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The chapter selection menu in Grand Theft Auto, showing the map of the United States of America and the location of the three cities: Liberty City, San Andreas and Vice City.

God bless all the universe (universe). Krishna bells are in.
Stop, look down, on stolen cars (stolen cars). This is just... a sin.
Reverend Rooney singing "God Bless All The Universe"

The 2D Universe is the official name given by Rockstar North via the Rockstar Games Newswire[1][2] to the world where the first generation of the Grand Theft Auto series with games played from the top-down perspective, takes place. In spite of its name, the graphics of this era are partially 3D. Unlike the following two universes, the plot relation between its different games is not clear.

The 2D Universe was introduced in 1997 by the original Grand Theft Auto. It was followed by its expansions GTA: London 1969 and GTA: London 1961 and finally Grand Theft Auto 2. It ended with the introduction of the 3D Universe in Grand Theft Auto III.

The 2D Universe is set in four American cities (Liberty City, San Andreas, Vice City and Anywhere City) and two British cities (London and Manchester). The first game of the series allowed the player to choose among multiple protagonists to live the story, including female ones. This is the first universe to feature non-American locations.

Chronological Release List[]

Chronological Plot List[]

Games in the 2D Universe[]

Grand Theft Auto[]

The original Grand Theft Auto is set in the cities of Liberty City (including the neighbouring state of New Guernsey), San Andreas and Vice City in 1997. These renditions of the cities are vastly different from their more well-known counterparts in the 3D Era. In the game, the player can choose from one of eight protagonists, and even change their names. It begins with only one level to choose from.

Grand Theft Auto: London 1969[]

Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 is the first expansion pack, to the original Grand Theft Auto. As the name implies, the game takes place in London in the year 1969. The player once again enters the role of a criminal looking to work his or her way up the career ladder of organized crime. The temporal setting has been exploited through a number of cultural and historical references, including the appearance of a James Bond-like character and the usage of more or less authentic slang. In addition, the cars drive on the left side of the road, as is the case in Britain.

Grand Theft Auto: London 1961[]

Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 is a freely distributed mission pack, also known as an expansion pack, to the original Grand Theft Auto and London 1969 - requiring both to play. Just as the first mission pack did, London 1961 uses same game engine as the original Grand Theft Auto. The game takes place in London, eight years before the events of GTA London 1969. The mission pack as implied includes new missions, 22 new vehicles, one new cutscene, and a new multiplayer deathmatch map based upon the UK city of Manchester.

Grand Theft Auto 2[]

Grand Theft Auto 2 was the first title in the series to adopt early 3D graphics technology present on the PlayStation and some PCs. While the gameplay did not shift to the third-person perspective, as did Grand Theft Auto III with its full 3D environment, it utilised 3D graphics hardware/software to improve the visual quality.

Locations of the 2D Universe[]

United States (GTA)[]

England (London expansion packs)[]


  1. ...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. This is the logic (as far as it could be considered logical) behind it – so no, we don’t believe any GTA3 characters could exist in the GTA4 universe.
  2. The Grand Theft Auto III timeline is not necessarily over - but it is a different world to Grand Theft Auto IV - only the branding and certain radio personalities exist across both worlds. The reason for this was that we felt Grand Theft Auto IV was a high-definition experience and required different kinds of characters. That - and the fact that most people from the previous world are dead.

See Also[]