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Grand Theft Auto (series)

Grand Theft Auto
Series logo, used since Grand Theft Auto III (2001).
Genres Action-adventure, racing, third-person shooter
Developers Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design)
Rockstar Leeds
Rockstar Toronto
Rockstar Lincoln
Publishers Rockstar Games
Capcom (Japan, 2001–2008)
Creators David Jones[1]
Dan Houser[2]
Sam Houser[2]
Mike Dailly[3]
Leslie Benzies
Aaron Garbut
Platforms Android
Fire OS
Game Boy
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance
Microsoft Windows
Nintendo DS
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
PlayStation Portable
Windows Phone
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Platform of origin MS-DOS
Microsoft Windows
First release Grand Theft Auto
October 1997 (1997-10)
Latest release Grand Theft Auto V (Microsoft Windows)
14 April 2015
Official website

Grand Theft Auto is an action-adventure video game series created by David Jones and Mike Dailly;[3] the later titles of which were created by brothers Dan and Sam Houser, Leslie Benzies and Aaron Garbut. It is primarily developed by Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design), and published by Rockstar Games. The name of the series references the term used in the US for motor vehicle theft.

Most games in the series are set in fictional locales modelled on American cities, usually either Liberty City, Vice City, or San Andreas, which are stand-ins for New York City, Miami, and the state of California, respectively. The first game encompassed three fictional cities, while subsequent titles tend to emphasise a single city and its outlying areas.

  • Official website
  • seriesGrand Theft Auto at DMOZ
  • from RockstarGames.comGrand Theft Auto 2 and Grand Theft AutoDownload

External links


Further reading

  1. ^ David Jones Returns To APB – Edge Magazine. (12 May 2011). Retrieved on 6 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b "IGN Presents: The History of Grand Theft Auto". IGN. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "GTA: "Max Clifford made it all happen" | GamesIndustry International". 22 October 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "GTA 5: a Great British export". The Telegraph. 17 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Orland, Kyle (14 September 2011). Passes 22M Shipped, Franchise Above 114M"Grand Theft Auto IV".  
  6. ^ a b c Rockstar. "Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part One (Claude, Darkel & Other Characters)". Rockstar: The “universes” are the worlds interpreted at different definitions, 2D, 3D and high definition, so we felt brands and radio / back ground characters would exist in both, but 3 dimensional characters would not. 
  7. ^ Makuch, Eddie (23 October 2014). "GTA: San Andreas Re-Release Coming to Xbox 360 [UPDATE]".  
  8. ^ a b Usher, William (14 March 2015). "Grand Theft Auto Drama Heading to BBC Television". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Walker, Trey (21 May 2002). "E3 2002: Sony gets Grand Theft Auto exclusive".  
  10. ^ Moses, Travis (23 January 2008). "Preview : Grand Theft Auto IV". Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  11. ^ McLaughlin, Rus; Thomas, Lucas M. (6 May 2013). "IGN Presents The History of Grand Theft Auto".  
  12. ^ McLaughlin, Rus; Thomas, Lucas M. (6 May 2013). "IGN Presents The History of Grand Theft Auto".  
  13. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2 August 2007). "Take-Two Execs Explain Grand Theft Auto IV Delay".  
  14. ^ R* Q (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V Reviews".  
  15. ^ Karmali, Luke (9 October 2013). "GTA 5 Currently Holds Seven Guinness World Records". IGN. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  16. ^ R* Q (12 September 2014). "Grand Theft Auto V Release Dates and Exclusive Content Details for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC". Rockstar Newswire.  
  17. ^ Robert Purchese (22 June 2009). "Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for PSP". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  18. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (29 January 2010). "Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Announced for PS3 and PC".  
  19. ^ R* Q (18 December 2014). "Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Updated for iOS and Now Available for Android and Amazon Devices". Rockstar Newswire.  
  20. ^ Q, R*. "Announcing Grand Theft Auto III: 10th Anniversary Edition for Select Mobile Devices & the Limited Edition Claude Action Figure". 
  21. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 10th Anniversary Edition Coming to iOS and Android Devices on December 6th". Rockstar Games. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  22. ^ Johnson, Leif (18 December 2013). "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas iOS Review". IGN. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Makuch, Eddie (23 October 2014). "GTA: San Andreas Re-Release Coming to Xbox 360 [UPDATE]".  
  24. ^ GameSpot Staff (1 March 2012). "By the Book: Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto".  
  25. ^ Makuch, Eddie (12 March 2015). "Grand Theft Auto TV Drama Announced".  
  26. ^ Makuch, Eddie (22 April 2015). "GTA Drama Casts Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton".  
  27. ^ Krupa, Daniel (21 May 2015). "Rockstar Games Files Lawsuit Against the BBC".  
  28. ^ Rymer, Barbara. "The Gamechangers".  
  29. ^ Dredge, Stuart. "Top 10 things you never knew about Grand Theft Auto (because you're not brainy enough)". TechDigest. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  30. ^ Quijano-Cruz, Johansen. "Using Literary Theory to Read Games: Power, Ideology, and Repression in Atlus' Growlanser: Heritage of War". Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  31. ^ Retrorevival: Turbo Esprit, Retro Gamer issue 20, page 48. Imagine Publishing, 2006.
  32. ^ Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe, BBC Television, 2009. "Grand Theft Auto ... directly inspired by the pioneering Spectrum game Turbo Esprit"
  33. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (28 March 2008). "Grand Theft Auto IV: Building a Brave New World".  
  34. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (29 April 2008). "Grand Theft Auto IV: Special Edition Review".  
  35. ^ Reparaz, Mike (1 April 2009). "Liberty City landmarks: GTA IV vs Chinatown Wars".  
  36. ^ Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto V Official Announcement. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  37. ^ Bernstein, Joseph (13 August 2013). ""Way Beyond Anything We’ve Done Before": Building The World Of "Grand Theft Auto V"".  
  38. ^ "Los Santos Landmarks Map". 1 December 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  39. ^ Sweet, Sam (20 September 2013). "Idling in Los Santos".  
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  42. ^ "Lawsuit filed against Sony, Wal-Mart over game linked to shootings". CNN. Archived from the original on 3 May 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2006. 
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  45. ^ "Suit: Video Game Sparked Police Shootings". ABC News. 7 March 2005. Archived from the original on 7 March 2005. 
  46. ^ sparks another lawsuit"Grand Theft Auto". GameSpot. Retrieved 18 August 2006. 
  47. ^ Reeves, Jay "Court rejects appeal in Alabama suit blaming game for slayings". Associated Press, 29 March 2006.
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  50. ^ "Jack Thompson Lawsuit to be Filed in Albuquerque". Game 25 September 2006. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2007. 
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  54. ^ Staff (11 October 2013). "Daz Dillinger accuses Grand Theft Auto V of Stealing his Beats".  
  55. ^ Jackson, Mike (27 February 2014). "Mob Wives' Karen Gravano suing Rockstar over GTA V character".  
  56. ^ "Lindsay Lohan is suing the makers of Grand Theft Auto V".  
  57. ^  
  58. ^ a b (11 September 2003). "Grand Theft Auto in the dock over JP road killing". The Register. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  59. ^ a b McLaughlin, Rus; Thomas, Lucas M. (6 May 2013). "IGN Presents: The History of Grand Theft Auto".  
  60. ^ Peter Ross (27 April 2008). "Grand Theft Auto IV Joyride".  
  61. ^ a b Sam Gibson (29 October 2004). "The history of Grand Theft Auto". 
  62. ^ "Take-Two self-censoring Vice City". GameSpot. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  63. ^ "IGN: Hot Coffee Lawsuit Finally Mopped Up". IGN. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  64. ^ "Take-Two Announces 'Hot Coffee' Lawsuit Settlements". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  65. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (30 April 2008). "Mothers against Grand Theft Auto IV's drunk driving".  
  66. ^ Grand Theft Auto IV, Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 release.
  67. ^ "GTA V players can drive drunk as ESRB states". Attack of the Fanboy. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  68. ^ "Parents Group Warns Against Lost And Damned Nudity". 21 February 2009. 
  69. ^ Langshaw, Mark (24 April 2011). "Feature: Video Game Controversy". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  70. ^ L.B. Jeffries. "Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Features Drug-Dealing Minigame". Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  71. ^ "Rockstar: Nintendo wanted a bad ass Grand Theft Auto title". 24 September 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  72. ^ "Rockstar: Nintendo didn't want us to make Grand Theft Auto for kids". MaxConsole. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  73. ^ a b Alex Hern (18 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 under fire for graphic torture scene | Technology". Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  74. ^ Martin Bagot (17 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 torture row: Teachers slam scenes of extreme violence in most expensive game ever made - Mirror Online". Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  75. ^ "Why Grand Theft Auto 5's most controversial mission may be unpleasant and repulsive but there is a message behind the degradation - Dan Silver - Mirror Online". 17 September 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  76. ^ Martens, Todd (20 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V' review: Stubborn sexism, violence ruin game play"'".  
  77. ^ Edge Staff (November 2013). "Play: Economies of scale".  
  78. ^ Suellentrop, Chris (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V Is a Return to the Comedy of Violence".  
  79. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto".  
  80. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto".  
  81. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto".  
  82. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto".  
  83. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Mission Pack #1: London 1969".  
  84. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969".  
  85. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto 2".  
  86. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto 2".  
  87. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto 2".  
  88. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto 2".  
  89. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto 2".  
  90. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto III".  
  91. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto III".  
  92. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto III".  
  93. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto III".  
  94. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City".  
  95. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City".  
  96. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City".  
  97. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City".  
  98. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas".  
  99. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas".  
  100. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas".  
  101. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas".  
  102. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas".  
  103. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas".  
  104. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto".  
  105. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto".  
  106. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories".  
  107. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories".  
  108. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories".  
  109. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories".  
  110. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories".  
  111. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories".  
  112. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories".  
  113. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories".  
  114. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV".  
  115. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV".  
  116. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV".  
  117. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV".  
  118. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV".  
  119. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV".  
  120. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned".  
  121. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned".  
  122. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned".  
  123. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned".  
  124. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned".  
  125. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars".  
  126. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars".  
  127. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars".  
  128. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars".  
  129. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony".  
  130. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony".  
  131. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony".  
  132. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony".  
  133. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony".  
  134. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  135. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  136. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  137. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  138. ^ "Grand Theft Auto V". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  139. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  140. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  141. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  142. ^ Reviews"Grand Theft Auto V".  
  143. ^ "Grand Theft Auto V". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  144. ^ a b Stephen McGinty (20 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V: Scottish game conquering world". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  145. ^ Haywald, Justin (August 21, 2015). "Grand Theft Auto Series Passes 220 Million Sales Worldwide".  
  146. ^ Sabbagh, Dan. "Grand Theft Auto IV records 609,000 first-day sales", The Times, 1 May 2008
  147. ^ Franklin Paul (7 May 2008). "Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto 4 sales top $500 million". Reuters. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  148. ^ "Grand Theft Auto Voted British Icon". []
  149. ^ Ivan, Tom (28 February 2009). "Guinness ranks top 50 games of all time".  
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  151. ^ "New and Upcoming Nintendo 3DS Games at Metacritic – Metacritic". Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
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  154. ^ "New and Upcoming Xbox 360 Games at Metacritic – Metacritic". 27 October 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  155. ^ Kushner, David (2012). "Chapter 7: Gang Warfare". Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. Wiley. p. 59.  
  156. ^ a b c d Internet Archive Wayback Machine. (8 April 2008). Retrieved on 6 September 2012.
  157. ^ GTA IV Overtakes San Andreas in Lifetime Sales [Correction]. (15 September 2011). Retrieved on 6 September 2012.
  158. ^ CCBN – Lobby. (26 September 2007). Retrieved on 6 September 2012.
  159. ^ "Grand Theft Auto series shipments reach 125 million". 27 November 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  160. ^ Analyst: Lost & Damned May Sell 2m by Year-End by Kris Graft (6 March 2009) Edge
  161. ^ Analyst: Lost And Damned Sales At 1 Million, All-New GTA In 2010. (6 March 2009). Retrieved on 6 September 2012.
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  163. ^ GTA: Episodes from Liberty City sells under 160K in Oct.-Nov. by Tor Thorsen (11 December 2009)
  164. ^ Matt Bertz (18 May 2015). "Grand Theft Auto V Sell-In Crosses 52 Million Mark". Game Informer. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  165. ^ Game Informer Issue 138 p.73
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See also

Subsequent games that follow this formula of driving and shooting have been called "Grand Theft Auto clones". Some reviewers even extended this label to the Driver series, even though this series began years before the release of Grand Theft Auto III.[167] Grand Theft Auto clones are a type of 3D action-adventure game,[168][169][170][171][172] where players are given the ability to drive any vehicle or fire any weapon as they explore an open world.[173] These games often incorporate violent and criminal themes. Notable games that are comparable to Grand Theft Auto are Saints Row,[174] Scarface: The World Is Yours, True Crime: Streets of LA,[175][176] Watch Dogs,[177] Sleeping Dogs,[178] Just Cause,[179] Mafia[180] and The Godfather.[181]

During interviews to mark the 10th anniversary of the release of Grand Theft Auto III, producer of the Street Fighter series, Yoshinori Ono, said "It would be no exaggeration to say that Grand Theft Auto III changed the industry, and we can basically separate the time before and after its emergence as distinct eras." In the same article Bethesda studios director, Todd Howard, said "The mark of a truly great game is how many people try to recapture or emulate it and fail. There's a long line behind this one."[166]

The release of Grand Theft Auto III is treated as a revolutionary event in the history of video games, much like the release of Doom nearly a decade earlier.[165]

Similar games

Year Game Sales Acquired label(s)
1997 Grand Theft Auto 1 million+[155] PS1 Greatest Hits, Platinum
1999 Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969
Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961
Grand Theft Auto 2 PS1 Greatest Hits
2001 Grand Theft Auto III 14.5 million[156] PS2 Greatest Hits, Platinum
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 17.5 million[156] PS2 Greatest Hits, Platinum
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 27.5 million[157][158]
Grand Theft Auto Advance 100,000
2005 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories 8 million[156]
  • PSP Greatest Hits, Platinum
  • PS2 Platinum
2006 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories 4.5 million[156]
  • PSP Greatest Hits, Platinum
  • PS2 Platinum
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV 25 million+[159]
  • PS3 Greatest Hits, Platinum
  • Xbox 360 Platinum Hits
2009 Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned 1 million+[160][161]
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars 200,000[162] PSP Greatest Hits
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City 160,000+[163]
  • PS3 Greatest Hits
  • Xbox 360 Platinum Hits
2013 Grand Theft Auto V 52 million+[164]
Total series sales: 150 million+[144]


Grand Theft Auto III, San Andreas and Vice City currently lie at the 2nd, 5th and 6th highest rated PlayStation 2 games on Metacritic, respectively,[150] while Chinatown Wars is rated the best game on the Nintendo DS[151] and the second best on the PlayStation Portable,[152] and Grand Theft Auto IV is currently rated the second best game ever, with a score of 98, only trailing behind The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Also, Vice City, Grand Theft Auto III, San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV lie at 11th, 24th, 27th and 93rd best PC games of all time, on Metacritic.[153] Along with this, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony are currently placed 35th and 59th in the top Xbox 360 games.[154]

The series has broken several records, resulting in Guinness World Records awarding the series 10 world records in the Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include Most Guest Stars in a Video Game Series, Largest Voice Cast in a Video Game (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas), Largest In-Game Soundtrack (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) as well as Most Successful Entertainment Launch of All Time (Grand Theft Auto V). Guinness World Records also ranked Grand Theft Auto in third place on their list of top 50 console games of all time based on initial impact and lasting legacy.[149] Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is listed as the most successful game on the PlayStation 2 according to The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition.

In 2006, Grand Theft Auto was voted one of Britain's top 10 designs among Concorde, Red Telephone Boxes, Catseyes, The Underground, Mini, Tomb Raider and the World Wide Web.[148]

Ever since 2001, the Grand Theft Auto series has been a major success, both critically and financially. It has generated perfect or near perfect reviews and scores on almost all of the games; by September 2013, the series sold over 150 million copies worldwide,[144] and as of August 2015, Grand Theft Auto shipped over 220 million units worldwide.[145] The Times Online reported that Grand Theft Auto IV recorded 609,000 copies in the UK on its first day of release.[146] In its first week, Grand Theft Auto IV sold approximately 6 million copies worldwide and grossed over $500 million.[147]

Aggregate review scores
As of 5 February 2015.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Grand Theft Auto (PC) 78.50%[79]
(PS1) 68.33%[80]
(GBC) 57.33%[81]
(GBA) 68[82]
London, 1969 (PC) 75.44%[83]
(PS1) 69.00%[84]
Grand Theft Auto 2 (PC) 71.50%[85]
(DC) 70.80%[86]
(PS1) 69.92%[87]
(GBC) 35.00%[88]
(PS1) 70[89]
Grand Theft Auto III (PS2) 95.19%[90]
(PC) 93.54%[91]
(PS2) 97[92]
(PC) 93[93]
Vice City (PS2) 94.43%[94]
(PC) 94.39%[95]
(PS2) 95[96]
(PC) 94[97]
San Andreas (PS2) 95.08%[98]
(Xbox) 92.29%[99]
(PC) 91.94%[100]
(PS2) 95[101]
(Xbox) 93[102]
(PC) 93[103]
Advance (GBA) 70.35%[104] (GBA) 68[105]
Liberty City Stories (PSP) 87.45%[106]
(PS2) 77.38%[107]
(PSP) 88[108]
(PS2) 78[109]
Vice City Stories (PSP) 85.01%[110]
(PS2) 75.96%[111]
(PSP) 86[112]
(PS2) 75[113]
Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3) 97.04%[114]
(X360) 96.67%[115]
(PC) 88.48%[116]
(PS3) 98[117]
(X360) 98[118]
(PC) 90[119]
The Lost and Damned (PC) 94.00%[120]
(PS3) 94.00%[121]
(X360) 89.73%[122]
(X360) 90[123]
(PS3) 88[124]
Chinatown Wars (NDS) 92.71%[125]
(PSP) 90.39%[126]
(NDS) 93[127]
(PSP) 90[128]
The Ballad of Gay Tony (PC) 90.00%[129]
(PS3) 90.00%[130]
(X360) 89.43%[131]
(X360) 89[132]
(PS3) 87[133]
Grand Theft Auto V (XONE) 98.33%[134]
(PS3) 97.01%[135]
(PS4) 96.33%[136]
(X360) 96.20%[137]
(PC) 95.07%[138]
(XONE) 97[139]
(PS3) 97[140]
(PS4) 97[141]
(X360) 97[142]
(PC) 96[143]


The game has been accused of sexism. The Los Angeles Times considered the game's satirical portrayals of women uncreative, and added that violent and sexist themes hurt the game experience.[76] Edge noted that while "every female in the game exists solely to be sneered, leered or laughed at", it treated its all-male lead characters in a similar vein through their stereotyped tendencies towards violence.[77] Sam Houser, Rockstar Games co-founder, felt that the development team sometimes overlooked their portrayal of women in Grand Theft Auto games, but that the weight towards male characters "fit with the story we wanted to tell".[78]

UK-based charity [73]

A segment in the latest instalment caused controversy for containing scenes of player initiated torture. The mission "By the Book" features graphic depictions of kneecapping, electrocution, dental extraction and waterboarding, and the player is required to perform the acts in order to progress in the game.[73][74][75]

A man is strapped to an overturned chair with a cloth concealing his face. Player character Trevor stands over him with a canister, about to pour water on his face. A text prompt in the upper left-hand corner reads
The mission "By the Book" involves a sequence wherein players use torture techniques including waterboarding to interrogate a man.

Grand Theft Auto V: witness torture and sexism

There has been some controversy over a drug dealing minigame[69] along with comments that some Nintendo games are being aimed at children (despite the fact that the game was rated Mature). The drug dealing mini-game allows players to peddle six types of drugs around the city, but the profit the player makes depends on market conditions, which will be based on the area in which they deal, and the level of regular service this area receives from them.[70][71]

Chinatown Wars: drug dealing minigame

The Lost and Damned expansion pack was condemned by U.S. parents group Common Sense Media who issued a public warning against the pack's content due to a full-frontal nudity scene during one of the cutscenes. They claimed the game was "more controversial than its predecessors" because it featured "full frontal male nudity".[68]

The Lost and Damned: full-frontal nudity

Notably, it is impossible to drive while drunk in the GTA IV expansions, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. These were released after the criticism. It is, however, possible to drive drunk again in the successor, Grand Theft Auto V.[67]

One of the controversies involved with this game was Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD) criticism of the ability to drink and drive as a new feature. MADD had even requested ESRB to change the rating of the game from "M" for ages seventeen and up to "AO", for adults only, because they felt it was inappropriate for children, even at the age of seventeen, to experience drunk driving in such a manner.[65] In the final game, drunk driving is a playable event, but it is a crime that automatically generates a wanted rating and main playable character Niko Bellic loudly (and drunkenly) proclaims that it is a "bad idea" and that he "should know better".[66]

Grand Theft Auto IV: drunk driving

After the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, modders managed to find the unused code in the game and released unofficial patches for the Windows and Xbox (with a modchip) versions as well as a PlayStation 2 version through the use of an Action Replay code enabling the player to engage in these sexual mini-games (dubbed "Hot Coffee" in reference to a euphemism for sex used in the game). These mini-games were left partially intact in the game's code. This prompted application of an AO (Adults Only) ESRB rating to the version of the game containing the leftover code. Take-Two Interactive was forced to re-release the game in order to restore the M (Mature) rating. A class action lawsuit against Take-Two was also filed as a result of the "Hot Coffee" code.[63][64]

San Andreas was criticised initially due to its "gangster" elements, which include drugs, prostitution, and murder; but later due to the discovery of disabled interactive sex scenes, nicknamed Hot Coffee, which was a sexual minigame that was cut from the game, but remained in the game code, which was discovered in both the console and Windows versions of the game. Dubbed the "Hot Coffee mod", the minigame allowed players to have sex with their in-game girlfriends and also record sextapes.

San Andreas: sex minigame

Jean-Robert Lafortune of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition is quoted as saying that "The game shouldn't be designed to destroy human life, it shouldn't be designed to destroy an ethnic group," for this and similar scenarios, including lines in the game's script such as "kill the Haitian dickheads" said by character "Diaz" during an altercation between the player and a Haitian gang. After the threat of a lawsuit by the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition, Rockstar removed the word "Haitians" from this phrase in the game's subtitles.[62]

The sixth game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, also came under criticism. One mission in particular, in which the player must instigate a gang war between Haitian and Cuban gangs, has been controversial. Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups criticised the game.

Vice City: ethnic discrimination

There is also criticism from the focus on illegal activities in comparison with traditional "heroic" roles that other games offer. The main character can commit a wide variety of crimes and violent acts while dealing with only temporary consequences, including the killing of policemen and military personnel.

The controversies flared up again with Grand Theft Auto III, since the 3D graphics made the violence more realistic, and players could pay the services of prostitutes to recover their health, and if they wished, killing them to get some of their money back.[61]

Grand Theft Auto III: general violence and crime

The game was controversial from the very first incarnation of the series.[58] Grand Theft Auto was condemned in Britain, Germany, and France due to its "extreme violence",[59] and Brazil banned it outright.[59] Publicist Max Clifford planted sensational stories in tabloids in order to help sell the first game.[58][60][61]

Grand Theft Auto

According to The Guinness World Records 2008 and 2009 Gamer's Edition, it is the most controversial video game series in history, with over 4,000 articles published about it, which include accusations of glamorising violence, corrupting gamers, and connection to real life crimes.[57]

Several celebrities have sued Rockstar Games and/or Take-Two Interactive for violating their intellectual property or personality rights, including hip-hop artist Daz Dillinger,[54] Karen Gravano of Mob Wives,[55] and actress Lindsay Lohan.[56]

In September 2006, Thompson brought another lawsuit, claiming that Cody Posey played the game obsessively before murdering his father Delbert Paul Posey, stepmother Tryone Schmid, and stepsister Marilea Schmid on a ranch in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The suit was filed on behalf of the victims' families.[49] During the criminal trial, Posey's defence team argued he was abused by his father, and tormented by his stepmother.[50] Posey was also taking Zoloft at the time of the killings.[51] The suit alleged that were it not for his obsessive playing of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the murders would not have taken place.[52] Named in the suit were Cody Posey, Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive, and Sony. The suit asked for US$600 million in damages.[53]

In May 2005, Thompson appeared via satellite on the Glenn Beck program on CNN's Headline News. Thompson mentioned Devin Moore and said regarding Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City "There's no doubt in my mind [...] that but for Devin Moore's training on this cop killing simulator, he would not have been able to kill three cops in Fayette, Alabama who are now dead and in the ground. We are suing Take-Two, Sony, Wal-Mart, and GameStop for having trained Devin Moore to kill. He had no history of violence. No criminal record."[48]

In February 2005, a lawsuit was brought upon the makers and distributors of the Grand Theft Auto series claiming the games caused a teenager to shoot and kill three members of the Alabama police force. The shooting took place in June 2003 when Devin Moore, 17 years old at the time, was taken in for questioning by police in Fayette, Alabama regarding a stolen vehicle. Moore then grabbed a pistol from one of the police officers and shot and killed him along with another officer and dispatcher before fleeing in a police car.[45][46] One of Moore's attorneys, Jack Thompson, claimed it was Grand Theft Auto‍ '​s graphic nature—with his constant playing time—that caused Moore to commit the murders, and Moore's family agrees. Damages were being sought from branches of GameStop and Wal-Mart in Jasper, Alabama, the stores from which Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, respectively, were purchased and also from the games' publisher Take-Two Interactive, and the PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment. On 29 March 2006 the case was dismissed and permission to appeal was denied.[47]

On 20 October 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by Grand Theft Auto III) filed a US$246 million lawsuit against publishers Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, retailer Wal-Mart, and PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment America.[42][43] Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in U.S. District Court on 29 October 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause". The lawyer of the victims, Jack Thompson, denied that, but failed in his attempt to move the lawsuit into a state court and under Tennessee's consumer protection act.[44] Two days later, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, and the case was closed.

Former lawyer Jack Thompson has been involved in a number of attempts to get families of murder victims to hold the Grand Theft Auto series accountable for the death of their loved ones. Due to his conduct in this and related cases, Thompson was disbarred in 2008[40] and was fined more than $100,000 by the Florida Bar Association.[41]


Only the expansion packs for the original Grand Theft Auto, London, 1969 and London, 1961, set in London, have featured a location outside the United States and used a real-life location.

In both Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V, Los Santos and the state of San Andreas are depicted as being on an island an undetermined distance from the US mainland. In both games it is possible to circumnavigate the state by boat. Similarly, the versions of Liberty City and Alderney in Grand Theft Auto IV and expansion packs are also completely located on islands, as is Vice City. The GTA III rendition of Liberty City however, while mostly island, is connected to mainland on its Northwest corner (a region the player cannot navigate).

[39]‍ '​s Sam Sweet notes that, with sales of game reaching thirteen million copies, "there will be more people living in the imaginary state of Los Santos than in the real city on which it was modelled."The New Yorker [38] Since the release of the game, hundreds of in-game buildings have been identified as being based on real-world landmarks.[37]

Grand Theft Auto IV and its subsequent expansion packs The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony are set in a third revision of Liberty City, set in 2008, which is a closer analog to New York City and its boroughs than the GTA III version.[34] Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is also set in this version of Liberty City, although the Alderney portion of the map is not present.[35]

Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories, originally released on the PlayStation Portable handheld console and later reissued for other consoles, are set in the previous depictions of their respective eponymous cities, but in different decades. The maps for the two cities remain the same, with some differences in terms of buildings and geography to reflect the different time periods.

Subsequent games in the series have re-imagined and expanded upon the original locales. Grand Theft Auto III is set in a different rendition of Liberty City only loosely based on New York City.[33] A revised Vice City and San Andreas are depicted in Vice City and San Andreas, respectively, the latter of which takes the form of an entire state, instead of a single city. The state of San Andreas is based on the states of California and Nevada, and consists of three major cities: Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco), and Las Venturas (Las Vegas). Surrounding towns and areas of desert, water, woodland, and countryside lie between the three cities. The GTA III rendition of Liberty City is also briefly featured during one mission.

The second entry in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto 2, set the game in the future in a locale named "Anywhere City".

The Grand Theft Auto series is set in a fictional version of the world, in a number of different time periods. The original Grand Theft Auto introduced three main cities: Liberty City, based upon New York City, Vice City, based upon Miami, and San Andreas, based upon parts of California. In the first Grand Theft Auto game, San Andreas was based only on San Francisco. Expansion packs later set the game in London.


The use of vehicles in an explorable urban environment provides a basic simulation of a working city, complete with pedestrians who generally obey traffic signals. Further details are used to flesh out an open-ended atmosphere that has been used in several other games, such as The Simpsons: Hit & Run, which has less emphasis on crime or violence, and Lego City Undercover, which reverses the roles of police officer and criminal, although the player goes undercover in gangs for a portion of the game.

Grand Theft Auto III and subsequent games have more voice acting and radio stations, which simulate driving to music with disc jockeys, radio personalities, commercials, talk radio, pop music, and American culture.

The Grand Theft Auto series belongs to a genre of free-roaming role-playing video games called open world games, and grants a large amount of freedom to the player. Traditional action games are structured as a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, but in Grand Theft Auto the player can determine the missions that he wants to undertake, and his relationships with various characters are changed based on these choices. Influenced by the earlier game Turbo Esprit,[31][32] the cities of the games can be roamed freely at any point in the game, and are examples of open world video game environments which offer accessible buildings with minor missions in addition to the main storyline. There are exceptions: missions follow a linear, overarching plot, and some city areas must be unlocked over the course of the game.

In later titles, notably those released after Grand Theft Auto 2, the player is given a more developed storyline in which he is forced to overcome an unfortunate event (e.g., being betrayed and left for dead), which serves as motivation for the character to advance up the criminal ladder and ultimately leads to the triumph of the character by the end of the storyline.

Each game in this series allows players to take on the role of a criminal in the big city, typically an individual who plans to rise through the ranks of violent crimes are featured regularly. Occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, street racing, bus driving, or learning to fly helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are also involved in the game.


Common elements

In 2006, McFarland & Company published The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto (ISBN 978-0-7864-2822-9).[29] Compiled by Nate Garrelts, the 264-page book is a collection of essays regarding the Grand Theft Auto series, to help audiences better understand the games and to make a point about due diligence of game criticism. The book is divided into two parts: the first part discusses the controversies surrounding the series, while the second half takes a theoretical look at the games absent of the controversy.[30]

The series has been expanded into various other formats. Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, a book written by David Kushner chronicling the development of the series, was published in 2012.[24] In March 2015, BBC Two announced The Gamechangers, a 90-minute docudrama based on the creation of Grand Theft Auto,[25] Directed by Owen Harris and written by James Wood, the drama will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar president Sam Houser and Bill Paxton as disbarred attorney Jack Thompson.[26] In May 2015, Rockstar filed a lawsuit against the BBC for trademark infringement, stating that they had no involvement with the development of the film and had unsuccessfully tried to contact the BBC to resolve the matter.[27] It first aired on 15 September 2015 on BBC Two.[28]

Related media

Numerous titles in the series have received ports to mobile devices. Chinatown Wars was released for iOS in 2010 and for Android and Fire OS in 2014.[19] For their tenth anniversaries, Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City were both re-released for iOS and Android in 2011 and 2012, respectively.[20][21] In 2013, San Andreas was ported to iOS, Android & Windows Phone and RT ;[22] the mobile port was later re-released for Xbox 360 for the game's tenth anniversary in 2014.[23]

Grand Theft Auto has spawned numerous additional games and expansion packs. In 1999, the original game received two expansion packs: Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969 and Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961.[8] Grand Theft Auto Advance, released in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance, featured a top-down perspective. Three games were released for the PlayStation Portable. The 2005 game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a prequel to Grand Theft Auto III, while the 2006 game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is a prequel to Vice City; both games were later ported to the PlayStation 2. In 2009, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was released for the Nintendo DS, and later ported to the PlayStation Portable.[17] In 2009, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony were released for the Xbox 360 as expansion packs to Grand Theft Auto IV; a "strategic alliance" between Rockstar and Microsoft resulted in the timed exclusivity. They were later released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows as part of an expansion pack, titled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.[18]

Other games

Two main instalments were published for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The 2008 title Grand Theft Auto IV focused on realism and detail, removing various customisation features, while adding an online multiplayer mode.[13] Grand Theft Auto V, published in 2013, featured three playable protagonists.[14] It was released to massive financial success, breaking multiple records.[15] It was later re-released with various enhancements, in 2014 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in 2015 for Microsoft Windows.[16]

The PlayStation 2 also featured three installments of the main series, all of which have been re-released on several platforms; a deal between Take-Two Interactive and Sony Computer Entertainment resulted in their timed exclusivity on the PlayStation 2, before receiving ports to Microsoft Windows and the Xbox.[9] The 2001 title Grand Theft Auto III moved away from the two-dimension (2D) graphics used in the first two games to three-dimension (3D) computer graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds.[10] Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was published in 2002, and was the first to feature a speaking protagonist, voiced by Ray Liotta.[11] Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, released in 2004, introduced various new elements, including character customisation and a large map encompassing three cities and surrounding rural area.[12]

Grand Theft Auto, the first game in the series, was released for Microsoft Windows and MS-DOS in October 1997, ported to the PlayStation in 1998 and the Game Boy Color in 1999. Grand Theft Auto 2 was released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows, later receiving ports on the PlayStation, Dreamcast and Game Boy Color.[8]

The Grand Theft Auto series is considered by Rockstar Games to be split into separate fictional universes, named after the primary level of graphics capability used in each era.[6] The original Grand Theft Auto, its expansions and its sequel are considered the "2D universe". Grand Theft Auto III and its sequels are considered the "3D universe". Grand Theft Auto IV, its expansions and Grand Theft Auto V are considered the "HD universe". Each universe is considered separate with only brands, place names and background characters shared between them.[6]

Main series

Timeline of release years
1997 – Grand Theft Auto
1998 –
1999 – Grand Theft Auto 2
2000 –
2001 – Grand Theft Auto III
2002 – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
2003 –
2004 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
2005 –
2006 –
2007 –
2008 – Grand Theft Auto IV
2009 –
2010 –
2011 –
2012 –
2013 – Grand Theft Auto V
2014 –
2015 –
Year Title Developer Home release Universe[6]
Console Computer Handheld Mobile
1997 Grand Theft Auto DMA Design PS1 GBC 2D
1999 Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969 PS1
  • Windows
  • MS-DOS
Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961 Windows
Grand Theft Auto 2
Windows GBC
2001 Grand Theft Auto III
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Rockstar North
  • PS21
  • Xbox
  • Windows
  • OS X
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Fire OS
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Windows
  • OS X
  • iOS
  • Android
  • WP
  • Fire OS
Grand Theft Auto Advance Digital Eclipse GBA
2005 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Rockstar Leeds PS21 PSP
2006 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories PS21 PSP
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Rockstar North
Windows HD
2009 Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
  • PS33
  • Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Rockstar Leeds
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Fire OS
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony Rockstar North
  • PS33
  • Xbox 360
2013 Grand Theft Auto V
1. Re-released on the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network as part of the PlayStation 2 Classics line.
2. Originally re-released on the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Marketplace as part of the Xbox Originals line, but later replaced with a HD port of the mobile release in October 2014.[7]
3. Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 versions were released on 16 April 2010.
4. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were released on 18 November 2014.
5. Microsoft Windows version was released on 14 April 2015.




  • Titles 1
    • Games 1.1
      • Main series 1.1.1
      • Other games 1.1.2
    • Related media 1.2
  • Common elements 2
    • Gameplay 2.1
    • Setting 2.2
  • Controversies 3
    • Grand Theft Auto 3.1
    • Grand Theft Auto III: general violence and crime 3.2
    • Vice City: ethnic discrimination 3.3
    • San Andreas: sex minigame 3.4
    • Grand Theft Auto IV: drunk driving 3.5
    • The Lost and Damned: full-frontal nudity 3.6
    • Chinatown Wars: drug dealing minigame 3.7
    • Grand Theft Auto V: witness torture and sexism 3.8
  • Reception 4
    • Sales 4.1
  • Similar games 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

British video game developer DMA Design began the series in 1997; as of 2014 it has eleven stand-alone games and four expansion packs. The third chronological title, Grand Theft Auto III, was widely acclaimed, as it brought the series to a 3D setting and more immersive experience, and is considered a landmark title that has subsequently influenced many other open world action games and led to the label "Grand Theft Auto clone" on similar games. Subsequent titles would follow and build upon the concept established in Grand Theft Auto III. Film and music veterans have voiced characters, including Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Samuel L. Jackson, Debbie Harry, Phil Collins, Axl Rose, and Peter Fonda.[5] The series has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful, having sold more than 220 million units, as of September 2015. The Telegraph ranked the GTA series among Britain's most successful exports.[4]


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