Updated at: 16-05-2022 - By: Leo Hall

When it comes to AAA game design, open worlds have grown so commonplace that it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t.

In the same way that all game trends begin somewhere, the open-world approach was popularized by Grand Theft Auto.

Despite the fact that GTA was not the first open-world game, it was arguably one of the most influential in the genre.

Some of these games were slandered as “GTA clones,” but others incorporated their own unique features and advancements. It had been an inspiration for many games over the past two decades.

We’ll focus on the latter in this list of the finest games like Grand Theft Auto, which is presented in no particular order.

Mafia Series

Two sequels, Mafia II and Mafia III, have been released since the original Mafia game was released in the same year as GTA Vice City (2016).

Mafia Trilogy Offers Remastered Versions of Classic Games | Video Games | Roger Ebert

There is a clear distinction between the GTA and Mafia series in terms of setting. Mafia games set in the 1930s, 1940s and 1960s are distinct from those set in modern-day cities in the HD Universe series.

Aside from the visual and narrative differences, Mafia plays very similarly to GTA, with an open city to roam, period-appropriate vehicles, and a slew of illicit activities to engage in. GTA on the other hand, takes itself a little more seriously, hence Mafia lacks the kind of humor that GTA is known for.

Mafia games, on the other hand, did not have the same level of popularity or critical acclaim as Grand Theft Auto.

Truth be told, the Mafia games will mainly appeal to those who like this particular setting, as few good GTA-like games take place in 20th century America. The rest of Mafia does not provide anything fresh compared to GTA, however.

Saints Row Series

To put it another way, Saints Row is essentially GTA with the absurdity dialed way up to 11. Five games currently make up the franchise:

  1. The Saints of Saints’ Row (2006)
  2. The Saints Row II: The Second Edition (2008)
  3. Sword of the Saints: The Third (2011)
  4. The Saints Row IV (2013)
  5. The Saints Row: The Third (2015)

Backward compatibility on Xbox One means that the first game, which was launched on the Xbox 360, can now only be played on the Xbox One. As previously said, Saints Row 2 and Saints Row 3 are essentially GTA games with additional craziness thrown in.

Gat Out of Hell takes place in hell and provides the player the ability to fly and use a variety of occult powers, while Saints Row IV adds other Matrix-like powers to the concept.

Saints Row games don’t take themselves too seriously and are more or less mindless enjoyment. There have been rumors that Saints Row 5 is in the works, but nothing definite has been announced as of yet.

Watch Dogs Series

Next up, we have Watch Dog, which is Ubisoft’s cyberpunk-ish take on GTA that allows the player to affect the world by hacking various computer systems around them. Besides that, there are no major changes to the GTA formula.

That can be said for Watch Dog 2, however it does streamline and expand upon the basis established in Watch Dogs 1.

While Watch Dogs 1 and 2 aren’t the most noteworthy games that play like Grand Theft Auto, many GTA fans are sure to enjoy them and their dynamic landscapes, so they’re worth mentioning.

Sleeping Dogs

As a modern Hong Kong setting, Sleeping Dogs takes the GTA formula and makes it more fluid and intuitive by introducing a melee combat system that is reminiscent of the Batman Arkham series’ brawling system.

Aside from improvements in combat, Sleeping Dogs does an excellent job of bringing Hong Kong to life, which helps the game stand out from other unimpressive Grand Theft Auto clones.

Sleeping Dogs isn’t a groundbreaking or revolutionary game, but it’s a must-play for GTA aficionados, especially if you’re a fan of the East Asian look.

Yakuza Series

The Yakuza series, which may best be described as “Japanese Grand Theft Auto,” follows. Since its inception in 2005, the series has grown to include 10 games, many of which utilize the same basic gameplay principles.

Given that we’re talking about Japanese titles here, you already know to expect a lot of over-the-top martial arts action, flashing numbers, and a very Japanese aesthetic and presentation style. The Yakuza games are no exception.

However, when it comes to Japanese games, you either adore or loathe them, depending on your personal preference. There are other recent Yakuza titles, such Yakuza 0 and Yakuza 6, Yakuza Kiwami and Kiwami 2, that might be a good fit for you if you’re a member of the former squad. If you don’t think this series is for you, don’t bother.

L.A. Noire

Most Grand Theft Auto and GTA-inspired games cast you in the role of a thug, but Rockstar’s own L.A. Noire places you in the shoes of a detective in 1940s-era America. Car chases and shootouts are taken out of the equation in favor of a more narrative-driven experience.

The most innovative aspect of L.A. Noire is the game’s use of MotionScan technology, which produced some of the most accurately animated faces ever seen in a video game.

In addition to determining whether or not NPCs are telling the truth by observing their facial expressions, the player must gather evidence from crime scenes and work through increasingly difficult cases as the game’s plot unfolds.

In L.A. Noire, however, players will encounter criminals who will try to flee or fight back, opening the potential for chases, melee brawls, and shootouts. This is not a point-and-click adventure game.

As a GTA-like game, L.A. Noire is both unique and familiar at the same time. Even if you can’t just skip over the lines and cutscenes, once you get to the action, it’ll be quite familiar, whether for good or bad. Regardless, it’s not for everyone.


An old but beloved Rockstar game, Bully does not place the player in a criminal or police officer’s shoes, but rather in the shoes of an adolescent at an exclusive private school.

Since most GTA-style games are obscenely violent, it’s a good thing Bully has less of that. This is exactly what makes Bully stand out from the crowd of GTA ripoffs. In terms of gameplay, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City still adheres to the same tried-and-true format.

Despite the fact that Bully was first launched in 2006 for PlayStation 2 and rebuilt in 2008 for Xbox 360 and Windows, the graphics aren’t quite up to snuff for a game released in 2018.

Bully, on the other hand, is a fun game to play even if the graphics are a bit old and there isn’t much explicit violence.

Red Dead Redemption 1 & 2

You’ve definitely heard about Rockstar’s GTA-style Western after playing the recently released Red Dead Redemption 2. Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best open-world action games on the market, despite the absence of cars in this installment.

It’s gorgeous, packed with intricate details, and offers a massive open world ripe for discovery. It’s a memorable gaming experience from start to finish.

Due to technology limitations, the initial Red Dead Redemption from 2010 can only be played on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, even if it is a fantastic game in its own right.

As a result, the Xbox One’s backward compatibility function is the only method to play it on current-generation devices.

There’s also the original Red Dead game, Red Dead Revolver. It’s easy to see why you haven’t heard of it, given that it was released in 2004, is only available for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360, and earned only average reviews from critics.

Just Cause Series

Because of its over-the-top action sequences, Just Cause may be more like Saints Row than Grand Theft Auto. With a grappling hook-parachute combo (and eventually, an even more dynamic flying wingsuit), the player is able to quickly traverse the landscape and engage in dynamic combat confrontations.

When it comes to Just Cause, the game’s storyline isn’t one of its strengths, therefore it’s all about gameplay. There are presently four games in the Just Cause series, however only the most recent two are playable on 8th-generation consoles.

RANKED: Just Cause Series – Milo | Stuff and That.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Developer: Rockstar

You may be able to anticipate why this game is included; after all, the GTA and Red Dead series are both produced by the same studio. GTA’s values of player freedom in an expansive open world that feels alive, a commitment to including even the most minute details, and morally questionable men and women doing morally questionable things are exemplified by Red Dead Redemption 2 (and its predecessor, if you feel like taking a step back in time). To label Red Dead Redemption 2 “Grand Theft Auto with horses” would be an oversimplification of the game, but it’s well worth checking out if you’re in the mood for some GTA-style action.

Saints Row: The Third

Developer: Volition

In the beginning, Saints Row was nothing more than a clone of Grand Theft Auto. Cult followings were established for two games, but the whole effort failed to stand out. Saints Row: The Third threw caution to the wind, taking a look at the dismal and somber tone of the GTA series and declaring, “F that.” In this game, your gang is so well-known and liked that the first task involves you robbing a bank while dressed as novelty costumes of… yourselves. Burt Reynolds and a three-foot long melee weapon are just the beginning of the small-scale zombie apocalypse that awaits. While many GTA-style games become mired down in their own self-importance, Saints Row is content to be as ridiculous as it possibly can be in its own right. In spite of the fact that it’s been around for a few years now, you may play it on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch backwards compatible.

Just Cause 4

Avalanche Studios is the game’s developer.

You, the player, are given a ludicrous amount of flexibility in Just Cause 4, which allows for new amounts of anarchy. Wingsuits are checked off. Grappling hook: yup. Double-check that you have the ability to ride on top of cars as a big tornado lifts them into the air. GTA 5’s ragdoll physics may have entertained you, but wait until you see what The Republic of Medici has to offer. It’s important to understand that Just Cause 4 lacks Rockstar’s trademark storytelling and technical polish, but it makes up for it with its (literally) sky high approach to choreographing huge destruction.

Mafia 3

Hanger 13 is the developer.

Since no Grand Theft Auto game has yet been released without some sort of encounter with the Mafia, 2K’s Mafia series is a nice place to start for open-world gamers interested in organized crime. You can clearly detect the influence of Grand Theft Auto games like San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto 4 on these games, which are more grounded than the GTA series. Hangar 13’s latest Mafia game, Mafia 3, focuses more on side activities and a story about a war veteran seeking to escape the demons of his past (Niko Bellic, anyone?). Although there are elements of The Godfather and Goodfellas in the story, it’s written so well you’ll forget you’re playing a video game instead than seeing a Martin Scorsese film that it feels authentic.

Lego City Undercover

Provider: TT Fusion, Inc.

Grand Theft Auto games have been labeled for mature audiences for good reason, but what about those of us who prefer to play cops and robbers without the sex, drugs, or rock & roll? Fortunately, in 2013, TT Games created the next best thing. To sell Lego City Undercover, the cliche of “Lego Grand Theft Auto” is used, and it works, but this delightful open-world platformer has much more up its sleeve than mere mimicry. There are a plethora of side missions and goodies to be found, and the tale is a hoot thanks to its numerous pop culture references. With the recent re-release of Lego City Undercover, people who have the game may now play it with a co-op partner or even while on the go with the Nintendo Switch.

Payday 2

Developer: Overkill

Payday 2 will appeal to fans of Grand Theft Auto IV’s famed “Three Leaf Clover” task and Grand Theft Auto V’s bank robberies, among other games. This co-op shooter from Overkill Software lets players embark on a series of high stakes robberies and burglaries, but it isn’t as simple as snatching the money and fleeing. When it comes to Payday 2, gamers are urged to think through every aspect of their game plan before committing the crime, including allowing them to scope out their target location before completing the crime later that day. It’s hard not to be reminded of Grand Theft Auto Online’s 2013 introduction of multiplayer heists, although Payday 2 has none of the game-breaking lag.

The Simpsons Hit & Run

Radical Entertainment is the developer.

You might think a successful animated sitcom would be out of the question for a GTA-style video game, but Radical Entertainment pulled off the impossible with this cult-classic hit from 2003. Of course, Homer and the crew can’t do as much damage as someone like Niko or Trevor, but you can still kick and punch your way through Springfield and wreck havoc. To both Simpsons and GTA fans, The Simpsons: Hit & Run is a must-have, since it cleverly weaves in allusions to its serialized namesake throughout the whole campaign. Simpsons Hit and Run is widely regarded as one of the best Simpsons video games ever made, if not the best. Go get it now if you have the means to do so and haven’t done so already

Infamous: Second Son

PS4 exclusive Infamous: Second Son delivers a captivating story that keeps gamers on the edge of their seats, as well as excellent open-world gameplay. Delshin Rowe, the main character in Infamous: Second Son, is a graffiti artist with special abilities who can harness the environment’s concrete and neon for his own use. D.U.P. wants to imprison those with supernatural powers like Delshin, and the game depicts Delshin’s story as he fights back against them.

The biggest distinction between Infamous: Second Son and Grand Theft Auto V is the game’s emphasis on magic and superpowers as opposed to the latter’s more realistic gunplay. It’s still a wonderful alternative for console gamers to play Infamous: Second Son, which is similar to GTA 5 in that it has open-world action that lets players to demolish DUP camps while gathering resources for power upgrades.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

It’s a wonderful choice for GTA 5 lovers because Assassin’s Creed games have been focusing more on open-world gameplay in recent years. Plenty of things to do are available to you in this game, which has an open world three times as large as the one in Black Flag.

Assassin's Creed® Origins

In addition, it has an intriguing plot that diverges from the series’ initial assassination motif. Assassin’s Creed Origins recounts the adventures of Bayek and Aya, who work together with Cleopatra to become the first assassins, with some historical authenticity. Despite the absence of GTA 5’s contemporary theme, the game’s graphics and combat are equally impressive, so it’s sure to please longtime GTA fans.

Nier: Automata

Through its future, robot-centric scenario, Nier: Automata is one of the best RPG games on Xbox One. There is 2B, an android made to fight against the machines who have invaded Earth in 2B’s story. Plus, the story comes complete with an unforgettable score that is sure to please longtime listeners.

Despite its concentration on technology, Grand Theft Auto V shares many similarities with GTA 5. With its expansive open environment, Nier Automata allows players to battle robots, conduct side-quests, or gather resources to enhance their weapons and armor.

The Saboteur

In The Saboteur, the open-world element is combined with a World War II backdrop to create a fantastic game. It’s set in Nazi-occupied France and delivers a fascinating plot with a number of historically accurate details. After his best friend was killed by German soldiers, Sean Devlin, an Irish cab driver, ends up joining the resistance.

In addition to the main objective, players can complete a slew of side quests in The Saboteur. The Saboteur and Grand Theft Auto 5 share a large open environment, auto theft, mayhem, and eluding the authorities, making it a natural fit.

Far Cry 6 (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC)

The similarities between GTA and Far Cry 6 are simpler to detect because both games have a driving mechanic, fast-paced action, and a fascinating narrative. Yara, a fictional tropical island, serves as the setting for Far Cry 6. (which is loosely based on Cuba). There are two main differences between Far Cry and Grand Theft Auto: the first being that Far Cry is presented from a first-person perspective, whereas GTA is generally a third-person game. In Far Cry 6, the map is loaded with tasks for you to cross off your list, which is a staple of Ubisoft’s games. With Giancarlo Esposito portraying the dictator Antón Castillo, this is a game you can lose yourself in when clearing out the area or even during the story-heavy bits.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)

There are many reasons to be interested in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As the long-serving Konami developer Hideo Kojima’s final project, it was fraught with complications. However, even though the game’s story isn’t completely done, it’s still a superb game from this generation. Metal Gear’s narrative has always been zany and popular, so it was disheartening when The Phantom Pain fell short of that standard. It only goes to show how far this game’s near-perfect gameplay can take you — allowing you to take on missions in the game’s expansive open world however you see appropriate.

When it comes to achieving your goals, you have a lot more freedom in The Phantom Pain than you have in prior games because of the vast array of tools at your disposal. Using airstrikes, for example, or just knocking people unconscious and getting them back to your base are both viable options. You may employ your crew to manufacture a wide variety of gadgets and equipment as you extract warriors. There is a lot to see and do in this huge environment, and the gameplay is top-notch as well. The Phantom Pain is the best non-Rockstar game on our list, and it’s on par with the quality of the GTA titles.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Let’s wrap things up with Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar. This is one of the most technically stunning games ever made, coming from the same firm as Grand Theft Auto (only a different crew). It’s reasonable that not everyone will enjoy the Western setting and the year 1899, but even if you don’t, you can’t help but appreciate the game’s creative and technical accomplishments. Some of the best exploration in a video game can be found in this enormous open world, which features a variety of weather conditions. In Red Dead Redemption 2, the player must be considerably more deliberate than in Grand Theft Auto VI in order to achieve the maximum level of immersion.

This is a slow-moving story, but it serves its purpose, culminating in an explosive finale. Even though some of the characters aren’t particularly likable, they’re well-written and played, and this is one of the game’s standout features. In Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll find a world where you’re free to do whatever you desire. It’s up to you whether or not you want to be an all-out criminal, a bounty hunter, a fisherman, or something in between. It’s our top pick for the greatest GTA-like game because of the attention to detail in practically every facet of the game.

Red Dead Redemption 2 | Download and Buy Today - Epic Games Store


Are there any games similar to GTA?

Wild West: The Second Chapter (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Is there a game like GTA without violence?

Lego City Undercover is the Lego version of GTA, but with a cleaner storyline and gameplay that doesn’t always come back to crass dialogues or unnecessary violence. An undercover cop must be used instead of a criminal in order to play the game.

What game is better than GTA 5?

Lego City Undercover is the Lego version of GTA, but with a cleaner storyline and gameplay that doesn’t always come back to crass dialogues or unnecessary violence. An undercover cop must be used instead of a criminal in order to play the game.


Lego City Undercover is the Lego version of GTA, but with a cleaner storyline and gameplay that doesn’t always come back to crass dialogues or unnecessary violence. An undercover cop must be used instead of a criminal in order to play the game.

Lego City Undercover is the Lego version of GTA, but with a cleaner storyline and gameplay that doesn’t always come back to crass dialogues or unnecessary violence. An undercover cop must be used instead of a criminal in order to play the game.

Lego City Undercover is like Grand Theft Auto, but with a more family-friendly storyline and gameplay that doesn’t resort to crude dialogue or gratuitous violence. Instead of acting like a criminal, the player must assume the identity of an undercover police officer.