Generous games are neat!
I feel this way about Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for DS. The world feels big - there are a small number of things you can actually do (stretch yourself to hit things, grab things, throw things) but that’s used to gather enemies to join your town, fight in a tank, zip around the world, break barriers, etc.
And as you progress, your town comes back to life, and when you beat the game there’s MORE stuff to do in your town, and overall it just feels like there’s always STUFF to do. I love that kind of game (I had been calling it generous game design), and wish I had the budget to make something like that myself.
Oh! The Yakuza series is like this. You’ve got a town with tons of stuff to do in it, little quests to go on, and ways to distract yourself if you don’t want to do any of that. Go try all the drinks and hear little stories about them! Try out whatever version of Virtua Fighter they’ve got! Once the game is over, walk around with your adopted daughter and listen to her requests! I mean there’s just always Stuff To Do, but it’s not all fluff or spacer/grindy things like in an open world RPG. Love it!!!!