Last night, Tegan and I spent some time rolling over Orcs in Shadow of War with Bajo. And at one point, we had a chat about the best kind of open-world games: the ones where you don't actually want to progress the story.
I've always found the best kind of open-world games are ones where I'm happy to just explore, rather than pushing forward to finish the game. The first Watch Dogs, for instance, was something where I couldn't wait to finish the story. I hated the characters, hated the in-game rendition of Chicago, and didn't want to be anywhere in the world.
The opposite, at least for me? Sleeping Dogs. Apart from having a cracker of a story for the genre, it was also fun just roaming around on a bike and getting into fist fights with everyone.
Another open world game where I more or less bumbled around in perpetuity was Just Cause 2 and 3. Those games are great for that: blowing shit up, slinging off planes, opening the wingsuit and going for a breezy flight off a cliff. The story is irrelevant - it's just a vehicle for spawning targets to shoot at - and it's loads of fun as a result.
What open worlds have you enjoyed messing around in?