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GTA

Games Like Grand Theft Auto 5: 10 Games To Tide You Over

Games Like Grand Theft Auto 5: 10 Games To Tide You Over
Credit: Rockstar, 2K, Sega, Square Enix, Deep SIlver, Starbreeze, Ubisoft, Activision

Written by 

Dave McAdam

Posted 

24th Jan 2022 17:02

So it looks like we're in for a long wait for the next Grand Theft Auto game. Hopefully, it will happen in our lifetime, but we can't really be certain. What we can do is find some fun ways to pass the time, and there are plenty of options when Grand Theft Auto 5 just isn't doing it for you anymore. Here are ten games that will give you some more of what GTA gives you, in a variety of ways.

Games Like GTA: Saint's Row The Third

saints-row-the-third
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Deep Silver

The Saint's Row series has its roots in trying to bring a new spin to the GTA formula. In the early days, Saint's Row and Saint's Row 2 took more direct inspiration from Grand Theft Auto, and it was with Saint's Row The Third that the series really found its own place. The third entry brought the over-the-top chaos of GTA to the forefront, making that the true draw of the game.

Big guns, big explosions, plenty of memes. As outrageous as this game can be, it would only become even more outlandish with Saint's Row 4. For that sweet spot where Saint's Row still has that Grand Theft Auto feel, Saint's Row The Third is the one for you. Here's hoping that the upcoming Saint's Row can reclaim the magic, when it eventually comes out.

Games Like GTA: Mafia 2

mafia-2-characters
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2K

One of the first games to really attempt the GTA style and get it right was the Mafia series, particularly with Mafia 2. Mafia 2 takes us back to the era of the classic gangster; Tommy guns, big suits, making offers they can't refuse, all that jazz. Open world games like GTA make for great period games, giving you the freedom to explore a world from the past (so much so, that this is not the only game of this kind of this list!).

If these games appeal to you, the Mafia Trilogy is available now with remastered versions of both Mafia and Mafia 2.

Games Like GTA: Watch Dogs Legion

watch-dogs-legion-cover
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Ubisoft

The Watch Dogs series have taken cues from Grand Theft Auto since day one. Modern open worlds with guns and cars, the freedom to go where you want. Throw in all kinds of fancy gadgets and hacking abilities, and you have a pretty incredible setting for madness. The most recent entry, Watch Dogs Legionis as open a world as can be. It gives you the City of London to explore, and all of it's people to do it with. If driving the narrow streets isn't your thing, you can fly over them on a drone. There are nearly no limits on what you can do here.

Now, if you're more interested in an interesting story with good characters than unbridled open-world chaos, maybe jump back to Watch Dogs 2. This previous entry is a more character-centric story that more closely tackles real-world tech issues. Both games are great, and either will take you in a particular direction should you prefer.

Games Like GTA: Red Dead Redemption 2

red-dead-redemption-2-gta
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Rockstar

I mean, we could hardly make a list of games like Grand Theft Auto without mentioning GTA on horses. Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the finest open-world games ever made. Arguably this is the direct follow-up to Grand Theft Auto 5, being the next game from Rockstar North. This cowboy adventure with Arthur Morgan is as captivating as it is heartbreaking, the tale of the death of the romanticised old West.

Truly, anyone looking for more GTA absolutely has to play Red Dead 2. As a mid-point between Grand Theft Auto 5 and (touch wood) GTA6, this game paints a bright picture for the future of the GTA series.

Games Like GTA: Payday 2

payday-2
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Starbreeze

This one is for those of you who enjoy the heists of GTA5. The heist genre is a classic of cinema, which was clearly an influence on GTA. The heists of GTA5 were such a tentpole feature that they became a heavily requested feature for GTA Online. For the online heisters who want to keep the robberies going, Payday 2 is the game for you.

Payday 2 is a first-person shooter, a co-op game where you and your team must pull off various heists as cleanly as you can. Armoured trucks, businesses, banks and more, each mission has different challenges and objectives. Much like pulling off heists in GTA5, these heists can have multiple tiers and require various skills. An absolute must-play for any heisters out there.

Games Like GTA: Yakuza 0

yakuza-0
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Sega

This may seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. Grand Theft Auto is a series of crime stories heavily inspired by cinema. They tell serious, often dark, stories but aren't afraid to throw some levity in there too. So much, so they can come across as comedy games, though they cover so much more than that. Well, the Yakuza series is that but in Japan.

There have been a lot of Yakuza games, seven main-line games with several spin-offs and now a soft reboot in Like A Dragon. For new players, your best port of entry is Yakuza 0. This prequel set in the late 80s sets the main characters on their paths and is a perfect way to get to know them. It also happens to be one of the best games in the series. With the entire series available on modern systems, it is a perfect time to throw yourself into this legendary series.

Games Like GTA: Sleeping Dogs

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Square Enix

From one iconic Asian city to another, Sleeping Dogs takes us to bustling Hong Kong. This one is more of a direct simulacrum of GTA, with similar driving and gunplay. It is another open-world game where you go from one story mission to the next, while managing side jobs and collectables along the way. One of the key differences here is that you play as Wei Shen, an undercover detective infiltrating Hong Kong's criminal world. You have to actively balance your performance as a cop while maintaining your standing among the criminals. It is up to you, should you choose to waiver one direction or the other.

What is also different here, is that Wei Shen can fight. I don't mean he can throw a punch, I mean playing as Wei is like playing as Bruce Lee. More combat in Sleeping Dogs is hand-to-hand than with guns, and the combat is so satisfying. Playing Sleeping Dogs is like playing a Police Story game, and you get to be Jackie Chan. What more could you ask for? 

Games Like GTA: True Crime Streets Of LA

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Activision

From Hong Kong we head back to Los Angeles, in what would have been a prequel to Sleeping Dogs, before it was separated from the True Crime series. Streets of LA was one of the first games to attempt to adopt the GTA style to a game where you play as a cop, and while it isn't perfect it has a charm to it. The very open city of Los Angeles is arguably a little too big for purpose, and it isn't a game without technical fault, but it has heart.

The plot is straight out of an 80's action film, where Detective Nick Kang is promoted to a special division of the LAPD, from where he becomes embroiled in a plot involving international gangs, the FBI and even North Korea. It is a wild ride and ambitious for its time. Definitely one to pull out of the back catalogue.

Games Like GTA: LA Noire

la-noire
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Rockstar

This one certainly ticks a lot of our previous boxes, while also being quite far from Grand Theft Auto itself. LA Noire is an open-world detective game set in the late 1940s. You play as Cole Phelps, a new cop who has recently returned from the war and is quickly on the rise. This game's strongest connections to GTA are of course its open-world design and its theme of crime. It is also a Rockstar published game, so certainly one for the completionists.

LA Noire is a great game that skirts the feel of a GTA game just enough to feel the influence. Like Mafia, it is also a great way to explore a historic period, faithfully recreated for your enjoyment.

Games Like GTA: Just Cause 4

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Square Enix

Okay, let's swing back in the other direction. Do you come to Grand Theft Auto for the pure chaos? Car chases, explosions, inexplicable amounts of tanks and fighter jets? Well then, Just Cause 4 might be your new favourite game.

The Just Cause series has you play as Rico Rodríguez, a super-agent turned freedom fighter who uses his talent for destruction and his James Bond-esque resources to liberate countries ruled by dictators. Just Cause 4 is almost a perfectly pure video game. It is non-stop action, with little to no regard for realism.

It will have you driving tanks into tornadoes, attaching statues to rockets, and causing the kind of destruction that would make a Michael Bay film look tame. That's really the best way to explain it, if you ever wanted to play a Michael Bay film, this is your chance.

So there you have it, ten games to tie you over until Grand Theft Auto 6 starts to become a reality. We hope you found your next obsession, but if you're feeling something a little more suspicious, check out our list of ten games similar to Among Us.

 

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