While the Grand Theft Auto games are wonderfully fun in their own right, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stray and try something new. In fact, there are some clones out there that have done an impressive job making the formula their own. So, let’s sit back and celebrate the five best Grand Theft Auto clones on the market. Who knows, you might have even more fun than you ever could with GTA V.
5. Watch Dogs 2
Though Ubisoft recently offered up Watch Dogs Legion to give fans something new to enjoy, there’s something about their 2016 release Watch Dogs 2 that still stands out after all these years.
Maybe it’s the memorable characters, like the masked loony Wrench or the main character, Marcus Holloway. Then again, maybe it’s the ridiculous acts you can perform throughout the game, including a fun speed car run to the tune of Judas Priest’s “Turbo Lover.” For that matter, maybe it’s just San Francisco in general, one of the best open-world environments produced in a game. Maybe it’s just all of it, and how vividly it all comes together.
It remains one of the previous generation’s better games, and a real triumph for anyone in the mood to play it. Now, if we could just get Marcus and the crew to come back for another go-around. Get it on Steam here.
4. Sleeping Dogs
Initially announced in 2009 as part of Activision’s True Crime brand, Sleeping Dogs would eventually be cancelled due to lack of interest. However, Square Enix wasn’t giving up on the project so easily. Six months later, the publisher picked up the project, working with United Front Games to finish it in style.
The end result outshines the True Crime games that preceded it. Dogs features insanely good beat-em-up action, only rivaled by the likes of the Batman games (GTA III and IV too, in a way.) There are also a huge count of entertaining missions, along with a massive open-world environment. Finally, Wei Shen is a terrific character, always balancing the line between being a good and bad cop. (Where we end up going really depends on you.)
Still a must-play game after all this time, Sleeping Dogs is a triumph. What’s more, it runs great on Xbox Series X, with 60 frames per second frame rate boost! You can download it on Steam now.
3. Saints Row The Third
Well, before Grand Theft Auto V came along, we had the Saints. They were taking the world by storm when Saints Row The Third came along.
This new chapter from Volition revamped the series as we knew it. It featured trailblazing new visuals, a fun soundtrack, memorable characters to join your crew, and, of course, good ol’ fashioned chaotic gameplay. It’s not every day you can slam pedestrians’ heads into the ground while wearing your skivvies. Did we also mention that this Saints adventure is hilarious? They also made good use of Hulk Hogan, brother.
There are other entries to enjoy as well, including the new Saints Row game dropping this summer. For now, however, you can’t go wrong with The Third. It’s also been nicely remastered for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, so don’t miss it. Check it out on Steam!
2. The Simpsons: Hit and Run
Life is unfair sometimes. The Simpsons: Hit and Run has been out for nearly two decades, and yet not one exec has opted for a re-release. Not to mention the original game’s developers, Radical Entertainment, aren’t around anymore.
At the very least, the original game is still around on classic platforms, so that beats nothing. It’s well worth checking out, thanks to proper use of the Simpsons license in a GTA-style world. The jokes come rapid fire, the missions have a comical flair to them, and Springfield is well worth exploring. Not to mention, the game is insanely fun to play, even more so than Road Rage ever could be.
If any Simpsons game deserved its chance back in the spotlight, it’s totally this one. D’oh!
1. Red Faction: Guerrilla
My favorite GTA clone of all time is an easy choice, especially when you consider just how fun as hell it is. Volition’s other take on the open-world genre is a romp that has you fighting against an evil regime – on another planet, no less.
Guerrilla takes place on Mars, where colonization has reached an all-time high. However, the Earth Defense Force (not to be confused with the same team in the EDF games) are trying to take everything for themselves. Enter Alec Mason, a mercenary ready to make a difference, one step at a time.
Featuring an unprecedented amount of unbelievable destruction and terrific gameplay, Guerrilla delivers on just about every level. It’s still infinitely replayable today, thanks to a very polished (and poorly named) Remarstered re-release on newer platforms.
If it’s an exciting getaway you’re looking for away from the GTA realm, it’s simple. Get your ass to Mars. Get it today on Steam!
Enjoy open-world games? Dying Light 2 is worth checking out as well. Be sure to read our review!