I always cite Pirates! as being the first open world game that I have played, back on my Amiga. And that my love for open world games truly began when such a game in 3D came along in the form of Hunter. But I don’t know for sure if that’s the case. Because I also played Mean Streets, and maybe even before Hunter.
Mean Streets is a detective game which I couldn’t make much out of at the time. Maybe because of my young age, or maybe because I didn’t have the manual. What I liked the most about the game was the ability to drive around town. I don’t think I’ve played it very much, but I have fond memories about the game nonetheless. And while the box of the European release isn’t as nice to look as the US version, especially from the side, I’m glad that I have a copy in my collection now.