As technology evolves, games are also drastically changing over time. Thanks to modern game engines, developers were able to produce games that will take us to an immersive 3D world that players can freely navigate and explore. Although the concept of sandbox games or better known today as the Open-World game has already been applied to various old video games, it was the release of Grand Theft Auto III in 2001 that popularized the genre. It was indeed a game-changer and the idea was effectively adopted by many successful video games today.
As the term suggests, Open world app games games provide gamers the freedom to navigate and explore a virtual world. While most of these games still involve quests or missions to progress, gamers are free to do almost everything and they can interact with the game in whatever way they want. The success of open world app games games is truly undeniable and it is not really surprising to find a great number of open world app games that are wonderfully optimized for mobile devices. Today, we are listing down 10 of the best Free-to-play Open-world games for Android.
Gangstar New Orleans
Since the focus of this list is all about free-to-play Android games, we cannot include the original Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar Games, however, managed to bring their epic GTA games like GTA: San Andreas, Vice City, and even the original GTA III as premium games on Google Play Store. The overwhelming success of the franchise resulted in an unsurprising number of clones and riff-offs. Possibly one of the best open-world Android games that captured the entire GTA experience came from a popular game publisher – Gameloft. They are the same team behind popular franchises like Asphalt, Assassin’s Creed, and Modern Combat to name a few. Gangstar is an equally successful game series and is also Gameloft’s attempt to adapt the open-world GTA-like concept to the mobile platform.
The first Gangstar game (Gangstar: Crime City) was released in 2006. It eventually expanded to multiple installments including the highly acclaimed Gangstar Vegas and the newly added Gangstar New Orleans. Similar to the classic GTA fashion, Gangstar follows the same idea. The game will focus on an open world where the player can choose missions at their own leisure to progress an overall story. They can also take side activities as they explore the virtual world of New Orleans. Gangstar New Orleans will also introduce gamers to Turf Wars where gangsters will fight against another group of gangsters. You can also build your own luxurious mansion and obtain all those expensive items in whatever means you prefer. If you are looking for an alternative free-to-play version of GTA, Gangster New Orleans is surely a great fit.
The impact of Genshin Impact is truly undeniable. This Action RPG by miHoYo was surprisingly released on all major gaming platforms amidst the pandemic and yet it was warmly welcomed by gamers and is an absolute commercial success. The game features an anime-style open-world environment and an action-based battle system using elemental magic and character-switching. Interestingly, the game allows you to control one of the four interchangeable characters in a party. It comes with a unique combat system that allows players to switch from one character to another. This enables players to use a different combination of skills and attacks.
As an open-world RPG, the players can freely explore the virtual world, accept challenges that they will encounter along the way, and earn various rewards in the process. However, like most open-world RPGs, players are still required to complete main quests to progress in the main story. Another impressive highlight of the game is the gacha system that allows you to unlock many beautifully designed characters. Genshin Impact was recognized by many award-giving bodies as one of the best games for the years 2020 and 2021.
Sky Children of the Light
Sky: Children of Light is an indie game that was initially released in 2019 for iOS. An Android version was released a year after. The objective for this game is very simple yet surprisingly tricky. In this game, you play the role of a mysterious character who is equipped with a cape that enables him to fly and navigate around different mystic realms. In the entire course of this game, the player will encounter so-called spirits along the way which allows them to unlock items to enhance their flying ability. The game allows you to explore the ruins of a forgotten kingdom and your goal is to unfold the mystery behind them. Interestingly, unlike any other RPGs, you will not encounter any opponents or enemies along the way but you will be dealing with an overwhelming number of puzzles to solve.
What really set this open-world game is the relaxing yet enigmatic atmosphere that it offers. Besides the visually stunning 3D world, the game is accompanied by a wonderful piece of music. While players can freely explore the world alone, some puzzles require collaboration or teamwork to complete them successfully. This is where Sky’s multiplayer elements come into play.
The concept of Horror survival games matches very well with an Open-world environment. It will not just add another level of difficulty but it also provides that authentic and realistic survival experience. This is what LifeAfter has to offer. NetEase described this game as an “open-world doomsday survival game”. LifeAfter will take place in a post-apocalyptic world. It all started from a virus outbreak that accidentally infect all the living and turn them into zombies. Your character is lucky enough to survive and now you must find your way to stay alive.
This open-world survival game offers a realistic survival approach in which your character will experience hunger and thirst. In order to survive, you must explore the world and gather enough resources. However, scouting comes with unpredictable danger. You might find yourself exploring highly-infected places within the city such as abandoned mines, broken-down colleges, suburban areas, and even those in the highlands. Each comes with a different level of danger and you must find your way to survive, otherwise, the game is over! If you are up for a horror adventure, this free-to-play app game is something you can confidently add to your device.
Perfect World Mobile
One of the first MMORPGs that dominated the market in the early 2000s is the highly acclaimed Perfect World. The game takes you to a beautiful Ancient Chinese setting and is highly based on Chinese mythology. The game features all the typical MMORPG elements that we enjoy today including the quest system, guild, PvP, and PvE campaigns, character customization, and many more. Ever since its successful release on PC, the game was soon rebranded as Perfect World International (PWI) and had 16 expansions from 2008 to 2021.
The game was soon optimized for mobile platforms and instead of introducing an entirely new game that carries the popular title, Perfect World Mobile is basically a replica of its original game. The game provides the same level of experience and it features all those PC-exclusive characters. The game also comes with a mobile-exclusive flight system that allows you to freely explore the boundless sky, hovering above the seamless continent of Perfect World. They’ve also added a new map and new classes that new PW players can explore. Whether you are an old fan of this classic MMORPG or a newbie, Perfect World Mobile is definitely worth playing!
ARK: Survival Evolved
Prehistoric animals in a civilized world? ARK: Survival Evolved takes you to a very unique survival experience. Instead of the typical post-apocalyptic environment, the game takes you to a fictional world where dinosaurs were never extinct. The mechanics of the game are very simple yet surprisingly tricky. You can either play this visually stunning game in first-person or third-person perspective. Similar to the concept of Minecraft or LifeAfter, the character in this game will start from scratch. You will be asked to collect materials from your surroundings, build shelter, locate food sources, and best of all, survive the danger brought by vicious dinosaurs and greedy humans.
The best part of the game is that you will even get the chance to tame these beastly animals, mount them, equip them with armors and weapons and use them in the battle. ARK features more than 80 different species of dinosaurs and other primal creatures that are roaming around the dynamic, persistent ecosystems across land, sea, air, and even underground. Aside from its crafting system, the game also highlights a Tribe system that allows you to team up with other online players. Above all, ARK: Survival Evolved is available on almost all gaming platforms. Despite being optimized for mobile, ARK: Survival Evolved still features console-grade graphics that will surely give us the quality gameplay we all deserve!
If you are a big fan of the classic The Legend of Zelda franchise, then you must find Oceanhorn equally satisfying. Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is developed by Cornfox & Bros and will embark players on an epic fantasy adventure. In this game, you play the role of an unnamed hero who went on a risky journey to find his lost father and defeat Oceanhorn. It takes you to a beautiful 3D open-world map that you can freely explore. This will instantly remind you of some Zelda titles like “A Link to the Past” and provides you with nothing but a nostalgic gaming experience.
The game allows you to explore the islands of the Uncharted seas where you might encounter a great number of dangers, puzzles, secrets, and mysteries to solve. It provides you with a very compelling story and matches it well with breathtaking 3D visuals and exciting gameplay. Not to mention the music from the best video game composers like Nobuo Uematsu and Kenji Ito that will elevate your gaming entire experience. The Android version, however, only provides gamers a demo but you can download the premium edition to experience the full version of the game.
Six-Guns: Gang Showdown
It is safe to say that Gameloft has been one of Rockstar Games’ top rivals when it comes to creating mobile games. Gameloft is the same team behind the Gangstar franchise, an answer to Rocktsar’s commercially successful GTA series. Six Guns, on the other hand, is seemingly Gameloft’s similar take to Rockstar’s another successful series – Red Dead Redemption. Six-Guns: Gang Showdown is another high-quality open-world, action-adventure that takes you back to the Wild West. Here, you play the role of Buck Crosshaw, an outlaw who had to fake his own death and escape to Arizona to seek redemption (see what they did there?).
The game comes with a great number of missions to explore. Each has different tasks to fulfill to progress. Like a true Wild West fashion, you can explore the massive open world either on foot or by horse and defeat the enemies and bandits you encounter along the way. Take note that this is more than just your typical cowboy game as you are about to face some supernatural foes as you progress. The game also offers multiplayer campaigns including a deathmatch and a capture-the-flag mode. If you are up for some epic and action-packed Wild West adventure, Six Guns is definitely a perfect fit. Best of all, this game is absolutely free-to-play!
You cannot talk about open world app games without mentioning Pokemon. Pokemon alone is already a successful game franchise but when Niantic released Pokemon GO back in 2016, it was an ultimate game-changer. Unlike the traditional Pokemon games that we love and adore, Pokemon Go makes use of Augmented Reality technology which brought gamers into a massive open-world system with limitless possibilities. Compared to early Pokemon games, Pokemon GO’s gameplay is notably nonlinear and players can do almost anything they want. It also popularized the location-based gaming system in which the virtual map will adapt to the player’s actual location.
The game is extremely successful that inspires many game developers to embrace the same location-based system and put AR technology into the mainstream. Unlike the traditional Pokemon games, however, players of Pokemon Go do not engage in Pokemon battles. Instead, they will be asked to roam around the virtual map (which is done by actually walking outdoors) in an attempt to locate Pokemons that are randomly scattered around the location. Due to Pokemon GO’s success, Niantic also developed other AR games like Ingress Prime, Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite, and Pikmin Bloom.
The MMORPGs were first introduced in the late 90s but their popularity started to rise in the early 2000s. While most of the early MMORPGs are mostly fantasy-related including Ragnarok Online and MapleStory, EVE Online by CCP Games brought an entirely new concept to the table. The multiplayer online game takes you on an intergalactic adventure. The game strategically introduced multiple servers allowing players to enter the different solar systems while maintaining a single coherent world.
Interestingly, NetEase brought this classic MMORPG back into the mobile platform through EVE Echoes. Although the game is now optimized for mobile devices, it still provides the same level of experience brought by the original game. It features the same original classes and factions like Amarr, Gallente, Minmatar, and Caldari. EVE Echoes also introduced new PvP Modes including Faction Wargames that allow a team of 10 players to clash against another team. If you are up for an open-world space adventure, feel free to explore EVE Echoes and see how far you can go!
We hope you enjoy these Open World App Games for Android.
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