A sandbox game is a video game with a gameplay element that provides players a great degree of creativity to interact with, usually without any particular goal, or alternatively with a goal that the players set for themselves. Over the years, there have been countless great sandbox games released and made a big splash, including Minecraft, Terraria, or the 2022 game of the year Elden Ring. So what is the number 1 sandbox game? To make your choice easier, we have compiled a list of the best sandbox games of all time with all top names in this genre.
10. Elden Ring
The latest open-world game that has become all the rage right now is Elden Ring. FromSoftware’s stellar video game design is present for everyone to see in this incredible title that hasn’t just lived up to its hype, but surpassed it.
Fans all over the world absolutely love roaming around the vast world of Elden Ring, which is full to the brim with secrets and hidden encounters. It deserves the title of being FromSoftware’s greatest and most popular video game of all time.
9. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red might not have the greatest reputation right now, but there was a time when the studio was considered to be a master of its craft. This was around the same time that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was released to critical and commercial acclaim.
The Witcher 3 ends Geralt’s journey on a high note, with its two amazing DLCs adding even more quality to this brilliant title. It might not be a perfect video game… but it definitely reaches these heights for many fans of the series.
8. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Some gamers consider this the best open-world game ever. Big claim, but let’s see why. Its open world is unlike any other because there are no quest markers. The game offers pure exploration. It begs you to pick a direction and see what secrets are out there. Add the power of nostalgia from past Zelda titles, and you have a title you can enjoy with childlike glee. Furthermore, Breath of the Wild’s original release on the Wii U and Nintendo Switch didn’t stop fans from making emulators. As such, it’s now playable on PC.
7. Grand Theft Auto 5
Rockstar made GTA 5 firmly with the intention of not releasing a new game in the series for about a decade because this one is just so darn massive. Even if you ignored the main missions and online mode, you’d have tens of hours of fun with the side missions and exploration.
The true sandbox element came with the addition of mods, after which GTA 5 is now basically its own world, as people have created one ridiculous thing after another. Really, though, there’s no type of mod that isn’t available now, and online options bring with them hundreds of hours of creativity.
6. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Before modding was commonplace, GTA: San Andreas was among the first to truly make the world yours to manipulate and have fun with. Several different mods of the game allowed you to replace the main character with different skins, such as CJ becoming Batman or Superman.
The main appeal here, though, is the fact that you can have just about any power, weaponry, and travel means by using the cheats available. At the time of release, GTA: San Andreas had achieved unfathomable levels of creative freedom for the player. This was a world where you could be dressed as Batman but perform drive-bys while flying your car.
5. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is unmissable in the list of best sandbox games of all time. At the beginning of the game, you acquire a house and a piece of land that belonged to your grandfather. It’s not in a great state, so you’re encouraged to fix it up. Beyond that, there are no true goals or objectives. You are free to live your farmer life how you see it.
Some of the things you can do include interacting with nearby NPCs, exploring caves, going fishing, completing various quests, or simply continually improving your farm. It’s all a chill and stress-free experience.
4. Red Dead Redemption
Live the life of a rough rider with Rockstar’s most popular title since the GTA games. Hop on your horse and explore the world to find interesting side content, set within the classic old west. Also, some may say that it’s not only the story and the unique gameplay that draws them in. The world itself acts like the game’s main character, and it sure delivers on the promise of an amazing ambiance.
Fans of the Hitman series adore the games for their free-rein assassination mechanics. The missions give you a target, and that’s it. It’s up to you how to take them out. You can use the environment however you want, as long as you kill the target. The 2016 release of Hitman takes this freedom to a whole new level. You can use disguises, sneak around, or lure an unsuspecting target to “accidental” death. Or, just go in, guns blazing. It’s free-form murder at its best.
You like 2D retro stuff? Terraria is right up your alley. You can build stuff, battle pesky enemies, or explore the pixelated world to find valuable loot. Or, mine stuff from the ground and craft new weapons. The gameplay possibilities are expansive, too. And there’s no predetermined goal like most games out there. You have your tools and a world to explore; go out there and play. Make sure to stick around until you discover the game’s deeper mechanics, and you’ll enjoy it like no other. Consider it like Minecraft but in 2D.
What is the number 1 sandbox game? Minecraft is undoubtedly one of the greatest sandbox games. Its development has spanned a decade, seen its ups and downs, to be sure, and provided a platform for thousands of creators to experiment, play, and entertain.
It has changed a lot over the years, as the developers have made many additions to the game, like the amazing Caves and Cliffs update. Throughout it all, the title has never strived away from its core concept: to give you almost unlimited freedom to create whatever you want in its blocky world.
That is the end of best sandbox games of all time list. What do you think of this list? Discuss with us in the comment section below.