Since Rockstar Games have been keeping the next GTA game under wraps, it will be a long time before they reveal their plans for the next entry in the franchise. There is no doubt that the GTA franchise has been instrumental in making the open-world genre as viable as it is today and paved the way for many games.
However, that is to not to say that the genre hasn't seen many other great games that, some would argue, have even surpassed the GTA franchise. Therefore, it is no surprise that gamers today are spoilt for choice in the genre, with plenty of great games that have pushed the envelope.
Here are 5 of our picks for games one should try while they wait for GTA 6.
5 games you should play before GTA 6 comes out
1) Yakuza 0/ Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The GTA franchise does a lot of things right: the characters, satire and the general sense of a cinematic plot. However, what it historically doesn't seem to get right is the combat. It has largely been functional at best and mediocre at worst.
The Yakuza franchise, on the other hand, not only manages to be a great, thrilling crime drama but is also an endlessly engaging action game with an emphasis on combat.
Players will be hard-pressed to find games that do combat better than the Yakuza franchise. For many. Yakuza 0 was their introduction to the series, and it is, by all means, a great game from start to end.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the latest entry in the franchise and offers an exhilarating experience from the start.
2) Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs began development as a sequel in the True Crime franchise and is a fledgling open-world series that had seen success in the past but not to a great degree. The franchise, as a result, was put on ice, and after releasing promotional material as "True Crime: Hong Kong", the game was changed to "Sleeping Dogs".
A brand-new IP that focused on telling a somewhat cliched yet engaging story of an undercover cop in the Triads torn between his loyalties, the game manages to excel on a lot of of fronts.
Even though the characters aren't necessarily the most well-developed or well-written ones in gaming, the combat and the general feel of the story make up for it in spades. Not every game needs to be a cinematic masterclass as long as it is a fun game to play, and Sleeping Dogs is just that.
A flying kick to the face rather than a complex jiu-jitsu submission of a game, Sleeping Dogs excels at refining and polishing certain features to a great extent rather than trying a whole bunch of things at once.
As a result, the Sleeping Dogs experience is air-tight, focused and deeply rewarding.
3) Mafia: The Definitive Edition
For a generation of gamers who have gotten used to the open-world antics, the genre has become an industry standard than a true marvel of game development. It is only when players look back on the origins of the genre that they realize how far games have truly come.
The original Mafia game came out around the time of GTA III when the open-world genre was the hotbed of innovation and the way for the industry to go. However, Mafia chose to remain a somewhat linear experience and focused on telling a great story instead of being an expansive open-world game.
As a result, Mafia was lauded for its narrative and wonderful world-building. A remake of the game was, therefore, long overdue. Hangar 13 and 2K surprised everyone with a complete remake of the original Mafia, and the resulting game was far beyond what people had expected.
Mafia: The Definitive Editions retains much of the charm of the original and yet manages to feel fresh and exciting. However, don't go expecting a massive open-world game because Mafia is still a somewhat linear experience with elements of the open world.
4) Watch Dogs 2
There is not enough praise that can be directed towards Watch Dogs 2 and what it has managed to do for Ubisoft. The game is essentially responsible for both an image makeover for the publisher as well as the revival of a franchise.
Ubisoft went back to the drawing board and figured out what truly makes Watch Dogs stand out in a sea of open-world games. Thus, Watch Dogs ditched the self-serious tone of the original and opted for a much more light-hearted and fun approach to the game.
This move was highly appreciated by the fans as it made the game far more accessible and likeable. The gameplay also received a tonne of attention as a few tweaks made the gameplay feel a bit more immersive and engaging than the original.
Watch Dogs 2 is simply too good of a game to pass up on as it is one of the best from Ubisoft in recent memory.
5) Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima is a far cry from the likes of GTA, both in terms of tone and gameplay. However, there is a lot for Rockstar Games to learn from SuckerPunch's Ghost of Tsushima and how they developed an open world that also serves the narrative.
The map for Ghost of Tsushima isn't that large by today's standards, yet it never fails to leave the player awestruck. The map has a tonne of icons on it, yet all of them help the player progress in the game rather than simply being a distraction.
Every icon on the map adds to the story or the player's progress in some way. Whether it be the Fox Dens or the Mongol-captured territories, all of them contribute towards a single goal.
As a result, no part of the map is wasted, which is something Rockstar must learn to do for the next GTA game.