10 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.


#10 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, this time the franchise is set in Victorian-era London. Gamers will witness twin assassins, Jacob and Evie Frye, as they go through the underground organized crime in order 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 are 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.

#9 Judgment

Set in the Yakuza franchise world comes Judgment. 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. For a full breakdown of what we thought about the game check out our Before You Buy episode upload embedded above.

#8 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 the game, players will take the role of Kazuma Kiryu as he battles against a variety of Yakuza families after he is falsely accused of committing a murder to a high ranking Yakuza member. Now outside of prison, Kiryu is learning of what has happened since his departure of the family along with tracking down those he loved.

As mentioned, if this a franchise you haven’t got into in the past then this is a great starting point.

#7 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 is having 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 necessary 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 really made the missions to be completed in a variety of 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.

#6 Hitman 2
  • Developer: IO Interactive
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
  • Release: November 13, 2018
  • Gameranx Before You Buy

If you enjoyed the Hitman video game release back in 2016 then you won’t want to miss out on its sequel. Hitman 2 will continue on with the narrative journey left off in the previous installment. Players will once again step into the role of Agent 47 where he will be taking on contracts and killing off the designated targets. However, the overall goal in Agent 47’s mind is taking out the Shadow Client from the previous video game storyline.

There is also another change up from the past title and that this time around players will not have to deal with an episodic release. Unlike Hitman, Hitman 2 will have a more standard video game launch with the entire game being available right from its release. However, the game will still be supported post-release as developers IO Interactive will be delivering DLC expansions. Gameplay will still be the same where Agent 47 will have to blend into his environment in order to stealthily take down his target.

#5 Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

For those familiar with the Yakuza series, the latest main installment of the series, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, will pick back up the narrative storyline players have been following over the years. 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. When it comes to the narrative, 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.

#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 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 in order to avoid unwanted attention.

That’s easier said then done when a new string of murders has occurred to various fairy tale characters. Since these chosen few can only be killed by another fairy tale character it seems that this investigation will lead Bigby to meet with past friends in order 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 that offers packages to souls 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 along with an upcoming Nintendo Switch release.

#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 against 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 a number of 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 all over the world are undoubtedly waiting for new information to trickle down from Rockstar for their latest installment, Red Dead Redemption 2.

Within the game, players will progress through an adventure 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 then 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 is run by a massive corporation. Each planet is seemingly controlled by the corporation 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 which gives you the choice of taking 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 with essentially direct 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 of the game offering two pathways, you’ll get a different storyline that may give you new areas to explore equipment and quests.

Mafia III

Taking place 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 finds himself joining 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 freely explore the city while targeting enemies. 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.

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 your 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.

Battlefield Hardline
  • Developer: Visceral Games
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO
  • Release: March 17, 2015

The Battlefield franchise has mainly been set in fictional to historical wars. With that said, Battlefield Hardline focuses on criminal battles set within Miami. Players will step into the shoes of Officer Nick Mendoza who goes off-the-books in order to follow a drug supply chain. The deeper Officer Mendoza digs, the clearer it becomes that power can affect anyone.

However, if you enjoy multiplayer gameplay then there are a variety of game modes available to face against other players. These essentially includes a force of legal police officers taking on a group of criminals within heists and hostage rescues.

Currently, there is no news regarding an upcoming sequel following the same style format. However, Battlefield Hardline is still active with players for online game modes.

Life is Strange 2

life is strange
  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
  • Release: December 3, 2019 (final episode)

The Life is Strange franchise is all about providing players with an emotionally deep narrative to go through. In 2019 we got the final episode of Life is Strange 2, which follows two brothers on the run from the law. Without spoiling too much of the game, the Diaz brothers are wanted as suspects to the death of a police officer. With the young brother having supernatural powers, the two are left making a run to the Mexico border in search of free life that could also keep unwanted attention away.

This is a graphic adventure so most of the gameplay is focused on exploring the area, solving puzzles, and making choices. The choices you make will determine how the narrative will ultimately play out and with seven different endings available, you can be sure that each choice will play a viable role in the story conclusion. We’re not wanting to spoil the fun in case you haven’t played the game, but you can be sure that there is plenty of tough choices that may cause the brothers to break the law.

Empire of Sin

  • Developer: Romero Games
  • Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, NS
  • Release: 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 that are divided into groups. As you expand your empire territory you’ll need to threaten, bribe and coerce through any obstacles that may present themselves. This is set to be a single player game but there’s no release date attached to the game quite yet. Last we have heard about Empire of Sin is that this game will be hitting the marketplace at some point in 2020, so for now we’ll have to leave this as a bonus title to get excited for.