Saints Row vs GTA Comparison: Which series should you play?

Who’s the king of the open-world?

Image via Volition and Rockstar Games

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The Saints Row and GTA series are one of the most well-known open-world games of all time. They excel in various aspects of open-world gameplay in different ways. The first couple of Saints Row games were heavily compared to the GTA series and were touted as GTA clones. Starting with the third entry the series has since established its own identity and fan base.

You might be confused about which series you should play between Saints Row and GTA. To clear up that confusion, here are some key points that can help you make the best decision.

The Tone

Image via Rockstar Games

The overall tone is one of the main factors in differing between Saints Row and the GTA series. While both feature criminal enterprises wanting to make their way to the top, the tone is an essential part of differentiating them. The GTA series goes for a more mature and serious tone in general. While it does try to crack a joke or two between gameplay sections, the vibe it gives you certainly is for more mature audiences.

Saints Row reboot
Image via Volition

The Saints Row series is more laid-back in its humor and wackiness compared to GTA. The series is deeply embedded with pop culture references and essentially finds the fun in almost every aspect of its gameplay. What makes it more amazing is that the series doesn’t try to take itself seriously at all, basically becoming a self-parody.

The World

Screenshot by Gamepur

The world in Saints Row is based on real-life U.S. locations but is generally very small compared to GTA. There’s not a lot going on with the NPCs in the game as they are rather dull in most cases. The art design is also more cartoonish compared to GTA.

Image via Rockstar Games

In GTA, every game from GTA III and on has beautifully designed open worlds with a diverse population of NPCs each doing their own thing. The buildings, roads, streets, mountains, and forests are all neatly designed to make them look more realistic, at least for the time being.

Related: Is the new Saints Row a reboot?

The Characters

Screenshot by Gamepur

The Saints Row protagonists can be customized from top to bottom, with the ability to change your gender, body type, and voice among other aspects to make them look however you want. There are also stats that you can upgrade to make your character more powerful and super human-like in a few games. While it is fun customizing them, the characters are certainly not memorable enough compared to GTA.

Image via Rockstar Games

The characters in GTA have unique backstories that differentiate them from each other. Moreover, there’s a certain amount of emotional depth to each of them that makes them unique and memorable. The voice acting is also distinct and legendary in each of the GTA games. The customization options for the protagonists include mainly clothing and hairstyles in most of the games.

Missions and Side Activities

Image via Volition

The story missions in Saints Row games will always have a sort of wackiness to them. While they are enjoyable, there is certainly a lack of proper storytelling that is prevalent throughout the series as it refuses to take itself seriously. On the other hand, the side missions are very distinct and include things like causing mayhem, insurance fraud, drug trafficking, and many more.

Image via Rockstar Games

The story missions in GTA are very enjoyable and interesting with memorable dialogue and epic moments. The missions range from car chases, bank heists, shootouts, and more. The side missions are good, but they lack variety in most cases.

Weapons and Combat

Screenshot by Gamepur

The combat in Saints Row is nothing short of silly and fun. The games encourage the use of both melee and weapons. The arsenal of weapons that the player possess is amazing and oftentimes hilarious. One example is the Purple Dildo Bat (yes, it is exactly what it sounds like) and the Dubstep Launcher from Saints Row 4. Plus, by using melee combat, you can use different finishing moves on enemies as well.

Image via Rockstar Games

The weapons in GTA are almost all rooted in realism, with almost every kind being available. Factors like recoil, accuracy, and range are taken into account in the games and have to be used in certain types of situations. The design and customization options of the weapons greatly affect their overall performance too.

With the new Saints Row already out, and GTA VI coming sometime in the future, it is surely a great time to dive into playing the games of these series. Both Saints Row and GTA excel in their way, so it is up to you to decide which one is to your liking.