GTA Through The Years: From 2D to 3D

Rockstars Grand Theft Auto series has constantly redefined and stretched the boundaries of video games. Lets have a look back at just how far the series has come from.

Where it all began

The first in the series was released in 1997 and caused quite a stir. The game was praised for its sound effects and radio stations along with the freedom it brought to a gaming community used to more restrictive video games.


GTA2 quickly followed in 1999 and featured the same top down camera. It brought into a play a new gang feature where players could choose to do missions for various gangs but risked incurring the wrath of the ones they did not choose. It also brought the first signs of increased police presence included SWAT teams etc and also the side missions such as taxi driving….a key part of the series for years to come.


Grand Theft Autos 3d transformation

The big one. This release has been lauded by many and is widely recognised as a landmark in video game history. It was 2001s best-selling game and brought GTA into the 3rd dimension and also to a mainstream audience. Grand Theft Auto 3 was the giant leap that Rockstar were looking for.


GTA Vice City followed and brought the GTA formula to the 80s in what is many peoples favourite of the series. The killer soundtrack and unique vehicles impressed along with your character Tommy Vercetti – who could speak!


GTA San Andreas was the last release of the PS2/Xbox era and was Rockstar’s most ambitious creation yet. A gigantic open world set in a more urban theme and missions more varied than ever before were again followed by a killer soundtrack. It was also the first to introduce some form of multiplayer with a limited offline coop feature.


Portable Releases and GTAIV

The PSP saw two excellent GTA releases with Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories. The two games saw GTA return to the cities that provided so much entertainment first time around but on a portable system .The games were praised for bringing a console like experience to a portable console for the first time with little cutbacks made to the GTA formula.


GTA:Chinatown Wars saw the series make a dramatic return to the top down view point and proved Rockstar could still create unique and fantastic games when the technology is limited. This game was released on DS, PSP and also the IOS App Store. While not a traditional GTA it was widely acclaimed.


GTA IV was a massive success for Rockstar when it was released and was ground-breaking upon release. Whether it was collecting cars,surfing the internet or taking you girlfriend bowling in between shooting down helicopters GTA IV had it all. Some think this release was a little too serious and realistic but the technical feats the Rockstar accomplished with this release were impressive.


Rockstar have brought us many other great games over the years including Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club Racing, Max Payne and Bully but they will always be known as the studio who introduced open world gaming to the masses with the Grand Theft Auto series which will go down as one of the greatest ever.

Published: Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 Last Modified: August 7, 2013

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