• November 27, 2020

Let’s Rank the Grand Theft Auto Series: From Liberty City to Los Santos

 Let’s Rank the Grand Theft Auto Series: From Liberty City to Los Santos

The Grand Theft Auto series is arguably the best video game series in history. Here’s how I rank the titles.

Listen, I’ve beat Grant Theft Auto V on PS3 like 3 times and I just bought it again for PS4. I’m literally addicted to the feeling of becoming a Los Santos resident for a few hours. But, as an avid GTA gamer, I started really thinking about the GTA franchise.

Rockstar Games has done a phenomenal job with grooming the franchise and using the internet to remain relevant. Crazy thing is, I haven’t even tried the online gameplay but from what I hear, it’s amazing.

Each installment of the GTA series has been difficult to put down but, here’s how I rank the titles:


This game was literally the best in the franchise. Well, my favorite, at least.

Grand Theft Auto 4 took us to Liberty City and opened us up to a huge world. The map was supposed to be a reflection of New York City and to be honest, it encompassed it pretty well. Popular NYC landmarks like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty were all at my disposal as I spent hours riding around the city.

The game also had probably the most intricate subway system of the series which really opened up the realism. Like the other installments, it came with a huge map of the city but this one also kept track of the subway system. It allowed me to really park the car and take the subway to various locations.

I also felt the energetic and insomnia-tic vibe of New York City. I feel like I never got bored on that game and even after beating it multiple times, I still found something to do.

Its focus on one particular character, Niko Bellic, was a lot more fun than other games. I just enjoyed the mafia life more than the other series’.

Ultimately, this game was the most realistic experience for me and was my favorite in the series.


I really enjoy this game, as well.

As I mentioned in the intro, I just bought it again for the PS4 and it’s how I unwind after a long day of saving the world (not really but really).

It’s the second most realistic title by a hair’s length. It’s also the second most fun by a long-shot. I just think that the game seeks to encompass the “L.A vibe”. In pursuit of that vibe, it has pockets where it’s too laid back. Also, I often times wish that instead having three characters to bounce between we just had one big story.

I couldn’t help but think that it’s a stretch that these three men, Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, knew each other.  I could be wrong though. After all, I’m not the most familiar with the criminal underbelly of L.A.

I loved the graphics as they translated to next-gen consoles, though. Every detail of skin, color, and nature was brought out in the game and it looks really good. Rockstar also used the internet to update the game and added new music, stations, cars, clothing and other upgrades to the game.

Through the internet, the game is still alive today and I definitely commend them for that.

GTA San Andreas

This almost was my second favorite but it just missed it.

San Andreas was a great adaptation of West Coast life. For me personally, it was a educational look into west coast urban life, a lifestyle that I knew nothing about. The game was full of street code and offered all sorts of streets smarts along the way.

You could make one mistake and end up paying for it big. I used to spend hours trying to beat one mission.

I loved the West Coast map as well. I used to drive the train around the entire map for hours after school. Yes, for no apparent reason. The game was literally that good.

You really had to organize your gang and keep them close. Looking back, it’s unbelievable what the game was able to cram in this title. There were so many possibilities to have fun that there was literally never a dull moment.

As I said, it was a great game. Just wasn’t the greatest in the franchise.

GTA Vice City

The Miami-themed “Vice City” title was interesting.

I remember playing this game in my cousin Eddie’s basement for hours at a time. We would ride around the city and pick up hookers with the most devilish grins on our faces. Looking back, I think that’s all I really remembered about this game.

That was it. That’s the problem and why it wasn’t higher on the list; it just wasn’t interesting enough.

I’m curious to see a next gen adaptation of the game because of Miami’s growth. The city is booming now more than ever and has become the hub for all sorts of debauchery. t probably would score better on next gen but it just wasn’t interesting enough for me back in the day.

Oddly, this is where I disagree with a lot of my friends who loved Vice City. Let me know what you loved about the game in particular. Maybe I’ll give it another shot. If I can find my game and system, of course.


Of course, Grand Theft Auto III is last on my list. It would have been first if the other titles didn’t come out.

-but wait, I think that’s the same thing as being last on the list.

Anyway, it was a great introduction for me to the Grand Theft Auto series. It got me in a lot of trouble as a kid because I would rent it multiple times before my parents realized what it was. Then, I snuck and bought it myself (I hope my future kids aren’t as bad).

It offered a prelude to open-world gaming and harnessed an addiction to the world of possibilities that gaming could offer. I literally could not believe that I was playing a game like this.

I vaguely remember the story line but I do remember a lot of glitches. But, that’s expected with a title as old as GTA III. All that matters is that the series worked out the kinks and continued to elevate its product with each release.

What we see today was really started by GTA III as opposed to the titles before then.

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