What open-world game with driving has the best traffic density?

God I’d literally murder one of you – at random of course – for a PC port of this.

Also this had decent traffic density. Not even kidding:

Can’t you just drive around in L.A. IRL to get your visually stunning traffic fix?

This is not so much a game, more a driving instruction sim.


I recall being particularly impressed with traffic density in Mafia II but I’m guessing the PC version of GTA V holds that crown now. I enjoy creating traffic jams and testing the engine to see how many cars line up. I was disappointed with Watch Dogs 2 in that regard.

You mean, people texting while driving, drifting over into your lane? Or not moving at a stop light when it turns green? Or the guy in the Prius who is going 20 in a 50mph zone? Or the guy in the Prius who just as often is going 85 in a 40mph zone (for some reason up here, it seems Prius drivers are the Jekyll and Hydes of the driving world)?

I don’t think I want realistic traffic density in any of the games I’ve played. It never occurred to me that it might be a technical limitation. I always assumed it because realistic traffic jams wouldn’t be a fun thing to simulate.

I was going to bring up the original Mafia, but Mafia II is a good (and probably better) call.

All I get from this is that I’d hate to live in a city with the kind of traffic density you’re looking for! That Watchdogs video is several times busier than Darwin during rush hour. It does look more like a Sunday afternoon in Brisbane though.

One of my favorite self-challenges in GTA4 was to try an “walk” a chain explosion across one of the one-way bridges. I’d steal a car, then park it crossways at the end of a bridge to block the vehicles leaving it, then start punching my car as traffic piled up. Car catches fire, then explodes, starting the chain, and the challenge was to keep those explosions going all the way to the other side of the bridge, by slowly advancing on foot and causing more cars in the distance to pop in and ‘feed the hopper’. Get too close, and an explosion or the cops could end it, and often your luck would run out on cars appearing as well, forcing you to get closer to the still burning ones to try and streeeetch that pop-in area…

Furthest I ever got was about 3/4. Still more fun than half the game missions, and I probably blew a good 10-12 hours on that activity. Anyway, I think I discovered it because the dense traffic was annoying me.

It’s still my favorite GTA game just to hang out in, to do things random stuff like that. I just love the sense of place and atmosphere so much. I was not familiar with most of the music on the radio stations, but fell in love with nearly all of it. I loved just driving around manhattan at night listening to the Ambient radio station. Or driving around looking for the various scavenger hunts within the city, just to explore things in more detail. Or slowly driving around Brooklyn listening to that Russian radio station in the game. It was so rich in terms of sights and sounds.

It is a shame about the missions though. I must have gotten lucky my first time through the game, because when I tried to replay the game when it became backwards compatible on the Xbox One, I just kept getting stuck again and again on various missions. Or maybe I’ve just gotten worse at this type of game in the ensuing years, I don’t know.

Compared to ETS2 on/off ramp traffic yes.

You’re making me want to play that one again. But, god, I hated the missions. That is what made me not finish the game back in the day.

That is one of the many things RDR2 got right. I have played through the game three times, and never had the urge to rage quit over an annoying mission once.

Oh, man ,I did rage quit RDR2 over an annoying mission many times.One time I didn’t go back to it for months. At least modern Rockstar games have the skip checkpoint option now, but their mission design still sucks. That option is just an admission of that.

Haha, instafail because your ally was randomly killed.
Haha, instafail because your carriage got stuck.
Fail, because you didn’t carry out the exact steps Rockstar wants you to carry out at exactly the right time, while staying the appropriate distance from your companion. Don’t you dare try to improvise.

I was curious about GTA4 so I fired it up, fresh latest PC version with no mods:

There are some jams, but streets are quite empty, looking into distance. Still, not bad, plus this is the starting district and not the Times Square.

Other points of note:

  • I love the heavy driving physics
  • I hate the slow-ass chase camera that makes it impossible to see
  • I dislike the weird onfoot character and camera control
  • I kinda want to replay the game again

“This video contains content from WMG, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”


Ffs. Is there anything I can do about it? I guess mute audio somehow, or simply re-record new one with the stupid radio disabled.

Yeah I’d imagine it’s the radio station audio.
I was thinking about a reinstall a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get round to it. Then saw your video and thought I’d take a look, maybe do that reinstall after all. WMG had other ideas.

I am uploading a new one with the music muted. Stupid god damn copyrights.

I gotta say I still like the game a lot. It feels more physical than GTA5, although it is true that its mission design is worse.