Nine years have passed since the debut of Grand Theft Auto 5, so you’re probably seeking for additional GTA-inspired titles to pass the time right about now. There are plenty of things to do in Los Santos if you become sick of rampaging around. In the meantime, while GTA 6 is being developed, you may want to pass the time by playing one of the top games like Grand Theft Auto.
From Saints Row to Watch Dogs to Red Dead Redemption and everything in between, we’ve compiled a list of the best for you. There is no time like the present. Begin searching for games like GTA 5 that are currently available.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
GTA and Red Dead are both developed by the same studio; you can probably guess why they’re both included in this list. It’s hard to deny that Red Dead Redemption 2 (and its predecessor, if you’re so inclined) embody the GTA values of player freedom in a vast open world that feels alive, a dedication to including even the smallest details, and morally dubious characters doing morally dubious things despite their early 20th century setting. If you’re in the mood for a Grand Theft Auto-esque experience, Red Dead Redemption 2 is worth a look.
2. Saints Row: The Third
For its first several years, Saints Row was a poor replica of GTA. There was a strong following for two games, but the overall effort was lackluster and did not stick out. Saints Row: The Third threw caution to the wind, taking a look at the dismal and somber tone of the GTA series and declaring, “F that.” To begin, you and your gang are so well-known and adored that your first job sees you stealing a bank while dressed as novelty costumes of… each other. Burt Reynolds and a three-foot long melee weapon are just the beginning of the small-scale zombie apocalypse that awaits. While many GTA-style games become mired down in their own self-importance, Saints Row is content to be as ridiculous as it can possibly be.. That said, it is possible to play it on Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch in 2019 because it is backwards compatible on Xbox One and has been ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2019.
3. Just Cause 4
Unprecedented chaos is at the heart of Just Cause 4, which gives the player a crazy amount of control. Check. Check for a grappling hook. In the event of a huge tornado lifting cars into the air, it is possible to surf on them. GTA 5’s ragdoll physics may have entertained you, but wait until you see what The Republic of Medici has to offer. It’s important to understand that Just Cause 4 lacks Rockstar’s trademark storytelling and technical polish, but it makes up for it with its (literally) sky high approach to choreographing huge destruction.
4. Watch Dogs 2
As harsh as it was to the first game’s protagonist Aiden Pearce, the story of revenge in Watch Dogs 2 was taken to heart by developer Ubisoft. Rather than eschewing the themes and tone of more recent Grand Theft Auto games, Rockstar’s follow-up uses the setting as a backdrop for stinging satire. You may remember the “Life Invader” task from Grand Theft Auto 5 Watch Dogs 2 is effectively the same thing, but blown up to the size of a full video game. Despite the fact that Rockstar’s satire of Silicon Valley is still a little more potent than Ubisoft’s, anyone who has had to sit through an Apple keynote or a Facebook commercial will find plenty of amusement in Watch Dogs 2. That you get to utilize pool balls that have been strung together by cord as a weapon is also really cool.
5. Yakuza 0
Although Grand Theft Auto’s primary narrative is always the focus, the game’s virtual landscapes are filled with several side activities that may be enjoyed in addition to the campaign. Yakuza 0 fully embraces this approach to design. There’s more karaoke and pool in Yakuza 0 than there is in Grand Theft Auto 5, and there’s also dancing and gambling in the game’s arcades, as well as wrestling and bowling in Yakuza 0. Although not all of the optional activities are well-designed, the sheer number and variety of options available is mind-boggling, as this final one can attest. Yakuza’s scope isn’t as vast as GTA’s, but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality (which is unique and wacky).
6. Sleeping Dogs
In keeping with its name, Sleeping Dogs became a surprise smash in 2012, bringing martial arts and B-movie stunt action to open-world criminality. What we have here is a vintage Bruce Lee film dressed up as a Grand Theft Auto game. It’s awesome. This rare treasure needs more attention for its innovative concepts, which were cut short due to the early cancellation of the sequel, which was expected to include a co-op campaign. Since Sleeping Dogs was re-released in 2014 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there’s really no reason to keep it on the shelf (sorry).
7. Mafia 3
A Grand Theft Auto game has never been released without some sort of Mafia-related content, thus 2K’s Mafia series serves as an excellent starting point for open-world gamers who are interested in organized crime. There are elements of San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto 4 to be found in these games, but they appear to be more grounded than the GTA series and its contemporaries. A war veteran (Niko Bellic?) is the protagonist of the latest Mafia game from Hangar 13, which is more in line with Rockstar’s style than the previous two games in the series. However, the story is as much influenced by the likes of The Godfather and Goodfellas as it is by Grand Theft Auto, written so well that you’ll occasionally forget you’re playing a video game and not watching a Scorsese film.
8. Lego City Undercover
Most Grand Theft Auto games have been labeled “mature audiences only,” but what about those of us who want to enjoy cops and robbers without any of the explicit material? Fortunately, in 2013, TT Games created the next best thing. Lego City Undercover’s hackneyed but successful marketing pitch is “Lego Grand Theft Auto,” but this delightful open-world platformer has much more up its plastic sleeve than mere mimicry. I loved the use of Lego as a visual medium, as well as the abundance of side missions and collectible items. The plot itself was also a lot of fun, thanks to the numerous pop culture allusions. The recent re-release of the game, Lego City Undercover, can now also be experienced as a co-op experience, or even as a travel-friendly one, with the Nintendo Switch.
9. Payday 2
Grand Theft Auto 4’s Three Leaf Clover or Grand Theft Auto 5 heists will be just up your alley in Payday 2, the latest installment in the series. With a series of high-stakes heists and robberies in Overkill Software’s multiplayer co-op romp, players are free to go on the rampage. Payday 2 allows players to plan and strategize down to the last detail, even letting them spy out the location before doing the deed later that same day, similar to the antics of Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. It’s reminiscent of the multiplayer heists introduced in Grand Theft Auto Online in 2013, although Payday 2’s online co-operative squad-play doesn’t have those dreadful loading periods.
10. The Simpsons Hit & Run
Although it’s older than the most of the games on this list and not the most obvious choice for a Grand Theft Auto-style game, Radical Entertainment managed to pull off the impossible with this 2003 cult favorite success. Naturally, the gang can’t do as much damage as someone like Niko or Trevor, but you can still kick and punch your way through Springfield and cause all sorts of havoc with that. This is a game for Simpsons fans and Grand Theft Auto veterans alike, since the game cleverly sprinkles references to its serialized namesake across the whole campaign. The Simpsons: Hit & Run. True to its name, the popular Simpsons video game, Simpsons Hit and Run, is widely considered to be one of, if not the finest of all time. If you’re able to play it but haven’t yet, make the necessary arrangements.