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Grand Theft Auto 5 vs. Saints Row 4

VO: Dan Paradis
The two biggest urban sandbox games of 2013 are about to duke it out! We're pitting the highly acclaimed best selling game Grand Theft Auto 5 against the over-the-top super-powered charged self-proclaimed Bros and Hoes of Saints Row 4. We take a look at the comparisons of Story, Gameplay, Open Map, the missions. And most importantly which game caused the most controversy. Join as we take a look at one of our most requested suggestions: Grand Theft Auto 5 vs. Saints Row 4. Special thanks to our users offbeat08, TheGudZeBadAnDaFozzy & Shaun Mccluskey for suggesting this topic on our website.

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Verses: Grand Theft Auto 5 VS Saint Row 4

Two of the biggest sandbox games of 2013 are about to jump in the ring and ram stolen cars at each other. Welcome to and today were checking out one of our highest voted topics on our suggest page: Grand Theft Auto V vs. Saints Row 4.

For the sake of fairness, we’re only sticking to the single player components of the games.

So jack your jets, and get your purple dildo’s ready: it’s time for a rampage.

Round 1: Story

While we’re going to try and avoid spoilers for both these games, first we’re going to introduce the characters.

Grand Theft Auto 5 is focused around 3 different characters; Michael, a retired bank robber with a dysfunctional family, Franklin, a wannabe gangster and Trevor Philips, an unhinged sociopath and Michael’s former partner. The unlikely trio soon unites and begin to undertake increasingly daring heists and bank jobs together. Players can control each of the three, meaning they can experience a variety of strong personalities that don’t detract from eachother.

Saints Row 4 has you customizing your own main character, AND has you playing as the President of the United States. Which would be a great setup … but the opportunity is sadly wasted, because aliens capture you and puts you in a matrix like simulation. Yeah the game doesn’t take itself seriously, relying on witty humor with pop culture references to various movies and video games.

GTA however gives its characters ... well … character. On the topic of themes, it uses political satire making fun of both Liberal and Conservative stereotypes, while also taking a satirical look at America post economic recession.

The characters are pretty much what sells the story here, so this round goes to GTA5.

GTA5 1 /SR4:0

Round 2: Gameplay

Both of these games have your standard open sandbox affair. Players can highjack almost any vehicle they encounter and use an assortment of weapons for cover based 3rd person shooting; those elements are pretty much the same.

GTA 5’s biggest changes compared to previous installment in the series is the ability to switch between 3 different characters, during free roam they are scattered at different points of the map and each of them has their own special abilities.

Saints Row 4 mixes things up by granting you superpowers. Which can be used for both travel and combat. On top of that, Saints Row has an incredibly wacky assortment of weapons from the trademark Purple Dildo Bat, to a gun that shoots Dubstep.

Given all the extra bells and whistles, Saints Row 4 takes this round.

GTA5 1 /SR4:1

Round 3: Map

Grand Theft Auto 5’s map is huge. Based on the real life city of Los Angeles as well as parts of Southern California, there is certainly a lot to do with so many collectables, random events that appear while roaming around, it really is a living breathing city.

Saints Row 4 pretty much reuses the map they had from Saints Row The Third, with some UFO’s added, and parts of the map have actually now been removed. … that’s cheating Saint Row.

In the shortest round ever, this one obviously goes to GTA5.

GTA5 2 /SR4:1

Round 4: Controversy

GTA as a series is notorious for generating controversy, from going around on mindless rampages to the infamous running over of hookers.

GTA5’s most controversial moment was in the main story mission “By the Book” where the game forces the player to torture a federal agent, we say force because the mission cannot be skipped, and unlike with movies that have torture scenes, the player can’t look away because the moments also requires interaction.

Saints Row 4 on the other hand was banned in Australia, and what makes it a very interesting case is that the country had only just changed their ratings system to allow 18+ games. The reason for the ban was because of one mission where you snort some substance that boosts your powers, and a weapon known as the Rectifier, which penetrates hapless pedestrians and then launches them like a rocket.

The game was eventually released in Australia with this content removed. But while Saint Row 4 was banned, Grand Theft Auto 5 was not. So while GTA5 annoyed people with a weak stomach, The Saints were able to piss off an entire first world government, and they get the point just for that.

GTA5 2 /SR4:2

Final Round: Main Missions

Saints Row 4 has a variety of wacky and over the top missions, And even in some cases references other games, including a Star Fox inspired space shooter, A Metal Gear Solid stealth mission, and a 2D Beat ‘em up mission inspired by Streets of Rage and Double Dragon.

However having superpowers makes vehicles are pretty much useless, as the game has to come up with various excuses for you not to use them in some missions. It’s annoying to play a game that gives you so much, only to try to take it all away at every turn.

GTA5 on the other has the main selling point of the heist missions, taking a page out of Payday’s gameplay by having you plan out a sting operation on various businesses or government services.

While most of the missions are indeed over the top, especially Trevor’s missions, they do lack the gameplay variety that Saints Row has. Some of the unique choices of gameplay are questionable, for example: There’s one mission where you’re mopping the floor.

Overall while Saints Row 4 does have the extra variety, the lack of overall focus resulting in power restrictions hurts it’s lasting appeal. GTA may have some questionable moments but the focus far more consistent, and thus takes the final round.

GTA5 3 /SR4:2

Winner: Grand Theft Auto 5

By a score of 3 to 2, GTA takes the win. What do you think about our choice? Let us know in the comments, and for more controversial top 10’s versus showdowns published everyday! Be sure to subscribe to

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