The best Police Games available for PC, Xbox and PS3
(For those that don’t like to read – click here for the collection in list form)
The work of the police proves fascinating for millions! It might be that you enjoy watching a police chase live on TV, reading the latest breaking news story or have a deeper appreciation for crime within society.
Or maybe you work within the security industry or just enjoy real world simulation games revolving around crime. Whatever the reasons, there is a significant demand for the latest police games or police simulator software.
As it stands there are very few specific ‘police simulators’ available to buy. However, in this guide not only will we introduce you to those but we’ll also show you how you can get an epic police experience from other games not specifically designed for police game lovers!
Featuring police games for PC, Xbox and Ps3 you are guaranteed to find something you love. Keep reading to find out more!
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L.A Noire is a gritty first person detective game based on the dirty post-war streets of Los Angeles. Assuming the character Cole Phelps you begin as a rookie cop, new to the job but full of enthusiasm. Arriving at crime scenes it is your job to search for clues to help solve the crimes.
With innovative technology and unique gameplay which allows you to solve crimes through interrogations and free-roam investigations the game really is a first! Marvel at the HD-like graphics as you progress through the game, earning promotions as you go. With five different crimes desks to work you will be responsible for solving everything from basic traffic incidents to homicides!
L.A Noire blends action with detective work (more detective than action!) which will find you strolling around crime scenes, interrogating witnesses and chasing after suspects!
With a definitive Rockstar feel to the game you will take to it quickly if you have ever played any GTA.
For lots more specific game information click here.
In terms of gameplay, those that enjoy first person shooters may not be so thrilled. It is much slower than you might expect and almost tedious at times when you can’t find that final clue. It also requires a certain level of attention and memory throughout as suspects might appear more than once, or methods from earlier crimes need to be drawn upon to assist you in the current one.
The game is also very linear which can feel restrictive, especially if you were expecting a GTA type game. While the city is free roam there are no mini missions to enjoy and as you are a ‘good cop’, you are not able to commit crimes for fun! Or run people over…
The game is unique in that you get to interrogate witnesses and can actually decide their fate. Are they telling you the truth? Or are they concocting an elaborate lie? Drawing upon your knowledge of each crime scene and characters you must decide!
Having bought this game immediately after it came out I was hooked until the very last minute. I did find some aspects a little repetitive and began to realise towards the end that I should have paid more attention throughout.
While it isn’t the best all-round police experience in terms of sheer enjoyment, it is by far the best detective game available to buy and as of yet, nothing competes with it!
If you haven’t heard of this game then you must have been living in a hole for the past seven years or so! Dubbed as one of the all-time greatest games ever made you can find out all about it here.
This article is about the ‘best police games available’ and thus the remainder of this entry will assume a good knowledge of GTA as I focus on the police aspects.
Within GTA SA you have the ability to play free roam and in doing this you will often fall on the wrong side of the law. Whether you are spotted car jacking your favourite car, running pedestrians over, crashing, shooting at people or many more crimes you will soon find the police hot on your tail.
Being a felon is a massive part of this game as you climb to the top of multiple gangs and ultimately become the most respected gang member in the region. However, you can choose in free roam to work for the police, hunting down armed suspects.
Steal any police car and activate police missions to start. You will then be dispatched to jobs in your area which, due to a time limit, will require some fast driving and accurate shooting to progress to the next level.
Trying to apprehend (kill) the suspects while ensuring your patrol car is still roadworthy is a mission in itself… although a few cheats here and there might suffice!
There are multiple police cars available both marked and unmarked which you can check out, all with working lights and sirens as you would expect. The missions while reasonably varied will get repetitive after a while but those with a good imagination will cease to tire from the thrill of a high speed pursuit.
Then of course there is the police helicopter for which you can also use to combat crime. A typical mission will see you getting dispatched to a convoy of cars which you are required to blow up or destroy either with your missiles or machine guns. Completely unrealistic and yet wholly good fun, GTA San Andreas offers those seeking a police game something quite special.
It is worth noting that the game is massive – so don’t be surprised that the police missions are not hugely varied as there are a million and one other things to do too! If playing on the PC you can modify the game with custom police vehicles. For a whole load of information about doing this, go here.
So for sheer enjoyment, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas makes it into this list of epic police games.
Driver San Francisco, although not marketed as one, is actually a fantastic police game! If you haven’t played any of the Driver game series might I recommend you grab yourself a copy! (They are selling very cheap in the pre-owned section currently on Amazon)
The game is, at its heart, a driving game which involves lots of high speed chases, tricky manoeuvres, huge jumps, lots of sideways cornering action and tons more. The game is a cross between an excellent arcade game, a good simulator and a mediocre strategy game!
One of the best and entirely original features is the ability to ‘ghost’ out of one car and into another. It’s an ingenious way of creating a game that feels like it is entirely free roam even though it is actually quite limiting.
While driving one car you are able to fly out and above your car and fly through the streets looking for the next car to take control of. As you enter that car you just carry on as if you were there all along. It means you can take control of any vehicle that you see regardless of where it is on the map!
This ‘skill’ gets more and more pronounced throughout the game and you can use it to your advantage to bring down other bad guys or racers!
To find out more about the gameplay itself, click here, otherwise read on for the police aspect of the game.
With the ability to hop into any car you can of course jump into police cars! There are a few different types on the game, all accurately recreated. The graphics are incredible and are many notches above that of the GTA San Andreas and for their cleaner and brighter display, they could be arguably on par with the latest GTA!
When you assume control of a police vehicle you can play missions which require you to bring down criminals who will be trying to evade you. The pursuits are surprisingly difficult although there are ways of making it easier! For example, once you begin a pursuit other police cars will join you. If one of those other patrol cars is a faster model, you can simply switch into it. Or alternatively, if you are about to crash and burn you can jump into another car seconds before impact and continue the chase.
The ability to commandeer all vehicles means you can block the path of the getaway vehicle ahead of time. Fly forward looking for a bus or lorry, take control and block the road. The getaway car won’t stand a chance!
For the incredible graphics, faithful recreation of the beloved city which is San Francisco and for interesting story lines, I highly recommend this game to police chase enthusiasts!
Emergency 2013 (PC only)
If you are after something a bit more ‘Emergency Services’ orientated erring more on strategy and real world simulation as opposed to first person shooter or driving games then let me introduce to you the Emergency game series.
Currently the latest release is Emergency 2013 which is a re-release of the earlier Emergency 2012 game featuring more missions, more vehicles and bug fixes amongst other things.
Instead of reading a load of text, check out this video on YouTube which will give you a great idea of the types of missions, vehicles, personnel and rescue vehicles you will have control over.
The Emergency series has been out for a number of years and each game builds upon the successes of the last. Requiring more and more computing power and hard drive space it is worth checking out the system requirements before purchasing!
To find out more about the game click here to see it on Amazon. Otherwise, read on for a fuller review of the police aspects.
In the game you assume the position of overall control making all the decisions and affecting the lives of those in need. For each mission you will be presented with a frustratingly intriguing video which will show you the disaster unfolding. Pay close attention as while it is playing you can begin to plan which vehicles you will need to send to the scene and estimate the number of casualties. Be warned, a single disaster can have multiple knock-on effects which you won’t aways be able to plan for.
Once the mission has loaded you will have to select the vehicles and equipment, right down to the individual type of firefighter or police officer.
There are numerous specific police missions, such as chasing and capturing offenders, protecting crimes scenes and riot control. Alongside these focused police missions are more generic disasters which almost always require a police response!
I suspect if you enjoy the disaster management games you will enjoy controlling all characters, regardless of their particular profession.
To pass each level you will need to keep the loss of life down to an absolute minimum and will need to do your best to protect buildings, property and your own crew! Missions will often take a sudden turn which can catch you out but the ability to replay a mission is always there so don’t worry too much!
Emergency 2013 is by far the best game in the series and includes lots of bonus content not available in previous versions. For it’s varied missions, intelligent play and superb graphics, I strongly suggest grabbing yourself a copy of Emergency 2013.
Changing tack slightly for a minute, Call of Juarez is a slightly different sort of game. It is a Western Shooter game but upgraded to reflect more modern times. Confused? I would be.
Assume the character of a Ben McCall, an LAPD cop on a mission to bring peace and order to a crime ridden city. From the start of the game you will become immersed in the action as a Mexican drug cartel bombs a US Law Enforcement agency, with the government calling on you to hunt them down.
With an in-depth campaign mode to keep you satisfied for many many hours you can call on the help of your friends if you need to in the online cooperative campaign mode (one of the best features of this game!)
Check out all the weaponry that is on offer as progress through multiple scenarios that could see you executing raids, protecting witnesses, interrogating suspects, operating undercover or chasing down suspects in vehicles!
In terms of game reviews it is a mixed bag! If you are looking for a straight up police game or a game with cutting edge graphics then yes, you might be slightly disappointed. However, if you are looking for a new type of police genre – one that you haven’t tried before and a game that has more twists and turns than you may expect then give this a go.
One of the best features as mentioned previously is the cooperative campaign ability! Everyone loves to work together with their friends to complete a game and with Call of Jaurez The Cartel you can do just that! Don’t expect Modern Warfare 3 graphics and you will be just fine!
For the simple fact that it is a whole lot of fun and involves bringing down the bad guys, you should give this game a spin!
In GTA 4 there are hundreds of mini missions and side missions which can be dipped into whenever you choose. For more general game information click here. Otherwise, continue reading for the police aspects of the game.
Once you get past a certain mission in the main storyline, the police missions are unlocked, called Vigilante Missions. With it unlocked, you can enter into any patrol car, switch on the police computer and let dispatch know that you are receiving calls.
Cruise around the city in your marked or unmarked patrol car waiting for the next big thing to come through on the radio. Quite often it will involve tearing across the city with blue lights and sirens watching the traffic parting and moving out of your way (a great touch!)
On scene you will be presented with a shootout, car chase or many other scenarios often requiring you to take out the bad guys. This might require you to shoot to kill or ram them off the road.
As with all GTA’s the gameplay is awesome (as are the graphics) but you can’t help thinking they could have developed the hugely loved police aspect of the game a little bit more. (Of course, for those on PC there are a multitude of MODs that will take the missions to the next level – discover mods here!)
Considering it is just a side mission to the overall epic game then it gets a mighty full marks for what you can do. However, knowing full well how much people enjoy the vigilante missions it is surprising that Rockstar didn’t add a touch more variation!
Of course, GTA 5 is being released towards the end of the year and while nobody knows for certain, there is talk that police missions are an established part of the game and thus for those reading this, if you can wait a few months, place a pre-order for GTA 5 and play something else in the meantime!
But, if you can’t wait that long and fancy checking out the GTA 4 Vigilante missions, you can buy your copy of GTA 4 on Amazon here
Ok, so forget everything you have just seen listed above and clear your mind for a second. If you take what you have just read into account you will not be fair to APB Reloaded as it is a completely different style of game once again!
Appealing more to the younger gamer (even though it is an 18!) it is still completely playable by adults both young and old alike. To skip this blurb and to check the game out for yourself, click here to see it on Amazon. Otherwise, read on!
APB reloaded is essentially a gritty shoot em up game with a bit of a difference. It is one of the few games which gives you the ability to customise every aspect about your playable character!
Play as either the good guys or the bad guys, design your own avatar, choose you vehicle and hop right in! APB is a F2P (Free to Play) massive online third-person multiplayer shooter game. The open world environment puts more impetus on the player to find their own way through the maze of city streets, dealing with crime (or committing crime) to build up their notoriety within their affiliated organisations.
Whether you are running or driving, it is you versus the world in many situations and keeping your wits about you is a must!
As previously mentioned, the unique feature of this game is the ability to customise your environment to exactly the way you want it. You can create the character of your choice, choosing their weaponry, vehicles, symbols, clothing and even the game music! Nothing is beyond your control.
In APB Reloaded you either take the role of a Criminal – hell-bent on causing havoc and making money, or an Enforcer – tapped by the city to keep order. The city never sleeps and the fight never ends in this fast paced Massively Multi-player, Action Shooter.
Due to the unique nature of this online game you should pay close attention to the setup of the game so that you aren’t surprised when you are asked if you would like to spend more money to upgrade your weapons or to have to buy a membership.
For its brilliant design and endless unique opportunities for fun (due to the online multiplayer features) this game is well worth checking out for those that enjoy fighting crime!
Police Force ‘the original’ was a game created by Excalibur publishing and it received a load of mixed reviews. In one sentence I would say it had the right foundations for a good game, but the execution was far from great.
Which is why Police Force 2 makes it into this list. Police Force 2 has been built from the ground up and since it’s release earlier this year has proved to be one of the most successful police games on sale.
According to our site statistics too, this game has proved by far the most popular and so evidently the pitfalls of the previous version were re-worked before this release!
To check out Police Force 2 click here, otherwise read on for a little bit more information.
In Police Force you were a police offer working a city responding to calls of varying nature requiring you to exhibit different skills each time.
The graphics were basic and buggy, the missions were predictable and limited at best and the overall gameplay was not very good. However, the basic gameplay was enough to keep people interested and thus excitement high for the release of Police Force 2.
Want to work in a SWAT team in an exciting first person shooter/ police game? Then look no further than Swat 4.
Swat 4 is a squad based tactical shooter that simulates the tactics and equipment of SWAT teams as they engage in tense, high risk missions. You are responsible for leading your SWAT team into a variety of missions including rescuing hostages, counter-terrorism raids and high risk arrests.
To check it out on Amazon, click here. Or read on for more information.
Swat 4 is a simulation game where you lead four other men who are directly under your control in a high realism police simulator. With exceptionally high realism for only a moderately priced game you will find it compelling, full of tension and at times will make you feel like you are watching it on a film screen!
With realistic physics eg. if you are shot in the head you will die, you have to play carefully and in a true to life manner to stay alive and effect an arrest. Missions can be relatively short or nearly an hour long which gives you an idea of the depth and scope of the game. The game map itself is not big but you might fail to notice that as you will be far too engrossed.
The mission scenarios have been carefully designed to reflect the sort of scenarios you might come across in the real world. Terrorists could be hiding in any corner and interestingly, even if you replay a mission they will not be hiding in the same place twice.
Strategy is involved to keep your colleagues both alive and operating at their maximum effectiveness. One false move or optimistic room entry could leave your team dead resulting in a mission fail!
SWAT is most certainly not Rainbow 6 (which it often gets compared to!) This is due to the much higher realism level and requirement of you to abide by police procedures at all times. You cannot just go on a shooting spree for example!
The game has been designed to be unpredictable and to leave you guessing at times so be ever ready for a perfectly normal situation to escalate fast. For those that like the real world aspect you will not be disappointed as you get to listen to the original 911 call, the dispatch and control room coms and much more.
There is also a fantastic multiplayer section including co-op missions, death-matches, protect the VIP and bomb diffusing! Work together to succcessfuly complete all the missions and to earn your stripes!
Despite occupying the bottom of this list (which is certainly not ordered by preference!) this game is an absolute must buy for those interested in games that allow you to work as the police!
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Which of these titles is your favourite? Did I miss one from this list? Let me know in the comments section below or send me a message