Games of 2017: Open World Games

By Julian Benson on at

The List God has not eaten in weeks. Yet it cares not for the Gregorian calendar, nor for size - all games will be consumed in fact-packed yet digestible morsels. And so to the open-world games of 2017, strutting across the fields resplendent, showing off their finery, and waiting for consumption.

Yakuza 0

yakuza 0

Release date: January 24th | Developer: SEGA | Platform: PS4, PS3

The first Yakuza game started with Kazuma Kiryu coming out of prison after a ten-year stretch. Set in 1988, Yakuza 0 is the story of how Kiryu wound up getting nicked in the first place, which apparently involves a tonne of dancing, boozing, and fighting. The rest of the time, he frittered away. You can read the Kotaku review here.

Lightspeed Frontier

lightspeed frontier

Release date: Early 2017 | Developer: Crowdwork Studios | Publisher: Riveted Games | Platform: PC

Taking notes from Space Engineers, Lightspeed Frontier is an open world space game where you build complicated spaceships from simple component parts that all slot together.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

the legend of zelda

Release date: March 3rd | Developer: Nintendo | Platform: Nintendo Switch, Wii U

Zelda is getting the Phantom Pain treatment with the familiar systems and mechanics of the series being retooled for a more truly open world. You’ll need to forage for food, scavenge for gear, and solve oodles of puzzle temples in your quest to save Hyrule. Check out what we thought of a preview build here.

Days Gone

days gone

Release date: 2017 | Developer: SIE Bend Studio | Publisher: Sony | Platform: PS4

The zombie apocalypse is in full swing and you’re on the raggedy edge, a member of biker gang just trying to survive against the millions of ‘Freakers’ that fill the world.

Crackdown 3

crackdown 3

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Sumo Digital | Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios | Platform: Xbox One

We’ve not seen Crackdown 3 since Gamescom back in 2015 but developer Sumo Digital says it is still aiming for release later this year. Making use of Microsoft’s cloud server tech, the game’s futuristic city can be wholly destroyed. Which, as you can imagine, is a sight to behold. Check out what Keza thought about an early build of the game here.

Home Free

home free

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Kevin Cancienne | Platform: PC. PS4

Finally, it’s coming. The game that lets you play as a dog searching for food, friends, and shelter in a randomly generated city is coming. Who's a good open world game then? It's you Home Free! Yes it is!

Horizon Zero Dawn

horizon zero dawn

Release date: March 1st | Developer: Guerilla Games | Publisher: Sony | Platform: PS4

Cavemen versus giant robotic dinosaurs, what could possibly go wrong? A game inspired by David Attenborough documentaries, Horizon Zero Dawn has you hunting great creatures across luscious futuristic plains.

Yakuza Kiwami

Yakuza Kiwami

Release date: Summer 2017 | Developer: SEGA | Publisher: Deep Silver | Platform: PS4

When you’re done with Yakuza 0 why not dive into the original game which is being completely remade for PS4? Not a remaster but a full-on remake.

Lego Worlds

lego worlds

Release date: February 24th | Developer: Traveller’s Tales | Publisher: Warner Brothers | Platform: PC, PS4, Switch, XB1

Lego by way of Minecraft, the sandbox Lego Worlds has been on Steam Early Access since June 2015. In February it gets a full release, drawing in anyone who thought they were about to escape the grip of Minecraft-alikes.



Release date: 2017 | Developer: Piranha Bytes | Publisher: THQ Nordic | Platform: PC, PS4, XB1

A little bit of everything, ELEX is a futuristic sci-fi fantasy with medieval locations, guns, swords, and magic. Not to be put in a box, it also features a jet pack.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles


Release date: Mid 2017 | Developer: Prideful Sloth | Platform: PC, PS4

A vibrantly colourful game that sees you take control of a little boy as he explores an island filled with creatures, giant architecture, and puzzles.

Megaton Rainfall

megaton rainfall

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Pentadimensional Games | Platform: PC

Megaton Rainfall is a game that looks much like the New York battle scenes from the first Avengers film, with aliens tearing through buildings and flattening towers. It falls to you, an extraterrestrial super hero to stop them.

The Long Dark

the long dark

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Hinterland Studio | Platform: PC, Xbox One

A survival game set in the frozen Wastes that has been long in early access, The Long Dark sees you searching for supplies and shelter to survive the cold. And the wolves.



Release date: 2017 | Developer: 11 Bit Studios | Platform: PC

A survival game set in the frozen wastes. No, it’s not The Long Dark, it’s a new game from This War of Mine developer 11 Bit Studios. Nothing of the game has been shown so far but we’re told it will have a steampunk aesthetic.

Impact Winter

impact winter

Release date: Early 2017 | Developer: Mojo Bones | Publisher: Bandai Namco | Platform: PC

A survival game set in the frozen wastes, too, Impact Winter isn’t Frostpunk or The Long Dark. You’ll need to find food and shelter, like in the other games, but only for 30 days, as that’s how long it will take for help to come.



Release date: 2017 | Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment | Platform: PC

In Early Access development for over two years now, Subnautica and its undersea survival sandbox is becoming fully fleshed-out. Updates have added new features, new life, and new goals to the game but it’s got to hit 1.0 eventually - and 2017 will hopefully be the year.



Release date: 2017 | Developer: PolyKnight Games | Platform: PC

Take to the skies and explore an inverted world where gravity pushes out, instead of pulling in towards the centre. The skies are empty of enemies, the challenge comes from finding and reaching relics hidden in these physical anomalies.



Release date: 2017 | Developer: Gamepires, Croteam | Publisher: Devolver Digital | Platform: PC

An island filled with murderous criminals, players must work together or hunt each other to survive. Looting the surroundings, customising their weapons, and taking territory is the key to survival.

Red Dead Redemption 2

red dead redemption 2

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Rockstar North | Publisher: Take-Two Interactive | Platform: PS4, XB1

Cowboys. Indians. Horses. Sand. Betrayal. These are some of the things that will probably be in Red Dead Redemption 2. According to the trailer, there is also a train.



Release date: February | Developer: NVYVE | Platform: PC

Something is wrong with the city, a sickness has spread among its citizens. You’ve been awoken from cryosleep to cure the disease. Playing like an open world Bioshock, you’ll explore this beautiful city while trying to survive its twisted inhabitants.Check out our preview thoughts here.

The Signal From Tolva

the signal from tolva

Release date: Early 2017 | Developer: Big Robot | Platform: PC

Your mission in this beautiful shooter is to hunt down the beacon hidden somewhere on Tolva, fighting your way past factions of AI-controlled robots to do it. Just cop a look at its eye-gripping art style.

Tom Clancy’s: Ghost Recon Wildlands

ghost recon

Release date: March 7th | Developer: Ubisoft Paris | Publisher: Ubisoft | Platform: PC, PS4, XB1

A co-op shooter where you and your friends must infiltrate bases across an open world in an effort to bring down the drug cartels of Bolivia. It looks absolutely fantastic.

Throughout January we're going to be posting lists of games coming out in 2017, to placate the merciless list god. You can find them collected here