The criminal underworld has captured the attention of people since the prohibition era when organized crime first rose to power. The gangster stories have captivated audiences in both real-world and fiction. Movies broke the box office, TV series skyrocketed the viewership records, and video games birthed many beloved best-selling franchises. But why?

What is the charm of mafia games?

When the first Mafia game came out on PC back in 2002 it didn’t shock the gaming world because it did something other games didn’t. No, it had solid gameplay, familiar shooting mechanics, an open-world sandbox, and the same driving segments already seen in the Grand Theft Auto games. The Mafia games that followed years later, didn’t invent the bicycle either, so what made gamers fall in love with the series?

The charm of Mafia games lie in its story and characters

The gritty tales

It was the story, man. Gamers were thrust into the unfamiliar world, into the backstage of the mafia where otherwise access may be denied. It’s the curiosity that drives us as a species and the same rule applies to gamers. It’s that curiosity and a different kind of experience that made Mafia games so charming. The gripping tales from the criminal underworld, the flawed, relatable characters, the tale of nobody becoming somebody, the rise to power, and the fall from grace. Movies and TV series have romanticized mobsters for years, and video games, being an interactive medium allowed gamers to experience and participate in mob life from the front seat.

Characters in Mafia games are complex and multi-dimensional

The setting and the period

But it wasn’t only the stories. The setting and period also played a huge part in creating the charm of the Mafia games. Would the Assassin’s Creed franchise be so popular if it was set in the modern-day? It’s the historical setting that made the franchise into the hit it is today. The same worked for Mafia games. The 40s to 70s America: the blend of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and New Orleans (Mafia III) the music, the fashion, and even the cars players can drive pulled gamers into the virtual world. That feeling of authenticity for the period gone in time played a huge role for gamers to fall in love with the Mafia games.

The world of Mafia games serves as a backdrop and together as a time machine to visit an era gone in time.

If you still haven’t played the Mafia series, it’s never too late, especially with the first game remastered with a modern coat of paint and gameplay mechanics. 

Get the whole Mafia trilogy cheaper.