Whether you love them or hate them, open-worlds are easily one of the most influential genres in gaming.
Ever since the release of Grand Theft Auto III, game developers have been finding ways to introduce an open-world format into their games, with the general belief being that bigger is always better.
Whilst that philosophy is far from true and can result in some bloated experiences, many games and franchises have benefited massively from being made more expansive, and it generally results in games that are much more fun for everyone.
This generation has definitely seen a rise in games going open-world, which has definitely contributed to them becoming more and more popular. Just you wait, soon enough we'll be seeing games like Call of Duty take this approach. It's only a matter of time.
These games are absolutely essential to understanding why the genre is so loved.
Whether it be delivering a sense of freedom unlike any other genre, creating a world that feels truly alive or just giving the player lots of seamless gameplay opportunities, you absolutely need to play these open-world games before you die.
10. Fallout 3
Although Fallout 4 may have had a bigger open-world, nothing really beats the density and variety to Fallout 3's locations.
There's something interesting to find in every nook and cranny of this map, which is made all the more impressive by the fact that this was the first 3D entry into the Fallout series, and the first one to be developed by Bethesda.
The themeing and tone of Fallout 3 is one of the things that makes it so interesting, as you really feel the history of the world and how it has died following the war. This effect is replicated well in New Vegas, but not so much in Fallout 4.
Fallout 3 also lets you directly affect the world in some pretty cool ways, such as deciding whether Megaton should be left as a settlement or turned into a crater from afar. That's one of gaming's most memorable moments, and it's all because of Fallout 3's amazing open world.