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Grand Theft Auto
Name: Grand Theft Auto
Genre(s): Action
Open World
Third-Person Shooter
Developer(s): Rockstar Games
Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design)
Rockstar Leeds
Rockstar Toronto
Rockstar Lincoln
Series run: 1997-present
First release: Grand Theft Auto (1997)
Latest release: Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Grand Theft Auto (commonly abbreviated as GTA) is an action-adventure and action-crime-sanbox and a long-running series of video games series, published by Rockstar Games and developed by subsidiary companies. The first games were developed by Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and BMG Interactive (a subsidiary of BMG Records). Therst game of the series was released in 1997.

There are currently sixteen games in the series, plus two expansion packs for the original and two expansions for GTA IV and including a multiplayer title. The games have been released for various platforms, including, A, PSP, DS and iPhone, Andoid with all but two of the games released on multiple platforms.

There has been much controversy involving the series. The unofficial Hot Coffee mod and subsequent uproar gave Rockstar Games a huge amount of press attention.

Grand Theft Auto currently holds 10 world gaming records, including the 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 IV), and Most Successful Entertainment Launch Of All Time (Grand Theft Auto V). The Grand Theft Auto series are also ranked 6 in the best-selling video game franchises of all time. Rockstar Games Rockstar North DMA Design DMA Design Limited Rockstar Canada Digital Eclipse Take 2 Interactive Rockstar Leeds PS1 PS2 PS3 PS4 PSP XBOX XBOX 360 XBOX ONE GBC GBA DS DC Windows Phone Microsoft Windows Android iOS Fire OS Mac OS X MS-DOS DOS

Series logo, used since Grand Theft Auto III.



The GTA games allows to play as an upcoming criminal in big cities based on real-life places. The player can use various weapons, as well driving various vehicles.

The games are build up from many missions, given by many characters, such as, drugs dealers, mafia members, gangsters, famous people and other similars. The player can choose the time of doing the missions, as well the order of the missions, if more than one are available. Other than story-line missions, there are also side-missions and tasks which the player must do for 100% completion of the game.

The player has almost unlimited freedom, and can explore the games' locations at almost any time they want. If the player is to start commiting crimes, various law enforcers and law enforcement agencies will come to the player's location to the player by arresting or killing them.

The games include various weapons, such as M1911, Glock pistols, Desert Eagle, AK-47, Uzi, MP-5 and melee weapons like bats, knifes, swords and many others.

The player can drive variety of vehicles: cars, trucks, bikes, airplanes, helicopters, boat, ships, hovercrafts. In almost every game, the player can change the color of land vehicles by visiting a Pay 'n Spray. The player can get vehicles by stealing them, buying them, order them from friends (GTA IV Era only), or given them by NPCs.


The games allow the player to take on the role of a criminal in a big city, typically an individual who rises through the ranks of organised crime through the course of the game. Various missions are set for completion by the figureheads of the city underworld, generally criminal, which must be completed to progress through the storyline. Assassinations, and other crimes feature regularly, but occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, pimping, street racing, or learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft are also involved as alternate adventures, which can be done at any time during the game, with the exception of the periods performing main missions.

The Grand Theft Auto series, belonging to a genre of free-roaming video games called "sandbox games," grants a large amount of freedom to the player in deciding what to do and how to do it through multiple methods of transport and weapons. Unlike most traditional action games, which are structured as a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, in GTA the player can determine the missions they want to undertake, and their relationships with various characters are changed based on these choices. The cities of the games can also be roamed freely at any point in the game, offering many accessible buildings and minor missions. There are exceptions: missions follow a linear, overarching plot, and some city areas must be unlocked over the course of the game. Although you can explore the entire city or state even it is locked (but there are limited time to explore some city because some may trigger a 4-wanted level or 6-wanted level) and ignore the missions.


See: Grand Theft Auto World and United States of America.


List of Games[]

Main Games

Game Universe Year Set In Protagonist(s) Platform(s)
Grand Theft Auto 1 2D 1997 1997 Player's choice PC, PlayStation, Game Boy Color
Grand Theft Auto 2 2D 1999 2013

Claude Speed

PC, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color
Grand Theft Auto III 3D 2001 2001 Claude PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, iOS devices, Android devices
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 3D 2002 1986 Tommy Vercetti  PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, iOS devices, Android devices
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 3D 2004 1992 Carl Johnson PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mobile Devices
Grand Theft Auto IV HD 2008 2008 Niko Bellic PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto V HD 2013 2013 Michael De Santa
Franklin Clinton
Trevor Philips
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One

Other games

Game Universe Year Set In Protagonist(s) Platform(s)
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 2D 1999 1969 Player's choice PC, PlayStation
Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 2D 1999 1961 Player's choice PC
Grand Theft Auto Advance 3D 2004 2000 Mike Game Boy Advance
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories 3D 2005 1998 Toni Cipriani PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories 3D 2006 1984 Victor Vance PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned HD 2009 2008 Johnny Klebitz PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony HD 2009 2008 Luis Fernando Lopez PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD 2010 2009 Huang Lee Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, iOS devices
Grand Theft Auto Online HD 2013 2013 GTA Online Protagonist PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Individual games in the series can be categorized into different 'eras', mostly depend on the storyline and the graphics engine used.The start of a new era is indicated by the generation of the consoles in which the games are on.

2D Universe[]

In the 2D Universe there is the original game, the subsequent two expansion packs featuring missions in 1960's London and GTA 2, which featured an improved graphics engine and a different style of gameplay. Whilst originally just called "Grand Theft Auto", the first game and era have become known as "GTA 1" for clarity.

3D Universe[]

The 3D Universe featured the first blockbuster GTA title, Grand Theft Auto III, and introduced a 3D game world and a third person perspective. The entire era contains interlocking storylines, and many characters appear across multiple games. Notably, games in this era were not released in chronological order, with first game released being the last chronologically, and the last game released being the first chronologically.

  • 5. Grand Theft Auto III (2001) - Set in fictional Liberty City, based upon the real life New York City. Multiplayer game mode was lost, but other areas were much improved, namely the graphics, voice acting, storyline with non-linear gameplay.
  • 6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) - Set in Vice City, a city based on real life Miami. This sequel to GTA III is technically a prequel (set in 1986) to the game, and to GTA San Andreas, which was released after GTA Vice City.
  • 7. Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004) - What was originally supposed to be a cut-down port of GTA III for the Game Boy Advance, turned out to be a completely original game, set a year before GTA III, in a slightly changed Liberty City.
  • 8. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) - Set in the state of San Andreas, featured three cities, Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas, based on Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas respectively. The game is set in 1992, making it a sequel to GTA Vice City, and prequel to GTA III. The game featured a lot more customization options, for both players and vehicles.
See also: The Introduction
  • 10. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006) - Announced on May 10th during E3, is based in Vice City, 1984, two years before the original GTA Vice City, featuring Lance Vance's brother Victor Vance as the protagonist. It was released in October 2006 for the PSP. A PS2 port was released later without multiplayer in March 2007.

It is generally believed that the 3D Universe has been completed, and there will be no more official expansions on the characters, storylines or engine. However modifications and fan fiction continue to build on these.

HD Universe[]

The HD Universe features Rockstar's new RAGE engine, also used in Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis. This era features

  • 11. Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) - Set in 2008 in a redesigned Liberty City, with new game mechanics, a multiplayer mode, and with protagonist Niko Bellic trying to start a new life. GTA IV was released for Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on April 28th, 2008, with a PC release on December 2nd, 2008.
  • 12. The Lost and Damned (2009) - A downloadable episode released in February 2009 for the Xbox 360. TLAD is set in the same Liberty City as GTA IV, with events and characters overlapping with GTA IV. The protagonist is a biker, Johnny Klebitz, of The Lost Brotherhood biker gang. It is also available on a disc Episodes From Liberty City which includes The Ballad of Gay Tony also. It was released on PC (Games for Windows - LIVE) and PlayStation 3 in April 2010.
  • 13. The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009) - A second episode for GTA IV released in October 2009, the last DLC for GTA IV. The protagonist is Luis Lopez, a part-time hoodlum and full-time assistant to legendary nightclub impresario Gay Tony. It was released on the same day as Episodes From Liberty City disc. It was released on PC (Games for Windows - LIVE) and PlayStation 3 in April 2010.
  • 14. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009) - Set in 2009 and focusing on the Liberty City triads. The protagonist, Huang Lee is the son of a murdered Triad boss who comes to Liberty City. It is set in the same Liberty City as GTA IV (excluding Alderney, but scaled down for the Nintendo DS). PSP and iPhone ports were released later, including new missions, characters and radio stations and improved graphics.
  • 16. Grand Theft Auto Online (2013) - Set shortly before the events of Grand Theft Auto V in 2013, is considered by Rockstar to the series' first multiplayer title. The player assumes the role of an online protagonist, with the focus of the game being heavily centered on money. Grand Theft Auto Online was released on October 1, 2013, 14 days after the actual game and is played from within GTA V.



The Fan Base[]

Grand Theft Auto has one of the largest fan bases of any game franchise. There are many unofficial Fansites about GTA games, providing the latest news, download databases, and often an online forum for the GTA community. Thousands of GTA fansites exist, ranging from small one-person news blogs to community-edited wikis (like this one) to massive downloads databases to forums with hundreds of thousands of members.

An activity popular with fans is modding - creating new vehicle models, skins, re-texturing of objects, and tweaking settings in the games' configuration files. These modifications are made freely available on fansites for anyone to download and install into their game. Another popular pastime (since GTA III) is stunting - the act of performing wild stunts with vehicles, which are produced into compilation videos.

Another activity popular with members of the community is writing Fan Fiction - stories based on events which follow on from, or are based around events which happen in the games, but these are not to be considered canon.

The List of GTA Forums attempts to list all of the large communities, and by demonstrating just how big the community as a whole is.

These are a list of some of the most popular fan sites:


  • Every GTA features an entry screen showing different artworks from the game, while the game loads.
  • Every GTA cover since GTA III (except for Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars) features a helicopter on the top left corner of the cover art.
  • Grand Theft Auto is the best selling Sandbox/Open World game series of all time.
  • The GTA series has sold over 150 million copies on all platforms.
  • GTA V was the fastest selling and most profitable entertainment product in history, making over $1 billion in just 3 days after it's release.

Official Sites[]

External links[]