Grand Theft Auto 6 is still over a year away from its expected release, but the series thankfully has several games for fans to play in the meantime. In the past, the Grand Theft Auto games have taken players through the cityscapes of Vice City, Los Santos, and Liberty City at varying intervals. Each game has challenged fans to delve into a new world of crime and chaos, anchored by a vicious sense of satire aimed in all directions.
Grand Theft Auto is practically synonymous with the sandbox genre, giving players the freedom to run rampant across the worlds that the developers created. The playable characters in Grand Theft Auto and their respective adventures made the franchise famous, and they can also do an admirable job of filling the time until GTA 6‘s release.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Is A Nostalgic, Memorable Delight
For many years, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was held up as the highlight of the series. Protagonist CJ’s struggle against the drug-dealing Ballas and feud with the unbelievably corrupt Officer Tenpenny made for an intriguing narrative that carried throughout the game. San Andreas earned high praise and an enduring place in the public eye, all without having any expansions or DLC to extend its life.
San Andreas‘ roster of memorable characters helped to make it the dynamic adventure it was. Sweet’s gruffness, Ryder’s foolish cockiness, and Big Smoke’s jovial nature form a core of distinct personalities that help ease the player into Grove Street. Although it starts as a simple turn war between Grove Street and the Ballas, a shocking family betrayal in San Andreas turns the story into something much more intricate. CJ goes from being part of the gang to having a web of allies that includes a blind Triad boss and an odd old hippie, among others. It embraced the absurdity of Grand Theft Auto, and led the way for future games to do the same.
It’s difficult to discuss San Andreas without bringing to mind the famous moments that are still in the public consciousness. The moment that most will remember is Big Smoke’s iconic order at Cluckin’ Bell, which became one of the most enduring memes to come out of the series. San Andreas held the title as the series’ best game for a long time, with some arguing that it still does even after GTA 5. Even with San Andreas missing some opportunities, CJ’s story is well worth another look before GTA 6 comes out.
Grand Theft Auto 4 Is Grand Theft Auto’s Most Serious Title
Grand Theft Auto 4 had a frostier response from fans for a while after its release. It doesn’t go as far into the realm of wild fun as other games do, instead taking a more somber approach to crime. Thankfully, GTA 4 managed to find an audience, and fans have taken the time to appreciate the better aspects of the game. Now over a decade after the game first came out, it’s still a memorable part of the series.
Grand Theft Auto 4 stars Niko Bellic, a lifelong criminal with a dark past who comes to America to reunite with his cousin Roman. Despite his desire for a better life, Niko’s backstory in GTA 4 leads him on a quest for revenge against the man who caused the death of his childhood friends, drawing him further into Liberty City’s criminal web. Although the story is dark, there is a lot to keep players invested, with Niko having several chances to affect various characters’ destinies. GTA 4‘s more somber tone doesn’t mean that it has no levity, as the amusingly wacky Roman and Brucie offer their fair share of laughs to lighten the mood.
While the difference in tone does make Grand Theft Auto 4 something of a black sheep for the series, its overall quality makes it worth revisiting. The campaign gives players a lot of choice compared to other GTA games, often leading to worthy rewards. The emphasis on story makes the finale feel satisfying, although both endings are still bittersweet. GTA 6 should learn from GTA 4 when it comes to storytelling, and another playthrough could remind players of what made the game so strong to begin with.
Grand Theft Auto Online Is Still Updating, And Will Likely Continue In The Near Future
Grand Theft Auto Online is Rockstar’s biggest property by far, and it’s difficult to argue otherwise. With its massive amount of growth since released, it has eclipsed Grand Theft Auto 5, the game that it originally came bundled with. While it was originally just a multiplayer version of GTA that gave players a big sandbox to play with collectively, it has grown into the biggest game in Rockstar’s long history.
The ability for players to play with their friends makes GTA Online a great game for the holidays, and this multiplayer aspect is its biggest strength. They can go on missions and heists together, but that is only half the fun. Players can team up and ride together, play custom maps and games, and create all kinds of activities for themselves. There is a reason why GTA Online became popular among content creators, which is because it’s an easy game to have fun with. In addition, GTA Online is still being actively updated, with the latest major update coming out in early December. It wouldn’t be a surprise if GTA Online continued to receive fresh content until GTA 6‘s release.
Out of all Grand Theft Auto titles, GTA Online is the one with the strongest argument for players to keep playing. It gives players more missions and more things to unlock than any other game in the series, with the chance to play with friends only sweetening the deal. GTA Online‘s future as GTA 6 approaches is in question, but for now it has more than enough to keep fans happy.
Grand Theft Auto 6 is already heavily hyped, but the wait for its release is going to be long. If past games are any indication, then it should be another big game with plenty to offer in terms of action and exploration. Although it will be at least another year before Grand Theft Auto 6 is available to fans, they have plenty to entertain themselves with in the meantime.