GTA IV marked quite the departure from Rockstar's usual style of light-hearted open-world adventure style of games. The game, which was inspired by Russian crime dramas, was a much more grounded and darker affair than its predecessors.
Instead of an eccentric criminal, players took control of Niko Bellic, an Eastern European immigrant with a checkered past trying to find peace and resolution. That is not to say GTA IV was without fun and the classic humor of the franchise, as the game was brimming with some of the wittiest and sharp writing in Rockstar's history.
Five best games like GTA IV
5) Watch Dogs
During a time in gaming, studios were weirdly obsessed with a desaturated color palette and darker, more grounded tone to their stories and games. Watch Dogs came in a little after that era but followed much in the same vein.
For players who prefer a much more grounded and grim affair, then the original Watch Dogs is the game for them and not the sequel. The first game in the series is a decidedly grim affair and has the ambition to tell a more personal and dark story.
The protagonist himself, Aiden, isn't exactly the friendly type, which might throw off some players, but others might love it for the same reasons.
4) Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption is one of the best open-world games that indeed showed Rockstar's talent for building amazing characters with fascinating worlds to explore. The story of John Marsten can be likened to Niko's, with both being reluctantly thrust back into a world of crime.
Players will find the open-world gameplay similar to GTA IV, albeit in a much older era. The outlaw adventures of Red Dead Redemption truly set a high benchmark for any game that dared to take on the Western genre.
Red Dead Redemption is packed with a tonne of charm and a truly heart-wrenching story that will have players thoroughly entertained.
3) True Crime: New York City
The True Crime franchise, sadly, took a turn for the worse and was put to rest after Square Enix had acquired rights to the franchise. However, that is not entirely down to the game's quality, as the games themselves are quite fun.
True Crime: New York City was the pinnacle of the series, complete with a brilliantly cliched (in all the right ways) undercover cop story. Players could even intervene in crimes and make arrests as a policeman.
True Crime: New York City is a fantastic outing for players who haven't really experienced the open-world genre outside of the GTA franchise.
2) Mafia II
Mafia II carefully makes the decision to separate itself from the GTA franchise. While the games are also about criminals trying to make their way up in the world, Mafia II is a much more subdued affair.
Mafia II excels in its subtlety, storytelling, and emotion rather than pure spectacle and reckless abandon. The game world isn't as open, expansive, or non-linear as the GTA franchise, yet it never feels restrictive.
Mafia II is one of the best games in its genre and will forever be remembered fondly by players.
1) Sleeping Dogs
It cannot be stressed enough how much of an underrated title Sleeping Dogs is. The game combines the best aspects of combat and mixes it with the style of open-world games such as GTA.
The combat is better than anything else seen in the genre (save for the Arkham series), and the story also manages to deliver several high points. The more grounded story of Wei Shen and his undercover mission in the Triads will have players along for an incredibly thrilling adventure.
The game shines in its brilliant cinematic combat sequences that have players chain together massive combos in style.Published 28 Aug 2020, 14:14 IST