Grand Theft Auto III

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Grand Theft Auto III
GTA III North American Cover
DeveloperDMA Design/Rockstar North (PS2, PC)

Rockstar Vienna (Xbox)

PublisherRockstar Games
Release datesPS2

United States Canada 22nd October 2001
United Kingdom Europe 26th October 2001
Australia New Zealand 26th October 2001
Japan 25th September 2003
United States Canada 20th May 2002
United Kingdom Europe 24th May 2002
Australia New Zealand 24th May 2002
Japan 25th September 2003
United States Canada 21st October 2003
United Kingdom Europe 2nd January 2004
Australia New Zealand 2nd January 2004
Japan 29th July 2004
15th December 2011
15th December 2011
PlayStation Network
26th September 2012

PlatformsPlayStation 2
PlayStation 3

BBFC: 18
ELSPA: 18+ (PC only)
OFLC: MA 15+ (originally RC)
OFLC (NZ): R18
USK: 16+
SELL: 16
aDeSe: +18
VET/SFB: 18 (Square)

LocationLiberty City

Grand Theft Auto III (also known officially as GTA III or GTA 3) is the third installment and the fifth game of the Grand Theft Auto Series developed for the PlayStation 2 and PC by DMA Design, now Rockstar North, the Xbox version by Rockstar Vienna, and published by Rockstar Games. GTA III was the start of a new era, which introduced a story element to the GTA series and saw the fan base of the series expand. The game was originally released for the PS2 on October 2001, the PC on May 2002, and the Xbox on November 2003. On 18 August 2011, GTA III was released for the Mac App Store. To celebrate 10 years since the release of GTA III, a mobile version was released in December 15, 2011.

GTA III was the first GTA game to use the over-the-shoulder perspective in gameplay, with the camera located behind and above the player character, as opposed to the top-down perspective primarily used in its predecessors (GTA 1, GTA London 1969, GTA London 1961 and GTA 2). This new perspective has been praised as being a key reason for the success of the series, alongside the new control scheme, both of which have been used in subsequent games.

Game information



Main Articles


The protagonist of GTA III, Claude.
LIBERTY CITY, USA. The Worst Place in America.

You've been betrayed and left for dead. Now you're taking revenge, unless the city gets you first. Mob bosses need a favor, crooked cops need help and street gangs want you dead. You'll have to rob, steal and kill just to stay out of serious trouble. Anything can happen out here.
-From the official GTA III website

The player follows an unnamed criminal (revealed to be named Claude from internal files in GTA San Andreas) as he arrives in Liberty City with his girlfriend, Catalina, and an unnamed accomplice who commits a robbery at the Liberty City Bank. When they exit the bank, however, Catalina shoots and kills the unnamed accomplice and shoots Claude, leaving him for dead as she escapes. Claude later recovers and is arrested by the police to be taken to jail but escapes when the Colombian Cartel attacks the police convoy and sets off a bomb on the Callahan Bridge making it explode. Claude then begins to climb through the ranks of the city underworld by working for, and eventually betraying or being betrayed by various gangs, in his quest for revenge. At the end of the storyline, Claude tracks down and kills Catalina in a long shoot out.

Liberty City

Map of Liberty City
Main article: Liberty City in GTA III Era

Liberty City consists of three islands - Portland, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale - and tens of areas each with their own distinct set of pedestrians, cars, and environment. The islands are based loosely on the boroughs of New York City - Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey, respectively - and elements from other major cities such Chicago and Los Angeles.


This is the old, industrial district, consisting largely of workmen in old cars, the Leones, Triads, and Diablos. This is the first area the player can access in the game.

Here you will find the docks, the Red Light District, warehouses, factories, markets, garages as well as some useful suppliers. The area is populated with hookers, pimps, labourers, dockworkers, politicians and general scum. Crime is rife in Portland and it has a long history of Mafia control. But this is being challenged by the Triads. A bloody turf war has been underway for several months. A delightful district with something for everyone.

-From the game manual

Places of interest: Sex Club Seven, Mr. Wong's Launderette, Belly-Up Fish & Seafood Processing Plant, Momma's Restaurante, Little China Park, Salvatore's Gentlemen's Club.

Staunton Island

This is the business district. Business people with their nice cars are located here, alongside resident gangs - the Yakuza, Yardies and Colombian Cartel. This is the second area the player can unlock in the game.

This is the central business district. This is where all the big business takes place in Liberty City and is dominated by the rich, powerful and corporate. During the day the area is bustling with businessmen doing their 9-5 thing - insider trading, taking bribes and selling their grandmothers for ten bucks. At night it is dark, desolate and very dangerous.

-From the game manual

Places of interest: Love Media Building, Bush Stadium, Kenji's Casino, The Shopping Mall, Liberty Tree Offices

Shoreside Vale

This is the suburban area of Liberty City. The wealthy live here, along with the middle class residents and gangs. The area is hilly and is home to two gangs: Colombian Cartel and Southside Hoods. This is the final area the player can unlock, the setting for the ending of the story in GTA III.

Suburban bliss and tranquility Liberty City style. Home to many of Liberty City's more affluent gangsters, Liberty City's commuter-belt is a patchwork of swimming pools, picket fences, backyards, basketball nets, street gangs and five car garages. It's littered with ostentatious mansions paid for with blood money, protected by high security guards and gates to keep out gangs of bored teenagers looking for something to do to bring some excitement to their middle class existence. The designer dogs and the station wagons give a shallow serenity to suburbia, but don't be fooled. Violence and corruption are at the heart of every home.

-From the game manual

Places of interest: Cartel Mansion, Francis International Airport, Cedar Ridge Observatory, Staunton View Picnic Area, Hope Medical College.


The aesthetics and gameplay of GTA III was very popular and received wide praise and good reviews.

GTA III is commonly regarded as one of the best games of the saga of Grand Theft Auto games and one of the most revolutionary in history. The implementation of unique gameplay in a game with a premise so promising it achieved a great success in both sales and reviews, receiving very positive reception with scores for the PS2 version of:

  • 10 from Meristation.
  • 9.6 from IGN and GameSpot.[1][2]
  • 10/10 from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine.
  • 94/100 from GameSpy.[3]
  • 8/10 from Edge.
  • An average score of 95%, according to Game Rankings.[4]

The game won several awards, such as GameSpot's Console Game of the Year, Game of the Year from GameSpy and Cheat Code Central, and Best Action Game of 2001 by IGN. The game's average review score of 97% on Metacritic ties it with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for the highest ranked game in PlayStation 2 history. It was also inducted into GameSpot's Greatest Games of All Time list.

In 2009, Game Informer put GTA III 4th on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time", saying that it "changed the gaming landscape forever with its immersive open world sandbox".[5] GamesRadar named it 'the most important game of the decade'.

Other Releases

Game Boy Advance

Following the success of GTA III, Destination Software Inc. and Crawfish Interactive developed a version of the game for Nintendo's handheld Game Boy Advance, which was canceled for unknown reasons. It was likely going to be very similar to what was later Grand Theft Auto Advance, but with the story of GTA III.

10th Anniversary Edition

Promotional art for GTA III 10th Anniversary Edition.

In October 2011, Rockstar Games announced[6] a 10th Anniversary Edition of Grand Theft Auto III would be released for mobile phones and tablets, including the iPad, iPhone and a selection of Android devices. The game is due to be released later in fall 2011, and support for further devices may be announced.

Supported Devices:

  • Apple iOS Devices: iPad 2, iPhone 4S
  • Android Phones: Droid X2, HTC Evo 2, LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix, Samsung Galaxy S2
  • Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Alternative Cover Art

In some PAL territories, Grand Theft Auto III was released with different cover artwork, despite there being no major differences in the game itself. Below are examples of several boxarts.


DMA Design logo before becoming Rockstar North.
The Beta logo of Grand Theft Auto III before Rockstar chose to revert the logo to its present day format.
  • Some early copies of GTA III still featured the logo of DMA Design, the original name of Rockstar North, during the opening credits.
  • The Grand Theft Auto III Logo was originally supposed to be "GRAND THEFT AUTO 3" written in white block writing on a black background with the "3" being orange in colour. The logo was then changed to its current Pricedown font and uses the roman numeral "III" instead of the numeral 3.
  • In GTA III, hijacking particular cars, hitting particular cars, and destroying vehicles and aircraft will grant the player varying sums of money. However, from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City onwards, this feature is absent, possibly to increase realism.


Trailer 1 Trailer 2
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Grand Theft Auto series
chronology of events

2D Universe
GTA 1 Era

1961London 1961
1969London 1969

3D Universe

1984GTA Vice City Stories
1986GTA Vice City
1992GTA San Andreas

2D Universe
GTA 1 Era

1997Grand Theft Auto 1

3D Universe

1998GTA Liberty City Stories

2D Universe
GTA 2 Era

1999GTA 2

3D Universe

2000GTA Advance

HD Universe

2008GTA IV

The Lost and Damned
The Ballad of Gay Tony

2009GTA Chinatown Wars


2013GTA Online
2013GTA V

External links