Updated: This list has been updated in July of 2019 to reflect new video game installments.
Original article follows:
Few people with options otherwise would chose to do crimes, but yet somehow culturally we find the idea fascinating. We base so much of our entertainment on people doing terrible things that we’d vilify in real life. It’s as true in games as it is in films or books.
We don’t claim to have an answer for why this is, all we know is, there are a bunch of games about crime that are very good and you should think about playing them!
#30 Mafia 3
- Developer: Hangar 13
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO,
- Release: October 7, 2016
Take on the role of a Vietnam war veteran, who returns from the war only to find his hometown of New Bordeaux in control of the mob, as he picks up a gun and rises through the ranks of his own “family,” eradicating all of the gangsters in his way and plunging the city into the worst chaos it’s ever seen.
#29 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 throughout the game. Do you sack every black police officer on the force and capitulate to the demands of City Hall and its pandering of racists? Do you let a mobster go if it means saving the life of your best friend and his family? The choice is yours.
#28 Deadly Premonition
- Developer: Access Games
- Publisher: Ignition Entertainment, Rising Star Games
- Platforms: X360, PS3, PC
- Release: February 23, 2010
If you’re a fan of the cult TV series Twin Peaks, then chances are you’ve come across the video game Dead Premonition. It’s quite easy to see where developers Access Games received their inspirations when creating the game narrative. Within the game, players become an FBI agent who is sent to a small town within the United States in order to solve a murder. While investigating the murder it becomes obvious that there’s an otherworldly presence taking control of the town.
- Developer: Eidos Montreal
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO
- Release: February 25, 2014
If you enjoy stealth games then you very well may have played a few past video game installments of Thief. In 2014 under development studio Eidos Montreal, Thief received a reboot though the game takes place hundreds of years after the original series. Interestingly enough, if you enjoyed the past installments then you may even come across a few nods and items from the original series. But with that said, you don’t need any backstory in order to enjoy Thief today.
Thief puts players into the role of Garret who is a highly skilled thief. Garret returns home after being away for a long period of time where he finds that the city is under control of a tyrant leader named Baron. Likewise, players will find that the city is under famine and disease leaving those who are not part of the wealthy class status to slowly die away.
Garret is the common people’s last hope to survive which means he’ll have to use all of his cunning and skills against Baron. While the game is centered on stealth, players will have the ability to go through the game in a variety of styles such as a more action-oriented approach.
#26 The Godfather
- Developer: EA Redwood Shores
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Platforms: PS2, XB, PC, PSP, X360, PS3, Wii
- Release: March 21, 2006
It’s impossible to deny the quality of Francis Ford Copella’s film which even today holds up as an absolutely essential piece of entertainment. So pervasive is this film’s appeal that the plot of this game wouldn’t think to stray from it. You’re a character introduced into the world working behind the scenes, performing tasks from within the film like planting Michael’s gun and the iconic horse head. While your role might be a little hammered in, it’s well executed and utterly recommendable.