GTA began like a top-down game, with not much stuff to do except driving and evading the police. Now, that’s some very simple gameplay mechanics, and GTA evolved into much, much more. Just look at GTA V, which is the most popular GTA game ever. It looks and feels gorgeous, and has amazing story and characters. Well, if you are in love with this game and look forward to playing a game that offers a similar experience, don’t you worry as I’ve prepared the list of 20 games like GTA for PC. So, if you are a hardcore GTA fan, and the fan of that genre, let’s jump right into the list below.
1. Watch Dogs 2
The first Watch Dogs was a solid game in my opinion, but it wasn’t a commercial success, and sold very poorly, because of the bad optimization and lack of any improvements in gameplay and graphics. Watch Dogs 2 caught my attention because I liked the first one, despite the reviews I’ve read on the internet. To be honest, everything is improved here, from gameplay, driving, shooting, and hacking which is the most important factor in Watch Dogs 2 game. The story is renewed here, following the new character Marcus Holloway, located in San Francisco Bay Area right after the events of the previous game. To wrap it up, Watch Dogs 2 is one of the best games like GTA for PC, as it looks and plays great, but you’ll need a bit stronger machine to run it properly.
2. Just Cause 3
Just Cause 3 is a game that GTA V would love to be! When you launch the story, you are immediately put into action, standing on a flying plane and shooting stuff with your guns and RPG. A great way to begin the game! Then, you are indulged into a beautiful, big and filled open world, where you can destroy stuff, shoot soldiers and do stunts with your wingsuit. Rico Rodriguez is a combination of Batman, Scorpion from Mortal Kombat and a little bit of Max Payne, being able to fly, use his spear and shoot and dodge bullets. Combine that with the open-world setting and you get a pretty badass game.
3. Mafia III
Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran is the main protagonist here, and it’s one of the most brutal protagonists in video games. He is a ruthless killer trying to rule the fictional world of New Orleans, by defeating every mafia boss in the town. New Orleans is known to be the most dangerous part of USA, and you’re going to need some firepower to remain alive. Mafia 3 combines a great combat, melee confrontations, driving and the open-world setting for an ultimate Mafia experience. So, do you have what it takes to survive in a ruthless world of fictional New Orleans?
4. Dying Light
If you played Dying Light, you might think that this game has no similarities with GTA, but if you are wrong. Dying Light is one of the best games like GTA for PC, as it’s an action-packed, open-world game that will test your skills… and a little bit of patience. You are in a role of Kyle Crane who is sent to investigate the city of Harran, but when he arrives by crash-landing, he finds himself in a zombie-infested city, and now he must survive by fighting, crafting and collecting items. You can even drive vehicles here, plus there is a dynamic day-night cycle, which works great. I suggest you try to survive the night outside, and you’ll see how ruthless this game is.
5. APB Reloaded
Set in the fictional city of San Paro, APB Reloaded offers tons of fun, by blending MMO genre with GTA-style gameplay. This game was originally paid, but recently went free-to-play, and that’s a great choice, good job! Here, you can do everything you can in GTA; drive fast cars, shoot each other with the players online, organize lobby where you can play with your friends and much more. To put it simply, APB Reloaded is one of the few games like GTA for PC that REALLY look and feel like GTA. It’s like a GTA clone but made with much less budget.
6. The Saboteur
Have you ever heard about this game? Well, shame on you if you didn’t! Just kidding. The Saboteur is a great game like GTA, set in a fictional world of Paris, in WW2 era, when the Paris was occupied by German forces. Your goal here is to fight the Nazis, but as our main character Sean Devlin is a car fanatic, you’ll even do a lot of driving here, and even racing on one level. The characters are great, the story is compelling and the gameplay combines both GTA and Assassins Creed, allowing for parkour moves. Generally, a fantastic and underrated game, that you can find for just a few dollars, but it’s worth much more.
7. L.A Noire
Noire thematics were always very interesting to me, and L.A Noire is such game. The game relies heavily on facial animations as well as being a detective. There are some action-packed moments here and there, but most of the times, you’ll be solving various criminal cases. The graphics in this game aren’t bad, but the faces steal the show! From someones facial expression you can clearly see if they are lying or speaking the truth, and that’s very important for solving the case. L.A Noire is an authentic game and shines like a moon in the night!
8. Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 and GTA might not have similarities, but let me compare them. Shooting? Check. Open world? Check. Vehicles? Check. Interesting protagonist? Check. Ok, there you have it! Far Cry 4 is an open-world shooting game played from the first-person perspective and the only difference here is that this game is set in a wilderness. So no fancy skyscrapers, casinos, beaches and similar. But, Far Cry 4 is a great contender that can stand neck to neck with GTA V.
9. Saints Row IV
Saints Row IV was always a black sheep for me. I don’t know why, but this game didn’t leave a mark on me until I played it again. Saints Row IV is a GTA V on steroids! Yes, folks, you’ve read that right. Grab a syringe and a needle and inject a testosterone into GTA V; what do you get? Well, this game! Saints Row IV is an action-packed title, offering some crazy and memorable moments, as well as funny characters and animations. Pick up this game now and you won’t regret a single penny you’ve spent on it!
10. Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs delivers a thematics that we all wanted from GTA game, but we didn’t get it. It’s set in Hong Kong, which is beautifully portrayed here and feels very alive. Also, the game does a great job of telling a story but also teaching you that Hong Kong’s underground is very dangerous. Sleeping Dogs adds a fantastic fighting mechanics in the game, so the game isn’t only about shooting the crap out of your enemies. You’ll take your time to bitch slap them and do some awesome environmental executions.
11. Boiling Point: Road to Hell
Boiling Point: Road to Hell is an old game, but believe me; it’s very fun and mysterious! In this game, you’ll search for your daughter as she went missing into the unknown location. Thanks to an advanced gameplay, you can interact with various people in order to find more info. Also, the game lets you drive vehicles, shoot the enemies and even has multiple outcomes, depending on your choices in the game! And guess when was this game released? In 2005; simply outstanding for the time.
12. Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight immediately throws you in the center of Gotham City, letting your admire its visuals and textures. Its jaw-dropping visuals, animations, and voice acting will surely leave a good impression! This game introduces Batman’s magnum opus called Batmobile, which you can drive and fight with, as you tear down evil guys in the city. Batman can now upgrade various stuff and fight more efficiently due to a more smooth combat experience and improved gameplay mechanics. Just be sure to have a powerful PC for this one and you’ll enjoy to the fullest!
13. Prototype 2
If you played the first Prototype, then you know that this game will kick your ass without saying sorry! Prototype 2 is an open-world action game that doesn’t know what limits are. You can use your mutated protagonist to fight off the enemies and slice them like cheese, as well as walk along the buildings and jump without losing health! Woah, so the superhero here is a mixture of Spiderman and Wolverine? You got it right, lads! James Heller is one badass protagonist with an even more badass villain, which I’m not gonna spoil.
14. Dead Rising 3
If you want to have some fun with hordes of zombies, Dead Rising 3 is a great place to start. It has that humorous tone and isn’t that dark like Left 4 Dead for example. Also, Dead Rising 3 has a gameplay from the third-person perspective, so there are some additional character animations and a correct fighting system. Zombies in this game are almost like dummies, so you’ll just smash them with a hammer or any other melee weapon, or shoot them with guns. The game gives a sense of power, and that’s all you need for feeling like a superhero.
15. Lego City: Undercover
Call me how you want, but I can guarantee you that Lego City: Undercover is more fun than most of the non-Lego games! The graphics in this game is great, the gameplay is smooth and those action sequences… oh, my God! You wouldn’t believe me how good a Lego game can be, but you can try this one. It’s an action–adventure video game in which you are a police officer tasked with putting an end to crime in the city. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m feeling bad for disliking the game in the beginning.
16. Scarface: The World is Yours
Who else remember this game? It’s old, but gold. Scarface is one of my favorite movies ever, and now here’s this game proving that movie-based games can be great. Tony Montana makes his return here, with the game beginning where the movie ended, so he is not dead. From there, the possibilities are endless! As the game’s name says, the world can literally be yours if you are brave enough to do what’s needed! If you like some refined GTA feeling, then Scarface is going to nail it, I guarantee!
17. Driver: San Francisco
Driver: San Francisco is almost a GTA clone when it comes to gameplay. The high-speed chases and some exotic cars are really similar to what GTA aims for, however, you’ll be only driving cars and doing chases. This game borrowed an inspiration from Google Earth, letting you use the features called Shift, that allows you to quickly teleport from one car to another. Driver: San Francisco is fast-paced, intense and compelling driving experience.
18. The Godfather: The Game
The Godfather: The Game is an outdated title and its graphics aren’t that cool anymore, but it draws a direct inspiration from the same name movie. The gameplay here is similar to GTA series like never before, but this game is much darker as it speaks about the mafia family and the whole story surrounding it. If you want a mature story, but also a very violent game, then The Godfather is the right choice if you don’t mind the graphics.
19. True Crime: New York City
True Crime: New York City is another old-school game that focuses on that open-world setting and storytelling. It’s a story about a former gang member that slowly turned police officer. The story is great and offers a near-perfect, but flawed experience due to the technical problems. Give this game a try if you are up for some nostalgia, and nostalgia is pretty strong with this one.
Wheelman is a less-known game featuring Vin Diesel. It has a colorful and sunny environment, but don’t expect just to admire it. Soon, the Wheelman will take you to adventure where you’ll drive, race and fight for your survival. It features some GTA-ish missions like “go there, do that, deliver the package, chase the car, etc” but the budget here wasn’t that big. This results in some poor graphics and animations, and if you can get past that, well… you’ll become a badass Wheelman!