The nature of open-world games is to inflate the playtime by having players explore the huge game world filled with side quests and objectives unrelated to the main storyline. However, that is not a good idea every time, if the player in question is only concerned with beating the game immediately. And in games without level scaling, that might be for the best, as you will usually be overleveled for the main storyline after completed all side quests. In this list, we would list out some of the open-world game with the shortest main storyline contents. Keep in mind that this does not make those games bad, as they are usually padded with numerous side quests and extra content.

10 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

It is recommended that you explore the whole world map first before completing the main quest

Skyrim is probably the prime example of that definition we have just mentioned. By the time you have completed all side quests and extra contents, the final boss, Alduin, is pretty much a walk in the park. The main questline is rather short and you can probably complete it in about twenty hours.

That’s why exploring and doing side quests is something that you have to do in Skyrim. While twenty hours is still a substantial amount of playtime, comparing to other open-world games, it is certainly on the short side. Quality over quantity, however, and Skyrim is one of the longest games of this decade.

9 – The Outer World

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Outer World has a huge space setting, however, it is rather short

The latest blockbuster RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, the people responsible for the best Fallout game, Fallout New Vegas. However, it looked like Obsidian pick the “short but sweet” route this time, as The Outer World is painfully short. The whole experience would pretty much be over before you could realize.

The reason behind that decision is probably the budget constraint, as they are making the whole thing by themselves, without any help from either a Kickstarter or a bigger publisher like Bethesda. The main story of The Outer World could be beaten in just ten hours, and all the extra content consumed in about thirty.

8 – Infamous Second Son

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Infamous Second Son's lack of contents leave you wanting more

Infamous Second Son was amongst the first wave of exclusives that come to the PS4. It was a great game, however, the amount of content it includes still leaves a lot to be desired. Similar to The Outer World, the whole main storyline of the game can be completed in about ten hours, which is pretty much the same length of the usual action shooter like Uncharted.

The side content that was included in this game is rather short as well, with about ten extra hours given that you do not just stand around taking pictures. It kinda makes sense, as the PS4 was a new platform back then – it would cost a lot more time and resource to develop more contents comparing to the usual PS3 stuff.

7 – Just Cause 4

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Just Cause 4 is probably the worst entry of the series

The whole Just Cause Franchise just gets worse and worse after each installment, and in the case of the fourth game, part of its failure was stemmed from its length. While the other games in the franchise were not super long, the fourth entry’s story could pretty much be completed in about ten or fifteen hours.

While there are still more side contents in the game, they are rather short and could pretty much be wiped out after ten or so hours. The amount of content that the game has is not enough for such as big open world map – you would spend a lot of time just walking around aimlessly while playing Just Cause 4.

6 – Saints Row IV

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While the main story is rather short, the whole thing is really well designed

The Saint Row series is generally designed to be some kind of over the top GTA, with the main storyline of each game have a consistent length of about fifteen to twenty hours, which is rather low for today’s standards.

At least the quality of the missions is top-notch, with a lot of on-point comedy elements and over the top epic action sequences. You can shoot down a nuclear warhead, become the President of the United States, defend the world from an Alien Invasion, in the very same campaign that has a mission about delivering a pizza.

5 – Mass Effect Andromeda

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Mass Effect Andromeda is probably the biggest failure of the year it was released

You can’t mention artificial content padding without Mass Effect Andromeda inside the mix. The spinoff to the critically acclaimed Mass Effect franchise has been less than stellar, with only about fifteen hours of content, which is less than the first Mass Effect game. Combine that with the generally low effort story and dialogue, wonky graphics, and facial expressions getting through Mass Effect Andromeda is a painful chore.

The extra contents are not much better, with most of them being similar to Dragon Age Inquisition’s busy work, with a different name.

4 – Assassin’s Creed Revelations

The last game of the original Ezio Classics

While the latest games in the Assassin’s Creed Franchise is getting filled to the brim with content these days, the situation wasn’t anything like this in the past. They used to be super short, with a general length of about 15 hours for the whole thing to be utterly completed. Amongst the old entries, Revelations is the shortest of all, as its story could be skim through in just about ten hours. At least the game is constructed masterfully, with every level you have to pass through being richly detailed. The pacing and the writing of the protagonists were top-notch as well.

3 – Far Cry: New Dawn

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New Dawn is rather wonky and filled to the brim with filler boring contents

New Dawn is a spin-off of the Far Cry series, just like Blood Dragon before it. Because of that, people were not expecting much from it. However, no one expected the main storyline of the thing to be less than ten hours short. At least Ubisoft was smart enough to get the game out on a reduced price tag.

Overall, this game feels like an extension of Far Cry 5 before it, as it literally used the same map as Far Cry 5, with some changes here and there to fit the story.

2 – Fallout 3

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Fallout 3's extra contents are more interesting than the main game itself

This game is pretty much part of Bethesda’s rise to the top of the RPG gaming world. Continued the trend from Oblivion, the Capital Wasteland of Washington DC was so packed with contents that most of the time people kinda forgot how short the main story actually is. It takes only fifteen to twenty hours to complete the whole thing, and if you don’t have the Broken Steel DLC, you can’t even access the game after the ending has been achieved.

It is best to just do the same thing you did in every Bethesda game – screw around and not paying any notice to the main quest.

1 – Red Dead Redemption

The first Red Dead Redemption, while being rather short, is amongst the best games ever created

While its sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2 was packed to the brim with content, with over thirty hours of main quests and about 100 hours of side quests, the original game was surprisingly modest in length. The story of Red Dead 1 could be beaten in about twenty hours, however, it is the prime example of quality over quantity, as the game is critically acclaimed in almost every category, from music to designs.

Interested in more of our video games related top lists? Please check out this post for the Top 15 Final Fantasy Games, Ranked.