The GTA or Grand Theft Auto games have remained topnotch in quality of action, gameplay, and most of all, storytelling. From its widely vast and intricate settings, its colorful characters, and outlandish storylines, I’ve grown very fond of playing GTA over the years for all of its highs and lows.
There are almost 15 GTA games from across all platforms and most of them have been widely successful. However, the PC versions have been remarkably popular all over the world. Discover these GTA games and more about them in the list below.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories – 2005
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is the ninth installment to the Grand Theft Auto franchise and was released in October of 2005. While the game was released on a handheld device such as the PlayStation Portable at first, it was later ported to the PlayStation 2 and released on mobile devices.
What made Liberty City Stories land a spot on this list is the grittiness of the game which you’d normally only find on the gaming console version or the PC version. Liberty City Stories followed the rise of Toni Cipriani within the Mafia organization within the titular city.
The game allowed players more flexibility with the camera views and the entire story further expanded the lore of the third Grand Theft Auto game since the game was set as a prequel. This allowed players to fully grasp what happens in the third installment and bred some of the best Easter eggs in the game.
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 – 1999
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 is an expansion pack from the original Grand Theft Auto game and was released in 1999 through the original PlayStation console.
The game won a BAFTA award in the Sound category which was quite a feat for a game that was not well-praised by critics.
The game plays the role of a criminal who must navigate the crime syndicates of London which I think is a very common plot in most GTA games.
Grand Theft Auto – 1998
I have to admit that the first game was probably one of the most forgettable in the series but it has earned its way into this list for being the original game and the one that started the beloved franchise.
Released way back in 1998, there’s not much to say about the original game apart from being imbalanced with the difficulty of its missions. The developers would soon improve upon the original game and slowly drift it further into the world of GTA that we know and love today.
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost And The Damned – 2009
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost And The Damned features the story of Johnny who wants to protect the Lost Motorcycle Club while the rest of the narrative is based on the storylines found in GTA IV which we’ll discuss later on.
The fact that this game uses the same gameplay and the same map with the only difference being the new story and characters makes it quite a bit redundant and bland.
However, as soon as the storyline kicks in, fans of the series will surely love how the stories intertwine with the fourth game. Grand Theft Auto: The Lost And The Damned, released in 2009, is a game that might not look good on paper but is secretly loved by fans of the franchise.
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony – 2009
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony is the second expansion after The Lost and the Damned and was released for the Xbox 360 in October of 2009 and the PlayStation 3 and PC the following year.
The game is set within the same time as The Lost and the Damned where it follows the adventures of Luis Fernando Lopez who becomes a bodyguard for Gay Tony. This game is known to wrap up the storyline of both expansion packs and Grand Theft Auto IV.
Grand Theft Auto 2 – 1999
For me, Grand Theft Auto 2 is by far the most outlandish game in all of the franchise when it comes to the setting of the game. The game still follows the player taking up roles within a crime syndicate and finishing missions left and right.
But what makes this game unique is that this is probably the only game I know that is set in a futuristic landscape. All the other games are set in modern times but this sequel tried to jump ahead of time.
Released in October of 1999, the game was made available for Windows PC and PlayStation but also made its way to Dreamcast and Gameboy Color. It was by far one of the most underwhelming games in the franchise.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – 2002
This is probably the game where the franchise truly took flight with its zaniness. It was Vice City that led me to become hooked on this game when I was young.
Released all the way back in 2002, the game featured an open world where I could navigate around by riding vehicles or simply running around. Much of the game’s story is heavily inspired by the likes of Miami Vice and Scarface.
The game was heavily praised by fans of the franchise and critics for its bold change. The game became one of the best-selling video games of that year with over 17.5 million copies sold.
Grand Theft Auto III – 2001
Not only did Grand Theft Auto III move away from the futuristic take on the second game, but it also set it back in the modern age with a more grounded storyline.
In this game, I play Claude who sets out on a revenge mission after being left for dead but ultimately gets entangled in crime and violence. The game was released in October of 2001 and was praised for its open world, gameplay, and many more features.
The game was criticized for its amount of violence but the game still sold more than 14 million copies. I think Grand Theft Auto III became the blueprint of the entire franchise that paved the way for many of the series’ best games.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 2004
I think Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is one of the greatest games of all time. Not only did San Andreas capture a lot of real-life elements and incorporated them into the game’s storyline but it also infused a lot of events that happened in real life.
San Andreas is considered one of the best video games of all time and there’s no doubt that it will be remembered for decades to come. Released on October 26, 2004, the game follows CJ Johnson who returns home after the death of his mother only to be reeled into a world of criminality and violence.
The game also had its fair share of controversy regarding the highly-criticized Hot Coffee mod but overall, the game is and will always be the epitome of what Grand Theft Auto is all about.
Grand Theft Auto IV – 2008
While San Andreas and other games in the series brought some crazy good times, Grand Theft Auto IV took me by surprise at how serious the game felt while playing. Not a lot of people were happy with the sudden change in tone.
However, the game was still groundbreaking as it was the first game in the series to be released for the seventh generation of consoles. Critics might beg to differ as well as they are far more gracious than I am with the way I look at this game.
The game still looks beautiful after all these years and has remained a good game to come back to if I miss playing GTA games. The game was released in April of 2008 for consoles and in December of the same year for PC.
Grand Theft Auto V – 2013
Grand Theft Auto V takes the cake as Rockstar Games’ fastest-selling product in the history of gaming. The game earned $800 million when it was released in September of 2013 and reached $1 billion in three days.
The game was already expected to do well in sales but what truly sold the game for me was the multiple protagonists and storyline. This allowed us as players to get into each character’s perspectives and enjoy every bit of craziness that the game has to offer.
Sure, the violence and all the shenanigans are still present but GTA V takes it even further than previous entries. The game won several accolades including Game of the Year and is even considered as a contender for being the best video game ever made.
And there you have it. These are the GTA games that I have played over the years and have grown fond of. The GTA series may have its ups and downs but surely no one can deny that it is a fun and rowdy game to play.