Battle of the GTA clones

The Godfather
EA Games | PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, PC, Wii

The setup: You're a young, anonymous street tough charged with conquering New York for the Corleone family. While the events of the film unfold around you, you'll follow your own, more personal storyline, taking occasional breaks to rough up New York's merchants for protection money.

The rides: A handful of generic-looking 1940s-era cars and trucks, unremarkable except that a couple go really fast, and others are good for having your hired goons hang out the windows with tommyguns, Untouchables -style.

The violence: Bloody, but restrained. Much of the action revolves around deep, immensely satisfying fisticuffs (controlled entirely with an analog stick or motion-sensitive controls, depending on which version you're playing) mixed with gunplay that outpaces GTA's by leaps and bounds. You'll have a selection of era-appropriate guns at your disposal, and you'll be able to upgrade them into fearsome death-dealers through certain street vendors. In newer versions of the game, you can also hire a goon squad to back you up at all times, and bottles found laying around the environment can be picked up for a quick smash attack.

Why it beats GTA: Also, it's on Wii, and is the first crime game to commit atrocities using motion-sensitive controls.

Why it'll never beat GTA: Even with all the bells and whistles added to the newer versions of the game, The Godfather's mockup of New York feels gray and unconvincing compared to a GTA 's lively cities. The endless cycle of discovering and taking over businesses also gets old after a while, especially given how repetitive the building interiors are. We're also not fans of unskippable cutscenes.

Can it survive? It's plenty fun in its own right, but against GTA? Nah. The Godfather is well-designed and reasonably enjoyable for fans of the fiction, but it's too dry for this competition.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.