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"One of the most influential and successful games ever made."
―The New York Times.
Grand Theft Auto III
Name: Grand Theft Auto III
Developer(s): DMA Design (now Rockstar North)
Publisher(s): Rockstar Games
Release date: October 22, 2001
Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
Engine: RenderWare
Series: Grand Theft Auto
Protagonist: Claude
Date takes place: 2001
Location: Liberty City

Grand Theft Auto III (also known as GTA III or GTA 3) is the third installment and an open-world video game of the Grand Theft Auto series, released in 2001 and developed by Rockstar North, formerly called DMA Design for the PlayStation 2 and PC ports, the Xbox version by Rockstar Vienna and published by Rockstar Games. The game is the first of the 3D Universe and introduced many new features and increased the fan base of the series. It was originally released on the PlayStation 2, PC, and Xbox. The game was originally released for PS2 on October 22, 2001, the PC on May 2002 and the Xbox on November 2003. On August 18, 2011 it was released on the Mac.

GTA III is the first foray into true three-dimensional GTA gameplay, with the player taking control of the game via a third-person perspective, viewed from behind and above the player character, as opposed to the Top-Down Perspective in the earlier Grand Theft Auto 1 and Grand Theft Auto 2 games. The transition from top-down to full 3D has been widely regarded as a great maneuver, proven by its phenomenal sales figures.

The changes made for GTA III marked a defining point in the series' graphical representation and control scheme. More recent GTA titles have stuck with the same 3D control and visual scheme, and all other titles of GTA are likely to remain so, albeit improved in visual quality as hardware improves.

The game was met with an outstanding universal critical acclaim, becoming one of the highest rated video games in history.

It is the third main title Grand Theft Auto series, as well the first game to be in 3D. Also GTA III was the first game to utilize the Third-Person View, as opposed to the Top-Down Perspective of its predecessors (GTA 1, GTA London, and GTA 2).



The protagonist of GTA III, Claude.

From the official site

LIBERTY CITY, USA. The Worst Place in America.

You've been betrayed and left for dead. Now you're taking revenge, unless the city gets you first. Mob bosses need a favor, crooked cops need help and street gangs want you dead. You'll have to rob, steal and kill just to stay out of serious trouble. Anything can happen out here.

Following the events of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Catalina leaves with her boyfriendClaude to Liberty City. At the start of the game, the two are seen robbing a bank with Miguel, a Colombian Cartel member and their getaway driver, and another unnamed man. Amidst the chase, Catalina tells Claude that she is an ambitious girl and doesn't need him anymore, shooting him and fatally killing the unnamed man, and leaving with Miguel and the money. Claude survives, and is arrested for the robbery. While crossing the Portland Island bridge in a police convoy, the Colombian Cartel ambushes them by blowing up the Callahan Bridge (isolating Portland from the rest of the cities) and then kidnap an Old Oriental Gentleman. Claude and another prisoner named 8-Ball free themselves while the convoy is ambushed and leave.

8-Ball introduces Claude to Luigi Goterelli and Claude works for him to prove himself useful. Luigi orders him to send Joey Leone's favorite prostitute, Misty, to Joey's Garage, and earns Joey's trust by performing missions against the Triads and the Forelli Family. Joey introduces him to Toni Cipriani, who Claude begins working for to exact revenge on the Triads after a failed assault attempt in a laundry shop. After proving himself, Claude is introduced to Joey's father and the head of the Leone Familiy, Salvatore Leone. Claude is not powerful enough to stay for Joey, Toni, and Salvatore's meeting, so he is instructed to drive around Salvatore's trophy wife, Maria Latore, and saves her from a drug raid in a warehouse party she attended.

Salvatore begins trusting Claude, and confides in him that he believes that a bartender named Curly Bob is selling information about the Leone's to the Cartel in exchange for SPANK, an illegal drug. Claude follows Curly Bob and finds out that Catalina and Miguel are now leaders of the Cartel. Claude kills Curly Bob, but Catalina and Miguel escape. Salvatore has Claude, with the help of 8-Ball, blow up the Cartel Ship with their supply of SPANK.

For his last mission, Salvatore asks Claude to get rid of a car filled with murder evidence. However, as Claude nears the car's location, Maria pages Claude, saying that the car is a trap and to meet her at the docks; Should Claude enter the car, it will explode. At the docks, Maria admits that she lied to Salvatore and said she was having an affair with Claude, which caused his rage. Maria introduces him to a Yakuza leader Asuka Kasen and they move to Staunton Island to escape the Leone's.

Asuka wants Claude to prove that his ties with Leone's are completely broken by assinating Salvatore as he is leaving Luigi's club. Claude works for Asuka against the Leone's and the police. She soon introduces Claude to her brother and waka-gashira Kenji Kasen and a corrupt cop Ray Machowski. Claude works for Kenji against the Yardies and the Cartel while he also works for Ray to keep his connections with the Yakuza secret by making him do his dirty work.

Ray introduces him to billionaire mogul Donald Love and Claude begins working for him. He rescues the Oriental Gentleman from the Cartel, after Love tells him that they are holding him hostage for a ransom. To lower the real estate price of the city, Claude starts a war between the Yakuza and the Cartel by running over Kenji with a Cartel vehicle. He also collects the packages from a plane hangar, however, the Cartel have taken it back to their construction site headquarters, and finds Miguel and Catalina there. Miguel attempts to negotiate with Claude, but Catalina shoots him in the back and escapes. Thinking that the Cartel killed her brother, Asuka arrives to assist Claude and tortures Miguel for information. After helping Love by providing a distraction, Claude returns to the penthouse and finds that he and the Oriental Gentleman have disappeared. He returns to the construction site and finds Asuka and Miguel both dead, with a note from Catalina saying she has kidnapped Maria and will kill her unless he brings $500,000 to the Cartel Mansion.

Upon arriving, it is revealed that the ransom was an ambush and Catalina takes Maria away in a helicopter and orders them to kill Claude. Claude escapes and follows the helicopter to the dam. Catalina flies away, leaving Maria on the dam with her men. Claude kills all the men and shoots down the helicopter, killing Catalina. Leaving the dam, Maria begins babbling, and after the screen fades to black, a gunshot is heard. It is unknown if Claude shot Maria to permanently silence her or to keep her quiet.


Claude[1] is a small-time robber who was betrayed by his girlfriend, Catalina, during a bank heist. Claude is then taken in a Police van along with two other prisoners, 8-Ball, and another Asian Gentleman. During the ride to the jail, the Colombian Cartel gangsters attack the van, kill the officers, and take the Asian man. Now, Claude is free, and wants nothing more than to kill Catalina.


Main Article: Liberty City in 3D Universe

The game takes place in Liberty City, which is loosely based on New York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities. There are different districts in Liberty City. It consists of three islands - Portland Island, Staunton Island, and Shoreside Vale. The three islands are comparatively similar to Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, respectively.

Portland Island[]

This is the old industrial district, consisting largely of workmen in old cars, the Leones, Triads, and Diablos.

The manual's description:

Here you will find the docks, the Red Light District, warehouses, factories, markets, garages as well as some useful suppliers. The area is populated with hookers, pimps, laborers, dockworkers, politicians and general scum. Crime is rife in Portland and it has a long history of Mafia control. But this is being challenged by the Triads. A bloody turf war has been underway for several months. A delightful district with something for everyone.

This is the first area the player will interact with in the game.

Staunton Island[]

This is the business district. Lots of rich people can be found here, along with their nice cars. The resident gangs are the Yakuza, the Yardies, and Colombian Cartel.

The manual's description:

This is the central business district. This is where all the big business takes place in Liberty City and is dominated by the rich, powerful and corporate. During the day the area is bustling with businessmen doing their 9-5 thing - insider trading, taking bribes and selling their grandmothers for ten bucks. At night it is dark, desolate and very dangerous.

Staunton Island is the second of the three districts the player will see in the game.

Shoreside Vale[]

This is the suburban area of Liberty City. The wealthy live here, along with the middle-class residents and gangs. The Francis International Airport is also located here. The local gangs are the Southside Hoods and the Colombian Cartel.

The manual's description:

Suburban bliss and tranquility Liberty City style. Home to many of Liberty City's more affluent gangsters, Liberty City's commuter-belt is a patchwork of swimming pools, picket fences, backyards, basketball nets, street gangs and five car garages. It's littered with ostentatious mansions paid for with blood money, protected by high security guards and gates to keep out gangs of bored teenagers looking for something to do to bring some excitement to their middle class existence. The designer dogs and the station wagons give a shallow serenity to suburbia, but don't be fooled. Violence and corruption are at the heart of every home.

This is where the ending of the game takes place.


Main Article: Liberty City in GTA III Era

Liberty City is the main setting of Grand Theft Auto III. It consists of three islands - Portland, Staunton, and Shoreside Vale. These islands are loosely based on New York City boroughs - Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey.

10th Anniversary Edition[]

In October 2011, Rockstar Games announced a 10th Anniversary Edition for Grand Theft Auto III. It was released for the iOS ports for iPhone, iPad and a selection of Android devices. The game was released on December 15, 2011. A week later, Rockstar announced a series of updates which fixed some gameplay and technical issues and also added more supports for more mobile phones. Support for other devices may still be announced.[2]

Supported Devices[]

  • Apple iOS Devices - iPad (1 and 2), iPhone (4 and 4s), iPod Touch (4th Generation).
  • Android Phones - LG Optimus 2x, Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Phones (Atrix 4G, Droid X2, Photon 4G, Droid Bionic), Samsung Phones (Galaxy R, Galaxy S2), HTC Rezound, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.
  • Android Devices - Acer Tablets (Iconia and Eee Pad Transformer), Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive, LG Optimus Pad, Dell Streak 7, Motorola Xoom.

Technical Limitations from Original Version[]

Due to the technical limitations of mobile devices, a number of features were removed from the game. However, the iPad version does not have these technical limitations.

Most of the lights do not show, including vehicle headlights, brakelights, emergency vehicles, street lights and traffic lights. All of this technical limitations are due to the shortage of storage capacity for mobile devices.


It could be said that Grand Theft Auto III has the third least amount of influences in the entire GTA series, only having two, which is the movie GoodFellas and the classic TV show The Sopranos as most of the mafia theme in the game was influenced by the both the show and the movie.


Grand Theft Auto III has sold over 12 million copies.

Grand Theft Auto III received critical acclaim. The game was described as revolutionary by several game reviewers. The game's average review score of 97/100 on Metacritic, tying with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for the highest ranked game in PlayStation 2 history. IGN gave the game 9.6/10. gave GTA III a score of A+. GamePro gave the game a perfect score of 5/5. Edge and Famitsu were less favorable toward GTA III, giving a score of 8/10 each.

Grand Theft Auto III was met with near-unanimous critical acclaim. Various critics praised the game for its story, gameplay, and the near unlimited freedom gain to the player; GTA III was touted as revolutionary by several game review websites and publications.

GTA III holds a 97/100 on Metacritic, making it (along with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3) the highest rated PlayStation 2 game on the website. The game holds a 95% on GameRankings, making it the highest rated PlayStation 2 game on the website, as well the second highest rated game of its year, behind Halo.

IGN heavily praised the game, giving it a 9.6/10, calling it "a massive scale operation that just gets better and better as players dig into it, even though its gets ridiculously difficult at points." Eurogamer gave the game a perfect 10, calling it "A luscious, sprawling epic of a game and one of the most complete experiences I have ever encountered. If this is what I've waited a year to see on my PS2, then I would have waited ten. Magnificent". gave the game an A+, saying "The best game of the year? Maybe the best game ever".

GameSpot gave the game a 9.6/10. stating "While the violent nature of the game will surely turn some people off and kids simply shouldn't be allowed anywhere near it, GTA III is, quite simply, an incredible experience that shouldn't be missed by anyone mature enough to handle it". Game Informer gave it a 9.5/10, stating "The environments of Liberty City are stunning in scope and detail, dwarfing anything I've ever seen, and your choices are endless". GameSpy awarded the game with 9.4/10 stating "A fantastically designed and fun game that's one of the most absorbing, entertaining titles released in a while. It gets better and better with every single day, as you continue discovering new little features here and there.". Game Revolution gave the game a perfect score, stating "Just about the best game yet released on the system and one of the most impressive console titles we've ever seen. And I ain't blowing smoke up your tailpipe". GamePro gave the game a 5/5, stating "Greatly improved in GTA III is the stunning visual and sound package." GamesRadar gave the game a perfect 10, stating "Almost immediately after your first play you'll realize that underneath the cloak of controversy that will forever shadow GTA3 sits a truly special, groundbreaking and brilliant game. You'll love it."

Edge was less favorable, rating the game 8/10.

The PC version of the game received less positive, yet strong, reception. The PC version has been criticized for performance problems, especially in light of the much smoother performance of Vice City. This was due to technical issues. IGN gave the PC version a 9.4/10, while GameSpot gave it a 9.3/10.


GTA III emerged with an US$49.95 price, becoming the #1 selling game of 2001 in the United States. The game was later discounted to the price of $19 after becoming one of Sony's "Greatest Hits". The game has became the second most best-selling game of 2002, behind its sequel, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As of September 26, 2007, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 12 million units according to Take-Two Interactive. As of March 26, 2008, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 14.5 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.

GTA III is the fifth best-selling game of the series, behind GTA V, Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

10th Anniversary Edition[]


The 10th Anniversary Edition was announced by Rockstar Games during October 2011. The edition was released for mobile phones and tablets, such as iPod, iPhone and Android. The game was released in fall 2011.

A limited edition of Claude action figure is available for pre-order for $149.99; only 1,500 pieces were made.

The iOS version of GTA III has received favorable reception, with IGN rewarding it with a 7.5/10.

Alternate Artwork[]

In some PAL territories, Grand Theft Auto III was released with different cover artwork, despite there being no major differences in the game itself. Below are examples of several box arts.


  • The first four cars seen in the mission "Give Me Liberty" (Rumpo, Police, Enforcer and Patriot) have no drivers.
  • GTA III was the first GTA title to feature a third-person perspective.
  • GTA III is the only 3D era game to have a possibility to switch to a top-down camera view in third-person perspective.
  • GTA III was the last game to have the artwork on the cover not be a collage of different images (though only for Europe (excluding Germany), Australia, and New Zealand).
  • GTA III for PC was delayed one year because it shipped with high quality radio and textures. However, Rise FM wasn't remastered, and shipped with the PS2 quality. Differences in quality between Rise and other radio stations are quite audible.
  • Some early copies of GTA III still featured the logo of DMA Design, the original name of Rockstar North, during the opening credits.
  • The cash in GTA III is multiplied 10 times compared to the succeeding titles in the series, this is why the cash given for completing missions looks so rewarding.  This is evident when you compare the cost of healthcare and using the Pay 'n' Spray, which both cost $1000 in GTA III but only $100 in later games, and the reward for collecting Hidden Packages, which are worth $1000 each in III but just $100 in VC. Remember GTA III and Vice City have a 15 year difference.
  • In GTA III, when the player bumps cars, there is a small variable cash bonus, like in previous GTA games. Destroying a vehicle gives the player a bigger bonus.
  • On the radar, there are no Ammu-Nation "gun" icons, nor are there any Pay 'n' Spray "can" icons. These icons only appear during certain missions and for a short while after unlocking Staunton Island. Also, GTA III was the only game which had hidden these icons.
  • When Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories was released several years later, the designers took the unusual step of maintaining continuity with the earlier game by keeping the layout of Liberty City very much the same as it is in GTA III. This gave an advantage to players familiar with the city from GTA III when they moved on to the later game, and vice-versa for players who are playing the games in chronological order (LCS first, then GTA III). However, those familiar with the control scheme of LCS and other later games may find GTA III more challenging to play: the right analog stick (on the PS2) cannot be used to move the camera around while driving, and there is no on-screen map to plot routes (the radar is all there is, and it only shows the immediate area; in addition, it is impossible to separate on-ground roads with tunnels, rivers, and so on using the radar).
  • Grand Theft Auto III celebrated a 10 year anniversary, releasing a few GTA III toys and games for Apple iOS and Android Market for Mobile Phones.
  • This is only game in 3D Universe that doesn't have the tracksuit outfit.
  • It was rumored that many features of the game were scrapped after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, Rockstar denied this and claimed that only about 1% of the game was changed. A reference to terrorists was removed, and a few cosmetic details like cars and certain civilian comments were changed. A major change was a remix of the US packaging, which would eventually become Rockstar's signature style.[3]
  • This game, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and Grand Theft Auto IV are the only games where the protagonists and the main characters of the story are on the run from the antagonists of the story.
  • This is one of the only games in the 3D Universe, alongside GTA Advance, which did not feature motorcycles and playable helicopters. Many gamers were confused why they were usable in LCS. Rockstar stated that between LCS and III, bikes were temporarily banned in Liberty City due to thick roads, and the number of accidents and helicopters were limited only to licensed pilots and police officers due to the increased number of terrorist activities in the city.
  • This is the only game in the whole GTA series to use photographs/decals as textures. This is evidenced in the wheels of some cars, doors and windows on buildings, and accessories on pedestrians, examples being the door on the Portland police station, the wheels on Sentinels with a Honda logo, and a Louis Vuitton handbag carried by a ped.
  • This is the only game in the 3D universe to take place during the year it was created.
  • This is the first game in the series to use roman numerals in the title.
  • This is the only game in the 3D Universe that when you complete a mission, the "mission complete" music is not extracted from the main theme.
  • This is the only game in the 3D Universe which takes place in the 21st century.
  • This is the first game in the GTA Series to feature the motion blur effect "trails".
  • Claude was never named in the events of GTA III, he was just known as the "protagonist" until San Andreas. He was instead called by his nicknames.
  • The PS2 port was released on the same day as the Playstation port of GTA 2, just 2 years later.
  • Ironically, despite this game was released as the first GTA 3-Era game, chronologally, it is the last.

See also[]

  • Characters in GTA III
  • Vehicles in GTA III
  • Weapons in GTA III
  • Radio Stations in GTA III
  • Missions in GTA III
  • Gangs in GTA III
  • 100% Completion in GTA III
  • Secrets and Easter Eggs in GTA III
  • Dialogues in GTA III
  • Safehouses in GTA III
  • 3D Universe
  • Cheats in GTA III
  • Businesses in GTA III
  • Controls for GTA III


10th Anniversary Trailers[]


External links[]