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All GTA Games in Order [2022 Update]

All GTA Games in OrderDo you want to play through all of the GTA games in order? In this post, we’ve listed all Grand Theft Auto game’s released since the first game all the way back in 1997.

The Grand Theft Auto series, better known as GTA, has a long and storied history. Spanning multiple mainline titles, spin-offs, and bundles, the common themes were living a life of crime and having near-absolute freedom to play as you want. Indeed, a lot of gamers would happily testify that they spent more time wandering around the streets, testing how far they can provoke the police rather than completing missions. Even more crucially, the series gained a lot of notoriety for skirting the line between glorifying lawbreaking and humanizing criminals.

Still, the titles in the series are plentiful and are still played to this day, which is a testament to their status as a landmark gaming franchise. So, let’s take a stroll down memory alley and have a look at all the GTA games in order.

1. GTA (1997)

GTA 1997

  • Main Series
  • PC, PlayStation, Game Boy Color
  • Expansions: GTA London 1969 – 1999, GTA London 1961 – 1999
  • 3 million units sold

The very first GTA title was a breakaway title for various reasons. For one, it was a top-down 2D game that featured true open-world gameplay that spanned across three massive cities, San Andreas, Liberty City, and Vice City. Though fictional, these urban settings were inspired by real-life locales. What truly set GTA apart from other action-adventure titles at the time, though, was its open-ended nature. You could choose to take on the game’s missions or completely diverge from them and do other below-board activities, such as hijacking cars, killing sprees, and causing chaos. As a bit of a piece of trivia, GTA was initially going to be titled Race-n-Chase and started development in 1995 for the Commodore Amiga. It saw multiple cancellations until it was finally rebranded into Grand Theft Auto and released on PC in 1997.

2. GTA II (1999)

GTA II

  • Main Series
  • PC, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast
  • 2 million units sold

Hot off the heels of the success of its predecessor, GTA II maintained the same level of freedom while introducing a slew of new features. For starters, the game is set in Anywhere City in the year 2013 and is comprised of three sprawling districts. To cross from one area to the next, you need to make enough money which can be obtained, in proper GTA fashion, any way you want. Missions are the most efficient way to fill your coffers, but you can also undertake other activities to make a buck. GTA II was the first of the series to introduce the infamous Star system, which determined the response level of the in-game police. A little quirk the game had was the safe houses. They were churches with neon signs that said “Jesus Saves” and would occasionally flicker to say “U Save”.

3. GTA III (2001)

GTA III

  • Main Series
  • PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox
  • 5 million units sold

The first leapfrog forward for the GTA series came with its third incarnation. GTA III was the game that shifted it from the top-down perspective to a fully three-dimensional open-world title. The change in perspective alone dramatically impacted the game’s various elements, including driving and exploration. The game took place in Liberty City and was the first in the series to feature a story about revenge and climbing the criminal ladder. GTA III had its share of cut content, including a buggy vehicle. Dataminers discovered the incomplete model of this vehicle in the game’s files. It would later come to light in GTA: Vice City under the name Injection.

4. GTA: Vice City (2002)

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

  • Main Series
  • PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox
  • 5 million units sold

Departing from the numbered titling convention, GTA: Vice City attempted to do a few things to elevate the series. For one, it was the first GTA title to feature real-life gangs, such as the Haitians and bikers. For the first time, you were also able to commit robberies in various establishments, such as drug and jewelry stores, to steal money and increase your notoriety. As a fun fact, the in-game pornstar, Candy, is voiced by real-life adult movie actress Jenna Jameson. In addition to that, the protagonist is voiced by actor Ray Liotta, who the game pays homage to by naming a couple of missions after two of his movies.

5. GTA: Double Pack (2003)

GTA Double Pack

  • Bundle
  • Playstation 2, Xbox
  • Unknown units sold

A two-game bundle that included GTA III and GTA: Vice City that was released for PS2 and Xbox. No improvements or changes were made to any of the two titles.

6. GTA: San Andreas (2004)

GTA San Andreas

  • Main Series
  • PC, Mac, PlayStation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, mobile
  • 5 million units sold

GTA: San Andreas was the first title in the series to find itself remastered across several console generations. It was also the first GTA that was ported to Mac devices. Rockstar decided to emphasize the game’s narrative and added more prominent cutscenes. On top of the usual criminal activities, the game also included other fun activities like exercising, climbing walls, swimming, driving more than just cars, and shopping for clothes. To top it all off, GTA: San Andreas went a little out there by introducing some supernatural elements, including alien sightings and ghosts of dead relatives.

7. GTA Advance (2004)

GTA Advance

  • Spin-off
  • Game Boy Advance
  • 24 million units sold

GTA Advance saw the series return to its roots for the first time in 7 years. It featured a top-down perspective and was set in Liberty City with a brand-new protagonist. The title, unfortunately, felt extremely basic compared to even the original two games. However, it did bring to the fold some new features, including street racing and rescue service missions.

8. GTA: Liberty City Stories (2005)

GTA Liberty City Stories

  • Spin-off
  • Playstation Portable, Playstation 2, mobile
  • 11 million units sold

One of the larger spin-off games, Liberty City Stories has widely been regarded as a minor improvement over GTA III. It’s the first game in the series to take an NPC and turn them into the protagonist of their own show. Despite having a similar structure to GTA III, this spin-off featured more inside locales, improved camera movement, bikes, and a host of other minor features that were becoming staples of the franchise.

9. GTA Trilogy (2005)

GTA Trilogy

  • Bundle
  • PC, Playstation 2, Xbox
  • Unknown units sold

Another bundle that packaged together the three most prominent GTA titles, GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas.

10. GTA: Vice City Stories (2006)

GTA Vice City Stories

  • Spin-off
  • Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable
  • 6 million units sold

As with Liberty City Stories, GTA: Vice City Stories essentially replicated the main series title it was spinning off with a new story and activities. Taking place in the past in 1984, it featured a new protagonist and was the last game in the series to use the RenderWare engine Rockstar employed for all 3D GTA games up to this point. Vice City Stories was the first GTA game to feature building mechanics by allowing you to buy a store and perform construction on it.

11. GTA IV (2008)

GTA IV

  • Main Series
  • PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
  • Expansions: The Lost and the Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony
  • 25 million units sold

GTA IV took the mainline saga back to Liberty City with eastern European protagonist Niko Bellic, one of the most prominent among fans. It was the first GTA title built on the new Rockstar Advanced Game Engine, or RAGE for short, which would later power other games, including Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, GTA IV places an emphasis on storytelling and is the first title in the series to feature decisions that impact the outcome of the game. As an added fact, GTA IV was the first title to receive an update that changed some of the radio songs due to licensing issues.

12. GTA: Episodes from Liberty City (2009)

GTA Episodes from Liberty City

  • Bundle
  • PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
  • 3 million units sold

Episodes from Liberty City was a bundle that packages GTA IV’s expansions, The Lost and the Damned, and The Ballad of Gay Tony, as a standalone title. The former featured a story about a biker gang member, while the latter centered around a mafia gang grunt and took place mainly during the night.

13. GTA: Chinatown Wars (2009)

GTA Chinatown Wars

  • Spin-off
  • Nintendo DS, Playstation Portable
  • 2 million units sold

The second portable exclusive title in the GTA series, Chinatown Wars was the first game to depart from several conventions. For one, its top-down view could be rotated at will, enabling new camera angles. Furthermore, the game was designed with cell-shaded graphics, giving it a comic book style aesthetic. Despite being developed for handhelds, Chinatown Wars was jam-packed with content and over 100 missions and featured a slew of GTA staple activities. As an added piece of trivia, the game has a mission called Dragon Haul Z, referencing the popular anime and manga Dragonball Z. It’s also the first GTA game to not feature a helicopter in the logo since GTA III.

14. GTA V (2013)

Grand Theft Auto V

  • Main Series
  • PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • 140 million units sold

Apart from being the most successful GTA game by a considerable margin, GTA V is also one of the biggest games of all time. Even after launching nearly a decade ago, it’s still a relevant game today, spanning almost as many remasters and ports as Skyrim. On top of that, it’s also considered the priciest game in history to be made, with an estimated 265 million dollar budget. It’s the first GTA title to feature three protagonists and places more emphasis on world-building and narrative than any of its predecessors.  Its themes are also varied, spanning across the corrupt underworld to the friendships that are made along the way. What made GTA V particularly impressive is how it interconnected the three main characters’ stories, even though you could change who you played at any given time. Though many may argue to the contrary, GTA V’s visuals still hold up well to this day. The levels of craziness the game has are unmatched by any title in the series and even rival that of other open-world chaotic games. One particular fact that’s a testament to this, you can find a frozen aline in the opening prologue of the game.

15. GTA Online (2013)

GTA Online

  • Online Spin-off
  • PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • 220 thousand peak concurrent players on Steam

GTA Online is an online spin-off included with GTA V. It follows a live-service model with new content continuously added to it since its launch in 2013. GTA Online has no specific story, but you can opt to play it solo or in co-op. The game allows you to undertake a number of criminal activities, such as bank heists, vehicle robberies, illegal street racing, and others. For those looking for some structure, there are also missions to complete. GTA Online will feature several events throughout the year, including an infamous casino one that led to a fair bit of controversy. Progression in GTA Online is based on a Reputation Points system that allows the improvement of your character’s stats and rank. Today, GTA Online is one of the most popular games played. An unverified claim by Rockstar alleges that players from 224 countries currently log onto GTA Online, a record-breaking number if true considering the UN only acknowledges 195 nations.

16. GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition (2021)

GTA The Trilogy - Definitive Edition

  • Bundle
  • PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
  • 10 million units sold

Yet another bundle containing GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas, the Definitive Edition of the GTA Trilogy aimed to remaster these classic three titles. Apart from bringing the games to modern consoles, including the Switch, this bundle updated their visuals, lighting and improved their controls. However, when the bundle launched, it was mired by technical glitches and poor-quality visuals. Gamers and technical experts claimed that AI upscaling with no further editing was to blame for the launch problems. Rockstar has since attempted to fix the issues via patching.

17. GTA VI (TBD)

GTA VI

  • Main Series
  • Likely releasing on PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S

Little is known about GTA VI other than that it’s currently in development. Rockstar confirmed this earlier in 2022 but hasn’t actually acknowledged it as being called GTA VI quite yet. Various insiders claim we’ll be seeing the game’s first trailer later this year, and it’ll primarily showcase gameplay. Rumors have suggested the game could return to Vice City and also that the map will expand and evolve over time (similar to Fortnite’s map).

In What Order Should You Play the GTA Series?

GTA features stories and characters in a variety of fictional settings. Despite being a part of the same universe, they aren’t necessarily direct sequels to each other. Therefore, the order in which you play them is entirely up to you. Some fans may argue that the original two games aren’t worth playing due to the series’s wild departure from its roots. However, both GTA and GTA II hold up incredibly well as 2D games and are worth exploring if you want to experience the series in its early incarnations. The early 3D games, GTA III and Vice City, are also recommended to try out back-to-back as they depict how the franchise has evolved into the powerhouse it is today.

Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 30 years of experience playing a wide spectrum of video games. When not writing about games, he's playing them, and if he's not playing them then he's definitely thinking about them.

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