The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (2024)

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The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (1)

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (2)

By Mark Sammut & Logan Sawyer

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Palworld: 10 Biggest Pals
Skull and Bones: Beginner Combat Tips
Death Stranding 2: 8 Things The Sequel Needs To Improve From The First Game
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Given their expansive nature, open-world projects tend to be some of the longest games in existence. It's possible to pour hundreds and thousands of hours into a single open-world game without exploring every nook and cranny.

While there are short open-world games out there, Shadow of the Colossus and Mafia immediately come to mind, most entries in the genre require a significant time investment. That's part of the reason these titles are so popular – they reward commitment with content and immersion. These titles are designed to be played for weeks or months on end, taking players on an epic journey across (usually) expansive worlds.

Updated July 2, 2024 by Mark Sammut: Two more long open-world games have been added to this discussion.

The listed times are taken from HowLongToBeat. The included range covers from the time required to finish a game's main story to a completionist playthrough. The former will be used as the primary metric, while the latter will be used in the case of a tie. Also, only one entry per franchise, although other games will be mentioned as notes. Finally, a game must have at least 4 input times to be considered.

42 No Man's Sky

31–144 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (6)
No Man's Sky
Platform(s)
Switch , PC , Xbox One , Xbox Series S , Xbox Series X , PS4 , PS5

Released
August 9, 2016
Developer(s)
Hello Games
Genre(s)
Adventure , Action , Survival

See at Amazon

No Man's Sky had an incredibly rough launch. When it was first released back in 2016, it was met with ire by much of the community. Players cited the lack of content and a failure to deliver on promises made by the developer as the biggest issues, with a general feeling that the game was unfinished. Thankfully, developers listened to the community and stuck with the project, pouring extra work into creating the game that they envisioned from the start.

3:01

Related

No Man's Sky: Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Base

No Man's Sky offers a pretty intuitive and entertaining base-building mechanic but it's easy to make mistakes when crafting your own.

Nowadays, No Man's Sky is much improved and has seen a couple of DLC releases to help pad out its content even further. In fact, there is not so much to do in the sci-fi exploration and action release that deviating from the main story and doing all the side content will take over 100 hours. There is replayability here too.

41 Dysmantle

32–75 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (8)
Dysmantle
Platform(s)
PC , PS4 , PS5 , Switch , Xbox One , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S

Released
November 6, 2020

Developer
10tons Ltd.
Genre(s)
Survival

An indie open-world survival game, Dysmantle establishes a gameplay loop that is irresistibly addictive. Set in a post-apocalyptic world featuring zombies, this title's bare-bones sound rather unspectacular, but everything comes together quite seamlessly for one main reason: progression is constant and highly enjoyable.

Players spend the majority of their time in Dysmantle destroying everything around them, and each action grants XP points that can then be used to forge better tools to cause even more devastation. It is a cycle that works brilliantly and ensures that grinding never feels pointless. The world is reasonably large too, even if the isometric camera angle makes the map seem smaller than it is.

40 Grand Theft Auto 5

32–84 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (9)
Grand Theft Auto 5
Platform(s)
PS5 , PS4 , PS3 , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S , Xbox One , Xbox 360 , PC

Released
September 17, 2013

Developer(s)
Rockstar North
Genre(s)
Open-World , Action

Rockstar's latest adventure was so well-received by the community that it continues to see updates and re-releases on consoles. Grand Theft Auto 5 is one of the largest and most ambitious releases in Rockstar's franchise, with a main campaign that spans three separate playable characters.

Although the main story is engrossing enough, there are tons of sidequests and stranger-style missions to complete. It'll take players quite a bit of time and effort to see all there is to see in Los Santos and all the surrounding areas. From there, players can also hop into Grand Theft Auto Online, for even more stories and side-content to tackle.

39 Space Rangers HD: A War Apart

32–173 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (10)
Space Rangers HD: A War Apart
Platform(s)
PC

Released
October 17, 2013

Developer
Elemental Games, SNK Games, Katauri Interactive
Genre(s)
Action , Simulation , Strategy

Although it certainly shows its age nowadays, Space Rangers 2: Dominators was an impressive sci-fi title when it debuted in 2004. The Russian game blends a surprising number of genres, from trade simulators to shoot 'em ups and RTS. The base game launched with hardly a shortage of content, but 2013's Space Rangers HD: A War Apart adds even more material to it, expanding this title to enormous lengths.

Space Rangers HD takes place in a universe where evil robots called Dominators are trying to take over everything. The player steps into one of the game's various civilizations and must set out to complete faction missions, take a few trips to hyperspace, and make enemies and friends along the way. Not everything about Space Rangers HD: A War Apart has aged gracefully, but the game's open-ended nature is admirable and greatly enhances its replayability, making it one of the longest open-world games ever.

38 Enshrouded

33–65 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (11)
Enshrouded
Platform(s)
PC , PS5 , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S

Released
January 24, 2024

Developer(s)
Keen Games
Genre(s)
Survival , Open-World , Action RPG

Similar to a few other very long open-world games, Enshrouded is still in early access, so its overall length will likely fluctuate greatly over the coming months or maybe even years. Beyond that, Keen Games has created a survival RPG that focuses way more on gameplay than storytelling, and it even supports multiplayer and co-op (although solo builds are very viable in Enshrouded). As such, the goal is to simply exist within this world while gradually expanding the Shroud, so there is not much narrative driving things forward.

Related

8 Easy POI For New Players To Loot In Enshrouded

Those new to Enshrouded should head out to these POIs that are relatively easy to deal with and can yield some decent early-game loot.

Enshrouded is still a long way off completion and does not include much of an endgame at this point. Consequently, the current time is very much a loose estimate that will be very different once the game properly launches.

37 Divine Divinity

33–70 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (13)
Divine Divinity
Platform(s)
PC

Released
September 22, 2002
Developer(s)
Larian Studios
Genre(s)
RPG , Open-World

Thanks to Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Baldur's Gate 3, Larian is well-established as one of the best modern RPG developers. While both of those games provide room for exploration and free roam, they are not open-world in the traditional sense but rather feature open areas. However, 2002's Divine Divinity is a more standard representative of the concept, even if it is fairly dated in a lot of ways.

Blending Diablo-style combat with classic PC RPG elements, Divine Divinity does a pretty good job balancing out the two subgenres, delivering a fairly accessible hack and slash system alongside stat-fueled progression and builds. Players are free to explore the world as they see fit, tackling side quests at their leisure. While a bit rough around the edges, this title still has plenty of charm.

36 Fade To Silence

34–40 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (14)
Fade to Silence
Platform(s)
PC , PS4 , Xbox One

Released
April 30, 2019
Developer(s)
Black Forest Games
Genre(s)
Open-World , Survival

A survival open-world game that came and went in 2019, Fade to Silence is not a highlight of either genre it represents; however, it offers enough positives in each area to warrant an unenthusiastic recommendation to people looking for a bit of both. Dropped into a winter wasteland, players are cast as Ash, a guy who will be spending all of his time exploring, collecting resources, and expanding their base. The game tells a story as well, but it is not too important and does not distract from the gameplay loop.

Fade to Silence can be frustrating, particularly during scenarios that require engaging in combat. Nevertheless, players looking for a meaty survival game might enjoy what they find here, as long as they can deal with a few rough edges.

35 Starpoint Gemini 2

35–52 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (15)
Starpoint Gemini 2
Platform(s)
PC

Released
March 17, 2014

Developer(s)
Little Green Men Games
Genre(s)
Open-World , Sandbox , Simulation , Action , RPG , Tactical

Humanity seemed destined to always gaze at the stars, dreaming of a future when they may fly freely through space's endless expanse. While that reality is still far off, games present a way to experience a slightly similar thrill, all from the comfort of a gaming chair. While not lacking a story, Starpoint Gemini 2's main appeal is the freedom it grants players, allowing them to jump into their spaceship and explore to their hearts' content.

A true sandbox experience, the game shines in its ability to reward aimlessness, crafting unique scenarios that can only be found if somebody is willing to just go where few have gone before. While not always smooth sailing and occasionally succumbing to repetition, Starpoint Gemini 2 is generally an impressive outing, especially for a relatively small release that is more than a decade old by this point.

34 Outward

35–94 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (16)
Outward
Platform(s)
PC , PS4 , PS5 , Xbox One , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S

Released
March 26, 2019

Developer
Nine Dots
Genre(s)
RPG

Usually, fantasy RPGs cast players as prominent figures, heroes summoned by the stars to change the course of history. Outward opts for a different take as its protagonist starts off as a common adventurer who is merely trying to pay off a debut, and it takes a while for them to become involved in a more important narrative.

While Outward has plenty of issues such as unsatisfying combat, the game nails its open-world. Players are allowed to explore the map to their hearts' content, and the game opens up very quickly. Sure, some routes lead to death, but that is to be expected in this sort of fantasy world.

33 Don't Starve Together

35–254 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (17)
Don't Starve Together
Platform(s)
PC , PS4 , Xbox One , Switch

Released
December 15, 2014
Developer(s)
Klei Entertainment
Genre(s)
Survival

Don't Starve is a popular open-world survival game with a permadeath mechanic; meanwhile, Don't Starve Together frames many of the same ideas around multiplayer, acting both as a sequel and a standalone experience. As both titles have their positives and are worth owning in their own right, players will need to decide which title is better suited to meet their needs. If someone is specifically looking to play with friends, Don't Starve Together is their only choice.

Related

Differences Between Don't Starve And Don't Starve Together

While Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together are generally the same game, there are key differences that make them two unique experiences.

Don't Starve Together is the longer of the two projects, although the time required to complete playthroughs will vary greatly since this is one of those games that plays it fast and loose with its story.

32 Conan Exiles

36–118 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (19)
Conan Exiles
Platform(s)
PC , PS4 , Xbox One , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S

Released
May 8, 2018
Developer(s)
Funcom
Genre(s)
Survival , Action-Adventure

Conan Exiles is one of those titles that someone can easily sink more than a thousand hours into, however, the survival game comes with such a steep learning curve that it can be really difficult to get into. Conan Exiles does have a story that can be somewhat followed, but the majority of the experience revolves around the basic gameplay loop of scavenging, crafting, building, and interacting with other players.

In some ways, this open-world game is similar to Minecraft, at least when it comes to the sandbox. Conan Exiles has amassed quite a dedicated fan base since its launch, and the game still averages thousands of players on Steam.

31 Fallout: New Vegas – Ultimate Edition

36–146 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (20)
Fallout: New Vegas
Platform(s)
PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC

Released
October 19, 2010
Developer(s)
Obsidian Entertainment
Genre(s)
RPG

When it comes to main stories, Fallout: New Vegas is the longest entry in Bethesda's franchise, although most of the 3D games are similar in length. Obsidian's spin-off is generally hailed as the best post-Fallout 2 entry, particularly due to its implementation of actions and consequences that make the player's decisions seem important.

As with most Bethesda games, New Vegas' content and longevity go well beyond the base content, at least on PC. These titles are kept alive for years through active modding communities that add a plethora of fresh material, including stuff like quests.

Fallout 4 – Game Of The Year Edition has a very similar length to New Vegas, with its story being roughly 34 hours. However, completionist runs are longer at 224 hours. Fallout 76 is similar at 35 hours, with 340 hours for everything.

30 Days Gone

37–65 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (21)
Days Gone
Platform(s)
PS4 , PC

Released
April 26, 2019
Developer(s)
Bend Studio
Genre(s)
Open-World , Action , Adventure

See at Amazon

Days Gone got lost in the PS4 exclusive shuffle and garnered a polarizing reception at launch. The zombie open-world game centers around Deacon St. John, a biker who goes on a journey to track down his supposedly deceased wife. A surprisingly character-driven piece, Days Gone's lengthy campaign does have some pacing issues and a slow start, but things do pick up after a couple of hours.

Even if the narrative fails to hit the spot with someone, they can at least look forward to driving their bike across a beautiful world while they try to avoid the undead hordes.

29 Elex 2

37–76 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (22)
Elex 2
Platform(s)
PC , PS4 , PS5 , Xbox One , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S

Released
March 1, 2022

Developer(s)
Piranha Bytes

Genre(s)
Action RPG

See at Amazon

Piranha Bytes specializes in open-world games, an endeavor that goes all the way back to 2001's Gothic. Although typically known for their Eurojank, Piranha's projects are endearing and ambitious for the company's size. Gothic 2 is probably the developer's most famous title, but the Risen and Elex series also have their fans.

Debuting roughly a week after Elden Ring, Elex 2 was utterly overshadowed by FromSoftware's masterpiece. Now that the Lands Between has been fully explored, RPG fans might want to consider visiting Magalan for a fantasy sci-fi adventure. Elex 2 wastes little time in cutting players loose so that they can explore its world, and the game even hands out a jetpack.

Elex clocks in at 27 hours, along with a completionist time of 91 hours.

28 Palworld

37–83 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (23)
Palworld
Platform(s)
PC , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S , Xbox One

Released
January 19, 2024

Developer(s)
Pocket Pair, Inc.
Genre(s)
Open-World , Shooter , Survival

Due to still being in development, Palworld's actual length is not set in stone, a fact amplified by the project's survival mechanics. While not completely devoid of story beats, the game is designed to encourage players to pursue their own goals without too much direction. As such, players will spend most of their time tracking down different Pals to catch and add to their party or use as workers around their bases. Although incorporating standard survival staples, Palworld's focus gradually shifts to crafting, farming, and combat, especially once players develop a solid routine that ensures they always have their basic needs met.

Related

Palworld: 10 Biggest Pals

Not including Alpha Pals & Lucky Pals, the size variation in Palworld is pretty massive. To prove this, here are some of the biggest Pals in the game.

Early access games are nearly always evolving, with developers using feedback from the community to improve their project's core ideas as they work towards a full release. Consequently, these titles are usually lacking in a few areas, with story missions being common culprits. While these things apply to Palworld, Pocket Pair's game is already in a very good state.

27 Dragon's Dogma

37–102 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (25)
Dragon's Dogma
Platform(s)
PS3 , Xbox 360

Released
May 22, 2012
Developer(s)
Capcom

Genre(s)
Action RPG

2012's Dragon's Dogma is a great action RPG, and Dark Arisen adds roughly 10 hours of awesome content to the base game; however, according to HowLongToBeat, the vanilla version is actually the longer of the two games, at least when it comes to completing the main story. In reality, Dark Arisen might have been a revisit for quite a few players, so they got through the standard quests quicker since they were already familiar with the gameplay.

Capcom drops players in Gransys, a gorgeous open-world densely populated with monsters. While not colossal, the map is expertly crafted to maximize gameplay and combat, the latter of which is fantastic. Dark Arisen introduces Bitterblack Isle, a post-campaign area that significantly ramps up the difficulty and dread. Dragon's Dogma does not have much in the way of memorable characters or writing, and the game's storytelling is unlikely to leave much of a lasting impression. However, almost everything else is well above average, and the simple act of exploration is satisfying.

26 Skull And Bones

39+ Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (26)
Skull and Bones
Platform(s)
PC , PS5 , Amazon Luna , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S

Released
February 16, 2024
Developer(s)
Ubisoft Singapore
Genre(s)
Action , Adventure

See at Amazon

Ubisoft created one of the definitive pirate games in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, a project that was so successful that a spiritual successor removed from that franchise seemed inevitable. Skull and Bones took a very long time to materialize, and it went through a rather notoriously development cycle; by the time of its 2024 debut, the game had lost most of its momentum following an array of underwhelming reports and previews. While not without positives, Skull and Bones was undeniably a disappointment, particularly its limited gameplay, which felt more restrictive and one-note than the much older Black Flag.

Related

Skull and Bones: Beginner Combat Tips

It can be hard for beginners to get into the swing of Skull and Bones. With these tips, however, the game's combat can become much less challenging.

Despite technically containing a main story, this title follows a live-service structure that is meant to encourage indefinite sessions, sort of similar to something like Sea of Thieves. Even if it is not the focus, the campaign is fairly lengthy, and it mostly revolves around targeting specific pirates (who have very little personality). It took Skull and Bones roughly three months to poll just four main story times on HowLongToBeat, which is ridiculous for such a major release.

25 Wartales

40–98 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (28)

A survival Medieval RPG that opts against the inclusion of a traditional overarching narrative, Wartales is all about carving a life in a world defined by war and death. As the leaders of a mercenary group, players travel across a dangerous and deadly kingdom in search of jobs, money, and success. Along the way, they will need to make sure they satisfy their party's financial and health needs, which just generally means earning cash and maintaining a food stock. For the most part, Wartales resists the urge to hand-hold players, granting them plenty of freedom in how they interact with the larger society.

Wartales takes place in a sandbox, and it is fairly open-ended. That said, the map is divided into regions that have different difficulty levels, so it is not like players should just go anywhere (although there is an option to change this system). The campaign's length will vary depending on someone's play style, especially if they want to take things slow and really explore everything the game has to offer.

24 Death Stranding

41–113 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (29)
Death Stranding
Platform(s)
PS4 , PS5 , PC

Released
November 8, 2019
Developer(s)
Kojima Productions
Genre(s)
Action

Kojima Productions' Death Stranding is an acquired taste, although nobody can say that the game failed to deliver a huge world. Set in a post-apocalyptic United States, Sam basically acts as a postman who travels across the nation delivering packages while also connecting a network.

Isolation is a central theme of Death Stranding, and the game does a stellar job of emphasizing the importance and challenge of Sam's mission.

Related

Death Stranding 2: 8 Things The Sequel Needs To Improve From The First Game

Death Stranding 2 has the opportunity to improve upon its predecessor in multiple ways. These areas are some of the most important.

Some open-world games take place in lavish kingdoms stuffed with NPCs and quests, while others envision desolate landscapes featuring splashes of humanity – Death Stranding falls in the latter category.

23 Kingdom Come: Deliverance

41–129 Hours

The Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat (31)
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Platform(s)
PS4 , Xbox One , PC , Switch

Released
February 13, 2018

Developer(s)
Warhorse Studios
Genre(s)
RPG

$40 at Amazon

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a bit of an unsung hero among the RPG community, namely due to its real-world-inspired setting of medieval Bohemia. No dungeons, dragons, or magic spells, but there are definitely enough swords and swashbuckling in this long experience.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an acquired taste, that much is certain, but don't let its lack of fantasy elements stand in the way of what's honestly a deep and impressive game. In this game, players will climb through the ranks to go from a poor peasant to a sword-swinging knight in a more traditional medieval setting. It's a different kind of ARPG, but one that deserves more than a few hours to experience.

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