There’s always been an overly active fantasy enveloping the Mafia. From the ever present American classic “The Sopranos” to the bloody and artful Godfather films, the world has been captivated by these stories of family and crime. This is why it is understandable that games would eventually follow suite and start showing off just what it would be like to be a gangster. Of course, there are different types of approaches to this genre, and often, they vary wildly in terms of theme and storytelling. So without much more ado, here are the top 10 crime titles which are similar to good games Mafia.
During the earlier ages of this genre, Mafia was basically only rivalled by one other game on the PS2. The Godfather was the only other title that dealt with crime syndicates during this era, but Mafia did one hell of a job making it fun. The title basically ran like the GTA series, in that you are on the opposite side of the law and you must help your syndicate succeed. However, the better feature of this game is that it had a fully fleshed out story, presenting both interesting characters and a strong plotline that would carry on to its sequel.
When you mention gangster movies, there’s no way that you would ever forget about Scarface. Of course, while the game wasn’t one of the best, it did capture the spirit of the film. Featuring a lot of ultra violence and truncated by the odd Mafia mission, Scarface turned out to be a fun game in the long run. It does lack a bit of quality though, but then again, most games based on movies carry their own problems.
8. The Godfather
Above, it was mentioned that the Godfather game was the only other game that rivalled Mafia during the time. The reason why it gets a higher slot on this list is because when you play this game, it actually felt like you were a gangster. Featuring a newcomer to the world of The Godfather, the player was tasked with helping the main characters from the film. So instead of being cast into the spotlight, you were actually one of the supporting characters in the film. This little twist made all the difference when it came to plotline, as you were the one who had to run scams, collect payments, and protect territory. All these together, made an amazing game about the crime world.
7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
The Grand Theft Auto series is probably the best place to turn to when it comes to crime stories, however, before Rockstar Games took their plotlines seriously, they were taking a more comedic approach. Vice City is one of the last games in the series to feature a whimsical, yet ultraviolent story line. This did not stop the game from being massively fun though, and even today, it’s considered one of the best in the series.
6. LA Noire
While LA Noire isn’t really a story about the people involved in the mafia, it did offer up a unique game experience. In it is Detective Cole Phelps, a World War II veteran who, upon arrival home, joined the LAPD. Beyond the story though, the game did offer some unique changes to the usual crime formula. Here, you can interrogate suspects through judging their facial expression and with the help of evidence, you could lock them up. There’s also the whole thing about the most realistic facial animations in a game, but when you see it first hand, it starts to look creepy.
5. GTA San Andreas
GTA San Andreas is highly regarded as one of the most influential Sandbox games ever made. It had a huge map where you could do as you please a good storyline, and a likeable protagonist. GTASA also revelled in absurdity, as eventually you would start meeting hyperbolic antagonists. Also, it had Samuel L. Jackson and James Woods in it, so there’s a little bonus for you.
4. Red Dead Redemption
The guys at Rockstar Games are really good at making crime games that even when crossing periods in time, they still write poetic storylines. Red Dead Redemption is a crime drama set during the dying days of the Old West. Everything in the game detailed this shift in eras; from the countless ghost towns, to the rolling plains which were filled with countless train tracks.
3. The Saints Row Series
If you like your games with a bit of sarcasm in the mix, Saints Row is the game series which you should turn to. Basically, this series took the path that GTA had gotten tired of treading, and at the same time, it did it well. The games were hilarious, but if you really want to see just how funny it is, pick up the latest title in the series.
2. Mafia 2
It wasn’t too long ago that crime games started co-opting serious storytelling, and in Mafia 2, this was very prevalent. Featuring a new protagonist and a wink to the first game that made the storyline almost poetic, Mafia 2 really upped the ante when it came to the plot. However, this game was let down in one major aspect; it had very little substance. While the world was beautiful and very well detailed, there was little else you could do in the game other than story missions.
1. GTA IV
While the Godfather was considered one of the best films of all time, the game that borrowed the story line was less than amazing. However, if you want to try a title about a criminal protagonist trying to make amends for a life he left behind, then GTA IV is the game you’re looking for. This game got a lot of flak the first time it came out, as it was a new take on a tried and tested formula which made sandbox gaming brilliant. The thing is, whatever it lacked in terms of over the top fun, it made up for in brilliant character development, and moral choices which wouldn’t dictate how you should play.