Given their expansive nature, open-world projects tend to be some of the longest video games in existence. It’s possible to pour hundreds and thousands of hours into a single open-world game without exploring every nook and cranny.


While there are short open-world games out there, Shadow of the Colossus and Mafia immediately come to mind, most entries in the genre require a significant time investment. That’s part of the reason these titles are so popular – they reward commitment with content and immersion.

Updated October 26, 2022 by Mark Sammut: Looking for the longest open-world games to beat? Then this article should help. Nowadays, it is not unusual for a developer to boast about a new game’s map size prior to launch. Obviously, bigger is not always better, and there are plenty of titles with smallish open-world and lengthy storylines. This article has been expanded to include a few more of the largest open-world games​​​​​.

The listed times were taken from HowLongToBeat. The included ranges cover from the time required to finish the main story to a completionist playthrough.

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37/37 Cyberpunk 2077 (24-107 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC

Cyberpunk 2077 is infamous for having a disastrous launch. All the hype this game had accumulated was completely crushed as a result of unfulfilled promises and a litany of bugs that hampered the overall experience.

However, players who are willing to look past these faults and focus on the game’s strengths can find themselves enjoying a narratively rich experience that’s full to the brim with excellent characters. It’s one of the longest video games around, which is fitting for a title made by CD Projekt Red.

36/37 Pokemon Legends: Arceus (24-77 Hours)

  • Platform:
    Nintendo Switch

Finally, Pokemon went open-world, and Game Freak did a pretty decent job of adopting this style. Pokemon Legends: Arceus is the franchise’s most ambitious project in years, not just in terms of scale but also in its story and mechanics.

This time around, the focus is squarely on exploration and discovery as the time-traveling protagonist seeks to fill the Pokedex of the Hisui region. Hopefully, Arceus represents the franchise’s direction moving forward, or at least sparks a new subseries revolving around open-world gameplay.

35/37 Fallout 3: Game Of The Year Edition (28-114 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC

For the longest time, the Fallout series was limited to a top-down isometric perspective that was quite a blast in its own right. However, the manner in which Bethesda managed to modernize the series should definitely be commended.

Related: Fallout 3: Locations Most Players Missed

Fallout 3 was a return to form for the series that showcased the potential of the IP as an open-world action-adventure title. The game was absolutely massive and full to the brim with content, turning it into one of the longest titles ever made.

34/37 Conan Exiles (29-172 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Conan Exiles is one of those titles that someone can easily sink more than a thousand hours into, however, the survival game comes with such a steep learning curve that it can be really difficult to get into. Conan Exiles does have a story that can be somewhat followed, but the majority of the experience revolves around the basic gameplay loop of scavenging, crafting, building, and interacting with other players.

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In some ways, this open-world game is similar to Minecraft, at least when it comes to the sandbox. Conan Exiles has amassed quite a dedicated fan base since its launch, and the game still averages roughly 8,000 players on Steam.

33/37 Subnautica (30-59 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Set on a water-themed alien planet, Subnautica is a survival horror game that leans heavily into exploration. As Ryley, players are tasked with traversing this world in pursuit of clues that might reveal what happened to a crew that landed on the planet a decade prior; in the meantime, they are also searching for a way to head home.

Subnautica takes place primarily underwater, with the only exceptions being two rather small islands. The sea is filled with wonders and threats, including the terrifying Reapers. Open-world projects can feel a bit samey at times, but Subnautica‘s setting, horror elements, and first-person perspective differentiate the game from its peers.

32/37 Horizon Zero Dawn – Complete Edition (30-78 Hours) & Horizon Forbidden West (27-87 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, PC (
    HZD
    ); PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 (
    HFW
    )

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of those games with a world that players can absolutely lose themselves in forever if they wished. Playing as the ambitious and clever Aloy, gamers take up her teched-out bow and set out across a post-apocalyptic environment with mystic tribes, rolling hills, lush forests, and robot dinosaurs.

It goes without saying that Horizon Zero Dawn‘s greatest strength is its world. In a genre where that element needs to be big, bright, and beautiful, this game undoubtedly succeeds. The sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, offers more of the same, only slightly better.

31/37 Dysmantle (30-86 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC

An indie open-world survival game, Dysmantle establishes a gameplay loop that is irresistibly addictive. Set in a post-apocalyptic world featuring zombies, this title’s bare-bones sound rather unspectacular, but everything comes together quite seamlessly for one main reason: progression is constant and highly enjoyable.

Players spend the majority of their time in Dysmantle destroying everything around them, and each action grants XP points that can then be used to forge better tools to cause even more devastation. It is a cycle that works brilliantly and ensures that grinding never feels pointless. The world is reasonably large too, even if the isometric camera angle makes the map seem smaller than it actually is.

30/37 Don’t Starve (32-122 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, and PC

The seemingly endless wilderness of Don’t Starve is the ideal setting for its open-world. In Don’t Starve, players have to survive in a dangerous wilderness inhabited by strange creatures such as giant monsters consisting of Dragonflies, Treeguards, Deerclops, and Reanimated Skeletons.

RELATED: Don’t Starve Together: Best Armor & How To Get Them

The game even pits you against a boss monster named “Klaus” who resembles Santa Claus. The objective of the game is not to starve. An abundance of content gives Don’t Starve tremendous replay value.

29/37 Outward (33-79 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Usually, fantasy RPGs cast players as prominent figures, heroes summoned by the stars to change the course of history. Outward opts for a different take as its protagonist starts off as a common adventurer who is merely trying to pay off a debut, and it takes a while for them to become involved in a more important narrative.

While Outward has plenty of issues such as unsatisfying combat, the game nails its open-world. Players are allowed to explore the map to their hearts’ content, and the game opens up very quickly. Sure, some routes lead to death, but that is to be expected in this sort of fantasy world.

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC

It would be impossible to list out a wealth of Bethesda titles without mentioning the legendary Elder Scrolls series. After the massive success of Morrowind, it was only a given that Bethesda would pull out all the stops for the next game in the series.

Oblivion definitely didn’t disappoint in this regard, featuring an excellent story that would keep gamers occupied for weeks, if not months. It’s one of the greatest and longest video games of all time.

27/37 Space Rangers HD: A War Apart (33-180 Hours)

Although it certainly shows its age nowadays, Space Rangers 2: Dominators was an impressive sci-fi title when it debuted in 2004. The Russian game blends a surprising number of genres, from trade simulators to shoot ’em ups and RTS. The base game launched with hardly a shortage of content, but 2013’s Space Rangers HD: A War Apart adds even more material to it, expanding this title to enormous lengths.

Space Rangers HD takes place in a universe where evil robots called Dominators are trying to take over everything. The player steps into one of the game’s various civilizations and must set out to complete faction missions, take a few trips to hyperspace, and make enemies and friends along the way. Not everything about Space Rangers HD: A War Apart has aged gracefully, but the game’s open-ended nature is admirable and greatly enhances its replayability, making it one of the longest video games ever.

26/37 Fallout 4 – Game Of The Year Edition (33-234 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

The sequel to Fallout 3 definitely had its fair share of detractors, with most people considering it to be a massive game that’s devoid of any soul. However, there’s no denying the fact that Fallout 4 has its merits.

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Exploration is still a blast, and settlement management is a welcome distraction that players can invest a ton of hours into. The combination of both these aspects — among many others — led to Fallout 4 becoming one of the longest video games around.

25/37 Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (34-119 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox Series One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, PC

2012’s Dragon’s Dogma is a great action RPG, and Dark Arisen adds roughly 10 hours of awesome content to the base game. Capcom drops players in Gransys, a gorgeous open-world densely populated with monsters. While not colossal, the map is expertly crafted to maximize gameplay and combat, the latter of which is fantastic. Dark Arisen introduces Bitterblack Isle, a post-campaign area that significantly ramps up the difficulty and dread.

Dragon’s Dogma does not have much in the way of memorable characters or writing, and the game’s storytelling is unlikely to leave much of a lasting impression. However, almost everything else is well above average, and the simple act of exploration is satisfying. In 2022, Capcom announced that Dragon’s Dogma 2 is on the way.

24/37 Days Gone (36-65 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, PC

Days Gone got lost in the PS4 exclusive shuffle and garnered a polarizing reception at launch. The zombie open-world game centers around Deacon St. John, a biker who goes on a journey to track down his supposedly deceased wife. A surprisingly character-driven piece, Days Gone‘s lengthy campaign does have some pacing issues and a slow start, but things do pick up after a couple of hours.

Even if the narrative fails to hit the spot with someone, they can at least look forward to driving their bike across a beautiful world while they try to avoid the undead hordes.

23/37 Elex 2 (36-84 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Piranha Bytes specializes in open-world games, an endeavor that goes all the way back to 2001’s Gothic. Although typically known for their Eurojank, Piranha’s projects are endearing and ambitious for the company’s size. Gothic 2 is probably the developer’s most famous title, but the Risen and Elex series also have their fans.

Debuting roughly a week after Elden Ring, Elex 2 was utterly overshadowed by FromSoftware’s masterpiece. Now that the Lands Between has been fully explored, RPG fans might want to consider visiting Magalan for a fantasy sci-fi adventure. Elex 2 wastes little time in cutting players loose so that they can explore its world, and the game even hands out a jetpack.

22/37 Sea Of Thieves (36-789 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC

Sea of Thieves is a blast with friends. Form a pirate crew and sail the high seas looking for treasure while fighting off skeletons and all sorts of mythical creatures. Sea of Thieves‘ open-world is large and quite gorgeous, and it tries to avoid directing people down a linear path as much as possible.

RELATED: Sea Of Thieves: Best Things To Spend Gold On

Crews can take on voyages so they can have temporary goals in mind, besides trying to become Pirate Legends. However, Sea of Thieves is at its best when pirates answer the call of adventure and head out into the unknown.

21/37 Fallout: New Vegas – Ultimate Edition (37-159 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC

A rich story with a player-driven narrative, Fallout: New Vegas is considered to be the best game in the series—and the longest! Completing Fallout: New Vegas under the completionist method will take players over 100 hours.

The main story is about 27.5 hours, but those who take their leisurely time may beat all the game’s content in over 300 hours. Talking to every NPC, completing all the game’s quests, and unlocking those achievements or trophies will keep players up night and day.

  • Platforms:
    Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC

And so we come to the end of this listicle. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is a contender for the greatest game of all time. It is, however, an open-world game that takes the longest to beat. Quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim regenerate, so there is seemingly no end to the game.

When The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched in 2011, people were taken aback by its scenic locations, dragon battles, and rich story. Although the main story is relatively short, the end game is seemingly infinite. Obviously, this doesn’t take into account mods, which basically do make Skyrim infinite.

19/37 Death Stranding (41-116 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC

Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding is an acquired taste, although nobody can say that the game failed to deliver a huge world. Set in a post-apocalyptic United States, Sam basically acts as a postman who travels across the nation delivering packages while also connecting a network.

Isolation is a central theme of Death Stranding, and the game does a stellar job of emphasizing the importance and challenge of Sam’s mission. Some open-world games take place in lavish kingdoms stuffed with NPCs and quests, while others envision desolate landscapes featuring splashes of humanity – Death Stranding falls in the latter category.

18/37 Kingdom Come: Deliverance (41-128 Hours)

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Luna, and PC

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a bit of an unsung hero amongst the RPG community, namely due to its real-world-inspired setting of medieval Bohemia. No dungeons, no dragons, no magic spells, but there are definitely enough swords and swashbuckling in this long experience.

Related: Games To Play If You Liked Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an acquired taste, that much is certain, but don’t let its lack of fantasy elements stand in the way of what’s honestly a deep and impressive game. In this game, players will climb through the ranks to go from a poor peasant to a sword-swinging knight in a more traditional medieval setting. It’s a different kind of ARPG, but one that deserves more than a few hours to experience.

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