It says a lot about what gamers want that one of the most popular genres around is open-world; a broad category within which many games can have almost nothing in common, yet are bound by the fact that they give us the freedom to spin around, pick a random direction to walk in, and find some kind of adventure wherever we go. Considering that the whole open-world style of games have been around for some time now, you'd think that heading into 2016 we'd be a bit less excitable by the idea of exploring more sandboxes. But while ordinary game genres evolve slowly over time through updated mechanics and the occasional new gameplay gimmick, open-worlds are seemingly hyper-expanding - getting bigger and more richly-detailed at a meteoric rate. Today, open-world cities are brimming with life, adeptly capturing the spirit of whatever era they're set in, free-form galaxies are filled with thousands of stars to explore, and developers have more freedom than ever to realise strange, new visions that we'd never have thought possible several years ago. Here is the wave of open-world games that will shape 2016.