Crime Based Free Roam Games Like Mafia
Crime Based Free Roam Games Like Mafia
Looking for crime based free roam games like Mafia? Take control of your own crime organisations in these open world adventures.
While many people love the Grand Theft Auto series I consider Mafia to be the best game in this genre because I really love the Mafia theme. It's a great series of games that really makes you feel like you're in control of your own Mafia crime family. I really like the realistic elements of the series as opposed to the more stylised options like GTA and the Saints Row series.
I know that I'm not alone in my opinion with plenty of Mafia fans out there as well, so if you're like me you'll find this page of games like Mafia very helpful as you decide on which crime based open world game to try next.
While I've included some of the more obvious options I hope that you'll still discover a game recommendation that works for you (if you want more then try this list of Mafia like games). Don't forget to check out the poll below and vote or leave a comment with your opinions.
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Grand Theft Auto Series
No list of crime based free roam adventures would be complete without the extremely popular Grand Theft Auto series. I've enjoyed watching it evolve from the very first game to become one of the great options in this genre. Obviously the more recent games like GTA4 or GTA5 are the best options here but I encourage you not to discount the other games because they are just as good and sometimes it's worth returning to the origins of a series.
The best part of the Grand Theft Auto series for gamers is the large number of platforms that the games are available for which means regardless of your platform preference you can get in on the action. Because the games aren't connected in any sort of way it also gives you the freedom to start with whichever game you want.
Regardless of the Grand Theft Auto game you'll find a game where you jump into a life of crime with plenty of flexibility. Want to go on a driving rampage or maybe just go down to the local club for some golf the choice is yours. The fifth game really took this to an even higher level with opportunities for real estate and the ability to even fly aircraft. It's almost an entirely new life just waiting to be explored.
While it's likely that anyone that has played the Mafia games has already played Grand Theft Auto if you are one of the few that hasn't now is the time to do it.
Saints Row Series
Right behind the Grand Theft Auto series is definitely the Saints Row series in terms of games like Mafia that let you live the life of crime. While the first few games were quite tame the series decided to differentiate itself in Saints Row 3 and 4 by turning up the wacky meter to 11.
With all sorts of strange missions, characters and one of the weirdest settings in Saints Row IV the experiences promise to be different. In terms of gameplay the Saints Row series is quite in line with what other free roam games offer with the ability to explore the fictional town as you please and taking part in a range of activities.
There's plenty of main storyline mission to enjoy but the gameplay hours are beefed up with strange side missions. This is extended even further if you're the sort of player that likes to just go on long drives and explore what the country side has to offer.
Personally I found the recent Saints Row games a little too far away from realism for me but it if that isn't a requirement for you then I have no doubt that you'll love it. I do recommend starting from earlier in the games though since story is linked quite closely.
The Godfather Series
The Godfather series is probably one of the most similar games to Mafia. The first game is my preferred of the series although it does look really dated (released in 2006) I encourage fans of Mafia style crime games to look past that and enjoy what is on offer. The second game is also pretty good it just made a few mechanic choices that I didn't think were the right direction for the series, other people love it though so like anything it comes down to opinion.
It's your standard experience for this genre with a third person view and an open world just waiting to be explored. With a mixture of driving elements and gun fights it offers good balance between these two mechanics that some other games in this genre sometimes miss the mark on. The second game in particular introduces more melee style combat into the game that lets you kick, pinch and even head butt your enemies into submission.
The part of the series that I really liked though was the squad type overview during territory battles where you can order your henchmen and use strategy to overcome the tougher rivals. I liked this because it meant with careful planning and strategy you could take over complexes that were currently quite a bit more powerful than you.
True Crime Series
The True Crime series started in 2003 with Streets of LA and continued in 2005 with New York City. The third game was eventually turned into the now very popular game, Sleeping Dogs. Taking place in real world locations you get plenty of great landmarks to explore as you take place in this open world style of gameplay.
The games were realised at the peak of the GTA clones so everything in this action-adventure is very in line with the early GTA games (most notably number 2 and 3). The roles are reversed though as you'll actually be playing as a cop in these games, it's still got that very crime like atmosphere though because of the way you can accumulate good cop and bad cop points to alter what kind of character you play as.
This game like Mafia is better saved for PC gamers as it's only available on older consoles (PS2 and Xbox) which does limit it's accessibility to console gamers who don't have one of the old consoles. If you do have one of the supported consoles though I encourage you to pick it up, not only will it be dirt cheap it also packs a great experience.
Scarface: The World Is Yours
Before you ask, yes this game is based on the movie with the same name and it does stay true to it pretty closely in terms of style. The most obvious thing that you might notice is the adjustment to the movie ending for this game to take place, but I feel it's a minor issue and had to be done for a game to be a possibility.
I won't go too much into the plot as this is an important part of the overall experience but I will say that it takes place after the movie and involves you trying to reclaim your own empire. It's a long journey back to the top but it's a fun and fairly open one none the less.
Gameplay is very much over the top in parts which lines up perfectly with the personality of the film as well. Much of the game focuses on taking back your empire and there are multiple paths to get there be it hard work and connections, bribery, fighting or sneaking you can do it all.
The only let down of this game like Mafia is the platforms which once again only make it suitable to console gamers with an older platform or PC gamers.
Images on this page are either provided by the respective developers or are my own images from the game. They are used solely for review and identification purposes.
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