Quotation Grand Theft Auto III Main Theme QuotationReverse

Grand Theft Auto 3 Theme

Grand Theft Auto III
GTA3 Box Art
DeveloperDMA Design/Rockstar North (PS2, PC)
Rockstar Vienna (Xbox)
PublisherRockstar Games
Release datesPS2
Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 22nd October 2001
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 26th October 2001

Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 26th October 2001
Flag of Japan (bordered) 25th September 2003

Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 20th May 2002
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 24th May 2002
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 24th May 2002
Flag of Japan (bordered) 25th September 2003

Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 31st October 2003
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 2nd January 2004
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 2nd January 2004
Flag of Japan (bordered) 29th July 2004 

15th December 2011

15th December 2011

6th December 2015

Platforms PlayStation 2
PlayStation 4
Personal Computer
iOS Devices
Android Devices

BBFC: 18
ELSPA: 18+ (PC only)
OFLC: MA 15+ (originally RC)
OFLC (NZ): R18
USK: 16+
SELL: 16
aDeSe: +18
VET/SFB: 18 (Square)

LocationLiberty City

Grand Theft Auto series
chronology of events

2D Universe

1961London 1961
1969London 1969

3D Universe

1984Vice City Stories
1986Vice City
1992San Andreas

2D Universe

1997Grand Theft Auto

3D Universe

1998Liberty City Stories

2D Universe

1999Grand Theft Auto 2 (Possible)

3D Universe

2001Grand Theft Auto III

HD Universe

2008Grand Theft Auto IV
         – The Lost and Damned
         – The Ballad of Gay Tony
2009Chinatown Wars

2D Universe

2013Grand Theft Auto 2 (Possible)

HD Universe

2013 - presentGrand Theft Auto Online
2013Grand Theft Auto V

"One of the most influential and successful games ever made."
―The New York Times

Grand Theft Auto III, also known as GTA 3 or GTA III, is the third installment of the Grand Theft Auto series, and was released in 2001. 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.

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.



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 boyfriend Claude 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, 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 drive 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 Family, 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 assassinating 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 exchange 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.

Voice Cast


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. The city was meant to feature buildings modeled after the then World Trade Center, but last minute edits were made to the game to remove them after 9/11.

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.


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.


Upon release, 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 it 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 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 Grand Theft Auto VGrand 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.

9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Under Construction This article or section is Under Construction. Under Construction

Grand Theft Auto III was changed significantly due to the real-world 9/11 terrorist attacks. The game was originally intended to be released on October 3, 2001, however the release was pushed back three weeks, until the 22nd, while Rockstar combed through the game's files[1]. Dan Houser claimed that the main reason the game's release was postponed was due to how close Rockstar Games's head office was to the World Trade Center, and work that had to be done was made impossible due to the circumstances during that period. Dan also claims that, at the time, he came close to cancelling the game's release altogether due to the circumstances; "This beautiful city has been attacked, and now we're making a violent crime drama set in a city that's not unlike New York City". Despite this, he claims that it was his duty to release the game, especially considering how close they have come to releasing it.

Several changes were made to the game, however Rockstar claims that the changes made to the game only make it about 1% different.[2]. For example, the Police car and Enforcer's color scheme which resembled those of the NYPD's in the early 2000s was changed to an entirely new black and white color scheme, similar to Californian-style police vehicle color schemes. Several aspects of the map were changed, including entire skyscrapers removed due to any possible resemblance of the World Trade Center buildings. The Airtrain at Francis International Airport was made un-solid, to prevent the player from firing rocket launchers at it, and aircraft flight paths that flew through the city were changed. One mission was removed from the game as it referenced terrorism. Certain radio and pedestrian dialogue was also removed.

The game's Boxart was changed, too. The original artwork was replaced with an entirely new style of artwork, which is still used to this day - comprising of sections displaying individual pieces of artwork from the game, spread around the box, and the Grand Theft Auto wordmark situated in the center of the box. The original artwork was still used for the European release of the game.


Date Award Category Recipient(s) and Nominee(s) Result
24 March 2001 2nd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto III Won
December 2001 GameSpot Game of the Year 2001 Awards Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto III Won
December 2001 GameSpot Game of the Year 2001 Awards Best PlayStation 2 Game Grand Theft Auto III Won
December 2001 GameSpot Game of the Year 2001 Awards Best Action Game Grand Theft Auto III Won
December 2001 GameSpot Game of the Year 2001 Awards Most Innovative Grand Theft Auto III Won
2001 GameSpy Game of the Year Awards 2001 Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto III Won
2001 GameSpy Game of the Year Awards 2001 Best PlayStation 2 Game Grand Theft Auto III Won
2001 GameSpy Game of the Year Awards 2001 Most Offensive Grand Theft Auto III Won
2001 GameSpy Game of the Year Awards 2001 Best Use of Radio Grand Theft Auto III Won
2001 GameSpy Game of the Year Awards 2001 Best Artifical Intelligence Grand Theft Auto III Tied 1st
14 January 2002 IGN's Best of 2001 Best PlayStation 2 Game Grand Theft Auto III Won
14 January 2002 IGN's Best of 2001 Best Action Game Grand Theft Auto III Won

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 first-person perspective, when looking around, aiming the M16 or the Sniper Rifle, and when driving.
    • It is also the first GTA title to feature third-person perspective, where the camera is positioned behind the player.
  • GTA III is the only 3D era game to have a possibility to switch to a top-down camera view in third-person perspective.
  • This game is unique for being the only game where the deuteragonist, tritagonist, and main antagonist are all females (although Louise Cassidy-Williams of GTA Vice City Stories and Ashley Butler of The Lost and Damned are female tritagonists featured later in the series).
  • GTA III was the last game from the main series 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 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.
  • 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 the only game in the whole GTA series to use photographs/decals as textures. This is evidenced in the wheels of some cars, doors, windows on buildings, the signage of some buildings, and accessories on pedestrians, examples being the door on the Portland police station, the wheels on Sentinels with a Honda logo, a Louis Vuitton handbag carried by a woman in Staunton Island, and the Margot Bistrot Café.
  • This is the only game in the 3D Universe that when you complete a mission, the "mission complete" music is not derived from the main theme.
  • 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.
  • This is the only 3D GTA game who didn't add the player ability to crouch. However, NPC's like Police officers and 8-Ball can.
  • The PS2 port was released on the same day as the Playstation port of GTA 2, just 2 years later.
  • There was originally going to be a cheat to urinate on walls as seen on some cheat code books but it doesn't seem to work if you attempt to use the cheat code. It was most likely scrapped.
  • Initially banned in South Korea through the Korea Media Rating Board, the 10th Anniversary version is served, even with localization because rating games through KMRB was replaced by rating games by the Game Rating Board, its subsidary, in which was subsequently lifted.


Original Release Trailers

10th Anniversary Trailers

See Also

Further Reading

Official Site

External links