10 Of The Best Rockstar Games That Aren't Grand Theft Auto (According To Metacritic) – TheGamer


Rockstar was established in 1998 and has produced some awesome games, but Grand Theft Auto isn’t the only success…
Rockstar was established in 1998 but was at one point known as DMA Design which was established in 1987. They put out many different games under the DMA Design name including Uniracers, Space Station Silicon Valley, and even the original Grand Theft Auto before turning into Rockstar North. Many know the developer for their Grand Theft Auto series or the recently released Red Dead Redemption 2 but they have many other great games aside from those two franchises.
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To shine a light on some of Rockstar’s other great work, here are 10 of Rockstar’s best games based on Metacritic scores – one game per franchise for variety’s sake.
Manhunt was incredibly controversial, even by Rockstar standards. As many know, Rockstar has a habit of letting mass media do their marketing for them by having extremely violent and provocative games that news organizations and other publications report on with bold claims such as video games for ruining the minds of the youth.
In Manhunt you play as a convict on death row who was bought by a wealthy man who wants you to partake in brutal violence so he can create a snuff film. You spend most of the game sneaking up on unsuspecting people to kill them with whatever you can find, from a baseball bat to a plastic bag.
A launch title for the Playstation 2, Smuggler’s Run centers around a smuggler who has access to a variety of vehicles like rally cars, dune buggies, and military vehicles. These vehicles are used as a vessel for smuggling cargo through one of the game’s three large, open levels.
Smuggler’s Run received as sequel named simply Smuggler’s Run 2 which was also released for the Playstation 2 and later for the Gamecube. Though a third game in the series was never released, Rockstar released DLC for Grand Theft Auto Online named Smuggler’s Run which shares many similarities to the original games.
Possibly the least well-known game on the list, Beaterator is a music mixer released exclusively for the Playstation Portable. The game’s aesthetic is based on a mixing tool found in Adobe Flash which was released by Rockstar. The mixing tool contains original loops and some sounds produced by the famous rapper Timberland.
In Beaterator, players create their own loops and play one of three different game modes, live play, studio session, and song crafter. While no longer available, when you created a song you could share it with the community through Rockstar Games Social Club.
That’s right, Rockstar made a table tennis game! Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis is a realistic table tennis simulator and a very early game for the Xbox 360, acting almost like a tech demo with some fun table tennis thrown in.
While the sweating dripping off of the faces of the professional table tennis players isn’t too impressive today, at the time it was an amazing sight to behold and really gave you the impression that you were in the next generation. The gameplay is fast and addictive with great sound design that really gets you in the zone.
Based on the 1979 film of the same name, The Warriors is about a street gang trying to make their way home after being framed for a murder. As with many Rockstar games, there is plenty to do aside from the main story. You can roam around your hangout and mug people, steal car radios, break into jewelry stores, vandalize, and more.
Most of the game revolves around the game’s combat which is fun and addictive. As you go through the story you will unlock different gangs you can use in an arena-style game that you can play with your friends or alone.
Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition is an arcade-style racing game that allows you to roam in an open world and take on different races. The game is based around late-night street racing, something made very popular in the early 2000s but movies like The Fast and The Furious. You can customize your car to for both performance and aesthetics. There is a large selection of music tracks from many famous rappers and rock bands with over 120 different tracks. Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition is also the first in the series to have license vehicles to drive.
Bully starts Jimmy Hopkins who was sent to Bullworth Academy by his mother. The game plays similarly to the Grand Theft Auto games expect the brutal violence is replaced with juvenile fun. You go to different classes that act like mini-games, take on missions for different characters and roam around the school causing trouble.
While many criticized the game for promoting bullying, the main purpose of the game was to rise through the ranks of the school so you could prevent bullying. Bully has been ported to many different consoles including PC, Playstation 2, Xbox 360, and more.
Rather than focusing on action, L.A. Noire instead focuses on investigating murders and interrogating suspects, though the game does have some gunfights from time to time. The game used a very advanced motion capture software for character’s faces which at times looks great and at other times looks a little scary and very jarring.
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The game is set around the Black Dahlia murders in the 1940s with the game perfectly setting the scene for the era with the attire of the characters, the city they inhabit, and the cars they drive.
While not developed by Rockstar, Max Payne was ported over to consoles by the creators of Grand Theft Auto. In Max Payne, you star as the titular hero after his wife and child were murder by junkies.
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The game’s story takes many twists with the gameplay matching the gripping tale of an ex-cop on a quest for revenge. Though commonplace now, Max Payne popularized what is referred to as bullet time – slowing down time around to allow you to take out many enemies at once. In Max Payne, you dive into rooms full of enemies, taking out 4-5 before you hit the ground.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the 3rd game in the Red Dead series following 2010’s Red Dead Redemption. The game is affectionately known as Grand Theft Auto with horses, which pretty much sums it up. You explore the wild west, take on different missions, rob stores, tame horses, engage in the occasional draw, hunt wildlife, and much more.
Red Dead Redemption 2 set the game industry ablaze when it was released in 2018 for the Xbox One and Playstation 4. It later released for PC and Google Stadia in 2019.
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