Over the last decade, AAA single-player games have shifted toward open-world. I’ve grown more and more tired of these games as time has gone on, wondering how many times I can climb a tower to unlock more points on a map before I question whether I’m wasting my precious time on this green earth. Studios market and boast about their game taking hundreds of hours to see it all–a comment that’s beginning to feel less like a benefit and more like a threat. It’s not enough for a game to just be big. Who cares if I can traverse your crafted world if the world is boring? So when Elden Ring came out, I was skeptical.
To my delight and surprise, this latest FromSoftware entry fully revitalized what made the promise of an open-world game exhilarating back when they first became a possibility. Elden Ring has a lot of smart design decisions baked into its core to draw you to explore and feel like there will always be something interesting around every corner. Turns out you feel that way because there actually is something interesting around every corner.
So while we’re all still surrounded by the hype of Elden Ring, we want to know what other open-world games succeed where others fail. Let us know which game has your favorite open world to explore. And if it’s Elden Ring, well you can let us know that too.