One game, however, stands out above them all.
Elden Ring has one of the perfect maps out there and it’s a strength FromSoft has in general. Elden Ring drops you into the world and tells you to explore it on your own time. When you arrive at a certain place, it marks the name of the location and the merchant if there is one. But the map itself is minimalist and gives the player the ability to add markers if they want it. If you’re wanting a more in-depth map, you can always check the Wiki as well.
Elden RIng gives you the freedom to approach the game how you see fit, which has its own issues, nothing more than being under/over-leveled for a certain area. The main argument for having so much is the same argument for having less: it helps to keep you leveled accurately. Take Dark Souls 3, the game is an excellent design and the difficulty seems to ramp up as your character progresses.
In Elden Ring, I went through Stormveil Castle on my first playthrough as a samurai and proceeded to get destroyed by Margot not realizing there were about 10 hours of things to do in Limegrave. After that, I proceeded to be over-leveled for the majority of the game and couldn’t use some of the weapons in Stormveil as well. But that was my fault, not the game’s fault.
Elden Ring dropped me into a world where I chose how to progress based on what I wanted to do, not how the game or developers wanted me to. For better or worse, I progressed through the game how I saw fit, and eventually, the game became more linear as it went on.