Battle of the GTAs

Ever since the release of 2001's groundbreaking Grand Theft Auto III, there've been seemingly hundreds of games that shamelessly rip off its free-roaming, carjacking open-world formula. But as hard as the pretenders try, there's still only one GTA.

Actually, that's not quite true. There are nine. Can't have that, can we? Grand Theft Auto IV seems poised to take the crown as the definitive chapter in the series - something that we'll have a better idea about when the trailer hits tomorrow - but that still leaves a gaping power vacuum between now and October. Since we've already gone and decided which of the clones was the best, it seems only fair to comb back through the series that started it all and pick an alpha thug from its ranks. So from start to finish, we'll look at every game the series has produced so far - excluding potentially-connected spinoffs like Manhunt and Bully - and then, once we've weighed the strengths and weaknesses of each, we'll make them all fight and crown the survivor as kingpin.

Let's get this fight started, shall we?

March 28, 2007


  • JosefMotley - February 15, 2010 9:26 a.m.

    Personally I think there should have been a "no winners" result. Not because I hate GTA. but because i loved it so much and have been continually disappointed by the series since vice city. obviously GTA3 is pretty much unplayable now and has no in-game map and ridiculous missions. by comparison, when vice city came out it felt like the franchise had been suddenly sold to nintendo - it was actually fair and fun for the first time. sadly they messed vice city up not with the game itself but with its painfully bugged, rushed and ultimately intensely overrated sequel san andreas. though san andreas was by almost all areas the worse game, the fact it finally introduced climbing meant it ruined vice city. san andreas is terrible plotwise in comparison and while it has some good missions, has far too many bad ones i never want to replay again. and now every time i try and play vice city again i'm just frustrated that you can't climb (couldn't care less about swimming, it was actually less annoying just dying in vice city, in san andreas falling in the usually led to deliberately drowning yourself instantly anyway, it was either that or swim round the coastline of somewhere for hours trying to find something you could climb up... AND THEY HAD LADDERS IN THAT GAME THAT WERE JUST FOR SHOW AND YOU COULDN'T CLIMB BUT STUCK OUT OF THE WATER TEMPTINGLY NONETHELESS. HOW DARE THEY) anyway so san andreas by introducing ONE good new feature managed to run the entire back catalogue of the series into the ground for good. question is: can you climb in vice city stories? if so, that's the only decent GTA left. i need to play it again and properly, not drunk in a roomful of people taking it in turns this time....
  • A.J_Smiles - November 9, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    Gang, I was rooting for Vice City. I mean San Andreas is obviously better, but VC was my first GTA game ever and I love it

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