This Tarantino-influenced gangland sandbox game charges the player with taking over a city by completing missions and earning enough respect to lead the ultimate gang and overthrow the shadowy Ultor Corporation. With a healthy dash of black humor and over-the-top B-movie sensibilities, some players prefer the Saint's Row experience to that offered by Grand Theft Auto. With a third Saint's Row game on the way next month, perhaps this series is poised to steal a bit of GTA's thunder?
There aren't nearly enough good Westerns in the general catalog of video games, so it's no surprise that Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption was a hit. The game infuses its open world with the spirit of the Old West, with an ex-outlaw protagonist who gets caught up in his old life when his family is threatened. Red Dead Redemption's visuals and soundtrack are top-notch, and the game's honor and crime systems help give players the feeling of starring in their very own Western.
The Grand Theft Auto series hardly needs an introduction. From causing controversy due to the various violent and antisocial activities that the player is able to partake in to being lavishly praised by game critics, few gamers haven't at least heard of Grand Theft Auto. Playing a character working his way up through the world of organized crime proved quite popular, as did the games' sandbox style, which many players had never experienced before Grand Theft Auto III.
As one of the most popular open world series, GTA goes at or near the top of any list like this, though not all series fans like the direction that the last game took. Considering the incredible number of Internet arguments over which GTA is the best GTA, we're not going to attempt to crown one of them over the others. Pick your favorite, and pretend we listed it here.
The Elder Scrolls series founded the modern open world genre, and remains one of its leaders. The land of Tamriel has a rich amount of lore, and each Elder Scrolls game focuses on a particular region in the gigantic world. The past two games, Morrowind and Oblivion, shone in different ways. Morrowind boasted a unique setting and a more solid series of storylines and quests. Oblivion experimented with a "radiant A.I." system that had fascinating and sometimes unintentionally hilarious NPC behavior outcomes. The Elder Scrolls series places an emphasis on modability and boasts one of the most talented and dedicated mod communities in the gaming world. The excitement surrounding the imminent release of Skyrim is a testament to the series' popularity.
With the Elder Scrolls series taking a lengthy hiatus during Skyrim's development, the Fallout series has emerged with two of the best open world games of all time. When Fallout 3 was first announced, critics joked that it was going to be "Oblivion with guns," but the game ended up being far more than that. It captured the feeling of the Fallout world very well and gave explorers plenty of weird and wonderful things to find in the wasteland of Washington D.C.
In Fallout: New Vegas, Bethesda teamed up with Obsidian, a developer well-known for games with a strong story element and quality control issues. Though New Vegas did indeed have its share of bugs, it also had a far stronger storyline than Fallout 3, a more mature feel to the world, and represented a good direction for the series to take in the future. Both open world Fallout games are very high-caliber, and we can only hope that the series continues to improve and reign over the sandbox world.
By Becky Cunningham
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*