7 games like GTA you should play in 2023

gta, watch dogs, and red dead cover artRockstar Games / Ubisoft

GTA 6 is on its way, but in the meantime here are 7 games like GTA to keep you busy and scratch that itch until the day comes.

The GTA 6 hype is getting stronger by the day, especially since the infamous leaks suggested we’ll be returning to Vice City – Rockstar’s version of a crime-filled Miami. While GTA has had many imitators over the years, some of these have actually been stellar experiences in their own right.

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Most games like GTA actually have their own unique gimmicks or gameplay systems that not only pay homage to Rockstar’s epic saga, but also do their own thing, and do it well. After all, GTA doesn’t have a monopoly on urban-based crime games.

So here are 7 games like GTA that you should check out while waiting for GTA 6.

GTA 6 devs questionRockstar Games
GTA 6 leaks are out in the wild, but what are you going to play before the game releases?

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is a crime thriller with some similarities to GTA, but its main selling point is a Kung-Fu-themed fighting system that puts GTA’s flimsy hand-to-hand combat to shame. This open-world adventure sees you beating up Triad gangsters and exploring the city at your leisure, it’s also become somewhat of a cult classic in recent years. Rumors of a sequel have been rife for years, and here’s hoping we do eventually get one someday.

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Sleeping DogsSquare Enix
Sleeping Dogs is like GTA with martial arts.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 had a troubled release but the game has now blossomed into a superb open-world RPG like we originally hoped it would be. While the tone and some gameplay elements are different, Cyberpunk 2077 often feels like a futuristic GTA at times. Those who want to indulge in some fast car chases, city exploration, and frantic gun fights should check the game out before GTA 6 arrives. It may be the closest thing to resembling next-gen GTA on current hardware.

Cyberpunk 2077 cross-platformcd projekt red
Cyberpunk 2077 could be considered a futuristic GTA with more RPG elements.

Watch Dogs (1-3)

Watch Dogs is another series of games that sees you running around a modern city, shooting gangsters, stealing cars, and avoiding the authorities. The main difference between GTA and Ubisoft’s take on the genre is the Watch Dogs series’ emphasis on hacking objects to complete missions. The mechanic was quite basic in Watch Dogs 1, but by the third entry, has evolved into a slick system that works seamlessly with the driving and shooting gameplay to make it stand on its own two feet.

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watch dogs legionUbisoft
The Watch Dogs series is also set in an urban environment and involves a lot of car theft.

Red Dead Redemption 2

The Red Dead series is set in the Old West and favors horses over cars, but the games are also made by Rockstar and contain a whole helping of GTA DNA. Be it heists, running from the law, or gang warfare, Red Dead is GTA on horseback and those who love one are likely to enjoy the other.

Both games also tend to influence the other, with ideas from GTA making it into Red Dead and vice versa. We look forward to seeing how GTA 6 uses systems not just implemented in GTA 5, but also from Red Dead Redemption 2.

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Dutch and the Van Der Linde gang riding on horses in RDR2Rockstar Games
Red Dead may be set in the Old West, but it has a lot in common with GTA.

Saints Row (series)

The Saints Row series has often been accused of being a GTA clone, but the franchise has morphed into its own thing, featuring its own brand of racing and third-person shooting mechanics. While the GTA universe often takes a satirical stab at real life, Saints Row takes a much more zany approach, making the whole city one big playground for fans of open-world games. It never quite reaches the same heights as Rockstar’s beloved series, but those who are looking for more games like GTA will adore Saints Row.

saints row rebootDeep Silver
Saints Row is often compared to GTA.

Just Cause (1-4)

Just Cause shares a lot of similarities to GTA in terms of commandeering vehicles and gunplay, the basic premise is similar. However, Just Cause is more focused on completing militaristic-style missions in a warzone, rather than the urban environments we’re used to in GTA. Rather than a career criminal, you play as a mercenary whos usually been sent to disrupt a tyrannical regime by causing as much trouble as possible. Let the fun begin!

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an image of just causeSquare Enix
Just Cause often features even more vehicles and stunts than GTA.

Yakuza (series)

The whole Yakuza saga is steadily being remade and remastered so a new generation of players can work their way through the long-running crime story that begins (chronologically) with Yakuza 0. The series also has various spin-offs and side games, but if you enjoy crime games then Yakuza is well worth a look. There are a lot of cut scenes to sit through, but each helps set the scene for an epic and violent adventure.

Yakuza KiryuRyu Ga Gotoku Studio
Yakuza is a long-running crime series that shares some similarities with GTA.

So, these seven games franchises should be enough to keep you busy until GTA 6 gets here.

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For more GTA 6 news and info, check out some of the below stories:

Everything we know about GTA 6 | Rockstar responds to massive GTA 6 leak | GTA 6 fans first look at Vice City map | GTA 6 leak for GTA & Red Dead Online | GTA 6 leaks explained | GTA 6 leak allegedly reveals Vice City

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