Top sandbox games on PC

The best sandbox game on a PC is quite difficult to choose, as the style extends to many genres with heterogeneous mechanics and settings. But all sandboxes have a common feature: freedom. Whether creating a whole world or a gang of criminals throughout the city, playing in the sandbox leaves most of the control at the discretion of the player. These are universes that have to be visited in their own rhythm, which is not dictated by the developers. However, you need to look at what makes an excellent sandbox game itself.

TOP 10 games for the sandbox.

Since the days of Elite and Ultima, these are open world games filled with choices and moral dilemmas. But the revisionist story would describe them as "games like Minecraft." Thus, from the evil streets of Los Santos, through the ruthless missions of Agent 47 to the stunning expanses of the Eva universe, we have compiled a list of the best sandboxes on the PC:

  • Grand Theft Auto V;
  • Hitman;
  • Scrap Mechanic;
  • Elite Dangerous;
  • Kerbal Space Program.

As well as a list of the most anticipated games in the near future.


Minecraft is a synonym for modern sandbox games. And she deserves to be the best. This is one of the most obvious sandbox games, because it is more a tool than a game. This is a figurative sandbox, offering transformations into giant fortresses, complex contours and giant spaceships suspended in the sky. You could be the next person to make one of the best Minecraft maps. Minecraft captures the essence of the game - it's a visual component. This is a game that brings back memories of the days spent creating Lego creations in the bedroom. There are few restrictions and, as a rule, a simple installation of the Minecraft mod will cancel those that exist - developers are more interested in giving players the tools to evaluate their own progress than to tell them what to do. This sandbox for weak PCs has overcome the gap between different generations of gamers. Its elementary graphics and interface cause nostalgia, while simple logic and block gameplay attract schoolchildren (and quite a few adults). And the game is easy to describe; or at least its basics. The logic of common sense, which passes through the basics, makes it accessible and less frightening to the uninitiated, making it an experience that can be shared by children and their parents.


The last open world of Rockstar in the list of the best is a real game pit of opportunities. Sometimes it seems that every street of a huge city is a place for entertainment, offering new types of people for interaction, a new area for experiments and new buildings for research. The simulation offers an exaggerated urban and rural America, and thus, a madman with several firearms can lead to chaos in the streets, not to mention some exceptionally wild police chase. Pushing the limits of the world is part of the expected gameplay: see how many bodies you can accumulate, how many hitchhikers you can kidnap, how much time you can pass with the desired five-star level. The development of GTA V mods is on the rise right now, so this is the perfect place to experiment with other people's creations. But beyond that, the game comes with its own extensive set of creative tools: Rockstar Editor. The creator of films, seemingly limitless in his abilities, he allows you to shoot anything, as well as cut and create real works of cinematographic art. If you do not like the creative side of Rockstar, do not be afraid: you can always survive the chaotic days of Vice City and San Andreas using cheats.


Before sandboxes were synonymous with crime-filled open worlds or the construction of low-resolution blocks, this term was inevitably associated with the Hitman free-form murder. After a serious mistake with Absolution, Agent 47 took his crown from the 2016 Hitman sandbox. A set of six locations provides you with countless opportunities to hit a target, from a simple sniper rifle shot to the craziest Hitman kills. Despite the fact that the simulator in this generation is competing with such giants as Dishonored and Deus Ex, many simply cannot compare with the dense granularity of the Hitman level. They provide the freedom to approach the situation in almost any way you can imagine. And, if your imagination fails you, there are many suggestions thanks to a brilliant system of possibilities. Moreover, new zones are constantly added to each zone with new escalation missions and Elusive Target contracts. Hitman is a sandbox that will not stop developing.


Despite being in early access, Scrap Mechanic already has all the components of a real giant in the sandbox genre. Like Minecraft, it completely depends on your creativity and on how your mind copes with extrapolating basic functions into a mini (or not that mini) masterpiece. What distinguishes Scrap Mechanic from other building games is that it stimulates the development of moving components. This distinguishes it from most other games that force you to create fortresses and other stationary objects. Even your static lock can come to life thanks to sophisticated unlocking mechanisms in Scrap Mechanic. But it is precisely cars, tanks and floating cars that truly demonstrate the full depth of the game’s potential. What is surprising is that most successful buildings are created with only a few basic components. Imagine what you can build when the game ultimately expands your inventory.


The original Elite was one of the first top games, setting the standard for future sandboxes and simulators. The game is still very impressive, even 30 years later, with more than 200 worlds to visit and trade. Elite Dangerous is a galaxy in size, and has a scale that is both confusing and extremely frightening at the same time. The size of the world of this game is amazing. Not surprisingly, this is one of the best space sandbox games for PC. You can wade through the galaxy in the usual ways: trade with the stations, fulfill requests for goods and assistance, fight for rewards. But all this is happening in our own simulated galaxy, where everything scales. When you encounter a giant luminous sun, it seems that this is a real sun, something so huge, that it is almost unthinkable. Even simple trips seem important beginnings. With each leap into superspace, there is a risk of prohibition, which leads to a big wobble around when you try to align with the escape vector, which plunges you right into the middle of deep space. Failure, and you are already involved in a dogfight.


The Kerbal Space Program is the only sandbox strategy on this list where knowledge of mathematics and physics will be an advantage. This is an ambitious simulator that instructs players to send rockets into space, colonize planets and explore asteroids. What you do with all of this is largely up to you. Kerbal spent a long period of time in the early access, but now has become one of the best indie games. Due to the complete set of functions and the sandbox mode in an arbitrary form, it provides almost endless possibilities for playing with a large budget. This is a game in which your experiments and successes have additional weight, since they do not occur in the fantasy world, but are based on real science.


Here is a list of the most awaited innovations of the genre in 2019.

Dying Light 2

Developer: Techland.

Publisher: Warner Bros.

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBOX.

Release: 2019.

“Dying Light 2” was introduced at E3 2018. Here we are again thrown into the world of the zombie apocalypse and are forced to fight for survival. Players will be in the new city, where factions are constantly fighting for control of the territory. Developers give players more freedom, as they can choose different paths, although everyone will have their own special consequences. As before, this is an open world game that will allow players to move freely. If you decide to leave the city walls, you will have to fight the undead. Fifteen years after the events of the original game, "Dying Light 2" still contains the same zombie creatures that are sedentary during the day and are active at night.

Crackdown 3

Developer: Reagant Games, Sumo Digital.

Publisher: Microsoft Studios.

Platforms: PC, XBOX.

Release: February 22, 2019

The third edition of the Crackdown franchise was first presented to the masses in 2014. Since then, we have been waiting for the game to finally enter the market. Now that the game has been confirmed by 2019, we are gradually approaching the final stage, before we can pick up our own copy from the store shelves. As part of Crackdown 3, the story will take place ten years after the events of Crackdown 2. A new terrorist organization shook everything around again, taking over the world. Now players will have to develop a terrorist group and track it, while engaging with the troops of the agency. This is a sandbox in the genre of action-adventure, in which players can do a lot of damage to urban structures when they are fighting terrorists or are facing in multiplayer online.

Tom Clancy's: The Division 2

Developer: Massive Entertainment.

Publisher: Ubisoft.

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBOX.

Release March 15, 2019

In The Division 2 actions continue the events of the first part. The plot unfolds just a few months after the end of the original, when a new enemy appears. As the United States begins to stand on its feet after a viral outbreak, the new government began to make tough laws. Innocent civilians are killed, making their daily lives a difficult struggle and survival. Players will play the role of an agent in the Division - they are starting a new civil war. The game was announced during E3 2018, so we are still waiting for some details of the game. Later, the developers promise to lay out a lot of content in the open world. Instead of the gutted sensation of city streets that flooded the first game, there will be large open spaces in The Division 2 when you explore and complete missions.

The elder scrolls vi

Developer: Bethesda.

Publisher: Bethesda.

After several years of working with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim releases, Bethesda announced at E3 2018 that the next version of the franchise is already in development. The problem is that there is almost no information about the game. Bethesda did not offer any details, but instead stated that the next part of The Elder Scrolls franchise will be the next generation game and will be released after their new upcoming IP, Starfield. It is likely that this year the game will not work. Similarly, it is unlikely that it will be released on current-generation platforms other than PCs, since Bethesda talked about Starfield, and The Elder Scrolls VI is the next-generation technology.

Rage 2

Developer: Avalanche Studios, id Software.

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks.

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBOX.

Release: 2019.

Rage 2 will throw players into the role of Walker, who is the last ranger. Your task is to survive in this dangerous world after it was overrun by mutants - the otherworldly asteroid hit the surface. We also know that thirty years have passed since the events of the first part, so you can expect several familiar characters. This is still a brutal open world FPS, although there is little information so far. However, in previous interviews about the game, Tim Willits, co-developer of id Software, working on Rage 2, said that the developers update the game as a whole, improving its overall history, vehicles, characters and, of course, weapons. One of the problems Rage ran into was a fake open world game. Instead, it is divided into different sections, which are being worked on in the sequel. Players can count on a full open world, with missions available that are also more open and less linear in the gameplay.

As you can see, modern developers offer the best sandbox games for every taste and PC capabilities. If you think that your favorite sandbox should be on this list, share a comment under the article.