11 Best Crime Video Games This Generation

Crime in video games tends to showcase a wide range of narratives. From criminals who simply wish to make cash fast to innocent protagonists that get swindled into doing someone’s bidding, there’s a wide range of criminal themed video game titles to enjoy right now.

We have listed down the very best crime themed video games available that has released in the past five years. Check out our list below and let us know what your favorite crime video game is by leaving us a comment.


#11 Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has, for the most part, received a positive reception since its release in 2015. The video game takes the same gameplay mechanics and goals since the franchise first launched; however, the game is set in Victorian-era London. Gamers will witness twin assassins, Jacob and Evie Frye, going through the underground organized crime to take control of the city from the Templars. At the time of release, the game was highly regarded due to the characters and mission design. However, there is some stale gameplay repetitiveness you may have to go through. Overall, Jacob and Evie Frye must take back the city as they arrive to find that the area has been wiped out of Assassin’s, leaving it in control of the Templars.

#10 Judgment

Set in the Yakuza franchise world comes Judgment. However, this is a different take in the line of Yakuza games as instead of being part of the crime families, you’re instead a detective who is seeking out answers to a series of murder cases. With that said, there are still elements from the Yakuza franchise that will be present in this game. For one, you’ll still find the fighting mechanics. This is still a brawler-style game where players will use melee combat to take out thugs that get in your way. However, there are new mechanics to set this game apart. In our Before You Buy video upload, we go into detail about these new detective-style mechanics and find that they are similar to the Ace Attorney series rather than being more in line with L.A. Noire. Likewise, being a detective, you’ll have to use various means to infiltrate areas and discover new clues. Take for example, a section of the game where you have to dress in disguise as you progress through an area.

#9 Yakuza Kiwami
  • Developer: Sega
  • Publisher: Sega, Deep Silver
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, PC
  • Release: January 21, 2016

We have a few installments to the Yakuza franchise in this list, and if you’ve never got into the series before then Yakuza Kiwami may help. Developed by Sega, Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the first Yakuza game within the series. Players will learn about the various crime families and their connections with each other. Within this installment, players will take the role of Kazuma Kiryu as he battles against various Yakuza families after he is falsely accused of murdering a high-ranking Yakuza member. Now outside of prison, Kiryu is learning what has happened since he departed the family and tracking down those he loved. As mentioned, if you haven’t got into this franchise in the past, this is a great starting point. It’s an over-the-top brawler game full of exploration and even some wacky combat.

#8 Watch Dogs Legion

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia, Luna, XSX/S, PS5
  • Release: November 12, 2020
  • Gameranx Before You Buy

In Watch Dogs Legion, DedSec has to fight back against a new strict regime that has taken over London. However, unlike the past two installments for this IP, players won’t be diving into the game as a single character protagonist. Instead, the developers opted to make recruitment a crucial part of this game, so to flesh up your roster of incredibly badass operatives, you’ll have to go and hunt them down yourself. In this game, anyone in the game world can be a playable character. From the brute security guards, a tech enthusiast, to a little old grandma, you can find someone with the necessary skill sets to complete your current mission objectives.

Just like the past two installments, tech and hacking are essential to go through this title. Players can operate massive drones, hack surveillance cameras to get an inside look of what’s inside a closed-off area, or use different unique gadgets to do your bidding. With that said, the development team made the missions to be completed in various ways, so whether you want to go in with brute force or use a variety of technological advancements to keep your character at a safer distance from the danger.

#7 Mafia III

In 1968, gamers will be cruising the mean streets of New Orleans as they attempt to take down the Italian mob in Mafia III. Overall the game revolves around Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran who has since returned to the States. After his return, Lincoln Clay joins The Black Mob, a gang that has butted heads against the Italian mob. After an attempt was taken on Clay’s life, he decides to end the competition with the help of his three allies, Cassandra, Burke, and Vito Scaletta. The action-adventure open-world title allows players to explore the city while targeting enemies freely. Through the use of melee weapons to gunplay, Lincoln Clay can easily hone into his military training when eliminating enemies or even interrogating them for much-needed information to use against the Italian mob. There’s also a remastered collection featuring all three Mafia games if you want to dive further back into different eras of the mob.

#6 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition

  • Developer: Grove Street Games
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PC, NS, PS4, PS5, XBO, X/S
  • Release: November 11, 2021
  • Gameranx Before You Buy

Rockstar Games is known for delivering the stellar Grand Theft Auto franchise. These games have been around for ages now and continue to thrive today. With each new installment, we’re thrown into an over-the-top crime-ridden narrative. Likewise, we’re given a large open world map to explore and create chaos within. While some fans have been waiting on the announcement of a Grand Theft Auto 6, Rockstar Games opted to give players something to tide them over. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is a remastered collection of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. The narrative is intact here, but players are receiving some overhauls in visuals and modern mechanics.

If you’ve never played these three-game installments in the past, each features a unique protagonist and overall storyline plot. For Grand Theft Auto III, players are taking the role of Claude, who is on a revenge quest in a New York City-style location called Liberty City. With Grand Theft Auto Vice City, we’re taken to the late 1980s in a Miami-inspired area. Here you’ll be stepping into the role of a mobster named Tommy Vercetti, who is building up his own criminal empire. Lastly, with Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, you’re playing Carl Johnson, who ends up back in his hometown. Here he’s drawn back into the life of crime and corruption. If you played even the latest Grand Theft Auto installment, Grand Theft Auto V, then you know what to expect with these games. Of course, since they are a bit older, they might not have all the bells and whistles as the more recent releases. Still, it’s a thrilling experience to go back and play three iconic titles from the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

#5 Yakuza Like A Dragon

  • Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, X/S
  • Release: November 10, 2020

Yakuza: Like A Dragon throws away the main protagonist from the previous installments and changes up the gameplay mechanics. This time around, players are following a low-ranking member of a yakuza family, Ichiban Kasuga. After taking the fall for a crime that cost him 18 years behind bars, Ichiban is finally freed, only to find that his yakuza family was destroyed. Without a family, our protagonist seeks out the truth of what happened while he was locked away. As mentioned, this game also features a change up to the brawler style gameplay for instead a turn-based RPG combat system. However, despite this drastic change up for the franchise, fans took up with the game, which is often recommended for players today.

#4 The Wolf Among Us
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, PS3, PS4, PSV, X360, XBO
  • Release: October 14, 2013

Based on the Fables comic book series, The Wolf Among Us is another hit from developers Telltale Games. Overall, the game is set within an American town that features outcasts from your beloved fairy tale stories. Now hiding in the human world, players take on the role of Bigby Wolf, once known as the Big Bad Wolf, who must keep the fables in check to avoid unwanted attention. Of course, that’s easier said than done when a new string of murders has occurred to various fairy tale characters. Since another fairy tale character can only kill these chosen few, it seems that this investigation will lead Bigby to meet with past friends to learn who is the real murderer.

#3 Grim Fandango Remaster
  • Developer: LucasArts
  • Publisher: LucasArts
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PSV, NS, Android, iOS
  • Release: January 27, 2015

Grim Fandango Remastered focuses on Manny Calavera, a salesman who offers souls packages that will set them onto their four-year journey to everlasting, eternal rest. However, Manny’s world gets turned upside down when a conspiracy could threaten his own salvation. Players will guide Manny out of this mess in order to clear his name from any wrongdoings. This is a graphic adventure though an old-school one as it originally came out in 1998. However, the game has been remastered and published for most current generation consoles giving you another chance to relive this thrilling experience.

#2 Grand Theft Auto V
  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, PC, XBO, X360,
  • Release: September 17, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V is by and large one of the biggest open-world titles ever developed, and it really fleshes out the city of Los Santos. Players take control of three protagonists this time around with narratives dealing with old kept secrets and new beginnings. Outside of the cast of characters featured within the main campaign, Los Santos acts as the setting for the online component known as Grand Theft Auto Online. Online, gamers can face each other in a wide variety of game modes, join together and complete missions or even decide to wreak havoc while fleeing the police. Years after its initial release, Grand Theft Auto V continues to be a popular video game to play.

#1 Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Developer: Rockstar Studios
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO
  • Release: October 26, 2018
  • Gameranx Before You Buy

Rockstar Games has crafted up several incredible pieces of work. Their beloved long-running series Grand Theft Auto, the single IP release of Bully, and of course their old western series, Red Dead Redemption, just to name a few. Red Dead Redemption has a massive following, and gamers worldwide are undoubtedly waiting for new information to trickle down from Rockstar for their latest installment, Red Dead Redemption 2. Players will progress through an adventure within the game featuring an outlaw named Arthur Morgan and the Va der Linde gang. This appears to be a gritty western, and if it’s similar to the original Red Dead Redemption along with Grand Theft Auto V, you can expect a few random encounter missions to take part in outside of the main campaign. While there are options to steer Arthur to be more of a morally decent character, the game presents players with plenty of opportunities to live life out as a ruthless outlaw that’s constantly on the run.


Bonus

The Outer Worlds

  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Publisher: Private Division
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, NS
  • Release: October 15, 2019
  • Gameranx Before You Buy

Obsidian Entertainment released a big Fallout competitor with The Outer Worlds. It’s a futuristic title that puts players into a galaxy that a massive corporation runs. The corporation seemingly controls each planet, and it’s left plenty of revolts over faulty leadership and tyranny style control. Players are essentially dropped right into the middle of it all, giving you a choice to take over control for either the corporation or the resistance rising up. With a ton of quests to take on and places to explore, how you handle the situations that come up essentially directs you in one of two pathways. As a result, some factions will see your presence as a traitor and criminal. It’s certainly a title well worth playing, and because the game offers two pathways, you’ll get a different storyline that may give you new areas to explore equipment and quests.

This Is The Police
  • Developer: Weappy Studio
  • Publisher: Nordic Games, EuroVideo Medien
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, NS
  • Release: August 2, 2016

In this narrative-based strategy game, players step into the shoes of the police chief, who must make difficult choices when dispatching his men throughout the game. This often comes to consequences as you must appease civilians and City Hall. However, ultimately, the choice is yours to make. The police chief is running on his last year within the force with just under two hundred days left. This makes the choices and situations that are being put on the protagonist even more of a struggle. Overall, players will have a goal of making $500,000 before retirement, which will mean getting your nose dirty rather than being the upstanding officer that first got into the force all those years ago.

Empire of Sin

  • Developer: Romero Games
  • Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, NS
  • Release: December 1, 2020

Empire of Sin throws players into a mob strategy game set within 1920s Chicago. Thanks to the prohibition, the cities are crumbling as gangs go to war with each other and the law enforcement. Players take the role of a low-ranking member of a gang as you attempt to rise the criminal empire as you establish rackets and recruit new mobsters that will not only be loyal but effective when on the streets. With the game focused on Chicago, you’ll have a variety of neighborhoods divided into groups. As you expand your empire territory, you’ll need to threaten, bribe, and coerce through any obstacles that may present themselves.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

For those familiar with the Yakuza series, the latest main installment, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, continues with the original story. Just like previous installments to the franchise, gamers can expect a brawler fighting title with a slightly open-world environment to explore. As players go through the game, they can level up and unlock useful skills to use against other Yakuza thugs. Players will step into the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu once again, who is on a mission to learn what has happened to Haruka after being locked away for three years.