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Games You Should Play While Waiting For Grand Theft Auto 6

Although clues and rumors about "Grand Theft Auto 6" abound, some may find it tough to wait for the next numbered entry in the "Grand Theft Auto" series. While gaming journalist Jason Schreier confirmed in 2020 that "Grand Theft Auto 6" is in the works, Rockstar has yet to share any official updates regarding the much-anticipated follow-up

So, what can you play in the meantime? The industry is full of excellent open-world games, with the highest-value productions consistently pushing the boundaries of what gamers expect. Massive open-world games can be intimidating, but they are often some of the most immersive titles on the market. After all, "Grand Theft Auto 5" has had some serious staying power, with players still joining in the fun nearly a decade after its release.

If you've exhausted all that "Grand Theft Auto 5" and "GTA Online" have to offer, then you are in luck. Here are some games you should consider picking up while you wait for Rockstar to release "GTA 6."

Red Dead Redemption 2

"Red Dead Redemption 2" is a no-brainer among the list of prospective open-world titles to play next. As Rockstar's biggest effort ever, Red "Dead Redemption 2" is certainly overwhelming right from the start. However, once you steep yourself in the story, there's no going back.

One of the biggest complaints lodged at "Red Dead Redemption 2" was its demand for your time. As Forbes' Dave Thier stated, "the demands of a narrative game, particularly one as long as this, are uniquely mismatched with the slow, contemplative gameplay on offer from the rest of the world." Yet, in the face of that, R"ed Dead Redemption 2" sets a high bar, with GamesRadar's David Meiklehelm stating the game is "a masterpiece that deserves to be mentioned alongside 'Ocarina of Time,' 'Half-Life 2,' 'Metal Gear Solid 3,' 'Skyrim,' and most recently, 'The Witcher 3.'"

The expansive open world, like the one seen in "GTA 5," offers a lot to explore. Between snowy mountains and pristine forests, the game is bustling with gorgeous environments that translate perfectly into "Red Dead Online," where you can posse up with friends. This is not a game to be missed if you're a Rockstar fan or fancy open-world titles.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

"The Legend of Zelda" series is not one many would liken to the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise. However, the series' most recent core iteration, "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," acted as a huge part of the "Zelda" franchise's transformation, and even the most Nintendo-shy of "Grand Theft Auto" fans might find themselves enthralled with the game in no time.

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," at heart, is an open-world adventure game, often sidelining the puzzle mechanics the series is known for in exchange for a large, sprawling overworld whose most dangerous denizens are just waiting to tear you apart. Indeed, Breath of the Wild basks in its sandbox elements, allowing players the freedom to roam the dilapidated Hyrule at their own pace as they complete side quests, find better equipment, and take down enemies ranging from pushover Moblins to giant rock monsters. 

"The Legend of Zelda" franchise may not be for everyone. However, "Breath of the Wild" stands out from the pack, thanks to its hyper-intuitive gameplay and a sense of overworld depth akin to any Rockstar game.

Saints Row: The Third

"Saints Row: The Third," originally released in 2011 and later remastered in 2020, is part of the broader "Saints Row" series that has long been the eclectic step-sibling of the "Grand Theft Auto" series. 2013's "Saints Row 4" was a valiant attempt at introducing new mechanics with a bevy of references to The Matrix. In the end, though, "Saints Row: The Third" was, and remains, a worthy placeholder for those awaiting "Grand Theft Auto 6." After all, NME praised the game's absurdity in its review, so it's got to be a good time.

"Saints Row: The Third" puts players in the blood-soaked shoes of a soon-to-be kingpin whose primary goal is to take over the city of Steelport. It isn't a terribly original setup, but what ensues following being captured by a rival gang is wonderfully tongue-in-cheek dialogue, vehicles and weapons galore, and explosive, arcade-y mechanics that are, incidentally, a bit more approachable than the "GTA" series.

"Saints Row: The Third" may lack some of  the "epic" factor that many Rockstar games entail, "GTA" included. However, it is just as offensive and rewarding an experience.

Mafia: Definitive Edition

The "Mafia" series, although not as renowned as "GTA," has elevated the open-world genre in its own way. Namely, the series maintains a high standard of script-writing that even the likes of "GTA" sometimes fails to reach. With 2020's "Mafia: Definitive Edition," developer Hangar 13 brought back an aging classic, updating it for modern audiences with "Mafia 3" gameplay mechanics and high presentation value. The Escapist praised the results, particularly when it came to the updates given to the game's storytelling and dialogue.

"Mafia: Definitive Edition" doesn't quite follow the same sandbox structure that "Mafia 2," "Mafia 3," and the "GTA" series embody. However, it more than makes up for it by diving into the criminal element that "GTA" relishes. As cab driver-turned-mobster Tommy Angelo, the player is met with a 1930s Chicago-inspired city known as Lost Haven. 

Like the rest of the "Mafia" trilogy, "Mafia: Definitive Edition" is a marvelous title that reflects the era of its setting. It may lack the zany twists and turns of the "GTA" series, but "Mafia: Definitive Edition" is a great choice for anyone looking to indulge their inner gangster.