games like Gta IV

Games Like GTA IV

Latest posts by David Coulson (see all)

Since its release in 2008, GTA IV has sold over 25 million copies, making it one of the best-selling games of all time. Although these figures would be dwarfed by GTA V in later years, it can’t be understated how big GTA IV was at the time of its release. It set the stage for the eventual success that GTA V would see.

The GTA series has sold over 370 million copies, making it the sixth best-selling video game franchise of all time. I would be surprised if the franchise doesn’t reach over 500 million once GTA 6 is eventually released.

But, GTA 6 won’t be released for a while yet, with the current release date rumored to be 2024 or 2025. So, while you wait, now is an excellent time to go back and play through some of the older GTA games. And then once you’re done with those, why not try some similar games to scratch that GTA itch. Here are 10 of the best games that are like GTA IV.

Bottom Line Up Front

Grand Theft Auto IV was the first game to be released on the seventh generation of consoles, the PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as being the first entry in the series to be in HD.

Although the game shows its age compared to GTA V, it is currently the third highest-rated game on Metacritic with a score of 98%, only behind Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and The Legend Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

I have tried to include a wide variety of games for this list, with them all not being GTA clones. Instead, I have focused on many different aspects to fill my criteria. These include the style of the game, its location, and the developers/publishers behind the game.

If you’re a fan of GTA IV, there will undoubtedly be something on this list that will grab your attention and be worth a playthrough. With that being said, let’s jump into the criteria for this list.

gta v


While there are many GTA-style games on the market, these lists will end up looking very similar to each other after a while due to them repeating the same games and franchises.

So, for the criteria for this list, I decided that each entry on the list must meet at least one of the following things. Still, it doesn’t necessarily have to meet all of them to qualify for this list.

Must be developed or published by Rockstar Games

Although Rockstar Games is best known for the GTA series, the developer has also created and published numerous other IPs. Many of the top ones are on this list for a good reason.

It must be an open-world action-adventure game

GTA is typically an open-world action-adventure game, and GTA IV is no exception. Because of this, it is also one of the requirements as most of the games share a similarity to GTA IV.

Must focus on crime

GTA IV is a crime simulator, with the player taking on the role of a criminal as they build their empire. So, one of the requirements is it has had a focus on crime. This can include being a criminal or a member of law enforcement.

Must have a driving element

Driving is a massive part of GTA IV, with most of the time spent outside of missions being in vehicles. So, for this list, games can have a driving element.

It must take place in New York City

The Big Apple is the backdrop for many games, and that will be a vital part of this list, with many of the games also taking place in New York City.

Now, let’s look at 10 games that are like GTA IV.

Top 10 Games Like GTA IV

1. L.A. Noire

la noire

  • Genre: Detective Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2011
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The first Grand Theft Auto game was initially designed to be cops vs. robbers. The decision was made to switch things up where the players take control of the criminal after finding that this was the most fun part of the game. In 2011, Rockstar Games finally let the player be on the other side of the justice system by taking control of a police officer for the first time.

Set in LA in 1947, players take control of a detective to investigate corruption, the drug trade, and homicides. L.A. Noire was hailed at the time of its release due to the groundbreaking new MotionScan animation technology. This captures facial performances in an incredible level of detail, which has become standard as video game development has progressed in the decade since.

Despite selling five million copies, L.A. Noire didn’t reinvent the wheel and set a new trend for games where players take control of the good guys. Still, it is an enjoyable game and one that every GTA fan should be checking out.

2. Red Dead Redemption

red dead redemption

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2010
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360

Grand Theft Auto: Wild West edition, or Red Dead Redemption as it’s actually called, is an excellent alternative to GTA, with Rockstar Games taking the formula that works in the GTA games and sending us back 200 years. While the Red Dead series isn’t for everyone, this should undoubtedly tick some boxes if you’re a fan of GTA. I have to admit I don’t enjoy the games as much as GTA, but they are still entertaining.

Unfortunately, Red Dead Redemption never saw a port to modern systems or a PC port. This was an unusual move considering all of the GTA games and Red Dead Redemption 2 are on PC. This means that your only option to play the game is to purchase it on PS3 or Xbox 360. At the time of writing this, it is available on Sony’s PS Now service, but with it being integrated into PS Plus in the coming months, this might not be the case long term.

3. Saints Row 2

saints row 2

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2008
  • Publisher: THQ
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

The Saints Row series became a great alternative to GTA in the late 2000s and early 2010s, with it becoming a must-play franchise at the time. Saints Row 2 is perhaps the best of the series, although Saints Row: The Third has received the most long-term support and attention.

Despite releasing in the same year as GTA IV, Saints Row 2 still saw success, with over 3.4 million copies sold. However, that figure isn’t close to GTA IV, which sold 25 million copies. But, if you want a GTA experience that is more casual and arcade-style rather than a heavy focus on realism, you can’t go wrong with Saints Row.

4. Max Payne

max payne

  • Genre: Third-Person Shooter
  • Release: 2001
  • Publisher: Gathering of Developers/Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Yet another Rockstar Games IP, and not the final one on this list. Max Payne is one of the sixth generation’s best and most unique games. Its bullet-time feature takes a leaf out of the Matrix’s playbook to create some fantastic moments.

The story revolves around Max Payne, which is such a great and original name for a character, as he attempts to solve the murder of his family. Max Payne will not be the last game on this list to feature the player taking on the role of a police officer.

Max Payne features a complex story that intertwines organized crime, secret societies, and the military with a neo-noir art style and great use of graphic novel-style panels to tell the story in between levels. I bought the game alongside my original Xbox in 2002, had no knowledge of it before purchasing, and fell in love with it.

Remedy Entertainment recently announced that they’re working on a remake of the first two games, so now could be an excellent time to get into the series.

5. Midnight Club 2

midnight club 2

  • Genre: Racing
  • Release: 2003
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox

Driving is a massive part of GTA, with many including races that players can participate in. For this reason, I just had to include yet another Rockstar Games franchise, which is often forgotten about, Midnight Club.

The Midnight Club franchise saw four different games and numerous special editions released between 2000 and 2009. It was similar in style to games such as Need For Speed Underground 2, emphasizing car modding. However, this feature would be brought to GTA games, where players can kit out their vehicles to make them look great and drive fast. I do wonder whether Midnight Club was the inspiration for that.

Midnight Club 2 was the first entry in the series that I played, so I have a bias and sense of nostalgia for this game, and for a good reason. It is a solid racing game and still incredibly fun to play today.

However, if you want to play it today, you will likely have to hunt down a copy on PS2 or Xbox, as the PC version was delisted from Steam. Although some keys can still be found online, the price will likely soon become incredibly expensive.

After creating this list, I purchased a Steam key for Midnight Club 2, as it has been a long time since I’ve played the game. I’m excited to jump back into it after nearly two decades.

6. Def Jam: Fight for NY

Def Jam Fight for NY

  • Genre: Fighting
  • Release: 2004
  • Publisher: EA Games
  • Platforms: PS2, Xbox, GameCube

Although the game doesn’t play anything like GTA IV, it is a fighting game rather than an open-world game. I wanted to add a New York theme to this list since GTA IV’s setting, Liberty City, is based on New York City. Def Jam: Fight for NY is like Smash Bros for hip hop, with many top rappers, including Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Xzibit, Ludacris, and Busta Rhymes, all facing off in some underground fights.

The series was pretty popular at the time, and another game, Def Jam Icon, was released in 2007. Perhaps the most interesting development in the series happened in 2010. The Def Jam series was turned from a fighting IP to a karaoke game with Def Jam Rapstar, featuring many rap songs that players can sing along to. This would mark the end of the series, and no new games have been released since 2010.

7. Driver 2

driver 2

  • Genre: Action/Driving
  • Release: 2000
  • Publisher: Infogrames
  • Platforms: PlayStation, Game Boy Advance

During the later stages of the PlayStation 1’s lifecycle, the Driver series became the main competitor to GTA, with the series being 3D many years before Rockstar Games would finally take GTA into the 3D realm with GTA 3 in 2001.

Driver 2 stepped things up in a huge way when compared to the first game, with players being able to get out of the car and explore the map on foot. The game centers around an NYPD detective who is sent undercover to investigate a crime syndicate. Although the Driver series eventually took a dive in popularity and eventually stopped being developed, it is an important footnote in history and a great alternative if you want a fresh spin on the GTA style of game.

8. The Godfather: The Game

The Godfather The Game

  • Genre: Open World Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2006
  • Publisher: EA
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP

Fans of the iconic The Godfather movie will surely enjoy this game, and fans of the GTA series should get some mileage out of it too. The Godfather is based on the classic 1972 film of the same name although it isn’t a video game adaptation of the film.

The Godfather follows a non-canon character as he is recruited into the Corleone family and works his way up the ranks of the dangerous crime family. But, it is all just a ploy as the character is secretly trying to get revenge on his father’s killers.

One notable aspect of the game is that it features voice acting from many stars of the original film, which was very unexpected due to how long had passed between the release of the film and the game. The actors reprising their roles include James Caan as Sonny Corleone, Robert Duvall as Tom Gagen, and Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Tessio.

When it comes to the two Godfather games, the first one saw a better reception amongst both players and critics, so if you’re just going to play one game from the series, make it this one.

9. True Crime: New York City

true crime new york city

  • Genre: Open World Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2005
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Mobile

True Crime: New York City once again sees the player take control of a police officer. The protagonist is a former gang member and is now part of the Organized Crime Unit. With New York City in the game’s title, Luxoflux and Activision made sure that the game portrayed the city accurately. The map is a 25-square-mile recreation of Manhattan, with most street names and landmarks recreated.

Unfortunately, despite being a pretty good game, it was a failure, with just 72,000 copies sold within the first two weeks of its release, and the game scored just 60% on Metacritic. This led to the sequel True Crime: Hong Kong eventually being canceled, with the rights being acquired by Square Enix, who transformed it into Sleeping Dogs, so I guess there’s a silver lining in all of this.

10. Yakuza


  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2005
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Platforms: PS2, PS3, Wii U

The Yakuza series has been going since 2005, and there have been many titles released, both worldwide and Japanese exclusive titles. Although Yakuza focuses on organized crime, the games are largely RPGs, adding a new spin on this type of game.

When it comes to which title to recommend, my answer is…all of them. Whichever game you start with, you will likely have a good time and be able to get to grips with the series and story. The first game, Yakuza, was released on the PS2 back in 2006, with it following on the PS3 in 2012 and Wii U in 2013. The latest mainline entry, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, was released in 2020 on the PS4, Xbox One, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S, while a spin-off game titled Lost Judgment was released on the same platforms in 2021.


Question: Which is the newest GTA game?

Answer: The newest GTA game is GTA V, which was first released back in 2013. Since then, the game has seen numerous ports on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Recently, Rockstar Games did officially announce that GTA 6 is in development. Still, it will be a long time before it is released, with current rumors suggesting a 2024 or 2025 release date.

Question: Where is GTA IV set?

Answer: GTA IV takes place in Liberty City, a fictional city based on New York City.

Question: What other GTA games are set in Liberty City?

Answer: Liberty City has been the home of many GTA games over the past 25 years.
It has been featured in the following GTA games.
• Grand Theft Auto – It is one of three locations in the original GTA game.
• GTA 3
• GTA Advance
• GTA Liberty City Stories
• GTA Chinatown Wars
• GTA IV: The Lost and Damned (GTA IV expansion)
• GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (GTA IV expansion)
• Liberty City also saw a minor appearance in GTA Vice City and San Andreas.

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