Rockstar is arguably the greatest video game development company in the world. They singlehandedly changed gaming forever with Grand Theft Auto III, redefined what was possible with gaming storytelling, and consistently create the greatest open worlds in gaming. While they have suffered some controversy as of late for their online business practices, they remain a top tier development company.
Rockstar as we know it has been around since 1998, and since that time, they've created some of the greatest video games of all time. It's hard to pick the top ten, but we're here to do just that.
These are the ten best Rockstar games, according to Metacritic.
10 Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad Of Gay Tony - 89
Grand Theft Auto IV contained what are arguably the two greatest pieces of DLC ever released. One of these pieces was The Ballad of Gay Tony, an expansion pack that saw you playing as Gay Tony's bodyguard, Luis Fernando Lopez. The game was an enormous critical success, and many critics saw it as better than most full-price AAA video games.
The story was intriguing and wrapped up the events of GTA IV, it was filled with memorable characters, and the gameplay and lighthearted tone hearkened back to the sillier GTA days of old. When it comes to DLC, it doesn't get much better than this...
9 Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost And Damned - 90
Well, except maybe The Lost and Damned. This was the game's first expansion pack and saw you playing as a biker named Johnny Klebitz. Like the main game, this was a morose story that took itself far more seriously than prior GTA games, and it contained the glorious open-world gameplay we had all come to love.
It was just more of GTA IV, but that certainly wasn't a bad thing. However, it's interesting to note that the user score sits at just 8.0, as some people didn't care for the story or characters, while others thought that it was too short to justify its price.
8 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars - 93
Isn't it telling that Rockstar's EIGHTH highest-rated game sits at 93? Most developers would kill for one game that good, let alone eight! Chinatown Wars was originally released for the Nintendo DS, this game forgoes the traditional ground camera and instead employs a rotatable camera angled down at the action reminiscent of the earlier GTA games.
The game was instantly praised as a worthy addition to the GTA canon, and it remains the highest-rated Nintendo DS game on Metacritic. When it comes to portable GTA, it really doesn't get much better than Chinatown Wars.
7 Red Dead Redemption - 95
Rockstar was on an unbelievable high after finishing GTA IV, and everyone was practically praising them as the Gods of gaming. Their follow-up game was Manhunt 2, but that was a smaller project in comparison. So, what did the studio do for their next open-world opus?
Go way back in time to the early 20th century and do a Western!
We're glad they did because Red Dead Redemption quickly became the quintessential Western video game. The characters, story, and open-world were all praised, and it was called a more-than-worthy follow-up to GTA IV. In fact, a lot of people tend to prefer this! What are your thoughts on the matter?
6 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - 95
Even to this day, Vice City remains many fans' favorite Grand Theft Auto title. Tommy Vercetti made for a fantastic protagonist (and was wonderfully played by Ray Liotta), Vice City made for a colorful, exuberant, and exciting setting, the '80s aesthetic was both nostalgic and fun, and the soundtrack remains the greatest soundtrack in the history of soundtracks.
Put simply, it's a masterpiece of gaming and it will make older gamers nostalgic as few other games can. There's just nothing like driving down Ocean Drive at night while listening to Billie Jean...
5 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - 95
And here we come to the great debate - Vice City or San Andreas? This game took a more serious approach to the story, portraying a hood gang in turmoil and a man looking to find and redeem himself after returning home following his mother's death.
While some people prefer Vice City, San Andreas was arguably the better map, as it was enormous, filled with interesting things to do, and served as a brilliant copy of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. It's also interesting to note that the user score sits at 9.0, 0.2 better than Vice City's 8.8, indicating that many people have given a slight edge to San Andreas.
4 Grand Theft Auto III - 97
The game that started it all, Grand Theft Auto III is a historic title and is rightfully considered one of the GOATs. There was simply nothing like this game at the time. Not only was the open-world spectacular and unimaginably intricate, but the gameplay was so complex and responsive and imaginative that it gave critics conniptions, with many calling it the greatest game ever made.
GTA III served as a major influence on gaming as a whole, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a critic who doesn't place this in their top five. It's an all-timer.
3 Grand Theft Auto V - 97
And speaking of all-timers, we come to GTA V. This game didn't do a whole lot different from GTA IV, but it's remembered more for what it accomplished than how it was.
Not only did it receive nearly unanimous perfect scores, but it became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, broke numerous industry records, and has since become the third highest-selling video game ever with 110 million copies shipped. It's a bonafide cultural phenomenon, and it remains just as relevant today as it was back in the autumn of 2013.
2 Red Dead Redemption 2 - 97
It had been five years since Rockstar's last game, as they were busy swimming in their pools of cash. But they were actually busy creating one of the most immersive video games of all time - Red Dead Redemption 2.
This game was considered even better than the first, with many critics drawing attention to its lifelike animations and physics, incredible sense of realism, and engrossing story that is often considered one of the best in gaming history. Meanwhile, the user score sits at a surprisingly low 7.5, as a lot of people took umbrage with the slow pace of the game, problematic bounty system, and outdated mission mechanics.
1 Grand Theft Auto IV - 98
Finally, we come to Rockstar's magnum opus - Grand Theft Auto IV. This game did for the seventh generation what GTA III did for the sixth, as it wonderfully updated the open-world mechanics and presented a gorgeous, lifelike, and absolutely massive world unlike anything seen in gaming at the time.
Add in the surprisingly deep, rich, and complex story, and you've got what is arguably the greatest video game ever made. But again, the user score sits at a measly 7.5, as many people didn't like the slow pace (again) and more serious and downbeat tone. When it comes to the general audience, the series and Rockstar as a whole seemed to peak with San Andreas.