Have you played a lot of GTA lately? Do you like the open world in the game that you can roam freely and explore at your own pace? If that’s the case, then you’ll be happy to know that GTA isn’t the only game with a big map and open world. There are several games that offer the possibility to move freely and do whatever you want, apart from the missions. If this sounds interesting to you then read on because we have the perfect games for you. If you want to take a break from GTA and explore a new game then you’ve come to the right place. Below are top 12 games that are good alternatives to GTA.
1. Just Cause series (Just Cause 4)
The Just Cause franchise carved a niche for itself in the gaming industry as the developers, Avalanche, quickly learned where many open-world games failed. Just Cause was never intended to compete with GTA as it’s almost impossible to outshine the franchise at this point.
Rather than imitating GTA, Just Cause stands out for taking the key fundamentals of the open world genre and building on them in a much more creative way. The game is what you get by mixing an open world game with the sensibility of a Michael Bay film.
The game not only encourages the player to play chaotically but also rewards them for it. The destructible environment, freedom of movement, and vast open world all contribute to the maelstrom of madness that defines Just Cause 4.
While other games in the franchise are also extremely well made games, Just Cause 4 positions itself better on this list by simply being the best looking game in the series.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
The folks at Rockstar know something about being outlaws, and Red Dead Redemption 2 did what many thought was impossible – delivering a more than worthy prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption, which is easily one of the best western games on PC and gaming the consoles is. Despite the setting in the early 20th century, Red Dead Redemption 2 (and its predecessor, if you fancy taking a step back in time) embodies the values of GTA: player freedom in a sprawling open world that comes alive feels, the obligation to include even the smallest details and morally questionable men and women doing morally questionable things. It would be too simplistic to call Red Dead Redemption 2 “Grand Theft Auto with horses”, but it’s definitely worth a look,
In this game, you can enjoy the insane level of detail in every pore of the vast approach to the North American West – a world as vibrant as it is beautiful. Characters and wildlife go about their business regardless of your input, lending each random NPC a level of authenticity normally reserved for named characters only.
Once you’ve completed the 70-hour campaign, you’re ready to jump into Red Dead Online. Like GTA Online, the game is growing at an incredible rate.
3. Mafia 2 and 3
Mafia 3 was a big step forward for the Mafia series in terms of scope, size and ambition. At this point, the games in the series were mostly linear affairs with an open-world element for immersion.
Mafia didn’t want to distract players from the story with a sprawling open world. Instead, it used the open world to help players immerse themselves in the city where the characters lived and not just let Empire Bay exist in parts.
Mafia 3, on the other hand, was a more traditional open-world game, with New Bordeaux available to roam freely. The game is probably the closest thing to a Punisher game fans could ask for. Players take control of a Vietnam veteran and embark on a warpath against the mafia.
The world that Mafia 3 creates is extremely authentic and players will struggle to find better cinematics and cutscenes in any other game. Featuring some great cameos from Joey Diaz and Nolan North, Mafia 3 is one of the most cinematic games in the open world genre.
4. Watch Dogs 2
Developed and published by Ubisoft for PS4, Xbox One and PC, Watch Dogs 2 is an open-world action-adventure set in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Watch Dogs 2 builds on everything that the first game got right and uses the tried-and-tested formula in a refreshing way. Sneaking into an area and showing off your hacking skills is more fun than the original game. It encourages you to explore more as there is usually more than one way to complete goals. You can shoot all weapons or complete the missions the good old non-lethal way. It’s all up to you
I was surprised to discover that the enemy AI is up to date. In most Ubisoft games, she can be frustratingly stupid. Here, however, they are very sensitive to their surroundings. You will notice when something is wrong. It’s very difficult to sneak around if you’re not alert.
If you are engaged in a firefight, enemies will try to flank you and use cover to their advantage. It’s challenging enough if you turn the difficulty up a notch. I recommend playing on Hard difficulty to see if you can take on the challenge.
5. Sleeping Dogs
Developed by United Front Games and published by Square Enix, Sleeping Dogs is one of the most underrated open world games to come out to date. Due to its similarity to games like GTA, it was dismissed as a GTA clone. It’s fair to say that this game deserved a better fate.
Sure, the driving can feel a little arcade-like at times, and some areas can feel a little too limited, but it’ll be hard to find other weaknesses in this game.
Beating people with your hands is so much fun and you will get many opportunities to do it in the streets of Hong Kong, which is teeming with people ready to be beaten and dance to the tunes of your fists . It’s hard to walk in any direction for a few minutes and not come across something interesting. The world is so detailed and packed with so much to do that you will be overwhelmed.
A good story acts as a solid shell to wrap up all the violence and chaos. They found the perfect balance between a good, linear story and not being too restrictive for the player. Even if you drag yourself through the missions without paying much attention to the side activities, you will easily spend 15-20 hours in this game. The main quest is very lengthy, but it is fascinating and will keep you hooked until the end. You will be invested in the story.
If you’re looking for a GTA alternative, you should give Sleeping Dogs a try.
6. Yakuza 0
Fans of the Yakuza franchise couldn’t contain their excitement when Sega announced that the next game would be a prequel to the original game. Even western audiences had fallen in love with the Yakuza series after the successful games like Yakuza Kiwami.
The series excels at creating a perfect undertone for these games, with the right amount of drama and humor blended perfectly. The Yakuza franchise surpasses any other game in its genre in terms of gameplay, boasting perhaps the best combat system seen in modern games.
While the gameplay is obviously the clear winner, the story isn’t to be scoffed at either. Yakuza 0 explores the origins of fan-favorite Goro Majima and has been very well received by all quarters.
Yakuza 0 is credited as the game that made Western audiences and fans worldwide aware of the greatness of the Yakuza series.
7. Far Cry series (Far Cry 5)
The Far Cry series has changed little since the launch of the revolutionary Far Cry 3, a game that took this series in an exciting new direction. In the latest installment of this franchise, you’re a one-man army taking on dozens of villains at once. In the end, against all odds, you escape unscathed.
Ubisoft has tweaked a few things here and there, improved a few mechanics, introduced more interesting elements to the game, but the basics remain the same. You have a huge open world with a bunch of bad guys waiting to be killed.
Far Cry 5 has seen some welcome changes since the last iteration of this franchise. You no longer need to climb towers to uncover interesting locations on the maps. You have to explore every corner and talk to people to get quests. It’s entirely possible that you may not encounter some content just because you haven’t spoken to a specific group of people. This is an interesting approach that makes the game even more attractive.
You go from one place to another, one outpost at a time, and eventually eliminate the entire group of cultists almost single-handedly.
After the first few minutes of the introduction, you have three large areas to explore. Although the game suggests you start with a specific area, you can ignore the warnings and start with the more difficult regions instead.
You find a similar freedom of choice in combat. If you want to be loud, you have a lot of deadly weapons at your disposal. If the stealth approach is your favorite, grab one of the many silent guns and go hunting. You come here for the good story and stay for the solid gunplay.
Stealth is hit or miss as the AI acts stupid for the most part. That’s why the stealth approach isn’t much fun either. Gameplay can be repetitive due to the lack of variety in enemies and missions, but it’s an enjoyable experience nonetheless.
8. Saints Row series (Saints Row 4)
Back in 2006, GTA’s first Saints Row defined itself as an open-world sandbox that didn’t take any aspect of itself too seriously – playing on the goofy aspects of the urban crime genre almost to the point of parody. Over the years, they’ve expanded the concept until the ultimate core of reality is just a shadow in the distance.
In Saints Row 4 you create your own character using one of the most versatile character creation tools in games and take on the role of the President of the world – no kidding. When the earth is invaded by evil aliens, your consciousness is transported into a Matrix-like virtual world, granting you a suite of superpowers to help you through the increasingly outlandish campaign.
Saints Row 4 is silly, messy, silly fun that manages to be genuinely funny more than once.
9. Payday 2
If you’re someone who particularly enjoyed Grand Theft Auto 4’s infamous “Three Leaf Clover” mission or Grand Theft Auto 5’s heists, then Payday 2 will be right up your alley. Overkill Software’s multiplayer co-op game unleashes players on a series of high-stakes heists and heists, but grabbing the cash and running away isn’t that easy. Similar to Michael, Trevor and Franklin’s scams, Payday 2 encourages players to think their plan through to the last detail and even lets them scout the location before committing the crime later that day.
The focus on cooperative squad play is also reminiscent of the multiplayer raids introduced in Grand Theft Auto Online in 2013.
10. LA Noire
LA Noire, Rockstar’s third title, if only as a publisher, is still a great game nine years after it was originally released. In this police series, the player takes on the role of war veteran Cole Phelps, tracking down all sorts of crooks in LA in the 1940s and 1950s, as the Golden Age of Hollywood was drawing to a close.
LA Noire’s facial animation technique was considered a revelation back in 2011, and judging whether or not a suspect is telling the truth by their facial expressions remains a thrill — even if Cole’s answers can sometimes be oddly distant and out of proportion to the question being asked. Although you’re playing on the good side, the lines between right and wrong are constantly blurring, especially when you start investigating abuse and arson cases.