While there are plenty of open-world games to choose from on consoles and PC, mobile games can vary in quality because of the widespread indie culture -- many of them are sloppy remakes of popular games, with plenty of battle royale and survival games to share. But there's more to open-world games than either of those genres.
There are many fantastic options you can fit in your pocket, and some of them adapted from your favorite console versions, too.
Here are five of the best open-world games you can find and enjoy on your iOS device!
The Oddworld franchise never fails to deliver outlandish characters, gripping gameplay, and interesting visuals. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath in particular features a fascinating protagonist: a bounty hunter named Stranger who has a fatal, life-threatening disease. To pay for the surgery, he must earn money by hunting down a particular character who will give him what he needs.
As he explores the barren wastelands of Western Mudos and its many towns, forests, and factories, Stranger must take down criminals and outlaws with an odd double crossbow that shoots, weirdly enough, other insects and creatures.
It's a humourous, morbid, strategic, and addicting game with a pretty solid soundtrack and a unique storyline.
San Andreas is probably on most people's nostalgia list when it comes to the GTA games they've thoroughly enjoyed in the past. Having been remastered for mobile for quite some time, this game can be enjoyed on a small screen just as well. You play as Carl Johnson, or CJ, an ex-con who had managed to clean up his act in Los Santos but is thrown into the familiar streets after his mother is murdered and his family falls apart.
You can form your gang once again and regain territory by working with the elite, powerful gangsters, but not necessarily. The world is your oyster, and you can do as you please, regardless of if you want to follow the story or not. If you haven't played San Andreas before, this could be your chance to find out what the fuss was all about.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on mobile is pretty much any Marvel fan's dream. The game follows the storyline from the film and features familiar villains such as Venom, Kraven, Green Goblin, and Electro, as well as newer characters such as Black Cat.
The graphics are good enough to match a console game, and the controls are simple, to suit the smartphone interface. It's both open-world and action in a 3D adventure experience as you play as Spider-Man, slinging fluidly through the skyscrapers of Manhattan and combating crime waves of every sort with pretty wild acrobatic combos.
Gangster Vegas is a free but fantastic mobile alternative for lovers of GTA or Saints Row, with an original storyline, 80 different missions, and endless options for exploration and adrenaline.
You play as a simple MMA fighter warming up for a big match whilst being spectated by a notorious mafia boss. Bets are cast on your opponent, but you end up winning the match and, ultimately, becoming intertwined with all the grit and crime Vegas has to offer.
Races with insane vehicles, wild weapons of every kind, gambles with hoodlums, surprise carnages, and street stunts are really only the tip of the iceberg.
While a possibly overrated pick in some aspects, Minecraft is still undoubtedly considered among the greatest open-world games to date. With its release on both iOS and Android a few years ago, player numbers rose dramatically, and a widespread love for the creative, pixelated sandbox was enhanced.
You can build, destroy, forage, fight, and survive in a peculiar world all your own, depending on the mode you choose, including either "creative" or "survival." There is the massive multiplayer cross-platform option as well. You can purchase or download skins and mash-up packs, explore random worlds, and create something out of nothing.
These games offer hours of entertainment and perpetual exploration to lovers of sandbox themes, and better yet, they can be played anywhere and at any time. All of the games mentioned are compatible with iPhone 4s and up, and are adapted to fit the highest possible smartphone graphics capacity, making for a pretty solid gaming experience.