10 Best GTA Games That Aren't GTA Games

Sometimes you want chaos of a different kind.

Sleeping Dogs
United Front Games

Grand Theft Auto V is responsible for depositing close to 8 billion dollars in Rockstar's bank account since its launch back in 2013. That's a whole lot of cheddar and more than enough to justify its status as the king of action-adventure gaming, but the IP, world-renowned as it is, has yet to monopolise the genre.

Los Santos, Liberty City, and Vice City promise some of the best open-world gaming experiences money can buy, it's true, but they're hardly unparalleled in scope or even ambition and, dare it be said, are even surpassed in some realms by other, better alternatives. After all, there are only so many fictional depictions of America's biggest cities one can stomach before the desire to experience what else Mother Earth has to offer from the comfort of a sofa starts to persist. As luck would have it, there's plenty of alternatives to go around, some of which ditch our planet entirely in favour of taking players on escapades elsewhere.

This is far from an exhaustive breakdown of every so-called 'GTAalike' known to man, but every pick represents a contemporary that tries (largely successfully), to take Grand Theft Auto's near-perfected formula and alter it in both thoughtful and utterly deranged ways. Paris, London, Hong Kong, and even Mars: there's no shortage of digital holidaymaking opportunities available to this hobby...

10. Watch Dogs Series

Sleeping Dogs

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs sits in a weird middle ground when it comes to assessing what the world of GTA-alikes has to offer. The series, three games strong at this point, has never enjoyed outward critical acclaim on the scale of some of the games present on this list, but conversely, the trilogy isn't perched below the baseline of what's considered average, either.

That being the case, Watch Dogs doesn't have as much universal appeal (Ubisoft games rarely do) as its contemporaries. If you adore open-world action-adventure, that's not a guarantee you'll instantly love Ubisoft's attempts to combine the genre with stealth-oriented trappings. Metal Gear Solid this ain't, but Watch Dogs offers novelty in spades as far as sandboxes go thanks to the aforementioned sleuthing antics complemented by various gameplay systems based around hacking afforded to it by its future setting.

Yes, it can be finicky, and not a single entry in the trilogy has a particularly memorable plot, but if you're in the market for an open-ended experience that dares to do something different other than directly ape GTA, then there's a lot to love here, especially for the tech-savvy.


Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.