10 Best Open World Games on Xbox 360

Jam-Packed Open Worlds, So Much to Do: Where Should I Start?

Every year, open world games are becoming even more popular. Whether it be an action adventure or role playing game, many developers are trying their hands at the open world concept, 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.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim is the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series, an open world action role playing game. Anyone who's had a chance to play any past titles in the series knows how great it is. Skyrim is no different and it's arguably one of the best titles 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 outdid themselves with this one. Your main means of travel include walking, riding a horse, and "fast travel," an option you can only choose after you've explored an area.

Through your adventures in combat, you'll have access to swords, shields, bows and arrows, and magic. Many different weapons can be found and you're even allowed to dual-wield them. You'll use magic in the form of a total of eighty-five spells, each one with its own unique use.

You’ll meet a variety 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 great adventure. Just remember, you might wander into a pack of dragons.

Skyrim Trailer

Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row: The Third, developed by Volition, Inc., is the third game in the series and follows 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 be one, but be the leader of a gang.

As leader of the Third Street Saints, as in any gangster lifestyle, you'll be in a bitter gang war with other gangs. 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 any GTA game you'll notice these two games are similar in 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.

Though they have a similar premise, you shouldn't expect these two series to be a lot like each other. They both 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.

Saints Row: The Third Trailer


Set in a world that was struck with horrible disaster, Rage stands out from most other games on the list because it's a first person shooter.

In case you don't already know, its developer, id Software, is the same one that brought you the Doom and Quake series, so expect Rage to bring the same craziness those series have delivered over the years. Since it's about road rage, driving is an important aspect of Rage, probably a little more than most people expect.

Combat is still present, and a lot of fun, with many different guns and ammo types 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 so many other games came out 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.

Rage Trailer

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire is a pretty special game, 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 when you step into this world. You'll be investigating fires, murders, theft, drug deals, and even interrogating people.

L.A. Noire, developed by Team Bondi, takes a step away from the action and puts you in 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, you ain't going to come up with many clues.

Since the game is story-driven, it's really suspenseful, just like any great noir movie (think of Inception). You'll be completely involved, 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 decent-length game, with plenty of side quests to do afterwards. Plus, the city is built with such historical accuracy that you may find yourself driving around to just look at it.

L.A. Noire Trailer

Assassin's Creed Revelations

Revelations is the fourth game released on consoles. Set in Constantinople in 1511 AD, you are put in the shoes of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, an assassin.

In this city full of poor people where the rich taking advantage and power-grubbers try to rule all, Revelations gives you a choice for how you want to play: Will you try to make your way through this world with pure might, strategy, or stealth? (Of course, all 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 to see it from the tallest building—not by walking up stairs (elevators weren't invented yet), but by climbing all the way to the top.

Revelations (developed by Ubisoft Montreal) has got a great story, but might be kind of confusing to people who haven't played the older games in the series. But still, if you're just looking for something really fun and awesome to play, this game is for you.

Assassin's Creed Revelations Trailer

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is yet another unique game on the list. 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.

Red Dead Redemption Trailer


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 ton of weapons you can find, and customize—snipers, assault rifles, whatever—you name it and you can just about 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 it co-op. You can play cooperatively with a friend or relative at your house or go online and play with a friend or a 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-beast, always making sure that you're at your best. Enemies level up with you so they get stronger as you do, but great weapons should take care of that and let you slay anything while giving 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 decide to get this game, you might want to get the Game of the Year Edition since it comes with all DLC for the game:

The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned

Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot

The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, and

Claptrap's New Robot Revolution.

The DLC adds a lot more time you'll get to spend in the game.

Borderlands Trailer

Bully: Scholarship Edition

Bully, developed by Rockstar Vancouver, is probably the most unique and definitely one of the best on the 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 released exclusively on the Sony PS2 but later ported to the Xbox 360 with new content added in making it much better than it was before. The new content includes classes, clothing, unlockables, and missions.

Bully brings fun to the table with laughs and crazy, unique, 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 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 the 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 the game down.

Bully: Scholarship Edition Trailer

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 holocaust. 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 this game. It's easy to get lost or even pass up something you might wish you had noticed later on.

Fallout 3 Trailer

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.

GTA IV Trailer

What do you think?

Which is the best open world title, in your opinion?

  • Skyrim
  • Saints Row
  • Rage
  • L.A. Noire
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Borderlands
  • Bully
  • Fallout
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Other (explain in comments section)
See results without voting

Your Favorite Open World Game for Xbox?

Feel free to add any others you feel should be on this list in the comments section below.

Please leave a comment to tell me how you liked this article or how I could make it better.

Comments 24 comments

ImmatureEntrepr profile image

ImmatureEntrepr 4 years ago

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!

JamesJGibson profile image

JamesJGibson 4 years ago Author

Thank you for the comments. With Arkham City, I was really debating on that. But I had not personally played it yet.

anonymous 3 years ago

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

Actiongames LM profile image

Actiongames LM 3 years ago

I love to get lost in Skyrim and Fallout. Nice lens by the way

mzmelissa 3 years ago

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.

Dpeek 22 months ago

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.

Walt 21 months ago


Sarthak 20 months ago

I think you forgot gta 5, just cause 2,watchdogs and sleeping dogs and I don't like gta 4

MrOpenWorldGameLover 18 months ago

I think the best name for Open World Game ""MIQAEEL ""....

sexy 17 months ago

gta 5

Klas 17 months ago

skyrim is The undisputed champion of all The x-Box games!

Andrew 16 months ago

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.

TheKirkwood 15 months ago

Far Cry 3,4 were not on the list. Skyrim was great but a little redundant.

David Blair 15 months ago

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..

CYong74 profile image

CYong74 7 months ago from Singapore

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.

Darien 6 months ago

Sleeping dogs

mahdi 4 months ago

I think the best open world game in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phant0m Pain.

mhr 4 months ago


Why not mentioned?

jimpymanny 4 months ago

I think watchdogs and GTA 5 is better

I don't know 3 months ago

Red dead redemption

Cay 2 months ago

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.

moha 6 weeks ago

You are very good keep in this way and you will best site

Grahame 3 weeks ago

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.

Swastik 5 days ago

You fu**in forgot GTA V!!!

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