Grand Theft Auto

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This article is about the Grand Theft Auto series. For the first game in the series, see Grand Theft Auto 1 or for the mission in GTA III see Grand Theft Auto (mission).
The current logo used since GTA III.

Grand Theft Auto, or GTA, is a long-running series of videogames, published by Rockstar Games and developed by subsidiary companies. The game was originally developed and published by Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and BMG Interactive (a subsidiary of BMG Records).

There are currently ten games in the series, with a further two expansion packs for the original, and downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV. The games have been released for various platforms, including the PC, PS2, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and DS, with most of the games released on multiple platforms.

There has been a massive amount of controversy over this series, which peaked with the discovery of some sex scenes in GTA San Andreas that were disabled (but not removed) before the game was published. The unofficial Hot Coffee mod and subsequent uproar gave Rockstar Games a huge amount of press attention.


The Games

Individual games in the series can be categorized into different 'eras', mostly dependant on the storyline and graphics engine used. The start of a new era is indicated by a new number after Grand Theft Auto, e.g. "GTA III".

GTA 1 Era

In the GTA 1 Era there is original game, and the subsequent two expansion packs featuring missions in 1960's London. Whilst originally just called '"Grand Theft Auto", the first game and era have become known as "GTA 1" for clarity.

GTA 2 Era

The GTA 2 Era contains just GTA 2, which featured an improved graphics engine and a different style of gameplay.

GTA III Era

The GTA III Era featured the first blockbuster GTA title, Grand Theft Auto III, and introduced a 3D game world and a third person perspective. The entire era contains interlocking storylines, and many characters appear across multiple games. Notably, games in this era were not released in chronological order.

  • Grand Theft Auto III (2001), set in a fictional Liberty City, based upon the real life New York City. Multiplayer game mode was lost, but other areas were much improved, namely the graphics, voice acting, storyline with non-linear gameplay.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002), set in Vice City, a city based on real life Miami. This sequel to GTA III is technically a prequel (set in 1986) to the game, and to GTA San Andreas, which was released after GTA Vice City.
  • Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004), what was originally supposed to be a cut-down port of GTA III for the Game Boy Advance, turned out to be a completely original game, set a year before GTA III, in a slightly changed Liberty City.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004), set in the state of San Andreas, featured three cities, Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas, based on Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas respectively. The game is set in 1992, making it a sequel to GTA Vice City, and prequel to GTA III. The game featured a lot more customization options, for both player and vehicles, and caused controversy when sex games were revealed in the games code on both the console and PC versions.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006), announced on May 10th during E3, is based in Vice City, 1984, two years before the original GTA Vice City, featuring Lance Vance's brother Vic as the protagonist. It was released in October 2006 for the PSP.
See also: The Introduction

It is generally believed that the GTA III Era has been completed, and there will be no more official expansions on the characters, storylines or engine. However Modifications and Fan Fiction continue to build on these.

GTA IV Era

The GTA IV Era features Rockstar's new RAGE engine, also used in Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis. This era features

The Fan Base

Grand Theft Auto has one of the largest fan bases of any game franchise. There are many unofficial Fansites about GTA games, providing the latest news, download databases, and often an online forum for the GTA community. Thousands of GTA fansites exist, ranging from small one-person news blogs to community-edited wikis to massive downloads databases to forums with hundreds of thousands of members.

One activity popular with fans is modding - creating new vehicle models, skins, re-texturing of objects, and tweaking settings in the games' configuration files. These modifications are then made freely available on these fansites for anyone to download and install into their game. Another popular pastime (since GTA III) is stunting - the act of performing wild stunts with vehicles, and producing compilation videos.

Some of the more creative members of the community enjoy writing their own Fan Fiction - stories based on events which follow on from, or are based around events which happen in the games. These are not considered to be canon, but

The List of GTA Forums attempts to list all of the large communities, and demonstrates just how big the community as a whole is.

These are some of the most popular fan sites:

Official Sites