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 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

Grand Theft Auto III, also known as GTA 3 or GTA III, is the third installment of the Grand Theft Auto series and was released in 2001. The game is the first of the GTA III Era and introduced many new features and increased the fan base of the series. Originally released on the PlayStation 2, and PC. An Xbox version of the game was also later released.

GTA III is the first foray into true three dimensional GTA gameplay, with the player taking control of the game via a third person perspective, viewed from behind and above the player character, as opposed to the Top-Down Perspective in the earlier Grand Theft Auto 1 and Grand Theft Auto 2 games. The transition from top town to full 3D has been widely regarded as a great maneuver, proven by its phenomenal sales figures.

The changes made for GTA III marked a defining point in the series' graphical representation and control scheme. More recent GTA titles have stuck with the same 3D control and visual scheme, and all future titles of GTA are likely to remain so, albeit improved in visual quality as hardware improves.


The protagonist of GTA III, Claude.

From the official site:

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.

At the beginning of the game three people are escaping from a robbery, one of them is Claude and the other is Catalina. Catalina kills off the other robber and Claude gets arrested, later to be set free by another prisoner who was unrelated to the robbery. Claude returns to the outside world trying to locate Catalina and kill her.

As the Leone Family and Triads pursue him throughout Liberty City, Claude struggles to find Catalina who's already working for a Columbian drug cartel. At the end of the game he finds her and kills her in a long shootout.


Main Article: Liberty City in GTA III Era

There are different districts in Liberty City. It consists of three islands - Portland Island, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale. Liberty City is based on New York so the three islands are comparatively similar to Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island respectively.

Portland Island

This is the old, industrial district, consisting largely of workmen in old cars, the Leones, Triads, Colombian Cartel and Diablos.

Description in Manual:

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.

This is the first area you interact with in the game.

Staunton Island

This is the business district. Lots of rich people can be found here, alongside their nice cars and the resident gangs - the Yakuza, Yardies and Colombian Cartel.

Description in Manual:

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.

Staunton Island is the second of the three districts you will see in the game.

Shoreside Vale

This is the suburban area of Liberty City. The wealthy live here, along with the middle class residents and gangs. The Francis International Airport is also located here. As are the Southside Hoods.

Description in Manual:

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.

This is where the ending of the game takes place.

Alternative Artwork

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 box arts.


  • GTA III was the first GTA title to feature a third-person perspective.
  • GTA III was the first and last game to have a top-down camera view in third-person perspective.
  • GTA III was the last game to have the artwork on the cover not being a collage of different images (though only for Europe (excluding Germany), Australia and New Zealand).
  • Some early copies of GTA III still featured the logo of DMA Design, the original name of Rockstar North, during the opening credits.
  • The cash rewards for missions are very rewarding, although there isn't really anything to buy with the money; except weapons, vehicle bombs and Pay 'n' Spray, even though Pay 'n' Spray cost an amazing $1,000 per use, the highest ever in the GTA series.
  • On the radar, there are no Ammu-Nation "gun" icons; nor are there any Pay 'n' Spray-can icons. These icons only appear in certain missions.

See also