Players can easily spend hundreds of hours playing open world games. From immersive open-world games set in historic locations and far-off fantasy environments to action-packed modern masterpieces, this genre has it all.
While the best of these games are often paired with fantastical main stories, the biggest draw of most open-world games is the freedom to explore. However, while large maps can be great, if they feel empty their size can become a hindrance. Open world games with dense maps full of things to do are therefore extremely popular and always keep players on their toes with a lot of content.7 Legacy of Hogwarts
The world famous Hogwarts castle naturally plays a huge role in the Hogwarts Legacy and even has a 3D map of its own. This region is particularly dense with lots of puzzles, minigames and side quests. Most importantly for Harry Potter fans, there’s plenty to see at Hogwarts, which is filled with easter eggs from the books.
The other areas of the Hogwarts Legacy map are also dense, though not as dense as the wizarding school. Scattered across the map are plenty of exploration challenges, including 95 Merlin Trials, as well as camps filled with respawning enemies and dozens of locations where players can find and capture magical creatures.6 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The vast majority of Assassin’s Creed games are known for having dense maps, which makes perfect sense given that parkour plays a vital role in the series. While the first installments in the series were arguably the densest in terms of cities and buildings, a game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey manages to combine multiple urban environments with a myriad of content.
Set in Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC, players can travel by ship to various city-states, all beautifully recreated using the latest historical lore. All of these locations are filled with intrigue and things to do, and whether players opt for stealth or less stealthy methods, there’s never a shortage of available combat.5 Fallout 4
Fallout 4 is one of Bethesda’s best selling games. One of the reasons for its success is its dense map, which makes players look around every corner for the next adventure. The game is set in the year 2287 in the city of Boston and surrounding Massachusetts, and naturally, the closer players get to the city center, the more there is to see and do.
The list of things to do in Fallout 4 goes on and on, but players can make the game even denser by building their own structures or settlements.
While many games achieve map density by having everything compressed into a smaller map, The Witcher 3 somehow manages to have one of the largest open world maps while maintaining density. For players who own all of the DLC, the map adds up to around 88 square miles, and yet players will never run out of things to do.
In part, this is achieved by the game teleporting players from region to region, cutting through empty land that would otherwise be just for travel. This allows players to move from Witcher contract to Witcher contract, or simply scavenge camps for fun. There’s also always someone around who will offer Geralt a friendly game of Gwent.3 Grand Theft Auto 5
A large portion of Grand Theft Auto 5 takes place in the city of Los Santos, which is heavily inspired by Los Angeles, and as such the central regions of the map are particularly dense, both in terms of environment and content.
Whether players are experiencing the game in story mode or online with their friends, there’s always plenty to do in GTA 5, from tennis, darts and endless racing to shoplifting and robbery. Each area of the map is also brought to life by the realistic NPCs Rockstar Games is known for, and players will never feel alone in the world.2 guard dogs
The original Watch Dogs game is set in Chicago, and due to the hacking mechanic that is at the heart of the game, every area of the map is dense. That’s because, across the city, almost anything can be hacked, from traffic lights and explosives to the cell phones of any pedestrian.
Outside of hacking, there are plenty of less nefarious activities for players to engage in while playing Watch Dogs, including chess, poker, and several other games.1Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City is one of the greatest superhero adaptations in video game history. Aside from a stellar story and refreshing gameplay, one of the ways the game found success was through its relatively small but dense map.
The infamous city of Arkham feels truly alive and the riddles left behind by the Riddler keep the player constantly on their toes. It could also be said that Arkham never runs out of criminals, and taking them down in Batman: Arkham City never gets boring.