Rockstar Games is one of the biggest names in the world of gaming, thanks to successful franchises like GTA and Red Dead Redemption. While these are the most popular games made by Rockstar, there are many other games that defined what the company has become today. Games like Bully and L.A. Noire helped shape the direction Rockstar is now heading towards and gathered a huge player base that looks forward to each new game. While the developer continues to work on GTA 6, here are the best Rockstar games you need to check out in 2022:
10 best Rockstar games you should play
Rockstar dabbled into making stealth-focused games with Manhunt and Manhunt 2. Manhunt lets you play as James Earl Cash, a death row inmate who must kill other prisoners in the most brutal way possible to win a sick game. As Cash tries to cope with his situation, viewers watch him kill other inmates on a reality show. Manhunt is known for its grotesque violence, which makes sense in its ugly setting. The game never really got much attention due to the controversy surrounding its violence.
- Fun stealth mechanics
- Unique concept and setting
- Not for the faint of heart
2. GTA 4
While Grand Theft Auto 4 isn’t as great as other titles in the series including San Andreas, Vice City, or GTA 5, it tells an interesting story with incredible gameplay. The game is set in Liberty City and it follows Niko Bellic as he struggles to create a lucrative future for himself while escaping his past. GTA 4 received two amazing expansions, The Lost and The Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, which added even more exciting stories and content worth several hours to the game. Besides the serious story of GTA 4, there are some fun side activities to keep the experience light.
- Liberty City setting
- Decent shooting experience
- Control scheme could be better
3. L.A. Noire
L.A. Noire tells an engaging detective story that involves various crimes including murder and homicide. The game follows Cole Phelps, a World War II vet and former US Marine Corps officer, who is an LAPD detective investigating several crimes. Motion capture was quite new when Rockstar was working on this game and it used the tech to add a new mechanic. Players need to read the suspects’ faces to identify whether they are lying. This made investigations an even more exciting part of L.A. Noire.
- Fun gameplay
- Interesting game setting
- The world feels a bit empty
Bully is still considered a fan-favourite years after it was launched in 2006. The game follows Jimmy Hopkins who transfers to Bullworth Academy after being kicked out of every school and his mother abandoning him to go on another vacation. After seeing all the injustices in the school, Jimmy needs to stand up to bullies, take on the liars and cheaters, and climb up the social ladder to survive the school year. Bully tells a funny tongue-in-cheek story about what it’s like being a kid.
- Unique gameplay experience
- Fun classroom activities
- The graphics and combat may not hold up now
5. GTA San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is another iconic entry in the series, with a theme and story that paid homage to the ‘90s gang movies. The game was considered pretty ambitious at the time with a huge open world that had miniature versions of American cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, with canyons, forests, deserts, and towns connecting them. San Andreas follows CJ, who returns to his old neighbourhood after his mother passes away. He reconnects with his old gang, The Grove Street Families, which sets him off on a series of adventures. The game tells a pretty engaging story through dramatic cut scenes and fantastic missions.
- Great story with a fantastic protagonist
- Amazing open world
- Combat could have been better
6. Max Payne 3
After Remedy departed the franchise, Rockstar took over and launched Max Payne 3. The game mostly focuses on Max’s time in Brazil while he is working in private security. However, Max’s past catches up to him leading to the deaths of everyone around him. The gunplay of Max Payne 3 is considered somewhat iconic, thanks to its bullet-time sequences that led to some exciting slow-motion shootouts. Besides these, the gritty story of Max Payne 3 will keep you hooked alongside the great gunplay.
- Fun gunplay
- Destroyable objects in the environment
- Can feel a bit long
7. Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar managed to pull off a successful western game with Red Dead Redemption. You get to play as John Marston, a former outlaw hired by the government to hunt down your old gang in exchange for freedom. The government is holding Marston’s family hostage, pushing him to do whatever it takes to save them. Red Dead Redemption tells an emotional and sad story, with some great shootouts. The gunplay is also pretty satisfying which makes the shootouts feel even better.
- Great storytelling
- Fantastic gunplay
- Horse racing missions are boring
8. GTA Vice City
Grand Theft Auto Vice City is perhaps one of the most important games in the series. The game tells an exciting story in a vivid and active open world. Vice City follows Tommy Vercetti who gets back into to the world of drug-related crime after being out of prison. The game has a huge cast of supporting characters that enhance the story even more. GTA Vice City is filled with action-packed missions that will keep you engaged with its combat and story elements. Overall, it seems like Vice City revolutionized how we perceived open-world games with good storytelling.
- Fantastic open world
- Innovative gameplay at the time
- Clunky combat
9. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 was adored by critics as well as fans when it launched in 2018. The sprawling storyline and the massive and beautiful open world of Red Dead Redemption 2 are some of the biggest highlights of the game. Instead of making a sequel to the original Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar made a prequel that explored the story of Dutch Van Der Linde’s gang. The game has various interactable NPCs that have their own routines and react to the events in the story. Besides these, the game has decent gunplay and realistic ecosystems in nature, coupled with a slow-burn story.
- Great open world
- Fantastic story
- Limited fast travel
10. GTA 5
Grand Theft Auto 5 has become one of the biggest titles in the history of gaming. The game managed to live up to the hype it generated, and it introduced the franchise to a newer audience. GTA 5 told its dramatic story through three wildly different protagonists, with the option to switch characters while playing to experience a different storyline. The game had some pretty action-packed missions with high-stakes shootouts and car chases, which made the experience even better. Rockstar continues to keep the game alive as GTA Online, which is a separate online multiplayer component with dedicated missions, heists, and other activities.
- Realistic graphics
- Great storytelling
- Shooting experience can be improved