Criminal life, for some reason, has always had a place in modern entertainment, whether it be gangster movies, rap, or games like GTA. The franchise is centered around the various criminal dealings of all kinds of criminals. From elite, semi-retired thieves to notorious drug kingpins, GTA has quite a range.
However, it is far from the only game franchise out there letting players live out their criminal fantasies in a virtual world, and with great success. GTA wasn't the first one on the scene to capitalize on the crime genre in gaming, but it certainly is arguably the most popular.
If fans have had their fill of GTA 5 and want to try other games with similar themes and mechanics, then they need not look further than the games on this list.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinion of the writer.
Crime-action adventure games comparable to GTA 5
- Note: Not all games on the list will be open world.
- Max Payne (2002)
- The Saboteur
- True Crime
- Battlefield Hardline
5) Kane and Lynch: Dead Men
The game didn't exactly have a great time in terms of sales and quickly fizzled out as a once-promising project that couldn't live up to the hype. Developed by the incredible people at IO Interactive, the studio behind Hitman, Kane and Lynch was quite a departure for the studio.
The players took control of Kane, an aging criminal with a checkered past, roped back into the brutal world of crime he meant to leave behind. The game is absolutely cynical to the bone and often at the cost of the player's enjoyment.
The game can get pretty dark pretty quickly in terms of story and tone, but players will find themselves thoroughly engaged. Kane and Lynch is worth talking about as one of the most overlooked games that isn't as bereft of quality as some might think.
4) Mafia 2
Mafia 2 isn't a game that one can forget about once they close the book on it. The story, the characters, and the world of Mafia 2 simply stay with the player for a long time.
The game follows the life of Vito Scaletta as he is shipped off to Italy to fight in the war to avoid jail time and comes back home to find himself roped into the Italian mob.
The story follows his ascent up the ranks of the criminal brotherhood and eventually gaining the trust of the higher-ups. The game grows on the player from the word "go" and doesn't let go until the very end.
The experience of Mafia 2 is one that will always remain a special memory for every player who finished the game.
3) Yakuza 0
Yakuza isn't playing around. It is here to make a statement, and a loud one at that, and it will make no apologies for it. The game is thoroughly unabashed in its loud treatment of characters and story, as well as an over-the-top dramatic style that never slows down throughout the story.
What is absolutely genius is that when moments of quiet reflection are juxtaposed with the loud, it makes them that much more impactful. Yakuza 0 is a game that will have players yelling at their TV in excitement but also quietly empathizing with the tormented characters on screen.
Yakuza 0 is a special game and one that deserves all the credit it has received.
2) Sleeping Dogs
The game began development as True Crime: Hong Kong, but United Front Games eventually decided that the franchise has very little to offer anymore. Thus Sleeping Dogs was born, a fresh, martial arts-oriented crime action-adventure game with a gripping story and an endlessly enjoyable gameplay loop.
The game explains away a lack of guns with the higher restrictions on firearms in Hong Kong. This is fine since Wei Shen's kicks are about the most dangerous WMD on the planet. The game's tight combat loop never fails to impress as players take on wave after wave of enemies.
Sleeping Dogs has plenty of emotional depth to it, which is appreciated by fans of compelling action games.
1) Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2, instead of being a celebration of the outlaw life, is, in many ways, a meditation on the reluctance to change. The game starts off at the very end of the Wild West, with our heroes facing a reckoning of epic proportions that their way of life has simply come to an end.
This forces the characters to make interesting decisions, making for one heck of a story experience. Unvested by its GTA counterpart, Red Dead Redemption 2 is Rockstar's most fascinating open-world to date, with plenty waiting for the player around each corner.
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The game makes a poignant point about a lot of things, all of which are never too on the nose. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an experience unlike any other and one that has its place among the very best gaming has to offer.