The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim map size
14.5 Square Miles
An oldie but a goodie, Bethesda’s Skyrim boasts a map with an impressive 14.5 square miles. Ranging from the river studded tundra of Whiterun Hold in the center of the country to the snow-covered peaks and coasts in the northern Winterhold, the open-world map has something to offer every player in every region.
Since its release in 2011, Skyrim has continued to capture gamers' minds and imaginations everywhere, particularly with the impressive list of mods that span across different consoles. In fact, many gamers mod their vanilla game to make it play like a new one. Regardless of what updates are included in the mods, for nearly a decade, Skyrim has been a fan-favorite thanks, in part, to its vast map.
I've amassed over 950 hours in this game over the years. That's over a month of straight gaming! Skyrim is one of my favorite games - ever!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild map size
23.7 Square Miles
Since its release in 2017, Breath of the Wild introduced a new gaming dynamic to the decades-long franchise. Released in celebration of the series’ 30th anniversary, Breath of the Wild map is a colossal one that is topographical, which means that the map indicates the elevation of different regions. Each area becomes easier to travel to once the player climbs a series of towers that allows them to fast-travel to each location.
The Legend of Zelda has many previous games, all of which had various degrees of openness in the world design, but Breath of the Wild differs in that it’s a true open-world design. Furthermore, it features several gaming elements that haven’t been featured in Legend of Zelda games previously, such as allowing players to control when Link jumps!
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion map size
25.5 Square Miles
Skyrim’s predecessor in The Elder Scrolls, Oblivion’s map covers the province of Cyrodiil, home of the Imperial race in Tamriel. Released in 2006, Oblivion’s open-world map features a wide variety of locations, from swamps in the south to the seaside port of Anvil in the west.
Oblivion’s main questline, which takes the player deep into the Planes of Oblivion, also features a dimensional location that provides even more maps for the gamer to explore. Compared to other games on this list, Oblivion might not have the most sophisticated graphics, but the sheer size of the map is nothing to frown at.
Red Dead Redemption 2 map size
29 Square Miles
First released in 2018 by Rockstar Games, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the prequel to the 2010 game Red Dead Redemption and is set in the fictionalized 1899 representation of the Western, Midwestern, and Southern United States. When we say fictionalized, we mean the locations in-game represent real-life locations (Saint Denis, for example, is meant to parallel the city of New Orleans).
Many have criticized Red Dead Redemption 2 for being a slower video game in that it lacks the ability to fast travel between destinations, a feature that many games will allow players to partake in once they have discovered the destination. While some players like how immersive this makes the game feel, many have criticized how slow this makes the game. Regardless of where you stand on the fast-traveling debacle, it’s impossible to deny the sheer scope of the Red Dead Redemption 2 map size.
Dragon Age Inquisition map size
45 Square Miles
Dragon Age Inquisition is the third installment in the Dragon Age franchise and the game features the return to many beloved locations featured in the first game, Dragon Age Origins. Developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts, Inquisition was released in 2014 and received a wave of critical acclaim, including Game of the Year for 2014, praising the story, the impressive voice acting, the soundtrack, and more.
Inquisition is set in Thedas. It covers more geographical territory than its predecessors, allowing players to explore more of the regions and locations they received a taste of in Origins. Whereas Origins was linear in its progression and Dragon Age II featured the same map locations repeated, Inquisition threw a wrench into their standard design by offering a larger and more open map.
Grand Theft Auto V map size
49 Square Miles
A game known for its vast map that is traversable by foot or by a variety of different vehicles, GTA 5’s open-world map allows players to freely explore the San Andreas fictional city of Los Santos, which is based on Los Angeles. Like many open-world video games, GTA 5 can be played either from the first or third person-perspective, which gives a much more immersive feeling to the gameplay.
GTA 5’s map and the game itself was well-received by critics and fans alike. In fact, when it was released in 2013, it quickly broke previous sales records within the gaming industry and became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history. It earned a whopping $800 million on its first day of release, followed by a staggering $1 billion in the first three days. Those kinds of revenues are what put it in our list of highest-grossing games of all time. Here’s a fact for your gaming trivia nights - GTA 5 was named Game of the Year for 2013.
49.07 Square Miles
Ancient Egypt comes to life in this 2017 game developed by Ubisoft. The 11th game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed Origins map is colossal and allows players to run through Egypt's deserts, visiting historical locations such as Alexandria, Memphis, and the Pyramids of Giza.
While the map itself can be explored at any time, players are meant to follow a more linear progression, leveling up their character and gathering weapons that can handle the caliber and strength of the enemies they’ll face. Players can, however, take to their trusty steed and outrun most of the world’s enemies if they decide to explore early on in the game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt map size
84.50 Square Miles
A game known for its vast map and made more popular following Netflix’s release of The Witcher series, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt includes vast cities, tall mountain ranges, dark forests, and dark rocky crags. Developed by CD Projekt Red, The Witcher 3 explores the Continent's fantasy world - a fantasy world surrounded by parallel dimensions.
Don’t worry – it’s not as confusing as it sounds! The game does a nice and tidy job of wrapping up the storyline to be as concise as possible even if you haven’t played the previous games or read the books the games are based on. Many critics praised the immersiveness of the game, calling attention to the details of the open-map and the sheer size. It was a map that would take players hours to explore even when not spurred by quests.
DayZ map size
89.5 Square Miles
Set in the fictional post-Soviet Republic of Chernarus, DayZ is a survival video game developed by Bohemia Interaction. After a mysterious plague turned most of the population into violent, zombie-like infected creatures, players must navigate the vast world in search of food, water, weapons, medicine, and more.
DayZ first began development back in 2012. Fans were faced with a five-year-long early access period for Windows. During this time, developers spent ample time developing the world and addressing the bugs that the players discovered. They provided many buildings that players could enter and explore, which added to the open-world sandbox gameplay.
Assassin's Creed Black Flag map size
90.2 Square Miles
Our second Assassin’s Creed game on this list, Black Flag, features the franchise's second-largest map! Black Flag features a fictional plot based on real-world events that continues the struggle between Assassins and Templars. The main storyline is set in the 18th century Caribbeans during the age of piracy.
Unlike previous Assassin’s Creed games, Black Flag features ship-based exploration on an open-world map that spans the West Indies. Since the game heavily emphasizes ship exploration, many of the game’s side quests involve underwater exploration, small island exploration, and everything in between.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey map size
90.7 Square Miles
Like Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, Odyssey offers the thrill of ship-based exploration as players can travel through the Peloponnesian Islands, seamlessly traveling between Athenian and Spartan territories. As players sail around on their ship, they’ll discover how big the map actually is, especially as they start exploring the many islands that dot the sea.
Like many previous Assassin’s Creed Games, Odyssey featured several DLCs that allowed players to visit fictitious locations such as the plains of Elysium, the Grecian Underworld, and Atlantis. The game was generally well-received and was nominated for Game of the Year for 2018, but God of War beat it.
ARMA 3 map size
100 Square Miles
The third installation in the ARMA series, ARMA 3 is an open-world game that is a realistically based military tactical shooter released in 2013. In the futuristic mid-2030s, on the islands of Altis and Stratis in the Aegean Sea, ARMA 3 allows players to explore photo-realistic terrain and water environments.
Featuring many different types of militaristic missions, ranging from lone world missions that involved infiltrating heavily defended locations to large-scale armored operations. Throughout the game, players also can choose different objectives and weaponry that change the gameplay of the game for the players.
Fallout 76 map size
120 Square Miles
While one of the more controversial games on this list, a large open-world map worth noting is that of Fallout 76. Fallout 76 pales compared to the popularity of its predecessors, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Fallout 4, but 76 sets itself apart in that it’s Bethesda Game Studio’s first online multiplayer game.
76 is set in Appalachia and is largely based on the landscape and terrain of modern-day West Virginia. It features several real locations within the region, including the Virginia State Capitol, The Greenbrier, Woodburn Circle, and Camden Park. The game incorporates reality one step further by incorporating mutated monsters and creatures inspired by real-life West Virginian folklore.
Star Wars Galaxies map size
139.8 Square Miles
One of the few MMORPGs on this list, Star Wars Galaxies was first released in 2003 and featured gameplay that allowed players to customize their avatars and explore 10 of the planets featured in the galaxy. Later on, the game expanded to include additional planets and locations, bringing the planet count up to 12. There are also 12 space zones and nearly 10 square miles of explorable space.
Sadly, the servers were shut down in 2011, just 5 days before the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic but several private emulator projects are in the early stages of development to allow fans to experience the Star Wars Galaxies universe once more.
Black Desert Online map size
154 Square Miles
High fantasy MMORPGs are often known for their sophisticated graphics, immersive gameplay, and graphics. Black Desert Online is no exception to this rule. Developed by Korean video game developer Pearl Abyss, Black Desert Online was originally and initially only released in Asia in early 2019, and it wasn’t released to the world until 2020.
The gameplay of Black Desert Online incorporates elements of manual aiming and free movement that are often found in 3rd-person shooters. Still, the game also incorporates housing, fishing, farming, and trading elements that add to the immersive nature of the game itself. It was met with generally positive reviews and has amassed a player base of 30 million as of September 2020!
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands map size
170.2 Square Miles
The first of the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series featured an open-world map. Ghost Recon Wildlands featured a similar setting to the original Ghost Recon, deviating from the futuristic setting introduced in Advanced Warfighter. At the time of its release in 2017, Wildlands was the largest open-world game that Ubisoft published.
Wildlands took place in the country Bolivia in July 2019 and featured a wide variety of mountains, forests, deserts, and salt flats. Praise was given particularly to the game’s shooting mechanics, visuals, and design of Bolivia, which added to the immersive aspect of the game.
200 Square Miles
A 2008 open-world racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts (EA), Burnout Paradise allowed players to customize and unlock their cars as they compete in several different types of races. The game was praised for its open-world gameplay that allowed players to experience speed in a way that wasn’t previously experienced in other racing games.
Burnout Paradise was meant to completely reinvent the Burnout series, said Alex Ward, creative director of the game. Ward’s goal was to create what he called “truly next-generation gameplay,” and he sought to accomplish this through the world’s development through gaming elements like day and night cycles, improved graphics, and a more immersive environment.
True Crime: Streets of L.A. map size
240 Square Miles
Another oldie but a goodie, True Crime: Streets of L.A. follows the story of Nicholas Kang, an L.A. police officer who is recruited to investigate a series of bombings in Chinatown. The game takes place in L.A. and features an impressive recreation of a large part of the city, including many real-life street names, landmarks, and highways.
While not all of the locations the player can see in-game are accessible, many are only used as filler for the world’s map. Despite this, players have praised the game’s map and atmosphere, but it received many comparisons to Grand Theft Auto, but the game’s detective perspective changed the way players interacted with the game’s NPCs.
Xenoblade Chronicles X map size
248.6 Square Miles
Set on the uncharted planet Mira, following the Earth’s destruction during an alien war, Xenoblade Chronicles X follows the few remaining humans as one of their ships crashlands on Mira. Mira, a planet with five explorable continents that offer very different atmospheres from each other.
After the player creates their highly customizable avatar, they have the option to travel to these five continents, exploring their unique atmospheres and learning more about Mira. Available for Wii U, Xenoblade Chronicles X, despite the impressive world size, was met with criticism for the storyline. Still, many players have enjoyed exploring the unique world of Mira.
Just Cause 3 map size
400 Square Miles
Just Cause 3 was released in December of 2015 and follows the series protagonist Rico Rodrigues as he returns to his home of Medici, a fictional island country in the Mediterranean. The island is a whopping 400 square miles and allows players to dive right into the island's exploration upon Rodriques’ arrival.
While some aspects of the game were heavily criticized, many players and critics praised the game’s open-ended gameplay and, while the size of the map was comparable to Just Cause 2, the third allowed players to explore different caverns, natural caves, and buildings that each of the map’s five different biomes offered.
Death Stranding map size
525.9 Square Miles
Released specifically for Playstation in 2019, Death Stranding is the open-world action game developed by Kojima Productions and released by PlayStation 4. Set in the future United States, following a cataclysmic event that caused destructive and violent creatures to start roaming the Earth, players control courier Sam Bridges as he crosses the country with the mission of reconnecting the isolated colonies that have survived.
Death Stranding was praised and received favorably by critics who were impressed by the voice acting, the soundtrack, visuals, and atmosphere. It was nominated for several awards, including the game of the year award, but it lost to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Please Note: The full map is split into three different regions - The East, Central, and West region. The image attached is the Central region.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 map size
618 Square Miles
Developed by Eden Games and published by Atari, Test Drive Unlimited 2 is an open-world racing video game and the 19th entry in the franchise. It features a return to the original game’s Oahu map and the new island of Ibiza. Players have the option of driving around these islands in many different cars in pursuit of the Solar Crown, the esteemed crown of the victor of the Solar Crown race.
As players compete in different competitions, they also have the option to gather money and busy houses, cars, and different clothes to customize their avatars with. The game was generally met with mixed and average reviews, but despite the mixed opinions, many could agree that the ability to drive around Oahu and Ibiza was impressive.
Please Note: The map is split into two regions, the Ibiza and the Hawaii (Oahu) map.
Final Fantasy XV map size
786.4 Square Miles
Known for its highly fantastical landscape and setting, the Final Fantasy franchise is also known for being games with massive maps. This is particularly true for the 15th installment in the series, which features an open-world environment for characters to explore. The theme of XV is that of fantasy based on reality and, according to Hajime Tabata, the creative director for the series, many locations draw inspiration from real-world locations.
Final Fantasy XV takes place on Eos, an Earth-like world divided into four nations on two continents, both of which are visited in-game. It’s largely an arid climate similar to a desert that players can traverse on foot or via a car called the Regalia.
The original Final Fantasy made our list of the best games from the year your were born.
Asheron's Call map size
804.7 Square Miles
Released in 1999, Asheron’s Call is a high fantasy MMORPG developed and published by Turbine Entertainment Software. Set on the massive island continent called Dereth, the continent also features several smaller and explorable islands and archipelagos. Players can traverse this land, complete quests, and collect rare and strong loot, either playing solo or with a band of other gamers.
The servers of Asheron’s Call are as large as the map itself and were capable of hosting thousands of players at any given time, which was impressive given the sheer size of the open-world map. In December 2016, it was announced that the servers would close, and, despite the attempt of many to purchase the servers for continued use, the game closed its doors in January 2017.
The Crew map size
2,000 Square Miles
If there’s anything this list has taught us, it’s that driving and race games often feature large maps, and Ubisoft Reflections The Crew is no exception to this trend. Offering an impressive open-world map that resembles a scaled-down recreation of the United States, players have the option of both single-player RPG gameplay and large-scale multiplayer elements.
The Crew was met with generally mixed reviews upon its release in 2018, but many critics praised the game’s open-world design, which features five regions, six main cities, and over thirty smaller towns and cities in the countryside. It takes 45 minutes alone in real-time to drive from coast to coast in the game!
Fuel map size
5,560 Square Miles
Another racing game, Fuel, is an open-world post-apocalyptic game set in the United States after the sun has left the Earth's surface scorched. Due to the game's post-apocalyptic nature, players can expect to encounter extreme weather throughout their maps, such as tornadoes, sandstorms, and the occasional accelerated day to night cycles.
Fuel was praised, primarily, for its free-roaming mode, which allowed players to drive anywhere in the game without running into a loading screen, despite the drastically changing atmospheres, terrains, and weather. In fact, Fuel won an award for the largest playable area for a console game as of 2009. Guinness World Records presented the developer, Asobo Studios, with a certificate to commemorate the achievement!
Minecraft map size
18,641 Square Miles
Perhaps the most barebones of open-world sandbox survival games on this list, Minecraft is a crowd favorite game that allows players to traverse a blocky procedurally-generated 3D world with infinite - to an extent - terrain. Players can mine for raw materials that can be used to create tools, build bases, explore different realms, and ultimately work their way up to defeating the Ender Dragon, the game’s main antagonist.
Calculating the size of the Minecraft world is - ultimately - difficult because it is procedurally generated, but Notch, the game’s programmer and creator, broke it down like this: “The world is 30 million blocks across. A block is one square meter. 30,000,000 meters is 30,000 km. 30,000x30,000 is 900,000,000.” 900,000,000 km translates to 559234073.01 mi OR 30,000 square km is 18,641 square mi. Thanks, Notch!
Please Note: There's no world map for Minecraft because it's procedurally generated (or randomly generated). You see a map example that players can create in-game to help them navigate their seed (or area).
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall map size
80,823 Square Miles
The second installment in The Elder Scrolls series, Daggerfall, is set in areas of High Rock, home of the High Elves, and Hammerfell, the home of the Redguards. Released in 1996, Daggerfall allows players to customize their characters in every way, ranging from their appearance to their play styles. Like all games in the series, players can complete the main quest directly or focus on completing side quests.
Daggerfall includes 15,000 cities, towns, villages, and dungeons for players to explore and collect loot from, and the full map is often compared to the size of Great Britain that the studio, Bethesda, claimed leading up to its release. The game also includes players' ability to combine spells, effectively creating spells of their own, a feature that hasn’t been included since.
Microsoft Flight Simulator map size
196,940,000 Square Miles
The latest game and number one on this list, Microsoft Flight Simulator is an amateur flight simulator developed for Microsoft Windows operating systems. First released in 1982 with the first Microsoft Flight Simulator, the release occurred in August 2020, making it the latest and largest game on this list! Players can pilot planes around the world, which is based on real-life ground satellite data and photorealistic graphics. It’s so real that players can fly to their homes.
So, just how big is Microsoft Flight Simulator's map? Since it’s based on the real-life world, the size of the map can be broken down like this: the surface area is 196,940,000 square miles, land accounts for 57,510,000 square miles, and water accounts for 139,434,000 square miles, making it the largest game that we can measure on this list.
No Man's Sky map size
18 Quintillion Possible Planets
An absolutely mammoth exploration and survival game, No Man’s Sky allows players to visit over 18 quintillion different planets (or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616). Each planet has its own ecosystem, environment, and animals. It’s built on the four pillars of exploration, survival, combat, and trading.
It’s a procedurally generated world, which means that each game file opened will be different from the last as the game’s AI chooses from the vast collection of planets in its files and creates a world, from scratch, for the players. Because of this factor, it’s almost impossible to determine how the size translates into real-life terms. Still, it’s safe to assume that, with 18 quintillion planets to explore, this map is massive.
Please Note: The map attached indicates a system that players might encounter as they play through the game.
Video gaming has been around since the earliest days of computer systems, but since the 1980s, it has become a de facto part of the daily experience for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.