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Age-Appropriate Alternatives To GTA When 'All Their Friends Are Playing GTA'

There are some games that seem inescapable. Children tell parents that there's nothing else like them, and "all their friends are playing" this one game. However, you don't need to feel pressured to let a child play a game. Check out our page for the game and if you don't think they are ready you can suggest one of the great alternatives.

An enduring example is Grand Theft Auto V. It's rated as suitable for adults but younger players do access the game. Children can paint a picture that this is something they need to access or be excluded from friendship groups and playground banter. Here's what to do:

Firstly, It's important to understand the content of the game before you make a decision. Our Grand Theft Auto guide enables you to do this in a matter of minutes. If you don't think your child is old enough, it's completely fine to say no. Many families don't let children play games until they reach the related Age Rating.

Secondly, with the breadth of video games on offer, there are loads of age-appropriate alternatives. Understanding which is the best fit for your child depends on what it is about a game that means they want to play it.

This list includes 35 games from the last 20 years, with 2,592 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play something like GTA. We break them down into the following areas:

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 2,592

Be The Bad Guy

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose game is a tongue-in-cheek puzzle game where you play a dastardly goose intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. Play involves working out the right order of interactions and distractions to let you steal...


Bully (Canis Canem Edit in Europe) is a role play adventure from the people who make Grand Theft Auto. You play juvenile delinquent student Jimmy Hopkins who aims to rise through the ranks of the school system in order to put a stop to bullying.

Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed (Series)

Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed is an action-adventure game that parodies Cold War-era alien invasion films. With open-world a bit like Grand Theft Auto, you play the alien Crypto, tasked to gather DNA from humans and explore the open-world levels to...

Rain on Your Parade

Rain on Your Parade is a slapstick puzzle game where you play a mischievous cloud ruining everybody’s day. "You are a cloud jerk," says the trailer. In each of the varied levels, you have to work out what it is you need to do to make people's lives a...

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine is a heist simulation game. You control a crew of robbers who escape from jail and take on a series of increasingly complex robberies. The novelty is the simple top-down view of proceedings that allow for complex strategies...

Donuts 'n' Justice

Donuts 'N' Justice is a retro fast-paced shooting game where you are one of two Super Cops in the 1980s defending their city against gangs, violence and corruption. Play is a simple challenge of moving around and shooting enemies before they get you. It...

The Big Con

The Big Con is coming of age adventure game where you break the law to make your way in the world. You play a curious high schooler who ditches band camp to go on a cross-country road trip to save her mum's video store.

Clowning Around With Physics

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Stormworks: Build and Rescue is an open-world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air-sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using its block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken...


Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Just Die Already

Just Die Already is a sandbox game where you play a retiree in a near future where people aren’t having any children and pension funds are drying up. It's an intentionally absurd set-up of old people fending for themselves in a world that wants them...

I Am Fish

I Am Fish is a physics-based traversal game where you help four fish get back to the ocean from their tanks. You wrestle with the purposefully awkward controls, fighting against your own momentum and the multitude of hazards as you search for paths to...

Test Tube Titans

Test Tube Titans is a fighting game where you create monsters in a lab, before taking them into the city to wreak havoc. It is intentionally awkward to control your monster's legs and arms, which adds an incentive to create different types of creatures.

Kid-Friendly GTA Play

Jailbreak (Roblox)

Jailbreak is a popular Roblox game about escaping prison and getting away with various crimes. Based on the popular Prison Life and Madcity Roblox games, but adds a large open world in which you could drive vehicles, earn weapons and rob various...

Go Vacation

Go Vacation is a resort exploration adventure where 50 mini-games can be discovered and played. The mini-golf, skating, surfing, volleyball, car racing, tennis and other games use the Wii and Switch motion-sensitive controllers and are simple fun for...

Lego City: Undercover

Lego City: Undercover offers an open world to explore. While most Lego games have an open-world element in at least some areas, this one keeps play open throughout so that children can enjoy exploring at their own pace.

The Simpsons Hit and Run

The Simpsons Hit and Run is an adventure game based on the American animated sitcom The Simpsons.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a running and jumping game based on the Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. It's an original story where you defend Bikini Bottom from an invasion of robots.

Goat Simulator 3 (Series)

Goat Simulator 3 is the sequel to Goat Simulator, where you cause mayhem and destruction as a goat (or other animal) in a relatively realistic world with exaggerated physics. This game adds several new challenges and ways to play to the game, like...

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is the shooting role-playing sequel to Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. Unlike its predecessor, where you used swords and other close-combat weapons, here you use guns to defeat...

Online Hangout Fun


Fortnite rose to popularity via its Battle Royale mode where 100 players fight against each other in online battles to the death. While they play, using shooting, evasion and building skills to survive, a storm is closing in to make the playable area...

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a whacky obstacle race where up to 60 people compete to get to the end of the course and advance to the next round. Drawing on TV shows like Takeshi's Castle, Wipeout or It's a Knock Out, you have to control top-heavy...

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you play a pirate searching for treasure and adventure. Cast into a large open sea you work with other online players to crew your ship and find treasure. The game has a main story but really focuses on creating...


Valheim is a Viking inspired strategy game for up to 10 players. You build, survive, conquer, and explore the world. It's popular because it combines strategy of building your town stronghold with tough adventures and encounters with the enemies of the...

Open World Adventure

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and...


Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Marvel's Spider-Man

Marvel's Spider-Man is a series of superhero adventures where you swing through an open-world city fighting crime and advancing a film-like story. Play is a combination of exploration, taking on fights and collecting items. There are also many side...

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Sim 2020) is a flight simulator game in the long-running series. Along with a huge range of aircraft, you can learn to fly, the game recreates the entire Earth using textures and data from maps and...

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 is a fast-paced racing game where you drive all manner of different vehicles in races and across the vast open landscape. Building on Forza Horizon 4, this fifth entry to the series is set in Mexico,...


Crossout is an online vehicle combat game set in a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic world. Players design modular vehicles combine weapons, armour and engines. As you progress in the game you earn currency to upgrade components and access more powerful parts....

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. The story of Aloy continues as she sets out to investigate a plague terminating from an arcane frontier...

My Summer Car

My Summer Car is a strategy game about doing up a broken-down car over one long summer. It sounds simple, but the level of detail is the attraction here. You start the game with hundreds of loose parts and assemble both your car and engine. Not only do...


Recore is an adventure platform game where you control Joule Adams, one of the first volunteers for the utopian colony of Far Eden, who wakes after centuries in cryo-sleep to find that nothing has gone according to plan. With her three robotic machines...


Onirism is a whimsical narrative adventure where you fight monsters while traversing fantasy world to reclaim your stuffed animal, Bunbun. As you explore by foot, car, and boat, you discover a world full of creatures, some friendly, others not, and...

The Crew Motorfest

The Crew Motorfest is an open-world racing and exploration game. It's a sequel that takes 2018's The Crew 2 to a Hawaiian island you traverse with cars, trucks, boats, and planes. It stands out for the many ways to explore the...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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