Over the years, we got a lot of great action-adventure games – some better than worse and vice versa. The Grand Theft Auto franchise developed an amazing world of underworld crime and ordinary people who become the center of the chaos. Watch Dogs franchise is similar but simultaneously different since it’s set in the open world, where hackers are trying to disrupt and wreak havoc for the government. Both games have pros and cons, which make them alike, so we decided to pin them against each other and conclude which game you should play.
You should consider playing both games. If you are interested in unique gameplay and immersive San Francisco, with really good graphics, Watch Dogs 2 is a game for you. However, if you prefer a traditional action-adventure game with multiple protagonists, unique storylines, and really good multiplayer mode, Grand Theft Auto V is a game for you. In the end, it’s all about preferences, and it would be unfair to rate one game over another since they are so close in quality.
We will explain each category and aspect of the game in detail, mention the pros and cons of each game, and conclude the article with our opinion. If you are interested in this comparison, stay with us until the end of the game.
When it comes to graphics, both games have great aspects in this section. Grand Theft Auto V was fresh and new when it came out in 2013, and comparing it to other games released that year, the Rockstar Games project held itself over the years, and countless remastered versions of the game prove this notion. The look of Los Santos, NPCs, buildings, vehicles and other aspects of GTA V looks great. Ten years later, the game looks really good, but in comparing it to Watch Dogs 2, it seems worse because Watch Dogs 2 came out three years later.
What Watch Dogs 2 did really well are the NPCs, the city of San Francisco design, and the overall design of the characters in the game. Both games are pretty close in quality of graphics, despite one being older than the other, but in the end, Watch Dogs 2 takes the first point in this comparison.
Watch Dogs 2 (1) : 0 GTA V
We know what gameplay entails in these comparisons – in-game content, game mechanics, how it connects to the plot, and overall the atmosphere during playing. In 2013, GTA V introduced us to some cool features, especially when it comes to its characters. GTA introduced us to three protagonists and the ability to interchange the character POVs at any time possible. Bank heist missions and vehicles were the best at the time in one game, and players had a lot of content they could “fall to” if they wanted a break from the main story.
On the other hand, Watch Dogs 2 is unique with its stealth gameplay and technology for hacking devices all over San Francisco. The combat is quite good as well, and the movement of the player character is much better than in the original game, specifically, parkour all over the buildings in San Francisco. Watch Dogs’ biggest strength is gameplay because we haven’t necessarily seen hacking implemented that much into one game’s gameplay. As much as GTA can be fun, Watch Dogs is more fun and unique than the Rockstar Games project.
Watch Dogs 2 (2) : 0 GTA V
Open word and environment
The open world and environment are the staples of action-adventure games. The city of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V is a fictional replica of real-life Los Angeles, and the city is truly reminiscent of the real place. Famous locations, statues, parks, cult places, and clubs are significant to the notable real-life town and are quite present in Los Santos. Other parts of the open world are Sandy Shores, Chumash, Paleto Bay, Grapeseed, and more.
Of course, player characters can investigate and look around all locations around the map, which makes the game more fun. Watch Dogs 2 is similar, but Ubisoft implemented real-life San Francisco Bay Area, double the size of the franchise’s first installment. Overall, both games have strong open worlds and immersive environments, which makes it difficult to give the point to only one of them, and for that, we will split points in this section.
Watch Dogs 2 (3): (1) GTA V
Most games nowadays have some kind of multiplayer content. GTA V has GTA Online, which was released shortly after the game’s original release in 2013. It became one of the most popular multiplayer games worldwide, and Rockstar Games started uploading many updates and add-ons to the game today. GTA Online is still popular among the player base, which is impressive for a game that is ten years old. Role-playing and other servers are still popular and regularly have around 100k viewers daily on Twitch.
On the other hand, Watch Dogs 2 actually has pretty decent multiplayer where players can meet and interact with other random players. The game is a cooperative multiplayer mode, where players can explore the open world and complete missions together. A few unique game modes include hacking, racing, and hunting. The multiplayer is really fun, but GTA Online is one of the better multiplayer games in the last ten years for a reason – new heists, missions, vehicles, and other features make GTA Online a superior multiplayer game to Watch Dogs 2. For those reasons, we need to give the point to GTA.
Watch Dogs 2 3 : (2) GTA V
Regarding the plot, both games are similar in this section. One of the biggest criticism of both games was the main plot. In the case of GTA V, despite the unique three-way storyline between multiple protagonists, the plot wasn’t that special. In fact, it’s lackluster comparing it to its predecessor, GTA IV. However, it’s passable, and the plot comes full circle at the end of the game.
Watch Dogs 2 has an alright storyline, but that’s all. The game relies a lot on fun gameplay more than the pure storytelling aspect. The main character Max is good, and that’s pretty much it. Overall, both games could do better in this aspect, and we will split points in this section as well.
Watch Dogs 2 3 : (3) GTA V
Which game should you play – Watch Dogs 2 or GTA V?
After an exhausting analysis of both games, we conclude that they are quite similar in quality despite popular belief. The first Watch Dogs game was underwhelming when it came out in 2014, but its sequel two years later fixed a lot of fundamental issues, most importantly, changed the way it regarded itself – it didn’t take itself too seriously. The change in atmosphere and feeling of the game actually made Watch Dogs 2 much more enjoyable. Some fans will find hipster hackers annoying, but Watch Dogs 2 is more enjoyable to play in the broader context.
Grand Theft Auto V was a highly expected game that broke numerous selling records when it came out and is still one of the most popular games in the world, especially after multiple remasters. Unique plot perspective, interesting characters, and overall worldbuilding made GTA V good, but some fans still liked its predecessor GTA IV more. I would agree with that notion, especially in the story’s context.
Ultimately, each game is unique in its own way, and a gamer will look into each game and find what fits them the best. Therefore, we cannot decide on a winner because both games offer something unique and deserve players’ attention.