10 of the biggest open-world video games released in terms of map size


While contemporary gaming enthusiasts sing high praises of open-world games like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto V (and rightly so), it is interesting to note that the first open-world video game made its debut 33 years ago, in the form of the ‘Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness‘. Of course, we are not here to talk about quality or history, but rather the sizes of these so-called ‘open worlds’. And, in our quest to fetch the results from the far-flung corners of the internet realm, we were surprised to find that some of the larger open-world games are not actually mainstream successes. So, without further ado, let us check out the ten biggest open-world video games (released) in terms of sheer map size.

*Note 1 – We have decided to exclude the procedurally-generated and randomly generated maps in this list. So, games like Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall or Minecraft are not in the main list.

*Note 2 – Open-world doesn’t always equate to a sandbox experience.

10)  World of Warcraft – before Burning Crusade (80 sq miles or 207 sq km) –

World of Warcraft

The MMORPG to end all MMORPGs, the World of Warcraft is arguably the ‘piece de resistance’ from Blizzard Entertainment. Released back in 2004, the world of Azeroth has since seen four expansions, with the fifth iteration being planned for next week itself. As for the numbers game, WoW has broken a slew of records, with the online game boasting of more than a whopping 100 million accounts.  It also held the record of the highest grossing video game product (as of 2012), with an astronomical $10 billion that equates to over 10 million copies being sold. Given such remarkable figures, it comes as no surprise that the game’s lead designer Ion Hazzikostas has claimed that WoW will stay for 2024!

9) Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (135 sq miles or 350 sq km) –


Released in the latter part of 2009, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising was developed by Britain-based Codemasters as a military simulation video game. The setting is focused on the fictional island of Skira, which is contested between American and Chinese forces – fueled by discovery of oil reserves on the isolated landmass. Interestingly, the Skira is actually based on the real-world island of Kiska, which lies at the western end of Alaska. Mirroring the modern world-set conflict, this island was actually contested between the US and Japanese forces during the period of Second World War. In any case, while the game scored relatively high on 70s on Metacritic, the users were not too impressed with its current rating (for PC) standing at just 4.9 out of 10.

8) Star Wars Galaxies (200 sq miles or 518 sq km) –


An MMORPG from 2003, developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by Lucas Arts, the Star Wars Galaxies was ceremoniously launched with the inclusion of ten planets, including the fan-favorites of Tatooine, Naboo and the moon of Endor. Later expansions brought the Wookie-home world of Kashyyyk and the planet Mustafar into the mix, while also adding ‘space zones’ that were fully navigable – with each boasting of 15 km cubes of virtual volume. Unfortunately, in spite of critical acclaim being showered during its early years, the Star Wars Galaxies’s online servers were officially shut down on December 15, 2011. However, interested players are still left with the option of private emulators, with hard work of communities like Project SWG.

7) Burnout Paradise (200 sq miles or 518 sq km) –


The Burnout series put developer Criterion Games on the ‘map’ of the racing realm, and the jewel in their crown arguably is 2008’s Burnout Paradise, which was  released as the fifth game of the franchise. Set in the fictional urban setting of the namesake ‘Paradise City’, the open-world allows players to participate in different kinds of races that also includes other types of game modes for online competing. Another noteworthy feature entailed the later free additions of the time-of-day cycle and motorcycles – which were smartly inserted with the software update titled ‘Davis’. Unsurprisingly, the Burnout Paradise still holds strong in Metacritic with an impressive score of 87 (for PC), while user scores also account for a solid average of 7.5.

6) True Crime: Streets of LA (240 sq miles or 622 sq km) –

True Crime_Streets of LA

One of the first games that boasted of expansive open-world after the acclaim and success of Grand Theft Auto III, the True Crime: Streets of LA from 2003 puts you in the shoes of a young detective named Nick Kang. As for the extensive setting, the game world comprises of a painstaking recreation of huge swathes of Los Angeles – that includes most of the San Monica and Beverly Hills neighborhoods, replete with street names, landscape features and landmarks. Interestingly, the player can achieve multiple endings at the game’s finish – with the three different finishing paths being decided by Nick’s Good/Bad cop rating. In any case, the console versions of the True Crime: Streets of LA were well received; with 77 critical Metascore, and user scores that actually average out better at 8.1.

…continued on next page.

  • AFriendlyOne

    So… Daggerall

  • Jackalope Animations


  • Jackalope Animations

    oh boy were you wrong lmao, wow I can’t believe the hype for that game has gone on for 2 years..

    • DarkMarmot

      HA yea it was a vaporware dream out of the gate, ALTHOUGH I did buy it when it went on sale, and then Foundation Update happened and I kinda love it now.

  • Joseph Michael

    A lot of mention of space exploration games here, but I get the idea that while the coordinates might actually match our galaxy (if relevant), the planets themselves are probably randomly generated unless they were developed for regular quests or a gigantic constantly moving story-line.

  • MikeShatter


  • HappyGuy

    Is MS Flight Simulator considered a game?

  • Miya Jheale

    well, since they included SWG’s space zones in there… i’d like to point out that if space is included into this, then EVE would beat the hell out of them all (except for an infinite minecraft-cant beat infinity)

  • Officer Jaco

    i smoke weed

  • Space engineers

  • keaton Abernathy

    Actually, there is just a giant blue barrier now.

  • Fjorg Vanderplög

    1/4 of Eastern Europe would be around 1 million – 1.2 million square kilometers
    (no idea what that is in miles).
    That’s the size of Norway, Sweden and Finland combined!
    And those are not exactly your typical small European countries
    (which in general are about 50.000 something square kilometers).
    That’s pretty fucking big actually.
    Travelling from Northern Norway to Southern Sweden by train takes 17+ hours.
    Flying takes almost 3 hours.

  • Fjorg Vanderplög

    1900 square miles / 2000 something square kilometeres.
    Around 40 times GTA V or… 1/5 of Luxembourg.
    Now Luxembourg is really just a rich city state and hardly a country, but still…

  • Fjorg Vanderplög

    Pffft! You can play flight simulators in Google Earth as well.
    That’s also the entire world!

  • david95

    Eve Online, half the universe.

  • zacky

    oh yeah!!!!

  • Zach

    Like others have said, racing maps shouldn’t be on here, however, games where yo can drive still should be.

  • Zach

    Yea, if you see a distant star, you can go there… which is awesome.

    • WCM

      But all the “Planet sized planets” We have seen so far have been between 8km-15km in size…

    • Jackalope Animations

      not really lol

  • Zach

    Who the hell walked that?

  • Zach

    I someday want a clonewars game where i can go anywhere in the Star Wars universe, and if No Man’s Sky is successful, then it can be done. Also, does anyone know when battlefront is going to be, say around 20-25 bucks? I recently took it back to get the division, since the splitscreen wasn’t what i wanted.

  • Zach

    They might say it doesn’t count, since i think it generates as you go… however, it is all ‘there’ not like minecraft, so yea, No Man’s Sky SHOULD be the biggest map of a game yet. I someday want a clonewars game where i can go anywhere in the Star Wars universe, and if No Man’s Sky is successful, then it can be done.

  • Dustin Wallace

    So let me get this straight…#1 isn’t the game with the biggest square miles or it’d be Elder Scrolls 2…Why make a list if you can’t even put the top one at the actual top….shit list…

  • Astrodicle


  • Astrodicle

    WHY THE FUCK IS NO ONE MENTIONING ARENA!? It easily bests all the other installments

  • Astrodicle

    TES: Arena still wins!!!!!!! 6,000,000 square kilometers!!!

  • Astrodicle

    The real question is-where is Arena?

  • Astrodicle

    He also missed Elder Scrolls Arena. It easily beats the #1. 6 million square kilometers.

    Not bad for a game that old.

  • Astrodicle

    Idiots. The Elder Scrolls Arena has the largest map. It easily bests all other games in terms of size. It’s just other than size and story, it isn’t too good.
    “Traveling to a nearby town could take up as much as ten hours in real time. Traveling to another province, several DAYS.” In real life time.

    “The actual game-world is substantially larger than Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim together. The game utilizes randomly generated content to generate a massive world (around 6 million square kilometers), without much effort on the developers’ part. The world has hundreds of towns made with actual design, rather than being random, containing businesses with random names (Examples being “Gold Sword” “Silver Gauntlet” etc.) As well as several hundred dungeons, along with 17 specially designed dungeons that were part of the game’s main quest.”

    • keaton Abernathy

      Minecraft is literally about 8 times the size of the planet we live on.

    • Officer Jaco

      The game utilizes randomly generated content to generate a massive world. you said
      it also said in the article that they wont count RANDOMLY GENERATED WORLDS, thats why minecraft and similar stuff isn’t there

  • Andreas Sonntag

    Actually, the racing games should be in a totally different category because you can’t on every point of the map, as you can’t leave your car and the roads

  • William Taylor

    Yep, 18 quintillion life size and bigger planets!

  • Skarn22

    It’s probably like 5 sq miles

  • iCracker

    Elite Dangerous has the biggest map I think. Never tried it by myself, but but someone says, it takes about 50 days in real life to travel from side to side if you play about nine hours a day.

  • Epic Eric

    burnout paradise has 200 miles of road, its map is not 200 square miles. It definitely isnt 5 times gta 5’s map, or half of just cause 2’s map. It’s map is probably around 20-40 square miles

  • Dr.solid

    minecrafts biggest generated world is 10 times the zize of earth

    • Lorenzo Re

      “No Man’s Sky” has the whole universe to explore

    • Kyle Reece

      Minecraft does not have a specific size, it is randomly generated.

      • jarre

        minecraft has a specific size, but if you almost reach it you get teleported to the other side it is 4,722,366,482,869,645 km2

  • wa

    Minecraft? Not really, it just randomly generates new world as you go further, except for the parts of world you already went on.

    • Robert Austad

      Its big as Neptunus

  • Scorpid

    Currently Elite Dangerous has the biggest open playable space in video game history. Once No Man’s Sky hits the market it will hold this spot.

  • ahsen

    well know what

    Minecraft is the largest

    • wa

      It randomly generates land as you go further

  • Entropic

    Skyrim is quite small

  • Entropic

    What about Star Wars: The Old Republic. It has at least 30 planets. Or Rodina, which has five full scale planets and thousands of asteroids

  • MrsGrzybek

    Space Engineers is bigger, it has size of Solar System.

  • Av Praneeth

    The Crewwwww!!!!

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