Fans of Grand Theft Auto are in for a treat. Rockstar has revealed that production on Grand Theft Auto 6 is “well underway.” If you want to go back in time, we’ve ranked all GTA games from worst to greatest. Yes, the very best Grand Theft Auto game is most likely the one you think of. The franchise, known for its over-the-top violence and commentary on politics and pop culture, has expanded and evolved over the years from a top-down 2D game to one of the largest and most complete gaming experiences available.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V ranks at the top of the list since it represents the series’ zenith in terms of design, storyline, and technology. The game, which was released in 2013, has withstood the test of time and remains enormously popular to this day, owing in part to its GTA Online aspect. GTA V placed players into a huge environment bustling with life and things to do, locations to explore, and people to meet, set in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles called Los Santos and the surrounding territory known as Blaine County.
The plot of the game adopted a novel approach for the franchise by incorporating three playable protagonists. Michael, Trevor, and Franklin each came from different backgrounds and brought their own individual viewpoints and gaming options, keeping the experience new. And the stories came together in a nice way at the conclusion.
2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GTA: San Andreas rates high on our list because it was a breakthrough open-world experience launched on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004. The game casts you in the character of Carl “CJ” Johnson in a vast open world modeled on Los Angeles and other locations. GTA San Andreas improved on previous entries by removing loading screens between locations, introducing swimming into the mix, an RPG system in which you gain weight when you eat and must exercise to stay trim, and by providing what was, at the time, a lovely world to explore filled with a wide range of activities.
The characters and conversation are witty and well-executed, and the sound design was also hailed. However, not everyone adored GTA San Andreas, as many may recall finding the Hot Coffee mod, which sparked outrage among politicians such as Hillary Clinton, who called for an investigation. The legacy of San Andreas would live on, as Rockstar chose to use the same location for their most successful game in the series to date, GTA V.
3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Vice City, released a year after GTA III, transported gamers to 1986. The tale was set in Vice City, which was styled after Miami, and centered on Tommy Verceitti’s antics, with apparent allusions to Scarface and the TV show Miami Vice. Rockstar Games built on GTA III’s open-world, non-linear framework in Vice City, expanding on previous versions’ features and systems while introducing new powers, goods, and mechanisms. At the time, we called Vice City one of the “most beautiful and relaxing games ever released.”
4. Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto III, released in 2001, was a significant departure for the series, which was still in production at DMA Design at the time. Following the 2D top-down viewpoints of the previous games, GTA III introduced the franchise into a 3D environment for the first time. GTA III was acclaimed for taking the franchise on an exciting new path with its more expansive open world with non-linear gameplay, set in a fictitious version of New York City named Liberty City. The game had a huge impact on the gaming industry as a whole, propelling it toward non-linear open-ended sandbox games, which have since become common.
5. Grand Theft Auto II
Following on from the 1997 original, GTA II dropped players into a fictitious metropolis with the goal of wreaking as much devastation and mayhem as possible. GTA II used the same concept as the first, being shown from the top down. Rockstar’s present emphasis on the storyline was not the same back then, and instead, players were asked to live out the very simple idea of being a blossoming young criminal who wants nothing more than to perform wanton acts of violence and devastation.
In GTA II, the graphics were improved, making the automobiles and other components appear better. Additionally, the camera system was enhanced, and GTA II featured a multiplayer option that enabled up to six players to compete in multiplayer-specific areas. The debut of GTA II would signal the end of a certain phase for the franchise, which would later transition to a 3D open world.
6. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
As the first game made especially for handheld devices since Vice City Stories, GTA: Chinatown Wars in 2009 marked somewhat of a turning point for Rockstar. Additionally, the game utilized the DS’s touchscreen and a second display to provide a presentation style and configuration that no other game could.
The game places you in the role of Huang Lee, a member of the Triad gang, and is set in Liberty City once more. With its top-down viewpoint and cel-shaded graphic style, which recall back to the early days of Grand Theft Auto, the game deviated from convention as well.
7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Vice City Stories, a prequel to Vice City, had its PSP premiere in 2006 before arriving on the PlayStation 2 the following year. The game, which is set in 1984 (two years prior to Vice City), centers on Victor “Vic” Vance and his attempts to create a criminal empire in Vice City.
Many reviews noted that Vice City Stories added more personality and significantly improved various aspects of Vice City. It also gave players another enjoyable adventure where they could create havoc. While it didn’t precisely expand the scope of the GTA franchise, it did a good job of bringing the core gameplay elements to mobile devices.
8. Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV, released in 2008 as the much anticipated sequel to GTA: San Andreas, quickly gained popularity. It brought forth a new, more accurate portrayal of Liberty City, which was based on New York City. The world’s vastness and scope were astounding, providing players with greater flexibility to discover on a larger scale. The narrative followed Nico Bellic, an immigrant, as he struggled to start a new life in America. Along with its captivating narrative, GTA 4 established the foundation for GTA Online with a unique multiplayer option, allowing players to compete or cooperate in an online setting.
9. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
The precursor to GTA III Liberty City Stories from 2005 is famous for being the first 3D game in the series on a portable system. It was first published for the PSP. Liberty City Stories, which is also based in the same city, was created to make the most of the PSP’s technology.
The narrative centers on gangster Tony Cipriani, who is attempting to establish himself in the criminal underground. The game maintained the non-linear, open-ended gameplay style of the franchise, with the obvious primary instruction being to shoot first and ask questions afterward. Considering how much of the Grand Theft Auto console experience Liberty City Stories is able to fit into a portable format, it is a technical miracle.
10. Grand Theft Auto
The game that got everything going. Before Rockstar was founded, DMA Design created Grand Theft Auto, which was first available for PC in 1998. The gameplay comprised stealing automobiles, speeding through the city, inflicting as much havoc as you could, and then trying to get away from the police. The top-down perspective used in the game was something the franchise would abandon in later installments. The main themes of the film—being a criminal in an open universe with the freedom to go anywhere and do anything—were highly received by fans while not being particularly well remembered by critics.
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