The best open-world games place you in an area that’s teeming with life and contains a bunch of things for you to do. On top of that, they excel in the other areas games are judged on, such as gameplay mechanics and presentation.

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Over the years, many games have ticked all those boxes, whether they're action-adventure titles, RPGs, or creative sandbox games. And if you have Xbox Game Pass, you already have access to several of the best ones. After all, the subscription service has a load of compelling open-world experiences. The following ones are the best it has to offer.

Updated May 26, 2023 By Ben Jessey: Xbox Game Pass is an impressive deal for anyone who plays plenty of games. After all, it offers so many different kinds of games, including those of the open-world variety. So, if you want the freedom to wander a large and interesting world, Game Pass has got what you desire.

We placed Game Pass's best open-world games on this list. Yet, several wonderful ones missed out. So, we've decided to add them in this update.

17 Burnout Paradise Remastered

Burnout Paradise screenshot of a race car drifting

The Burnout series didn't seem like a natural fit for an open-world game. After all, it's a series mostly about causing vehicle destruction, not driving around beautiful cities. Yet, Burnout Paradise proves that the combination of free-roaming and car demolition can work.

The game gives you free rein to drive around Paradise City at an electric pace, making crazy jumps and participating in special events along the way. The loose goal is to improve your driving license, which unlocks more impressive cars. Yet, the real goal is to have pure chaotic fun.

16 Just Cause 4: Reloaded

Rico glides throw a military convoy as it blows up on the highway

The Just Cause series has a reputation for providing wild open-world games where you're encouraged to cause as much havoc as possible. Just Cause 4 certainly follows the series tradition in that regard. In this one, protagonist Rico Rodriguez goes to the fictional nation of Solis. It's a vibrant island filled with different biomes.

So, you have to chance to explore distinct environments in this very large world. The size isn't too troubling, though, as there are a lot of ways to quickly get around, including Just Cause's signature grappling hook and wingsuit combo.

15 Halo Infinite

Master Chief and Fernando Esparza in Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite is the first game in the famous FPS series to provide a true open-world experience - ODST dabbled with the concept. After finishing the prologue, Master Chief spends the rest of the game on a Halo ring.

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This world is bright and full of greenery. Yet, it's also full of enemy camps and bases, which you're free to attack as you drive around the place. The said enemies are members of the Banished, who the Chief intends to stop as part of the main story.

14 The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds Screenshot Of Hope Going Into Sun

The Outer Worlds is an RPG set in the distant future where humanity can colonize new worlds. The game revolves around their colonization of a new star system called Halcyon.

Not everyone made it to this new world, though. One ship, in particular, didn't reach its destination. This means many people are still in cryo sleep, which was the case for your character until the opening scene, where you're thawed out. Your goal is to explore the different planets in Halcyon and decide what to do with your frozen peers. Each of these planets is its own open world, and you're free to travel between them.

13 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Darth Vader Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lets you experience the nine main live-action Star Wars movies in LEGO form. They're deep and satisfying re-tellings that cover all the main moments of the series. During those movies, the main heroes travel to all sorts of wild and wonderful places across the galaxy.

In this game, you get to wander around LEGO re-creations of some of those planets. So, instead of one giant open world, this game includes several slightly smaller ones that you can roam. In the process, you can find all sorts of interesting things.

12 Sunset Overdrive

sunset overdrive screenshot of the main character grinding through a barrage of missiles

The colorful Sunset Overdrive is set in a city that contains plenty of mutated humans. Their mutation is a result of drinking a toxic energy drink. The protagonist used to work for the drink company and now has to escape from the world their former bosses created. Plus, they also want to bring the cooperate villains to justice.

In the process, you get to traverse the brightly colored metropolis. To do that, you do plenty of rail grinding and wall running in this movement-focused third-person shooter.

11 Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War

LOTR Middle-Earth Shadow Of War Chaos

As the start of the title suggests, this game is set in Tolkien's Middle-Eath, which gives you a fantasy-filled open world to explore. It's separated into a few regions that are visually distinct from one another. There are plenty of things to do in each of them, including engaging with the game's iconic Nemesis system.

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The feature gives personality and a hierarchy to some of the goons you fight. Whether you defeat or lose to them in battle impacts their standing within their army. You've also got your own crew that you're trying to build up in anticipation of taking on Sauron's mighty forces. This serves as the primary motivation for the main story.

10 Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Attacking Varric in Dragon Age Inquisition

Dragon Age Inquisition isn't a completely open-world game in the traditional sense, as you're not placed on one giant map and told to get on with it. Instead, there is a bunch of smaller maps that you're free to explore. There is a great variety to them, as you visit all sorts of different places and environments.

Wherever you go, there is always a bunch of missions to complete and landmarks to find. And no place is entirely safe, as all the maps contain enemies. Some of them even have dragons. You go to these locations to recruit allies for your Inquisition and mess with the evil Corypheus's sinister plans.

9 Immortals Fenyx Rising

Fenyx Looking Out At The World In Immortals Fenyx Rising

Immortals Fenyx Rising is heavily inspired by Greek mythology. Thus, it takes place in a land of gods called the Golden Isle. The map is split into several regions, and each one is dedicated to a different deity.

It's an incredibly beautiful world due to the game's eye-catching art style. And your customizable protagonist has both climbing and flying abilities, meaning traversing the place is a lot of fun. The goal of your hero is to restore the gods, who have been robbed of their status and powers by an evil being known as Typhon. You also have to put a stop to the villain's plan to take over the world.

8 Watch Dogs 2

Watch dogs 2 an IED explosion

The San Francisco Bay area is the setting for Watch Dogs 2 - albeit a fictionalized version of it. And you get free reign to roam the place in-between missions.

The city is filled with all sorts of shops to visit and races to join. In fact, it's one of the best non-racing games to include racing, as the titles offer plenty of different types, from Sailboat events to drone circuits. The map also includes a lot of technology to mess with as you play as a hacker trying to bring down a major tech corporation called Blume.

7 Far Cry 5

Joseph Seed, Far Cry 5's main villain

The Far Cry games tend to take place in very exotic locations. The fifth game doesn't quite follow that trend as the story occurs in a fictional region of Montana. Still, the environment is beautiful regardless. And the map contains a bunch of things to occupy your time. There are collectibles, side missions, and outposts for you to discover.

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However, it is also a treacherous land. For starters, dangerous animals are abundant in the wild and will attack you on sight. Plus, at the beginning of the game, the entire region is controlled by the villainous Seed family, led by cult leader Joseph Seed. The goal of the game is to stop them.

6 The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

A Nord Man in Skyrim

Skyrim's main quest is about the customizable Dragonborn stopping a dragon that's prophesied to destroy the world. However, it can take a long time to get there, as the world is jam-packed with stuff to do.

You can spend many hours traveling around the giant map, discovering new locations. On top of that, there are a bunch of items to locate and side quests to complete. You can also roam the map looking for resources. Few open worlds are as big or include as much content as the one in Skyrim.

5 Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins Screenshot Of Bayek Sphinx

Origins boasts one of the biggest maps in Assassin's Creed history. It is a beautiful re-creation of Ancient Egypt. Therefore, it contains all the famous landmarks, such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Plus, as this is Assassin's Creed, you can do more than just visit them - you can climb all over the structures.

They aren't the only places worth visiting, as there are many other fascinating locations on the map. However, you shouldn't spend all your time exploring as the main questline is worth doing also. It tells an interesting tale about a Medjay called Bayek, who attempts to avenge the death of his son.

4 Minecraft

Minecraft art of steve running through field with bees

It's fair to say that Minecraft is one of the most famous video games of all time. Each new game in this juggernaut of a survival title begins with you spawning into a randomly generated world. As such, everyone gets a different place to explore, but they each share similarities. For instance, every world contains the same mobs and similar sorts of resources.

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With the said resources, you can build what you want with them. After all, this game is all about giving you complete freedom to experience it how you see fit. There is technically a conclusion, which you activate by beating the Ender Dragon. Yet, you can avoid all that and just stick to farming if you like.

3 Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman Arkham Knight open world movement glide

In Arkham Knight, the iconic villain Scarecrow threatens an attack on Gotham City. So, the citizens panic and flee. Not everyone goes, though, as there is still a bunch of rogues in the city as well as some innocent victims.

As Batman, there are several ways to get around the large city, such as using your grapple hook or driving the batmobile. While traveling around, you can track down some of the villains and apprehend them. You also need to travel around Gotham for the main missions as you attempt to stop Scarecrow and a new enemy known as the Arkham Knight.

2 Fallout New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas Benny At The Tops

Fallout New Vegas doesn't provide you with a tropical paradise or stylish city to roam around. The open world you're given is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. So, it isn't easy on the eye, but it still contains plenty of fascinating areas. And you're not alone in this hellscape as there are other people, too.

You can speak with some folks to learn more about them and get side quests. The future of these people and the wasteland as a whole is heavily impacted by your actions in the main questline. But it all starts with a revenge mission as you try to find the man who attempted to kill you.

1 Yakuza 0

Kiryu standing in the middle of a busy street in Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 is a game that features multiple protagonists, as you control both Kiryu and Majima. The two characters each get their own Japanese cities to explore. Kiryu mostly spends his time in Kamurocho, while Majima is a Sotenbori man. While neither of them is the biggest open world you will ever see, they are dense.

Each place has a whole host of activities to engage with, from pool to karaoke. On top of that, the cities are brimming with people offering you side missions. The most important place in the game, though, doesn't contain any people or activities. Instead, it's an empty lot within Kamurocho. This is because the entire main story revolves around its ownership.

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