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As a big fan of massive, open-world games, I have spent some time looking for the games with the largest map out there. Some of the maps I found are simply ridiculous, with the maps actually being much larger than some real countries! If you are as interested as I am, here is a list of the largest, fully explorable open-world maps. Now keep in mind, we also added the indoor areas of the maps, such as caves or buildings.
10. FALLOUT 4 - 111km2
This well-known, absolute masterpiece by Bethesda is a must play, regardless of the map size. Fallout 4’s Boston Wasteland is the biggest map in the Fallout franchise, and yet, the actual size isn’t that amazing compared to other recent RPGs. However, the map is perfectly designed in a way to make it feel so much bigger than it actually already is, because it doesn’t feel like an automatically generated map. Every piece of the landscape feels different and unique, and every piece is just as beautiful as the other. The map also does a great job in contrasting different areas, from rural villages to urban cities, which also adds on to the perceived size of the map.
9. DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION - 117km2
Although there is no exact measurement of the size of the map right now, the size can be closely calculated by knowing that the maps of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 can fit into 1 of 15 zones of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Also, the map feels a little bigger than Skyrim, which has a map size of 100km2. Compared to Skyrim, Ferelden is a more diverse map too, with many deserts, coastlines, swamplands and hills, making it feel like you’re exploring an entire continent.
8. GRAND THEFT AUTO V - 127km2
It’s funny, similar with Fallout 4, how the way a map is designed can add so much to the perceived size of the map. Personally, I always felt like the multi-city map of GTA: San Andreas looked much more impressive than GTA 5’s map. After all, in essence it is just one city surrounded by miles of woodlands, desert and backwaters. However, this is probably due to nostalgia, because in reality, the GTA 5 map is about twice the size as San Andreas.
7. THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT - 218km2
As if there’s not enough CD Projekt RED can brag about with the truly amazing, latest installment in The Witcher trilogy, its map size is among the biggest and most lively in video game history. The world is split into several zones, each feeling like a uniquely designed area with its own atmosphere and character. Most of the architecture and landscapes are inspired by medieval times of central Europe, mixing vast wastelands with lively villages and beautiful forests.
6. ARMA 3 - 269km2
A personal favourite of mine, the amazingly realistic, online multiplayer that is Arma 3 comes with an enormous island called Altis. Besides the size, Altis isn’t a half-bad place to do some ancient Greek sight-seeing, as the map consists of vast wastelands, rolling hills, but also tranquil villages with Greek architecture. The feeling of roaming with your squad, on your way to a mission, through fields as realistic as this, is absolutely unprecedented.
5. JUST CAUSE 3 - 1036km2
In the second installment of the Just Cause franchise, one of the best feelings was roaming through the landscapes with a parachute and grappling hook. Just Cause 3 brings back exactly this, with a map of similar size, but this map feels much more like a budget European holiday, rather than an Asian one. The lavender fields, sleepy towns and azure blue waters are amazing to explore, and if you’re bored with those, continue roaming through the dry deserts and snowy mountains. A personal favourite is the island up top, as there is an impressive, active volcano located there.
4. TEST DRIVE UNLIMITED 2 - 1600km2
Test Drive Unlimited 2 comes with 2 fully explorable maps, that is the satellite-modeled of both Ibiza and Oahu. Although they might not feel that big if you’re roaming through it with 130kph, between the two island there is about an impressive 3200 kilometers of road to explore, and you’re free to go off-road at any given point. A little downside of games like this is that to me, free-roaming never really feels the same if you can’t leave the insides of the car. But if you happen to be a fan of free-roam racing games, this one might be perfect for you. Or maybe, the next one in the list might.
3. FUEL - 14400km2
Fuel as a similar concept to Test Drive Unlimited 2, although in this game, you explore the absolutely incredibly large field of the US. Drive through salt lakes, forests, deserts and snowy mountains at top speed, and still take about 2 hours to diagonally cross the full map. Again, similar to the maps of Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3, every single piece of Fuel feels uniquely designed and not just like a cut-and-paste job. Personally, I have not played any other game that feels as free as this one. If you’re bored of a quiet, relaxing drive, have some fun with the deep craters of the canyons, by sliding your car right off the edge.
2. THE ELDER SCROLLS II: DAGGERFALL - 160579km2
It might seem like modern Bethesda RPGs are getting bigger and bigger compared to their predecessors, none of them will reach the map size of Daggerfall any time soon. We know this game uses procedurally-generating, and most of it is just generated wildness, but you can’t not be impressed by the immense, almost scary size of this game, especially considering its release in 1996. Graphics wise, it definitely doesn’t look half that bad either for its time. Spend hours upon hours in the dungeons, one of which could probably easily fit the whole of Skyrim.
1. NO MAN’S SKY - 18 quintillion planets
Although this game wasn’t the biggest success at it’s launch, the reality is that its size is definitely one of the things that has impressed me the most in gaming history. No Man’s Sky comes with a procedurally-generated, fully seamless universe with galaxies full of beautiful planets to discover. According to the head of Hello Games, Sean Murray, it was calculated it would take you about five billion years to explore every 2 to the power 64, or 18 quintillion, planets that this game has to offer. This alone, completely blows my minds every time I think about it.