5 open-world games like GTA 5 with long single-player campaigns

Image via Konami
Image via Konami

Video games have not only been a frontier for interactive, engaging entertainment but also as a credible medium for storytelling. Games like GTA 5 have proved that they can manage to tell Hollywood-level stories with the necessary explosions and gunfire, along with truly clever writing and themes.

The past decade has proven beyond all doubt that video games are truly one of the most visceral forms of art, as they bring the player into their world. Different studios tend to have dissimilar approaches to their campaigns. While some hope to offer a concentrated, short, and focused campaign, others prefer a long, drawn-out expansive one.

The game length has been a divisive issue for both fans and studios as recent trends have indicated only a small portion of players ever manage to finish the campaign. However, if it is a long campaign that stretches for 30 hours or more, then the games on this list are right up your alley.

Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinion of the writer.

Open-world games with gigantic single-player campaigns

Honorable Mentions:

  • Mafia 3
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Death Stranding
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Mad Max

5) Assassin's Creed Valhalla


Assassin's Creed might be a lot of things, and not all of them necessarily positive. Yet, the Assassin's Creed series has generally always managed to put out some of the most enjoyable open-world games of the past decade, and the streak continues with the last entry in the series.

The game is an exceptionally well-made, expansive experience that only seems to get bigger the more players play through it. After a deceptively slow opening, the game picks up the pace as our heroes leave for England from Norway. Once there, the story spans over the course of several years as the Raven Clan finds footing in new lands.

The game is easily over 30 hours, even on a rushed playthrough. The plethora of side quests will make up a large chunk of the player's time in the game, and it rarely ever feels like an exercise in tedium.

4) Days Gone


Days Gone might not have been the runaway success both fans and Sony had hoped for upon release. Yet, the game has found a large, vocal, and supportive audience on console, and now PC as well.

The game has a lot of issues, especially with regards to pacing and controls. Yet, they fade into the background once players get into the meat of the story and start messing around with the game's system.

Days Gone isn't incredibly long, but it is a pretty substantial campaign that remains quite enjoyable throughout. It is a solid AAA game worth trying out if one is into zombie action-adventure shooters.

3) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


The Witcher 3 is, in many ways, the gold standard of open-world RPGs and a true landmark achievement for CD Projekt Red. The game starts off pretty slow, as it aims to ease the players into the experience rather than hit them with 20 submenus and gameplay mechanics right at the start.

The game will eventually reveal itself to be a gigantic saga of epic proportions as the player and Geralt fight interdimensional beings and help out villages in need. By the time credits roll around, players will feel like they've been through a real epic, which is exactly what the game should feel like.

No second of Witcher 3 is ever dull as the missions, and side quests are as briskly paced as one has come to expect from CDPR.

2) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


Kojima and Metal Gear's swan song, The Phantom Pain, had the laborious task of tying off every loose end from the Metal Gear saga. While it succeeds in many ways, this is a game purely built for gameplay, and the story can often feel like it plays second fiddle.

Make no mistake, there is a lot of story, but the gameplay is front and center. The campaign is quite long, to the point where players can effectively feel like they've played through Metal Gear Solid 2's campaign twice or thrice by the time they close the book on this one.

1) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Skyrim is rightfully considered the most seminal video game of the 2010s, and it is no surprise that the game has been around for this long. The reason why the game is so incredibly popular is that rather than making a compromise with either quality or quantity, Bethesda essentially excels in both.

Even with its 40-hour plus campaign, the game manages to be exciting through every second of it. This is a feat not too many games can claim to have accomplished. Skyrim will impress the players at every turn and leave them absolutely spellbound.

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Edited by Shaheen Banu