You’re probably looking for alternative games like GTA to play now that GTA 5 was released nine years ago. Plenty of options are available if you’ve had enough of Los Santos and want something a little more exciting to do. 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
You may be able to anticipate why this game is included; after all, the GTA and Red Dead series are both produced by the same studio. 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 settings. A GTA-like experience isn’t a bad thing if you’re in the mood for something a little different, and Red Dead Redemption 2 fits the bill.
2. Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row began as a clone of Grand Theft Auto, slavishly copying Rockstar’s style. Cult followings were established for two games, but the whole effort failed to stand out. When Saints Row: The Third was released, the GTA games had become increasingly bleak and serious, prompting Saints Row: The Third to declare, “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-likes get bogged down in being self-regarding, Saints Row is willing to just be the most ridiculous it can possible be. The fact that it’s backwards compatible on Xbox One and was ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2019 gives you a good reason to revisit the Saints.
3. Just Cause 4
Unprecedented levels of anarchy are achieved by allowing you, the player, to have a crazy degree of control. Wingsuits have been checked off the list. Check for a grappling hook. In the event of a huge tornado lifting cars into the air, it is possible to surf on them. If GTA 5’s ragdoll physics entertained you, just wait until you play The Republic of Medici to see what you can do. To be clear, Just Cause 4 lacks Rockstar’s characteristic class and mechanical polish, but instead excels in its (literally) sky high approach to choreographing mayhem on a massive scale….
4. Watch Dogs 2
Aiden Pearce’s plot of revenge gets almost insufferable at the end of the original Watch Dogs, but Ubisoft took that criticism into account for the sequel. That’s why the studio’s next game is considerably closer to contemporary Grand Theft Auto games in terms of feeling and tone. Grand Theft Auto 5’s “Life Invader” quest may jog your memory. What we have in Watch Dogs 2 is basically the same thing, just on a far grander scale. Even if Rockstar’s Silicon Valley satire has a little more bite, Watch Dogs 2 still has plenty of laughs for anyone who’s ever had to sit through an Apple presentation or a Facebook ad.’ Using pool balls on bungee cords as weapons is an added bonus, to say the least.
5. Yakuza 0
When it comes to city-building, Grand Theft Auto has long been hailed as one of the best video games ever made, thanks to its extensive variety of non-mission based activities. When it comes to game design, Yakuza 0 goes all out. When it comes to video games, Yakuza 0 includes karaoke and pool, while Grand Theft Auto 5 has tennis and stock brokering. However, at the rear of a video store, you’ll be able to see some explicit stuff. 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. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars looks and plays like a classic Bruce Lee film, which is awesome. While the sequel was still in the early phases of development, Sleeping Dogs is still a rare treasure that deserves more recognition for bringing fresh concepts to the table. Unfortunately, the sequel was scrapped while still in the early stages of development. 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
In the absence of a Grand Theft Auto game that does not feature any sort of encounter with the Mafia, fans of open world games who are interested in organized crime can look to 2K’s Mafia series as a decent place to start. 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. Although there are elements of The Godfather and Goodfellas in the story, it’s written so well you’ll forget you’re playing a video game instead than seeing a Martin Scorsese film that it feels authentic.
8. Lego City Undercover
Almost every Grand Theft Auto game has been labeled as only being suitable for mature audiences, but what about those of us who want to enjoy cops and robbers without any of the explicit content or rock and roll music? We’re fortunate that the next best thing was developed by TT Games in 2013. “Lego Grand Theft Auto” may be a tired, but still successful, way to sell Lego City Undercover, but this cute game is more than just a knockoff of the popular video game. There are a plethora of side missions and goodies to be found, and the tale is a hoot thanks to its numerous pop culture references. With the recent re-release of Lego City Undercover, people who have the game may now play it with a co-op partner or even while on the go with the Nintendo Switch.
9. Payday 2
Playing Payday 2 will be a blast if you liked Grand Theft Auto 4’s notorious “Three Leaf Clover” quest or the heists in Grand Theft Auto 5. When it comes to Overkill Software’s multiplayer co-op game, breaking in and robbing isn’t as simple as grabbing the cash and running away. When it comes to Payday 2, gamers are urged to think through every aspect of their game plan before committing the crime, including allowing them to scope out their target location before completing the crime later that day. Payday 2’s emphasis on online cooperative team play evokes memories of the multiplayer heists launched in Grand Theft Auto Online in 2013, however there are no long loading times in Payday 2.
10. The Simpsons Hit & Run
Despite its age and the fact that a GTA-style game set in an animated sitcom isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of this list, Radical Entertainment managed to pull off the impossible with this 2003 cult classic. Of course, kicking and punching your way through Springfield isn’t as as heinous as committing crimes like Niko or Trevor, but it’s still possible to inflict havoc on the town. Fans of The Simpsons: Hit ‘n’ Run will find a lot to enjoy in the game’s campaign, which is peppered with nods to its serialized namesake. Simpsons Hit and Run is widely regarded as one of the best Simpsons video games ever made, if not the best. If you have the means to play it but haven’t yet, do so immediately.