Grand Theft Auto is without a doubt one of the most popular and best-selling video game series ever. In February 2021 it was in fact announced that the most recent title in the series Rockstar Games has touched the truly breathtaking figure of 140 million copies sold worldwide, from the day of its release (the figure was obtained by adding up the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC versions).
Waiting to be able to replay the adventure of Trevor, Michael and Franklin on next-generation consoles and in view of the announcement – hopefully not too far – of GTA 6, its SpazioGames we have decided to offer you the ranking of the most important chapters of the series of Grand Theft Auto (including spin-offs), after those dedicated to the best Final Fantasy, ai Resident Evil, to the saga of Tomb Raider and finally ai Call of Duty.
Don’t forget that look forward to your personal ranking in the comments at the bottom of the article!
7) Grand Theft Auto
Honorable mention for the first, unforgettable chapter of Grand Theft Auto. Released in 1997 on PC, PlayStation and Game Boy Advance, the game totally differs from the most recent chapters: the shot is in fact a bird’s eye view, showing you the various locations from top to bottom.
Liberty City, San Fierro e Vice City are the three cities that the player will be called to visit far and wide, stealing cars and means of transport of various kinds and accepting the large number of missions made available (to earn money and fame within the criminal world). The game turned out to be a commercial success, but it did not fail to spark the first controversies about the topics covered (and it was only the beginning).
6) Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Despite the saga of GTA has embraced total three-dimensionality, proposing increasingly vast cities and worlds that can be explored far and wide, in 2009 Rockstar Leeds e Rockstar North they decided to pay homage to the first top-down chapters by releasing for Nintendo DS Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
A real spin-off of the main series, the game told the story of Huang Lee, a member of the Triad gang, who has come to Liberty City to return the family sword to his uncle. After being ambushed (and having been robbed of the precious artifact), Lee is forced to accept all kinds of assignments from the mafia bosses of the city in order to save his own skin. The game was also released on PSP and mobile systems.
5) Grand Theft Auto IV
With PS3 and Xbox 360 in stores – and with the saga of GTA became one of the best-selling ever thanks to the various 3D episodes released in previous years – in 2009 Rockstar decided to give birth to the fourth numbered chapter of the series: Grand Theft Auto IV.
The game plunged us back into the Liberty City we saw in GTA III (but in a completely revised and corrected guise) putting ourselves this time in the shoes of the unfortunate Niko Bellic, a former Serbian military man returning from an alleged war in Eastern Europe. After traveling to the US with the hope of embracing the “American dream”, Niko will soon realize that life in the United States is very different from how it was presented to him.
Despite being less extensive than other episodes of the franchise (first of all GTA: San Andreas), GTA IV managed to establish itself as a blockbuster, so much so that it gave birth to two expansions for single player (The Lost and Damned e The Ballad of Gay Tony).
4) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
After GTA Vice City, in 2004 Rockstar decided to dare even more, releasing for the then widespread 128-bit consoles (and PC) one of the most ambitious and vast titles ever, perhaps too much considering the technical limitations of the time. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in fact, it went beyond the first two entirely three-dimensional chapters, not limiting itself to a single freely explorable city, but to a real state.
San Andreas is in fact a vast area characterized by three respectable metropolises, that is The Saints, San Fierro e The fortunes, in turn connected by highways and railway (and overhead) lines and surrounded in turn by rural areas such as deserts and wooded areas. But that’s not all: for the first time in the series of GTA it is possible to completely customize the main character, choosing the hair cut, the body and the clothing.
The story was all about Carl “CJ” Johnson, a street criminal who decides to return home after his mother’s death (killed by a rival gang). GTA: San Andreas is one of the most important (and sold) chapters of the Rockstar saga, reaching a qualitative and content milestone never seen before in the history of video games.
3) Grand Theft Auto III
In 2001, on the PlayStation 2 console, Rockstar Games released it on the shelves GTA III, the latest installment in the series to be developed by DMA Design. We are talking about a seminal title, able to change the genre of open world titles forever: abandoning the classic top view of the previous chapters, the third chapter of Grand Theft Auto in fact it embraced the most total three-dimensionality, immersing us in a Liberty City so realistic as to leave you breathless.
As an ordinary criminal by name Claude (silent for the duration of the adventure), we were called to take our revenge against Catalina, ex-girlfriend and accomplice in various criminal raids. The game gave way to put your hand to an impressive arsenal of weapons (from baseball bats, through pistols, sniper rifles and flamethrowers), leaving total freedom of choice also as regards the cars to steal (there was no shortage of classic stations radio to be listened to once on board the means of transport).
After GTA III, which turned out to be an absolute success by audiences and critics in record time (and later also released on Xbox and PC), Rockstar would have understood that the way to go in the future should have been only and exclusively that of open world titles (preferably with criminal or violent issues).
2) Grand Theft Auto V
Tracing the idea behind GTA: San Andreas (but this time having the hardware power needed to perform the miracle in your hands), with Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar has taken the saga to new heights of excellence by effectively offering the GTA richest and most complete ever released on the market.
The game put us in the shoes of three extremely different characters, Franklin Clinton, Michael Townley de Santa e Trevor Philips, three really disreputable guys whose lives would have crossed in the frame of the state of San Andreas (yes, just that of the adventures of CJ). Released in 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (but later converted for an impressive number of platforms, so much so that a next-gen version for PS5 and Xbox Series X | S is expected soon), GTA V includes a wealth of things to do, cars to steal and places to visit that two single articles would not be enough to list everything that the title developed by Rockstar North has to offer.
Note separately for Grand Theft Auto Online, that is the multiplayer sector of GTA V , a real “game within a game” which is still able today to register a truly impressive number of connected users.
1) Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
After the success of GTA III it was really difficult to give birth to a game that would replicate its success and impact on the general public, which was overwhelmed by the criminal adventure in the streets of Liberty City: despite everything, in 2002 Rockstar North succeeded in the enterprise, giving birth to the chapter of the franchise GTA most fascinating ever: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
The game (originally released on PS2) took us back in time to the glorious and unforgettable 80s. Tommy Vercetti is a member of the Forelli mafia gang, who has returned to freedom after fifteen years in prison. Waiting for him at the gate is the city of Vice City, even more opulent and psychedelic version of the real Miami: from sunny beaches to luxury penthouses, passing through ghettos and the most infamous clubs, Tommy will be able to decide if and how to sink his claws into the criminal fabric of the metropolis, slowly climbing the pyramid of power of this sumptuous “city of sin”.
Tracing the mechanics of GTA III but leaving much more freedom of decision to the player – now in the role of a protagonist with class and style to sell – Vice City has everything that was missing in the third installment of the franchise, but with the addition of the timeless charm of the magnetic eighties. Surely, not the largest and most complex chapter of the Rockstar series, but the one that more than any other has managed to enter the collective imagination thanks to a truly unique and inimitable mix of features.
Note apart for the extraordinary musical sector, able to make us relive the 80’s style with a multitude of Pop, Rock, Disco-Soul, Jazz and New Wave tracks (ranging from Michael Jackson a Ozzy Osburne, passing through the Iron Maiden e i Motley Cure).
In case you have not yet played the now timeless GTA 5, you can recover the masterpiece produced and developed by Rockstar Games at a very affordable price on Amazon Italy! Don’t miss it for the world!
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks