If you have been at all conscious throughout the last two decades and even the slightest bit interested in the world of gaming, you will have heard of . Ever since the rather primitive birdseye titles in the 1990s, the has been gradually cementing itself as one of the biggest and best gaming franchises ever dreamt up.
The third-person open worlds of GTA , and were huge successes that made the franchise a household name and equally caused a lot of media scandals as the ‘s satirical viewpoint never pulled any punches. ,
However, it was the later titles such as and GTAV that have truly revolutionized gaming and set new standards for all those who aimed to create interesting new open-world titles.
GTAV is the magnum opus of the series so far, created by Rockstar almost a decade ago, and while most games have a shelf life of a few years at best, has managed to continue to provide a compelling and popular online MMO world and has even made the leap to next-gen as recently as a few days ago at the time of writing.
The longevity of this is unlike pretty much anything that we have ever seen, aside from Runescape and World of Warcraft, perhaps.
However, while the still finds ways to draw in new fans and enthrall current players, we wouldn’t judge you if you are burned out and looking for something new. Well, that’s exactly what we aim to offer here.
There are tons of games out there that offer a GTA style experience, but with a unique twist, narrative, or format that makes it feel fresh and worth investing time into. It might sound cynical, but maybe after a decade, it might be time to call it a day and broaden your horizons.
So with that in mind, we have created a list of GTA-style games that will scratch the itch while still offering a fresh new take on the open-world format. So without further delay, here is our list of the best !
Before we jump in, we better lay down some ground rules and give you a good reason as to why we include each of these wonderful titles. So here is a set of criteria that each has to meet to be added to this list. Check it out below:
- The games selected should ideally be rich open- that have a similar narrative structure to the
- Each should, at the very least, have an aggregate score of 65% on Metacritic
- The games in question should encourage exploration, casual gameplay and facilitate emergent gameplay
- No series should be included more than once
: The Third
- Developer: Volition Inc
- Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
- Metacritic Score: 84%
We will admit we were tempted to include the initial series. The was more influenced by gang culture and offered a much more grounded, gritty story. However, when we considered that we were listing games like GTAV specifically, we decided to lean into the chaos. So we went with : The Third. in the
This offers the ability to drive fast cars, beat civilians with phallic sex toys and enjoy one of the most manic main storylines in the world of gaming.
Plus, you get to fight for the legend of Johnny Gat because who wouldn’t idolize that man. Can you sense the sarcasm? Overall, a great GTA-style sandbox and one that will definitely appeal to all GTA fans looking to switch things up.
Here’s our Saint Row vs GTA comparison.
- Developer: CD Projekt Red
- Platforms: PC, , Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5
- Metacritic Score: 86%
Next up, we have Cyberpunk 2077, a that had an ill-fated launch but has worked hard to regain its standing and reputation within the gaming community. As it stands, the is now functional on all platforms and allows players to explore Night City, one of the most visually stunning, vibrant, and interesting settings ever concocted.
The narrative of this is superb; the side quests are a blast, too; there are tonnes of little activities to take part in, plus, you can just wander around Night City and explore the sandbox world at your leisure.
Imagine GTAV but with cybernetics and set fifty years in the future, and you won’t be too far off. This is the perfect time to jump back in, so give this notorious RPG a chance.
Continue reading our comprehensive Cyberpunk 2077 vs GTA V Comparison.
- Platforms: PS4, , PC
- Metacritic Score: 93%
If you love GTAV but also have a hankering for some rooting and tooting, then boy, do we have the II is a stellar also created by Rockstar, which serves as a prequel to the first in the series. for you.
Technically speaking, it is one of the most awe-inspiring games ever made, provides a vast open-world sandbox that takes the GTA formula and rewind’s the clock about 300 years.
The story sees you live through a changing period in America, where law and order are creeping into day-to-day life, and you, a gangster, have to come to terms with the end of life as you know it.
It’s just as chaotic, open-ended, and fun as GTA and provides an experience that is familiar yet completely removed from the satirical modern-day setting of . So but on your biggest buckle on your belt, saddle up and play this stunning .
- Platforms: PS3, , PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4
- Metacritic Score: 89%
Next, we have a 1950’s detective masterclass, once again from the guys at . I guess they make more than just the ; who knew. I jest because it’s well known that Rockstar is a multifaceted developer at is a prime example of this.
The managed to capture the essence of the 1950s era perfectly and offered a series of episodic mysteries for the players to solve. The also featured mocap facial expressions, which helped players read the perps and analyze if they were lying or telling the truth.
Much like Oblivion’s Radiant AI, it’s rather laughable by today’s standards, but back then, this was really pushing the boat out. This still holds up today and is a riveting crime thriller. So if you want to channel your inner detective, whack your trench coat on, dust off your little notepad, and get to work.
Watch Dogs: Legion
- Developer: Ubisoft
- Platforms: PS4, , PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
- Metacritic Score: 72%
Now we move on to Watchdogs, and you may be surprised that we include Legion as our pick of the bunch. It is widely accepted that Watchdogs II is the best in the series so far; however, when compared to GTAV, we feel that Legion is the closest match. WDL is a that sees the player play not as a protagonist but as one of many.
You play as an entity, a movement, an army of cybercriminals. Picture it like playing a as the group known as Annonymous. You are everyone and no one. It was such an incredible concept, but it did fall a little flat in practice.
That being said, the was still a gripping one that offered a wonderful dystopian London setting, a compelling narrative, a sandbox world that is bundles of fun to experiment and cause chaos within and while it wasn’t a world-beater like GTAV, which is undoubtedly due to the Ubisoft formula holding this back, it is well worth looking into.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Developer: Ryu Ga Gotuko
- Platforms: PS5, PS4, , Xbox Series X, PC
- Metacritic Score: 84%
This might feel like a bit of a stretch, as the Yakuza series is such a unique entity, so to claim that it is like another out there is almost a disservice. However, if we were to compare this to others out there, it’s like a weird cocktail of Persona, Shemune, and GTA.
This title puts you into a crazy world filled with the mafia and gang culture, violence, and crime. You have a fully to explore, unique characters to meet, a variety of missions to complete, and a compelling story to see through to the end, which all culminate to make this series like GTA.
However, this diversifies itself by offering levity through fun mini-games, typical eastern humor and wackiness, and an almost life-simulation-style format. It’s incredibly similar to GTAV and yet completely different in many other ways. We suggest you see exactly what we mean by trying this one yourself.
- Developer: United Front Games
- Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
- Metacritic Score: 83%
Now, if Yakuza was a little too out of pocket to be considered a sister to the for you, then Sleeping Dogs may be the better option. This again offers the player a world of eastern underground crime organizations, mafia gang wars, violence, and a vast open-world to explore.
However, unlike Yakuza, this is a much more gritty title that trades out the Dance, Dance Revolution-style mini-games for street fights and bare-knuckle brawls, all the while still offering enough intrigue and levity to keep the player engaged throughout.
If the eastern wackiness seen in Yakuza and other titles of this ilk are a little too much for your palette, then consider Sleeping Dogs a diluted version that may cut down on the crazy, but is still jam-packed with incredible moments. If you somehow missed this GTA-style gem, pick it up soon.
- Developer: Hangar 13
- Platforms: PS4, Xbox Series X, PC
- Metacritic Score: 76%
How about another Rockstar property that proudly uses the GTA open-world formula to tell yet another riveting story. This , where the player roams the New York-inspired streets of Lost Heaven as Tommy Angelo. offers a setting, not unlike
This takes place within the prohibition era in America, where the Mafia was rife and at the height of their power. Tommy gets wrapped up with the Mafia, and as a result, the player must fight for the honor of their new family, fight to control the city, and when the going gets tough, fight to survive.
You know how it goes, once you enter the family, you usually only leave one way. The only heightens the experience from 2001 and ushers this into the modern era, so if you want to experience this today, this is the way to do it.
Canis Canim Edit (Bully)
- Platforms: PS2
- Metacritic Score: 87%
We apologize for the UK version of the title for this Canis Canim is perhaps one of the most unique and charming games that Rockstar has ever produced. In this , you play as a student that has an aptitude, not for learning, but for being a nuisance. ; that’s just what I know this as.
You have to attend classes, complete missions, play mini-games, and explore this open-world campus you find yourself dropped into. Plus, the story of this is surprisingly fun and well-paced without being too juvenile or silly. However, the isn’t as linear as one would imagine.
You still get to roam around and play this like a GTA sandbox, agitating other kids and evading detention where possible. It’s a young adult version of GTA if you ask me, and one that really showcased just how much Rockstar could do with their open-world formula.
- Developer: Remedy Entertainment
- Platforms: PS2
- Metacritic Score: 89%
Now, this might feel like a title that feels a little out of place, mainly as it doesn’t have that GTA open-world format that we know and love. However, we feel that Max Payne is a huge contributor to the overall look and feel of the and was a huge influencer of how the series would progress.
If you play Max Payne, you immediately see the similarities in the storyline, the writing, and the gameplay. Sure, this may have invented bullet-time mechanics and is best known for that, but it’s the narrative, the characters, the gritty portrayal of this desperate character, and the overall setting that make this like GTA.
We admit this is more in line with titles like and , but overall, this is definitely a sister to the and one you should check out.
: Streets of LA
- Developer: Luxoflux Inc
- Platforms: PS2
- Metacritic Score: 77%
The Streets of LA was a high point for this franchise and showcased that Rockstar wasn’t the only one that could create cool, open-world sandbox games during the PS2 era. series is considered to be one of the more refined GTA clones out there, albeit a very hit-and-miss one if we look at the series as a whole. However,
Now, we won’t try to kid you, this is not quite as refined as the in terms of gameplay, but it had a lot of things going for it. The driving within this was like early Need for Speed titles, the gunplay was rather similar to the Max Payne series, and the narrative was well written and gripping from start to finish.
The sandbox world flattered to deceive a little bit here, and maybe this would have benefited from a more tight, linear focus, but we appreciate the effort, and we reckon you will too.
Scarface: The World is Yours
- Developer: Radical Entertainment
- Platforms: PS2
- Metacritic Score: 75%
As a collective, it isn’t unfair to say that licensed movie tie-in games are hot garbage. That may be a sweeping statement that isn’t always true, but there are more than enough trash titles in this category to justify the statement.
These are often shameless cash grabs, farmed out to inexperienced developers but in the case of Scarface: The World is Yours, this would defy the odds and become a fondly remembered cult classic of the PS2 era.
Just imagine if the had an already beloved set of characters and a well-established narrative to work with from the word go. Well, that’s exactly what this is. It leans into the success of the Scarface property and lets the quality of the movie work its magic in an interactive format.
Just picture GTA but with the same cinematic and narrative draw as The Godfather, Goodfellas, or The Sopranos, and you won’t be too far off here. The gameplay is varied, the story is unique when compared to the movie, and the looks great for the time of release too. Overall, a surprisingly great title that deserves its acclaim as a cult classic.
- Developer: Reflections Interactive
- Platforms: PS1
- Metacritic Score: 87%
It’s hard to pair the modern look and feel of GTAV to the primitive look and feel of the initial Driver series, but you can’t make a list like this without mentioning a that the would take a lot of inspiration from. in the
At the time of release, GTA was still a top-down RPG, whilst the Driver series would introduce one of the first open-world style adventures where you drove around, not just racing on a track, but as a means of existing in a world. It was revolutionary and would play a huge role in and its open-world format, especially the driving aspect.
Driver was essentially GTA, but you never get out of your car, and some consider Midnight Club, another Rockstar entity, to be this ‘s successor.
Many of us probably never got past the notoriously brutal tutorial challenge within this , but for those that did, the comparisons between this and GTA are clear to see. So revisit this one for the nostalgia, if nothing else.
- Developer: Insomniac Games
- Platforms: Xbox 360,
- Metacritic Score: 81%
We have just lived through an entire gaming generation where Sony Playstation exclusives were the biggest selling points for the PS4, and why Xbox struggled to capture a lot of the gaming market during this era.
However, Sunset Overdrive was a rare example of how Xbox was more than capable of producing its own compelling exclusives and maybe serves as a reminder of what could have been. Sunset Overdrive is a futuristic open-world title that sees the player explore a mutant-filled sandbox, where the overarching goal is simple.
Purge the city of all the ghastly mutants and do so with style. It’s a that mixes gameplay from titles like GTA, Infamous, Ratchet and Clank, and even Tony Hawks Pro Skater. It’s one of the most unique, wacky, colorful, and quite frankly underrated titles out there. So if you missed this one, play it now and thank me later.
- Developer: Team Soho
- Platforms: PS2
- Metacritic Score: 72%
This The Getaway was a London-based crime thriller that had a lot of comparisons to the . is one that showed so much promise and was for a period of time referred to as the GTA killer as it had so much hype behind it.
It had gunplay that was like ; it had a gritty crime drama narrative that was in line with before GTA as a series embraced its satirical approach that it still leans into to this day. However, this at the time of release had one thing going for it that few games could match.
The visuals within this were about as photo-realistic as they could be back in 2003, and even today, this still looks the part.
However, it would never be the GTA killer that it promised to be, as the was far too linear, the story wasn’t paced brilliantly and fell flat at times, and the gunplay was janky at best providing a steep and artificial difficulty spike.
Overall, its one that you should definitely revisit and experience for yourself, but as a kid growing up and experiencing the hype firsthand, it still feels a little underwhelming.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run
- Developer: Radical Interactive
- Platforms: PS2
- Metacritic Score: 82%
Remember what I said about licensed tie-in games? Well, this is another one of those weird anomalies that bucks the trend. The Simpsons as a franchise were notorious for pumping out lackluster . The Simpsons Wrestling, Skateboarding, and Road Rage are prime examples of this.
However, when you throw these characters into a child-friendly GTA style format and provide a wealth of characters, references, vast open areas based on landmark areas in the Simpsons universe, and a new storyline made specifically for this . It turns out you have a recipe for success.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run was the GTA that many children too young for GTA got to play, and it was a very fitting and successful alternative. Dare we say the best-licensed ever? A bold claim, but we reckon its one that many would support.
- Developer: Realtime Worlds
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Metacritic Score: 83%
If Cyberpunk 2077 has burned its bridges and you refuse to give it another chance, then Crackdown may be the futuristic, cybernetic augmentation spectacle that you need in your life.
Serving as another rare Xbox exclusive, Crackdown would allow you to roam a GTA-style, where you would be able to use your cybernetic enhancements to play God.
You could leap from building to building with ease, wield a wealth of futuristic weapons, drive around in cool vehicles and then when done driving; you could get out, lift the car overhead and toss it at nearby enemies.
It’s easy to forget just how impressive Crackdown was at the time of its release, and even now, this is a great example of open-world sandbox gaming. This is definitely still worth your time, so give it a shot.
Infamous: Second Son
- Developer: Sucker Punch
- Platforms: PS4
- Metacritic Score: 80%
Now, the cynics among us will probably say that this Infamous Second Son is a that takes a lot of lessons from GTAV and offers an that provides more of a sandbox feel than any other in the series. has more of a Ubisoft vibe than a Rockstar vibe, but we feel that
In this , you play as the conduit Delsin Roe, and here, your goal is to take on the DUP, a thing I can very much relate to as a man living in Derry and be a certified anarchist.
You can do this through combat, through tagging the streets with neon graffiti, and much more. Plus, this has a superb story that is well worth witnessing. Be sure to give this one a go!
Just Cause III
- Developer: Avalanche Studios
- Platforms: PS3, PC
- Metacritic Score: 73%
If you are on the hunt for a Just Cause 3, the pinnacle of the series. that offers a sandbox experience so good that it outshines the narrative offerings and other aspects of the itself, then you need to play Just Cause, and more specifically,
This a copy, copied this , not the other way around. sees you play as a freedom fighter and gradually free an island paradise from the tyrannical reign of a dictator and his corrupt government. It’s heavily based on Cuban culture, and before you call this
While the is a little underwhelming in the narrative department, the title offers so many fun ways to engage with this and cause chaos. You can travel the land via your seemingly infinite supply of parachutes, you can destroy this very destructible environment, and you can use a wide variety of weapons to do so.
It’s basically GTA but without all the refined writing, just the guns and explosions. So if that’s the part of GTA that drew you in, then Just Cause 3 is a must-play.
- Developer: Overkill Software
- Platforms: PC, PS4,
- Metacritic Score: 79%
Then to wrap things up, we have Payday 2, a that doesn’t follow the typical GTA format at all, serving as a very competent first-person shooter. So this begs the question, why include this at all? Well, because this is based on heists and bank robberies, and when it comes to specifically, this is a huge part of that too.
Players who have played the campaign and have played will be aware of the highly detailed and incredibly well-designed heist missions that the player can enjoy. Well, Payday 2 is very much an FPS version of this, with an abundance of varied heists to take on and fun co-op gameplay that only adds to the tension and the spectacle.
We admit, if you don’t like FPS games, then the loose ties to GTA won’t carry this . However, if you are an FPS fan and have a craving for more heists like those in , then Payday 2 could be a real -changer for you.
Question: Is GTA V on PS5?
Answer: Yes, as of very recently, we have seen the beloved title, GTA V, released on PS5, allowing those who have moved on to the next generation of gaming to take this game with them and play an enhanced, polished version of this near decade long industry goliath.
This game is largely the same as the eighth-gen versions with subtle graphical enhancements, more GTA online content, and a director mode that will interest those that like to capture unique moments within the game.
Question: How Many GTA Games are There?
Answer: It really depends on what you consider a full GTA game. Are we just including the open-world titles? Do we include spin-off games? What about the remasters? It can all get a little bit messy if we start getting too technical here. So with that in mind, here is a quick list of all the GTA titles that we would consider worth a place on this list:
• Grand Theft Auto
• Grand Theft Auto 2
• Grand Theft Auto III
• Graft Theft Auto: Vice City
• Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
• Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
• Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
• Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
• Grand Theft Auto IV
• Grand Theft Auto V
Question: Who is the Main Character in GTA V?
Answer: Unlike in other games within the GTA series, GTAV doesn’t put the focus on just one sole protagonist. Instead, the player is put in the shoes of three very diverse characters dotted around Los Santos and beyond. These are Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.
These three characters have their own unique missions and stories, but eventually, the three’s lives become intertwined, leading to an incredible finale within this game’s storyline and some dire consequences for one or more of them depending on your decisions.
You Auto Try These Fun Alternatives!
As you can see from these brilliant GTA alternatives above, there is, in fact, life outside of Los Santos. The open-world, realistic life simulation with just a hint of satire is a sub-genre within gaming that GTA, while undoubtedly the best at producing, does not have a complete monopoly over.
So if you have milked GTA V dry and there is no more enjoyment to be had there, this list should help you find another game that is worth your time and money. We hope you find what you are looking for, and as always, thank you for reading Grand Theft Fans.