Crime is a very popular setting in video games. It was much popularized after GTA III came out, when other developers started to realize that they can push the level of freedom further. Soon there'd be games like Driv3r, The Getaway, True Crime: Streets of LA, and Mafia. These were, perhaps, the most familiar games that go along with what elements Rockstar North started implementing since GTA III. Some of these titles actually did well (Mafia, True Crime: Streets of LA) while others failed (The Getaway and Driv3r) at not only making themselves popular, but also at being good, overall.
Mafia & The Getaway are perhaps the most different from the GTA franchise because of much more of a focus on narrative than on non-linearity, so they can be considered linear games. Mafia was the better one of the two, as it really pushed the plot for a gangster's life further and, at the same time, had some very fined tuned gameplay, mainly because of the fact that it was the most realistic gangster experience at that time. Team SOHO created The Getaway, trying to replicate what Mafia was able to do, but failed at it, as the narrative could be called the only really nice experience for the game while many of the gameplay elements were annoying and just downright boring. Driv3r could also be considered a linear game, as it did have a main menu and focused on the story the most, but it also can fit in the non-linear section because you're not forced to play through the story, due to the other modes which include TAR mode and minigames.
For those developers whose games did follow the exact footsteps of the GTA franchise, they tried to be as much of Rockstar North as possible. No game could go any deeper than the GTA games, in terms of freedom, so it seems that no developer was ever able to outsmart Rockstar North. Reflections tried to follow as much of Rockstar North's as possible in Driv3r and failed in doing so. The game ended up too full of glitches, lesser in improvement for a Driver game, and just had been so boring, enough that it garnered negatives reviews and a great deal of criticism. Driver: Parallel Lines tried to be enough more like a GTA game and while it did not end up as full of glitches and was less linear (having no main menu), it wasn't enough to make it a very worthy title. The titles that perhaps did well the most were True Crime: Streets of LA and Saint's Row because they did improve over the formula, in certain ways.
The following is a list of every game set in a world of crime, both those which have come out and those that we've heard will be coming out:
- Grand Theft Auto
- Grand Theft Auto: London 1969
- Grand Theft Auto II
- Driver 2
- Grand Theft Auto III
- The Getaway
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- The Getaway: Black Monday
- True Crime: Streets of LA
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- True Crime: New York City
- Saint's Row
- GTA IV
- Mafia 2
- next-gen Driver (no title yet)
If I've missed any games that deal with a city filled with crime, please make it clear. Also, I'm so sorry for the long post.