When it comes to games that give you the most bang for your buck, you're best off looking at those with large scale maps. In the last decade and a half, open-world has become a common factor in most adventure games which, at times, has made it hard to cut the wheat from the chaff.
2022 has been an interesting one for open-world titles in that some of the series and studios most associated with big, exploration-heavy maps have been dormant.
With Rockstar working away on GTA 6 and the next instalment of Assassin's Creed coming next year, tentpoles of the genre have been noticeably absent. In their wake however, more developers and franchises have tried their hand at the massive adventure game.
The open-world formula evolves over time with every new smash-hit adding their own contributions. After all, you don't innovate by copying what everyone else is doing. This year, despite the big names being quiet, open-world games have flourished in new ways because of developers who dare to be bold.
In this list we count down the best games with big maps that kept us adventuring in 2022.
10. Forza Horizon 5
Racing games and driving sims might not be in everyone’s wheelhouse but it’s not controversial to say that the genre tends to be at the cusp of realistic graphics.
Whilst the game originally released at the back-end of 2021, Forza Horizon 5 has continued to impress and hold dominance over the genre this year with its updates. The latest of which adds raytracing, as if it needed to be any prettier...!
With a map that is 50% larger than the last game, there is a lot to see as you barrel around the fictionalised version of Mexico in all of its hi-res glory. The weather system is a particular highlight, creating tension and abject joy as you slide from road to dirt path in the middle of a storm.
Horizon 5 has an interesting take on the progression system, throwing rally cars and high-powered supercars at the player from the get-go rather than the standard fare of hatchbacks and Ford Focuses. Because, at the end of the day, if you’re going to sell a player on your game in the first 15 minutes, give them a very fast toy to zip around your Mayan temples and watch them fill with glee instantly.
It’s not going to emotionally enrapture you with a great story but it’s impossible to deny how good Forza Horizon 5 feels to play.