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Games like GTA to play while waiting for GTA 6

Looking for games like GTA to play while you wait for GTA 6? Join the club. While Rockstar Games has finally announced that Grand Theft Aut...

Looking for games like GTA to play while you wait for GTA 6? Join the club. While Rockstar Games has finally announced that Grand Theft Auto 6 is indeed in development, it’s likely going to be years before it’s released. 

Sure, we still have GTA 5 and GTA Online to tide us over in the meantime, which have been given a refresh for PS5 and Xbox Series X, but if you’re finding they’re becoming a bit stale then you may want to branch out  – and that’s where we come in. 

There’s no game that does what GTA does as well as GTA does it, if there were we wouldn’t be waiting so impatiently for a sequel. So what we’ve done instead is round up our picks of games that capture a part of what makes the GTA series so good, while offering something a bit different. So whether you love causing adrenaline-fueled chaos, planning an elaborate heist, or exploring a richly detailed world, there will be a game in our roundup for you.

Ready to leave Los Santos behind? Here are six games like GTA to play while waiting for GTA 6.

Games like GTA

Saints Row 2 helicopter crashing

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Saints Row 2

Something less serious

Absurd humor
Hit people with lawn gnomes
Fun and chaotic
May feel slightly outdated now

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. Both Red Dead Redemption 2 and Saints Row tend to come up when talking about GTA alternatives but, given the Saints Row reboot is releasing later this year, it’s worth revisiting.

The first Saint’s Row was too similar to Grand Theft Auto, putting players in the shoes of a gang member embroiled in criminal activity who could freely roam the open world of Stilwater causing chaos at their leisure. The city wasn’t as well-drawn as GTA’s, the characters weren’t as colorful, the action wasn’t as fun, it was a poor imposter. We didn’t expect much from its sequel, but Volition tapped into something no one expected Saints Row 2: absurd humor.

Want to beat someone up with a blowup doll? No problem. How about shooting someone with a pimp cane shotgun? Go right ahead. There’s even a mission where you drive around a neighborhood spraying raw sewage over properties to lower their value. Realism went out the window with Saints Row 2 and that makes it perfect for chaotic GTA fans. Plus, if you like this one, there’s a whole series to work through.

Hitman's Agent 47 strangling someone while dressed as a chef

(Image credit: IO Interactive)

Hitman (2016)

If you love escalating situations

Detailed, lived-in worlds
Experiment with assassinations
Memorable locations
Has levels rather than one big open world

Ok, this one is slightly left field, but bear with us. Something Rockstar does better than any other open-world game developer is detail. As you drive through Los Santos and Liberty City, or ride a horse through the streets of Red Dead Redemption 2’s Saint Denis, you see stories playing out before you. NPCs chatting, fighting, going about their day. It feels like you’re a visitor in a living virtual world.

Hitman isn’t an open-world game like GTA or Red Dead, instead, it’s a string of levels, each of them an open sandbox for you to explore. But, because developer IO Interactive hasn’t had to build a sweeping open world, each of those sandboxes is stuffed with detailed interactions between characters. These levels can be explored for hours, with secrets to uncover in every corner. Like GTA and Red Dead, they feel like lived in and living places.

Also like GTA, there’s nothing quite like bringing chaos to a living virtual world.

If you spend afternoons in GTA just blowing things up to see how the world reacts and escalates, there is a lot of fun to be had in Hitman. Load up with throwing knives, assault rifles, maybe an explosive rubber duck or two, and you can turn a quiet Italian plaza into a warzone

While Hitman 3 is easily the best entry in the rebooted series, you’ll probably be a bit confused if you started there so we advise playing through the entire trilogy in order, starting with this one.

Yakuza 0's Kiryu dancing at a disco

(Image credit: Sega)

Yakuza 0

A rich world full of activities

Gripping missions
Rich, open world
Lots of activities to partake in
Long cut scenes (if that's not your thing)

Jumping into the Yakuza series can initially feel a bit daunting, considering how many entries there are, but if you want to play the games in order then we suggest starting with Yakuza 0.

The prequel to the original game, Yakuza 0 is perfect for those who enjoy GTA’s gripping missions and its rich, open world. And, like GTA, Yakuza 0 offers a variety of side quests and activities to partake in outside of the main story, including karaoke and gambling. You can spend hours exploring its world and getting up to mischief without having to progress the main narrative at all. There’s plenty to get up to in Yakuza 0 and you’ll easily find yourself pouring hours into it. 

If you’re looking for a mid-point between the havoc of Saints Row 2 and the often serious nature of GTA, then you can’t go wrong with the quirky Yakuza 0. Make sure to check out our guide on how to play the Yakuza games in order too because we’re sure that once you’ve played one you’ll want to jump into the rest, plus pretty much all of them are games like GTA.

Just cause 3's Rico Rodriguez climbing on top of a car that's sailing through the air

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Just Cause 3

Sheer chaos

Explosive chaos
Plenty of weapons and vehicles are your disposal
Inventive means of destruction
Not one for those who like gripping narrative

Are you the type of GTA fan who simply wants to double down on mindless destruction with little care for any sort of narrative? Then Just Cause 3 is definitely for you. It may not be the most recent Just Cause game (that’s Just Cause 4), but Just Cause 3 is our favorite in the series.

Just Cause 3 sees you playing as Rico Rodriguez, who’s on a mission to bring down a dictator controlling a stunning island paradise. Quite frankly, Just Cause 3’s story pretty much falls to the wayside, with the main pull here being sheer creative and explosive chaos. 

As Rico, you can grapple, parachute and wingsuit your way across the vast island blowing things up thanks to the explosive weapons and vehicles at your disposal. What’s more, you can even experiment with your mayhem. There’s simply nothing better than grappling two enemies together and then retracting the grapple so they bang heads – it’s like an action-comedy movie of your own making. Just Cause 3 absolutely deserves it's place on this list of games like GTA.

Mafia Definitive Edition's Tommy walking through a 1930's street

(Image credit: 2K)

Mafia Definitive Edition

1930s GTA

Brilliant writing
Colorful characters
Watch the city grow and change
A bit short

What would GTA be like if it was set in the 1930s? Well, ponder no more, because Mafia Definitive Edition pretty much answers that: damn good. 

An expanded remake of 2002’s Mafia, Mafia Definitive Edition follows gangster Tommy Angelo as he climbs the ranks of the Salieri crime family. While we’ve seen the rags-to-riches gangster story time and time again in GTA, the writing in Mafia is exceptionally good and, over a campaign that spans decades, you get to know all the members of the family and see how their criminal life impacts them. Also, it’s magical to watch the city of Lost Heaven grow and change through the years.

Mafia Definitive Edition is bursting with character and offers the rich open-world and gripping missions of GTA, against an unforgettable backdrop. This is definitely one of the best games like GTA.

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine gameplay showing characters moving around a map

(Image credit: Humble Games)

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine

Our wild card

An excellent co-op challenge
Wildly varied characters
There's a monkey sidekick
If anything, it's too good

Right, this one is actually quite left field but give us a chance to explain. Some of the best missions in GTA history are its heist levels. Nothing makes us feel more like a smooth criminal like GTA 4’s Three Leaf Clover mission, where you suit up and break into the Bank of Liberty, making off with $1m. Rockstar leaned into them in GTA 5, providing multiple heists, with the added spin of hopping between the different protagonists. And the developer developed this even further in GTA Online by making those robberies cooperative with other players. Turns out crime is more fun with friends.

That’s why we’d recommend Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine. This top-down co-op heist game challenges you and your friends to break into the bank vaults of increasingly well-defended casinos. Each robber has a special ability, such as The Mole who can dig through almost any wall in the game, or The Pickpocket whose pet monkey will steal cash for you.

If crime is your thing, there are fewer better ways to spend an evening with friends. And make the wait for GTA 6 all the shorter.



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