Games Like GTA San Andreas

Games Like GTA San Andreas

Latest posts by David Coulson (see all)

GTA: San Andreas was a huge success when it was first released in 2004, with over 27 million copies sold worldwide, making it the best-selling PS2 game of all time and one of the best-selling video games of all time. San Andreas was a giant leap forward in the series. Rockstar Games took everything they had accomplished since taking the series in the 3D age and elevating it further to create what many consider the best entry in the series.

In total, the GTA series has sold over 370 million copies worldwide, with it being the sixth best-selling video game franchise of all time. The popularity of San Andreas certainly helped push the series to the next level, with it continuing to ride the wave when future titles were released.

The next entry in the series, GTA 6, won’t be released for a while yet, with the current release date expected to be in 2024. So, that is a perfect excuse to hop into this timeless masterpiece once again. When you’re done, you can dive into the latest title in the GTA franchise, GTA V, which is also set in San Andreas/Los Santos.

But, if you fancy a change of pace while still keeping the same vibe, we have 10 games like GTA San Andreas that you should play if you like GTA: San Andreas.

gta san andreas

Bottom Line Up From

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is often hailed by fans as the best entry in the series. The game was the third and final entry in the classic PS2-era trilogy, including GTA 3 and Vice City.

When compared to the previous two titles, San Andreas was a huge leap forward for the series, introducing many new mechanics into the game, with some being quality of life improvements such as swimming. While some were helping to expand the series further.

I have tried to create a diverse list of games for this list rather than simply finding 10 GTA clones, but they all do share similarities and traits that make them worthy of being on this list.

GTA San Andreas Definitive Edition


To decide what games to include in this list, I came up with a criteria that each game must fall into. Although there are many criteria options, the games don’t need to fit all. Instead, it can be included in this list as long as it fits into one.

Must be developed or published by Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games is known for many more franchises than GTA, and some are very similar to the series. So, as long as a game is developed or published by the studio, it can be included.

It must take place in California

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is based in the fictional area of San Andreas. This location features three cities based on Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. While Las Vegas isn’t in California, the setting for the game is supposed to be Los Angeles, and not many games are set in Nevada.

It must be an open-world action-adventure game

The GTA franchise revolutionized the open-world genre, with Rockstar Games pushing the limit of what gaming can achieve each generation. San Andreas saw a giant leap when compared to Vice City, with the game featuring character stats, friendship, swimming, and many more new mechanics.

Must have a driving element

Driving is an essential part of GTA: San Andreas. Due to the large map, you will often find yourself in a vehicle playing a mission or just cruising around San Andreas.

Now, let’s look at 10 games like GTA: San Andreas.

Top 10 Games Like GTA San Andreas

1. Bully

Bully Game Key Art

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2006
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

If the GTA series is too violent for you, then Bully might be the game for you. In 2006, Rockstar Games took the GTA formula, which had proven to be a massive success, and took it to the classroom.

Bully sees the player take on the role of Jimmy Hopkins through a year as a student at Bullworth Academy. Like the GTA series, Bully is an open-world game that has many similarities in its mechanics. You will progress through the story by meeting new students that give you missions. As well as earning cash, new weapons and items, and a respect/friendship mechanic similar to that found in GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV.

There are also plenty of weapons and vehicles to use throughout the game. But rather than being regular weapons such as guns, these ones are more light-hearted, such as a bag of marbles and stink bombs.

Since its release in 2006, Bully has earned a cult following, with many fans hoping that Rockstar Games would develop Bully 2, but those hopes have been left unanswered.

2. Saints Row

Saints Row 1 Key Art

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2006
  • Publisher: THQ
  • Platforms: Xbox 360

After years of developers trying and mainly failing to create a competitor to the GTA series, THQ finally did it with 2006’s Saints Row.

The Saints Row series is the closest any other studio has come to creating a GTA game without being Rockstar Games. Although Saints Row has a more arcade feel than Grand Theft Auto, which has a larger focus on realism, it definitely has the same vibe.

For this list, I chose the original Saints Row game from 2006 since it is closer to San Andreas’ 2004 release date. But, in total, there were four games in the series released, with the latest being 2013’s Saints Row.

There is still quite a while until GTA 6 is released, with the expected release date around 2024. So, if you enjoy Saints Row, you’re in luck because Volition announced that they will be rebooting the franchise and releasing a new game later in 2022.

3. Watch Dogs: Legion

Watch Dogs Legion Key Art

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2020
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna

Watch Dogs: Legion is the latest entry in the series at the time of writing, with the game releasing in 2020. The game is a sequel to Watch Dogs 2 and is set in London for the first time while still retaining the mechanics that helped Watch Dogs stand out from other similar games such as GTA.

Hacking and stealth still play a large part in Watch Dogs: Legion and include brand new mechanics such as a multiple-playable characters system, which allows players to recruit NPCs to join them.

Because of this feature, a co-op mode was added to the game to allow up to four friends to play together. Watch Dogs: Legion is one of the most accessible games on this list in 2022, with it releasing on PC, the most recent two generations of consoles, as well as the cloud streaming services Luna and Stadia.

4. Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Midnight Club Los Angeles Key Art

  • Genre: Racing
  • Release: 2008
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PSP

Midnight Club: Los Angeles is sadly the final entry in the series, released on the sixth generation of consoles in 2008. The game is also developed by Rockstar Games, which explains how the studio can nail the driving mechanics in GTA games.

I added this game to the list for multiple reasons:

  1. It is a racing and driving game a style that plays a crucial role in GTA.
  2. It was developed and published by Rockstar Games.
  3. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is set in…Los Angeles, the city that Los Santos is based on. 

It is a shame that Rockstar Games abandoned the series following this game. Midnight Club: Los Angeles performed well with critics, scoring 82% on Metacritic. But, Rockstar Games chose to focus on GTA and Red Dead Redemption instead. 

Unfortunately, like many games in the series, Midnight Club: Los Angeles was never released on PC, so it can’t be purchased on platforms such as Steam. The only way to play the game today is to find a copy on PS3, Xbox 360, or PSP. 

5. LEGO City Undercover

LEGO City Undercover Key Art

  • Genre: Action-adventure Platform
  • Release: 2013
  • Publisher: Nintendo/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Platforms: Wii U, PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch

LEGO City Undercover is often nicknamed “LEGO GTA” by players, and I can’t think of a better way to describe the game.

First released as a Wii U exclusive, LEGO City Undercover was eventually ported to more systems in 2017. This was a great move as the Wii U was one of the biggest flops in gaming history. But, despite this, LEGO City Undercover managed to sell over 1 million copies on the Wii U, which equates to approximately 1 in 13 console owners purchasing a copy of the game.

LEGO City Undercover’s gameplay takes a large amount of inspiration from the GTA series, but the roles are reversed, with the player taking control of an undercover cop rather than a criminal. This makes sense due to the family-friendly nature of the LEGO brand.

The game performed well with critics, receiving an 80% score on Metacritic, making it one of the higher-rated LEGO games released.

6. Need For Speed Underground 2

Need For Speed Underground 2 Key Art No Logo

  • Genre: Racing
  • Release: 2004
  • Publisher: EA
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP

The early 2000s saw the explosion in popularity of street racing and car modifications, in part thanks to the success of the Fast and the Furious movie franchise. Electronic Arts took note and made this the focus of a new series in the Need For Speed franchise, with Underground 1 and 2.

The best of the two was, without a doubt, Underground 2, with EA taking everything that worked in the first game and elevating it. Players can take their cars and mod many aspects of it, both performance and visual. This is as close to being in a Fast and the Furious movie as you can get, and it is still enjoyable even today.

Vehicle modifications would also make their way to the GTA franchise, making this a great title to dive into. And even if you’re not looking for something like GTA to play, you should play this anyway.

In total, Need For Speed Underground 2 sold over 11 million copies worldwide and earned a best-sellers version on each platform. It is a shame that the game has never been ported or rereleased in the years since, but licensing likely affected that, Underground 3 when EA?

7. The Italian Job

The Italian Job PS2

  • Genre: Racing
  • Release: 2003
  • Publisher: Eidos Interactive
  • Platforms: PS2, Xbox, GameCube

The Italian Job was released on PS2, Xbox, and GameCube in 2003 and was a movie tie-in for the iconic movie of the same name. You play through 15 missions that include circuit racing and stunt driving. Driving and racing are a focal point of GTA: San Andreas and the game is set in Hollywood and Los Angeles.

This makes The Italian Job an excellent choice to play if you like GTA: San Andreas, although the game didn’t perform that well with critics, earning a score of just 56% on Metacritic.

8. Max Payne 2

Max Payne 2 Key Art White

  • Genre: Third-Person Shooter
  • Release: 2003
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox

Following the success of Max Payne in 2001, Rockstar Games joined the old to publish its sequel in 2003. Max Payne 2 continues where the first game left off, following the NYPD detective and vigilante with plenty more violence, gunfights, and bullet-time.

Max Payne 2 saw critical acclaim upon release, earning an impressive score of 86% on Metacritic. Still, unfortunately, this didn’t translate into sales, and the game was considered a flop.

The good news is, if you’re a fan of the first two games, Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar Games recently announced that they are teaming up to remake the games for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.

9. Driver: San Francisco

Driver San Francisco Key Art

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Release: 2011
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

Driver: San Francisco is the final entry in the series to be released on console and PC in 2011. During the early years of the Driver series, it served as a leading competitor to the GTA series, even beating it to going 3D.

However, by 2011 the series was in GTA’s rearview mirror, and it had fallen from grace. But, with the game set in San Francisco, one of the locations that a city in San Andreas is based on, this makes for an excellent game to play if you enjoy the GTA franchise. It is an integral part of GTA’s early history.

10. Gun

Gun Video Game Key Art

Genre: Action-adventure

Release: 2005

Publisher: Activision

Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Xbox 360, PSP

Following Rockstar Games’ success with Red Dead Revolver in 2004, an open-world Western game similar to GTA, Activision took inspiration from this new take on the genre and released Gun in 2005.

Gun was released on the PS2, Xbox, GameCube, and PC and served as a launch title from the brand-new Xbox 360. A PSP port was released the following year titled Gun: Showdown.

In the game, players take control of a cowboy as he travels across the open world, completing missions and meeting various characters. Compared to Red Dead and the GTA series, Gun didn’t perform well in sales, with just 1.4 million copies sold as of 2008. This is likely the reason why Activision never released a sequel. But, Gun did receive mainly positive reviews, scoring 79% on Metacritic.


Question: How can I play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas today?

Answer: GTA: San Andreas was released on many platforms over the years, including PC, PS2, Xbox, mobile, Xbox 360, and PS3. If you want to play the original version, then tracking down a copy on one of these platforms will be your best bet.

However, the game is unavailable to purchase on console today. Instead, it is replaced by the newer Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition, which is a remaster of GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas. The game can still be purchased alongside the original GTA 3 and Vice City from Rockstar Games’ own website.

Question: Where is San Andreas set?

Answer: GTA: San Andreas is set in the fictional US state of San Andreas, which is based on California and Nevada, comprising three cities. The first is Los Santos, which is based on Los Angeles. San Fierro, which is based on San Francisco, and Las Venturas, which is based on Las Vegas.

Question: What other games are set in San Andreas/Los Santos?

Answer: San Andreas has been the location of three GTA games so far. The first is the 1997 Grand Theft Auto, with it being the second location that is unlocked in the game.
Next is GTA: San Andreas, and finally GTA V.

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