5 richly detailed open-world games that will give Rockstar a run for their money

Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the most detailed open-world games from Rockstar (Image via Rockstar Games)
Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the most detailed open-world games from Rockstar (Image via Rockstar Games)

Rockstar Games kicked it out of the park with the open-world game Red Dead Redemption 2. It had such intricate details and embellishments that fans couldn’t help getting lost in its many environments and towns.

Even before RDR2, the developer was well-known for creating open worlds which immerse players in even the most minute aspects.

The more recent GTA titles also featured a meticulously designed modern-day open-world setting that gave users the whole experience of causing chaos in an urban environment. While these open-world games are some of the best in the business, they are not the only ones with a carefully crafted map and environment for gamers to enjoy.

From the exhaustive number of open-world games available, numerous picks offer an intricate open-world setting for readers to enjoy.

Note: This article reflects the writer’s opinions.

Five open-world games with the most detailed environment

1) The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim


The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, an RPG open-world game developed and published by Bethesda, was released in 2011 for the Windows PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Set in the fictional Continent of Tamriel, it tells the story of the land of Skyrim, as it faces a civil war when a larger threat of dragons suddenly emerges.

In Skyrim’s world, gamers take on the role of the Dragonborn as they explore the map and all its nooks and crannies. It set a precedent for all other RPGs and was full of random yet scripted events that made it feel lived in and populated by actual sentient creatures.

Little details were scattered about the world, which connected much of the law and lore of the fictional universe. The ancient crypts of the nords had a certain aesthetic, differentiating them from the Dwemer ruins, which were mechanical and more advanced in their design.

Each map region had different enemies to contend with, such as the guerilla rebel military of the Forsworn in the Reach and the trolls found in the colder climates.

2) Batman: Arkham Knight


2015 saw the end of Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy with the release of Batman: Arkham Knight. Finally set in Gotham City, this final title in the series saw Batman take on the forces of Scarecrow and the eponymous villain, The Arkham Knight, as well as other famous individuals from his rogue’s gallery.

While not a living, breathing Gotham City, with its residents being evacuated the night before, this map was still a spectacle to behold. The city was divided into three islands, each with a unique feel.

Bleake Island featured some of the older rundown areas of the city, while Miagani Island was more akin to a bustling metropolis. Founder’s Island had the most advanced designs.

Many times in the story, as well as its side missions, this open-world game employed its map as markers for quests, such as different bodies being strung up at various points as a part of The Perfect Crime side mission.

Possibly the coolest detail was how Batman could sneak up behind a thug as he was in the process of pinpointing the Dark Knight’s location only to realize that he was right behind him.

3) Assassin’s Creed Odyssey


The second title in the Assassin’s Creed series to take the RPG approach, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, was released on October 5, 2018. Developed by Ubisoft Quebec and published by the same parent company, this open-world game was set in ancient Greece, in the time between 431-422 BC.

Following the story of the misthios, this setting fully utilized the historical setting, with a world designed around real-world locations but bringing them to life with accurately designed structures and restored monuments. Lots of detailing is done for events around that time, including the downfall of Pericles, the father of democracy, and the Peloponnesian War.

Players also visit ancient historical locations, which are now lost to time, such as the village of Delphi, where the Oracle of Greece sat and presumably predicted the future. Important cities such as Athens are also carefully created, with monuments such as the statue of Athena and the Parthenon in their full glory.

4) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


Developed by CD Projekt Red, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world game set in the universe of The Witcher novels, written by Andrzej Sapkowski. Set after the book’s events, this RPG is the third game in this series and was released on May 19, 2015.

Users take control of Geralt in search of Ciri, who has been seen around the Continent once more.

This open-world game offers them lots to do after a certain point in the game. It is rife with monsters that inhabit the wilderness and individuals and quests to be found hidden in various areas. Some quests have consequences that might affect the larger world.

Other small details include Geralt’s beard, which will require it to be trimmed now and then to maintain his clean-shaven look from the books. The use of potions will lead to Geralt’s veins turning darker to illustrate the toxicity of the liquid.

The little flick of Geralt’s hand to steady his scabbard whenever he sheaths his swords is also a great example.

5) Elden Ring


Hidetaki Miyazaki’s games are overflowing with detail in all aspects, as it is through this that larger lore of the world can be established. This is the same for Elden Ring, the game director’s latest outing, released in early 2020. Developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco, it is the first open-world game from the developer.

One of the more well-known aspects of the detail in these titles is item descriptions, which give some much-needed information about the characters in the game. Aside from just item description, particular locations of characters, their wardrobe, weapons, and spells they use tell a lot about them, which can not be found written down anywhere else.

For example, many might have wondered why General Radahn rides around on a tiny horse. But in-game lore explains that he had the horse since he was a child and didn’t wish to part ways with it even though he’d grown too big.

So he learned a specific gravity magic spell that would allow him to ride the horse into combat while also being a hulk-sized abomination.

Note: This article is subjective and reflects the author’s views.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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