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Best Open World Games on Switch

The Best Open World Games on Nintendo Switch

Sometimes, gaming is at its finest when you’re faced with a giant, well-realised world to sink into.

The Nintendo Switch might be mostly filled with smaller, shorter experiences ideal for picking up and playing on a short commute, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have epic, huge worlds to get lost in, too. But what are the best open world games on Switch? Hopefully we can help.

The Switch is actually home to one of the best open world games of recent years: The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild. It undoubtedly features on this list, but there are plenty of other great open world games to find on the system too.

Whether you fancy a realistic adventure through a fantastical land, or prefer something a bit more slapstick or family-friendly, there’s something to suit. Read on to see our picks of the best open world games on Switch. We can heartily recommend sinking numerous hours into each and every one of them. Happy adventuring!

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This list was originally posted in January 2019 and has been periodically updated since.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Not just one of the best open world games on Switch, but perhaps one of the best games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a system-seller for Nintendo. Released alongside the console’s launch, many of us have since sunk 100+ hours into the game and still not seen everything hidden in the far reaches of Hyrule.

Breath of the Wild is a bit of a departure from other title in the Zelda series. It’s a more grown-up game, for sure. No longer does Link have a set path to follow; it’s entirely up to you where you lead him. Everything is entirely optional, which feels strange to get used to, but once you do, you’ll realise that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gives you a level of freedom that not many other games dare to do.

There’s a vast open world to explore with many colourful characters to meet; some familiar, some new to Breath of the Wild. There are also numerous shrines to complete, each with their own unique puzzles to solve; and let’s not forget the dungeons and the bosses that come with them. In short, Breath of the Wild has pretty much everything you could want from an open world game on Nintendo Switch. And then some.

Read our review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition

Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Switch (1)

We don’t quite know how CD Projekt Red managed to put the massive and excellent The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition on Switch. But it did, and we couldn’t be happier.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition obviously doesn’t look on good on Switch as it does elsewhere, but that’s to be expected. It performs decently though, and features every bit of content that makes the game so expansive. Needless to say, it’s quite the achievement on Switch, weighing in at a mighty 30GB. If you buy a physical version though, you’ll be happy to find that it’s all pretty much all on the card. You’ll only have to download a small patch to make the game a little better.

Whether you’ve played The Witcher 3 before or not, it’s undoubtedly one of the best open world games on Switch. Being able to explore the game’s dense open world is a pleasure that’s even more accessible when you can do it on public transport or in bed. Or, enjoy a nice bath like Geralt and play it in there if you’re brave.

Read more about The Witcher 3 on Switch

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3. Dying Light: Platinum Edition

Dying Light is available on Switch via the Platinum Edition, packing in DLC and additional content. As great a game as it is, the real marvel comes in Dying Light being playable on Switch at all. But it is – and surprisingly well, too.

If you’re not familiar with the game, Dying Light casts you as an agent in the city of Harran – a city overrun with zombie-like infected humans. And so, completing your task at hand – retrieving a file – isn’t going to be easy. Harran offers a huge world to explore, though lurking around any corner could be danger. If it’s not a zombie, it’s someone from a warring faction wanting you dead. But with an excellent story, fast-paced parkour-led exploration, and engaging combat, there’s an awful lot to love about Dying Light.

Read our review of Dying Light: Platinum Edition

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4. Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection

There aren’t many Assassin’s Creed games available on Switch, but thankfully one of the best is. Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection bundles up Rogue with Black Flag. And while they’re both excellent titles, Assassin’s Creed: Blag Flag has a special place in our hearts. As far as open world games on Switch goes, this is undoubtedly one of the best. Couple its gorgeous Caribbean-set world ripe for exploring with its exciting naval battles, and you’ve got one heck of an experience.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue also offers an excellent world to explore, swapping the luscious landscapes of the Caribbean with the colder climes of the North Atlantic. There’s plenty to explore though, and this game too has ship-based combat to revel in. If you’re a fan of open world games, this collection is a must-have.

Read our review of Assassin’s Creed Rogue

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5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

Top 10 open world games of all time

The Elder Scrolls games have always provided players with a huge fantasy world to explore, but none have been as varied or cohesive as Skyrim’s. Okay, it’s been around the block a few times, and the Switch is the latest in a long line of formats its been released on. We’ve all likely already played it numerous times, but do we ever really get tired of exploring its rich and varied lands?

Abandoning the class system used by previous entries in the series, Skyrim enables players to develop a character as they see fit throughout the course of the game. This, along with a streamlined menu system, makes the game much more accessible to those new to the series. With a world full of mysteries and quests to solve, as well as dragons to defeat, Skyrim is undoubtedly one of the best open world games on Switch for those seeking an absorbing and time consuming fantasy.

Read our review of Skyrim Special Edition

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6. LEGO City Undercover

Dubbed “GTA with LEGO”, LEGO City Undercover might not be the obvious choice for the best open world game on Switch, but here we are.

Playing as minifig cop/everyday hero Chase McCain, there’s a whole lot of crime breaking out all over LEGO City and it’s up to you to bring peace back to the colourful plastic brick-built world. If you’ve ever played a Traveller’s Tales LEGO game, LEGO City Undercover will feel instantly familiar. It’s the traditional LEGO game gameplay we all know and love, but in a fully open world environment.

There’s a story to follow, spread across 15 chapters, but outside of that, there’s a good 40+ hours’ worth of extra content to sink your teeth into. Whether it’s taking part in races, finding hidden golden bricks or completing master builds across the city, it’s impossible to get bored while exploring the game’s world.

It may be a bit ‘childish’ compared to some of the other open world games on Switch, but just because your six year old can enjoy playing it with you doesn’t make it any less fun. In fact, the family-friendly element only makes it more enjoyable – and it’s packed with plenty of humour that even the most fully grown of fully grown adults will get a chuckle out of.

Plus, you can also play it in local co-op. And we all know that things are more fun when shared with others.

Read our review of Lego City Undercover

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7. Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Switch 1 (1)

If there’s one thing that Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered gets right, it’s destruction.

This open world experience asks you to destroy buildings and structures with anything you have available. A sledgehammer does the job nicely, and remote explosives are useful, too. But sometimes you’ll just want to drive into things with massive vehicles or obliterate them with a mech suit, just because it’s fun.

Despite being a game originally released in 2009, there’s still nothing else on the market that allows for destruction on the level that Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered does. It’s on another level. So if you enjoy blowing up a lot of stuff, this is certainly one of the best open world games on Switch.

Read our review of Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

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8. Saints Row The Third – The Full Package

Saints Row The Third 2 (1)

Saints Row The Third – The Full Package is the closest thing you can get to Grand Theft Auto on Switch. It’s also one of the best open world games available.

Full of over-the-top characters, insane action and comical situations, Saints Row The Third – The Full Package is fun from beginning to end. It has a wide variety of optional activities to engage in; a huge amount of customisation options; and it includes all of the game’s downloadable content. Needless to say, it provides tens of hours of entertainment.

If you like your open world adventures with a bit of humour and madness, don’t think twice about picking up Saints Row The Third – The Full Package.

Read our review of Saints Row The Third – The Full Package

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9. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

Dragon's Dogma 3 (1)

If massive open world action RPGs are your thing, you need to add Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen to your Switch library.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen allows you to create your own character before heading off to fulfil your destiny, which is to apparently kill huge monsters by climbing all over them. Of course, along the way there are plenty of small creatures to engage in combat too. You’ll also come across bandits and other miscreants.

It’s the sense of exploration and discovery that really sells Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen though. It has such a rich world full of things to see and do. Combined with the game’s action-packed combat, it’s one of the best open world games on Switch. You really don’t want to miss out on it.

Read our review of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

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10. Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Starlink Battle for Atlas

Ubisoft has always been known for its epic open world adventures. And while it may seem a little different at first glance, Starlink: Battle for Atlas does indeed follow suit. Here, your protagonist is an explorer in a space ship. And rather than just having one open world to explore, you have an entire galaxy to explore.

Starlink is a toys-to-life game, but with a digital version available alongside the physical starter pack, actual toys aren’t required to play. As long as you have one ship (either physically or digitally), you’re ready to set out on an adventure. And what an adventure it is.

Like most of the best open world games on Switch, Starlink gives you a main story to follow, but each new planet you visit will also offer a range of side activities. From defeating enemies, to capturing outposts, to finding hidden materials, there’s a heck of a lot to see and do in its huge world.

Read our review of Starlink: Battle for Atlas

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