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Best Open-World Games On Xbox Game Pass

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Palworld How to Find & Catch Relaxaurus

It could be said that open-world games encapsulate gaming’s best attributes and push them to their logical extremes — they offer fully fleshed-out alternate realities for the player to explore as they wish, generally affording them unprecedented levels of agency and freedom in determining their path through it. An open-world game has the potential to, almost literally, become a second life for the player to disappear into.



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So it should come as no surprise that some of the gaming industry’s most prolific titles manifest as open-world games. As luck would have it, a generous number of titles are at players’ fingertips if they happen to have an active Xbox Game Pass subscription. But which world should someone dive into next? What are the best open-world games on Xbox Game Pass?


In case someone prefers physical copies, a link will be provided to a game’s Amazon listing page, provided one exists. Also, each game’s Metascore will be listed, and the Xbox Series X/S score will be prioritized if it is available.


Palworld

Metascore: N/A

Palworld

Released
January 19, 2024

Developer(s)
Pocket Pair, Inc.

Coming out of nowhere and instantly establishing itself as one of Game Pass’s best open-world games, Palworld is almost unbelievably good, especially considering it is still in Game Preview. Pocket Pair aimed for the stars by delivering a project that, on paper, appears to spread itself too thin to offer any real depth in one field; however, somehow, the 2024 game comes together to create a surprisingly cohesive experience. Now, this is still an early access release that is a work in progress, so anyone who jumps in should expect to encounter a few bugs and issues along the way. Palworld runs pretty well for this type of release, but it is still a ways off from completion, so expectations should be kept realistic. That said, the current version has more than content to justify a recommendation on its own, all with the knowledge that the future should come with a stream of new updates.


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6 Things To Do First In Palworld

As Palworld can feel massive and overwhelming, new players should prioritize a few things to get started on the right note.

What is Palworld? Well, that question is somewhat difficult to answer. Before its debut, it was described as “Pokemon with guns,” a reductive statement that holds some truth but hardly paints a full picture. Set in a fairly impressive open-world, Palworld is – first and foremost – a survival exploration game. Players will need to set up a base, manage their food, and craft items to increase productivity and protect themselves from the elements. That is all well and good, but the novelty comes from the introduction of Pals. Players can catch a wide assortment of monsters who fit different types. Along with helping out in battles, Pals are also crucial for exploration and base-building. They even need to be taken care of since they also get hungry.


Palworld casts a wide net that allows it to cater to various audiences. People yearning to catch them all will find an engaging monster-collection game with well-designed creatures with genuine purpose. Survival fans will find a fairly accessible experience that offers depth and challenge through its combat and team management. Meanwhile, players who wish to explore a fresh-feeling realm will find a lot to love in Palworld‘s open-world. While not the biggest or the most beautiful setting in the genre, Palpagos Islands is a fun sandbox to explore.

Starfield

Metascore: 83

Starfield Hand Scanner

Starfield

Released
September 6, 2023

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

Starfield was the biggest title added to Xbox Game Pass in 2023. Bethesda’s latest RPG was in development for a very long time, and it was also the developer’s first IP in decades; consequently, the game was always going to be huge, regardless of whether it lived up to the hype or not. While perhaps not attracting Skyrim levels of praise, Starfield is nevertheless an impressive feather in Bethesda’s cap, one that represents a step forward in a few areas. Its character customization, gunplay, and companions might just be the best in the company’s history, at least when solely counting games developed by Bethesda Game Studios. While it takes a few hours to get going and can be largely ignored, the main story is pretty good too.


Like most of Bethesda’s flagship releases, Starfield is open-world, although it is a different breed than Skyrim or Fallout 4. As the map is spread over a large selection of planets, players will be spending a lot of time fast-traveling from place to place, which breaks immersion to an extent. It is possible to jump on a ship and fly through space, but it is not a big part of the overall experience nor can players land on planets. Basically, Starfield does not have a seamless world that players can traverse in its entirety without a loading screen, instead offering smaller self-contained areas that make up a larger universe. This is not necessarily a criticism, but it does grant the game a different flavor than most of Bethesda’s other classic open-world RPGs.

Goat Simulator 3

Metascore: 78

goat simulator 3 beach chaos


Goat Simulator 3

Released
November 17, 2022

Developer(s)
Coffee Stain North

Genre(s)
Simulation , Adventure

How Long To Beat
7 Hours

Goat Simulator 3 is a fever dream in the best possible way. Taking inspiration from franchises like GTA while very much doing its own thing, Coffee Stain’s sandbox project strives to deliver unbridled chaos, and it largely succeeds in its endeavor. Xbox Game Pass has both Goat Simulator and its sequel (don’t ask about Goat Simulator 2), and while fun can be had with the former, it is difficult to recommend in the latter’s presence. Therefore, provided someone can handle the thought of not knowing the full story, they should jump directly into Goat Simulator 3.

This should go without saying, but this game does not take itself too seriously, and the campaign sets the tone right out of the gate with a cute nod to Skyrim. After that, players are fairly quickly unleashed in San Angora, an impressively large map that is made to be broken. Unlike the first game, the sequel provides a more curated single-player campaign through the implementation of traditional missions, although their contents are anything but ordinary. As fun as it can be to run around and chaos mayhem, Goat Simulator 3 really comes alive when played with friends.


Middle-earth: Shadow Of War

Metascore: 81

Gameplay in Shadow of War

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

Released
October 10, 2017

Genre(s)
Action RPG

How Long To Beat
21 Hours

Although Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was a fantastic adventure in its own right, Shadow of War perfected the franchise’s proposed mechanics and elevated them by giving players the freedom to explore a large open world. Those who fell in love with the original release’s gameplay elements will enjoy a finely-tuned system that includes new moves and abilities while maintaining the engaging combat from the flagship title.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War also enhanced the Nemesis System, giving the world even more life as players find themselves occasionally harassed by enemies that previously defeated them. This feature is the franchise’s main selling point, and it deserves all the praise flung its way since it makes the world seem like it’s morphing to match the player’s actions.


No Man’s Sky

Metascore: 77

no-mans-sky-base

No Man’s Sky

Released
August 9, 2016

How Long To Beat
30 Hours

When it was first released back in 2016, No Man’s Sky was lambasted for its lack of gameplay and unpolished design. Many fans were upset that the release seemed to lack many of the initial promises that were made by the developer, Hello Games. Thankfully, even though it was critically panned during its initial release, designers stuck with the title and continued to improve it as much as possible in the following years.

Nowadays, No Man’s Sky is leaps and bounds better than what it once was. Players are finally getting the space epic they’d hoped for, and feelings toward No Man’s Sky are incredibly positive in recent years. Players that are looking for a fun, in-depth, and downright addictive open-world should hop into this now fantastic adventure.


Grounded

Metascore: 82

grounded toggle camera

Grounded

Released
September 27, 2022

Genre(s)
Survival Horror , RPG

How Long To Beat
23 Hours

After a lengthy spell in early access, Grounded has finally made its full debut. A “normal” backyard becomes a dangerous sandbox filled with terrifying creatures after players are shrunk down so that a blade of grass towers over them. Finding themselves in a sticky situation as they try to make their way back home, the protagonists must survive this strange land as they adapt to its ecosystem.

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Grounded is an imaginative open-world game that takes inspiration from its contemporaries while still carving out a unique voice that sets it apart from the crowd. Obsidian is responsible for some of the most fully realized worlds in gaming, and Grounded is another feather in the developer’s cap.


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Metascore: 87

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Statue In The River

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Released
October 15, 2018

How Long To Beat
45 Hours

Xbox Game Pass has three Assassin’s Creed games: Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla. Each title is an ambitious open-world game packed to the brim with content, both mandatory and optional. There is not all that much separating the games in terms of quality, and someone’s preference might come down to whether they prefer Origins‘ Ancient Egypt, Odyssey‘s Ancient Greece, or Valhalla‘s Viking setting.

Although it can be quite polarizing compared to Origins, Odyssey fine-tunes some of its predecessor’s mechanics, particularly the combat system. Visually, the game arguably represents the franchise’s peak, especially since its setting allows for a wider berth of diverse locations than Valhalla. Out of all three titles, Odyssey is the most immersive, and it even tells a pretty good story by the franchise’s standards. All three titles are extremely long, but Odyssey does not threaten to overstay its welcome to the same extent as Valhalla.


As Origins is the first chronological entry, newcomers to the series should start with that title; however, the franchise’s releases can be enjoyed as standalone adventures, so Odyssey is still an option.

Valheim

Metascore: N/A

Valheim Longhouse Building

Valheim

Released
February 2, 2021

Developer(s)
Iron Gate AB

How Long To Beat
75 Hours

After existing solely on Steam for roughly two years, Valheim eventually joined Xbox’s Game Preview initiative, making it available to Game Pass subscribers. Regardless of platform, Iron Gate’s Viking-themed survival title is nothing short of fantastic. While still a work in progress, the current version is still relatively robust; in fact, the game in its current state is likely to keep most players entertained for longer than the vast majority of fully released open-world projects.


Utilizing procedurally generated maps, Valheim drops players in a reasonably big world that is split into biomes. From there, they must craft weapons and armor that will allow them to survive the various enemies and bosses that populate the world. As an added bonus, this title also supports base building, and the system is fairly deep as well. While the combat system is just decent, Valheim shines when taken as a whole package rather than focusing exclusively on one element.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Metascore: 90

microsoft <a href=flight simulator plane” src=”https://static0.gamerantimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/microsoft-flight-simulator-file-size-reduction.jpg”/>


Microsoft Flight Simulator

Released
August 18, 2020

Genre(s)
Flight Simulator

How Long To Beat
37 Hours

Not every person who owns an Xbox Series X/S will gravitate toward Microsoft Flight Simulator, but there are undoubtedly people who specifically purchased the console to play this flight sim. After spending a year as a PC exclusive, Asobo Studio’s project finally made its way to Microsoft’s latest hardware, and even a couple of years after its launch, the 2021 release is still among the console’s most impressive technical showcases. As its title suggests, the game seeks to accurately recreate the experience of piloting a plane, at least to the point that gaming allows. While somewhat realistic, Flight Simulator is relatively accessible by the subgenre’s standards, so newcomers who have never sat down in a virtual cockpit can rely on a detailed tutorial to teach them the basics.

Generally, Flight Simulator‘s gameplay is structured around flight plans, which are linear by design. However, players are given free rein in how they approach routes since they can plan their own flights through the World Map mode. Essentially, Earth is Microsoft Flight Simulator‘s open-world, and while players might not be able to land and go for a stroll, they can witness the planet’s majesty from the skies.


Immortals Fenyx Rising

Metascore: 81

immortals-fenyx-rising-polynesian-setting

Immortals Fenyx Rising

Released
December 3, 2020

Genre(s)
Action RPG

How Long To Beat
25 Hours

Ubisoft loves open-worlds maybe a little too much. Overexposure and product exhaustion are very real things, and regardless of the quality of the individual projects, the sheer volume of Ubisoft open-world games in existence has made them feel ordinary.

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Immortals Fenyx Rising will not impress anyone who is completely burned out on the Ubisoft formula, but it might hit the spot for fans who want something familiar but still different. Inspired by Greek mythology and taking a few hints from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this action-adventure game blends colorful visuals with fun hack and slash combat and a comedic story, all the while delivering a large but not overwhelming map. While optional content is present, Immortals Fenyx Rising gives players room to decide the extent they wish to interact with these quests.


Sunset Overdrive

Metascore: 81

The Main Character of Sunset Overdrive Is Seen Sliding Along To A Mushroom Cloud That Says

Sunset Overdrive

Released
October 28, 2014

How Long To Beat
10 Hours

Insomniac has spent recent years crafting superhero-themed adventures featuring everyone’s favorite neighborhood wall-crawler; however, Marvel’s Spider-Man was not the developer’s first foray into open-world territory. Sunset Overdrive might be one of the more underappreciated titles of the 2010s, and the game’s brilliant movement system ranks it among the best open-world games on Game Pass.

Basically a large playground, Sunset City is filled with rails and zip lines, encouraging players to take to the skies and grind their way above the streets. The gunplay is also fun, particularly once players unlock their full arsenal of weapons.

The Evil Within 2

Metascore: 82

Seb in The Evil Within 2


The Evil Within 2

Released
October 13, 2017

Genre(s)
Survival Horror

How Long To Beat
14 Hours

2014’s The Evil Within sought to fill the horror void left by Resident Evil‘s descent into action territory, and while not perfect, the game did its job. The sequel expands things by taking place in the simulated town of Union, which Sebastian enters to try and save his daughter. While nowhere near as large or packed with side content as, for example, a Far Cry setting, Union can be freely explored, even if Sebastian is generally guided down a path. There are not all that many open-world horror projects since these types of stories tend to benefit from more curated experiences, but The Evil Within 2 shows the genre can work within a less restrictive structure.

Even though slightly spread out, Tango’s game still manages to produce its share of genuine scares thanks to some fantastic creature designs. In some ways, The Evil Within 2‘s open design helps enhance the tension since there is the sense that something horrifying (like Anima) could always be right around the corner. While it might not have too much competition, The Evil Within 2 is the best open-world horror game on Game Pass.


Burnout Paradise Remastered

Metascore: 79

close up back angle view of car speeding under rails in Burnout Paradise Remastered Switch

Burnout Paradise Remastered

Released
March 16, 2018

Genre(s)
Racing

How Long To Beat
12 Hours

Burnout is an all-around great franchise, one that produced some of the most entertaining racers of the early 2000s. Burnout Paradise adapts the series’ frantic gameplay to an open-world structure, providing players with complete freedom in how they pursue their racing careers. Although small compared to most modern settings, Burnout Paradise‘s open-world is varied and immaculately designed.

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On these streets, speed is the name of the game, and there will be more than a few crashes along the way. The brilliance of Burnout Paradise‘s map becomes apparent once players memorize the ins and outs of its layout, letting them zip through its roads instinctively rather than following markers.


Terraria

Metascore: 84

Terraria-game-cropped-1

Terraria
Platform(s)
PC , PS3 , PS4 , PS5 , Xbox 360 , Xbox One , Xbox Series S , Xbox Series X , Switch , Vita , iOS , Android , macOS , Linux , 3DS , Stadia

Released
May 16, 2011

Genre(s)
Action , Adventure , Sandbox

How Long To Beat
100 Hours

Debuting in 2011, Terraria‘s staying power is beyond proven by this point. Re-Logic’s action-adventure title pushes exploration to the forefront, presenting players with all the freedom in the world to traverse its impressive procedurally generated sandbox map.

Blending combat, survival, and crafting elements, Terraria is rich and diverse, and the game comes with an incredibly passionate fanbase. Besides the standard version of the campaign, Terraria comes with plenty of other modes that alter its difficulty, leading to wildly different adventures.

Minecraft

Metascore: 88

Best Open-World Games On Xbox Game Pass


Minecraft
Platform(s)
PS4 , PS3 , PS Vita , Xbox One , Xbox 360 , Switch , 3DS , PC , Android , iOS , Wii U

Released
November 18, 2011

How Long To Beat
N/A

No game encourages freedom and exploration the way that Minecraft does. As soon as players spawn into the world, there are no boundaries restricting what they do next. Building a mansion in the forest, mining to the depths of the world, or crafting the most intricate roller coaster are all options on the table.

Though there are no quests sprinkled throughout the world of Minecraft, the ability to do anything so chosen is the game’s main appeal. Minecraft is the ultimate sandbox project, and players are only limited by their imagination.

7 Days To Die

Metascore: 35 (Xbox Store: 3.5/5)

7 Days To Die street full of zombies with a few cars


7 Days to Die

Released
December 13, 2013

Developer(s)
The Fun Pimps

How Long To Beat
N/A

7 Days To Die‘s Metascore paints a grim picture of the console ports, and while those versions launched at less-than-ideal states, they have improved quite a bit since then. Now, it should be said that Iron Galaxy’s game is far better on PC than Xbox; consequently, if someone has access to that iteration (or PC Game Pass), they should play it. Still, as far as zombie survival open-world games are concerned, 7 Days To Die is a respectable option on any system, and it can be addictive if the gameplay loop clicks with a player.

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The core concept is simple: survive. Players are dropped into a city and challenged to stay alive for as long as possible, something that is easier said than done when surrounded by the undead. Initially, zombies won’t provide that much of a threat, allowing players to focus on meeting their character’s basic needs while exploring the map, taking on quests, and setting up a base. However, as time passes, the walking dead will grow stronger and deadlier, and they will punish anyone who is poorly prepared to handle their onslaught.

Watch Dogs 2

Metascore: 81

Marcus in Watch Dogs 2


Watch Dogs 2

Released
November 15, 2016

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

An argument could be made that Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs never quite managed to live up to its full potential. The original entry was a letdown as the final product could not match the promotional material, while Legion‘s intriguing concept did not translate into a particularly engaging experience. Out of three projects, Watch Dogs 2 is arguably the pick of the bunch, although its mileage will vary from player to player. Featuring a gorgeous (and colorful) rendition of San Francisco, the 2016 release has probably the most impressive open-world in the trilogy, and it is fun to just roam the streets and cause harmless mayhem with the occasional hack.

Story-wise, Watch Dogs 2 can be divisive, especially its lighthearted tone. Still, the main missions provide plenty of interesting scenarios in their own right, and they are ultimately just a small part of the overall package. It should be said that Watch Dogs 2 slots almost perfectly into Ubisoft’s open-world formula, which can be a deterrent for a lot of people who have grown tired of that structure, Nevertheless, it is a good representative of that formula.


Skyrim

Metascore: 82

one mile run skyrim

Skyrim

Released
November 11, 2011

How Long To Beat
26 Hours

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim has long been a definitive staple of the open-world catalog, and it’s likely to remain that way until the next chapter of the mainline Elder Scrolls saga manifests. Even today, players still wander the snowy tundra, lush forests, and decrepit dungeons of Skyrim in droves, which is no mean feat considering the base game was released in 2011.

If for some reason someone is yet to embark on the epic tale of the Dragonborn, now’s as good a time as any. And if they already have, then they can pick from an extensive selection of mods that are available for Xbox consoles and fabricate a new twist on a familiar adventure.


Forza Horizon 5

Metascore: 92

Classic Cars in Forza Horizon 5 - Ferrari 288 GTO - Player drives at top speeds in Mexico

Forza Horizon 5

Released
November 9, 2021

Genre(s)
Racing

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

Playground Games’ Forza Horizon series has served as a reliable source for ambitious open-world racing games, and the fifth entry maintains the high standard synonymous with the license. Set in Mexico, Forza Horizon 5‘s map is considerably more diverse than its immediate predecessor, with each region having its own aesthetic that allows it to stand out.

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Forza Horizon 4
is also on Xbox Game Pass, and it is a great option for anyone who wishes to drive through Scotland.


Sea Of Thieves

Metascore: 69

sea of thieves making mayhem

Sea of Thieves

Released
March 20, 2018

Genre(s)
Adventure

How Long To Beat
130+ Hours

Rare’s Sea of Thieves had a somewhat rough launch, but the game has improved by leaps and bounds since its debut. Although not devoid of enjoyment for solo players, this title should be experienced alongside a group of mates since so much of Sea of Thieves depends on the crew making its own fun.

As pirates in a vast and gorgeous open-world, adventure is constantly at their beck and call as crews seek to complete trade missions, find buried treasure, and survive against a Kraken or a ghost ship.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Metascore: 85

Batman walking past a group of thugs


Batman: Arkham Knight

Released
June 23, 2015

How Long To Beat
17 Hours

The open-world formula of the Arkham series is only enhanced with the Batmobile at your disposal. Hurtling through the streets of Gotham in Batman’s iconic vehicle is a rush. Though it is always fun to soar from mission to mission using nothing but Batman’s cape, the action is only heightened by intense car movement.

As with other games in the franchise, Batman: Arkham Knight is an exciting and easily digestible open-world adventure. The game also comes with plenty of content outside its main campaign.

Wartales

Metascore: 80

Wartales Splitter

Wartales

Released
April 12, 2023

Developer(s)
Shiro Games

Genre(s)
RPG , Turn-Based Strategy

How Long To Beat
40 Hours

Wartales is quite unlike any other open-world project on Xbox Game Pass. An RPG with survival elements set in a dark fantasy kingdom that is anything but forgiving, the game avoids giving players too much direction, instead challenging them to make their own way. Players create a mercenary group that they must lead to success in a world defined by conflict and war. Rather than a traditional story, the campaign is primarily driven by party freedom and choice, and players have to constantly make decisions that could be unpopular with the rest of the group. The survival ingredients arrive in the form of food and payments, both of which need to be made regularly to the mercenaries.


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Wartales‘ map is expansive and detailed, although it is structured differently than most open-worlds. Basically, players travel across a large world map that is littered with places like dungeons or villages. The latter is where players can interact with NPCs and pick up contracts, which paves the way to the former and the turn-based battle system. This combat is quite good and can be fairly difficult at times.

Yakuza 0

Metascore: 90

yakuza 0 world

Yakuza 0

Released
January 24, 2017

How Long To Beat
32 Hours

Xbox Game Pass sure loves some Yakuza. Subscribers can play through the entire main saga, starting with Yakuza 0 and ending with Like a Dragon. That amounts to eight lengthy campaigns that feature consistently fantastic storytelling, lovable or unforgettable characters, enjoyable minigames, and small but dense open-worlds. Technically, Kiwami counts as the first title since it is a remake of the original PS2 game, but newcomers should just start with Yakuza 0. Not only is it a prequel that takes place prior to every other entry, but it is also arguably the franchise’s peak, which is saying something.


Set within two Japanese cities, both of which are lively and overflowing with personality, Yakuza 0 follows Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima’s early days in the Tojo Clan. Both protagonists are wildly different from each other, and their stories start fairly isolated but eventually diverge in an interesting way. Along with the central narrative, which is nothing short of brilliant, the game is filled with side stories that range from hilarious to heartbreaking.

Fallout: New Vegas

Metascore: 84

Quarry Junction in Fallout New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas

Released
October 19, 2010

How Long To Beat
28 Hours

Though Fallout 4 may be New Vegas’ shinier, newer, and (slightly) better-optimized cousin, New Vegas is considered the crown jewel of Fallout’s three-dimensional, first-person outings for a reason. With Obsidian helming the effort, the role-playing elements that were present in Fallout 3 were polished to a mirror shine that Fallout 4 couldn’t seem to pull off in succession.


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The Mojave wasteland may look a bit dated by modern standards, but the Courier’s fateful journey after being shot and left for dead still makes for a timelessly wild adventure.

Far Cry 5

Metascore: 82

far cry 5

Far Cry 5

Released
March 27, 2018

How Long To Beat
18 Hours

Far Cry has become something of a love-or-hate franchise, but there is no denying that the games can be a lot of fun. The fifth entry is the only one available on Xbox Game Pass, and while it is not generally regarded as the license’s peak, Far Cry 5 has plenty of positives in its favor. Set in Montana, the story follows a rookie marshal as they try to liberate the region from the manipulative clutches of Joseph Seed’s cult. The large but not exhausting map is split into three parts, each one governed by a disciple of Joseph. While the gameplay loop remains largely the same within each area, the story missions reflect the main cult member’s personality.


Consequently, the campaign is repetitive but seldom boring. As has become a franchise staple, Far Cry 5‘s villains steal the show, and they are all wildly different from each other. Faith Seed is especially memorable, although Joseph is also charismatic enough to believably serve as the cult’s idol. While not quite as diverse or exotic as some other settings in Ubisoft’s series, Montana nevertheless serves as a fun sandbox.

Far Cry 6
is also on Xbox Game Pass. Despite being one of the more divisive entries in the series, the sequel is still worth trying if someone is craving an open-world first-person shooter.

Prey

Metascore: 84

prey-key-art-morgan-yu-spacesuit-shotgun


Prey

Released
May 5, 2017

How Long To Beat
16 Hours

Prey is a sci-fi thriller set in a space station that has been overtaken by an alien threat called the Typhon. As Morgan, players are cut loose onto a world they do not fully understand, and Arkane does a great job of maintaining that sense of mystery for most of the campaign.

Combining stealth, RPG, and Metroidvania elements, Prey is a difficult and immersive game that incorporates puzzles, first-person combat, and exploration. The space station might not be as huge as some other maps on Xbox Game Pass, but it is expertly designed and dense.

Special Mention: Dead Island 2 (Not Really Open-World)

Metascore: 76

dead-island-2


Dead Island 2

Released
April 21, 2023

Genre(s)
Action RPG

How Long To Beat
15 Hours

Strictly speaking, Dead Island 2 is not an open-world game and, consequently, cannot be wholeheartedly recommended for this topic; however, Dambuster’s zombie epic scratches a very similar itch, so it does warrant a mention. Also, the game is just plain old fun, which is ultimately the most important thing. After an extremely long wait and a change of developers, Dead Island 2 came out to a surprisingly positive reception, something that not everyone expected considering its complicated development cycle. Set in Los Angeles, players essentially have to smash their way through a zombie apocalypse, which means a lot of weapons and even more gore. It is a bloodbath in the best possible way.

Now, the map is divided into zones, with each one being fairly self-contained. While not an open-world adventure, the separate areas are fairly unrestricted, enabling players to explore to their hearts’ content. As such, Dead Island 2 works well as a sandbox-lite experience that opts for a more curated campaign rather than an open-ended one. Although not extremely short, a playthrough will likely only last between 20–30 hours at most, which is a refreshing change of pace from most open-world Game Pass games.

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