As the digital dawn rises on 2023, the gaming landscape is more expansive and thrilling than ever before. Steam, the colossus of game distribution, is your gateway to boundless adventures without the burden of a price tag. In this golden age of gaming, the open-world genre stands as a pillar of unbridled exploration and freedom. From the high peaks of fantasy realms to the far reaches of space, we’ve scoured the Steam universe to bring you the crème de la crème of free open-world experiences. Buckle up, fellow explorers, as we embark on a journey through the “Top 9 Best Free Open World Games on Steam” that promise to unleash your imagination and don’t ask for a penny in return. Let the voyage begin!
9. The Complex: Found Footage (Jay)
The Complex: Found Footage* takes an intriguing spin on the concept of “the back rooms,” a popular notion of mysteriously empty rooms existing in an alternate dimension that people can accidentally stumble into.
Drawing inspiration from YouTuber Kane Pixels’ backrooms series, this game immerses you in a terrifying journey through the backrooms’ haunting corridors. While it may seem to defy the typical open-world formula with its linear design, it grants players the freedom to explore the entire backrooms and uncover its secrets
- The game’s visual style emulates an old VHS tape, creating a photorealistic yet nostalgic atmosphere.
- Viewed through the lens of a video tape, you can zoom in and out of points of interest, enhancing immersion.
- Sprinting causes the character’s heavy breathing, which distorts the video camera feed, enhancing the sense of watching a real video.
- The vast and seemingly random world occasionally surprises you with out-of-place discoveries.
- The presence of a chasing creature adds a thrilling layer of tension to exploration.
- Despite the expansive world, it’s mostly empty, with minimal interaction opportunities.
- The absence of other NPCs makes it more of an open-world walking simulator.
- Familiarity with the source material is somewhat necessary to fully appreciate the game.
If you seek a non-traditional open-world experience devoid of mundane tasks, *The Complex: Found Footage* is a game worth exploring.
8. Open World Game: The Open World Game (Chug)
When it comes to open-world games, you might have an idea in your head as to what exactly an open-world game is. This game is more of a meme or a parody of the open-world game genre, and it is actually pretty fun to play.
The gameplay isn’t really that engaging, but it is one of those games you can sit down and not realize you spent an hour just wasting time on it. The gameplay is simple, you explore a map with your arrow and complete objectives.
Each symbol represents something that would be in an RPG like Skyrim. There are main quests, side quests, fishing spots, cities, points of interest, and each one has their own sounds to go along with them.
You might think that each objective will have different ways to play the game, but not in this game. The only thing you need to do is play a little DDR minigame where you tap your arrow keys in different directions. That is it.
It is one of those games that are soo simple, that it is engaging for some reason. So if you want a game that allows you to just sit down and relax without much thought, then go download this game for yourself.
7. Don’t get lost (Caleb)
Don’t Get Lost is a first-person colony sim that features procedurally generated open worlds, it kinda reminds me of Eco, if any of you have ever played that game but just not as in-depth. The game can be played either single-player or multi-player on a self-hosted server.
I’ve always been a sucker for survival games so seeing a fairly new survival game come out gets me excited. This one has its issues but it’s actually a pretty fun game. You can fish, build, advance with new technology, and of course, build your colony and expand.
It’s definitely on the more relaxing side of things but you can actually build up your defenses and guard against attacks, so if you and your friends want to play a more hostile way you can definitely do that. There are a lot of options with this one, it’s kind of a blank slate for whatever you want it to be. It’s a solid game and definitely worth a play.
6. Muck (Jay)
Muck* is a sandbox crafting-style rogue-like that can be played solo or in multiplayer mode. It initially resembles Minecraft but evolves into a combat-focused adventure with power-ups.
Players become increasingly overpowered by defeating bosses and accumulating resources, eventually striving to leave the island.
- The game boasts a unique art style and doesn’t take itself too seriously, providing a refreshing and enjoyable experience.
- It allows players to become as overpowered as they desire, even to the point of one-shotting bosses.
- Multiplayer gameplay enhances the experience when played with friends.
- While it already offers a fair amount of content, the game won’t receive additional updates.
- Considering its quality, some players feel it could have been a paid game, and they wish for more content expansions.
From the moment you start playing, you’ll realize that *Muck is something special, and we highly recommend giving it a try.
5. Beach Island Deluxe (Chug)
How many of you player Mario Sunshine? Well Beach Island Deluxe isn’t Mario Sunshine, but it is the closest thing you can find on Steam for free. It is a platformer that allows you to explore a small open-world location called Beach Island.
To beat the game, all you need to do is collect 7 out of the 15 Stars around the map. It is not a hard game in the slightest, but it is definitely one of those hidden gems if you enjoy playing platformers.
If you do end up playing this game, make sure to try and get all 15 Stars hidden around the map. There are also 3 hidden Stars that the Developers put in the game for those looking to find secrets.
There is the standard mode that is the normal game, and there is speedrun mode for those looking to challenge themselves. Speedrun mode activates a timer and you need to complete the game as fast as possible.
If you are looking for an open-world platformer, then go check this one out.
4. Heartwood Online (Caleb)
Heartwood Online is an MMO pixel game that honestly has so much content for a free game it’s hard to describe it. People who get into this game end up with 50 to sometimes over 100 hours in the game.
Now, the game just recently released so they still have a lot more to add and the developer team seems dedicated to their roadmap, which seems to be rare nowadays, but just keep in mind that the game still has a lot more to come.
The game can be played PVP or PVE, there is crafting, politics, all types of classes, equipment, skill trees, and so much more. Like I said, it’s hard to really cover it all. The world is huge and the community from what I’ve seen seems pretty active.
It definitely has that grind component to it but I think the cute graphics and overall relaxing tones that the game has offset the annoyance of grinding. This one is a huge value and if you’re into MMO games I can’t imagine many other free games that will give you this much to do in such a neatly wrapped package. Definitely worth checking out.
3. Moon Runner (Jay)
Moon Runner draws inspiration from *Death Stranding*, tasking players with activating numerous towers on the moon’s surface. Even if you’ve never played *Death Stranding*, this game might make you consider it.
The gameplay involves trekking across the moon’s landscape with various equipment modules, upgrading gear for survival, and dealing with lurking enemies.
- The overall game is impressively polished and enjoyable.
- Despite the initially mundane-sounding concept of a moon walking simulator, the gameplay is surprisingly fun.
- Encounters with aggressive enemies keep players on their toes, with weapons modules available for self-defense.
- Clever placement of ladders allows for vertical exploration or creating bridges between cliffs.
- The game’s fall damage tolerance is unreasonably low due to an extreme gravitational field, which can be frustrating.
Moon Runner is a pleasant surprise, and it’s one of the best free games you can find recently. We highly recommend giving it a shot.
2. Viking Hiking (Chug)
Viking Hiking is another platformer that lets you freely explore an open-world. You play as a Viking named Bof and you are on a Quest to reach Valhalla. The game was actually a student project and is actually a very good game.
Do keep in mind that it is not the most optimized game, but it is actually pretty fun. It is recommended to play the game on a Controller, since it shows controller prompts in the game, but you can play it on keyboard and mouse if you want to.
The world is actually very well built and the parkour is pretty satisfying when you get the hang of it. The graphics and lighting in the game are also very well done. So if you are looking for a fun open-world platformer, then go check this one out.
1. Zumbi Blocks 2 Open Alpha (Caleb)
Zumbi Blocks 2 is basically an updated Unturned. This game just released as of making this article and it’s surprisingly good. I’ve always been a huge fan of Unturned but it always felt sorta outdated at times and it seemed the community had somewhat died out over the years.
With Zumbi Blocks 2, it seems that we may be able to get that Unturned experience in a newer package. I kinda wish this game allowed for more people to join you, I always prefer these types of games to have huge multiplayer servers but as of right now you can’t have any more than 10 people join it seems.
It’s also cool how you can play the game either in first-person or third-person and the movement is pretty cracked too.
There’s base building, a ton of guns, loadout upgrades, and even bosses to beat. It’s honestly a really fun game and I can see this being a regular game to play with friends. I think now they just need to add a bit more content and keep people coming back for more events and updates.
Really solid game and great to play with friends, we highly recommend adding this one to your steam library.