5 Best Nintendo Switch Games Like GTA

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The Grand Theft Auto series has always had a dedicated fanbase.

A sandbox world where you can follow the story or just do whatever you want, the franchise is a fun time all around.

The Grand Theft Auto Definitive Trilogy consists of Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and is now available on the Nintendo Switch.

Recommended Read: Nintendo Switch Games Like Super Mario Bros.

These are the most popular classics from the series, but what if you want more? Some players might be looking for something different but with some of the same characteristics as GTA on the Nintendo Switch.

In this guide, we give you the 5 Best Nintendo Switch games like Grand Theft Auto.

Table of contents

Saint’s Row: The Third

SAINTS ROW THE THIRD Nintendo Switch Gameplay
Image: Koch Media

The closest relative to GTA is none other than Saint’s Row: The Third. With all the fun with its own charm, this game is any GTA fan’s dream.

Originally released in 2011, this classic Saint’s Row game has made its way to the Nintendo Switch.

The Third Street Saints have become the kings of Stillwater, having become a household name.

With Saints energy drinks, bobbleheads, and sneakers, their celebrity status has become a well-known brand.

But now they have been noticed by the Syndicate, who are looking for a new pawn.

Not willing to give in, the Saints take the fight to Steel Port, recently taken over by the Syndicate, to take it for their own.

Hijack cars, ride tanks into battle from the air, call in airstrikes on rival gangs and fight men with absurd weapons.

This game is one of the most outlandish and fun out there, with all the familiarity of GTA-type gameplay.

Saints Row: The Third also has full character customization where you can make your character however you want, something not present in most of the GTA games.

This game brings a lot of what you know, with its twists and a lot of new mechanics and characters. GTA fans will feel at home here.

Lego City Undercover

LEGO CITY Undercover Nintendo Switch Gameplay
Image: WB Games

If you ever wanted to play a cop in a sandbox Lego game, this is for you.

The Lego games are very popular and generally panned as great games in almost any iteration.

Lego City Undercover was originally released on the Wii-U and has recently been ported to the Switch due to popular demand and praise for the game.

You play as a cop named Chase McCain, an undercover cop with many disguises who has returned to Lego City to stop a wave of crime.

Explore the sandbox world, stop crimes and gangs, and steal cars.

With all the charm of any Lego game and the spirit of GTA in some gameplay elements, fans of the original and the GTA franchise are sure to enjoy Lego City Undercover.

American Fugitive

American Fugitive Nintendo Switch Gameplay
Image: Curve Digital

This game is a new take on top-down sandbox games similar to classic GTA on the SNES.

In American Fugitive, you play as a man, William Riley, who has been falsely convicted of his father’s murder.

Once in prison, things go south, and William escapes after being beaten up.

After getting out, he goes on a personal mission to find out what really happened to his father.

He meets many different characters along the way that give you missions and help you along the way to find your father’s killer.

The dialogue in the game comes in text form with little images of the characters who are talking. Similar to a visual novel, but in a more stylized way.

What makes this game similar to GTA is the nature of the missions being given to you.

You will rob houses, steal cars, all the jazz that GTA fans love and know well.

As you rob houses, you may find little notes that will lead to some treasures that make cool side-missions.

When robbing houses, the cops are alerted, and you have a timer that tells you how long you have to search each room, adding to the atmosphere of the game.

GTA fans will love this game with all its unique elements and high-stakes nature.

Shakedown: Hawaii

Shakedown Hawaii Nintendo Switch Gameplay
Image: Vblank Entertainment

The original was made as a labor of love remake of GTA3 with a Nintendo Entertainment System dev kit.

Shakedown: Hawaii is the sequel to Retro City Rampage, a long-awaited sequel to the 2012 game.

Filled with 16-bit nostalgia and set in the modern-day, you play as a former video store CEO who was living on the riches of his book on how he ran his company, now leaving the running of said company to someone else.

Now streaming and online shopping has flushed the business down the drain, so you must go back to the streets to get back to the top.

Retro City Rampage makes lots of 80’s pop culture references and takes advantage of the modern-day setting, making parodies of shopping online, day-one patches for videogames, and much more.

You will also play as your character’s son and as a business associate in South America, both with their own gameplay mechanics.

Your son has missions around theft, and your associate has run and gun types of missions, keeping the game fresh.

The style is in a top-down view style of the first two GTA games, a love letter to the games that inspired this series.

GTA fans will love the nostalgic approach to the classic GTA games and the crime elements of the story and gameplay.

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire Nintendo Switch Gameplay

The legendary noir detective game has made its way to the Switch, giving handheld console players a way to play the acclaimed classic.

L.A. Noire has always been known for its stellar facial animations, and they truly hold up in the Nintendo Switch version.

You play as detective Cole Phelps in post-war 1940s Los Angeles. He must investigate a string of arson attacks, brutal murders, racketeering, and the LA underground crime rings as he rises up in the ranks of the LAPD.

In doing so, he uncovers a secret that could break the police department down from the inside.

The Switch version includes the use of motion controls as well as the console’s touch screen capabilities, which is a great touch to this version of the game.

You could even go through the whole game without touching the controllers if you wanted to.

With the gripping story surrounding a crime-stricken L.A., GTA fans will thrive on the story, atmosphere, and unique facial animations of this beloved game.

You may not be doing some of the crimes in-game, but the dialogue mechanics to determine if your suspect is lying are sure to entertain the most dedicated GTA fan.

Those are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games that are like GTA.

Know of any other great titles that you believe should be included in this list? Let us know in the comment section below.

Jack Roque

Having been a gamer his entire life, Jack plays a wide range of desktop, console, and mobile games. He covers everything from guides and tier lists on popular games to general gaming guides and lists here on Gamerempire.net.

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