The GTA series is one of the most successful gaming franchises of all time. Yet, it would be a major error to suggest that GTA and Rockstar Games were the only ones making quality open-world single-player games of great quality.
Over the years, players have witnessed some of the best open-world games the industry has to offer. Here, we take a look at some of the best open-world titles like GTA 5 that deserve more recognition.
5 best games that are similar to GTA 5
#5 The Godfather: The Game
To many players, The Godfather: The Game is one of the best movie-licensed games they have ever played. For one, the game takes a unique approach with its story, letting players control their own custom character who sets in motion the major events of the movie.
Its authentic open world, while not as detailed or engaging as GTA's, is far more linear and serves the story rather than providing a large sandbox. This approach works as it tightens up the story, making for a much smoother experience.
The game is extremely fun and has a lot of great stand-out moments, such as the assassination mission during Michael's baptism.
#4 Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2 is essentially what the original Watch Dogs should have been - a fun, light-hearted open-world experience.
Instead of a dry, run-of-the-mill revenge story, Watch Dogs 2 was a far brighter take on the universe.
Watch Dogs 2 is a breeze to play through and, much like GTA, its open world never fails to impress. Ubisoft's attention to detail is on full display in this title, making it one of the best open-world games to date.
#3 Saints Row: The Third
Many believed that Saints Row and GTA were the two rival franchises. However, Volition, the devs behind Saints Row, had other ideas regarding the future of the Saints Row franchise after the second game.
GTA and Saints Row had a lot of parallels, with both being sandbox-style open-world games following the lives of criminals. However, with Saints Row: The Third, the franchise broke away from the perennial GTA comparisons.
To this day, players will struggle to find any other game franchise as ridiculously funny and over-the-top as Saints Row. The third game in the series marked a massive U-turn in terms of tone, approach and game design. It veered off more towards comedy and ridiculousness rather than gritty storytelling and drama.
#2 Mafia: The Definitive Edition
One of the finest titles of the past couple of decades, Mafia was due a massive makeover, given how much potential it had. 2K and Hangar 13 delivered an absolutely masterful remake of the original, and Mafia: The Definitive Edition subsequently became one of the best titles of the previous year.
The game took everything that worked with the original and dialed them up to 11. The star of the show, however, is its excellent story.
Mafia's plot follows Tommy Angelo, a cabbie-turned-Mafioso. The story is at the heart of what makes Mafia such a beloved title. It sets itself apart from the casual, wanton violence of the GTA series as it has a lot of emotional weight and realism.
#1 Sleeping Dogs
There isn't enough praise directed towards Sleeping Dogs, considering how it is one of the best open-world games of the past decade. Combining hard-boiled detective drama and kung-fu movies, Sleeping Dogs is the perfect open-world game for fans of great combat and heartfelt storytelling.
The story of Sleeping Dogs isn't anything revolutionary. However, it is sincere, which makes it endearing for the player. The game never tries to make a larger point about the human condition or the futility of violence.
The real star of the show, however, is the combat. Taking inspiration from the revolutionary Arkham combat system, Sleeping Dogs' kung-fu-inspired action is what makes it an absolute joy.
Sleeping Dogs is truly one of the most underrated titles of all time and deserves far more success than it got.