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.
|Far Cry 5||2018-03-27||Action & Shooter||82%|
|Yakuza Like A Dragon||2020-11-10||Action & Adventure||77%|
|Watch Dogs Legion||2020-10-29||Action||86%|
|Lego City Undercover||2017-04-04||Adventure||88%|
|Yakuza Kiwami 2||2019-05-09||Adventure||56%|
|Just Cause 4||2018-12-04||Adventure||94%|
|Saints Row IV||2014-07-15||Adventure||76%|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||2019-11-05||Adventure||72%|
|Cyberpunk 2077||2020-12-10||Action RPG||63%|
|Watch Dogs 2||2016-11-29||Adventure||76%|
|Bully Scholarship Edition||2008-10-21||Adventure||66%|
Far Cry 5
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
You might find it weird that a Far Cry game is on this list, but hear us out.
It has cars and aircraft, it has open-world exploration, it features cops (although fighting an evil cult instead of regular criminals)… There’s plenty of stuff it has in common with Grand Theft Auto!
Far Cry 5 puts you in the shoes of an unnamed and customizable Junior Deputy who, together with a joint task force, attempts to detain Joseph Seed, a leader of a strange cult in the fictional Hope County, Montana. Things go awry, of course, and your character is forced to stop a doomsday prophecy from coming true.
It’s a very competent open-world first-person shooter with lots of gunplay, beautiful sights and scenic vistas to behold, tons of side activities and lots of freedom. It’s a fun title that should keep you entertained for hours on end. There’s even a sequel, Far Cry: New Dawn, that continues Far Cry 5’s storyline.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The Yakuza series are a rather otherworldly blend of Grand Theft Auto and jRPG mechanics. Like a Dragon is going to surprise you no less. But it’s definitely worth giving a shot, especially if you’re bored with games made in the West.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon introduces an entirely new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, who seeks revenge on his former boss who betrayed him and wants to become a hero instead.
One of the main differences in this installment is combat. Back in the day, Yakuza featured battles modelled after beat ‘em up games. This time, however, combat is turn-based, much in the vein of jRPGs. Fun fact: it was an April Fools joke that was so well-received it made it into the actual game.
There’s even kart racing added to a whole slew of other side activities and bonus missions. Yup, there’s plenty of fun to be found in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Watch Dogs: Legion
The third installment in the Watch Dogs series.
Legion takes you to a futuristic, dystopian take on the city of London where a bunch of hackers known as DedSec want to liberate the United Kingdom’s capital from Albion, a private military company that oppresses it.
One of the more unique features of the game is the presence of multiple protagonists, each with their own personalities, backstories and skills. You can actually recruit any non-playable character and make them a DedSec member that you can play as. Nice! There’s even a permanent death mechanic, meaning that if a character dies, they will be gone for good – no respawns, no coming back from the dead, no nothing.
Aside from that, there’s plenty of shooting, driving, hacking and exploring, as well as a healthy dose of stealth. Ubisoft has been releasing tons of updates and new content since Legion’s release, a lot of that much better than the base game.
Set two decades after the events of the previous Mafia games.
Mafia 3 transports you to New Bordeaux, a fictional city inspired by New Orleans. You play as Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam War veteran who returns home to avenge his adoptive family and sort things out with the Mafia, eventually building his own criminal empire.
Mafia 3 is a third-person shooter where you can roam the city of New Bordeaux freely. There’s shooting, there’s driving (realistic, to boot), there’s stealth, there’s taking control over various zones, etc.
It looks and sounds great, transporting you back to the late 1960s. Three DLCs were released, each featuring new missions, weapons and mechanics, including throwing knifes and…bullet time! If you’re looking for a period piece in the vein of Grand Theft Auto, this one should be a perfect pick.
Lego City Undercover
Alright, most of the games listed here would give responsible parents a heart attack.
So, what if your kid wants to play Grand Theft Auto, but you simply can’t fathom this idea? Well, TT Fusion made something that is basically GTA for kids. Yup, you heard that right!
Lego City Undercover is basically Rockstar’s flagship title meets [insert basically any Lego game by Traveller’s Tales here]. You get to roam the Lego City where you chase criminals and complete various missions. Yup, you’re an undercover police officer here, bent on enforcing law and making the streets safer for everyone…except them shady characters, of course.
The protagonist, Chase McCain, has plenty of nice moves at his disposal, but can also disguise himself as some other characters, which gives him special abilities needed to solve various puzzles. You can also create your custom characters. Undercover is a fun, refreshing take on the genre. If you’re looking for a parody of GTA and something much more lighthearted, this one should be a perfect pick.
|Developer:||Feral Interactive (Mac)|
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.
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.
Yakuza Kiwami 2
|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 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.
Just Cause 4
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.
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.
Saints Row IV
|Developer:||Deep Silver 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 IV.
The Saints Row games always put emphasis on humorous elements, but the fourth installment managed to reach a whole new level of ridiculousness.
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 IV provides everything you need to have a great time.
Red Dead Redemption 2
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watch Dogs 2
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.
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.
|Developer:||Rockstar New England|
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.
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.
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 couple of years, with every game usually being 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.