There was a time when open-world games were few and far between, but the success of Grand Theft Auto as a series after going completely going 3D ended up changing this notion completely. Grand Theft Auto III ended up taking over the gaming world by storm, showcasing just what the medium was capable of when creative geniuses were at the helm of driving the next generation of video gaming experiences. The template of Grand Theft Auto III ended up being massively influential for obvious reasons, with this formula being improved bit by bit until Rockstar Games perfected their development all the way in 2013 with the release of Grand Theft Auto V.
The fact that Grand Theft Auto V is still one of the most popular games to this date is a testament to the sheer quality of this brilliant title, and players who ended up experiencing this brilliant title firsthand would obviously want to play more games in the same vein. Keeping this in mind, the following ten games could certainly fill the void this game has left behind.
10 True Crime: Streets Of L.A.
After the massive success of Grand Theft Auto III, it was only a given that more and more games would try and emulate the formula of this landmark title. Such a title came in the form of True Crime: Streets of L.A.
While the game did suffer from a myriad of technical issues, one has to admit that playing through the title when it was released was quite enjoyable in its own right, leading to a great experience for any fan of the GTA series.
9 Sleeping Dogs
While Streets of L.A. was a decent title, its sequel — True Crime: Streets of New York — was anything but. This critical and commercial failure prompted Activision to develop another GTA-esque game set in Hong Kong without the True Crime label.
The end result was Sleeping Dogs — a wildly imaginative title that was as ridiculous as it was brilliant. Getting into the shoes of an undercover cop has never been as engaging as it was in this title.
8 Watch Dogs Legion
The Watch Dogs series started off on the highest of highs with the announcement of the first title, before its release ended up majorly disappointing fans. However, Ubisoft didn’t give up on the series, and Watch Dogs 2 ended up being an improvement over its predecessor in every way, shape, and form.
The latest game in the series, Watch Dogs Legion, might suffer from a fair bit of issues… but one can’t deny that the ability to record every NPC possible in the game is a neat touch that definitely elevates the experience to a new level.
7 Saints Row IV
The Saints Row series is widely considered to be the GTA clone that ends up racking up the ridiculous nature of its gameplay to the max. While the first two games in the series were quite excellent in their own right, the third and fourth titles ended up cranking their strangeness meter all the way to the max.
Saints Row IV went so far as to turning the player — who’s the President of the United States as well — into a superhero, turning the sandbox into a playground for the player to mess around in with zero repercussions.
This ultimately made for an experience that prioritized player fun over everything else.
6 Just Cause 4
Speaking of free sandboxes that given players full reign to go complete berserk, one can’t fair to mention the brilliance of the Just Cause series as well.
The games have always ensured that players can blow up as many things as possible in the game without any problems, making for an experience that would be the perfect example of what a Michael Bay game would look like.
Just Cause 4 — the latest game in the series — perfects this aforementioned formula and makes for a brilliant experience indeed.
A game that released more than two decades ago but is still being harped on to this day, there’s a reason why Driver has attained such a cult reputation in the gaming fandom.
Featuring some great driving missions that end up being quite memorable in their own right — coupled with one of the hardest tutorials ever featured in a video game — Driver is a classic title that any fan of Grand Theft Auto titles should definitely not miss out on.
4 Mafia II
While the open-world might not be packed with enough content to satiate most games, it’s the story of this title that serves as the major draw. A riveting tale of crime families and betrayals, Mafia II is a game that will definitely keep fans hooked all the way till the very end.
3 Red Dead Redemption
It was only a given that a list talking about games like Grand Theft Auto would have more games in the same vein as well. Red Dead Redemption is one such title that ended up being Rockstar’s first foray into the Western genre.
This experiment proved to be a massive success, and Red Dead Redemption ended up being a brilliant title that no fan of Rockstar open-world games should miss out on.
It certainly helped that its DLC — Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare — also ended up being an excellent game in its own right.
2 Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV ended up being a massive jump for the series, coming right after a wave of 3D Grand Theft Auto titles in the same engine for what felt like the longest time.
The technological advancements present in the series were abundantly clear for everyone to see, making for an experience that was extremely entertaining and indicative of the series’ promising future.
1 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
When people think of the greatest Grand Theft Auto games of all time, there’s really only one title that comes to mind in this regard — Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
San Andreas is easily one of the most popular Grand Theft Auto titles of all time, featuring the biggest open-world in the Grand Theft Auto series at that time — before Grand Theft Auto V ended up shattering that record — along with both a riveting story and enjoyable characters that have become a staple of gaming pop culture.