Cops and Robbers Video Games: PC, PS4, Xbox One...

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Despite its popularity among childhood fantasies and lunch breaks, cops and robbers isn’t exactly a theme that’s expounded by a litany of quality games. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s four of the best.

We’re covering both single and multiplayer cops v robbers experiences, running the gamut from AAA to indie hits. Let’s get started.

Monaco: What’s Yours is MineMonaco Game

Starting with a fantastic little indie game, Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine has you and your crack team sneaking and planning your way out of jail to the “safety” of Beirut. In order to escape the country, you’ll need cash. Working through over third levels of challenging and brilliantly designed levels, you’ll have to avoid the authorities, making use of your talented team of thieves along the way.

Unlike the other games on this list, Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is not a third or first person 3D game. This is more of a 2D, top-down game that’s got a terrific aesthetic and tons of charm. Fans of Prison Architect might see some familiarity in how the buildings are presented, although the use of bright colours helps to set it apart.

This is game for thinkers – each level gets progressively harder – although it does do a brilliant job of allowing players to get creative. There’s no single way to get through the levels. If you have a good idea it’s likely to work, it just depends on your skill at executing it.

On this list, Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is the only one that really punishes resorting to force. In fact, it goes as far as to restrict it by limiting the amount of ammo available to your characters. If that’s not your thing, read on…

Grand Theft Auto VGrand Theft Auto V Game

Is there a series out there that encapsulates cops vs robbers better than Grand Theft Auto? I doubt it. GTA V is the latest and greatest in the series. One of the best-selling games of all time on both console and PC, everything you do within its fantastically created and massive city of Los Santos will pit you against the police.

The beauty here is that you can do whatever you want. See a car you like? Steal it. Want to drive a bus down a cliff? Go ahead. Steal a place and crash it into a police station? Why not?

Every crime you commit has a chance of being reported if there are people around to see or hear you. Minor crimes will set your wanted level to a single star – this means you’ll get one or two police cruisers looking for you. If you choose to stand and fight, your wanted level will escalate – quickly. Soon you’ll have police helicopters chasing and shooting at you.

Your options now are limited. Do you keep escalating, or do you attempting to escape? Escalating further brings the SWAT forces into play – and now you’re really in trouble. It’s time to steal a ride and shake them off. Getting to a garage will allow you to spray your car and lose your wanted level – as will successfully hiding down a back alley or in, say, a sewer tunnel. If you want a more structured approach, the story in GTA V is one of the best in any game.

Grand Theft Auto: Online HeistsGrand Theft Auto: Online Heists

If you’ve had your fill of the single player experience in GTA V, the online multiplayer has a number of heists available to complete with strangers or friends.

The four-player (sometimes two-player) missions have players working together to successfully pull off multi-part heists, burglaries and smash-and-grab raids. They bring new gameplay mechanics, weapons, vehicles and scenarios to GTA, testing your crew’s teamwork and skills.

As with the heists found in the single player story, the ones found online take place across several different stages. You’ll need to complete a series of setup missions that lead up to a massive score at the final stage.

There’s an element of risk vs reward introduced too, as the heist leader has to front the money required to finance the job. The leader can also decide on the split between players for any loot that’s successfully obtained.

There are five heists to have a go at, with the potential earnings ranging from just under $150,000 all the way up to $1,250,000! Money earned during these heists can be used on your character in GTA’s online world.

Battlefield: HardlineBattlefield Hardline Game

EA have also gotten into the cops vs robbers act with Battlefield: Hardline. It’s a spin-off of Battlefield 4, made in the same engine and featuring some very similar vehicles, weapons and even levels.

While many people feel it didn’t do enough to set itself apart from Battlefield 4 (me included) it certainly does go full ham on the cops vs robbers theme – even turning it up to eleven. Criminals have access to miniguns and other outrageously powerful firearms, while the police side have escalated their arsenal in a way that makes concerns about growing police militarisation in the US look like a happy dream.

There are a number of different game modes available, all of which pit a team of criminals against a team of police. In some you’ll be outright attempting to kill one another, while in others the focus will be shifted more toward capturing mobile command centres, retrieving loot or breaking into secure locations and pulling off a heist.

I think Battlefield: Hardline is at its strongest when it concentrates on the smaller game modes, where its teams of five competing on smaller maps. Not only does this make it feel at least a little different from the large-scale battles of its bigger brother, it also allows for a greater degree of teamwork and cooperation between players.