An ambitious, inventive genre that traces its origins to the early days of text-based adventures like Zork and Microsoft's Adventure, open-world gaming has become one of the most prevalent genres in all of gaming. Covering all sorts of genres and niches and giving birth to some of the most important games of this generation, open-world gaming usually allows for dozens—if not hundreds—of hours of playtime.
That's not always the case, however; be it a short story, small world size, or development oversight, certain open-world titles barely stretch beyond a few hours. Though length isn't necessarily indicative of quality, here are 10 super short open-world video games.
10 Homefront: The Revolution
Taking place in Philadelphia following a North Korean invasion, Homefront: The Revolution tasks players with inciting a rebellion and taking the city's streets back from the invaders. Though it sounds exciting enough on paper, this 2016 open-world FPS was seriously hindered by technical issues. What's more, the gameplay was stilted and repetitive, and gamers were quick to move on.
Those who did stick around to see the credits roll were surprised by just how quickly things wrap up. Liberating the city's districts, which essentially requires a Far Cry-style assault on a military base, didn't take very long, and the whole affair could be sorted in ten to twelve hours.
9 The Amazing Spider-Man 2
No, we're not talking about Insomniac's excellent PS4-exclusive Spider-Man title—we're actually talking about 2014's horrible The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a game rushed onto store shelves to coincide with the release of the equally terrible movie of the same name.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 barely counts as an open-world game; though players are technically free to explore a portion of New York City as the wall-crawler, missions are all linear and repetitive, and the whole thing wraps up somewhere after the six-hour mark, and that's taking into account some seriously boring padded sequences and the atrocious Peter Parker investigation segments.
8 Assassin's Creed Rogue
Released on the same day as the hugely underwhelming Assassin's Creedy Unity, Rogue plays like a followup to 2013's Black Flag and feels like an addendum to 2012's Assassin's Creed 3. Though head and shoulders above some of the less inspired entries in the series, Rogue's world still felt a bit too empty and bland, and it's one of the shortest mainline AC experiences by far.
It should take new players somewhere around ten hours to complete their first playthrough, and series veterans could likely do it in half the time. This is primarily thanks to the lack of meaningful sidequests or extraneous content.
7 Just Cause 2
When it debuted in 2010, Just Cause 2 featured one of the largest open worlds of any video game, and it retains that title to this day. The scope of the island of Panau is amazing, and the feeling of being let loose in such a large sandbox remains as breathtaking as ever.
That said, the main storyline is easily one of the most forgettable aspects of Just Cause 2. A hasty player could tackle the game's seven missions in around ten or so hours. In reality, Just Cause 2 is best experienced by ignoring the story entirely and pursuing crazy, self-determined objectives.
2004's Driv3r, the third release in an action-packed open-world driving series which originated on the PS1, was a barely-functioning mess which somehow garnered a cult appeal despite its many shortcomings. An obvious riff on the Grand Theft Auto formula, Driv3r felt like the Fisher-Price version of the chaotically-fun sandbox series.
Spread across three cities, Driv3r's clunky controls and ridiculous mission restrictions pad out what would otherwise be a very short game. Though new players will struggle—particularly with the game's later challenges—those who know what they're doing could cruise through in just a few hours. Even so, those less familiar with the game should still be able to finish it in around ten hours.
5 Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell
A spin-off of the over-the-top, open-world Saints Row games, Gat Out of Hell feels like a game designed by a group of devs who had a great idea for a game but couldn't construct any worthwhile gameplay elements.
Playing as a man sucked into hell through an Ouija board, Gat Out of Hell tasks players with taking down Satan himself with the aid of historical figures like Blackbeard, Vlad the Impaler, and even Jane Austin. It sounds like a blast on paper, but the story is incredibly short, and the game lacks the usual Saints Row charisma. The average player should be able to blast through this thing in four to five hours.
The title that kicked off a series that could never match the hype, 2004's Fable was a landmark experience on consoles despite the various empty promises made by its developer. One of the first consolized titles to totally embrace the concept of a morality system, modern games own quite a bit to Fable.
That said, though technically an open-world game, Fable is mired by small, linear environments that are broken up every thirty seconds by loading screens. The limitations of the time may have made this a necessity, but it's annoying nonetheless. What's more, a speedy player uninterested in side-content could probably make their way through the game in somewhere around ten hours.
3 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
What? How could The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, one of the most innovative and expansive open-world games of all time, also be one of the shortest?
While it usually takes new players fifty-some hours to complete on a first playthrough, Breath of the Wild is unique in that everything short of fighting Calamity Ganon is technically unnecessary. The game will allow players to charge Hyrule Castle as soon as they finish the tutorial, and there are a few legendary players out there who have actually managed this.
Though it isn't the recommended way to play, Breath of the Wild could technically be beaten in just a few hours.
2 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
A spin-off of the genre-defining Far Cry franchise, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is one of the most beloved games in the series despite its wacky premise and short runtime. Set in the 80s-centric, neon-soaked dystopic future of 2007, Blood Dragon defied all AAA gaming conventions and felt like a wild, weird labor of love.
That said, though an awesome experience, it's not particularly long. In fact, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon could probably be finished in around four hours. Short but sweet, it's absolutely worth playing in 2019. Though there may be move visually-impressive, expansive open-world maps out there, there's nothing quite like this title.
1 Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Essentially the prologue of Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain—a monumental, lengthy open-world game—Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes might be one of the shortest open-world titles of all time, and anyone familiar with it likely knew that it would make an appearance on this list.
Essentially a single mission carved from the base Phantom Pain experience and sold at a ridiculous premium, Ground Zeroes has a ridiculous plot—even for Metal Gear standards—and can be completed in an hour. Though there are technically a few sidequests and unlockables, this feels more like a small slice of DLC rather than a stand-alone release.