Open-World Games Inspired By Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto

The video game industry just wouldn’t be the same without Grand Theft Auto. The series may have started in 1997 as a bird’s-eye view carnage game that has players steal cars and divulge in a multitude of crimes across different cities, but since Grand Theft Auto 3, the series leaped into the 3D space, providing players with a new open-world.



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Modern video games have Grand Theft Auto to thank as the blueprint for their design, and some of the best open-world games wouldn’t be the same without the inspiration from Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series, which continues to deliver, even if players have waited over a decade for Grand Theft Auto6.

8 The Simpsons: Hit & Run

If players ever wanted to experience The Simpsons in an open world, then The Simpsons: Hit & Run is perhaps the best experience. This game has clear Grand Theft Auto inspiration, from its crime system to the fact that it can steal other people’s cars.

Players might not be able to shoot other characters from The Simpsons, but they can kick them repeatedly. The Simpsons: Hit & Run is a great game and a classic for many fans. Exploring Springfield, and its characters, in a GTA setting is a joy.

7 Crackdown

Protagonist hanging off building

Crackdown may have faltered from its desire to best Grand Theft Auto, but that doesn’t stop the game from being one of the best GTA clones. Crackdown was inspired by Grand Theft Auto, not only through the gameplay and open-world aspects but from the desire to compete and beat GTA itself. Even if it did not succeed, it’s still a great game.

The competitive nature of Crackdown’s creation made it a good game, and an open world where players can create their fun within. Players are given the tools and the talents to experience hyper-realism in a world filled with player-caused carnage.

6 Saints Row

explosion open world game

Saints Row would be a game entirely impossible without Grand Theft Auto. The open-world Saints Row game may have started as a mere GTA clone, but it has since divulged into the chaos and quirky nature of its own two feet, allowing players to create some bizarre characters, vehicles, and weapons to terrorize the citizens of Steelport and Stillwater.

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The beginning of Saints Row may feel like a gritty Saints Row desperate to compete with Grand Theft Auto, but the future titles of the series managed to do their own thing, whilst keeping the inspiration from GTA clear with its open-world city, combat, and vehicles.

5 Mafia 2

original mafia 2 screenshot

If Grand Theft Auto traveled back in time to the 40s and 50s, it’s safe to say that it would look like Mafia 2. Mafia 2 takes place in the fictional U.S. city, Empire Bay, with players taking the role of Vito Scaletta, a man who returns from the war with a desire to make a name for himself and take care of his loved ones. After getting involved with gangsters and the mafia, Vito has to find a way to not drown in Empire Bay’s crime and corruption.

Players may wish that Mafia 2 was not so short, or that the game had more to offer in its linear open world, but it’s still a great experience. The range of vehicles, exciting missions, and characters, makes Mafia 2 a clear GTA-inspired game with gangster style.

4 Watch_Dogs

Aiden Pierce – Watch Dogs

Instead of being armed with a shotgun and a desire to steal cars, Watch_Dogs gives players a phone and the ability to hack technology. Watch_Dogs is an open-world game inspired by Grand Theft Auto. From the gloom of its open-world city to the carnage that unfolds if players commit crimes in the streets, Watch_Dogs has plenty of GTA mechanics.

Players can run through Chicago, and battle the fascist corporation of ctOS. Armed with a multitude of weapons, batons, gadgets, and gear, players will begin the task of unraveling the dangers of CtOS, even if the sequel, Watch_Dogs 2 does it better.

3 Yakuza 0

Ishin-Like Games- Yakuza 0

Players may not be able to steal cars in Yakuza 0, but the crime-riddled Kamurocho and Sotenbori leave them with plenty of opportunities to fight. Yakuza 0 is chronologically the first game in the Yakuza series, which was later renamed Like a Dragon. Despite the inspiration from Grand Theft Auto, Yakuza 0 is a unique experience that players need to try.

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Players will find so much joy in the wackiness and fun of Yakuza 0. From the many minigames of bowling, karaoke, and disco dancing, to the varied combat styles that players can use. Not only is the gameplay a complete joy, but Yakuza 0 has an immersive story of crime and mystery in 1980s Japan.

2 Sleeping Dogs

sleeping dogs character

Players will discover the story of Wei Shen, an undercover cop tasked with dismantling the Triads. Sleeping Dogs is a gritty game set in Hong Kong, and as an undercover cop, players need to do anything they can to avoid blowing their cover, even if that means committing crimes. Sleeping Dogs may not have the variety of Grand Theft Auto, but a crime-riddled open world is an inspiration.

There’s an enjoyability in Sleeping Dogs, as players will blur the line between crime and justice as they risk their lives for their undercover role. The combat can be a lot of fun in Sleeping Dogs, with players using a variety of gory means to battle their enemies.

1 Cyberpunk 2077

A screenshot of V shooting at a mech on top of a motorcycle in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.

Welcome to Night City, a future dystopian location in which everyone seems to be out to avoid each other, or kill each other. Cyberpunk 2077 does a great job with its immersion. From the bustling streets to the engaging and complex story of V and Johnny Silverhand. Cyberpunk 2077 is inspired by Grand Theft Auto in a multitude of ways but remains independent, a brilliant experience for fans of the open-world genre.

Players can steal cars, battle police, engage in a city-wide chaos, or, simply immerse themselves in Night City. Although, it’s best to wear a bulletproof vest, as carnage reigns supreme with the variety of gangs that inhabit the futuristic and fictional heart of California.

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