10 Open-World Games That Punish You For 100%

Completionists are gonna have a bad time.

God of War Ragnarok Kratos
Sony Santa Monica

Open-world games are among the most popular of video game genres for good reason: they offer up an obscene amount of content to experience within a richly realised, sprawling world. Who doesn't love that?

Generally speaking, most open-world games are designed to reward the player for straying from the beaten path and exploring every last possible nook and cranny on the map.

But the sheer mind-boggling amount of work that goes into even a mediocre open-world game means that developers don't always manage to balance everything correctly, sometimes resulting in players being effectively punished for their adventurous curiosity.

Sometimes those who strive to mop up every last side quest, challenge, and pesky icon on the map will suffer as a result of it, typically due to ending up so ridiculously overpowered that the rest of the main game becomes a bit underwhelming - if not much worse.

It's a tricky balance to strike and there's no easy answer - hence why so many great games still struggle with it - but players who pursue 100% evidently shouldn't end up being penalised for their commitment. If anything, quite the opposite...

10. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

God of War Ragnarok Kratos
CD Projekt RED

There's a fundamental disconnect between the sheer amount of Awesome Things The Witcher 3 allows you to do, and how thoroughly they undermine the natural flow and cadence of the main questline.

The game's side quests are among the most acclaimed in gaming, enough that many even consider them superior to the main ones, so you couldn't really be blamed for tackling a ton of them as soon as they're made available, right?

Except, doing so will ensure you're hilariously overpowered throughout the bulk of the story. If you complete a large number of side content before reaching Skellige, you'll absolutely breeze through the rest of the main quests.

As incredible a game as it is, due to the lack of difficulty scaling and over-generous doling-out of XP - especially in main story missions - you're basically given an easier, less-rewarding experience if you plow through all the side quests early.

It might be unfulfilling enough to actively encourage you to ignore side content on your first playthrough and focus on a more challenging main questline, while saving some of the extra stuff for another go-around.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.