10 Video Games That Let You Be Incredible Criminals

Controversial criminal video games... that happened to be insanely fun.

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The criminal life is dangerous, deadly, and often fraught with jail time. But playing video games is a much safer way to experience the exciting criminal life without, you know, drastically lowering your lifespan.

The premise in a crime game is usually pretty simple: Low on funds, or just low on opportunities, your character falls into making money (often large sums of it) by becoming a mafia enforcer, a triad pit fighter, an inner-city drug runner, a mercenary, a pirate etc.

Turns out, there are a lot of ways to make money doing illegal things.

Of course, said illegality makes the whole plan difficult. Turf wars, gang violence, imprisonment, death - none of these things are pleasant. So if you'd like to live the life of an overblown criminal, video games ensure nobody gets hurt. Except maybe your thumbs.

So here are the awesome video games where you get to live vicariously, and dangerously, through the eyes of a criminal.

10. Sea Of Thieves

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Pirates, Buccaneers, Privateers - the many sailing men and women of the great oceans who attack passing vessels for profit, and occasionally sea-based guerilla warfare. Piracy in some form or another is one of the oldest professions in the world - developing from the old Viking attacks of the dark ages and culminating in the Age of Sail of the 16th-19th centuries. Even today pirates harass vessels around the world. But I know what you want - you want to be the Captain, now.

Your best bet to get under the captain's hat is Rare's Sea of Thieves. Gather yourself some scurvy seadogs - friends as they're called these days - and set sail on missions inspired by old pirate tales. Fight other ships, even ghost ships, and gather treasure. Explore tropical islands and, if you're a real unlucky sport, get sent to the depths by a Kraken.

This is the perfect time to start playing Sea of Thieves as well, what with the current trend of Sea Chanties becoming popular. You can equip an instrument and play along as your crew sings long. I think we all know the lyrics to Wellerman by now, right?


Author of Escort (Eternal Press, 2015), co-founder of Nic3Ntertainment, and developer behind The Sickle Upon Sekigahara (2020). Currently freelancing as a game developer and history consultant. Also tends to travel the eastern U.S. doing courses on History, Writing, and Japanese Poetry. You can find his portfolio at www.richardcshaffer.com.