Sandbox games are those that offer a great level of freedom for players. This translates, most of the time, into giant open worlds, but this is not a mandatory criterion. The most important thing is, without a doubt, that the player can create his own rhythm and style of play and still have fun. With that in mind, we’ve gathered below the 18 best PC sandbox games that offer just that: freedom + fun. Check out!
The king of sandbox games. Minecraft offers basically infinite freedom of creation and interactions since, with enough skill, you can basically create anything you want. The game has enchanted millions of players worldwide, appealing to both children and adults. Here, you can create the dumbest structures possible, but you can also create real architectural designs.
rand Theft Auto V
GTA V remains glued behind Minecraft. Even with a rich campaign and a very fun and well-written storyline, the game offers freedom almost never seen in other games. You can spend hours and hours having fun in the game without having to go near the main campaign or even side missions. This is one of the main features of a good sandbox.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Legion is the third title in the Watch Dogs franchise, released in 2020. The story takes place in a dystopian London completely dominated by a military entity that installed extreme surveillance systems in the city, and we control a group of hackers that seeks to free the citizens. The game takes the series’ level of freedom to a new level, allowing us to recruit any NPC from the game to the team. Each character has its own story and abilities. Just like the previous games, any mission can be completed in countless different ways, it all depends on your creativity.
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 is an RPG as dense and deep as the first two sandbox games in the series, but it has an open world so big it’s intimidating. Just like in GTA V, you can spend hours without touching the main campaign and still have a lot of fun. A variety of regions, NPCs, and general activities make The Witcher 3 one of the best sandboxes in history.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is by far the best game in The Elder Scrolls franchise. Bringing together all the typical elements of the RPG genre, the game has hundreds of weapons, abilities, and spells, as well as a level of freedom that is still respectable despite the game being almost 10 years old. The game also features an absurd number of side quests that you might not even discover during your gameplay. With so many secrets, skills, and professions to learn, Skyrim deserves a place on that list.
Red Dead Redemption 2
There’s not much to talk about. If GTA V is on that list, Red Dead Redemption 2 needs to be too. Although they have completely different themes, both games offer very similar experiences in terms of freedom of exploration and richness of activities. RDR2 is another gem from Rockstar.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Just released for PC, Horizon Zero Dawn is an absurdly beautiful game. The game is an RPG and extremely well designed with a huge open world. In addition to the main campaign, the diversity of side quests and the number of activities to be done in the game are immense.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 is an open-world FPS with extremely beautiful backgrounds. Just like the previous titles, here you will take part in another civil war and will have to complete the most varied missions. The variety of elements present in the game world is gigantic and allows you to follow the story in many different ways. The game’s artificial intelligence also allows you to find many ways to complete missions, allowing you to find new things whenever you play again.
To vary the theme of RPG games a little, Fallou is not set in a medieval environment, but in a post-apocalyptic open-world devastated by a nuclear war. In addition to several innovative mechanics, the game was highly awarded and praised for the amount of content and, above all, for the level of freedom offered to players.
Don’t Starve is one of the most popular survival games on the market. In it, you wake up on an island where you can interact with practically anything and the objective is very simple: survive. For that, you’ll need to collect items and assemble tools that allow you to settle down and protect yourself from the dangers of the island. Due to the wide variety of items and characters, there is no fixed formula for success, and players can advance through their matches in a number of different ways and styles.
Rust is a game of pure survival, nothing more. The only objective is to find ways to overcome hunger, cold, thirst, attacks from animals and other players. The game offers a more hardcore experience in the genre, with a lot of explicit violence and a high difficulty level that forces you to do whatever it takes to survive. The level of freedom is what you can expect from sandbox games, with the possibility to interact in different ways with absolutely everything around you.
The teardown is a sandbox game in which you need to carry out a series of robberies to complete the missions and pass the level. For that, you can interact and, mainly, destroy everything you see on your screen, as long as it doesn’t spoil the plan and get you caught. The game has several modes, items, and vehicles that you’ll need to put to the best use to find the solutions for each level. The game also has a specific mode called “Sandbox” in which there are no objectives and all the content is unlocked for you to just interact and destroy the entire scenario.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky has the biggest open world of EVERY game that exists. That’s right. The game has a space exploration theme that has a random generation of planets. Whenever the player approaches one, the game combines numerous elements to create a new planet with its own characteristics. Inside it, players have the highest freedom to explore, craft, and build their bases.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Within such a recognized and award-winning franchise, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a masterpiece. This time around, Hideo Kojima offered unprecedented freedom in the series and a level of artificial intelligence that complements it perfectly. Here, there is never a fixed way to go and you can use your imagination to create the right situations to advance in the missions. The game also has absurdly large content and a very high level of interaction with the environment.
A good way to describe Terraria is Minecraft in 2D. Despite the simple look, the game has even more content than the Minecraft phenomenon, with a lot more things to kill and weapons to assemble. Here you can also access an underground world and basically destroy anything on the screen to reveal secrets and get new items.
Ark: Survival Evolved
Ark: Survival Evolved is another survival game with a very high level of freedom. Here, you are trapped on an island full of technological dinosaurs, and you must craft your equipment, build your base and secure your resources to survive. As with most current games in the genre, there is no fixed formula for progressing and you can evolve your character however you want, as well as being able to fully decide the strategy used to stay alive.
Saints Row IV
Following the same mold as GTA, the Saints Row franchise also bets on an open world full of possibilities to commit crimes. Even if you completely ignore the main campaign, you can have many hours of fun exploring the captivating universe created by the game, being able to customize your character however you want, not only its appearance but also its abilities.
Just Cause 4
Just Cause 4 is yet another 3rd person action game with an incredibly large open world. In addition to the very high freedom that sandbox games offer, the main character also has incredible equipment that allows him to explore the world in different ways not very present in other games. Here, Rico Rodriguez (the character) can use his wingsuit and grappling hook to move around the scene very easily. Undoubtedly one of the games with the highest level of action there is.