Accomplishing the impossible is why we can't get enough of video game series like Grand Theft Auto. As a series with themes of crime, money, and stealing cars, it provides a sensational experience that is hard to replicate. Naturally, numerous games have tried to replicate Grand Theft Auto's open-world action-adventure, but few have come close to surpassing it. Some notable copycats are Saints Row, Watch Dogs, Crackdown, Sleeping Dogs, Mafia, and The Simpsons Hit & Run.
As one of the most famous and lucrative franchises in video game history, it's only natural we would compile a list ranking the best titles. Sometimes less content is more, and soon, you'll find out why. This is every Grand Theft Auto game ranked from worst to best.
10 Grand Theft Auto Advance
One of the lesser-known Grand Theft Auto games follows a similar style to Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2. Contrasting from the first two Grand Theft Auto games, Grand Theft Auto Advance has vehicle-based missions and is easier to play than the original games. Its smart gameplay combined with vibrant graphics keeps the game enjoyable. Grand Theft Auto Advance is an enjoyable top-down perspective game, worthy of its place on this list.
9 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is a prequel to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City that released for the PSP (PlayStation Portable) and later for the PlayStation 2. Due to its limited availability, relatively not many people got a chance to play Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. It received favorable reviews on the PSP but mediocre reviews for the PlayStation 2. Its negative reviews on the PlayStation 2 can be attributed to its upscaling which didn't turn out well. Also, multiplayer modes were removed, which makes the PSP version stronger.
Still, if you can manage to get your hands on a PlayStation 2 or PSP, the game can be bought at a bargain, and you can experience the gaudiness of Vice City once again.
8 Grand Theft Auto
A game about stealing cars couldn't be something your mother would buy for you. The game that started it all had clunky controls which made driving near impossible, but it had charm regardless. The ability to get into any car made Grand Theft Auto a hit. Driving recklessly through intersections and colliding into other vehicles provided an exhilarating experience unlike anything out there. This top-down perspective game laid the foundation for what would later become one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time.
7 Grand Theft Auto 2
People love Grand Theft Auto 2 for its improvements to police chases, weapons, driving, locations, and camera. No longer was a shaky camera getting in the way of rasing mayhem in Anywhere City.
The cars have gained speed and the police force is more relentless than ever before. The action in this game is genuinely exciting, and it's more than a game about driving cars. Grand Theft Auto 2 is more similar to Grand Theft Auto III (yes they changed the name from a number to a Roman numeral) than Grand Theft Auto, which is why it appeals to a broader audience. This is one classic game you can't miss.
6 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars has got to be the most exceptional Grand Theft Auto spinoff game. Released for Android, Nintendo DS, PSP, iOS, and Fire OS, the gameplay of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars becomes more enjoyable as you dive into it. Chinatown Wars is played from the top-down perspective, providing an experience reminiscent of the first two Grand Theft Autos—but more profound. Leaving a trail of destruction in your wake in Chinatown Wars is GTA lunacy at its finest.
5 Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto's first adventure in 3D was way ahead of its time when it released. Playing as Claude gave Grand Theft Auto a name and a face, making the series more memorable. Later games in the series would not be where they are today if it weren't for the leap and bounds of Grand Theft Auto III. Grand Theft Auto III introduced vehicles like the Banshee, Cheetah, Infernus, and Stinger. These vehicles appeared in multiple Grand Theft Auto games in the series.
4 Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV is set in Liberty City; a fictional replica of New York City. This time around, players are put in the shoes of Niko Bellic. As an immigrant from Yugoslavia, he sets out to get revenge on two men who betrayed him during the Wars. Grand Theft Auto IV stands out for its similarities to New York City, its interesting story, and dating missions.
Its driving is realistic instead of arcadey-like. Some complained that the driving was too realistic, but that won't stop many from going back for another playthrough.
3 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, players rise from rags to riches as Tommy Vercetti. Including an airport, marinas, and a taxi cab company, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City captures the essence of Miami. The ability to purchase companies that generate money gave the game more replayability.
One feature that makes Grand Theft Auto: Vice City stand out is its shopping mall. An even more interactive shopping mall should be a part of the next Grand Theft Auto game. Whether you're doing pizza boy deliveries, taking the law into your own hands during its vigilante missions, or searching the locale for stunt jumps, there is plenty of content to keep you busy in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
2 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Released in the early 2000s, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are often compared to one another. While Vice City is a charming small city, the scale of San Andreas gives it the edge. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was inspired by the late '80s and early '90s gangsta rap era, which is when the game is set.
Playing as protagonist Carl Johnson, players are immersed in a world rife with possibilities. The game has a progression system that allows you to upgrade your character for completing tasks like working out or riding a bike. The game also contains airports with flyable planes. Players are no longer forced to drown when they touch the water since swimming underwater is possible in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
1 Grand Theft Auto V
In Grand Theft Auto V, players are brought back to San Andreas, only this time around, players play as three different characters as part of a joined storyline. Bold and ambitious, Grand Theft Auto V is a massive game filled with numerous activities like golf, darts, visiting an amusement park, tennis, and more. With a budget of over $250 million, the game had stellar execution which is why many players still frequent the game years after its release.
The continual adding of content draws new players today. GTA Online has received several massive updates. Grand Theft Auto V is an open-world action-adventure game that has a little something for everyone.