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This article is about the Grand Theft Auto series. For other uses, see Grand Theft Auto (disambiguation).

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Wikipedia has an article on: Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a long-running video game series created by British development house Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and published by their American parent company Rockstar Games.

The series was created by David Scott Jones and Mike Dailly, with subsequent titles under Rockstar North's name being developed under the oversight of brothers Dan and Sam Houser, Aaron Garbut and former president Leslie Benzies.

Throughout its history, the series has always courted controversy due mainly to the mature content of the games, with all but one game being rated the local equivalent of Mature/Adult/R.

Grand Theft Auto held 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 has also been ranked 5[1] in the best-selling video game franchises of all time.

The first trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI on December 4, 2023, broke three previous Guinness World Records for most viewed videogame reveal on YouTube in 24 hours (at 90,421,491 views), most liked videogame trailer on YouTube (with 8.9 million likes in the first 24 hours) and most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours (non-music) (surpassing MrBeast's "Every Country On Earth Fights For $250,000").[2]

As of August 2023, the Grand Theft Auto series had sold over 405 million copies worldwide.

The next entry in the series, Grand Theft Auto VI, is scheduled for release in 2025, and is due to be the most immersive title in the series.

Overview

The Grand Theft Auto series, belonging to, and to some extent defining the 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.

The plot of the games generally allows 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. Other activities like 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.

Setting

With the exception of the London expansion/mission packs for the original game and The Cayo Perico Heist update for Grand Theft Auto Online, the games are set in a fictional, heavily satirical recreation of the United States of America with references made to the rest of the world. Gameplay takes place in settings ranging from the largest cities in the country to small towns and remote wilderness and desert areas.

Universes

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.

Individual games in the series have been categorized into three distinct parallel universes, officially named by Rockstar Games as the "2D Universe", "3D Universe" and the "HD Universe". Each universe is designed to be completely separate to each other so that no physically appearing characters or storylines would overlap. Different variants of existing brands and in-game media personalities exist across these universes, as completely different characters.

The 2D Universe follows the independent storylines of DMA Design's original top-down titles, following the stories of various criminal organizations surrounding the silent male and female protagonists doing freelance work for each group. The 2D Universe consists of Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto: London and Grand Theft Auto 2.

The 3D Universe started in 2001 with the release of Grand Theft Auto III, a reboot of the series, introducing full 3D graphics during gameplay using the RenderWare engine. The universe's other games are prequels of the canon established in Grand Theft Auto III, loosely connected to the game's events. The canon of this universe consists of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto Advance, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

In addition, this universe is shared with Rockstar North's survival horror duology Manhunt, including its brands and certain celebrity characters.

In 2006, Rockstar Games developed its proprietary game engine Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), which had its debut in Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis, a sports game developed by Rockstar San Diego.

The first use of the RAGE engine in the Grand Theft Auto was in 2008, with the second and latest reboot in the series, officially named the HD Universe, which consists of all titles following the new canon established in Grand Theft Auto IV. This includes Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.

Game List

There are currently sixteen games in the series, including two expansion packs for the original game, two expansions for GTA IV, and a dedicated multiplayer title. The games have been released for various platforms, including the PC, PSX, PS2, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, GBC, DC, GBA, PSP, DS, iPhone and Android with all but two of the games released on multiple platforms.

2D Universe

The following games are set in the same universe and continuity established by the original Grand Theft Auto.

Game Universe Original Release Timeline Location(s) Protagonist(s) Platform(s)
Grand Theft Auto 2D November 28th, 1997 (PC) 1997 Liberty City
San Andreas
Vice City
Player's choice:
Female: Divine, Katie, Mikki and Ulrika.
Male: Bubba, Kivlov, Travis and Troy.
Alternative (GBC only): Tarantula Studios Development Team
PC
PlayStation
Game Boy Color
PlayStation Classic
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 2D April 29, 1999 (PC) 1969 London Player's choice:
All platforms: Rodney Morash, Sid Vacant, Charles Jones and Maurice Caine.
PC exclusive: Mick Casey, Johnny Hawthorn, Winston Henry and Wolfie Vilans.
PC
PlayStation
Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 2D June 1, 1999 (PC) 1961 London
Manchester (Multiplayer Deathmatch only)
PC
Grand Theft Auto 2 2D October 22, 1999 (PC and PlayStation) Unspecified year (c. 1999 or 2013) Anywhere City Claude Speed

Alternative (GBC only): Calligari, Candy, Eddie, Gretchen, Paulo and Ruben
PC
PlayStation
Dreamcast
Game Boy Color

3D Universe

The following games are set in the same universe and continuity established by Grand Theft Auto III, and their stories are loosely connected.

Game Universe Original Release Timeline Location(s) Protagonist(s) Platform(s)
Grand Theft Auto III 3D October 22, 2001 (PlayStation 2) 2001 Liberty City Claude PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
iOS devices
Android devices
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 3D October 29, 2002 (PlayStation 2) 1986 Vice City Tommy Vercetti PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
iOS devices
Android devices
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 3D October 26, 2004 (PlayStation 2) 1992 State of San Andreas
Liberty City (Briefly)
Carl Johnson PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
iOS devices
Android devices
Grand Theft Auto Advance 3D October 26, 2004 (Game Boy Advance) 2000 Liberty City Mike Game Boy Advance
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories 3D October 24, 2005 (PlayStation Portable) 1998 Liberty City Toni Cipriani PlayStation 2
PlayStation Portable
iOS devices
Android
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories 3D October 31, 2006 (PlayStation Portable) 1984 Vice City Victor Vance PlayStation 2
PlayStation Portable

HD Universe

The following games are set in the same universe and continuity established by Grand Theft Auto IV, and their stories are loosely connected.

Game Universe Original Release Timeline Location(s) Protagonist(s) Platform(s)
Grand Theft Auto IV HD April 29, 2008 (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) 2008 Liberty City
State of Alderney
Niko Bellic PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
The Lost and Damned HD February 17, 2009 (Xbox 360) 2008 State of Alderney
Liberty City
Johnny Klebitz PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD March 17, 2009 (Nintendo DS) 2009 Liberty City Huang Lee Nintendo DS
PlayStation Portable
iOS devices
Android devices
The Ballad of Gay Tony HD October 29, 2009 (Xbox 360) 2008 Liberty City
State of Alderney
Luis Fernando Lopez PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto V HD September 17, 2013 (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) 2013 (Main Events)
2004 (Prologue)
Southern San Andreas
Ludendorff, North Yankton (Briefly)
Michael De Santa
Franklin Clinton
Trevor Philips
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
PC
PlayStation 5
Xbox Series X|S
Grand Theft Auto Online HD October 1, 2013 (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) 2013present day Southern San Andreas
Cayo Perico
GTA Online Protagonist PlayStation 3 (Until December 16, 2021)
Xbox 360 (Until December 16, 2021)
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
PC
PlayStation 5
Xbox Series X|S
Grand Theft Auto VI HD 2025 (scheduled release, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S) ? Leonida Lucia
Unnamed GTA VI male accomplice
PlayStation 5
Xbox Series X|S

Game Overview

2D Universe

In the 2D Universe, the graphics engines provided "top-down" gameplay in two dimensions with missions counting towards a score to unlock the next set of missions.

3D Universe

The 3D Universe featured the first blockbuster GTA title, Grand Theft Auto III, and introduced a 3D game world and 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 the first game released being the last chronologically, and the last game released being the first chronologically.

See also: The Introduction

HD Universe

The HD Universe featured Rockstar's RAGE engine, also used in Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis. The gameplay did not change dramatically from the successful 3D Universe formula. This era features:

  • 12. The Lost and Damned (2009) - A standalone 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 Johnny Klebitz, vice-president of The Lost MC. It was also available as part of the Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City disc released on PC (Games for Windows - LIVE) and PlayStation 3 in April 2010, which includes The Ballad of Gay Tony.
  • 14. The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009) - A second standalone 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 Prince. It was released on PC (Games for Windows - LIVE) and PlayStation 3 in April 2010 along with the Episodes From Liberty City combination disc with The Lost and Damned.
Note: All three GTA IV games were later combined into Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition and from April 2020, following the demise of Games For Windows Live, this is the only version available to purchase now for PC. Owners of physical or digital copies of any of the three standalone games can upgrade to The Complete Edition for free with patch 1.0.8, however this removes the multiplayer component and several radio stations are significantly changed due to the expiry of music licenses.

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 download databases to forums with hundreds of thousands of members.

This is a list of some of the most popular fan sites, some of which were even acknowledged by Rockstar[3]:

An activity popular with fans is modding - creating new vehicle models, skins, re-texturing 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.

Note that modified games and fan-fiction are not to be documented here on the GTA Wiki.

Official Sites

References

  1. Wikipedia sources
  2. Grand Theft Auto VI first look becomes most viewed videogame trailer in 24 hours
  3. GTA San Andreas Manual: SOME OF OUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
    • gouranga.com
    • gtanet.com
    • gtagaming.com
    • gtascraper.com
    • codenamegta.co.uk
    • gta-sanandreas.com
    • planetgrandtheftauto.com
    • gtascene.de
    • gta.pl
    • gtainside.com
    • gtaskins.com
    • gtawh.com

Navigation

[ ve ]Grand Theft Auto series
Grand Theft AutoProtagonists | Liberty City (and New Guernsey) | San Andreas | Vice City | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: London
London 1969Protagonists | London | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
London 1961Protagonists | London | Manchester | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto 2Claude Speed/GBC Protagonists | Anywhere City (Downtown | Residential | Industrial) | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto IIIClaude | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityTommy Vercetti | Vice City | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasCarl Johnson | State of San Andreas (Los SantosSan FierroLas VenturasRed CountyFlint CountyWhetstoneBone CountyTierra Robada) | Characters | Missions | Gangs | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto AdvanceMike | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Soundtrack | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City StoriesToni Cipriani | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City StoriesVictor Vance | Vice City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto IVNiko Bellic | Liberty City | Alderney | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Episodes from Liberty City
The Lost and DamnedJohnny Klebitz | Liberty City | Alderney | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
The Ballad of Gay TonyLuis Fernando Lopez | Liberty City | Alderney | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsHuang Lee | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto VMichael De Santa | Trevor Philips | Franklin Clinton | Southern San Andreas (Los Santos (County) | Blaine County) | State of North Yankton (Ludendorff) | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Weapons | Vehicles | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto OnlineGTA Online Protagonist (Crews | Organizations | Motorcycle Clubs) | Southern San Andreas (Los Santos (County) | Blaine County) | The Caribbean (Cayo Perico) | Missions | Jobs | Gangs | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Reputation (Arena Points | LS Car Meet) | Content Updates | Events | Achievements/Trophies | Awards
Grand Theft Auto VILucia | Unnamed male accomplice | State of Leonida (Vice-Dale County | Kelly County | Leonard County) | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Collectibles | Multiplayer | Modifications | Controversy
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