I really cannot say if I prefer one over the other, because it depends. I like exploration though, which meshes well with open world games. But artfully crafted levels have their own advantages. I would count Demon's Souls and Dark Souls here, with their fine-tuned short-cuts. Or many old Atlus-games with their ingenious level design like Wizardry Tales of the Forsaken Land or Etrian Odyssey. Each time it feels like the layout of the level makes sense.
As Liquid Laser I like goals in my games, so the freedom of exploration is fine, but I don't like exploring for nothing, I want to find something that helps with goals set by the game. So yeah, Civ over SimCity and DQ Builders over Minecraft for me too.