Themes like gangster organizations and mafia crime have always drawn the attention of the public. Gangster stories from the end of the 30s and the beginning of the 40s in the USA inspired the creation of Vito Corleone and the whole Godfather franchise.
The success it made, for its time, was essential to perpetuate the interest of the modern public in the genre. Most recently, the Netflix show Peaky Blinders brought a different approach to the theme, presenting us with Thomas Shelby and scoring a new hit for the gangster genre.
Of course, the gangster theme has also been prevalent in video games.
What About Gangster Games
From the beginning of the century, video game titles involving gangsters and mafia started to appear and get a lot of interest from the public. Some of the most known are: the Grand Theft Auto franchise, with games like GTA III, San Andreas, and Vice City, the Mafia games, The Warriors video game, and even the Godfather video game itself.
The gangster style is hugely popular because it isn’t like the normal bandit games where you go stealing and killing for no reason. Of course, that its an important part of the mafia and gangsters' lifestyle, but it also brings a more manipulative approach with lots of behind-the-scenes work and plots.
Now that we have seen a little about games and the mafia itself, it is time to put on the hats and berets, dress the suits, and load the guns, as we are going to see some of the best gangster games of all time.
- Release Date: September 25, 2020
- Developer: Hangar 13
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC
- Metascore: 79 (PC and Xone), 76 (PS4)
For the fans who don’t know, the Mafia title doesn’t serve for only one game, as the series is already a trilogy. First released in 2002, the games passed through a remake, being recreated to match the newest generation of consoles and pc.
The fourth game of the Mafia series tells the story of the first one, where you take on the role of Tommy Angelo, a former taxi driver that ends up helping two members of the Salieri crime family to escape an ambush from another gang. The narrative advances as you eventually are presented with organized crime, entering the mafia as well. Then, you get involved in the fight of rival families against the law and competition for the control of Lost Heaven, in Illinois.
The game presents different game modes for those who just want to follow the story or enjoy the open world. Mafia also has taxi missions and races for players. To complete, it allows you to play in the noir mode, with the screen in black and white.
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- Release Date: May 19, 2020
- Developer: Hangar 13
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
- Metascore: 72 (PC), 66 (Xone), 56 (PS4)
Following the open world action games, Mafia II was released in 2010 and remastered in 2020. This time, the game tells the story of Vito Scaletta, a World War II veteran who discovers a debt left by his father and joins the criminal underworld so he can pay it.
Mafia II puts players in Empire Bay City, a mix of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit Boston, and other American cities. This Mafia entry has lots of improvements compared to the last release. It brings the shooting and driving gameplay, introduced melee combat, a cover system, different interactions with the environment, and many other things, including real-time cut scenes, unique guns, and cars from the 40s.
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- Release Date: October 7, 2016
- Developer: Hangar 13
- Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Metascore: z68 (PS4), 67 (Xone), 62 (PC)
The Mafia series comes to an end with the 2016 release Mafia III. This last video game is another open-world action-adventure set in the city of New Bordeaux. You take on the role of Lincoln Clay, who embarks on a journey of vengeance against the mafia that betrayed his family.
Mafia III presents gamers with a map bigger than both of its prequels maps combined, offering freedom and possibilities that go far beyond what they have done before. As the bad guy, your main character will build his way to power, showing the mafia they have chosen the wrong side.
You will have lots of fun invading Italian mob properties, driving with the new mechanic, or taking the best advantage of the gunplay. As players step more and more in the way of other gangs, you will see the possibility to go for a stealth approach. This mix of stealth and assault development is another great feature of the game. With Mafia 3, the mainline series ends, at least for now.
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- Open World game franchise with lots of possibilities,
- Exciting stories and characters development in the mafia’s old days,
- Stylized weapons and cars reproduced with the biggest fidelity to the era.
Grand Theft Auto Series
Just like we did with Mafia, we will talk about some of the GTA games, as we just couldn’t give the place to only one of the GTA titles. The first game is Grand theft Auto III as we’d like to bring some nostalgic feelings to old titles that are still worth it. Talking about Niko Bellic and the protagonists of the latest game is hard as they all deserve texts for themselves. They are so great that could easily be compared to great crime movies.
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Grand Theft Auto III
- Release Date: October 22, 2001
- Developer: Rockstar Games
- Platforms: Ps2, Xbox, PC
- Metascore: 97 (PC)
This was the first GTA game to go for an open-world format and started to build what would become the greatest success of Rockstar Games. Liberty City may not have aged well, but it was revolutionary. It was the first to bring that sense of freedom so important for every title in the franchise.
The game involves all the traditional features we know today, such as the wanted level, the driving mechanics, the combat between rival gangs, and many other. It’s way more than one of the best gangster stories as it reveals how one of the biggest video game franchises has begun.
GTA III tells the story of Claude that, betrayed by his girlfriend, escapes from prison and enters the mafia to work for the Leone family. As you play, you help them take full control of the city after winning the fight against another gang. After that, you slowly climb the crime ladders until you become a problem to all mafia families.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
- Release Date: October 29, 2002
- Developer: Rockstar
- Platforms: Ps2, Xbox, PC
- Metascore: 95 (PS2) 94 (PC)
Going for the next GTA game on the list, it is time to talk about Vice City. The fourth installment of the series was more than an exploration of the criminal underworld as the game was praised for how vivid and real it can be, capturing with perfection all the necessary aspects of Miami, with lots of sex, drugs, and crime. In terms of gameplay mechanics, all the positive aspects Grand Theft Auto 3 had are back alongside some improvements, like buying property possibilities.
The game brought us one step closer to real life by bringing an incredible voice acting role of Ray Liotta as Tommy Vercetti. The protagonist moves to Vice City after 15 years in prison to oversee a drug deal. After an ambush, he needs to find a way to recover the money and lost drugs.
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
- Release Date: October 26, 2004
- Developer: Rockstar
- Platforms: PS2, Xbox, and PC
- Metascore: 95 (PS2), 93 (Xbox and PC)
The other GTA titles may be great but it was San Andreas that took the franchise to a whole new level. It will be forever one of the best games launched as it brought some significant improvements.
The game features unforgettable missions and events of great quality, like when you invade a military fort, leaving with an insane jetpack. The story length is also awesome, giving you the chance to explore everything the game has to offer while discovering an entertaining plot.
Another great aspect is all the customization features. You can change your character in many different ways and make these changes a part of the game, like going to the gym to see Carl Johnson, the famous CJ, stronger. The ability to do different things also changes while you start customizing the character.
Grand Theft Auto Series Key Features
- Renewed and impressive graphics after each release.
- Giant open worlds full of features, things to do and explore.
- Exciting and well-developed game campaigns.
- Incredible freedom and different ways to do whatever you want on the map.
Leaving the well know American-like cities to go to Japan and discuss a game that talks about gangsters and mafia but does it in a different aspect, as it focuses not on New York but on Japanese cities. Let’s find out why the Yakuza franchise would fit your “games to try” list.
- Release Date: January 21, 2016
- Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
- Platforms: PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox One
- Metascore: 80 (PC and PS4) 81 (Xone)
Why not begin with the first of the Yakuza games? Or a remake, at least. Kiwami is the perfect game for those who love the mafia theme but are tired of the repetitive Italian-American scenarios. With this good game, you will learn a lot about the crime families of Japan and all of their rivalries. Surely different types of bad guys.
The game tells the story of Kazuma Kyriu, a member of the Yakuza that leaves prison to find the city thrown into a civil war. He gets to know that his best friend is now a cold-hearted Yakuza, whereas his childhood friend, Yumi, has gone missing. As Kazuma, you have to fight to find your new place in Yakuza, save your friend, and get the money.
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- Release Date: March 18, 2010
- Developer: SEGA, Amusement Vision
- Platforms: PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox One
- Metascore: 78 (Ps3)
Many things have changed from the first Yakuza title to this one. Now, Kazuma Kyriu is the Yakuza boss and follows in his journey to dominate the criminal underworld of Japan. The game also presents and develops three new protagonists.
The game's main features are things that become more and more common in video games – attention to detail, graphic quality, and immersive features. The game is so good that it truly seems like real life.
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Yakuza Games Key Features
- Impressive detail and graphic care,
- An insane story full of plots,
- A welcome change when compared to traditional mafia games.
The Godfather Game
- Release Date: March 21, 2006
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Platforms: Windows and PS2
- Metascore: 75 (PS2), 72 (PC)
The masterpiece movies that ignited all the hype around the mafia also have their great video game adaptation. You take the place of Aldo Trapani, who was sponsored by no one other than Don Vito Corleone. Now, as a part of the Corleone crime family, you will build your way higher and higher inside the mafia’s ranks.
The game doesn’t have the same narrative as the movie, but their stories are connected. You will meet with several members of the Corleone family and see the return of famous actors who were a part of the movie series, like James Caan and Robert Duvall.
Besides all the well-made connections with the movies, The Godfather has all the necessary features of an open-world action-adventure game. It stands out with the extortion possibilities, as the protagonist can go extorting businesses, earning income, and perpetuating the Corleone family domain.
- All the modern video games features, such as variated combat mechanics, free exploration, and more.
- Great interactions with characters and movie moments.
- Unique features from Mafia-like titles, like extortion, Vendetta measure, and Corleone ranks.
- Release Date: August 14, 2012
- Developer: United Front Games
- Platforms: PS3, Xbox, Windows
- Metascore: 83 (PS3), 80 (Windows and XB)
Time to move out of the US again and go to Hong Kong. In Sleeping Dogs, we assume the place of Wei Shen, an undercover cop and master of martial arts that goes to the streets to investigate the Sun On Yee organization.
The game meets all the open-world needs and has some RPG features that make it even more interesting. There are three different XPs, each giving different abilities and opening new possibilities depending on what you do in the streets of Hong Kong. Apart from all that, the mix of gangster themes, martial arts, and a detective game gives it a unique feeling.
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Sleeping Dogs Key Features
- Interesting combat mechanic mixing mafia games with martial arts.
- Great exploration of a new setting in Hong Kong.
- Plot where the player lives the duality between being a police officer and committing crimes for the mafia.
Scarface: The World is Yours
- Release Date: October 10, 2006
- Developer: Radical Entertainment
- Platforms: Windows, PS2, Xbox, and Wii
- Metascore: 76 (Xbox), 75 (PS2), 73 (PC), 71 (Wii)
Everybody knows that movie adaptations generally are not that good. But Scarface: The World is Yours does a great job proving that sometimes a movie can be turned into great video games. Here, we follow Al Pacino as Tony Montana right after the end of the movie’s plot.
The game presented great attention to detail for the time and some interesting mechanics, such as the blind rage that turned Tonny into an invincible slow-motion killing machine. Scarface: The World is Yours is a great sequel to the movie with Al Pacino as the protagonist.
- Excellent detail care and graphic development for the time.
- Blind Rage, dirty money, cop heat, and other unique mechanics.
- The world map is divided into four fully domineable regions.
Red Dead Redemption 2
- Release Date: October 26, 2018
- Developer: Rockstar
- Platforms: PS4, Xone, Windows, and Stadia
- Metascore: 97 (PS4 and Xone)
For those who like Grand Theft Auto, it's time for the game that is GTA-like but with a focused approach to the west. RDR 2 has arguably one of the most beautiful and well-treated maps in video games history. Players can expect a whole world of possibilities and exciting features.
RDR 2 follows the steps of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw whose life could easily be a film. Side by side with the other members of the Van der Linde gang that sees itself in a world full of progress and where the space for the old outlaws is over, you must find your new place. On the run, they plan their last moves as gangsters to ensure all the gang members can retire and live a normal life.
RDR2 is certainly a must-play no matter if you like mafia or not.
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- Story development worthy of an Oscar.
- The graphic quality and detail care are the best.
- Freedom to solve side quests and explore the west doing whatever you want.
Now, every mafia and gang lover has a list of the most varied games that address themes such as the well-known gangsters. From the Italian-American vendettas to the Chinese and Japanese open wars, you will be well served.
If you want more lists, tips, and guides about games, you can check RoyalCDkeys and find more recommendations of what to play based on the themes you like most. Besides that, RoyalCDKeys offers safe CD Keys for software, operating systems, and games for the best prices you will find in the market. Join in and enjoy great deals!