Best Free Open World Games for 2022

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Image of a stylised character in Genshin Impact.

Ready to explore a sprawling new video game world? If so, our list of the very best free open world games will give you a bunch of new realms to explore, characters to meet, and places to see. From expansive sci-fi sandboxes to fantasy RPGs packed with enemies to defeat, if you want a new virtual world to dive into, we've got you covered.

In this list, we'll run through some of the best open world games on the market, all of which are completely free. Yes, there are some microtransactions within if you want to purchase extra gear or speed up the levelling process, but you don't have to if you'd rather not.

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Elsewhere, feel free to check out our list of the best free multiplayer games for a few new titles you can dive into with friends at your side. We've also got a list of the best free RPG games for a detailed, plot-driven experience, as well as the best free puzzle games to give your brain a test.

Here Are The Best Free Open World Games

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Genshin Impact

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First off is one that you'll no doubt already be very familiar with: Mihoyo's Genshin Impact. It's one of the most popular RPGs on the market right now, with a deep story and constantly evolving roster of characters. The vast open world of Teyvat has often been compared to Breath of the Wild due to its varied locations, sense of freedom, and many dungeons to explore - and that's no bad comparison at all.

Even better, Genshin Impact is an open world game that's constantly getting new updates and additions. Most new updates include a fresh character, various skins to unlock through gacha rolls, and even some new dungeons to trowel through. If you love combat-focused open worlds that are as stunning as they are dangerous, then you should definitely try Genshin Impact. That is if you aren't playing it already.

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Neverwinter

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Next is a more fantasy-based open world game, which is itself a spin-off of Dungeons and Dragons. As such, you know what to expect: plenty of dark fantasy enemies to defeat, various magical powers, and brutal melee combat. Neverwinter is all that and more, with a huge open world you can explore alongside friends. Key to its appeal is the character customisation options, letting you pick from eight D&D classes to design your own warrior from the ground up.

While it may play like a lot of other MMORPGs, few open world games are as lovingly supported as Neverwinter. It's been almost three years since the last expansion pack released, but the fanbase is nevertheless still dedicated to forming guilds, going on raids, and partaking in huge battles. Fantasy fans won't find many better options out there than Neverwinter.

Entropia Universe

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Entropia Universe offers probably the most realistic and in-depth open world on our list. That's not due to its design, taking place in the far-flung realms of the future, but rather the in-game economy and ecosystem that makes it feel so true to life. Unlike the other open world games on our list, each and every item, weapon, and upgrade in Entropia Universe costs real money, meaning you'll have to grind for loot and choose your purchases wisely. While some consider it a microtransaction-heavy game, it no doubt makes Entropia Universe even more rewarding when you start doing well.

If you don't want to spend money, however, you can still have more than a good time in the open world. Intergalactic monsters haunt the grassy areas for you to kill, and a range of futuristic vehicles let you traverse the terrain at your own leisure, with more realistic cars and even some tanks and helicopters. With so many aspects aiming to make it as realistic as possible, the open world of Entropia Universe is a must-see.

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Roblox (Jailbreak)

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As a user-generated games platform, there are more titles on Roblox than most other storefronts combined. Within that are a range of high-quality open world titles, though we primarily recommend Jailbreak. Taking on the classic cops and robbers formula and transporting it into a game, you first pick your allegiance, deciding either to be a convict locked behind bars or a prison guard keeping watch.

From there, it's totally up to you what to do: start a prison riot, escape, or ensure those with a bounty on their heads go where they belong. More than just an open-world prison complex, Jailbreak offers its own city to explore as well, accessible using helicopters, cars, or by running as fast as you can. Evading police by hiding in an alley, or chasing a wanted criminal through the bustling streets, is some of the best fun you can have on Roblox.

Warframe

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Back to the futuristic open worlds with Warframe, a third-person shooter almost akin to Overwatch in how many different operators and powers you can yield. What may be refreshing to hear is that the game leans away from microtransactions, with all heroes, weapons, and upgrades unlockable through general gameplay.

The key to Warframe's expansive open world is the ship that you and three other friends can fly together. Called the Orbiter, it lets you sift through the game's vast galaxy, heading to new co-op raids. On top of that, you can partake in PvP matches to pass the time, or focus on the story quest itself. It may not be as focused on exploration as other open world games, but Warframe still offers a sprawling experience that can keep you invested for hundreds of hours.

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EVE Online

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Last on our list for now is another open world game that, like Entropia Universe, is renowned for its engrossing and expansive open world. EVE Online is famous for the huge space battles you can enjoy alongside hundreds of other players. The level of freedom it gives you is so impressive that some players have decided to form pirate groups, with the aim of ransacking newcomers or gathering up forces to lay fire on rival organisations.

Yes, EVE Online is as close to real life as a game gets, due to all the intrinsically detailed mechanics found within. Want a fleshed-out politics system, complete with elections? You've got it. A space battle with over 6,000 real players partaking? That too. EVE Online is just that expansive.

That's it for our list of the best free open world games! With our recommendations, you'll find an exciting new realm to delve into in no time. If you're looking for other games that are equally as detailed, then look no further than our list of the best free MMORPG games to keep you busy.