Best Crime Games for the PC

Crime games and organized crime games are video games where players are put into the role of either a criminal, mobster or law enforcement officer. The crime games theme has been popularized over the years by the Grand Theft Auto series where players control a low-level criminal or citizen who has to turn to a life of crime in order to survive. Similar themes are present in other crime games and mobsters/organized crime games such as Mafia and Saints Row were players start as a low-level member or outsider of an organized crime syndicate who must perform various illegal tasks in an attempt to rise to the top.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V 4K Screenshot
What We Like
  • Lots of humor.

  • Expansive and detailed world.

  • Amazing, large scale heists.

What We Don't Like
  • Need to break away from main missions to have fun.

  • Pushes hardware limits.

  • Slight learning curve.

Those looking for the quintessential and best crime games for the PC then you should look no further than the latest release in the Grand Theft Auto series of games.

Grand Theft Auto V is the latest action/adventure game from the popular and controversial series. In this edition players are put into the role of three protagonists, starting with an ex-bank robber named Michael Townley. Living in witness protection, Michael becomes caught up with some corrupt law enforcement and are forced into taking on missions that involve criminal activities. The story them moves changes players roles into one of the other protagonists. Each is forced into criminal activity by corrupt law enforcement/government agencies.

One of the aspects that have made the Grand Theft Auto series popular and what makes Grand Theft Auto V the best crime game is the open world design. Players have an extraordinary amount of freedom to explore the world they live in, taking on and completing missions at their own pace. The game is set in the fictional state of San Andreas which is loosely based on California and Nevada. Players will unlock different sections as they progress through the missions/story but are in no way tied to completing the missions.

Grand Theft Auto V includes both a single-player storyline as well as a multiplayer component called Grand Theft Auto Online. In this persistent multiplayer game world, players create a character and take part in objective-based multiplayer missions, street racing and more.

Saints Row The Third

Saints Row The Third


What We Like
  • Great character customization.

  • Never boring.

  • Entertaining missions.

What We Don't Like
  • Mindless violence.

  • For experienced gamers.

  • No significant storyline.

If you're looking for an alternative to Grand Theft Auto for your crime games, then Saints Row The Third offers some great action and gameplay of a criminal nature. Saints Row The Third is an action/adventure PC game that puts players in the role of the leader of a street gang called the 3rd Street Saints. The gameplay takes place in an open world sandbox style environment where players have the freedom to explore and take on jobs without having to stick to the main storyline/missions.

In the game, the 3rd Street Saints are in the midst of a turf war with three rival gangs, collectively known as the Syndicate. In this war against the syndicate, players will have a wide array of weapons and drivable vehicles at their disposal which will be found throughout the fictional city of Steelport. Gameplay is from the third-person perspective and players will customize their character in the opening mission. Customization includes appearance, vehicles and more. In addition to completing game missions to move the main storyline forward, players can take on side jobs and quests to earn extra money and increase their reputation. Attacking rival game members can also help to increase the reputation/notoriety of the player character.

Saints Row The Third was released in 2011 and received mostly positive reviews from critics. It is the third title in the Saints Row series. Each of the previous titles also featured an open game world and put players into the role of the leader of the same 3rd Street Saints gang. In addition to the single-player story, Saints Row The Third also includes a co-operative multiplayer component.

Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3

Rockstar Games

What We Like
  • Excellent third person shooter.

  • Good game mechanics.

  • Impressive graphics.

What We Don't Like
  • Poorly placed checkpoints.

  • Very difficult campaign end.

  • Can be linear and repetitive.

It's always good to play the good guy rather than the criminal right? If you're looking to play as a detective or cop then the Max Payne series is where you'll want to start. Max Payne 3 is a third-person shooter game from Rockstar Games, the same company behind the Grand Theft Auto series of games. In Max Payne 3, players take on the role of Max Payne, nine years after the events of Max Payne 2 which included the murder of Max's wife and daughter. When the game begins, nine years later, Max is no longer a detective with the NYPD and spends most of his time drinking and addicted to painkillers. Soon after the game starts Max is caught up with the mob and is forced to leave and takes on a job in private security for a wealthy Brazilian and travels to Sao Paulo. It is here that he gets caught up in the criminal underworld of Brazil.

Max Payne 3, as the title suggests, is the third game released in the Max Payne series of detective/crime games. It contains a single-player story as well as an online multiplayer component. The single player's story follows a fairly linear path which progresses as players complete missions. Combat includes both melee and ranged attacks with guns and the game features a bullet-time aspect that allows players to slow down bullets. The multiplayer model supports up to 16 players in both cooperative and competitive game modes.

Assassian's Creed Syndicate

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Ubi Soft

What We Like
  • Good storyline.

  • Great side missions.

  • Excellent character development.

What We Don't Like
  • Random lag.

  • Poor texturing.

  • Combat is too easy.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate is an open-world action/adventure game that is not one of the typical crime games. Set in London during the Victorian era of the mid to late 19th century, the story is fiction but takes place with historical real-world events going on around the game's storyline. It tells the story of the struggle between the Assassins and Templars as they vie for the upper hand gain influence in the criminal underworld of the time.

Players take on the role of twin assassins from the Assassin's organization and gameplay switches between the two twins as the story progresses. The game is played from the third-person perspective and is an open game world that allows players to explore and uncover things in London that are outside of the main storyline and missions. The game was released in 2015 and has received very positive reviews from critics. It includes a single-player mode and has seen a number of DLC packs released including Jack the Ripper, The Dreadful Crimes, and The Last Maharaja.

Battlefield: Hardline

Battlefield Hardline

Electronic Arts

What We Like
  • Well designed game.

  • Realistic gameplay.

  • Fun single player experience.

What We Don't Like
  • Small variation between modes.

  • Similar to previous version.

  • Barebones as a "battlefield" game.

Battlefield: Hardline is a crime game and first-person shooter in the popular Battlefield series of games. Hardline marks a departure from the military theme of previous Battlefield games that have been released since the first title, Battlefield: 1942. In Battlefield Hardline, players will assume the role of a young detective named Nick Mendoza who has been assigned to the Miami Vice squad to help bring down the organized crime and corruption found in Miami.

At their disposal, players will have access to some of the most advanced police and military weapons. In addition, the game also features more traditional weapons found in many crime games such as sawed-off shotguns, pistols/handguns, bats and more. It also features non-firearm weaponry such as tasers, tear gas, and riot shields. Like all of the other Battlefield games, Battlefield: Hardline also features a wide array of drivable vehicles including motorcycles, armored trucks, and helicopters.

The multiplayer game mode in Battlefield: Hardline contains four game modes Blood Money, Heist, Hotwire, and Rescue. Players control either a swat team police officer or a member of organized crime or gang. The multiplayer also features additional weapons, vehicles, and gadgets that may not be found in the single-player campaign.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV

Rockstar Games

What We Like
  • Massive and vast experience.

  • Impressive storyline.

  • Open ended gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • Excessive backtracking.

  • Awkward controls.

  • Repetitive missions.

Grand Theft Auto IV is the eight PC game released from the Grand Theft Auto series of crime games. Much like previous games in the series players explore, perform jobs and take on missions in a fictitious city as they try to gain status and influence in the criminal underworld. GTA IV returns players to Liberty City, the famed city based off of New York City. Players take on the role of an immigrant from Eastern Europe named Niko Bellic looking to make it big in America.

The storyline of Grand Theft Auto IV represents a new chapter in the series. Whereas GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas followed its own story arc. The Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV is much larger and different from the one found in Grand Theft Auto III. Certain areas of Liberty City will are only unlocked after players complete certain storyline missions but the game is set in an open world so players can take on side missions and jobs to earn extra money and increase their standing.

In addition to the single-player story like it also includes a co-operative and competitive multiplayer mode that allows up to 32 players per game. Game modes include deathmatch and street racing. Grand Theft Auto IV was very popular when released and received overwhelmingly positive reviews, but as with every other title in the series was not without some controversy for depictions of women, police and the criminal world.

Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs


What We Like
  • Rewarding game.

  • Open world.

  • Very detailed environment.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be tedious.

  • Boring stealth experience.

  • Very difficult checkpoints.

Watch Dogs is a third-person shooter released in 2014 by UbiSoft. Set in a fictitious version of Chicago, the game puts players into the role of a hacker who is seeking revenge for the killing of his niece. The game is set in an open world environment which allows players to roam and explore Chicago but they will need to complete linear missions in order to move the single player storyline along.

Players take on the role of Aiden Pearce a hacker who has the ability to hack into various devices that allow him to gain access into Chicago's main system. Using his phone he can access all types of information, hack into other phones, steal money from bank accounts and more. The combat aspect in Watch Dogs uses a cover based system and stealth which allows for attacks that temporarily disables enemies rather than kill. As the story proceeds players will earn skill points which allows them to improve their hacking and other abilities.

The game includes both a single player storyline and multiplayer game modes. The multiplayer portion includes an eight-player competitive mode and an asynchronous mode where one player in the single-player game can be joined secretly by a player from the multiplayer model who tries to secretly infect their smartphone with a virus. The game received very positive reviews when released and a sequel titled Watch Dogs 2 is planned for late 2016.