SLIDESHOW

Explore 10 incredible open-world games

Why wait for <em>Grand Theft Auto V</em>? Grab your parachute and take the plunge.

Wide-open worlds

With a heavy heart and an angry scowl, PC gamers wait for the day Grand Theft Auto V makes its way to the PC.

Why wait for an event that might never come to pass? There are plenty of other open-world PC games you can jump into right now.

In an open-world game, you have almost no restrictions on where you can go within the confines of the game, and very few rules governing what you can do within it.

Here are 10 other open-world games that you can explore for weeks and years to come, starting with the dragon-infested fantasy land of Tamriel.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Provided you can avoid being charred to the bone by dragons, you can spend hundreds of hours exploring the world of Skyrim.

Once you escape the chopping block, you’re free to make your own path. Forge allegiances, or don't. Visit a town in peace, or murder its every denizen. Wander aimlessly through the wilderness, or embark on quests for plunder and glory.

The game doesn't lack a storyline: Your mission—should you choose to accept it—is to vanquish Alduin, the most fearsome dragon of all. When and how you manage to accomplish that feat is up to you.

Just Cause 2

Visit a tropical paradise as the adrenaline-fueled stuntman your 8-year-old self always dreamed of becoming.

Just Cause 2 might have a laughably implausible story line, but the nonstop parachuting, firefighting, and vehicle-hijacking never gets old.

Find a plane. Explore the world. Base-jump off a mountain into the desert, where you'll battle the local military to control a town. Sounds like a well-rounded day to me.

Saints Row 4

This world might be little more than a simulation set up by invading aliens, but that doesn’t make Saints Row 4 any less fun to explore.

If you enjoyed exploring the city of Steelport in Saints Row 3, you'll be happy to know it's been replicated here (with just a few tweaks).

Forget the cars and helicopters: Getting around the world is so much easier now that you have superpowers that allow you to run, jump, and fly.

Minecraft

Minecraft is the definition of an open-world game. You've awakened in an unfamiliar land with no equipment or goals. Now get to work!

Most Minecraft games start the same: You gather supplies and build a rudimentary shelter to protect you from the mobs of monsters. From there, you'll harvest the resources you need to make stronger weapons, tools, and armor as you make up your own story.

Conjure a kingdom or a futuristic society. Live a mole-like existence in an underground bomb shelter, or erect a tower and live in the clouds. What will you do when the world is infinite and there are no rules?

Far Cry 3

Tropical vacations are usually all about sun, fun, and exotic cocktails. But when your travel companions are abducted by pirates trafficking in human slaves, it's time to put down the coconut shell and pick up the hand grenades.

The game world in the first-person shooter, Far Cry 3, might be limited to a chain of islands, but it's an archipelago filled with secrets, exotic weapons, and wildlife you can hunt (and harvest material from to craft new gear).

Whether you dispatch your enemies through stealth or through banzai bravura, you'll be in for a rip-roaring time.

Fallout: New Vegas

Where will you be when The Bomb drops? If you're lucky, it will be somewhere fun, like the outskirts of Las Vegas.

As a courier who’s supposed to be six feet under, Fallout: New Vegas will have you roaming the desert wasteland, exploring the ruined city, and trying your luck at one of several fine casinos that have sprung up from the ashes.

Your goals and who you are actually fighting for are your secrets to keep in this game.

Grand Theft Auto IV

It's not the pièce de résistance that Grand Theft Auto V is, but Grand Theft Auto IV is still one of the most compelling and dense open-world PC games available.

You're fresh off the boat to start a new life in Liberty City. Nonplayer characters fill this game world, moving about and carrying on with their daily activities in a manner that makes the whole place feel alive.

But the real fun starts once you embark on your mission of mayhem.

Driver: San Francisco

Driver: San Francisco isn't your typical open-world experience. In fact, you'll spend the entire game behind the wheels of vehicles. But it has more than 100 of those to drive, as well as what seems to be a million places to travel to and explore.

The story unfolds in your comatose mind, from which you can conveniently escape by teleporting into the bodies of other people.

You can become a cop engaged in a high-speed chase, inhabit the body of a truck driver barreling down the freeway, possess a sports-car driver and make some crazy jumps, or just take in the sights as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

Batman: Arkham City

The best part about being the Caped Crusader is following your own rules and answering to no one. In Batman: Arkham City, Gotham is yours to explore.

The city's worst slums have been turned into a free-form prison. You can spend hours swooping in, bashing bad guys, and grappling out. Or you can be the world's greatest detective and search the facility for clues to solve crimes.

The free-flowing combat and your arsenal of gadgets will keep you just as intrigued as the dark, open world you play in.

Sleeping Dogs

Playing an undercover cop infiltrating the Hong Kong Triad in Sleeping Dogs is an absolute thrill. You'll need a thick skin and nerves of steel to finish this engrossing and twisted story.

Your adventures will have you stealing cars, betting on cock fights, participating in street races, and even singing karaoke. There's an entire city here just waiting to check out your Bruce Lee moves.

11 great PC co-op games to play with your buddies

Tired of exploring all these massive open worlds alone? Sounds like you need some co-op games.

Take a look at 11 games that are best played with a friend . I guarantee you're in for a great bonding experience.