Grand Theft Auto VI's first trailer continues breaking records and exciting players daily. However, players have a long wait ahead, with the estimated release date being over a year away. Rockstar's games typically shatter records and set new records. Grand Theft Auto VI is no exception. Diving into an equally immersive world will help shorten the lengthy wait. Fortunately, several critically acclaimed games fulfill that criteria.
1. Watch Dogs (2016)
Players who desire arcade-like gameplay with straightforward controls must try Watch Dogs. In this game, players must use on-the-hacking to outsmart their enemies and sometimes the cops. While some gameplay systems resemble the Grand Theft Auto series, others keep things fresh. Above all, the ability to hack into vehicles, machinery, and even people leads to creative gameplay scenarios.
2. Yakuza 0 (2015)
A surprisingly strong narrative and addictive gameplay systems elevate Yakuza 0 as one of the best in its genre. Instead of an expansive city to explore, players have a relatively compact yet dense area to explore. The complexity of the characters leads to some hilarious and even emotional moments in the storyline. While some cutscenes last over five minutes, they keep players entertained.
3. Mafia: Definitive Edition (2020)
The Mafia games perfect the early 1900s aesthetic. Players play as Tommy Angelo, who finds himself involved in the world of crime. The city teems with life, with something interesting to do or someone to talk to around every corner. The game uses signposts around every street to direct the player to the next objective, limiting the use of a HUD. The Mafia games often come up as the Godfather of video games.
4. Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (2023)
Insomniac Games continues to impress the gaming industry by releasing multiple critically acclaimed games yearly. Spider-Man 2′s high-octane web-slinging action and consistently engaging combat raise the bar again. This sequel has players control Peter and Miles as they go against Kraven and potentially more powerful foes in the narrative. The game consistently refreshes traversal and combat systems with new additions every few missions. The Web Wings, in particular, make flying around New York a blast!
5. Far Cry 6 (2021)
Players love the Far Cry games for their wonky open-world scenarios and beautiful visuals. Far Cry 6 has players explore the forcibly occupied nation of Yara. Players must reclaim Yaran regions from Anton Castillo, a ruthless ruler played by Giancarlo Esposito. To do so, they must take over enemy-controlled bases with the help of local insurgents. The explorable area stretches beyond the horizon, with some regions exhibiting more urban characteristics than others.
6. Saint's Row 2 (2008)
Players who want a casual open-world experience with hilarious and chaotic gameplay must try Saint's Row 2. This game doesn't take itself seriously, which shows in all gameplay systems. Players especially love the surprisingly in-depth character customization system. Everything from shirts and coats to socks and rings can be changed. Remember that some gameplay systems may be obsolete, while others, like the narrative and soundtrack, were ahead of their time.
7. Cyberpunk 2077 (2020)
CD Projekt Red's redemption story with Cyberpunk 2077 is second to none. The game launched in an abysmally broken state, but a series of patches fixed and improved it. At present, Night City's immersion and detail give other games in the genre a run for their money. The engaging narrative and equally thrilling side quests make for a highly enjoyable experience. The capacity to invest in several perks and abilities warrants several playthroughs to try out different playstyles.
8. Valheim (2021)
Cozy cabins, dark forests, and a mystifying soundtrack cement Valheim as one of the coziest games ever. Valheim is jam-packed with content yet doesn't overwhelm players. Instead, players gradually get introduced to new mechanics as they strengthen. Make no mistake: Valheim's world and mechanics contrast Grand Theft Auto's yet equally immerse players. Players can spend over one hundred hours in this game and still have stuff to do.
9. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (2023)
Jedi Survivor improves upon its predecessor's gameplay systems and adds several quality-of-life changes. The game mixes up linear gameplay segments with explorable areas. Players freely explore several planets in the Star Wars universe, solving mysteries, making friends, and battling Stormtroopers. The combat gives players a hard time but will prove manageable for players experienced with souls-like games.
10. Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)
What better way to wait for Grand Theft Auto VI than playing another renowned Rockstar game? Despite its release over five years ago, Red Dead Redemption 2 continues to dominate the open-world genre. Rockstar games outdid themselves and crafted a living, breathing world, quickly immersing players for hundreds of hours.
11. Starfield (2023)
Starfield has players explore a mix of hand-crafted and procedurally generated planets and moons set across the galaxy. Bethesda essentially aimed to create Skyrim in space and did just that. This game has various things to do, from ship customization to building outposts. Starfield attempts to mix and match the best elements from several genres yet masters none. It has something for everyone.
12. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (2021)
Open-world video game fatigue is real and often mitigated by taking a break or choosing more linear titles. Guardians of the Galaxy takes players on a journey in which they meet several friends and enemies set across space. Each Guardian has their internal struggle and surprisingly pulls their weight in the narrative. The core gameplay systems won't give players a hard time, but combat may get repetitive.
13. Need for Speed Unbound (2022)
Grand Theft Auto V Online has a thriving car meets community, arranging several meet-ups to showcase their rides. Players interested in the vehicular aspect must give Unbound a try. Besides the high-octane racing and cop chases, this game has an extensive car customization system. As icing on the cake, Unbound takes a unique visual approach, implementing cartoony effects for drifts, jumps, nitrous, and more.
14. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition (2021)
The Trilogy remasters and improves the best games from the Grand Theft Auto Series: San Andreas, Vice City, and III. These games still resemble their original visual approach, albeit with higher resolutions and textures. For players new to the franchise, The Trilogy functions as the perfect starting point. Long-time fans can also enjoy their favorites with crisp, uplifted visuals.
15. No Man's Sky (2016)
No Man's Sky serves as Hello Games' worst disaster and most remarkable achievement. The high quality of this game shows how continuous developer support can improve a barebones experience. Players can explore an infinite number of planets in this game, encountering unexplored fauna and wildlife alone or with friends. The developers consistently add more content to the game each year, refreshing the gameplay loop.
16. The Witcher 3 (2015)
Known for its intricately detailed world, characters, and quests, Witcher 3 wows players to this day. It's impressive how much content CD Projekt Red has managed to pack into this game. Players explore war-torn villages, dense cities, wet swamps, high mountains, and more. Almost all main and side characters have depth and emotion masterfully shown through the quests. While the combat could be improved, it still gets the job done, but players may need a little practice.