Let’s get the explanation of a sandbox game out of the way first and inform you that this genre includes all kinds of games that are open in nature. It started out with simple titles like Body Harvest on the N64 or The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall on PC, and it's blossomed into literally the most lucrative form of interactive entertainment.
The best sandbox games out there, however, are those that have incorporated the open-world within their stories, and we’ve placed the greatest emphasis on these titles as they offer you a complete experience. Remember, this list is ordered in no particular rank, so you can start playing whichever one of these 10 best sandbox games you like the sound of.
10 Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar made GTA V firmly with the intention of not releasing a new game in the series for about a decade because this one is just so darn massive. Even if you ignored the main missions and online mode, you’d have tens of hours of fun with the side missions and exploration.
The true sandbox element came with the addition of mods, after which GTA V is now basically its own world, as people have created one ridiculous thing after another. Really, though, there’s no type of mod that isn’t available now, and online options bring with them hundreds of hours of creativity.
9 Assassin's Creed Origins
There was never a more expressive Assassin’s Creed game released when this one was out brand new, and casual gamers will take a year or more to explore every part of the map. There’s literally a sandbox for you here, considering the environment is placed within the sands of ancient Egypt.
The side missions are all extremely abundant and rich in variety, and your additional options come with modifying the main character with his appearance and his weaponry. With so many different places to see in the map, uncovering one environment after another reminds you of when you were a kid and the world seemed impossible to ever fully explore.
8 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Before modding was commonplace, GTA: San Andreas was among the first to truly make the world yours to manipulate and have fun with. Several different versions of the game allowed you to replace the main character with different skins, such as CJ becoming Batman or Superman.
The main appeal here, though, is the fact that you can have just about any power, weaponry, and travel means by using the cheats available. At the time of release, GTA: San Andreas had achieved unfathomable levels of creative freedom for the player. This was a world where you could be dressed as Batman but perform drivebys while flying your car.
7 Assassin's Creed II
Yes, we are aware that there aren’t nearly half of the creative options for players to do in this game than your average sandbox games, but we’re considering the impact that Assassin’s Creed II had on us. After all, this was the first game that made us feel we were truly back in the past... so long as we didn't desynchronize.
The game wasn’t without its creative sequences either, as you had the option to renovate your headquarters and the city around it based on your earnings. In your other spare time, you could explore almost all of Italy for yourself—something that was awe-inspiring back in 2009.
Unlike the games on this list, Hitman technically isn’t a complete open-world game due to it being restricted to missions;. However, within these maps, you still have a world to conquer. The player can go anywhere and do anything during these times, and there are hundreds of ways for you to choose from to finish your targets.
The addition for dozens of weapons that players have the option of modifying only adds to the sandbox elements within it, with the best part coming in the form of stealing others’ identities and earning a whole new perspective in terms of environmental accessibility.
5 Marvel's Spider-Man
A lot of previous Spider-Man titles had also been sandbox games in their own right, but they didn’t offer the abundance of choices to the player as this one did. Within this universe, you can feel as if you yourself are Spider-Man, as the inclusion of so many mods grant you freedom in your decisions.
Add to that, you have all of the city at your disposal, and this is incredibly massive to sink your teeth into. Within every nook and corner, you can find something to do, with Spider-Man’s powers giving you the gameplay option of diversifying your playthrough as far as aggressiveness is concerned.
4 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Don’t think of becoming a pirate if you want the pirate life, just head on to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and live as one. This is the most inclusive game of the series for players, with everything you do involving a direct action from you.
From hunting sea creatures to searching the globe for animus fragments, there’s no part of the map that you don’t want to visit—and, yes, you also dive deep into the ocean whenever you want to. Your creativity flows with the modifications to be made to your ship, along with all the freedom bestowed upon you because of your life as a pirate.
3 Red Dead Redemption
When you’ve gotten bored with being a pirate, you can easily go off and become an outlaw in the American Frontier. Red Dead Redemption puts you in the shoes of John Marston as he circled the Old West from top to bottom.
It’s a very unique game for you to get your hands on, as the creative parts come to you rather than you having to bother to think it up. Within each area that you venture to, you’ll find a new character or setting that invites you in; it could be a duel with another outlaw an exporation of the deepest parts of the desert while you run away from rabid wolverines.
We remember the simple life quite a lot these days when the world hadn't developed so much, so Terraria gives us the old school 2D style to jump in to feed out nostalgia. Here, you need to start from scratch as the world is required to be built by the player.
Equipped with tools like your ax, sword, and woodcutting supplies, it’s up to you to head off wherever you want and start planting your legacy one foundation at a time. There are still goals to accomplish and bosses to battle, but these can easily take a backseat to your imagination running wild.
Of course, we can’t sign off without mentioning the king of all sandbox games. The most unique thing to this game is that, not only is it an open world, but it has nothing for you to do specifically. Everything is up to you; the challenge is on you to create something legendary enough to be worth mentioning.
It is basically an infinite world with no end, as you can craft to your heart’s desire and let your imagination take shape and form. There’s really nothing more we can say to explain Minecraft to you because it is a game that needs to be experienced to understand. Once you start, you definitely will not be stopping unless you’ve crafted your greatest creation imaginable.