7 Best Games Like Grand Theft Auto

7 Best Games Like Grand Theft Auto

The Grand Theft Auto series has a nearly infinite amount of stuff to do, thanks to its open-world concept, lengthy quest chains, and side missions that some players enjoy more than the base game itself. Grand Theft Auto Online adds even more content as an evolving live service game that even lets players generate their own content in the form of role-playing servers.

With multiple main series titles and spin-offs available, there’s plenty to do, but eventually, you will reach the end of each game. What do you do then? Luckily, there are plenty of other games like Grand Theft Auto that can scratch the itches of gamers. Whether you’re looking for an open-world experience, a crime-focused, narrative-driven game, or a mix of both, there are many other games that may interest you. Here are seven games that are like Grand Theft Auto and can help you get through the wait until GTA VI.

Saints Row

A PlayStation promotional image for Saints Row: The Third.

The main counterpart to Grand Theft Auto is the Saints Row series. Saints Row was created by Volition and published by THQ, then Deep Silver following THQ’s dissolution in 2013. The series follows the titular Saints, a street gang led by a player-created character who are on a mission to be the most notorious gang in the world.

While Saints Row and Saints Row 2 follow GTA’s lead as more serious games with smatterings of comedy, Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV turn the ridiculous meter to 11 and double down on the humor and zaniness. All four games received critical acclaim and serve as great compliments to GTA. The 2022 remake of Saints Row returns to the balanced approach but failed to receive the same level of critical success and left fans of the series wanting more humor. Fans of GTA looking for a similar experience should absolutely consider playing the fantastic Saints Row series as well.

Just Cause

A screenshot from Just Cause

If you want to dial up the chaos to 15 but turn the crime down a bit, then the Just Cause series is right for you. Players assume the role of freedom fighter Rico Rodriguez who helps island nations overthrow their corrupt governments by any means necessary. Rico can explore the open world, complete side missions, and cause chaos with a wide variety of tools, including a grappling hook, paraglider, and lots and lots of guns and explosives.

Just Cause isn’t as polished or well-written as Grand Theft Auto, but it does let you cause as much, if not more mayhem. Just every interactable item in the game world can be blown up, from cars to buildings and everything in between. If you’re more interested in making things explode in a variety of ways than a complex, narrative-driven story, check out the Just Cause series.

Red Dead Redemption

A screenshot from Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar’s other major property, Red Dead Redemption, has been called Grand Theft Auto with horses, so it makes sense that we’d include it on this list. The Red Dead games feature a Western-themed open-world setting, allowing players to explore the Old West. The first game stars John Marston, a former outlaw turned straight who has to hunt down his old gang mates in order to save his family. The second game stars Arthur Morgan, who is currently a member of the Van der Linde Gang, and follows his relationship with his mentor and gang leader Dutch as the gang starts to crumble around them.

Red Dead is probably the closest comparison to GTA on the list, which isn’t surprising since both games are developed by the same company. Many of the same gameplay elements found in GTA are found in Red Dead, just more primitive. Many gamers maintain that the Red Dead games, especially Red Dead Redemption 2, are better than the Grand Theft Auto games, but we’ll let you decide.


A screenshot from Mafia

If you want to dial up the crime but tone down the explosions, then consider the Mafia series. The Mafia games are renowned for their attention to detail, faithful accuracy to the time period in which the games take place, engaging storytelling, and realism. These games tell the tales of individuals affected by or involved with the mafia and take place in the 1930s-1960s, depending on the title.

The Mafia games tell a very particular crime story but do it well. Unfortunately, that comes at the expense of humor. The games are not completely void of humor but many of the charming, quirky lines of dialogue from Grand Theft Auto simply aren’t present here. If you’re looking for a more serious game, Mafia could be for you. If you appreciate comedy in your games, though, there are certainly other games on this list to check out.

Watch Dogs

A screenshot from Watch Dogs

Ubisoft’s Watch Dog series puts the onus on technology, where players dive into another open world as a hacker who can manipulate aspects of the environment using technology. Players can use their hacking tools to control security systems, manipulate traffic lights, access other characters’ personal information, and more to navigate through the world and complete missions.

Unlike GTA, where the focus is on violence to solve your issues, Watch Dogs rewards using stealthy approaches and hacking to solve your problems. For gamers who are more into the run n’ gun approach, maybe stick with GTA or another game on this list. However, if stealthy mechanics are your thing, consider trying out the Watch Dogs games. Also, the jokes within the games haven’t quite aged well. Keep in mind that Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 came out in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Cyberpunk 2077

Coffee with Johnny Silverhand

As one of the newest games on this list, Cyberpunk 2077 may already be in your library. If not, it’s absolutely worth a play, especially with the new updates. Cyberpunk takes place in a dystopian metropolis called Night City. Players assume the role of a customizable mercenary outlaw as they try to navigate the branching narrative that changes based on decisions the players make. Players can augment their character with cybernetic attachments, allowing them to enhance their abilities and hack into technology. Fortunately, the game doesn’t focus on the hacking and stealth approaches, letting players who prefer to use guns play how they want.

Cyberpunk didn’t receive great reviews at first, especially for last-gen systems, with many outlets citing bugs and glitches that negatively impacted gameplay. However, recent updates to the game, including its latest expansion, Phantom Liberty, have received glowing reviews from critics and players alike. Now, Cyberpunk is at its very best and should be on your list if you love GTA.


A screenshot from Yakuza

Last, but certainly not least, is the Yakuza series. Yakuza might be one of the only game series on Earth that can match GTA beat-for-beat. Both games have loyal, passionate fanbases that love them, there are multiple games in each series, their gripping narratives revolve around crime, and there’s plenty to do outside of main story missions in both games.

Unlike Grand Theft Auto, which is mostly based in fictionalized cities akin to many major cities in the United States, Yakuza is unapologetically Japanese. Everything from the setting to the characters to the side missions will immerse you into Japanese culture and have you singing karaoke in no time. The games feature multiple protagonists but mostly revolve around Kazuma Kiryu, a Japanese man who weaves in and out of the titular Yakuza crime syndicate as he tries to leave his past behind and lead a new life. Unfortunately for Kiryu, the Yakuza have a way of pulling him back in.

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