When Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs arrives in stores and digital download next Tuesday, it’ll present a fantastic open world environment where the city of Chicago is your personal playground. You’ll be able to do a number of things around the city, from protecting citizens against enemies to creating havoc at an intersection by changing the traffic light.
That said, a number of open world games are readily available. Here are seven titles you’ll want to check out before Ubisoft’s highly anticipated game hits stores May 27th.
Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar Games)
For years, Grand Theft Auto has been the go-to series for creating mayhem in a bustling city, from the introduction of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto 3 to revisiting it again in GTA 4. With Grand Theft Auto 5, the series comes full circle, giving you access to a trio of characters and two interconnected cities based on Los Angeles and Orange County. Here, you can do whatever your heart desires, from base-jumping off a skyscraper to getting into aerial races with people online, all while you have a machine gun in hand, no less.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda)
Fus ro dah! Who says you have to be limited to side scrolling in medieval worlds? Not Bethesda, whose adventurous Skyrim has become the pinnacle of the Elder Scrolls franchise. Here, you can do everything from hunting dragons to harassing small chickens – and townsfolk – in a nearby village. Furthermore, the arsenal available at your fingertips – swords, magic spells, chants – make this game highly accessible and a complete blast to play.
Sleeping Dogs (Square Enix)
Originally part of Activision’s True Crime saga, this project resurfaced under Square Enix’s banner. In this rousing adventure, you play an undercover cop walking the fine line between distributing justice and befriending the Yakuza while taking part in a number of activities around the city. From intense gunfights to ridiculously fast paced street races, this game delivers. Doing so in Hong Kong is even better, as you can take in all the neon sights while delivering severe beat downs.
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar Games)
Many people consider this game Grand Theft Auto in the Wild West, but Red Dead Redemption is much more than that. You play a cowboy who must decide between right and wrong, doing everything from playing escort for the local sheriff to taking down bandits. For good measure, you can also hunt animals, take on side jobs to lower your bounty and earn a little cash on the side, and even tie up someone to local railroad tracks, just to see them get run over. Name another open-world game that lets you get away with something that old school and villainous.
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (Ubisoft)
For years, the Assassin’s Creed franchise defined what open-world games could be, whether you caused trouble in Venice or spilled blood in Boston during the American Revolution. Out of all of the games available, however, Black Flag is the biggest. While completing missions, you can sail the seven seas and take part in a number of other activities, from whale hunting to deep-sea treasure diving to beating up thugs at a local bar. Of course, you’re promptly rewarded for your efforts, between plundered gold and the number of sea shanties your crew learns. Pirating life doesn’t get much better than this.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run (Electronic Arts)
Eager to get its own Grand Theft Auto clone out the door, Electronic Arts teamed with Radical Entertainment for one of the most entertaining Simpsons games in years with Hit & Run. In it, your create havoc across Springfield with the Simpsons clan, making stops in popular locales from the TV show while taking on secondary missions and running into other characters. You haven’t lived until you get the attention of aliens using Homer Simpson running around in his underwear. D’oh!
Infamous: Second Son (SCEA)
Finally, Infamous: Second Son deserves a place on this list, as it lets you become hero or villain as you rampage your way through enemy forces in the city of Seattle. You’re Delsin, an unlikely hero bestowed with unimaginable powers, called upon to splinter an evil regime the best way you know how – through brute, destructive force. With a number of cool abilities and two entirely different routes to take, Infamous: Second Son gives you complete power at your fingertips. Now climb that Space Needle and bring down the station.