Highways are large main roads with multiple lanes, encircling or connecting cities in various GTA games. They become particularly relevant in the large-scale multiple-city game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. While many highways remain unnamed, some are given specific designations, such as in GTA San Andreas.
In general, highways are interconnected, and provide smooth transitions from one region of the map to another without stopping. However, some highways are limited in their service and in the intersections they make with other major roads, and may not provide a more rapid alternative to smaller roads. Main local arteries are generally easier and more direct for in-city travel, but highways are quicker for inter-city travel.
Most highways provide a much more rapid pace and more lanes than small roads, allowing for greater speeds and more room for maneuvering. However, cars often switch lanes quickly without notice, and this can present a hazard for the player if traveling at high speeds. Almost any crash on a highway will cause cars to crash into the rear of the stopped vehicles, and particularly in GTA San Andreas this can trigger a chain reaction of explosions, especially in Las Venturas, where cars reach extreme speeds because the highways there consist of long straight stretches. This also poses a high risk of being rear-ended. Sometimes, even if the player is driving normally, there is still a good chance of crashing. Locations to be careful while driving are the Mulholland Intersection, around the LSX, the Julius Thruway, and much of the Santa Maria Freeway Extension. Speeds are high around these roads, so be careful.
Another hazard is that one will often times come across slower moving vehicles in certain places. These vehicles include the the Tractor, Freeway, Sanchez, and other motorcycles. Also, the max speed periodically changes without notice on most highways and the the other cars will slow down usually causing an unaware player to rear end them. Sometimes, the driver in the car you hit will get out and start attacking you or your vehicle with a Shovel, Baseball Bat, Golf Club, or simply bare-handed.
- Aspatria - Bedford Point Expressway
- Newport/Fort Staunton Expressway
- Unnamed Expressway in Staunton Island (connects Fort Staunton, Newport, and Torrington)
- Los Santos Freeway
- Julius Thruway
- Harry Gold Parkway
- San Fierro Highway
- Las Venturas Highway (From Las Venturas to San Fierro via Tierra Robada and Bayside)
- San Fierro Bypass (From Foster Valley to Tierra Robada through San Fierro)
- East Beach Freeway Extension
- Great Ocean Highway
- Senora Freeway
- Interstate 1 (Los Santos Freeway)
- Interstate 2 (Del Perro Freeway)
- Interstate 4 (Olympic Freeway)
- Interstate 5 (La Puerta Freeway)
- U.S. Route 1 (Great Ocean Highway)
- U.S. Route 11 (Tongva Drive)
- U.S. Route 13 (Senora Freeway)
- U.S. Route 15 (Palomino Freeway)
- U.S. Route 20 (Elysian Fields Freeway)
- U.S. Route 68
- San Andreas State Route 14 (North Rockford Drive)
- San Andreas State Route 16 (Mad Wayne Thunder Drive)
- San Andreas State Route 17
- San Andreas State Route 18
- San Andreas State Route 19
- San Andreas State Route 22
- From GTA III to GTA San Andreas, the main developers of GTA, Rockstar North, clearly had a poor understanding of roads in the United States. In GTA III and Vice City, expressway signs were based on signs in Great Britain, not the United States. This was best demonstrated in GTA San Andreas, the first game to have a highway, as there could sometimes be more than four directions on one sign, uncommon in the United States. Signs became increasingly similar to those in the United States starting with GTA IV, but there were still some problems. Many signs in the US have Interstate/Route logos to indicate an intersection. Though you could see these signs, these were just blank U.S. Route signs and no Interstate signs in GTA IV.