today’s standards, Far Cry 2’s various deserts, jungles, and savannas provide the perfect backdrop for bringing down an arms dealer and coping with the effects of malaria.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins (32 sq. mi)

Developer: Ubisoft – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One

Assassin's Creed Origins

Despite how immersive Assassin’s Creed: Origins depiction of Ancient Egypt may feel, you may be surprised to learn it’s only the third biggest open-world in the series, clocking in at 32 square miles. That being said, there are still plenty of notable landmarks and sights to see as you fulfill your role as a Medjay. From the oasis in Faiyum to the treasure-filled sands of the Black Desert, each region strikes a careful balance between historical accuracy and interesting world design.

Dragon Age: Inquisition (45 sq. mi)

Developer: BioWare – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch

dragon age inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition is somewhat of a hidden gem, a criminally underrated RPG that’s admittedly a little rough around the edges. While the game’s follow-up is long overdue, Inquisition is still considered regarded as one of the better BioWare-developed titles to date, despite how much the company’s reputation has soured in recent years. Offering 45 square miles of explorable land, the continent of Thedas is brimming with exciting fauna and flora throughout its unique locales and treacherous dungeons.

Grand Theft Auto V (50 sq. mi)

Developer: Rockstar Games – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch

grand theft auto 5

There aren’t many developers as bold and innovative as Rockstar Games or open-world games as engrossing as Grand Theft Auto V. It gives players the freedom to explore a 50 square mile sandbox built using maps of both Los Angeles and Southern California. Landmarks like mountains and skyscrapers have been carefully recreated with love, making it that much more satisfying to ride a dirt bike off the edge of Mount Chiliad.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (55 sq. mi)

Developer: Ubisoft – Platform: PC | PS4 | PS3 | Xbox One | Switch | Wii U

assassins creed 4 black flag

The many diverse locales that make up World of Warcraft’s open-world hold a lot of nostalgia for veteran players who have stuck around since the game’s release way back in 2004. Now entering its 16th year online, WoW holds the title for the most played MMORPG of all time, an impressive feat considering how much the genre has evolved over time.

 A large part of its success can be attributed to WoW’s satisfying gameplay loop, which rewards you for exploring different regions while completing quests and daily activities. While it may feel dated by some players’ standards, its 80 square mile map is still a delight to wander around, possibly getting swarmed by a pack of murlocs or wolves along the way.

World Of Warcraft (80 sq. mi)

Developer: Blizzard Ent. – Platform: PC

world of warcraft

The many diverse locales that make up World of Warcraft’s open-world hold a lot of nostalgia for veteran players who have stuck around since the game’s release way back in 2004. Now entering its 16th year online, WoW holds the title for the most played MMORPG of all time, an impressive feat considering how much the genre has evolved over time.

 A large part of its success can be attributed to WoW’s satisfying gameplay loop, which rewards you for exploring different regions while completing quests and daily activities. While it may feel dated by some players’ standards, its 80 square mile map is still a delight to wander around, possibly getting swarmed by a pack of murlocs or wolves along the way.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (84 sq. mi)

Developer: CD Projekt Red – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch

the witcher 3 wild hunt

When CD Projekt Red sets out to make an open-world game, they pull out all the stops. This becomes instantly clear the moment you boot up The Witcher 3 and begin exploring The Continent’s war-ravaged swamps, dense forests, and treacherous caves totaling 84 square miles. While they may not be the biggest, The Witcher 3’s environments have all been lovingly crafted by hand and therefore possess a lot more personality than your average open-world game.

DayZ (87 sq. mi)

Developer: Bohemia Interactive – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One

DayZ

Despite the numerous controversies surrounding DayZ, the game has maintained a substantial playerbase that’s only benefited from the release of a console version in 2019. Set on the fictional 87 square mile landscape of the Soviet Republic of Chernaru, the game sees you fighting for survival as you by looting houses and barns for gear while battling other players amidst a zombie outbreak.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey (91 sq. mi)

Developer: Ubisoft – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One

Assassins creed odyssey

At 91 square miles, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey contains the biggest map in the series to date. However, it’s only able to achieve this feat by taking a couple shortcuts.  For one, the open-world is a combination of areas from Black Flag and Origins that have repurposed and adapted to the game’s Ancient Greece setting.

Additionally, a majority of the open-world is covered with bodies of water, rendering them inaccessible for the most part. However, we’d argue the biggest offense is how little the player is actually able to explore at the start of the game since certain areas will only become available after you’ve progressed in the story.

Arma 3 (103 sq. mi)

Developer: Bohemia Interactive – Platform: PC

Arma 3

The Arma series is notorious for dropping players onto massive, sprawling maps that force you to do quite a bit of hiking if you have any hopes of running into an enemy team. The best display of this is Arma 3, which features a 103 square mile open-world. While trekking around a map this large by foot can get tedious quickly, the high amount of detail in each environment does a great job of providing atmosphere.

Ghost Recon Wildlands (105 sq. mi)

Developer: Ubisoft – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One

ghost recon wildlands

While its sequel, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, may have been panned by critics, 2017’s Wildlands is remembered fondly as one of the better co-op tactical shooters to come out of this generation. A part of this can be attributed to the dense nature of its 105 square mile open-world, all of which is fully explorable at the start of the game.

However, in order to see every inch of the many rainforests, mountains, and desert regions that make up Wildlands’ Bolivia, you’ll have to come to grips with the game’s abysmal driving controls.

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (135 sq. mi)

Developer: Codemasters – Platform: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

operation flashpoint dragon rising

Although Codemasters is better known for its publishing credits, the company has also tried their hand at creating original IP in the past, with many citing 2007’s action-RPG Overlord as their best-received title to date. One attempt that didn’t exactly resonate with players is Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, a realistic military sim that looked to compete with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield.

The game was ultimately a failure, with complaints directed towards its confusing story and subpar controls. Operation Flashpoint’s one redeeming quality is the sheer size of its open-world, which includes 135 square miles of traversable terrain.

Xenoblade Chronicles X (154 sq. mi)

Developer: Monolithe Soft – Platform: Wii U

xenoblade chronicles x

One of the many games to have the unfortunate luck of being trapped on Nintendo’s failed Wii U console, Xenoblade Chronicles X is an ambitious JRPG that sets out to eclipse its predecessor in every aspect. This includes world size, with the game’s alien planet setting Mira spanning 154 square miles.  If that wasn’t enough, players are given the option to explore the open-world from the comfort of a sleek-looking mech with flight capabilities.

Burnout Paradise (200 sq. mi)

Developer: Criterion Games – Platform: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Burnout Paradise

Remastered for modern consoles in 2018, Burnout Paradise remains one of the best arcade racers ever created, with most the game’s praise directed towards the genius of its open-world design. The fictional setting of Paradise City offers 200 square miles of street racing real estate, which includes numerous secret ramps and shortcuts for players to discover. Most impressive is Criterion’s approach in designing the game’s map layout, ensuring every region had its own distinct landmarks that made navigating a lot easier.

True Crime: Streets Of LA (240 sq. mi)

Developer: Luxoflux – Platform: PC | PS2 | Xbox | GameCube

True Crime Streets Of LA

During the early 2000s, just about every developer was trying to emulate Rockstar Games in hopes of achieving the same level of success the studio had experienced following the release of Grand Theft Auto III. As a result, a bunch of GTA clones began cropping up on store shelves, a majority of which instantly fell into obscurity.

While True Crime: Streets of LA fared much better than others, mainly due to its vast 240 square mile map surpassing that of GTA III’s, the series was cut short after the release of a sequel, True Crime: Streets of New York.

Just Cause 3 (400 sq. mi)

Developer: Avalanche Studios – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch

Just Cause 3

The Just Cause series have a track record for presenting players with large-scale sandboxes filled with plenty of opportunities to cause mayhem under the guise of protecting villages from terrorists and drug cartels alike. Just Cause 3 takes things a step further by assigning you the hefty task of liberating an entire island spanning 400 square miles as secret agent Rico Rodriguez.

While the main campaign can be completed in about eight to ten hours, the true joy comes from encountering unscripted in-game events and experimenting with Rico’s arsenal of over-the-top weapons and gadgets.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 (618 sq. mi)

Developer: Eden Games – Platform: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Test Drive Unlimited 2

There was a point during 2011 where Test Drive Unlimited 2 became one of the most popular racing games around, mainly off of the strength of its 618 square mile map size comprised of two separate islands. However, the game’s success was short-lived due to a lack of explorable environments and racing events, both of which contributed to a dwindling playerbase not long after the game’s release.

Final Fantasy XV (700 sq. mi)

Developer: Square Enix – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One

Final Fantasy XV

The Final Fantasy games have come a long way since the 8-bit console generation, with more recent entries including larger environments, such as FF7 Remake’s impressive reimagining of Midgar. However, the title for the biggest FF game is still held by Final Fantasy XV. The Earth-like world of Eos stretches across roughly 750 square miles, but when you factor in non-traversable areas like mountains, that number drops to around 700.

This is reflected in the game’s story length, which will take most players about 72 hours to beat. Considering how much it stands out compared to its predecessors, it’s no wonder FFXV is the most controversial entry in the series to date.

The Crew (1900 sq. mi)

Developer: Ubisoft – Platform: PC | PS4 | Xbox One | Xbox 360

The Crew

The Crew’s massive 1,900 square mile map size was a major selling point in Ubisoft’s marketing campaign leading up to its release in 2014. The game features a scaled-down version of the United States in its entirety that ends up being about the same size as the state of Delaware. As a result, driving from New York to Los Angeles takes roughly one hour to complete in-game.

Fuel (5600 sq. mi)

Developer: Asobo Studio – Platform: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Fuel

Released in 2009, Fuel is a racing game that currently holds the title for the largest map in a video game, clocking in at a whopping 5,600 square miles. More impressive is the fact that while in free roaming mode, the game’s entire map can be explored without triggering any loading screens, assuming you don’t crash. 

Unfortunately, this bragging right came at the cost of enjoyment, with many players claiming Fuel’s open-world was simply too large to tame. Combine this with a lack of content and mostly barren environments, and you have the recipe for an impressively large but still pretty dull open-world racing game.

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