The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Our 2017 Game of the Year is not only one of the Nintendo Switch’s best games but it is one of the best open world games available on any platform. It is a magical experience with an undeniable sense of wonder and the world gives you something new to see around every corner. The gorgeous art makes you want to explore every inch of the land and the unique climbing mechanics make that possible.
Super Mario Odyssey – Mario’s Switch debut is one of his most varied adventures yet. Invoking feelings of nostalgia for games like Super Mario 64, Odyssey features a unique set of worlds and enough mechanics to ensure that it feels fresh. Cappy, and the gameplay he is tied to, will be remembered for years and the detailed worlds, including highlights like New Donk City, are filled with things to see and power moons to collect.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Skyrim has been on almost every system now, but 2017’s Switch release is the first time the massive RPG can be taken on the go. The open world is still a joy to explore, the quests are still epic adventures, and the port has been executed well. It’s the same great game you probably know and love, but you can now play it whenever and wherever you want.
Minecraft – Minecraft is arguably the definitive modern sandbox adventure. With the freedom to explore and build whatever you’d like, the possibilities are endless. Also, with it now being one of the best-selling games of all time, there are plenty of other players for you to bounce ideas off.
LEGO City Undercover – Rather than being wrapped up in the stylings of licences, LEGO City Undercover is more of an original adventure. As as undercover cop, you need to explore LEGO City to take down criminals and impress the mayor. It may be a LEGO game but that doesn’t mean its open world offers any less to do. You can chase assailants in vehicles, build objects, and explore, just as you would be able to in any other open world game.
L.A. Noire – Another of the last-gen open world games that were re-released towards the end of 2017 is Rockstar’s L.A. Noire. Stepping into the shoes of Cole Phelps, you can explore Los Angeles, solve mysteries, take part in car chases, and engage in shoot outs. The world is well-designed and is full of fascinating characters.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Xenoblade Chronicles 2 isn’t the easiest RPG to jump into and learn quickly, but if you’re after a beautiful and detailed open world, you shouldn’t look any further. While the narrative is engaging, there’re tons of secrets to uncover and objectives to complete. You’ll be able to explore for hours, just be wary of the steep learning curve.