9 Video Games That Almost Took GTA's Crown

Behold the great pretenders.

Few games have changed the industry the way Grand Theft Auto III have. When it exploded onto consoles in 2001, it introduced a bold new vision of gaming. Sure, the €œopen world€ concept had been played with before but never on this scale as suddenly, gamers were thrown into a near-limitless (at least comparatively so) world of adventure. It was a true game-changer for developers and Rockstar built their mammoth brand on the back of sequels that got bigger and pushed the boundaries even further. Naturally, as always when there€™s a successful game, there are imitators. Those trying to ride GTA€™s coattails and tune in to the new excitement gamers were feeling after taking a trip to Vice City or San Andreas. Inevitably, some of the copycats are rather weak next to what inspired them, but others were able to use the sandbox format in unique ways, and actually improving on what Rockstar had achieved in some areas. Though GTA remains the undisputed king of sandbox games, there are legitimately a number of competitors that can lay claim to challenging for the crown. And in some cases, they came pretty damn close to being even better...

A freelance writer with love of comic books, sci-fi/fantasy, action films, pro wrestling and more. An inventive mind and history major who hopes to bring some of that to readers.