The Best Crime Video Games Of The Last 5 Years

Note: This article was updated in July of 2019.

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.

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#13 Mafia III

  • Developer: Hangar 13
  • Publisher: 2k Games
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
  • Release: October 7, 2016

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.

#12 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.

#11 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.

#10 Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC
  • Release: October 23, 2015

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

  • Developer: Sega
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Platforms: PS4
  • Release: June 25, 2019

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 2

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC
  • Release: November 15, 2016

After the success Ubisoft had with their new IP Watch Dogs, a sequel was released back in 2016. This time around, players are taken to the San Francisco Bay Area to explore and cause havoc by hacking various terminals connecting to city functions or personal smartphones. Much of the same gameplay mechanics are present, though the developers did make a few overhauls such as driving controls.

Within the game, players will control Marucs Holloway, a hacker who has joined up with the hacking scene known as DedSec. Their entire goal is to rid the city from the advanced surveillance system known as ctOS which may invade the privacy of innocent civilians.

#6 Hitman 2

  • Developer: IO Interactive
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
  • Release: November 13, 2018

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

  • Developer: Sega CS1
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Platforms: PS4
  • Release: April 17, 2018

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

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.