4. Grand Theft Auto 5
Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto titles have always been ambitious, but with the fifth main entry in the series they went above and beyond what anyone could have expected, and have delivered a world that is both vast yet densely populated with things to see and do.
With three playable characters, each with their own motives and missions to complete, it’s up to you who to play as and how to spend your time in the city of Los Santos. Want to play the markets to make a fortune? Go for it! Fancy a round of golf to relax? Sure! Have you ever wished you could see through the eyes of a dog while, er, "doing the deed"? You can do that too! The city is literally yours for the taking, and you’ll be having so much fun that you may even forget that there are story missions to do.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fully featured online mode where you can team up with other like-minded individuals to create havoc on the streets or complete jobs. Grand Theft Auto 5 truly is the complete package when it comes to open world gaming.
3. Watch Dogs 2
Without a doubt, Watch Dogs 2 offers one of the most realistic open world experiences I've ever played. I was a big fan of the first instalment of Ubisoft's hacking-centric open world adventure, but the second, set in San Francisco following protagonist Marcus Holloway, upped the ante in practically every way.
Watch Dogs 2's world has to be one of the most detailed and true-to-life that we've yet to see in a game. Sure, it's not a perfect recreation of San Francisco, but with so many intricacies and places to explore, it's hard to complain about. Marcus is an insanely likeable character too, with personality and charm in droves – quite a contrast to the original Watch Dogs' Aiden Pierce! Ubisoft do often come under fire for their very formulaic open world template, but if you like open world games, then you really can't fault it – and Watch Dogs 2 is one of their best examples.