More than ten years after the last entry, Rockstar Games officially announced Grand Theft Auto 6 this week. The long-awaited sequel is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, but we will have to wait until 2025 to get our hands on it. And that’s barring any delays, which are par for the course when it comes to Rockstar. Even if GTA 6 does launch in 2025, that’s a pretty long wait, so here are five excellent open-world games to keep you busy until then.
- Developer/Publisher: CD Projekt Red/CD Projekt
- Systems: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
- Release date: December 10, 2020
Cyberpunk 2077 is the closest any developer has come to creating a living, breathing city on par with GTA 5’s Los Santos. This futuristic open-world shooter had more than its fair share of issues at launch, but the developer CD Projekt Red has spent the past three years patching, reworking, and adding new features to the game. The result is one of the most impressive turnarounds for any game in the last few years — right up there with No Man’s Sky.
Every block of Night City is filled with some of the most compelling and unique side missions of any open-world game. The campaign is worth the price of admission alone, but if you really click with Cyberpunk 2077, you could easily spend dozens of hours exploring, collecting, fighting, and upgrading without ever getting bored. Plus, the recently released DLC Phantom Liberty adds an entirely new region and story to the game.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
- Developer/Publisher: Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Systems: PS5
- Release date: October 20, 2023
Long after I finished every mission in Marvel’s Spider-Man, I’d return to the game on occasion just to swing around Manhattan. In many ways, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is more of the same, but it expands the footprint of digital NYC significantly, adding parts of Brooklyn and Queens to the map. It’s just as thrilling to swing around New York as Miles Morales and Peter Parker in this sequel, but the addition of gliding is the cherry on top. Spider-Man 2 is a fantastic game, but it’s also one of the best open-world playgrounds ever built.
Just Cause 3
- Developer/Publisher: Avalanche Studios/Square Enix Europe
- Systems: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release date: December 1, 2015
When it comes to mindless entertainment, there’s no topping Just Cause. There’s some debate over which entry is the best, but Just Cause 3 is tough to top. Once you get the hang of zipping around the island with your grappling hook and parachute, you’ll never want to leave. It’s one of the few games that lets you destroy the environment and supplies the tools to do so. The story might not grab you, but the sense of freedom and the thrill of destruction will.
Red Dead Redemption 2
- Developer/Publisher: Rockstar Studios/Rockstar Games
- Systems: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release date: October 26, 2018
There might not be a more beautifully rendered, detailed open world than the America of 1899 present in Red Dead Redemption 2. If you can sync up with the slow-burn story and deliberately paced gameplay, your reward is one of the most technically and visually impressive video games ever. Once you are done with the story of the outlaw Arthur Morgan, you can spend another few hundred hours exploring the Wild West with friends in Red Dead Online.
- Developer/Publisher: United Front Games/Square Enix
- Systems: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, macOS
- Release date: August 14, 2012
Here’s a great pitch for a game: Grand Theft Auto in Hong Kong. That’s an accurate but overly reductive description of this game, which is a real hidden gem. In Sleeping Dogs, you play Wei Shen, an undercover cop trying to defeat the Triads from the inside. The only way to earn their trust is to be an elite criminal yourself, so in addition to upholding the law, you’ll have to break it as well. It’s so much more than just GTA in Hong Kong, with incredibly satisfying hand-to-hand combat, unique activities to participate in, and a riveting story.