Best games like GTA: Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry 4, Bully, and more

While it can be hard to find a game that can match up to its legacy, here are some of the best games like GTA for fans to sink their teeth into.

There is no doubt that the Grand Theft Auto franchise has made a huge impact on the gaming industry. As of 2022, the series has a total of seven titles with GTA III being the most crucial as it introduced 3D settings along with a wholesome and immersive experience. Each subsequent launch has witnessed positive feedback and just last month, developer Rockstar Games announced that active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway.

Until then, if you are looking for some games like GTA, there are quite a few titles that have taken inspiration from the open-world action-adventure franchise. Here are 10 of the best games like GTA that you should definitely try. 

List of best games like GTA:

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Yakuza 0
  • Far Cry 4
  • Bully
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Saints Row IV
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Mafia II
  • L.A. Noire
  • The Simpsons: Hit & Run

Red Dead Redemption 2

best games like gta red dead redemption 2

One of the best-rated games in recent years, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a highly recommended action-adventure open-world game. Developed by Rockstar Games itself, RDR2 has a unique identity with an impressive storyline and a number of immersive optional side quests for you to dive into. The game is set in a fictionalized version of the Western, Midwestern, and Southern United States in 1899. You play Arthur Morgan, a compelling protagonist, a high-ranking member of the Van der Linde gang. The old-Western setting might not appeal to all, but it is hard not to appreciate the game for its artistic and technical aspects. All of the characters are very well written and while the main story can feel slow at times, expect some great climax with explosive results. Apart from the main story, there is a lot of exploration through various side quests that involve hunting, fishing, bird watching, gambling, and a lot more.

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

Yakuza 0

best games like gta yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 is another interesting action-adventure game that takes place from December 1988 to January 1989, in Kamurochō and Sotenbori, fictionalized recreations of Tokyo’s Kabukichō and Osaka’s Dōtonbori areas. Developed by Sega, this open-world game is played from a third-person perspective where you get to control the series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima, alternating between the two at various points in the story. Players can freely walk around while interacting with people to take on side-missions, battle in street fights against enemies, or even play several mini-games, including fully playable versions of Sega arcade games. Completing certain tasks grants players Completion Points that can be used to receive additional bonuses, like special items or character upgrades. More than guns, the game focuses on hand-to-hand combat which feels fresh thank to unlockable and upgradable moves and skills.

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

Far Cry 4

Far Cry is one of the more popular names when it comes to the open-world genre. While I have to agree that not all games in the installment are all that impressive, it is Far Cry 4 that is an absolute stunner. The storyline is inspired by the Maoist insurgency in Nepal where Ajay Ghale, a young Kyrati-American returns to his native country of Kyrat (a fictional Himalayan country-inspired by Nepal and northern India) to spread his deceased mother’s ashes. The protagonist finds the country in a state of conflict between Kyrat’s Royal Army, led by the country’s eccentric and tyrannical King Pagan Min, and the Golden Path, a rebel movement fighting to free Kyrat from Min’s oppressive rule. You get to use various short and long-range firearms as well as throwable weapons as you progress through the game. Players can take various methods to approach missions, for example, they use stealth to evade enemies and complete objectives without being noticed, or just take it the hard way and assault enemies with firearms and vehicles.

Purchase: Steam | PlayStation | Xbox

Bully

best games like gta bully

Yet another original from Rockstar Games, Bully is an open-world action-adventure that is set in a rather smaller setting compared to something like GTA V. However, there are quite a number of things to do in this high-school-themed game. You get to be Jimmy Hopkins who is a troubled transfer student who has to find his way through high school social groups while trying to avoid conflict. Each group at the school offers unique missions to complete that progress the story. The gameplay is surprisingly good including a day-to-night cycle that allows players to choose how and when to complete their tasks. Classes take the form of mini-games that offer item and skill upgrades and you can even skip classes to earn money by working at day jobs, competing in bike races, or just harassing adults. Definitely a hidden gem by Rockstar that is definitely worth your time.

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

Watch Dogs 2

best games like gta watch dogs 2

Watch Dogs is a lot like GTA but includes a variety of tech-based mechanics. While the original game did not live up to the expectations, especially what was portrayed in the trailers, Watch Dogs 2 manages to fulfill many of the promises that its predecessor could not. The game is set in an open-world scenario in a fictionalized version of San Francisco, which becomes the first city to install the next generation of ctOS (central Operating System) – a computing network connecting every device together into a single system made by a company called Blume. You get to play Marcus Holloway, a hacker who works with the hacking group DedSec to take down ctOS. There are multiple ways to complete missions, and each successful assignment increases the follower count of DedSec. The game also includes cooperative multiplayer which allows for competitive one-on-one combat and connecting with other players to neutralize a player who is causing havoc.

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

Saints Row IV

best games like gta saints row iv

Regarded as one of the most ‘over the top’ open-world games, Saints Row IV brings third-person shooter elements where players are free to explore the environment and play story or side missions. The story is mostly a parody of science fiction video games, especially Mass Effect 2, as well as films like The Matrix and Zero Dark Thirty, and more. The main story follows the same player-created character from the previous games, who becomes elected President of the United States after preventing a terrorist threat. Five years into their governance, they find themselves trapped in the Steelport simulation along with members of their gang, the 3rd Street Saints, after an alien empire known as the Zin attack the Earth and capture them. With help from some Saints who managed to escape and hacked the simulation to give them superpowers, the player attempts to rescue their captured friends, escape the simulation, and defeat the Zin. 

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

Sleeping Dogs

best games like gta sleeping dogs

Set in contemporary Hong Kong, Sleeping Dogs is an open-world martial arts action-adventure game that places you in the shoes of Wei Shen, a veteran police officer from San Francisco who is transferred to Hong Kong to act as an undercover agent. Interestingly unlike GTA, the goal of the game is to stop crime instead of causing it. By completing various missions you get to unlock content and continue the story, but players can also freely roam around the open-world environment and engage in both legal and criminal activities. The gameplay includes martial arts moves, fighting, shooting, and parkour abilities, which feel quite fluid but not automatic, so it doesn’t feel like your character is on autopilot.

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

Mafia II

best games like gta mafia II

Mafia II is an action-adventure with a third-person perspective that puts you inside the mob. The game takes place in the 1940s in a fictional world based on a number of US locations including Boston, Chicago, and New York. The story follows Vito Scaletta, a Sicillian-American mobster and war veteran, who is caught in a power struggle among the city’s Mafia crime families while attempting to pay back his father’s debts and secure a better lifestyle. The game includes 40 different vehicles and a variety of weapons that are based on the era. The game also offers the ability to interact with objects in either a standard or violent action which gives you a feeling that you are part of the mafia. The game also uses a cover system to make fighting and shooting at enemies an easy experience, especially on consoles.

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

L.A. Noire

best games like gta LA Noire

L.A. Noire is a detective action-adventure video game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games that puts you in the perspective of a detective in the 1940s. The game revolves around detective Cole Phelps who he is tasked with investigating a morphine distribution ring that involves several of his former squadmates from World War II. Phelps finds both his personal and professional life falling into turmoil and reluctantly joins forces with his estranged former comrade, Jack Kelso. Like Mafia, the game includes a deconstructed open-world scenario that involves open areas and exploration with more of a chapter-based tale. The gameplay involves taking on cases where you need to interrogate witnesses and suspects to gather clues and based on their facial expressions and non-verbal cues you need to determine the authenticity of their story.

Purchase: Steam | Xbox | PlayStation

The Simpsons: Hit & Run

simpsons hit and run

A fun action-adventure game, The Simpsons: Hit & Run is a quirky take on GTA where you can steal cars, get driving missions, and explore the iconic city of Springfield. The game features a total of seven levels over three separate maps, each with missions and a sub-plot and you get to play with recognisable characters from the popular cartoon franchise including Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, and Apu. Each character has their own levels to explore rather than an extensive map thus it incorporates areas from the show, including the nuclear power plant and Downtown Springfield. The gameplay primarily focuses on exploration and missions where players often race enemies and interact with supporting characters on timed quests. The game also features many elements found in role-playing games, such as explorable worlds and side tasks.

Purchase: Xbox