Open world games are interesting. Players have the whole game world at their fingertips. They can explore, do the story, do side quests, and generally walk around the game world as they please. Grand Theft Auto III revolutionized the genre and one of the world’s most popular games, Minecraft, is also open world. You can find the open world mechanic in shooters, RPGs, adventure games, and all sorts of other genres. That means you have a lot to choose from. Here are the best open world games for Android.
We’d like to give an honorable mention to Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds (Google Play). It’s a brand new gacha RPG with open world exploration similar to Genshin Impact. We’ll keep an eye on it to see if it’s worthy to make the full list.
The best open world games for Android
ARK: Survival Evolved
Price: Free to play / $4.99 per month / $39.99 per year
ARK: Survival Evolved is an open world adventure game with survival and other gameplay elements. Players try to survive a landscape rife with dinosaur life. You can build a base, tame the various dinosaurs for your own use, craft things, and build stuff. Additionally, there is a social element. You can play with (or against) other players and even join Tribes for more cooperative play. The game is free to play with an optional subscription. The subscription grants double experience points and connections to better servers. Honestly, you don’t really need it to enjoy the game.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
Price: $9.99 with in-app purchases
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is a port of the popular open world RPG from the early 2000s. It features a long, complex storyline along with a massive world you can explore at your leisure. It’s a faithful recreation of the original and plays just like the original sans the touch screen controls. We do recommend this on larger displays since the UI can be a bit cluttered. Otherwise, it’s an outstanding RPG experience. There are in-app purchases, but you can only buy voice packs for your character. The game also includes all of the DLCs from the original. The game hasn’t seen an update since 2018, but the developers are working on a rather large patch as of the time of this writing.
Crashlands is one of the truly great open world games on mobile. It’s an adventure game with RPG elements. Players end up stranded on a planet and must retrieve the packages they promised to deliver. There are over 500 items to craft, a large world to explore, and players can even build bases and tame creatures. To top it off, the game includes cloud saving and cross-platform support. This is one you can sink your teeth into and play for a very long time. It’s also free if you use Google Play Games.
Don’t Starve (two games)
Price: $4.99 each
Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition and Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked are two excellent open world survival games. You get dropped onto an alien world where you must make ends meet on your own. It features a classic survival theme with some modern twists. There are things to collect, craft, and build while you explore the game world. The game also includes multiple biomes and seasons. The only real downside are the controls. The touch screen controls are a little iffy but it does play a lot better on a controller.
Gangster Vegas: World of Crime
Price: Free to play
Gangster Vegas: World of Crime is one of the oldest open world games on Android. It’s a riff off of the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise. The player is dropped into a city and can traverse the city at will while completing storyline missions and side quests. There are also a plethora of mini-games such as the casino, racing challenges, collectibles, and other stuff to keep the player busy. It pales in comparison to the sheer size and depth of a console or PC game like Grand Theft Auto 5, but it’s a serviceable replacement and a good open world adventure game with shooter elements.
Price: Free to play
Genshin Impact is one of the newer mobile open-world games. It’s very reminiscent of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You get a huge open world to explore and you can crawl over every inch of it. The game even gives you a glider to make traversing larger distances a little easier. In terms of gameplay, it’s an action RPG with some light gacha elements. Extra characters unlock through quests rather than pulling them with in-game money like most gachas. We quite appreciate the attention to detail in this one and it should remain popular and good for quite a long time.
Grand Theft Auto series (five games)
Price: $4.99-$6.99 each
Of course we’re putting Grand Theft Auto on this list. Grant Theft Auto III modernized the open world genre and yes, it’s on mobile along with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Vice City, Liberty City Stories, and Chinatown Wars. Most people know how GTA works. You get full access to a massive city. There are side quests, storyline missions, and various mini-games to entertain you while you progress through the game. You can also steal cars, antagonize the police, and even buy property in the newer titles. The games range from $4.99 to $6.99 with no in-app purchases. Rockstar Games also has Bully (Google Play link), an open world game where you control a student instead of a gangster or mobster. Any of the six games make for excellent open world experiences.
Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases
Minecraft is one of the most popular open world games on any platform. The survival mode is a pure open world experience. You can mine resources, craft things, build stuff, kill bad guys, go fishing, and even traverse to alternate worlds. There is a creative mode that is open world, but it’s more of a sandbox experience than an open world one. You can play solo or with friends and build some truly ridiculous stuff with some patience. The game is $6.99 with some in-app purchases for character skins if you want. They are entirely optional. There is also Minecraft Earth (Google Play link) if you want to play the game in the real world.
Price: Free / $5.49
Oceanhorn is an adventure game similar to the Legend of Zelda series in terms of mechanics. The player gets a series of islands to explore; each one is its own little open world. There are various puzzles, mini-games, and things to collect along with a story. It’s technically not open world by the truest definition of the word since there are multiple areas. However, you can explore them as you so choose so you get the same effect. It’s not nearly as good as a Legend of Zelda game, but the spirit is there and the soundtrack is by the famous Nobuo Uematsu, composer for most of the earlier Final Fantasy games.
Price: Free to play
Pokemon Go might be the most open world game ever. Players explore the actual, real world and use the augmented reality features in the game to actually play. There are gyms and Poke Stops all over the actual world and you travel there in real life to either battle or collect items. The game evolved quite a bit from its early days. You can battle trainers, take over gyms, collect items, walk around to hatch eggs, and complete missions within the game. The game has the occasional bug and long-time players are getting a little burned out, but the game is fun and family-friendly.
Old School RuneScape
Price: Free / $10.99 per month / $99.99 per year
RuneScape is one of the most popular MMORPGs of all time. It’s also been around for almost 20 years. It’s an open world MMORPG with both solo and cooperative play. There are a ton of missions and quests to play through, items to collect, gear to equip, and more. The game also has one of the deepest player-driven economies of any game. The free version includes most of the game. You get additional skills, a larger world, more quests, and 400 extra bank slots if you go with the subscription service. It’s also one of the few MMORPGs with a subscription and no microtransactions. The developers released an actual mobile client for RuneScape (Google Play) if you want something a bit more modern. Most MMORPGs are also open world and we have a list of those right here if you want to see more.
Portal Knights is an open world action RPG with some sandbox elements. It has all of the usual RPG stuff like level progression, a storyline, boss fights, and plenty of things to collect. However, the game includes a crative mode where you can build your own island and the world is randomly generated a lot like Minecraft. You can also play multiplayer with other people as well. It’s a seriously underrated game and it’s surprisingly cheap for how big it is. You can also play it free with Google Play Pass.
Sky: Children of Light
Price: Free to play
Sky: Children of Light is something a little bit different in this genre. It’s an open world game, but it doesn’t feel like a GTA or Minecraft experience. Instead, players drift around the world to explore all of its oddities. It’s a bit like Portal Knights where there are seven different areas to explore but you are free to explore them at your leisure. So purists may not identify it as a true open world game. In any case, it’s really enjoyable and we quite like the art style and atmosphere of this one. It’s a lot more relaxed than most others in the genre.
Terraris is one of Minecraft’s biggest competitors. It takes place in a 2D world instead of a 3D world, but you still have a ton of freedom to explore as you so choose. The game includes building, crafting, mining, boss fights, and all sorts of other activities. You also get customizable controls and varying world sizes in case you want something massive or smaller. The game was completely redone not too long ago and it’s now basically on par with the PC version of the game. It’s definitely one of the greats in the genre. This one is also free via Google Play Pass if you have it.
Tower of Fantasy
Price: Free to play
Tower of Fantasy is an open-world MMORPG. It plays and feels a bit like Genshin Impact, but we think Genshin has a little more polish. You roam the game world while you progress the story and complete the near-endless supply of side quests. Players can create their own characters and customize them as well. There are also some gacha elements, but it’s mostly for weapons. Combat controls are primarily action RPG, where you roam around, find enemies, and use your abilities to defeat them. It’s definitely not hard to get into, and it’s pretty fun once you do.
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