The best crime games for wannabe masterminds

CRIME is illegal. Consequently, committing crimes in real life is no fun at all.

The heart-pounding rush of adrenaline will make you pee your pants rather than get the high you’re looking for.

The Japanese mafia in Yakuza: Like a Dragon


The Japanese mafia in Yakuza: Like a DragonPhoto credit: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios

Then there are all these insidious consequences. Even minor offenses usually result in a fine and lengthy discussions with the police.

While you might secretly wish you could get revenge on all those who have wronged you, honestly it would be a lot of bullshit and probably lead to a lot of brain-melting guilt.

However, there is a way to commit crimes without negative consequences. We’re talking about the best form of escapism; video games.

You can become the leader of your local crime syndicate with just the push of a button, and you’ll never have to worry about a rival gang plotting to take you out. At least not in real life.

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If that sounds like your bag, take a look at our list of the best crime games.

Grand Theft Auto

It literally has a crime in its title, GTA, although you will engage in a lot more criminal activity than just stealing cars.

Drug dealing, assault, incitement, arson, and murder are all the cards when you play any of these games. In fact, there are few crimes that you can’t take part in as the series’ storylines progress.

It ends a bit gruesome for some – the scene where you first see Trevor crushing a man’s skull under his boot might set the tone here – but if a little gore is your thing, then this is it Right one.

Just remember that if you need to get the police off your tail, going to waste is a good option.


A series based on the Japanese mafia and these guys aren’t afraid of some shady dealings.

Aside from the numerous fights between insanely muscular dudes covered in elaborate body art, the number of national scale crimes taking place just below the surface leaves GTA in the dust.

The main series’ protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, is a former clan leader with a heart of gold who still commits crimes, albeit often for the greater good.

While some of the crimes Kiryu engages in throughout the Yakuza series aren’t the prettiest, you can still understand why he does it.

hit man

Probably one of the first franchises that comes to mind when you think of crime, as Agent 47’s crime is right there in the title.

The great thing about the Hitman franchise is that you can take down your target any way you want. Whether that’s stealthy and professional or dressing up as a flamingo and running right into her.

Obviously, each of these methods has different chances of success. But what success really is, you have to decide for yourself.

Does it quickly complete the mission on the first try? Or is it trying to figure out what bizarre antics you can get away with?

Disco Elysium

This is the game that’s least on your radar, but also possibly the most deserving of your time.

Disco Elysium’s charm lies in its beautifully written story, which changes depending on how you choose to portray yourself. They can go fully fascist or fully communist and everything in between.

Similar to Hitman, every problem has more than one solution.

You can brute force into a crime scene or charm the guards.

Whichever path you choose is totally valid, but you may not always be successful. Much depends on the roll of the dice.


The Mafia franchise dates back to the PlayStation 2 era, and the original trilogy is oldies by goodies.

Publisher 2K Games must have thought so too when they released a remake of the first, a remaster of the second, and an expanded version of the together in one definitive collection.

Some see it as a yakuza but with white boys, or GTA, except all the cars go really slow.

Whichever way you look at it, it’s a piece of gaming history, one to live out your Scarface-powered fantasies.

Red Dead Redemption

Those of you who’ve played the series know that the protagonists, John Marston and Arthur Morgan, are simply doing their best, but that doesn’t mean what they’re doing is entirely legal.

There was a lot of killing in Red Dead Redemption’s Wild West, and while we might think of it as “cowboys gonna be cowboys” today, it was a crime even then.

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Everything from cattle rustling to train robbery is on the menu here to sate your criminal urges.

A wise man once called it “Grand Theft Horse-o,” and never has anyone been more right.

Cowboys who are cowboys in Red Dead Redemption 2.


Cowboys who are cowboys in Red Dead Redemption 2.Photo credit: Rockstar Games

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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