GTA series is extremely fun, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Considering how long all the GTA games were available on the market already, it’s safe to assume that most of us know them all inside out. Even GTA V Online with its constant updates can’t keep players engaged indefinitely. Take a break and look for an alternative – at least until the next GTAO update is out.

15 Games like GTA (Grand Theft Auto) to play in 2021

Sleeping Dogs

PC
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
macOS
Release year:2012
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:United Front Games

Games similar to GTA are often set somewhere in the western part of the globe, so having a similar game taking place in Hong Kong instead is quite a refreshing experience and worth giving a try.

Sleeping Dogs - hit from above

The game’s setting is not the only thing that makes this production a bit different from Grand Theft Auto – here, for once, you will be playing as an undercover cop, not a criminal. However, your mission is to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. This means that you will need to gain their trust, and to do so, you will often need to carefully balance on the edge of the law – prove your worth but stay under the radars to avoid raising suspicions. The gameplay puts a strong emphasis on utilizing martial arts, so expect a lot of melee combat in addition to satisfying gunplay.

Key features
  • Beautiful open-world environment – explore contemporary Hong Kong at your own pace
  • Puts emphasis on melee combat with spectacular moves and environmental takedowns
  • Lots of abilities and upgrades to make your protagonist better at his job
  • Numerous side activities, including illegal races and gambling on cockfights

Yakuza Kiwami 2

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2017
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

If Sleeping Dogs is your cup of tea, this one will also suit your taste. One of the latest entries in the Yakuza series turned out to be amazingly good, even compared to its already great predecessors.

yakuza-kiwami-2

Yakuza can’t be really called a GTA clone – it does things differently, yet still offers players an open-world environment to explore, and a story focused on gangsters. The game’s main strength comes from its smooth, melee-oriented combat system, combined with cool, supernatural moves and the heat system that allows players to perform special actions after filling the entire heat gauge during the fight. There are dozens of both active and passive abilities you can unlock and become stronger by earning experience in strength, agility, spirit, technique, and charm – doing so will allow you to face more dangerous enemies throughout the game.

Key features
  • Addictive action-adventure production set within an open-world environment
  • Fluid combat focused on mastering the martial arts
  • Lots of effective moves to learn and perform during fights
  • Humorous minigames for a relaxed leisure experience between story missions

Just Cause series

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2006-2018
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Avalanche Studios

The Just Cause series takes a more humorous approach to the genre – don’t expect a lot of realism here, as it was sacrificed in favor of more enjoyable and action-packed gameplay. Imagine a game that combines Grand Theft Auto and a superhero game, such as Spider-Man or Batman – Just Cause is exactly that.

Just Cause 3 - fly to airplane

You can explore the playable area at your own pace, steal and drive numerous different vehicles, utilize various guns and gadgets, but most importantly, you can use a gravity-defying combination of a grappling hook, a parachute, and a wingsuit. There’s nothing preventing you from grappling forward while gliding to gain some altitude and fly upwards – not the most realistic way of exploring the game world, but sure an extremely fun one. Everything becomes even better once you realize that you can use said grappling hook to give yourself a boost and quickly zip through areas.

Key features
  • Tropical open-world environment
  • Action-packed gameplay focused on exploration, gunplay, and explosions
  • Beautiful and detailed visuals
  • Lots of unlockables and achievements

Saints Row series

PC
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Release year:2006-2015
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Volition

If you feel like Just Cause is still too realistic for your taste, then we encourage you to go full bananas with Saints Row. The Saints Row games always put emphasis on humorous elements, but the fourth installment managed to reach a whole new level of ridiculousness.

Saints Row: The Third - shooting

The game’s action takes place in a simulation, which explains a lot of things that are going on, but it’s also a convenient excuse for developers that allowed them to push things even further to the absurd side of the gameplay realism spectrum. Superhuman abilities, dubstep-powered guns, and a powerful enemy in form of hostile aliens – Saints Row games provide everything you need to have a great time.

Key features
  • A huge open world that can be roamed freely
  • Character progression with tons of upgrades and numerous unlockable abilities
  • Countless customization options, including clothing, character appearance, and even weapons
  • Lots of pop culture references and humorous dialogues

Red Dead Redemption 2

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2018
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Rockstar Studios

If one looks for a game similar to GTA, one of the most obvious choices would be to look at other games made by the same developer. RDR 2 is basically a Western-style GTA. Of course, it’s a huge oversimplification and doesn’t showcase the game’s potential, but it can at least give you an idea of what it is.

red dead redemption 2 - screen

The game focuses on the story of Arthur Morgan – an outlaw – as he tries to survive in the unforgiving world, where dangers in form of wild animals, law enforcers, rival gangs, and even nature itself, are making his life as hard as it can possibly be. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure with an addictive story and memorable characters, and enjoy one of the best Western experiences available up to date.

Key features
  • A huge and beautiful open-world environment that lives its own life
  • Addictive gameplay that combines simple survival with exploration and thrilling gunfights
  • Gorgeous and incredibly detailed graphics
  • Dozens of classic Western weapons to choose from and customize to your liking

Cyberpunk 2077

PC
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 5
Xbox One
Xbox Series X/S
Release year:2020
Genre:Action role-playing
Developer:CD Projekt Red

When talking about games like Grand Theft Auto, one can’t forget about one of the latest releases from the makers of the Witcher. Cyberpunk 2077 was an incredibly ambitious project from a team that aimed to create the best and fullest role-playing experience. Due to how enormous of a task it all turned to be, the game didn’t end up as good as everyone was hoping for, and it didn’t get all the praise it deserved.

Several things could’ve certainly been done better, but if you turn a blind eye to the imperfect version made with older generations of consoles in mind, the game appears to be indeed an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. With the latest patches that fixed the most annoying issues, the game is not only playable – it’s now definitely a must-play game if you’re looking for a GTA alternative.

Key features
  • An open-world futuristic city that can be explored in its entirety
  • Breathtaking visuals with stunning lighting and incredible locations
  • Satisfying gunplay mechanics and an optional pacifist-friendly way of solving conflicts
  • Puts emphasis on RPG with its character progression, customization options, and player choices

Mafia II

PC
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Mac OS X
Release year:2010
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:2K Czech

If you don’t like Cyberpunk’s futuristic setting, then maybe you’ll find revisiting America during the 1940s and 1950s more enjoyable. Mafia II is a sequel to a very popular video game from 2002 and takes place almost a decade later. It focuses on the character of Vito Scaletta, a man who found himself in the middle of the conflict between the most influential people in the city.

Mafia III - shooting

Looking for a way to improve his life and solve his financial issues, he decides to start working for the Mafia, which ultimately leads him to learn more about his father’s death. The game managed to perfectly capture the spirit of the old times with its architecture, vehicles, guns, and even the available radio stations with licensed classic music – everything combined creates an amazingly immersive experience.

Key features
  • Fantastic and inimitable atmosphere
  • An addictive story that will keep you entertained for hours to come
  • Return of the authentic 1940s weaponry with the addition of guns from the post-Word War II era
  • Lots of classic cars to drive and admire

L.A. Noire

PC
PlayStation 3
PlayStation
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Release year:2011
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Team Bondi

Speaking of games set in the 1940s, there’s also L.A. Noire. This one puts more emphasis on the narrative – it feels more like an interactive movie than an actual game, due to the number of high-quality cutscenes. L.A. Noire will take you to 1947 Los Angeles, where you will be following the story of Detective Cole Phelps, as he advances in the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department by solving a series of difficult cases.

L.A. Noire - arguments

One of the most interesting things about L.A. Noire is how detailed facial expressions are. Everything feels so realistic to the point, where you sometimes can’t tell if you’re still playing the game, or watching a good old crime drama. It’s also an important part of the gameplay – while interrogating people you will have to pay attention not only to what the suspect says but also to how he behaves.

Key features
  • Captures the spirit of old American noire movies
  • An addictive story filled with action, drama, crime, and intrigues
  • The amazing quality of facial expressions
  • Dialogue-heavy gameplay with lots of cutscenes

Watch Dogs 2

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2016
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Ubisoft Montreal

There aren’t many games that allow players to become a hacker. Thankfully, there’s at least one worth trying, and coincidentally, it’s similar to Grand Theft Auto so it made it to our list. Watch Dogs 2 is a game, where you can become a hacker. Don’t expect realistic hacking, though – it’s not an educational game and it won’t teach you how to break through security systems. Hacking-related actions are usually executed by simply pressing a single key.

Watch Dogs 2 - hackers

Based on context, your protagonist may then start spying on other people’s smartphones, take control over nearby cameras, or unlock a car and drive it remotely, to name a few examples. Utilizing hacking opportunities and available gadgets, such as drones and 3D printed guns, is the key to success during missions and it allows players to get the job done in a variety of ways.

Key features
  • Huge open-world environment, where all citizens are unique and live their own lives
  • The gameplay focused on utilizing highly advanced technology
  • A lot of freedom that allows players to choose their approach to complete most missions
  • Character customization options with countless clothes and useful unlockable abilities

Bully

PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox 360
Wii
Android
iOS
Release year:2006
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Rockstar Vancouver

For the final game on the list, we’ve got something unique – how many games about a tough school life are out there? Not too many, so it’s a refreshing experience and it’s worth giving a try. Bully is quite an old game, but can still deliver hours of fun. The game is more or less about school life – as one of the students you will be able to experience it all first-hand while trying to become the most popular and respected man in the entire school.

Bully gameplay

Gameplay focuses on participating in all the school activities, from taking classes in form of fun minigames, through fighting rivals with the use of self-made weapons, to exploring the playable area either on foot or with the use of simple means of transport, such as a skateboard, a scooter, or a bicycle. Don’t let the slightly outdated graphics discourage you from playing – there’s much more to the Bully than first meets the eye.

Key features
  • Open world environment that can be freely explored for the most part
  • One-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the school life
  • The gameplay focused on gaining the respect of several school groups, such as bullies and nerds
  • Lots of fun weapons to try against the rivals

The Best Games Like Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto is one of the best and most successful crime-related video game series out there, and new GTA games are still being developed and released every few years, with every game usually being even better than the last one. GTA games were always known for the amount of freedom players were given from the very beginning. You could ignore the entire story, and just walk around and explore huge open-world areas based on real American cities that were living their own lives – they were full of people and cars passing by, giving the illusion of being a part of a meaningful, yet virtual, world.

No wonder it became an inspiration for other developers that tried to mimic GTA’s style, though with different results. Crime games were always there, just like crime movies – maybe because we’re naturally drawn towards things that aren’t entirely legal or things that are morally wrong. We like to watch, or – in the case of video games – participate in these dangerous activities, as it gives us the opportunity to experience something thrilling and different. Something that most of us hopefully wouldn’t dare to do in real life.

Cheap GTA clones pop out of nowhere every now and then, but there are also some gems that are definitely worth giving a try. Check the list of the best games like GTA to play in 2020 above and pick your favorite.