My Fave Open World Sandbox Games

The origins of open world games go back almost as far as the genre itself. However, the genre wouldn’t have its watershed moment until the release of Grand Theft Auto III in 2001. Players love the freedom that comes with exploring a full world, whether that means stealing cars, scaling mountains, fighting dragons, or cooking meals with whatever ingredients you’ve scrounged up from the forest.

In no particular order, here are a few of my fave open world games!

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Top 10 Games of This Generation – Honourable Mention: Grand Theft Auto V

I never understood the insanely high praise that Grand Theft Auto IV got from critics. Sure, it was a great game for its time, but I had some fundamental issues with its story and gameplay that stop me from calling it a masterpiece. I wasn’t much of a Niko Belic fan, whose empty words about chasing the American Dream meant nothing when his in-game actions reflected those of a cold-hearted sociopath. I thought the game’s story took too long to ramp up. I also hated driving in that game, as all of the cars were a nightmare to steer with any sort of precision.

Grand Theft Auto V goes well beyond simply addressing those faults to provides an experience that’s incredible in scope and detail.
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The Recurring Bosscast: 027 – Spit Hot Fire

In anticipation of Pokemon X and Y, Jason guides the otherwise oblivious Bosscast crew through a discussion about Nintendo’s pocket monsters. Beyond that, Mat exacts sweet revenge on all those who cross him in Grand Theft Auto Online, while Jett is suffering from survivor’s guilt after playing Pikmin 3.

Games Mentioned: Assorted Pokemon games, Grand Theft Auto V, Scribblenauts Unmasked, Pikmin 3, Rayman Origins, Rune Factory 4, Disney Infinity, Foul Play

Jett – In Third Person
Jason – Downstab
Mat – Biff Bam Pop

Grand Theft Auto V Review

Grand Theft Auto may have created the open world genre, though it’s clearly not the only game in town anymore. Since the release of GTA IV, the genre has been taken to new heights by the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Batman’s Arkham games, Saint’s Row, Infamous and many more. Despite my ambivalence towards Red Dead Redemption, I respect the fact that it progressed the open world formula in a number of meaningful ways.

With so many new components to draw from, what influence would they have on Grand Theft Auto V? Based on the final product, not much. The latest installment in the series feels like Rockstar ignored the work of others and continued down their own path to make things bigger and better. Can’t necessarily blame them for it, as this is another fine effort from the pioneers of the open world genre.
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The Recurring Bosscast: 026 – Make It Rain

The Bosscast dive deep into Grand Theft Auto V while trying their best to avoid spoilers. Mat kept his eyes on the prize and powered straight through the main story. Jett on the other hand, is busy enjoying the company of Nikki, Sapphire, and Chastity.

Games Mentioned: Grand Theft Auto V, Project X Zone, Game & Wario, Rayman Legends, Legendary: A Marvel Deck-Building Game

Jett – In Third Person
Jason – Downstab
Mat – Biff Bam Pop

Heat Check: Grand Theft Auto IV


Times were different when Rockstar Games first revealed Grand Theft Auto IV. At the time, GTA was the biggest gaming franchise around, and I remember the hype surrounding that first reveal being astronomical.  Earlier this week, Rockstar Games released the first Grand Theft Auto V trailer and I don’t think the world at large cared nearly as much this time around. At least that’s how I see it from my perspective. Continue reading