Sandbox games are some of the most popular types of video games for players who enjoy freedom and creativity. These games offer incredible worlds that are insanely interactive and let players do almost anything they want.
While most games in this genre allow almost everything to be interacted with, some limitations exist to ensure that players don’t “break” the world they’re playing in more than the game can handle.
Others, however, exist purely to give the player ultimate freedom in what they want to accomplish. Below are six of the best sandbox games with worlds so interactive you’ll need to play them yourself to believe it.
Developed by Mojang Studios, Minecraft offers one of the most interactive game worlds available. Considering every single item in the world—whether placed on the world or forming part of it—can be changed, few games offer the creative freedom that Minecraft does.
Rather than limiting players to a singular story, Minecraft places you in a sandbox where almost anything is fair game. From breaking down entire mountains to building a fortress out of flowing lava, the game allows endless inspiration.
Because of this, the game is massively popular among players of all ages. It has over 140 million monthly users, with January 2023 recording a staggering 176 million people playing. It has also inspired massive online content where people share the most outrageous designs they built in the game.
Although Hitman: Codename 47, the very first game in the franchise, came out in 2000, the 2016 reboot was the first in the series to offer a sandbox world. This was due to the incredible number of opportunities to do different things that could be found anywhere on the game map.
Hitman 2 and Hitman 3 followed a few years later, keeping this feeling of freedom alive. From choosing exactly how to eliminate a target to wandering around as new opportunities present themselves, the game gives you the chance to play however you want.
Constant updates to the game also keep adding to the seemingly endless interactivity already on offer. Each update brings new missions and items in the game’s opportunity system and gives more options so you can do what you want.
Grand Theft Auto V
Even though the release date for Grand Theft Auto 6 has yet to be announced, GTA V and GTA Online still receive over 2.5 million players monthly despite being released in 2013. The popularity behind this sandbox franchise is well deserved and started being compounded as far back as GTA San Andreas.
The game offers an open world with almost endless possibilities. While fans of games that allow you to modify landscapes, buildings, and other fixed world assets won’t be able to do that here, those looking to cruise around as they wish certainly will. Especially with how much there is to do.
From kidnapping people off the street to seeking out cops for an adrenaline-fueled chase through the streets to making more money than you’ll know what to do with, there is plenty to keep yourself busy with while playing—as long as you don’t get killed along the way. A strong mod community also constantly adds to the customization and freedom offered by the game.
Hyped up to fever pitch before its release, Hogwarts Legacy is the game countless Harry Potter fans have yearned for over the years. Thankfully, the hype of the open-world game lived up to expectations, with seemingly endless things to do.
While release delays on some platforms have plagued the game, those already enjoying it can testify to how it allows you to play as you wish. Aside from the main storyline, the Hogwarts grounds are filled with surprises and easter eggs that many fans share online.
Almost every part of the world can be interacted with, and there are new things to discover around every corner. With an atmosphere that feels exactly how you’d expect the famous wizard school to be, it lets players go wild in a world that will immerse anyone who experiences it.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Winner of multiple awards, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a gaming masterpiece. The online version of the game is also widely popular.
The game throws you into the shoes of a cowboy on a mission—yet it doesn’t have to be if you don’t feel like it.
Aside from the incredible story, which takes plenty of time to complete, the sandbox world on offer can take up many days of collective playtime to fully explore.
From fishing in streams to wandering around and watching the seasons change around you, the game lets you experience the virtual world in all its glory. And, of course, you should never be too busy to go on a good horse ride through the countryside.
Life By You
While technically a life simulation, Paradox Interactive’s Life by You is already being touted as one of the most remarkably interactive games ever made—and it hasn’t even been released yet.
The brainchild of Rod Humble (who initially worked on EA’s The Sims), the open world offered by the game comes with so many interactive opportunities you won’t know where to start. You can do everything from shopping to following the person you’re controlling to work and making them get up to mischief at the office.
Added to this are the ridiculous modding opportunities the game boasts. Aside from world, character creation, building, and interaction mods, the game allows almost anything you can think of. Among these things is the ability to create your career, like being a live dealer or building your own expansion packs for the game!