This author's passion is video games. He would like to one day enter the industry and make games himself.
So Much to Do: Where Should I Start?
Open world games are incredibly popular. Whether it be an action-adventure or role-playing game, many developers are taking a shot at the genre, but only a few have been able to truly get it down.
Below is a list of the ten best, must-play open world games available on the Xbox 360.
The 10 Best Xbox 360 Open World Game
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Saints Row: The Third
- L.A. Noire
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Red Dead Redemption
- Bully: Scholarship Edition
- Fallout 3
- Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition
I guarantee that once you've played these games, you'll never want to leave the ever-expanding world of open world games.
1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series. Anyone who's had a chance to play any of the past titles knows how great it is. Skyrim is no different, and it's arguably one of the best you can play.
Giving you one of the biggest worlds to explore, adding adventure around every corner, making sure you never know what you will find, developer Bethesda Game Studios really outdid themselves. Your main means of travel includes walking, riding a horse, and "fast travel," an option you can only choose after you've explored an area.
Throughout your adventures, you'll have access to swords, shields, bow and arrows, and magic. A variety of weapons can be found, and you're even allowed to dual-wield them. You'll use magic in the form of eighty-five spells, each of which has its own unique purpose.
You’ll meet tons of non-playable characters in this land. Some are friendly and others are aggressive. Your actions will have a big impact on how people treat you as well.
Skyrim is a must-play game for people who like to explore, discover, and have a great adventure. Just remember, you might wander into a pack of dragons.
2. Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row: The Third, developed by Volition, Inc., is the third game of the series. It contains many of the same concepts of the first two. Set in a city called Steelport, this is your chance to be a gangster: not only that, but the leader of your own gang.
As the leader of the Third Street Saints, you'll be in a bitter gang war with other gangs. (As would be the case for any gangster.) Not to worry, though: being who you are, I'm sure you'll have no problem taking over.
If you've ever had a chance to play a GTA game, you'll notice these two games are similar in many ways. What makes Saints Row so great is it distinguishes itself by going over-the-top. Even when you think you've seen it all, you'll be surprised by something else.
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Though they have a similar premise, you shouldn't expect these two series to have all that much else in common. They set themselves apart, which is truly great for you and me; the fans. Saints Row: The Third shows us once again how unique and different open world games can be.
Set in a world that was struck by a horrible disaster, Rage stands out from most other games on this list because it's a first-person shooter.
In case you didn't already know, the game's developer, id Software, is the same that brought you the Doom and Quake series. So expect Rage to bring the same craziness those series are so well known for. Since it's about road rage, driving is an important aspect, and probably a little more than most people expect.
Combat is still present, and a lot of fun, with many different guns and ammo to choose from. Throughout this futuristic world, you'll meet normal people just like yourself, but beware: hostile mutants are present.
Rage was sadly overlooked when it first came out in 2011 since there was so much competition that year. But a new IP like this shouldn't be missed. Rage will thrill and maybe even creep you out but in the end, you'll thoroughly enjoy the experience.
4. L.A. Noire
L.A. Noire is a pretty special game. It's a little different than what we've seen before. It's set in 1940s Los Angeles where Cole Phelps (a World War ll veteran) now works as a detective.
You'll step into Cole's shoes as you go through this game. Being a detective is hard work, but it's nothing but fun for you when you step into this world. You'll be investigating fires, murders, theft, drug deals, and even get to interrogate people.
L.A. Noire, developed by Team Bondi, takes a step away from the action and tells a driven story within a thriving world. What you get out of the game is what you put in. Going to a crime scene and not doing your job properly will prevent you from coming up with the necessary clues.
Since the game is story-driven, it's really suspenseful, just like any great noir movie (think of Inception). You'll be completely immersed, wondering who did it and what's going to happen next, and for that reason, trying to take a break from the game can be hard to do.
L.A. Noire is a decently-lengthed game, with plenty of side quests to do afterward. Plus, the city is built with such historical accuracy that you may find yourself driving around to just look at it.
5. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
Revelations, developed by Ubisoft Montreal, is the fourth Assasin's Creed game released. Set in Constantinople in 1511 AD, you are put in the shoes of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, an assassin.
In a city full of poor people where the rich taking advantage and power-grubbers try to rule all, Revelations gives you a choice of how you want to play: Will you try to make your way through this world with pure might, strategy, or stealth? (Of course, using all of them would be the best choice.)
An interesting thing about this game is that you can climb just about anything, which is great since the best way to get a view of the city is from the tallest building. Since elevators hadn't been invented yet, this is a very useful skill.
Revelations has a great story, but it might be kind of confusing to people who haven't played the older games in the series. Still, if you're just looking for something really fun and awesome to play, this game is for you.
6. Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption is yet another unique game. It's a Western, set during the old American West in its decline—not that that hasn't been done before, but this one is actually good.
Playing as a man named John Marston, a former outlaw, you will set out to make a good life for your family and yourself. Before you can, the government takes your wife and son hostage. The only way to get them back is if you turn into a bounty hunter, going after the same outlaws that were in the same gang as you were. Doing what any man would, you accept the offer.
Hunting to get animal skins for money and meeting some hilarious and sometimes crazy people along the way, you'll set out with hardly any help: you'll have to help others before you can get help yourself.
The story in Red Dead Redemption, developed by Rockstar San Diego, is a great length and has plenty of things for you to do and see. Just don't get too drunk at the saloon. And if you end up winning big at a card game, this will definitely be a game you'll be glad you played.
Borderlands mixes a first-person shooter with a lot of RPG elements to bring you a big world to explore, with a ton of loot, if you're willing to find it (or fight for it).
One of the fun things about the game is the range of weapons you can find and customize—snipers, assault rifles, whatever—you name it and you can probably get a hold of it. You'll always be finding a new weapon stronger than the one you had.
The biggest thing going for this game, and what makes it so fun, is being able to play in co-op mode. You can play cooperatively with someone at your house, or go online and play with a friend or stranger. This makes the game as fun as it could possibly be.
Boss battles are also a great thing in the game: you'll fight human-to-giant beasts, always making sure that you're at your best. Enemies level up with you so they get stronger as you progress, but great weapons should take care of that and let you slay anything with an evil laugh.
Developed by Gearbox Software, Borderlands is meant to be a crazy, funny, wacky game that is nothing but fun to enjoy with friends. And that's exactly what you'll get when you sit down to play it.
I have one recommendation: if you do decide to purchase this game, you might want to get the Game of the Year Edition, since it comes with all available DLC. This package adds a lot more time you'll get to spend playing this great game.
8. Bully: Scholarship Edition
Bully, developed by Rockstar Vancouver, is probably the most unique and definitely one of the best on this list. Rockstar Games took it to the next level and did something no one had done before. Bully puts you in a boarding school where you have classes and just about anything a school has, including bullies.
Bully was originally exclusive to the Sony PS2, but was later ported to the Xbox 360 with new content added, making it much better than it was before. The content includes new classes, clothing, unlockables, and missions.
Bully brings fun to the table with laughs and crazy, unique, and funny characters. Nothing is very violent. Instead, this game gives us things to make us laugh. You'll be armed with plenty of things to prank people with, like itching powder and stink bombs. Fun.
There's a boxing gym you can go to box other kids, a carnival, go-karts, and bike races. This is not the biggest map of any open world game, but it's definitely one that offers more re-playability than most that you'll find.
Unlike any other game on this list, Bully is one that is for any gamer—meaning anyone with any skill set or experience can sit down, spend tons of hours enjoying it, and still not want to put it down.
9. Fallout 3
Fallout 3 is similar to the Elder Scrolls series, being made by the same developer (Bethesda Game Studios) and being an RPG, but it sets itself apart with its story, combat, setting, and unique experiences.
This game puts you in a world that experienced a nuclear disaster. Some people survived: some for the good, others for the worse. Fallout 3 has one of the best opening scenes of any game I've personally ever played, and it really hooks you in and makes you want to explore the game even more.
Once you get into the game and start exploring and things, you'll be amazed by what's waiting for you. Like other games, strategy is your choice and what you do will influence everything that happens.
You'll really have to explore in this game. It's easy to get lost or even pass up something you might wish you had noticed later on.
10. Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition
The Complete Edition comes with Grand Theft Auto IV, The Ballad of Gay Tony, and The Lost & Damned. GTA IV is the full game with the full experience, including everything from the older games in the series we've come to know and love, plus added new features and gameplay mechanics.
One of the biggest things the developer Rockstar North has worked on is the mechanics of the game and making the world feel real and open and accessible, from being able to call your friends in Liberty City to going bowling, playing pool, or even bellying up to the bar. In this game, things like running and driving are ultra-realistic.
What makes this Complete Edition so great is the downloadable content included. Both The Lost & Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony introduce you to two new protagonists. You can expect the same greatness from these two as you get from GTA IV. The story will intertwine between the three games, linking up each storyline in ways never seen before in a GTA title. Now these two episodes are DLC so it will take less time to complete the game.
Having all three in this complete package makes for a great deal, and some of the best open world fun you can find.
Your Favorite Open World Game for Xbox 360?
Expand your horizons with these ever-expanding open world games. I guarantee that you'll love getting lost in them. Feel free to add any others you feel should be on this list in the comments section below!
Ryland on March 26, 2020:
I think just cause 2 is the best action open world game i played in xbox 360
Joe on June 14, 2018:
You should add watch dogs on account of its endless activities and “do what you want” atmosphere
Destructinax on April 09, 2018:
How to Download Far Cry 5 Deluxe Edition SKIDROW + Crack Updated 2018
Ryan on February 24, 2018:
I feel slighted that Dark Souls wasn’t included in this list. Arguably one of the most challenging yet addictive games out there with 100% open world action.
Jay on January 20, 2018:
Call of Juarez and Watch Dogs should be in the list defidently.
Tom & Debbie on December 27, 2017:
Far Cry 3
Axle on December 24, 2017:
I think just cause 2 is the best action open world game i played in xbox 360
DD on November 04, 2017:
TIMI on September 15, 2017:
BEST GAME IS RESIDENT EVIL SERIES
Kristen on June 15, 2017:
State of Decay
Grahame on October 03, 2016:
I'm actually really surprised that Mafia II isn't on this list. It's a beautifully done recreation of NYC in the 1940s and 50s. The missions are fun, but it's also a blast to just drive around in a '57 Chevy (or their version of it) listening to old rock and roll tunes. Sure, the game is packed with anachronisms, but they all serve to really bring you into the feel and vibe of the game. Top that off with great voice acting and animation, and you've got one excellent game that has a lot of replay value.
I really think this game deserves to be on the list, and it's a shame that it isn't.
moha on September 09, 2016:
You are very good keep in this way and you will best site
Cay on August 09, 2016:
Oblivion was 100x better than Skyrim. Everyone just jumped on the Bandwagon when Skyrim came out, because Berhesda wasn't all that popular until Fall Out 3. So Bethesda made the gameplay in Skyrim WAYY too much like Fall Out, and less like a better version of Oblivion- the way Oblivion was a a better version of Morrowind (which I'm sure many mainstream game players that jumped on the Skyrim bandwagon probably never even heard of, let alone played). Anyway, Skyrim was like a Worse Oblivion to me, simple tasks such as making potions was WAY more tedious than in Oblivion.
Also, I would say Fable, but there's kinda a designated route in Fable, it's not as much of an "open world" granted all 3 are great. Also, with the Fable games, at least with 2&3, there were WAYY too many glitches. If it wasn't such a fun game, I woulda put the controller down out of frustration and never finished them.
I don't know on July 24, 2016:
Red dead redemption
jimpymanny on June 22, 2016:
I think watchdogs and GTA 5 is better
mhr on June 21, 2016:
Why not mentioned?
mahdi on June 04, 2016:
I think the best open world game in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phant0m Pain.
Darien on April 06, 2016:
Ced Yong from Asia on March 16, 2016:
For the older open worlds, I would also opt for FC3. As an article once wrote, the world feels alive and unpredictable. Well, unpredictable as far as a game could make it. The rest, including Skyrim, tends to be more structured. You can tell you're in a game, so to speak.
David Blair on July 22, 2015:
I agree Far Cry 3 was the best I've played. I like Far Cry 4, esp the little gyro copter but all the near out of body dream stuff was a little much for my liking..
TheKirkwood on July 04, 2015:
Far Cry 3,4 were not on the list. Skyrim was great but a little redundant.
Andrew on June 21, 2015:
Far Cry 3 is by far the best open world game I've ever played. In my opinion, Far Cry 4 was okay. The story seemed to be lacking in certain areas. It never did grab my attention the way FC3 did, but it's definitely a matter of personal opinion. I know a plethora of people who prefer FC4 over FC3. However, both games within the FC series are still my favorite open world games of all time.
Klas on May 29, 2015:
skyrim is The undisputed champion of all The x-Box games!
sexy on May 25, 2015:
MrOpenWorldGameLover on April 19, 2015:
I think the best name for Open World Game ""MIQAEEL ""....
Sarthak on February 26, 2015:
I think you forgot gta 5, just cause 2,watchdogs and sleeping dogs and I don't like gta 4
Walt on January 18, 2015:
Dpeek on December 25, 2014:
I think that Farcry was a good open world game. If its creators grouped up with bethesda and made a game similar in size to skyrim and all of the guns of farcry it would be the best game ever.
mzmelissa on March 24, 2013:
All the games are the truth. I love Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption. I could play these games all day. I have before. I lost a whole weekend playing. Love it. Great Lens.
Actiongames LM on March 08, 2013:
I love to get lost in Skyrim and Fallout. Nice lens by the way
anonymous on February 05, 2013:
Hello / Good Job / But you left out the best open world of them all and that is Just Cause especially Just Cause 2. I love open world and Skyrim both Skyrim's were my favorites. Until Just Cause. Anyone how hasn't played it should absolutely awesome. Newfie0man
JamesJGibson (author) on January 02, 2012:
Thank you for the comments. With Arkham City, I was really debating on that. But I had not personally played it yet.
ImmatureEntrepr on January 02, 2012:
Great idea for a lens! There are some really great games here. Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption top the list for me. BTW, you left out Batman Arkham City. :) Squid Angel blessings for you!