Best Open-World Games On Xbox Game Pass

From ancient Egypt to the outer reaches of space, these open-world Game Pass titles are perfect for digital tourism.

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The Xbox Game Pass library is a massive catalog of content to dive into, but if you're feeling up to the challenge of only focusing on a single game and you're looking to devote dozens of hours to that soulmate of a title, then you can't go wrong with a good ol' open-world sandbox. You can find plenty of them in the Game Pass collection, but which ones are the best? That's tricky, as some people like to explore ancient cities, others prefer a more peaceful approach, and some people would rather break traffic laws with reckless (and wrecked) abandon. We've gathered up a list below of the best open-world games on Game Pass from across a wide variety of genres, studios, and publishers, which should help you pinpoint which game is best for your specific tastes. As a reminder, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs $15 a month and offers access to Xbox-exclusive titles on day one in addition to many third-party games.

The Xbox Game Pass library gets new games each month, and a handful of titles typically leave the service each month, too. For that reason, our list of the best open-world games on Game Pass will change over time, too. We strongly recommend opting for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, as it gives you access to the most games and ways to play. Ultimate comes with EA Play, access to online multiplayer, and the ability to check out the library on Xbox, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming via other devices such as smartphones. Meanwhile, the regular Xbox Game Pass subscription doesn't include online multiplayer or EA Play. And PC Game Pass, which costs the same as the regular service ($10), only includes the PC library, unsurprisingly.

For more Xbox Game Pass fun, you can check out GameSpot's roundups on the best Xbox Game Pass games, the best Xbox Cloud Streaming games, and a full list of every game on Xbox Game Pass.

Ark: Ultimate Survivor Edition

Ark: Ultimate Survivor Edition
Ark: Ultimate Survivor Edition

Ark: Survival Evolved may look like your typical survival game with a quid pro quo resource-gathering gameplay mechanic, but it goes beyond that idea by throwing players into a world that's teeming with deadly dinosaurs and aliens. Set in a landscape filled with relentless danger and brutal obstacles, only those players with enough cunning, strength, and adaptability will be able to survive in this harsh wilderness. Is it worth the struggle? Absolutely, because with enough effort you'll earn yourself a sweet dinosaur ride, more than enough reason to invest some time in this hit game before its sequel arrives.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Ark: Ultimate Survivor Edition review.


Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed games have always had some of the best environments to sneak around in, with the last few entries giving players a scenic tour into ancient worlds. While Valhalla's feudal England and Odyssey's Mediterranean islands are undeniably fascinating, Origins is arguably the most captivating, thanks to its stunning recreation of Ancient Egypt. From its epic pyramids to the beautiful waters of the Nile river, there's something mesmerizing about an Egypt that has been lost to the sands of time.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Assassin's Creed Origins review.


Astroneer

Astroneer
Astroneer

Pure astronomical catharsis, Astroneer is all about exploring a small pocket of the universe. Seven uniquely styled planets, low-polygon aesthetics, procedurally generated terrain, and complete freedom to restore life to these rocky orbs makes the Astroneer approach to exploration feel tangible and a reflection of progress that's hard to beat.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Astroneer review.


Burnout Paradise Remastered

Burnout Paradise Remastered
Burnout Paradise Remastered

If your sandbox is directly inspired by one of the best Guns 'n Roses tracks of all time, there must be something special about it. Racing games with dedicated cities to roam were gaining speed by the time that Burnout: Paradise came out, and years later, its sharp remaster proved why it was one of the best of its class. Paradise City's long stretches of smooth tarmac, devious curves, and hidden streets made it an ideal venue to burn some rubber in, and with a collection of fine horsepower to collect and use, high-speed pursuits and cringe-inducing collisions still feel fantastic in this classic showcase of car culture.

(Xbox, PC)

Read our Burnout Paradise Remastered review.


Dragon Quest Builders 2

Dragon Quest Builders 2
Dragon Quest Builders 2

Dragon Quest Builders 2 certainly checks off all the boxes for a fantasy land, but the real treat here is that you can change the landscape on a whim with Minecraft-inspired building. Throwing in a surprisingly great RPG direction and some superb construction elements, and this sequel is a big improvement over the original and one of the most satisfying action-RPGs in recent years. It has a lengthy runtime of around at least 50 hours, but there's a good chance you'll want to play it for even longer.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Dragon Quest Builders 2 review.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A Nordic sandbox full of dragons, dark wizards, and knights who took one too many arrows to the knee, Skyrim's frigid landscape feels almost as great to explore today as it did more than a decade ago. Consisting of towering mountains, grand castles, and underground kingdoms, there's always something to do in Skyrim and adventure is never too far away. Recent new-gen updates have made Bethesda's masterpiece look better than ever, and with expansions that built on its world, it's never too late to dive back into a realm of dungeons, dragons, and Daedric gods.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim review.


Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5

While its campaign may be polarizing, there's no denying that Far Cry 5's Montana region is a stunning example of digital tourism. The secluded forests, small towns, and wildlife preserves have a distinctive frontier feel to them that's begging to be explore, and if you don't mind running into the occasional cultist along the way, you're in for a great time. There are sinister secrets, scenic vistas, and charming locals to interact with; plus you'll be able to charter cars, boats, and helicopters to help you get across this picturesque Montana landscape.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Far Cry 5 review.


The Forgotten City

The Forgotten City
The Forgotten City

Who would have thought that a Skyrim mod could turn out to be one of the best games of 2021? Not just a descent into an opulent Roman city lost to time, The Forgotten City has you looping through the chronal streets in an attempt to stop a fugitive sinner from enacting some Midas touch punishment on the citizens. It's Columbo with an ancient touch, as you have to stop a crime from happening using the power of foresight and a timeloop to save the day. To be clear, this is a much smaller open-world game than many other games on this list, but it still captures the spirit of what makes this genre so compelling.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our The Forgotten City review.


Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5

Last year saw the Forza Horizon festival change gear from merry ol' England to sunny Mexico, creating a racing experience that was lush, vibrant, and full of charming history to race through. The Mexican landscape didn't just have some fantastic courses to drift through, it also added stories and adventures to Forza Horizon 5 that made the journey feel more relatable than ever before. As a technical showcase of what the Xbox Series X|S consoles are capable of, all of that charm is also amplified by visuals that fire on all cylinders.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Forza Horizon 5 review.


Forager

Forager
Forager

Underneath its cute design, Forager is all about the endless drive to earn some sweet cash. You'll get a feel for some adventure capital the moment you're placed into the game's simple open-world, always progressing and making some bucks that can be used to purchase access to newer biomes. That freedom makes the journey oh so satisfying, and with plenty of great Zelda-like dungeons to explore, you'll be absorbed by the appeal of Forager for hours on end.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)


Halo Infinite

No Caption Provided

Times change, but the idea of a Halo game set on a gigantic cosmic donut never seems to go out of fashion. For Halo Infinite, Master Chief's return to strange alien architecture feels like a blast from the past while adding some modern touches to the formula. Alien buildings look imposing, forward operating bases provide plenty of incentive to keep taking new territory, and getting around the environment with a handy grappling hook makes traversal and combat better than ever before.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Halo Infinite review.


Hitman Trilogy

Hitman 3
Hitman 3

The recent trilogy of Hitman games don't place inside of one all-encompassing sandbox, but rather a series of smaller levels that create a world of Assassination. From Miami to Japan, each one of these levels operate like an intricate toybox of opportunity as you hunt down targets, providing dozens of ways for you to eliminate terrible people using a wide variety of tools and karmic justice. They're all beautifully detailed, hide plenty of secrets, and help tell a fantastic story of intrigue and murder. Hitman 3 gives the player the ultimate freedom to approach each scenario as they see fit, which creates some truly memorable (and funny) moments.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Hitman 3 review.


Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator

Some sandboxes are big, but few can compare to Microsoft Flight Simulator, as it gives you the entire world to explore from an aerial perspective. Using state-of-the-art photographic technology and satellite data, each part of the world is rendered in stunning and accurate detail. That makes a flight across the magnificent urban sprawl of Tokyo, lush jungles of Peru, and African deserts feel more alive than ever as you gaze upon the planet from inside of your cockpit.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Microsoft Flight Simulator review.


No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky
No Man's Sky

How do you get a bigger sandbox than an entire planet to explore? By going beyond atmospheric limits for a game that operates on a galactic level. Thanks to some clever technology and procedurally generated content, No Man's Sky has entire galaxies for you to trek through as you go from plucky space explorer to a seasoned navigator who's ready to go to infinity and beyond. Since launch, developer Hello Games has added a ton of extra content the game as well, and every couple of months sees a substantial chunk of new ships, tools, and missions added to the universal toybox.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our No Man's Sky review.


The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds

While it's not No Man's Sky-big on the universal scale, The Outer Worlds still has plenty of ground to strut around when you land on any of its planets. Each celestial orb has its own ecosystem, adventures to discover, and inhabitants who'll gladly talk your ears off, all wrapped up in a stylish wrapper of neo-noir space exploration.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our The Outer Worlds review.


Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds
Outer Wilds

Not to be confused with Obsidian Entertainment's solar system of space adventure, Outer Wilds is another cosmic toybox that adds in time travel loops to create intricate and fascinating spheres to visit. Each trip through time adds more layers to the experience, while each biome and planetoid you'll land on is loaded with intricate details that make repeat playthroughs that much more rewarding. It's an interesting open-world game, because the more loops you run through, the more fascinating mysteries you unravel.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Outer Wilds review.


Paradise Killer

Paradise Killer
Paradise Killer

There's trouble in paradise, and as the only sleuth who has a clue, it's up to you to solve a strange murder. While it's not an action-packed mystery, Paradise Killer is still an enchanting one thanks to a world that has a freewheeling sense of adventure and alluring facets to explore for more clues. Thorough investigation can be rewarding, and with each corner helping you get one step closer to cracking the case.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Paradise Killer review.


Prey

Prey
Prey

In space, no one can hear you scream about a homicidal coffee cup. A far cry from the original Prey game developed by 3D Realms many years ago, developer Arkane's tale of paranoia and spacebound terror takes place in a slice of the cosmos that's pure style and substance. A sci-fi thriller where exploration opens up more of the environment, Prey's level design has retro charm and a constant sense of dread woven throughout its design. It's not a traditional open-world shooter but an immersive sim that gives you the freedom to explore.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Prey review.


Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves

Abandon land and embrace the ocean with Rare's delightful Sea of Thieves. There's a wide (and very wet) world out there that you can sail to, fellow pirates to encounter, and plenty of danger on the high seas to watch out for. Since its launch, Rare has expanded on its oceanic odyssey with new realms and quests, making for a seaworthy title that has plenty of charm.

(Xbox, PC)

Read our Sea of Thieves review.


Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher
Slime Rancher

Forget about urban jungles, and escape to a small alien farm where you can live the dream of harvesting adorable slimes for a living. Slime Rancher isn't exactly complex, but its easygoing open-world design, useful tools for getting around the rural joint, and adorable livestock make it a relaxing game to dig into. With uncomplicated landscapes and a farming groove that can capture your attention, Slime Rancher is pure digital relaxation out on the range.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)


Tunic

Tunic
Tunic

You don't need a world with an absurd amount of detail rendered into every single pixel, and Tunic is proof of this. Don't mistake simplicity for the easy way out though, as Tunic's minimalist lands are staggeringly clever and fascinating examples of worldbuilding that help to create a terrific adventure for you and your little fox pal. It's littered with secrets to uncover, and the inventive way it forces you to learn about its world rekindles the sense of adventure that is missing in a lot of modern open-world games. Eye-catching and cleverly constructed, Tunic wears its inspiration on its green sleeves and uses them to create a wonderful link to the past.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Tunic review.


Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2

San Francisco doesn't get enough love in video games, but back in 2016, Ubisoft's talented level designers created a version of the city that was a fantastic playground for hacktivism. Like most Ubisoft games, the sandbox has no shortage of activities to take part in and you can easily spend dozens of hours hacking your way around the bay area.

(Xbox, PC, Cloud)

Read our Watch Dogs 2 review.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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