An enterprising soul has taken it upon themselves to create a comprehensive comparison of video game map sizes. It’s not a new endeavor by any stretch, but its the most up to date version we’ve come across, and it paints a vivid picture of just how vast games have become.
Rather than merely enumerating a list of the biggest game maps, YouTube channel Red Side depicts them as rolled-up scrolls that unfold in succession growing proportionally in size in keeping with the in-game km2 count.
It’s a bit like those videos designed to remind us of our futile insignificance in the grand scheme of the universe by first showing planet Earth, then pulling back to the solar system, then to the galactic level, and so on.
Some of the Largest Games Are Surprisingly Old
Developers like Ubisoft, Bethesda, and Rockstar, who’ve made their fortune thanks to expansive worlds, have multiple titles featured, including several entries from the Grand Theft Auto franchise, with the latest Grand Theft Auto V measuring in at 81 km2 (which may explain why its still popular 6-years on from release), as well as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and its 130 km2 map of Greek city-states scattered throughout the Aegean Sea.
Battle royale mainstays Fortnite and PUBG also get a mention, with 5.44 km2 and 64 km2, respectively.
You’d expect that more recent games would chart higher due to technological advancements and the ever-growing power of local consoles and PCs. But, it’s simply not the case.
There are a few surprises, notably 1999’s Asheron’s Call, which boasts a 1,295 km2 map (albeit added to over the year’s through expansions and update), and the 38,850 km2 open-world found in 2006’s Guild Wars Nightfall. Even larger is The Lord of the Rings Online’s quite staggering 77,700 km2 world, which launched in 2007.
Minecraft’s Map Is Colossal, but No Man’s Sky Is Something Else Entirely
Top of what we can define as traditional open-world games is Bestheda’s marginally more recent 2009 The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall upping the ante to 161,600 km2. From there, we take a huge leap in size to Minecraft’s unfathomably large 4,096,000,000 km2 map, before going straight up cosmic with No Man’s Sky’s galactic sandbox of 18 Quintillion planets tallying up to 31,7000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km2.
Compare this to the first entry in the video, Assassin’s Creed: Unity with a comparatively microbial 2.75 km2 depiction of Paris, and the scale of Hello Game’s feat is mind boggling.