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15 Best Open World Games for iOS in 2024, Ranked

From the modern criminal underworld to fantasy realms and beyond, open world games let players freely explore their in-game universe. Players can interact in a more intuitive fashion with what they encounter or create a truly unique experience all on their own. This list of the best open world games for iOS will help you get started with this popular genre. Keep reading — a whole new (open) world awaits!

Best Open World Games for iOS, Ranked Least-Favorite to Best Overall

Let’s dive right into our ranked list with our 15th overall pick.

15/15

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath 

Oddworld- Stranger's Wrath 
Image: Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc via HGG
  • Price: $2.99
  • Ages 12+
  • No data collected
  • Bit heavy with updates

Up first in our ranking of the best open world games for iOS is Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. With a storyline overlaid on old cowboy movies, Oddworld takes place in Western Mudos. Residents of the local frontier town are under attack, and it’s up to you — a lonely drifter — to protect them. No six-shooters this time, though. Instead your weapon of choice is a crossbow. What does it fire? Furry little critters, of course. 

We like the customizable touch screen controls and scalable virtual joystick. There’s now also native iOS gamepad support. Some may remember the old Oddworld game series on XBox, and it’s translated well to mobile. Some find the controls a bit difficult to use, though. Overall, it feels very much like the original game, with funny dialogue, quirky characters, and other inventive aspects to uncover. The startup crash from iOS 15.1 is now resolved. 

14/15

Baldur’s Gate 

Baldurs Gate
Image: Overhaul Games Inc & Beamdog via HGG
  • Price: $9.99 (in-app purchases)
  • Ages 12+
  • Requires iOS 8.0 or later
  • Optimized for tablets under 7”

Next in our list is Baldur’s Gate, a classic of the genre of open world Dungeons & Dragons-style RPG games. In it, players assemble a party to explore the Sword Coast, braving whatever adventures or fortunes that come their way. In this enhanced edition, there’s sixty hours of story, with locations like Durlag’s Tower, the Black Pits, and the Cloud Peaks returning. There’s also an improved interface that fans of previous versions now enjoy, with dynamic zooming among other new features. 

We like the nice selection of in-app purchases and even new voice sets for your character. Zooming is made easy in this new version, and overall, the classic game is nicely updated for mobile devices. Many of the old bugs are fixed, users report. It could be a bit better optimized for iPhone X and above. That kept the game a bit further down in our list.

13/15

Radiation Island 

Radiation Island
Image: Atypical Games via HGG
  • Price: $2.99
  • Ages 12+
  • Supports iOS MFi Game Controllers
  • iPhone 4 earlier unsupported

Radiation Island is an open-world survival adventure game set in an alternate universe. The Philadelphia Experiment has gone horribly wrong, and you’ve become stranded in a parallel reality full of forests and megafauna like bears and wolves. Your job is to explore the left-behind villages for crucial supplies and other valuable items you need to escape. Be sure to avoid the zombies. With integrated iCould support, this game is only available on iOS and Metal on A7 and A8 devices.

AirPlay also allows you to play the game on bigger monitors. It is important to cloud save frequently, as glitches are not unheard of, causing players to lose their progress. Otherwise, though, this game is fun, drawing you in like no other. Look out, though, it does tend to drain your battery.

12/15

Crashlands 

Image: Butterscotch Shenanigans, Inc via HGG
  • Price: $6.99
  • Ages 9+, infrequent/mild profanity or crude humor
  • Requires iOS 13.0 or later
  • More than 500 craftable items to unlock

The next ARPG in our review of the best open world games for iOS is Crashlands. In the game, you’re a galactic trucker stranded on an alien world called Woanope, facing a villain named Hewgodooko. In the meanwhile, you’ll uncover an evil plan to take over the world, with fascinating and friendly characters to meet and bosses to fight and overcome. One nice feature in Crashlands is there’s infinite inventory space for new items, as well as intuitive base building, and RPG-style character progression. 

The combat is also now skill based, and another fun feature are all the tameable creatures to raise as your allies. This game is a complete masterpiece, and each playthrough offers something new to experience. There is no local multiplayer function, which would be a nice addition to future versions of the game, and the pathing is a bit clumsy.

11/15

Gangstar New Orleans

Gangstar New Orleans
Image: Gameloft Montreal via HGG
  • Price: Free (in-app purchases)
  • Requires iOS 9.0 or later
  • Ages 17+
  • Frequent intense cartoon or fantasy violence

Turning away from fantasy/sci-fi to the criminal underworld, Gangstar New Orleans is up next in our list. The story takes place throughout New Orleans’ most iconic districts, like the French Quarter and the Louisiana Bayou, among others. It’s a shooter-style action/adventure with an excellent soundtrack, great AAA graphics, and tons of customization and different themes to choose from. Don’t miss the brand-new weapon. We also like the new GvG turf wars. There is no offline mode, though.

Overall, the game’s graphics and animation are great, with guns and cars that are easy to obtain. Some map glitches do get reported and it can get a bit laggy, unfortunately. But the broad-ranging storylines keep things interesting, and you really will feel like you’re in New Orleans.

10/15

Bully: Anniversary Edition 

Bully- Anniversary Edition 
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG
  • Price: $6.99
  • Ages 12+
  • Infrequent/mild alcohol, tobacco, or drug use or references
  • Native support for high resolution displays

Sticking with the gangster motif is Bully: Anniversary Edition from Rockstar Games, the same folks behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise. In Bully, you’re 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins at Bullworth Academy, a prep school on the bad side of town — that’s putting it lightly. As Hopkins, you’ll fight off bullies, stand up to teachers, and more. The graphics are high-resolution with new multiplayer friends challenges. Lighting and textures are also all greatly improved.

This is otherwise an excellent game for iOS, according to those who grew up playing it on the PS2. Jimmy is a relatable character, and lighting and textures are described as dynamic with intelligent touch control and physical controller support, among other new features. Overall, this is a great game at a great price offering all the quality you might expect.

9/15

Grand Theft Auto III 

Grand Theft Auto III
Image: Rockstar Games & DMA Design via HGG
  • Price: $4.99
  • Full screen support on iPhone X / XS and iPad Pro
  • Ages 17+, very mature content
  • Early innovator in open-world games

A stone cold classic in the open world genre, the third installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise breaks the top 10 in our ranking. Among all the rest, what we liked most about this update in particular — besides tiding us over until Grand Theft Auto VI comes out, hopefully sometime in 2024 — is the HD resolution presenting all the familiar aspects of Liberty City and its criminal underworld. The vehicle models in this edition are also particularly notable, and we like the custom controls and gameplay designed and optimized specifically for mobile devices. 

Playing the game is pure nostalgia, taking some players back to the time when Grand Theft Auto III premiered on PS2. The overall gameplay is good and easy to get the hang of, even without much experience. Some camera angles in cut scenes are a little bit off, and some bugs do remain.

8/15

Goat Simulator 

Goat Simulator 
Image: Coffee Stain Studios via HGG
  • Price: $6.99 (in-app purchases)
  • New user interface
  • Age 9+, infrequent/mild profanity or crude humor
  • Requires iOS 13.0 or later

Ever dreamed of being a goat? Eighth place in our ranking is Goat Simulator, an open world game that lets players do just that. Overlaid on a similar formula to retro skating games, in Goat Simulator you’ll live your best goat life. By that we mean mostly just wreck stuff. The objective, become the alpha goat, or the one goat to rule them all. You’ll be a different goat in each goaty situation, such as “Repulsive Goat” or “Slender Goat.” That last one might just haunt your dreams. But there’s plenty of fun and cuteness to be had, nonetheless. 

Fans of this mobile app call this is the best game in the “goatverse,” with a good selection of goats, maps, and quests to keep things interesting. There’s a great selection of Easter eggs to unlock and uncover. The game manages to stay action packed and charmingly silly all throughout.

7/15

Six-Guns: Gang Showdown 

Six-Guns- Gang Showdown 
Image: Gameloft via HGG
  • Price: Free (in-app purchases)
  • Ages 17+, frequent/intense cartoon or fantasy violence
  • Requires iOS 9.0 or later
  • No pay to win

Sticking with the action/adventure genre, this time in the Old West, Six-Guns: Gang Showdown is up next in our list of the best open world games for iOS. In the game you’ll be a frontiersman exploring territories ranging from Arizona to Oregon, with forty missions ranging from horse racing to fighting bandits and robbers. Like any cowboy, you’ll need a trusty steed and there are eight horses to earn. There’s also authentic weapons, clothing, and ammo. Don’t miss the vampire and werewolf enemies, putting a supernatural twist on the Western motif.

This is one of the best games some have ever played on iOS, according to reports. Too many bugs and glitches remain, which prevented us from placing it any higher on our list, particularly in multiplayer mode.

6/15

Lineage 2: Revolution 

Lineage Revolution
Image: Netmarble Games via HGG
  • Price: Free (in-app purchases)
  • Ages 12+, infrequent/mild mature/suggestive themes
  • Requires iOS 10.0 or later
  • Infrequent/mild realistic violence

Taking open world combat to the next level, Lineage 2: Revolution offers the chance for up to 200 players to go head-to-head with graphics rendered by Unreal Engine 4. In the game, you can form a party with other players, explore and conquer dungeons, or defeat some pretty challenging boss monsters. Otherwise, this MMORPG has 50-vs-50 fortress siege matches and mass-scale PVP combat, or open-field PVP battles with thousands of challengers based all over the world.

Character and item progression is steady and constant with some effort, and micro-transactions are well balanced without ever becoming disruptive. If you’re familiar with the first Lineage installment, this update is gorgeous and truly engaging. There could be more incentives for clans, though.

5/15

Terraria 

Terraria
Image: Re-Logic & 505 Games via HGG
  • Price: $4.99
  • Ages 9+
  • Infrequent/mild mature/suggestive themes
  • Requires iOS 10.0 or later

Bringing the popular PC and console game to the world of mobile devices, Terraria breaks the top five in our list. With loads of biomes and mini-biomes to try out, the game has more or less been rebuilt from the ground up and is now really well optimized for mobile, with wiring and desert overhaul, new atmospheric and weather effects, and new quality of life features. In the game, you’ll still dig, fight, and explore, perhaps even building an entire city all on your own. There are also hundreds of enemies with which to engage.

Earning editor’s choice, Terraria is a true masterpiece, in the opinion of some who have played it. It’s beautifully designed, and we think it’s made a smooth transition from PC and console to mobile. Some control systems could be improved, we found out. Overall, though, it’s fun, humorous, and well worth the price tag.

4/15

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG
  • Price: $6.99
  • Ages 17+
  • Frequent/intense alcohol, tobacco, or drug use or references
  • Dual analog stick controls

Returning now to the Grand Theft Auto franchise, San Andreas takes the fourth spot in our ranking. This classic in the open world genre has everything GTA fans know and love about their favorite game. It’s also Rockstar Games’ biggest release for mobile yet. It’s now the `90s and Carl Johnson is on a mission that will take you across the entire state of San Andreas, opening the vista of what this game is about. The graphics are new and remastered, and there’s also physical controller support for iOS.

Overall, user feedback calls this a fantastic game, with simple controls, a complex and engaging storyline, and great gameplay. An editor’s choice, the controls do receive mixed reviews, but the graphics are top notch and the side missions are varied enough to keep things interesting.

3/15

Gangstar Vegas — Mafia action 

Gangstar Vegas - Mafia action 
Image: Gameloft Montreal via HGG
  • Price: Free (in-app purchases)
  • Ages 17+
  • Requires iOS 10.0 or later
  • Infrequent/mild alcohol, tobacco, or drug use or references

Another edition of Gangstar taking third spot in our list of open world games we reviewed is Gangstar Vegas — Mafia Action. What better place could there be, after all, than an open-world shooting game set in Sin City? In it, you’ll explore a massive map in any one of the crazy vehicles available for you to choose from, playing casino games, and competing for a position on the leaderboard in races, gang fights, shooting competitions, and more. Vehicles include armored tanks, muscle cars, and limos, or bring a drone into battle for backup, other types of support, and for healing.

This game is amazing, by all accounts. It’s able to be played offline, which is nice for long road trips or if you often end up in places without any WiFi. The graphics, gameplay, and story mode are all amazing. There are a few ways that players used to be able to interact with the game that are missing in this latest version, though.

2/15

Genshin Impact 

Genshin Impact
Image: miHoYo via HGG
  • Price: Free (in-app purchases)
  • Ages 12+
  • Version 2.6 “Zephyr of the Violet Garden” now available
  • Infrequent/mild sexual content and nudity

In this expansive open world game, Genshin Impact, players explore a world called Tayvet,  full of mountains, rivers, and breathtaking scenery, with a number of interesting characters to meet and dangers to navigate along the way. The ultimate boss is named Hydro, and there’s an elemental battle system to keep things interesting, such as freezing with Cryo or burning your enemy with Pyro. Making the game notable is the vibrant artwork, with rendering in real time, and well-visualized character renderings. 

As gameplay goes on, you’ll assemble an in-game team, if that’s what you choose, or team up with friends to play Genshin Impact across various platforms. An editor’s choice, this is an amazing action RPG that by all accounts belongs on any list of the best open world games for iOS. 

1/15

Minecraft 

Best Minecraft Mods
Image: Mojang Studios via HGG
  • Price: $6.99
  • Ages 9+
  • In game add-ons and packs available to purchase, including a realm subscription
  • Plenty of new updates keep the game fresh and players returning for more

It’s not an overstatement to say when many think of open world games they think first of Minecraft, and for this reason, we had no qualms putting it first in our list. In this well-reviewed absolute classic for all ages, the world is endless and yours to explore, or instead, develop all on your own. There’s a marketplace to choose maps, skins, and textures from, with slash commands helping to customize actual gameplay. Otherwise, we had fun avoiding the enemies, defending ourselves with the armor and weapons just waiting to be uncovered.

There are good amounts of resources to collect, and other new add-ons like data-driven behavior which players can now manipulate, among other fun variables. Fans of the game love the new updates, and survival mode is particularly challenging. The freedom to build what you want is an especially popular feature.

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That’s it for our list of the best open-world games for iOS — thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions for more games or future lists, let us know in the comments and subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this.

Happy gaming!

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